Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Jouer Lip Gloss in Birchbox Pink

I started subscribing to Birchbox January 2012 and one of the products I received in the box for the month of January was this mini sample of the Jouer Lip Gloss in Birchbox Pink.

Birchbox teamed up with Jouer to create this custom bold pink, fuchsia shade shade for their moisturizing lip gloss.

I am absolutely in love with this beautiful bold pink shade, and for being a lip gloss, the color is quite pigmented.  Apply one coat for just a bit of sheer color, or layer it on for that bright and bold look.  The texture is perfect, not too sticky or tacky and applies very smoothly.

I am definitely enjoying this, and this cute sample size fits perfectly in any bag, clutch, or wallet, making it very convenient to carry around.



Mario Badescu Haul

After my last Mario Badescu Haul, I discovered that my mom is obsessed with the products in his line and that they really work for her.  We've been sharing the Drying Mask, and she really enjoyed how it left her skin feeling after a few uses.

So because she enjoyed it so much I decided to pick up her own full sized container of the Drying mask, just so she doesn't have to ask me to use it every time she needs it.

What's great about the Mario Badescu line is that they love letting you try there products, so along with every order you get to choose three decent sized sample products to see how it works for your skin.

My whole order for my mom consisted of the following:

- Drying Mask
- Cucumber Tonic Mask (sample)
- Healing & Soothing Mask (sample)
- Drying Cream (sample)



Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lancome Color Design Lipsticks

I received these two Lancome Color Design lipsticks in a gift set that I had gotten during the Lancome Holiday season last December.

Lancôme’s Color Design Lipsticks are formulated with “soothing ingredients” that provide a softer, smoother application and wear on your lips.  The lipsticks have amazing coverage and pigmentation that apply naturally to your lips without much effort at all.  Lancôme’s lipsticks come in a wide variety of colors (from neutrals to pinks to reds) and come in 5 different finishes (Cream, Sheen, Shimmer, Metallic, and Matte).

The two colors included in the set are the following:

- It Girl
- Sugared Maple

It Girl and Sugared Maple

It Girl and Sugared Maple

Both lip colors are in a Sheen finish, giving them a very beautiful and glossy look.  It Girl is a beautiful pink that I find very easy to wear.  It's close to a natural pink, with a bit more pigmentation, and just works with every outfit and occasion.  Sugar Maple, on the other hand, is a deeper red with a bit of brown undertones.  It's not one of the popular colors, but still beautiful if you are comfortable with wearing the darker shades.

I am in love with It Girl, but I don't find myself reaching for Sugared Maple a lot, so I am giving it to my mom to use because she seems to be enjoying it more than I am.  The quality of Lancôme’s Color Design Lip Colors are just amazing! Most lip products tend to make my lips peel so I have to be very careful when using certain products, but I can wear Lancôme’s lipsticks all day without having to worry about my lips peeling.  It’s amazing how moisturizing the lip colors are also.  My lips can be very drying, especially in the Winter and Lancôme’s  lip products just last in any weather.  The product just glides on so easily onto to my lips and blends so well (I don’t even need to use a lip brush).



Friday, January 27, 2012

Smashbox Jet Set Waterproof Liner in Charcoal

Jet Set Waterproof Eye Liner is a smudge proof liner that has a gel like formula, gliding smoothly onto your lids without having to tug. It dries really quickly, so you can skip the step of setting your liner with a shadow. Charcoal is an absolutely gorgeous deep grey, charcoal (hence the name) color with silver and gold reflexes. I am absolutely in love with it!

Smashbox really lives up the it's reputation of high end makeup. I have warn the Jet Set liner and have never had problems with application or long wear. Especially on a humid, hot summer day, you really don't want to have the problem of your makeup smudge or melting on your face. Not only is it unattractive when your liner smudges during the day, but it's also not a quick touch up.

The Smashbox Jet Set Liner also comes in a variety of colors, and because they are so soft and creamy, they work well as bases if you are working on a more bold look. They blend and set really well. The only negative thing I have to say about this is that it can dry really quickly in the pot, so you really have to make sure you seal these right after use.



