Sunday, November 24, 2013

Are you RED-y?

Before moving house I had a major cosmetic clean up. I threw out several things including nail polishes and kept only my favorites. When looking at my collection, one thing was evident; I buy what I like, and I like red and nudes. Mannequin hands or striking reds are my favorite nail polish shades.

I believe the holiday season is the perfect time to bring out all those cherries, burgundy, maroons...you know, RED's out!

Below are my top five reds in my collection. 

 

They are in no particular order, I love them all. Each has a very glossy finish, look good enough with one coat even though two is average, and no streaks! I hate streaks...


Here are the shades in the below order with one coat to show it's opacity.
Nail polish application expert - I am not. 


First up is the first red I every bought, OPI's Quarter of a Cent-Cherry


Many of my favorite reds have a raspberry tone such as this one. This is the most pink raspberry red I have. It's not girly or too pink but I think it looks reminiscent to a cranberry red and amazing for the holiday season. A few of my friends with darker skin tones -about NC40 claim this as their HG red and go through several bottles so I believe this looks flattering on an array of people.


Essie's Twin Sweater Set; purchased admit tingly because I saw Emma Robert's Instagram this as the "Perfect Red". Ummm who can avoid that kind of statement? This red is a bit more blue toned and has more of an old school 50's red vibe. I don't see it as old, I see it more as a retro classic. 


OPI's Vodka and Caviar; my most used red. This is the ultimate classic red in my opinion. Very blue toned and flattering on pale hands. This is just a very chic shade. I once saw this red online and was captivated by the photo, it was the color that made me fall for red shades and I have never looked back. This red is very sophisticated and looks like you would want to wear stripes and fly to Paris with it on.

 Chanel's Pirate; my favorite Chanel polish. Ok I own two, but that's because I heard the formula was bad, and the price is something you think about, but this was worth the $. Another raspberry red but deeper than your average red. I recently saw Chanel's new release of Rouge Rubis and comparatively I thought this one was better. I like how its deeper, and more complex. The new shade is nice but quite simple and one note in my opinion. 


Last but not least is Marc Jacobs Lola. Recently blogged about here. The only red orange in my collection, and the only one I have ever found to be complimentary to my skin tone. I had always thought warmer shades suited me due to my yellow undertone until I tried orange red polishes. Because my hands are quite pale they looked off and blue toned shades seemed more flattering. MJ has figured out the perfect ratio of being warm but not getting to orange. In some lights I can see this having a more blue toned but the orange is heavier balancing out the shade to be perfect in my opinion.

I would highly recommend any of these polishes to add to your collection, but now I'm dying to know, what's your favorite red?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Chaaanges!

Well ladies, it's officially cold weather season, because guess who is sitting at home with a cold? Wrapped in blankets and tea mug in hand I decided to showcase a few new products in my stash that hopefully will make the seasonal transition come at welcomed ease.

Skin care changes!
That's right, I am actually trying new skin care products! I always use my favorites and rarely deviate from what I know works for me but every winter my normal go to's just don't cut it, especially the moisturizer so I am currently giving these a go!

I mentioned earlier in the month my new love for the Clarins sun screen but a few others have now joined the bathroom cabinet ranks as hopeful new successors.


Mario Badescu's Glycolic Acid Toner: I purchased this on a recommendation from a video I saw. I purchased the dry/sensitive skin version because my skin is more sensitive than anything and drier in the winter. When I first tried this, it stung sooo bad. After a few days it seems better but stings a bit on occasion. I only use this in the morning because I use the clarasonic at night, that physical exfoliation followed by a glycolic version would probably be too much.
So far I have not seen any real results but I will tell you how it goes at the end of the bottle.

Kiehls Moisturizer and Cream: I've used the famous Kiehls moisturizer in the past with success in the winter but this year I will testing out their cream version which I thought would be very heavy but after trying it is no where near as rich as other dry skin creams I've sampled such as La Mer and Kiehls' own Rose Artica.

Sabon Hand Cream in Musk: An avid L'Occitaine devotee I decided to give Sabon a whirl, I've used their hand creams in the past and like them, just a bit of a change. Also, whipping this beautiful cream out of your hand bag is always a pleasure.

Make Up changes are often rare but invited in my life.
I have a bag of products I use daily with little rotation unless completed so to get in and change up my routine, the product will have to be pretty special.


The Naked 2 Palette: Complete surprise. I'm not a big eye shadow person, and veered off this product for years due to it's cool lean but these shades have become a welcomed change! The colors are beautiful for the colder months and since I don't own any shades like these I keep reaching for it. Normally I don't really wear eye shadows but in the winter filled with holiday parties you have a few more occasions to whip out a few new shades!

