MAC “Lovelorn” Lipstick

Something new I’ve been trying lately is to try different shades of lipsticks that are out of my comfort zone. For the most part, I normally skip lip products all together, and start my day with a little bit of chapstick. When I remember or I’m feeling fancy, I’ll use a lip color on rotation; however, I very rarely venture out of the light pink and nude-ish colors.

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I came upon “Lovelorn” when I recently read about it on a beauty blog. Out of curiosity, I swatched it at the counter to see if it would go well with my skin tone. It’s an unusual shade to wear, because even though it doesn’t look bright per se, it kind of is!

Because it’s well-pigmented and on the bright side, I lightly dab the product onto my lips rather than swiping it back and forth, like I do with my lighter colors. Then, after I press my lips together to evenly distribute the color, I rub my finger around my lips to remove some the color.

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By removing the ‘outside layer’ of pigment, you’re left with a pretty, pink stain that brightens your smile and your complexion. The blue-ish hues/undertones in the lipstick has that effect, but can be damaging if you have flakes or a bad case of dry lips.

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I layer a lip balm underneath this shade because it tends to be drying on me. But it’s a pretty, fun color to wear with little to no makeup on the eyes. Also, I find it refreshing to wear this on days when my makeup in general is minimal; it really helps the color pop – but in a pretty way, of course.

Give it a try; especially if you’re pale like me, and looking for a bright color that won’t be too loud!

DiorSkin Nude Skin-Glowing Makeup 010 “Ivory”

In a random magazine article, I once read that Natalie Portman’s favorite foundation was the DiorSkin Nude Skin-Glowing foundation. Of course, she is the face of the brand, but I was intrigued and wanted to see for myself – despite the fact that I have enough foundations to last me a lifetime. :)

The concept of the nude skin-glowing foundation is to mimic skin’s texture and feel. It claims to be “enriched with naturally derived skincare ingredients for a complexion that is even more ‘nude’ and sublime in all types of lighting.” This “hydrating fluid foundation delivers just the right amount of coverage to create a naturally flawless, bare-skin effect.”

Though it promises to “improve radiance and beauty of the skin day after day,” I would say that that’s a far-reaching claim. However, I do think that the ‘good-for-your-skin’ foundations nowadays help skin look good under the makeup, therefore helping it feel better once the makeup has been removed.

The product’s insert says that the “art of the Nude skin look is to create the illusion of beautiful and radiant bare skin that looks completely natural.” I would agree that the watery formula is very lightweight and thin – BUT it doesn’t compromise coverage. The texture of the foundation feels cooling and nice on the skin and blends very easily – blurring imperfections and pores along the way.

Again, according to the insert, the Nude Skin-Glowing Makeup was “inspired by skin,” so the idea behind the formulation is to “offer every skin the ideal complexion.” Apparently, the foundation’s pigments are the same color as the skin’s melanin pimgents; and light-perfecting pigments allow it to adjust in various lightings (outdoor and indoor). The “unique combination of Mineralized Water and Floral Water” contribute to helping the skin become more beautiful and radiant.

I chose the shade 010 which is “Ivory.” It is the first and lightest shade in the range and I’m quite happy with it. It’s quite close to NARS “Mont Blanc” shade and Chantecaille’s Just Skin foundation in “Alabaster.” The product has a lot of fancy claims, but what I like about the product is that it’s so natural looking on the skin. In my opinion, the texture of this foundation is deceptive – it looks lightweight and gelish when dispensed from the bottle. However, I’ve had difficulties with getting it to blend quickly and streak-free. I find that I have to buff and buff and buff to get the results I want.

010 “Ivory” is not entirely yellow-based and leans towards neutral. It’s slightly pinky toned much like “Mont Blanc” but not so much that it makes me look pink. The coverage is medium and buildable, but pore coverage isn’t as good as some of my other foundation. I like to apply it more sheerly since I don’t require a lot of coverage, but I love how it’s an INSTANT pick-me-up for the skin. It’s instantly brightening and glowy and the finish is semi-matte/dewy.

If you’re looking for a foundation that isn’t too matte and isn’t too dewy, this is great because it’s the best of both worlds. The ‘glow’ that it adds to the skin is natural and very healthy looking; and, I personally like that it’s infused with skincare ingredients. I can’t say for sure that all the fancy ingredients are doing a whole lot, but I can say that it isn’t making anything worse. I like the final finish of the product and how my skin looks throughout the day; however, the application is not my favorite – whether I use a buffing brush or the beauty blender. I’m considering using my fingers for awhile to see if that makes a difference.

*Quotes extracted from http://www.sephora.com, the product’s box, and the product’s insert.

1 fl. oz.
Retails for $48.00 USD
Made in France

Foundation Review: CHANEL Vitalumiere Aqua (B10)

After all this time of using the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation, I didn’t realize I hadn’t reviewed it until someone asked me about it! My apologies for the delay, but here it is as promised. Since its release last summer, word has spread that this is the perfect summer foundation; and, I suppose my review is here just in time.

Chanel’s Vitalumiere Aqua foundation is part of the Vitalumiere line. The regular Vitalumiere foundation is more for drier skins that need hydration and some glow factor, while the Vitalumiere Aqua is generally geared towards those who are on the oily side. The reason why I say this is because of its light and moussey texture that is very gel-like; it blends like a cream and sets instantly to a semi-matte finish. This product also contains a little bit of alcohol, so it works well for those with oilier skins since you stay ungreasy for longer.

