REVIEW: Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour SPF 15 – N10

Behold: the Chanel Les Beiges Collection and I finally have it in my possession. For months now, I’ve been lusting after this powder ever since I saw it creep into the US market via beauty blogs. I couldn’t wait so I pre-ordered it and I’m just blown away by the product. This weekend, while visiting my brother in Dallas, I saw the collection in person so I’m pretty sure it’s available at your local Nordstrom now. And, you know what? You need this. You need this in your life. Now.

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LES BEIGES: A MANIFESTO FOR A HEALTHY GLOW“With an effortless touch, this innovative, versatile powder makeup enhances, brightens or bronzes the complexion for a custom glow. On its own, it heightens skin’s natural beauty; over foundation, provides a sheer, luminous finish. Advanced technology protects against skin-dulling environmental stressors, while White Rose and Cotton Flower offer absolute comfort for even the most sensitive complexions. In seven no-fail shades; each, with its own sculpted half-moon brush.”

The Les Beiges powders were created to “enhance, brighten, bronze” the skin in a sheer and glowy way. This powder comes in 7 effortless shades, and is designed to be versatile to “create a custom glow for any season, any occasion. The sheer, lightweight colour can be worn alone or over foundation for natural radiance each day.”

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First of all, let’s take a moment to just oohh-aaahh over the packaging. It’s just breathtakingly beautiful and all that you would expect from Chanel. Rather than the traditional glossy all-black packaging, it’s a glossy creamy white. Beautiful. Completely. The brush that it comes with — unfortunately — is quite useless, especially if you plan on using the powder all over. But if you’ve purchased the darker shades to use as a bronzer, this may not be that bad.

The texture of the powder is soft and fluffy. It’s extremely lightweight and glowy, without looking glittery or unnatural. On a separate note, much like the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder, this product is very much lighting-oriented for sure. It creates the softest glow around the face. When paired with foundation, it just seals the deal: delivering the most prettiest effect on the face. Pores, lines, discoloration, etc. are all diffused and blurred — it’s like photoshop. When worn alone, it’s kind of like a powder foundation without the heaviness and often the cakeiness too.

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N10 is the lightest shade of all the colors and works well for me as a powder because it matches my skin tone. For those with darker skin tones, this can be a beautiful highlighter. This powder, as advertised, definitely enhances your skin and makes it look radiant. The hype around this product is unreal, but I think it’s totally worth it and belongs in your collection for sure. In person, many of the colors look dark except for N10 which is slightly on the pink side, and N20 which leans more yellow but is still fair/light. I like that these powders can be a setting powder, a highlighter, or bronzer — completely depending on your skin tone. In fact, if your budget permits it, 2-3 shades for your collection could be like a super dream.

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The powder is expensive, but because it’s rather multi-functional, it’s worth considering. It’s also beautiful to look at and looks beautiful on the skin. If you’re unsure about your coloring, check them out in person because that will really help. I highly recommend this product and it totally doesn’t matter if you need this for a special occasion or not! You must have this in your collection.

Retails for $57.50 USD.
Made in France.

*Quotes extracted from http://www.chanel.com

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Holika Holika Aqua Petit Jelly BB Cream – Shade No.1

While on my BB cream kick, I purchased the Holika Holika Aqua Petit Jelly BB Cream in shade no. 1 on eBay. I never doubt Korean or Japanese BB creams, so it’s fair to say that my expectations were high to begin with; and, I assumed I’d like everything about the product anyway. Lol. Let me begin by saying that this is available online only, so you’ll have to search eBay or Amazon. I’ve seen this BB cream priced ridiculously, so I’d shop around to see which seller has the best price.

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The texture of this BB cream is moussey, which is quite different. The attached spatula comes in handy since the bottle is shaped funny, and because the packaging is not like traditional BB creams where it comes in a tube. There’s a light scent that’s very pleasant, but it’s so light that it shouldn’t be a deal breaker. This BB cream provides very good coverage — pretty much medium; and, you could build it from there if you’d like. I don’t need concealer or powder when I use this product — and that makes it very convenient to use. A little goes a long way and I think it’s best to use a synthetic buffing brush to apply this product. It blends so quickly and easy to work with, I’ve applied this using my hands with no mirror before! As with all Korean/Janpanese BB creams, this comes in only two shades and both are quite fair. It’s great at pore concealing, specially the nose area; and, all redness and pigmentation will completely disappear.

