Saturday, December 31, 2011

Lancome Star Bronzer

As some of you may know, Lancome is one of my favorite brands when it comes to higher end make up brands.  I am always around their make up counter looking at the newer collections or what I think I need from their permanent collection.  The quality of their make up and skin care is just amazing, and I always love investing in products I know works well for me.

I have been using more and more bronzer lately, and the one thing that is a must for bronzer for me is that it has to look natural (not orange or glittery).  So finding the perfect matter bronzer that gives just enough of that natural glow was difficult, until I saw this Lancome Star Bronzer (which was released last summer).

The Lancome Star Bronzers come in two finishes, a natural looking shimmer and a matte.  The matte bronzer is absolutely gorgeous and works well for any time of the season.  There were three available shades to choose from, and I opted for the 02 Sunkiss, which works with my skin tone perfectly.

The Star Bronzer is a sheer, silk like powder that is light and natural looking, just enough to give you that sunkissed look that is perfect for any season.  The texture is absolutely smooth and light, making it easy to blend and is very long lasting.

Priced at around $35, it's definitely up their in price, but you get more than what you pay for, and I think I will be having this in my collection for a while before needing a new one.



Friday, December 30, 2011

Sephora Gift - Philosophy

My birthday was in November, but I figured it's still not too late to post about the Sephora Birthday gift for 2011 since the year is not over yet.  If you're familiar with Sephora you all should know that if you sign up to be one of their Beauty insiders (or if you're upgraded to a V.I.B member), which is all free, you get certain perks for shopping at the store.  One of the best being a free gift on your birthday month.

For 2011, they were giving away a great deluxe sample size of the Philosophy Happy Birthday Beautiful! all in one shampoo, shower gel, and bubble bath.

The scent is a basic vanilla cake scent, which smells absolutely delicious.  It's a great sample size and I was quite surprise that they were giving a gift that was from such a great brand (usually it's just from the Sephora brand).

Definitely take advantage of the Sephora perks and sign up for free if you have not already.  I am already looking forward to seeing what the gift for 2012 is going to be.



Sigma Blending - E25

If you are familiar with Sigma you know they carry amazing brushes in their collection, and with every purchase (over $30), you are gifted with a travel version of their Blending E25 brush.  I love it when companies send you little gifts with your online order, because it really does show that they care about their clients and that they really do love sharing their products.

Their Blending E25 brush is one of my favorite eye brushes, so to receive one free travel version with every order is amazing.

It's an oval shaped brush that is fluffy and chiseled at the sides.  It works amazingly at blending both powder and cream products onto your lids.  I mainly use this to blend my eye shadow base (paint pots or other cream shadows), or blend out harsh lines.  I also think it's small enough to use to deposit shadow on your outer corner for the smokey looks.

I have a few of these because of the Sigma orders I have made, but I also purchased a few full sized ones just because I love them so much (and I use them so often).



Stila Kajal Liner in Smokey Quartz

Finding the perfect eye liner that is soft and smooth, yet long lasting and budge proof is always an adventure.  Stila Kajal liners seem to have a reputation for being very smooth, yet still great for the waterline, so I decided to finally give one of them a try.

The Stila Kajal liner is like a kohl liner, where it's a very soft texture and formula that is suppose to be richly pigmented.  The product goes on so easily and smoothly, I especially love using it to smoke out my lash liner.  You barely have to apply any pressure for the perfect color and application.

Smokey Quartz is a dark, charcoal grey that is quite beautiful.  It's different from just a jet black liner, so it does add a bit of depth to your eyes.  It tones down the intensity of a smokey eye look a bit, so it's a change from just a black smokey eye.

Because the product is so soft, you can roughly apply the product on your lash line and then smudge it out with a pencil brush.  Or, you can take an angle brush and pick up some product from the liner, and use the angle brush to create a more thin and precise line.

The quality of the liner is amazing and really lives up to the claims.  However, you do have to let the product set a while before expecting it to be smudge proof and long lasting (it always helps to set with a powder).



Zoya Lulu

I am all about neutral and natural pinks when it comes to nail polish, so when I saw Zoya's Lulu I thought it would be the perfect natural pink for me to have in my collection.