Boscia Blotting Linens

Summer is going to be here in a few months and one of the main things I have to take caution with is my skin (although I really have to do that all year round). The transition from cold weather to warmer/humid weather can really take a toll and stress out your skin, so paying attention and making the necessary changes to your skincare routine is very important.

I have combination/oily skin and in the winter it's usually not too hard to handle, maybe a few dry patches around my nose and very little oil production on my T-zone. However, in the summer, the oil production on my T-zone kind of goes out of control over the summer because it is much warmer out and having makeup on doesn't make it much better.

I decided to try oil blotting sheets and I went with the Boscia Blotting Linens in the original (perfect for all skin types) package. I have tried so many blotting sheets in the past (mainly drugstore) and I have hated all of them. The blotting sheets I have tried in the past would pick up oil, but my makeup would smudge and didn't really prevent further oil production.  The Boscia Blotting Linens, however, I am absolutely IN LOVE with! It seriously has to be the HG of all blotting sheets. They absorb any excess oil and shine without smudging or removing any of my makeup.  It is made of 100% linen and is the perfect size (twice the size of most blotting sheets) to get the job done. With most other sheets I find that I have to use at least 2 sheets, but with Boscia one is more than enough.

The blotting sheets are packaged in a very compact holder that fits perfectly anywhere. The sheets are priced at $10 for 100 sheets, which I find is a great price because they get the job done and I have never been so pleased with a product like this. I don't even have to re-powder myself after blotting because I still have the coverage I want and a matte finish. Boscia makes these blotting linens in 2 different packages, the original (perfect for all skin types) and the Green Tea (all skin types, and sensitive). I definitely recommend this to anyone out there and am definitely going to be repurchasing the blotting linens. I carry this everywhere with me in my hand bag for emergency touch ups, and sometimes that's all I need to make myself look fresh throughout the day.



Sephora Professionnel Kabuki Brush

I have never really carried an every day makeup bag for touch ups in my handbag, but I decided I needed to start just in case there were any makeup emergencies that occurred.  One of the things I knew I had to have in my makeup bag was a Kabuki brush. I stopped by Sephora to pick up their Sephora Professionnel Kabuki Brush #50 for $24.

I am in love with and have never been let down by the Sephora Professionnel Brushes and this one is no exception. It's is amazingly soft on my skin. Every time I set my powder with this brush I can't stop blending because it seriously feels amazing! Even my boyfriend was seriously amazed by the softness to it.

The Sephora Kabuki is a densely packed brush made of goat hairs that provides moderate to full coverage when using powder or mineral foundation. It also works wonders when blending your blush and bronzer for a more natural look. I also use this to blend my liquid foundation after I finish applying it with a conventional foundation brush to give me more of that airbrushed look.

It might look small but it is literally the perfect size for application and travel. I also love that it comes with a plastic shaper, I usually don't throw these out because I don't want the brush to loose it's shape when it's packed away in my makeup bag, so I keep it in the plastic shaper to keep its form.  It's really easy to just pop out, use, and then place back in. This has to be one of my favorite brushes are the moment.



MAC Surf Baby Studio Careblend/Pressed Powder in Lush Light Bronze

This is one of my favorite bronzers from my collection, the Surf Baby Studio Careblend/Pressed Powder in the shade Lush Light Bronze from the MAC Summer Collection in 2011.

The Studio Careblend is a very soft and silky, blendable bronzing powder that provides a matte and “lightly luminous” finish. The chic and cute summer packaging includes a big mirror and the MAC logo is printed onto the product.  This was one of the products I was looking forward to the most from the collection. I am really getting into bronzers lately, and when I saw that MAC released the Studio Careblend I knew I had to have it. The collection also released other bronzers, but they were much more shimmery for my liking.

The Lush Light Bronze is the perfect color for the summer for my skin tone. It doesn't give any orange tint and just blends so smoothly onto the skin, giving a very natural glow (with no streaks). I have really been enjoying this product and I am quite happy I picked this up.