I really like this product, but I dislike the packaging because it’s glass and bulky. Other than that, the finish of this product is totally worth it. Your skin looks like velvet — like you’ve been photoshopped in real life or something.

Almost Bare – Face Products Used Today

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Another quick, out the door face makeup today. I’m keeping things very simple and very easy because of time and being unmotivated. Keep in mind, I still wear mascara and put on my brows along with the products as pictured above. I just don’t bother to include it in the picture/post because it’s always the same!

All over tinted moisturizer application:Chantecaille ‘Just Skin’ Tinted Moisturizer in “Bliss” for an easy way of evening out the skin tone and brightening it up in a natural, dewy way. No concealer is necessary today.

Highlighter of choice today, because I really need a pick-me-up: NARS The Multiple in “Luxor”.

Blush: MAC’s “Coygirl” is new and something I’m trying out. “Well Dressed” will always be my favorite, but I like how “Coygirl” has a harder pink tone to it — almost reddish, but mimics a flushed shade beautifully. I’m fair so I have to use a light hand with this.

REVIEW: DiorSkin Nude BB Creme

In some recent posts, you may have read that I was unsatisfied with non-Asian BB creams; and, in many ways, I harped on its inconsistencies and bold claims. In all fairness, I can only recommend Bobbi Brown’s BB cream out of the high-end ones I’ve tried, but I’m happy to report that the DiorSkin Nude BB Creme has come in a close second place.

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First of all, I had no idea this product was even available until I just happened to see it at Sephora — freshly stocked. Of course, I naturally had to take a look and immediately began swatching. In today’s post, I’ll be talking about the shade 002 FAIR. In fact, just for reference, 001 Light, is pink — like, really, really pink. In my opinion, 002 Fair will match all with fair to light skin tones — all beneath NC/NW 25-30. Color matching may still be tricky though especially if you’re very fair like me, or you don’t lean entirely yellow (like me). Base makeup that has a hint of pink/ivory tends to match me better, so for me, the color match was only so-so.

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The packaging is pretty — very sleek with a well-performing pump. So far no clogging and that in itself is a plus in my book. Dior is marketing this product as a “skin-perfecting beauty balm” that runs along side the NUDE range (which includes everything from foundation, concealer, bronzer, and lipsticks). As with all products in the nude range, a fresh and radiant look is the overall goal and Dior claims that this product is “the next generation complexion enhancer.”

According to the insert, “Dior wanted to create the ‘beauty balm’ that would offer the flawless correction and perfect skincare efficiency of Asian [BB creams], with the added bonus of a light texture and an enhancing fresh rosy effect.”

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According to Sephora’s website, the Diorskin Nude BB Crème “provides the benefits of skincare and makeup in a fresh and airy formula. Enhanced with mineralized floral water and a blend of antioxidants, it moisturizes, smoothes, protects, and corrects skin with sheer coverage. Available in four expert shades to match every skintone, the complexion is illuminated with a unique fresh glow and dewy finish.”

Much like Asian BB creams, this product is loaded with skincare benefits and it feels and blends beautifully and flawlessly. However, it lacks coverage and sun protection — which pretty much all Asian BB creams have including the Bobbi Brown’s BB cream. I agree, when I use the DiorSkin Nude BB Creme, my skin looks even and radiant; and, I swear it looks plump and healthy too. The finish is light and feels like a fluffy veil that has softly coated my skin. Minor imperfections are blurred and pores are concealed; oil-control is okay, but I’ve seen better.

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My shade 002 Fair is a good match, but only because it’s so sheer. The heavy yellow undertones help with blending into my skin somewhat but isn’t a great match, and what I love the most about this product is the way it feels on my skin. However, coverage is very minimal and unless you already have good skin to begin with, it’s going to be difficult to see that this product is doing anything for you without additional help from concealer. In my opinion, rather than being labeled a BB cream, the original concept of being a “complexion enhancer” is more accurate.