I am in love with Zoya polishes in general.  It's one of the first nail polish brands in the beauty indistry to remove toxic chemicals, such as toluene, formaldehyde, and DBP, from it's formula.  They really work on promoting safe and healthy long wearing polishes with their formula.

Lulu is a beautiful peachy pink polish that I love to wear for Spring and Winter, for that effortless, clean look.  The only disappointing part of the polish that it is quite sheer, which is not uncommon with most pinks.  However, because the color is so nice, I don't mind putting on a few more coats for that opaque shade.  It's still very easy to apply and is not streaky at all.



Essie Fiji

Nothing gets any classier than the perfect creamy pink color for your nails, and I find that Essie's Fiji works perfectly.

Fiji is a very creamy, light pink that works well for most skin tones.  It's actually one of my favorite polishes from the Essie collection (I believe this is my second bottle).  Natural colors like Fiji are just perfect for any season and occasion.  It's a classic, clean, and professional shade of polish that works with any outfit.

The only thing with Fiji is that it is the pain in the butt to apply.  It's definitely not a nice polish to work with if you are new to painting your nails.  The formula is quite thick and creamy, so it can be quite streaky if you are not patient with it.  The color is very opaque, perfect in one coat, but you definitely have to work with it for that perfect application.



Thursday, December 29, 2011

MAC Iced Delights Eye Bag

The MAC Iced Delights Eye Bag was one of the gifts I received over Christmas from one of my cousins, can you tell she knows me so well? You can't go wrong with giving a girl makeup for the Holidays, especially if it's from MAC.

I actually wasn't so impressed with their Holiday collection this year, because I didn't really like the packaging (like this silver cosmetic bag), but I do like the products she had given me.

The collection is from their Glitter and Ice Holiday collection for 2011, and this specific collection contains the following products:

- Eye Shadow Duo in Baby It's Cold Outside and Woodsmoke
- Technakohl in Brownborder
- Zoomlash Mascara
- Travel size 275 Brush
- Silver Cosmetic Case

I don't like the cosmetic case, however I do love these MAC eye shadow duos (how they are packaged) and I love that she got me a darker green shadow duo instead of a neutral.

I have yet to try their Technakohl liners or Zoomlash mascara, so I am excited to test them out.  Reviews and swatches will be up soon, hopefully!



Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso

I have been on a blush kick for the year of 2011, and one of my favorites that I purchased has been the Milani Baked Blush in the shade Luminoso.

Milani describes their baked blushes as a very luxurious powder that has a blend of different beautiful colors that are baked together on Italian Terracotta tiles.

I just have to say that the texture of the blush really impresses me, for being a drugstore brand.  I was expecting it to be powdery and very chalky, however, I found the texture to be very soft and smooth.  The color just blends beautifully and easily onto the skin, leaving a very soft and natural finish.

Luminoso is a beautiful peachy pink that is universally flattering on most skin tones.  It's a matte finish and just looks beautiful on the skin.  I am absolutely in love with this color and I can definitely see why their is a huge rave about it in the beauty community.  The color is very soft and natural, and I feel that it can work with most skin tones and in any season.  The pigmentation is great, and the color is very buildable.

The only negative thing I would have to mention is that the packaging isn't as sturdy as I would like.  This makes it more prone to breaking or cracking if you are not careful with it while traveling.  It also comes with a separate compartment with a mirror (which is always good) and a brush, but I wouldn't use the brush.  It just gives a very streaky application.

Other than the packaging, I would really recommend the Milani baked blushes, especially Luminoso, if you can get your hands on them.  They can be found in most drugstores (mainly Walgreens) for a great price and color range.



Sigma Small Contour - F05

More from Sigma...can you tell I just can't get enough of their brushes? I just can't believe that it has taken me this long to try out the brand.  I am always looking for great products for reasonable prices, and Sigma is definitely one of those brands you can always count on (really get what you pay for).

I have been enjoying this Sigma Small Contour F05 brush and I was quite surprise that I actually enjoyed it so much.