Benefit' Fake Up Concealer: Another surprise! Benefit and I have not always gone along especially when I saw the packaging of this ( I'm one of those, packaging judger) I thought uhhh no. I randomly tried this in the store during the VIB sale and thought "Wow" Very creamy, adequate coverage - not full mind you, but for my needs it did the job along with amazing blend ability. I loved it even more applied on top of my eye cream but over time I realized the combination was far too rich for my skin so I have used fake up alone in doubt thinking it would look very patchy and dry but nope! It's emollient enough to glide on smoothly without the cream base and this does not crease on me! Every under eye concealer creases on me because I have natural creases under my eyes but this for some reason stays in tact-amazing...

MAC Soft and Gentle: While everyone goes extra matte for winter, I think, no! Glow on! I still love my Bobbi Brown Bronze shimmer brick and use it daily as a highlight and then I layer Soft and Gentle on top - that's right! I looooove the glow and winter aint stopping me.

 

Laura Mercier Illuminating Quad in Mocha Spice: After reading about this beauty on Danielle's blog and hearing her rave it wasn't long before I ventured to a counter and tried this little gem out for myself. Behold my perfect winter blush. It looks a bit dull in the pan, but as a more pale version of myself is becoming visibly apparent, this shade is really highlighting my new coloring. It reminds me of a darker version of Benefit's Rockateur ( which I don't own ) but with far less shimmer and less of a mauve effect. Or the new Chanel Accent blush but a little less brown and more pigment. It also reminded me a bit of NARS Doucer where it's one of those "Give me cheekbones" wonder products. It's just one of those "hot" colors for the season. It's a bit pricey but you get 10grams so it should last ages, it also looked beautiful paired with Soft and Gentle! Win win!


The last make up love is my now beloved NARS Isola Bella Satin Lip Pencil. When these came out I ran to swatch them but did not see a shade I liked. I read someone blog about this and I had originally skipped it because it looked too dark, but I was wrong. When on, it's a beautiful dark peachy nude on my skin. I put it on and didn't want to take it off, so it came home with me. A beautiful formula. Very pigmented, smooth, long lasting, glossy,  and these crayon type of products are so easy to put on.


Last but not least is my one fail of a product. The beautifully packaged YSL Shocking Mascara. I had used this for a few weeks with no problems but one day I started to tear badly and had no idea what happened. It happened the next day and the next and I realized the culprit. 
With eyeliner on and lash primer followed by this I seem ok. But the few days I decided to be lazy and wanted a natural look and just curled my lashes and applied this mascara it would make me cry so bad! Not just cry, but tear to the point where both my contacts would just go blurry and I would need to go home to fix them.
This mascara is incredibly fragranced - I never understood fragranced products, especially those that went around the eyes. It's also very wet, every time I would apply this mascara I would need to scrape just about everything off before application. 
Now that I know the culprit I must admit disappointment as I loved trying this mascara and wanted to give their Baby Doll version a go, but I think I will be passing. For the price I paid for this, I am let down...Luckily I looked through my sample stash and believe I found a new replacement!
More on that later!

So has anyone else been making chaaanges? 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Sweater Weather Tag!

The sweater weather tag has been jumping around YouTube and I decided to bring it to blogger!
I tag anyone who want's to join in!

1. Favorite candle scent?
Oh those Bath and Body Works Pumpkin candles get me every year. This year I passed on them because I had so many from last year but the one I purchased multiples of and still love is Pumpkin Cupcake!
 
2. Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?
I like them all, but recently I have been more into coffee than other warm beverages.

3. What's the best fall memory you have?
Going to the mountains with my family when I was to younger to see the rainbow of leaf colors changing. 


4. Which makeup trend do you prefer: dark lips or winged eyeliner?
Darker lips! My two current go to's are Korres Lip Butter in Plum and YSL Sheer Candy #5 in Mouthwatering Berry.

5. Best fragrance for fall?
Jo Malone Dark Amber and Ginger Lilly is the only musky warmer scent I have in my collection but it's all I wear this time of year.

6. Favorite Thanksgiving food?
ANYTHING involving the wonderful food of the potato. 
Mash, gratin, baked, stuffed, fried, I love it all!

7. What is autumn weather like where you live?
Very quintessential and picturesque. Brisk, chilly, and changing leaves all over the place. It's quite beautiful.

8. Most worn sweater?
I'm actually not a sweater person, I hate them...but this season I have been rocking my Zara leather jacket like crazy. No regrets on this purchase!