Layered UNDER foundation, this may end up being superb at color correcting and act as an optimal primer. But, it defeats the purpose of using a BB cream — an all-in-one product that gives you everything: skincare benefits, coverage, and sun protection. The DiorSkin Nude BB Creme has a pitiful SPF of 10. Seriously??

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I buff this onto the skin with my Real Techniques buffing synthetic brush and it works like a charm. I really like the BB cream and find it great for most days. The glow it gives is beautiful, but I feel that I’m only enjoying it because I don’t need much coverage. Also, I layer SPF 50 underneath this anyway. Compared to my next favorite (Bobbi Brown), I like both for different reasons; and, depending on what your personal skin needs are, your choice may be different. Overall, I like the DiorSkin Nude BB Creme and would recommend it — but don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Made in France.
1 oz.
Retails for $44.00 USD.

2012 Favorite Foundations

This post is dedicated to rounding up my favorite 2012 foundations. Out of all the foundations I’ve tried this year, four of them made my favorites list this year. Indeed, the year isn’t over yet, but foundations are hard to shop for; and, I like what I like (despite my high standards). I’m posting this entry a month and a half before the year is over because in 2013, it’s my goal to finish these foundations before moving on. Wish me luck!

I’ve chosen Chanetecaille Future Skin Gel foundation, DiorSkin Nude Skin-Glowing foundation, Armani Luminous Silk foundation, and NARS Sheer Glow foundation. Below, I have linked each review for convenience.

I picked these four as my top favorites because:
1. its consistent reliability
2. superb performance
3. lasting power despite season and weather
4. blendability and natural-look on the skin
5. no irritations, breakouts, or other forms of skin-related heartaches

1. Chantecaille Future Skin Gel Foundation review
2. DiorSkin Nude Skin-Glowing Foundation review
3. Armani Luminous Silk Foundation review
4. NARS Sheer Glow Foundation review

In the swatches above, you’ll see that not all the shades are identical but still work for me. Keep in mind I don’t tend to change colors seasonally because I wear sunscreen all year round. The darkest shade I own (even though it’s not that dark) is Armani’s LS foundation in shade 4; and, out of the four, I would say it’s the foundation that provides optimal coverage for me.

The most natural-looking and one that I go to whether I’m in a rush, having a bad skin day, or have a wedding/party to attend, is the NARS Sheer Glow foundation. This foundation has been my only re-purchase in the history of foundations for me! Dramatic, I know, lol. My ultimate, holy-grail status, favorite of all time is the Chantecaille Future Skin foundation. However, it’s not to say that it won first place by a long shot. All the featured foundations came very close to being number one in my book.

Many have asked what my favorite foundations are in the past, and I apologize that it’s taken me this long to post this entry. However, finding a good foundation is tough; and, finding a favorite is truly a task. If you’re wondering how and when I wear these foundations on a daily basis – the answer is that I have no system. All products are rotated at random; and, most of the time, it all depends on what I’m in the mood for. Sometimes, I’ll have a sudden burst of favoriting a particular product and use it for awhile by itself.

I hope this entry has helped and happy foundation shopping! :)

REVIEW: Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35

If you’re like me and think that American BB creams can’t compare to the Asian ones, it’s time to give the Bobbi Brown BB Cream a try. My expectations for BB creams are high, but the mediocre performance of the MAC BB cream (previously reviewed), has been redeemed since trying the Bobbi Brown version.

Packaging is a typical squeeze tube and nothing to write about. But it does hold 1.35 oz of product, which is 0.35 oz more than a typical liquid foundation.

Bobbi’s claims for the product: “Moisturize, perfect and protect – instantly and over time.” Much like the Asian BB creams, we can assume that Bobbi’s BB cream is an all-in-one product as well; there’s SPF 35 contained within the product and is very hydrating.

“Now it’s easier than ever to get great skin with Bobbi Brown’s new BB Cream SPF 35. Inspired by a skincare/makeup hybrid that’s a cult favorite in Asia, this formula combines moisturizer, treatment, Broad Spectrum SPF and a lightweight foundation in one.”