The brush doesn't look like much, but it really gets the job done.  It's rounded shape is perfect for precision contouring for both cream and powder products.  It's small enough to contour in the perfect places and it just blends products in so smoothly.

I have been enjoying this brush for contouring the hollows of my cheeks, forehead, and on the sides of my nose.  Because of it's shape it applies my blush to the precise spot and blends it out perfectly.



Sigma Round Top Synthetic Kabuki - F82

I want to share more of some of my favorite Sigma brushes to all of you, the next one being the Sigma Round Top Synthetic Kabuki F82 brush from their Sigmax line (which has to be their best collection, in my opinion).

The shape and design of the F82 brush just makes it the best brush for buffing and blending under the eyes and around the nose.  Like all of the other Sigmax brushes, the F82 is perfect for any type of foundation (cream, liquid, or mineral), making your foundation looking flawless and your makeup look effortless.

I have been using this brush for not foundation application but for buffing and blending in my concealer after application (just to make it look more natural).  Blend and buff at the same time for that beautiful look.  The brush is amazing soft, just feels heavenly against your skin.  I love that they include the brush guards with their face brushes, because it definitely keeps the bristles protected and keeps it shape.



Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sigma Angled Top Synthetic Kabuki - F84

One of my favorite makeup brushes are Sigma brushes, because they are more affordable yet are very comparable to MAC and other higher end brushes.

My favorite as of lately has been their F84 Angled Top Kabuki brush, from their Sigmax collection.

This is the perfect brush for blending in foundation and powder with exact precision to the shape of your face.  It blends in creams, powders, and liquids like a dream and effortlessly.

I have been using this brush for foundation application for a while now and it just gives me that flawless, and natural look with very little work.  Blend and buff at the same time for that beautiful look.  The brush is amazing soft, just feels heavenly against your skin.  I love that they include the brush guards with their face brushes, because it definitely keeps the bristles protected and keeps it shape.



theBalm Nude 'Tude Eyeshadow Palette

A little while ago, was having a sale on theBalm products.  Surprisingly, they were offering a special price for the new theBalm Nude 'Tude Eyeshadow Palette  (which is one of their newer paletts) for $18 (originally priced at $36).  And of course I have no self control and thought I needed yet another neutral palette, I decided to take advantage of the sale because the price was just irresistible.

This palette consists of 12 amazing shadows that make wearing nudes fun and easy.  theBalm shadows have a great reputation and these shadows are no exception.  They are satiny smooth and blend like a dream.

Right to Left: 

Sassy (white frost)
Stubborn (pale shimmering nude pink)
Selfish (metallic true taupe)
Sophisticated (shimmering bronze taupe)
Sexy (rich matte mahogany)
Serious (true matte black)

Right to Left:

Snobby (light gold)
Stand-Offish (metallic champagne)
Sultry (matte neutral brown)
Schitzo (soft shimmering bronze)
Silly (rich brown with gold shimmer)
Sleek (deep matte brown)

Just like Urban Decay's Naked and Naked 2 palettes, theBalm's palette comes with a wide range of neutrals, from beautiful highlights to bold shades.  You can go from classic to dramatic in an instant.

The palette also comes with a convenient double ended brush that works well for both shadow and liner.

I absolutely love the shades in this palette and find that the shadows are of impeccable quality as always (bravo theBalm, you've don it again).  Although Serious and Sleek do appear much more dark in the pan than when swatched, the colors are buildable enough for me to work and play around with.  I love the combination of the matters and satin finishes, and that they did not go over board with the shimmers.

What I don't like about the palette, however, is that the packaging get dirty so easily for the shadows.  The shadows just stick to the rims and sides and it's much more annoying to clean than my other palettes.  However, it's something that I can get over and it doesn't effect the quality of the shadows (which is what's most important).



Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Chanel Haul

Chanel has always been top on my list when it comes to skincare and make up.  Their products are both classic and luxurious, and you honestly get your money's worth when it comes to their brand.  Yes, their products are expensive, however, I find that the quality of their products are so impeccable that it is worth investing in them, especially when it comes to your skin.

I have tried many types of skincare products, from high end to drugstore, and I always find myself wanting to go back to Chanel when my skin needs to be rejuvenated and is crying for help.