Thursday, January 26, 2012

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Liner - Eldorado

I love receiving sample sizes of products to test out, and no other brand does that better than Urban Decay.  When you purchase the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette from the Urban Decay website, you might receive sample products to try out.  When I had purchased the Naked 2 palette, I received this travel sized version of the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Liner in the shade Eldorado.

I really love the Urban Decay 24/7 liners.  They are very long lasting and the formula is soft enough to apply with a light hand.  The texture is so creamy, so it can be smudged out to create a smokey look (with the darker liners), or be applied all over the lid as a shadow base.  It sets very well and does not budge or transfer, with it being waterproof and all.

I absolutely love this shade.  I know it's a liner, but because the formula is so creamy, I bought it with the intention of using it as a golden shadow base to enhance my shadow colors.  Bronzes and golds are my favorites for the fall, and once I swatched this I fell in love.  This looks absolutely beautiful under any neutral shadow and really makes your eyes pop, especially brightening up the inner corner of the eyes.

I would definitely recommend this color, and honestly I would definitely repurchase this full price if I really felt like I needed another one.



Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Deborah Lippmann Haul

I probably have the worse self control when it comes to nail polish.  Nail polish is probably the only beauty product that I will impulse buy just because the colors are just too pretty to resist.  Although I do have a great collection of polishes ranging from Essie to OPI, I haven't really dipped my foot into the infamous Deborah Lippmann polishes yet.

Deborah Lippmann is really known for their luxurious and beautiful glitter polish that can be price at around $20, depending ont he type of glitter and color.  I do feel like that's extremely expensive for a polish, seeing that I buy all of my polishes at a discounted (wholesale) price.  However, a little over a week ago Deborah Lippmann was selling these two polished for 50% off, and I just couldn't resist the glitter.

I picked up the following:

- Today Was A Fairytale
- Across The Universe

I am not into the extreme glitters when it comes to clothes or polishes, however I have been enjoying doing the accent glitter nails lately, so these are going to work perfectly.  They just sparkle and shine so beautifully and I know I am going to really enjoy these.



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chanel Perfection Lumiere Foundation

Chanel foundations have a reputation of being pretty luxurious (with a price tag to match).  However, I haven't been disappointed with them yet, so after Perfection Lumiere was released I was quite excited to give it a try.  

Of course, when it comes to trying new foundations (especially expensive ones) I always make sure to do the research before making the purchase.  So after trying out the samples at the counter and reading/watching reviews I finally purchased the Chanel Perfection Lumiere foundation last December.  One tip when it comes to purchasing Chanel foundations (or any foundation), you can ask for samples to take home and try for a week to see if it works well for your skin type before jumping in a purchasing the product.  This makes the process less stressful, and you'll know for a fact if you like the product enough to put out the money for it.

Chanel Perfection Lumiere is suppose to be an effortless and natural foundation, leaving your skin looking flawless and ideal for all day wear.  Even being medium to full coverage, the formula and texture of the foundation is still incredibly light, and pretty much undetectable on the skin.  This makes it easier to apply and more comfortable to wear all day.

I am loving this foundation, but there is one thing you have to keep in mind when it comes to Perfection Lumiere, and it's your skin type.  Chanel says that the foundation is suitable for all skin types, however, I find that it's very patchy and cakey on dry skin.  I have combination skin, so when I do get dry areas around my nose, I do find it patchy (so of course I have to be prep and prime my skin before application on the small dry areas).  Otherwise, on normal to oily skin, this looks flawless.  I find that application with the fingertips or with any of the Sigma SigMax brushes work the best, because the beauty blender just soaks up too much product and all of the other types of brushes tend to be streaky.

I am in love with the chic packaging, it's still very luxurious without being too bulky.  Also, the pump is absolutely perfect for control, not dispensing more product that you need.  One pump from the Perfection Lumiere bottle is equivalent to about a half pump to other foundation bottles.  So I find that two pumps of the Perfection Lumiere gives me great coverage.  Their color range is amazing, with a a diverse range of 20 shades, you'll definitely be able to find the right one for you.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Keratin Complex Infusion

One of my New Year's Resolution for 2012 is taking better care of my hair and showing it more love.  My hair is not too damaged where I can't stand it, however, I do want it to be more naturally smooth and healthy.