9. Must-have nail polish this fall?
Revlon's Vixen is the best vampy but not too over the top shade. A mix of plum, red and brown is my pick.

10. Football games or jumping in leaf piles?
Though jumping in leaves kinda freaks me out because I can imagine alot of bugs in there I choose that over football any day!

11. Skinny jeans or leggings?
Skinny jeans! Leggings don't "tuck" in all the problem areas like skinny jeans that squeeze can!

12. Combat boots or Uggs?
I love wearing both but the most of the time the lazy girl in me dons on the UGGS just because of the incredible comfort!

13. Is pumpkin spice worth the hype?
YES. Every year fall is not official until Starbucks declares the PSL to be back!

14. Favorite fall TV show?
made in chelsea season 6 cast photo
This is a bit embarrassing but I actually love Made in Chelsea. It's a bit hard to watch in the states, but it's worth the effort! 


15. What song really gets you into the fall spirit?
Song? My favorite song changes each day but right now I do like Demons by Imagine Dragons

I'm tagging anyone who wants to join in :)
You're all it!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Scraps...A Crochet Post

Those of who follow me on Instagram may notice with the arrival of fall and winter, comes out a seasonal hobby of mine. Crochet! 
Last year I decided to try crochet, I had previously learned years prior but never really developed an interest until last year. Now I look forward to my seasonal projects and adding a touch of home made to my more modern and contemporary style new home.

A few of my followers showed a bit of interest on crochet after a few photos and asked for a post, but quite frankly I'm no where near an expert. I believe myself more of a noob than anything else. I forget stitch names, can't read directions well, and struggle with stitches for a while before the Eureka! moment strikes but I always keep trying.

So here a year later, my long awaited and requested post on crochet, or at least how I do it.

 
This may come as a surprise but crochet supplies such as yarn, hooks, scissors are actually not that cheap. A home made gift of a crochet item ironically can be quite expensive and cheaper to buy a fully produced product. I usually purchase all my supplies from the craft chain Micheal's and always print their frequent coupon offers! 

Something great about the hobby is when you have a few extra bits of yarn left over from other projects there an Internet full of ideas on what to use these scraps for to produce something useful.


When it comes to tools you only require 1 hook to start off with. After you get the hang of it buying a small pack of different hook sizes can be more economical after you have shown interest in continuing to pursue the craft.
My favorite hook size is 5.0 ( The first hook I ever bought, and still my favorite)
I keep my crochet tools such as scissors and sewing needles in small tins. I love collecting these, you can find them in various places but they are small, strong, beautiful to look at, and sturdy enough to hold your tools. The ones above came from a chocolate and tea packet but I have a few more in my collections to hold other items.

Yarn comes not only a great variety of colors but sizes and textures. The labels show you the width of the yarn and what hook size is recommended to use with the yarn. The labels show you both crochet hook and knitting needle size. You don't have to follow these labels exactly but I have found if you do, the results are admit tingly better.


I store all my yarn in a huge basket I purchased on sale. It's over flowing but the colors make me happy to look at it. I always recommend buying an extra large amount of whatever color yarn you tend to use the most - in my case, white.

 

Now you have all your tools and supplies you plop on the couch to start working! but.. what to make? Ahhh that's where places such as blogger, instagram, and pinterest provide huge inspiration. After learning a few of the basic stitches go online to find an inspirational photo and I have always found if it was beautiful enough in your eyes you will find a way to re create it on your own skill level.
My pinterest crochet and knitting board are full of projects I can't wait to tackle!

In terms of learning how to crochet, I purchased two physical books on how to crochet but quite honestly I don't believe you need to invest in this method. They are somewhat helpful when I look up directions and need to skim through the glossary for abbreviations but most instructions found on blogs and YouTube may be a better resource. To actually view someone do it physically may be more clear than written instructions. Try whichever method works for your taste, if you prefer reading, the amount of books printed is readily available. The book I read and used most was The Happy Hooker. The author wrote in a less formal manner so it was easy to read and follow. Some crochet books can admitting be a little a dry.

After you view your inspirational source, photo, video, or feed you get to work and find the result quite surprising and satisfying most of the time.

Here is what I created my with scraps.


We needed some coasters. I did not have a pattern, it's pretty fun to just wing things! I made these after seeing some gorgeous ones created on  Coco Rose Diaries blog. One my favorite crochet bloggers ever. Amazing photos. Check her out!

I'm off to make a new pillow cushion to match the style of my new home, but the possibilities are endless, so for those who decide to pick up the knitting needles or crochet hooks this year, may many beautiful projects be shown from your efforts!