The texture is creamy and easy to blend. It goes on the skin easily but does feel a bit tacky upon contact until it’s absorbed. I tend to powder lightly over my t-zone with BB creams and I do that with Bobbi’s as well. It doesn’t make me oily but doesn’t make me greasey either.

The color I chose is LIGHT. The color choices are minimal and shades look pretty much the same except for medium dark. I thought about going for the extra EXTRA LIGHT, but changed my mind at the last minute since none of my other BB creams are overly light. EXTRA LIGHT is noticably pinker as well.

As you can see, LIGHT is still yellow but on the pale side. It blends seamlessly and does a good job at brightening up the skin and evening it out. If you prefer medium to full coverage, this may not cut it for you unless you add on some mineral foundation/powder foundation on top. I personally still prefer to wear real SPF under this, even if contains SPF 35.

I recommend the Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35 and would say this is the best I’ve tried from the American market. I like that it looks like skin and adapts quickly. Pore coverage, line minimization, pigmentation coverage is pretty good; skin feels hydrated and looks healthy, which I like since it restores the natural look of it.

Bobbi’s website calls this the “skin perfector,” which I would agree with since it does correct color and imperfections. At the end of the day, it’s still not foundation, so that may be a deal breaker for many. I would recommend this over all other American brands thus far; but, Japanese and Korean BB creams are really the way to go, in my opinion. :)

Availablde Shades:
Extra Light
Light
Fair
Medium
Medium Dark

Retails for $42.00 USD
Made in Canada.

Rachel K CC Cream – Neutral

CC creams are all the craze now even though the Western market is just now coming out with BB creams. If you’ve been watching LisaLisaD1 on YouTube, then you’ve heard of the Rachel K CC Creams from her. When she re-stocked her online store, I immediately placed an order to beat the crowd since they’re always sold out!

CC creams are fairly new to me and this is my first one. Before LisaLisaD1, ChefCaffy on YouTube was rumored to have raved about this product, so I didn’t doubt that this was a good, well-performing product. Shipping was fast and I tested the product out immediately. Since then, I’ve been using it non-stop. This is considered to be a “10 in 1” product and is marketed as a mineral color control bb cream. According to the box, “CC cream is a much more refined and improved BB cream which combines various benefits all in one: color control, oil control, whitening, brightening, moisturizing, and UV protection (SPF 35 PA ++).”

The product claims to “ehance complexion by improving texture, balancing skin tone,” and mimics real skin – providing a dewy, fresh, and glowy complexion. The tube is deceiving because it’s quite small; but there’s 1.4 fl. oz. (or 40 g) of product, which is more than the average amount of base product you get.

I can’t say all the additional skincare “benefits” are doing anything miraculous, but it feels nice on the skin and makes me feel like I’m doing something to help my skin during the day.

This good size dollop is more than enough to cover the entire face. I chose the color NEUTRAL because it is supposed to accomodate yellow undertones. To me, the product is not very yellowy, but slightly gray-pink. Like all BB cream, the color adjusts on the face by oxidizing slightly. Like Lisa, if you choose to add mineral powder, power foundation, or anything else on top, the CC cream will balance out.

FOr those who need full coverage, this is great to start out with as a base/primer. Because the product “color corrects,” mostly all imperfections are cancelled out immediately. I feel that applying foundation or anything else on top will be easier since you would need less of it to do the job.

For me, I wear this on its own since I don’t need additional coverage. This product really does create an immaculate cavas – no lines, no pores, no pigmentation peaking through. The coverage is strong and a little bit goes a long way. I would suggest using your hands or a buffing brush to apply this and give it a minute to set on the face before deciding to add anything on top. Although the finish is dewy, it does remain non-oily for the most part of the day.

I can’t say that this is anything more than a BB cream because it seems all work relatively the same for me. I really like the conveience of the product because it makes my morning routine so fast. It’s great to slap on when you don’t have anything planned or you’re heading to the gym (without wanting to look like monster-face).

Made in Korea.