I have fine, thin hair with a slight wave.  I usually let my hair air dry after the shower, however I do use a straightener quite often, so it can be a bit stressful on my hair (especially the ends).  It's not too dry, however it can bea  bit more hydrated to make it more soft and smooth to the touch.

One of the products that was recommended to me by one of my favorite hair stylists at the Mario Tricoci Salon was the Keratin Complex Infusion.  It is formulated with advanced infusion technology. This high Ph replenisher automatically opens the cuticle and enters to infuse Keratin proteins and emollients into the hair. Its deep penetrating action repairs and revitalizes hair during blow drying or ironing and closes the cuticle to entrap nourishment.  So not only does it work as a treatment, but also a great protection barrier when using heated tools.

After using it every day for a couple of weeks I can definitely see a different in the texture of my hair.  It is more soft and smooth, with a bit of shine to it.  You can't go wrong with Keratin Complex products when it comes to your hair.  They carry the best treatment products that replenishes your hair without putting any more additive stress to it.  This is definitely one of my holy grail hair products, and is the only hair treatment product I will be using.

USE: Apply to towel dried hair only.  Apply one pump of product to your palms and warm up the product in your hands before applying evenly throughout your hair (starting at the ends and working your way to your head, without touching your scalp).  Then, activate the product by blow drying.



Friday, January 20, 2012

One of my favorite places to visit when I am at Nordstroms is my favorite Chanel counter.  I always get the best service there and the girls are just amazing.  There's never any pressure to purchase, but they do encourage playing around with the products, which is always fun.

I have been wanting the lipsticks from the MAC Iris Apfel collection, but because they were such a hit they were sold out within a day.  Because I couldn't get my hands on them quick enough, I decided to go around to find possible alternatives.

Chanel's Spring collection is quite impeccable, which gorgeous coral lip colors.  When I found the Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in the shade Flirt in their new collection, I knew it would be a great pick for the warmer seasons.  

The Chanel Rouge Coco Shine lipstick line is a sheer and hydrating lip color that is suppose to be moisturizing for the lips while providing beautiful color.  The formula is very hydrating and applies very easily and smoothly.  It feels very light and hydrating on my lips, making it perfect for my dry lips (especially during harsh weather conditions).  The lipstick also gives a beautiful, glossy finish to my lips, allowing me to skip applying gloss.

The Chanel Rouge Coco Shine lipsticks come in a gorgeous range of colors, from natural beiges to beautiful berries.  Flirt is a coral pink color that is absolutely beautiful and it's such a fun color to wear.  It's a pop of color without being too much, so anyone can really wear it and be comfortable.

This is a Limited Edition product, so do check it out at the counters before they sell out.



Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bath & Body Works Haul

Who doesn't like a few Slatkin & Co. candles around the house? Well I kind of went candle crazy after the recent Bath & Body Works sale a little while ago.  They were selling all of their holiday candles for $8, so I decided to pick up a few to keep my place smelling like the holidays for the rest of winter.

The candles I picked up were the following:

- Merry Mistletoe
- Evergreen
- Holly Wreath (2)
- Winter Wonderland
- Sleigh Ride
- Vanilla Bean Noel
- Deck the Halls

These all smell really great, and I can't wait to get burning!  Definitely also need to pick up a few Leaves candles once I get a few coupons.



Wednesday, January 18, 2012

January My Glam Bag

I'm pretty sure all of you have heard of and know about the My Glam bag that has been released this month.  It's basically like another Birchbox subscription, only this time the editors and founders of the program are all YouTube beauty gurus that we all know and love.

For $10 a month you can get 3-4 full sized products to test out.  What's also nice is that you don't get automatically charged every month, you have to click to actually purchase the limited bags at the beginning of every month.

