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®
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! ;)

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 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 ;)
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