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

New In, and Worth the Hype


Sometimes I think when I search for the ultimate products, it's almost a loss cause. I've tried so many duds in my life, boxes of them sitting and collecting dust.  I often come to the conclusion that it's foolish to keep looking for the best and just use "these..."
Then, I come across something that changes the way I look at products and the hunger is revitalized!

When it comes to my ultimate favorites the list is very short but hardly ever edited. I am loyal to those I consider the best because I know, I've tried em all!

Presenting two new products have just entered my ultimate list, and smitten with them I am.

First up is the renowned sunscreen from Clarins. Around for years with many loyal followers, and guess who just joined the masses! 
I was a bit hesitant with this purchase, the price was similar to a foundation and I was tempted to purchase the tinted version but decided to try the ultimate classic.
 

Disappointed I was not.


You just need a small nickel sized amount to cover your whole face, the consistency is very liquidy,  it spreads and sinks into the skin with ease and incredible speed.
I had formerly been loyal to the La Roche Posay sunscreen which sounds very similar, but I much prefer the Clarins version.
Not only does this feel thinner and lighter on the skin, but it leaves zero white residue on the face, it sinks in and adapts to your skin color nearly instantaneously, along with sinking in the skin much faster. It's worth the few extra dollars, and I plan on repurchasing for years!

 Next up, a new polish!
When it comes to polish,  I'm all about the nude or the red.  I had given up on an orange based red long ago because I thought that shade family looked horrendous on my hands. Clambake, Lollipop, Chanel Holiday, all mehhhh on me - in truth, they made my hands look so OLD.

I steered clear from them when I realized they just were not for me but I have found the red orange for me. 

Marc Jacobs Lola.
A color that has come on the radar of many beauty lovers from the beautiful new Marc Jacobs line. Well, kudos to you Marc because you created a beauty of a red!


The perfect red orange that does not lean too warm and make my hands look cheerful and bright!


Formula wise, this is spot on! I hate applying several coats of polish, not even two. I like polishes with enough opacity so that one coat can get me through. The above photo is just one coat and it looks true to color. The longevity is also very good on my nails. I can get a good five days before the slightest chipping with a Revlon top coat.

As my beauty searches continue for the long list of finding the ultimate favorites, I can rejoice in knowing I have knocked down two new ultimates. 



Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Focusing on the Eyes


I am a person who goes through stages when it comes to beauty. We all know I was ( and still am ) in that highlighter obsession stage for years. I go through periods where peach cheeks are what's constantly on my mind, the perfect nude polish, and ultimate champagne shadow, but currently I have been focusing solely on the eyes.
 
 My current go to eye products I will be reaching for during the next few cooler months.

It snowed today, is it winter already? My fall ASOS clothes still haven't even reached my mailbox-typical. When I noticed the weather started to become brisk I re added in my collection the famous Urban Decay's Naked 2 palette

I had originally owned this last year and returned it because I thought " Too shimmery" " Too cool toned" well this year I decided to give it another go with a fluffier brush for a more sheer application, and you tell me if I'm wrong, but do cool toned shadows looks strange on warm toned skin?
I always thought they made me look a bit tired, but I decided to give the experiment another go, and what's this I hear about a Naked 3? I just bought the 2!

Urban Decay shadows fill my bag once again, but already a winner in my book their simple Basics palette has already been a go to these last few weeks.


When it comes to the shadow singles, a few have caught my "eye" ;)

Dr. Hauschka's single eyeshadow in shade #1. My HG shadow is becoming harder and harder to find and I begrudgingly decided to seek a replacement. This one is a beautiful golden champagne shade that leans more gold swatched on the finger but sheers out to a lovely golden sheen on the lids. The texture is beautiful and the shimmer is perfect for daytime. I always need one of these types of singles to carry around for everyday ease.

Bobbi Brown's Sandy Gold is finally mine! I avoided buying this until I finished a cream shadow and now this creamy easy to wear shade is at my disposal. Sometimes in the morning I'm way too lazy for the whole brush and powder shadow method, so a quick swipe of the finger to apply this wearable shade is for me!

Bobbi Brown once again, her powder shadow in Cognac
Normally I avoid darker shades on my eyes as they tend to give the illusion of shrinking them but this shade is an exception! A gorgeous plum brown with a bit of red undertones. This a beautifully enhanced and stronger version of  MAC's Mulch with more plummy tones. This brown applies beautifully and because of the plum tones, brings out the warmth of brown eyes. Doe eyed ladies, give this a swatch this season, it's perfect for the colder months to wear with our darker and fuzzier apparel.

 Dr. Hauschka, Sandy Gold, Cognac (sheerly applied)

Now, for everything else!