For the month of January we received the following products in our bag:

- Sheer Cover Duo Concealer
- Wen Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner
- Freeman Cucumber Facial Peel Off Mask
- theBalm Cosmetics Hot Ticket Nail Polish
- Eco Friendly Canvas Makeup Bag

They also included coupon codes to a few of the brands, which makes it even better.

I am so excited to try a lot of the products in this month's bag, especially since I have been doing a little research on the Wen cleansing conditioner.  Now I get to give it a try before considering my purchase.  I've also heard a lot of great things about the Freeman Peel Off mask and I think I may be trying that out tonight.

These monthly bags are very limited, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for February's bag before they sell out.



Clinique Lash Doubling Mascara

I have always loved Clinique's mascaras, especially their High Impact mascara, but I have never tried the Lash Doubling Mascara until now. The formula for the mascara is suppose to thicken the lashes while adding more drama and length. It has a very unique conical wand (which is my favorite part) that really grabs at the lashes. The unique shape f the wand also allows you to really get into the hard to reach corners of your lashes and the bottom lashes for an even application.

I don't know why I have never tried this mascara before because I am in love with it. It is the blackest of black and if transfer resistant, meaning no smudging! They really do add more drama to my lashes and give more length for a more fuller look. There's absolutely no clumping or flaking, which is my number one pet peeve with most other mascaras.

I have never really been disappointed with the Clinique Mascara line. I especially love getting their travel seized mascaras because I don't wear mascara every day so a travel sized tube is all I need (don't want the product to dry out too soon) and it's perfect for traveling, or to just have in your handbag for touchups. I would really recommend you try to get the travel sized version to try out if you're hesitant to purchase the full sized version. But I really think that after this dries out I'll be picking up the full sized version.



Chanel Beaute Initiale Energizing Multi-Protection Cream SPF 15

My skin has really been going crazy this winter.  I have combination/oily skin, which means that my skin changes it's mind all of the time, and there has never been just one moisturizer/cream that I can say has tamed my skin, until now.

Having combination/oily skin, my skin is oily in some parts and have dry patches in other parts (the condition of my skin can also change throughout the day, depending on weather).  So I decided to make the leap and try out the Chanel Beaute Initiale Energizing Multi-Protection Cream and I have never been any happier.

"Beaute Initiale is an advanced skincare range that acts - before it's too late - at the heart of young skin, to help prevent the first signs of fatigue and the appearance of those first wrinkles"  

The Chanel Beaute Initiale Energizing Multi-Protection Cream is formulated with Vitamins C and E with the incorporation of four other elements (Magnesium, Manganese, Zinc, and Copper) to form a nice concentrate to help the skin renew and rebuild itself with every use.  One of it's important ingredients is Blue Ginger PFA, a powerful antioxidant that protects against free radicals, keeping the skin feeling young.

Before using the Chanel Beaute Initiale Energizing Multi-Protection Cream SPF 15, my skin was oily down the T-zone, and there were intense dry patches that I just couldn't get rid of (even with exfoliating).  After using the cream for a little over a month, my skin is left feeling smooth and silky, feeling more fresh.  There is a reduction in the oil product because the cream is so hydrating, and the dry patches are all gone, and I am left with just smooth skin and a perfect base.

I am definitely in love!



Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment

After watching a haul and review video from one of my favorite gurus on YouTube, Raeview, I knew I really wanted to try the Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment. I am a huge fan of exfoliaters because they just make my skin feel so much more smooth and soft, so when I heard her review of this I knew I had to try it.

ExfoliKate is one of their top selling products and it works as an amazing at home exfoliate that leaves your skin feeling smoother and looking brighter and clearer. It is formulated with special enzymes to reduce the appearance of pores, blackheads, and discoloration, leaving a more healthy looking skin.  The enzymes in the product basically takes away all of the dead skin cells and bacteria on the surface and in the pores of your skin, working as a deep cleanser.

I honestly am in love with this exfoliater and am really glad I took the chance and purchased it. I am usually very cautious when it comes to my skincare routine because I do have sensitive skin, and sometimes trying new products can be costly to my skin. However, the ExfoliKate works really well for me and really leaves the texture of my skin feeling like silk and I do see a reduce in the appearance of my pores.