REVIEW: YSL Touche Éclat – Radiant Touch

The YSL Touche Éclat Radiant Touch is considered to be “the beauty secret of the world’s top makeup artists and models.” It’s highly talked about, raved about, and written about – and, as of now, I’ve discovered it for myself. The Touche Éclat Radiant Touch “is the original must-have for a radiant [and] flawless face.”

This “award-winning complexion highlighter [illuminates] dark circles, fine lines and signs of fatigue virtually disappear.” It claims to be “powered by the radiance-boosting Luminocaptide Complex, to instantly illuminate [the skin] so you look rested and refreshed.”

As a well-known beauty essential, I’ve skipped out on this product this whole time because I didn’t get what it was supposed to do. Recently, after browsing through a handful of magazines, the Touche Éclat captured my attention again. After some research and thorough experimentation process, I’m ready to give my full review of this product. Let me preface this post by saying that this is NOT a concealer and will NOT conceal anything.

The product dispenses when you click it like a mechanical pencil. When you first purchase this, you have to vigorously click it multiple times to get the product to surface through the bristles. After the product dispenses, I swipe it a few times onto the back of my hand, then use my fingers to disrtibute the product onto my skin. I do this because I don’t want to use the brush directly onto my face when I know I can’t routinely clean it.

My shade is #2 in “Luminous Ivory,” which is for fair to light complexions with yellow undertones. It’s a pale yellowy color with subtle iridescence – no shimmer, glimmers, and glitters. Just a soft pearly glow that you can barely detect. Once on the skin, you can’t tell a difference until you tilt your head at various angles. The key to this product is the natural light you’re surrounded by throughout the day.

The reason why I stress that this isn’t a concealer is because it isn’t. No amount of this product is going to conceal blemishes, pigmentation, freckles, scarring, and dark circles. It’s designed to be used after foundation and concealer to illuminate the dark surfaces of the skin. This product should not replace your concealer. It “brightens the complexion” by bringing “light and radiance to the skin” naturally. It funtions as an “instant pick-me-up” with “strategically placed strokes.”

Touche Éclat 1.) banishes shadows and tired-looking eyes by adding light and creating an instant lift to the eye area; 2.) widens eyes when used between the eyebrows and along the sides of the nose, and creates fuller looking lips when used in the hollow of the chin and around the contour of the lips.

I apply this product onto my cheekbones, down the bridge of my nose, and under the high points of my eyebrow arch. It’s a subtle difference that will count. On my friend, who has dark circles, we’ve applied this product after her undereye concealer on top to “lift the eye” and brighten the area. At first you can’t tell, but I promise there is a difference.

“Luminous Ivory” is a great match for my fair skintone. Other shades were very pink and this one was just right. I recommend this product and feel that this is one product that will truly make a difference in your morning routine. :)

0.1 oz.
Retails for $40.00.
Made in France.

*Quotes extracted from http://www.sephora.com and http://www.yslbeautyus.com.
*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)

Chanel Correcteur Perfection Long Lasting Concealer

Concealers are normally used to add additional coverage in conjunction with foundation; for some, when high coverage isn’t necessary, just a well-performing concealer should do the trick. Concealers also come in various textures and formulas (like foundations), and are available in cream forms, liquid forms, and powder forms as well.

Chanel’s long lasting concealer is a heavy duty concealer that is high coverage and lasts for more than 12 hours. I’ve discovered it can be worn with foundation and can also be worn alone. For me, I haven’t paired this with foundation except for on some unfortunate spots during a pimpley moment. It provided good coverage and blended in well – which is key, because after all, we’re not trying to give anything away. Half the part of looking flawless is faking it!

Packaging is the usual Chanel – a sleek tube, with a black, glossy handle and the Chanel logo. The tube is slightly frosted so it doesn’t give good color indication until you take the applicator out. I’m not a huge fan of the sponge-tip, but it’s quite precise when you need to dab a bit of concealer on a spot.

This product is described to be a “lightweight, gel-based concealer with all-day staying power [that] offers flawless, light-to-medium coverage.” It has an “ultra-smooth, supple texture [that] feels comfortable on skin, [and the] soft-focus pigments brighten dark areas and minimize imperfections.”