Benefit's Fake Up Concealer is something I have been test driving. I wear shade #2 and thus far, love it. Now I have to state I don't really suffer with under eye darkness so I don't reach for the highest coverage of products but this product delivers just the right amount of opacity for my daytime brightening look. It's quite moisturizing but I still find it applies the best applied on top of an eye cream. For those who suffer with dry under eyes and concealers caking under there due to skin condition, this might be a great new option. I also love the easy packaging and application method. *swoop*

Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara has been hyped by a few beauty ladies for the last year and I finally treated myself to it. The tube is still unopened as I am trying to finish my current mascara but I am very excited to give this a go this season!

Lastly is liner. I pretty much almost always tight line, not liner, tight line, so I need something that's going to stick! After years of searching and trialing numerous brands, two have become go to stand outs. 
Bobbi Brown's Caviar Ink Gel Liner. Bobb's liners stick in the waterline, and are stated by the brand to be safe to be used for that purpose. I recommend for tight lining to choose a shade in her line that is without the shimmers. I tried the shimmer shade in the past and the matte shades seem to last longer on the waterline. I wish she had a matte dark warm brown in her line, but until that day, Caviar Ink has been doing the job beautifully.

In the pencil liner world I tried them all! ( Ok, not ALL, but MOST) and who knew the one that lasted the longest on my waterline was Revlon's Color Stay. The name does not lie! It lasts longer on my waterline than all the higher end brands I have tried, so the next time you see Revlon on sale and you need a new pencil, I would highly recommend giving this one a try.

OK! So that ends my edition of my current beauty focus, obsession, products, and now I ask you, what are your current obsessions?
Eyes and all other!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Walking in Autumn



There is something incredible about taking a walk in the autumn leaves.

As the colors change, the seasons move, and the crunch beneath your feet grow stronger, the weather chills bring warmer feelings and a line of holidays that celebrate another passing year.


This season is pretty hard to beat huh?

Friday, November 1, 2013

Urban Decay, you Surprised me

It all started, when I swatched Urban Decay's Foxy in Sephora one day and came to the realization that this was possibly the best brow highlight color of my life ( a revelation moment ). I became excited and thought "YES" will be buying this!!! then I saw it was $18 dollars and the famous Urban Decay Basics with Foxy included was $27...
Now I'm pretty late on the whole Urban Decay Basics palette, but I'm going to be honest when I first saw it  I stated: " PSHHHH  what is that??" I thought it looks so bland (even for me! miss blah shadow queen!) The first three shades looked the same and when I swatched them all, the first four shades were a bit hard to tell apart from a far and I left it behind, but still wanted Foxy-bad. I know (sad).

I also saw Urban Decay had a free form palette system but when looking at the math, it was far more expensive to make a mini personal palette than buying the famous pre made palettes. With an Ulta coupon in hand I surrendered and bought the mini palette.

Well Urban Decay you got me, surprised me you did, because  I think I love it...

Ok, when you first get it the fact is the thing is hard to open. it's not just mine, this is just how it's built. 
But let's take a look at my current surprising stand by.



I know, I saw it too, it looks quite bland on it's own. Many people claim this is a great counterpart with the original palettes but personally I think this is the best one-for me.

Not everyone is going to be a fan of all the shimmer UD is known for, the lack luster travel size, and having a few shades you just know you are not going to touch.
If you like shimmer shades by all means choose between versions 1 or 2 as they have become a beauty world cult item but this baby is for those who fall into the other camp.

I noticed all the shadows I ever hit pan on look like the shades in this palette. I finally got FOXY (sigh of relief) and it's the most perfect brow bone shade for my skin tone -IMHO. Venus reminds me of my favorite Laura Mercier Stellar shade. Think a toned down version of MAC's Phloof. Almost sheer white with gold white shimmer. Not too shimmery mind you, but I am glad they included this. For the inner corner, brightening the lid, or a highlight. WOS I honestly haven't used much but I see it as an excellent all over the lid shade-again I'm a Foxy woman. Naked 2 -OMG. Why they don't sell this in single form is baffling to me because they have created the most perfect crease shade of my life. I am not a multi shadow crease woman normally, but with this, I keep faking one! Faint is a great all over lid applied sheerly for day or heavier at night, or even brow color in a pinch. Crave would be an excellent liner -wet or dry, and can add smokiness to the outer corner if you have a night out on the town.


For me, I disagree with people saying this is only beneficial as a counterpart or supplement to the original palettes. This is a stand alone for my personal shadow tastes, and a stand out! 
This will teach me to "PSHHH" at first glance.

Are other ladies out there smitten with the Basics?

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