The only negative thing about the ExfoliKate is that it is extremely expensive. A regular sized product can go for around $85. I purchased the travel sized version to try out at Sephora for around $19 and it worked out well. You only need less than a pea sized amount and I only use it once a week, so the travel sized version works well for me (it's also very convenient). I do wish it was more affordable, but it's the price you pay for skin care I guess. My skincare routine is something I don't mind investing it because healthy skin is the key to beauty, and it it works then I'll keep using it.



Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation

One of my holy grail foundation that was released last spring/summer and works perfectly for oily/combination skin is the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation.  It's my absolutely must foundation for warmer seasons because of it's texture, weight, and coverage.

Chanel's Vitalumiere Aqua foundation is a fairly new foundation from the Chanel collection that is suppose to provide and flawless and natural complexion. The texture of the foundation is very soft and “water-light," making it perfect for days that are warm or when you plan on being super active and don't want the look of full coverage face.

When I was at the Chanel counter, the makeup artist applied the foundation on me and it just felt amazing.  The color matched me perfectly and the formula just felt amazing on my skin. It literally felt like a second layer of skin on me, because it felt very light.  The coverage on the foundation would have to be a light to medium coverage. I have redness on my cheeks and around my nose, but the foundation does a great job of covering up the redness without having the heavy feeling of foundation. What I love the most about it is that I don't need to set the foundation with a powder. Summer days can get very hot and humid, so the less product I have to use, the better it'll be for me.

Although the foundation is a pricey, around $45, I think it's definitely worth it. You only need a little bit of the foundation to cover your face for a flawless, and natural look. So a little definitely goes a long way.

When it comes to foundations, I have different favorites when it comes to the season or occasion.  The Vitalumiere Aqua will always be my Spring/Summer favorite until something better comes along.

TIPS: Before using the foundation, you must shake very well to mix the formula. Then, squeeze out a little bit onto the fingers and apply with your fingers or blend with a small foundation brush. When blending, try not to use too much pressure. Just lightly blend with the fingers or your brush for a natural look.



Zoya Dulcinea

Dulcinea is one of Zoya's beautiful and creamy nudes in their permanent collection.  I honestly can not get enough of nudes when it comes to fashion and make up, and nail polish is no exception.

Zoya is one of the first nail polish brands in the beauty industry 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.

“The unique molecular structure of Zoya bonds with the nail to prevent lifting.  At the same time the polish remains flexible, ending with the nail to prevent chipping.  When used with our exclusive Color Lock System, Zoya's superior formulation allows for incredible long wear.” - Leo Reyzis (VP for marketing for Art of Beauty).

Dulcinea is a nude, natural color that just suits my skin tone perfectly.  It has a slight pearly finish, giving it something a bit special when it comes to the finish, and is quite creamy.  Although you need about two coats for a full, opaque coverage, it's well worth it and is much better than other sheer nudes from other brands.

P.S. The picture of the polish on my nails above is actually a picture a week after first applying, so you can tell that the lasting power of the polish is amazing!



Tuesday, January 17, 2012

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Milan

This is one of the products that I received in my Glam Bag for the month of December, full sized NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream.  Most of you may know by now what the Glam Bag is, but a quick overview is that it's just like any beauty subscription (Birchbox, Glossybox, etc.) and was founded by YouTube gurus, one being Michelle Phan.

I was excited to receive this NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in the Glam Bag because I have been wanting to try them, but have been skeptical.  The color I received was Milan, which is absolutely perfect for my taste in color when it comes to lip color.

This is a matte lip cream, so it's neither a lipstick or a gloss.  It's more of a creamy lip paint that gives your lips a perfect touch of soft color in a matte finish.  It is quite moisturizing, and is not as thick as I expected.  It's very blendable, and the formula is quite light, making application very easy and smooth.

And, as you can see, the rosy pink color of Milan is quite opaque and pigmented, giving my lips the perfect pop of color.

These are valued at around $6, making them very affordable for the quality.  I am definitely considering picking up more colors to add to my collection.