Lately my skin has been so dehydrated and just isn't responding to anything I have been using lately.  Some spots are oily while others are patchy from dryness (curse being combination skin).  I've never been so insecure about it before and I knew I just had to do something about it.

And because I have literally tried everything I have and know of, I decided to stop by the Chanel counter at my Nordstroms and speak to one of their prestigious estheticians.  I am very close to the girls at my Chanel counter, so they do call me when specialists come to work with them for the day.

From my consultation, I picked up the following:

- Beaute Initiale Energizing Multi-Protection Cream ($75)
- Lait Confort Creamy Cleansing Milk Comfort & Anti pollution ($45)
- Perfection Lumiere Foundation ($55)
- Sample: Beaute Initiale Multi Protection Eye Gel (free)

The esthetician went in depth on each product and what she felt my skin needed (after examining it for a while).

Yes this was a splurge, but I have been saving up for this for a while now, and I definitely wanted my skin to be in it's best condition for the Holidays and into the New Year.  I swear by the Milk Cleanser and already my skin feels very silky smooth (after 5 days of using it in combination with the Beaute Initiale Cream.  The Beaute Initiale face cream is extremely expensive, but you get so much product that I know this will last me for a very long time (well worth it), and the cleanser is very reasonably priced (almost as much as my Clinique and Boscia).

Also, it was so nice of them to include a very generous sample of the Beaute Initiale Eye Gel (since I did not have the budget to splurge on the product).

Again, all of this is a splurge but I will invest in my skin.

I will be doing individual reviews on the products, breaking down more information on the product and my thoughts in a more comprehensive review for all of you soon.



Monday, December 19, 2011

Tarte SmolderEYES Duo

This is one of the products that I picked up from the Tarte cosmetics Friends and Family sale, and I am quite excited to share it with all of you (especially since I have not seen or read many reviews on this product).

This is the Tarte SmolderEYES Charcoal & Brown Amazonian Clay Waterproof Eye Liner Duo (valued at $31).  I have always wanted to try these thicker liner shades that work as both a liner, or darker eye shadow base, and I am definitely glad I got my hands on this during their promotion.

These liners add just amazing definition and drama to your eyes with very little effort.  They are formulated with Amazonian Clay (just like all of Tarte's other products) and 20 micro chromatic pigments to bring out the color of your eyes.

The pigmentation is so rich and the formula so creamy that it all just blends and applies like a dream.

I am in love with these liners and I love smudging them with the smudge ends provided on the product to create that smokey look just in the outer corner of my eyes.  It's so convenient and the quality is just amazing (just look how pigmented the colors are).

What I also appreciate is that the set comes with a sharpener, since the liners are a larger size.

TIPS: The product does set quickly though so you might want to work on one eye at a time if you want to create that smudged out smokey eye.  However, once it's applied and set it does not move!



Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tarte Vitamin Infused Lipgloss in Liquid Sunshine

I have really been enjoying trying out Tarte cosmetic products lately, and one of the products that I've recently been playing around with is the Tarte Vitamin Infused Lipgloss in the shade Liquid Sunshine.

This was sent to me for free with my last order for their website as a free gift with purchase.  What is amazing is that they sent a full sized lipgloss (which doesn't happen often).

This lipgloss was formulated to nourish and hydrate your lips protecting them and keeping them healthy and beautiful.

Liquid Sunshine is a sheer nude gloss with light iridescence to bring an extra pop to the shade and a high shine.

I really wanted to like this product, however one of my biggest concerns when it comes to wearing lipgloss is when it's too thick, tacky, or sticky.  Unfortunately the Tarte lipgloss is too tacky and sticky for my liking.  Unless you apply a very thin layer and take more time to blend it out evenly, the application is neither smooth or easy.

I also don't like the brush application.  Usually I don't mind brush applicators, however the one used for Tarte lipgloss' is too stiff to apply the gloss as easily.  There is less control and the application is very blotchy (unless you work with the product a bit to blend).

I do find it moisturizing, but it is too thick and tacky for my liking.  I'm glad I got this try out this product for free, however I don't think I'll be running out to purchase any of their other shades any time soon.