I use the shade 10-Beige Clair and it works well for my skin tone. I prefer to use this on lazy days when I’m not in the mood for a foundation routine. Usually on weekends, I dab this a few time onto my cheeks, around my nose, and sometimes on my chin. I tap it into my skin using my fingers and then swirl Laura Mercier’s mineral powder all over my face. It takes about 2 minutes and is very easy. The texture is gel-like yet creamy. Runny and liquidy concealers don’t conceal well because once you’ve smeared it onto your skin, you’ve blended half the product away. This concealer’s creamy-gel consistency sticks to the skin well – so when you tap it in, it disappears flawlessy but isn’t blended away.

The coverage is impressive and for me, acts as an impromptu-foundation when I’m in a hurry. It covers the areas that need a bit of coverage and lasts all day – so it pretty much deserves a spot in my makeup bag. Like all of Chanel’s products, the concealer is scented but it doesn’t irritate my skin. It’s expensive for a concealer, but it’s the longest lasting product I own.

Made in France.
Retails for $40.00.

*Quotes extracted from http://www.chanel.com.
*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)

Bare Face: the “face of the day”

As of late, I’ve been foregoing liquid foundation perfection and optiong for a lighter, barely there makeup look. I don’t need a lot of coverage and everything I apply to my face is always with a light hand. However, during the spring/summer months, I tend to get lazy with using different brushes and rotating my foundations. Shock, horror!

Houston doesn’t really have spring per se; in fact, our mild winter turned out to be kind of like spring, but the transition from winter to spring was shortlived. It’s getting hotter and pretty soon, we’ll be hitting 100 degrees. And, let me tell ya, I’m not in the mood to be worrying about my foundation and eyebrows melting off my face.

My “bare face” look has been light and the colors I do wear on my face has been more nude-ish more than anything else. It’s the ultimate natural look without literally walking out of my house totally bare. As with all products, much of what I use depends on my mood in the morning.

Pictured:
MAC “Blushbaby” blush
Laura Mercier “Bare Pink” lipgloss
Bare Minerals Matte “Golden Fair” foundation
Kat Von D concealer in “Sand”
Clarins Rouge Prodige “122 Nude”

Most days I use the MAC 129 brush and swirl my Bare Minerals foundation in the lid and buff it on my face. Pretty much, it takes about 30 seconds to do that; and occasionally, I’ll swirl extra product and add a bit more coverage if needed – that would extend my foundation application time to about 40 seconds, lol. On days when I don’t feel like swirling, I’ll use the Kat Von D concealer in “Sand” to even out my complexion a tad (mainly my cheeks) and then move on. When I’m feeling a little fancy, I’ll swirl Bare Minerals over my light application of the Kat Von D concealer.

I’m not too interested in Kat Von D’s makeup line but I’m loving the concealer. It’s liquidy and creamy at the same time and comes in a tube. If you don’t need a lot of coverage like me, this is easy to slap on and skip foundation. My love-hate relationship with Bare Minerals is on hold because I’m in love with it at the moment, lol. It’s just so easy to use.

MAC “Blushbaby” is a dusty, nude-rose color. It applies smoothly and wears well on my cheeks. The color is not that unique, but I think it’s a great staple color to have. It’s good for any day, any occasion – and pretty much fool-proof.

Clarins lip color in “122 Nude” is the only nude color that works for me. Since I’m already fair, most nude lipsticks blank out my lips so much it pretty much blends into my skin! Milky pinks are nice in the tube, but I feel that more tanned gals can pull the look off better. Clarins “122 Nude” is nude (but not flesh tone) and semi-opaque; and even though it does cancel out my lips, just one swipe is the perfect amount of nude for me without making me look like a death.

Laura Mercier lip glosses are my new fave. I’m very particular about glosses. Just like everyone else, I dislike stickiness, but glosses that lack a certain degree of stickiness wear off too quickly. LM lipglosses are smooth in texture and spread evenly onto the lips without get patchy. The application is balm-like but with high shine. Also, I don’t think it’s sticky at all but it adheres to the lips quite well. I think I’ll invest in more colors in the future and probably skip on Chanel glosses from now on. GASP!

What are you wearing for the warmer months?

*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)