Recently introduced this summer, is the new Vitalumiere Aqua COMPACT foundation, which seems to be for those who love the original Vitalumiere Aqua formula but need more hydration and portability. It is a cream foundation and I suspect it’s catered towards drier skin types.

According to http://www.chanel.com: “The tiniest drop of this new hybrid fluid creates a fresh, natural complexion. Skin looks refined and feels refreshed, creating an exquisite makeup experience. The fluid formula has a soft, water-light texture, and comes in 10 shades that match perfectly to skin’s undertones, whether pink or beige. Dermatologist-tested. Non-comedogenic. Oil- free.”

I wear shade B10, which is the lightest shade in the ‘beige’ range. It is a great match for me throughout the year, and I personally don’t reserve this for just the summer months. This foundation is the easiest product to use because it can be applied with just about anything. If I’m lazy I use my fingers; but for the most part, a synthetic buffing brush of any kind will do the trick. For those with pink undertones, look for shades in the ‘beige rose’ range.

This feels so light on the skin and a little goes a long way. Spots, discolorations, redness, and other pigmentation problems are concealed immediately upon application; however, I wouldn’t say that this is full coverage. Though the product neutralizes everything pretty quickly, major problems will still need additional concealing with a concealer. I like that it’s so natural and light, yet it still helps you achieve that perfect-skin look. On “good skin days,” this is all you need before adding some blush and mascara and heading out the door.

I find that I don’t need to powder over this and the semi-matte finish is perfect – not too matte and not too dewy. I think it looks better as the day wears on and the foundation begins to mix with the enviornment around you and your skin’s natural oils. It holds up nicely in heat and humidity; and, apart from some midday blotting, I have no issues with this.

It is heavily fragranced, like all of Chanel’s products. The scent lingers and you can smell it off your face for awhile, so if you’re sensitive to fragrances – beware. Also, as stated eariler, be aware of the alcohol content in this product because I have read that it has caused reactions in some people.

Made in France.
Retails for $45.00.
1 fl. oz. (30 mL)

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

Laura Mercier Mineral Powder SPF 15

I think many of you may remember my dilemma with Bare Minerals – and basically, my issue is that I have a love-hate relationship with it. A few posts ago, I explained I was going for the minimal, bare look for the hotter months approaching and at the time I was “in love” with Bare Minerals.

Now, I hate it. Again.

I’ve been unhappy with its performance:
1. The lack of oil-control;
2. Occasionally I get itchy and a bit pink from irritation;
3. I swear there’s no good color match me – even the Golden Fair

In a huff, I stormed back to Sephora hell bent on returning BM and getting something else. And then, Laura Mercier’s Mineral Powder caught my eye. Her lip glosses have been my recent fave because of the texture. If I were to have the ability to make my own glosses to match my every desire – it would be just like Laura Mercier’s. THAT’S how much I love it.

The sales associate insisted that I was the color “Real Sand,” but after further inspection, I just had to disagree. Yes, it was created for light complexions with yellow to neutral undertones, but I’m fairer than that so I went against her advice and picked up “Soft Porcelain.” And, I’m quite pleased with the decision I made.

Sephora’s website describes this as a “finely milled powder composed completely of natural elements with 15 active amino acids.” It claims to “clear the skin of toxins, promote healthy skin cell growth, and fight the aging process.” This mineral powder is “oil-free and water-resistant [and] can be applied either as a buildable foundation or a pigmented powder.”

The jar is much bigger than BM and the frosted, thick tub reminds me of Chanel’s loose powder (but not as big). I like the I can turn the tab and adjust exactly how many holes I want to expose to release the powder. When traveling, I can just snap the tab closed and not worry about powder going everywhere. The only thing about traveling with this is that it’s a bit bulky, but oh well – you win some, you lose some!

LM’s Mineral Powder exceeded my expectations, has replaced Bare Minerals forever, and now I think I’m kind of addicted to mineral makeup. I apply this thinly with a kabuki brush and the coverage and finish is amazing. I don’t need concealer or additional powder on top; it’s super easy to apply and it’s fast. Also, the finish is semi-matte and slighly luminous – just enough to fake natural perfection, but not so luminous you’re looking shiny, and not so matte you look flat and fake.


[Pictured: Laura Mercier Mineral Powder in “Soft Porcelain” + MAC blush in “Blushbaby” + Dior Amber Diamond highlight]

The overall wear is impressive – up to 12 hours for me with some blotting halfway through. The powder itself looks like there’s bits of shimmer in it but it’s hardly noticeable when buffed onto the face. I feel like the powder melts into a cream on my face – LOVE. My only warning with this product is if you apply too much it will look like a mask of fakeness. One layer is good enough; and if you want additional coverage, I suggest you layer this on over liquid foundation with a light hand.

I wish I had discovered this sooner. And, too bad BM almost ruined it for me regarding mineral makeup, lol. If you’re not happy with BM or any other mineral powder/foundation for any reason, give this a try because it will totally blow your mind.

Size: 0.34 oz
Price: $35

*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)
*All pictures taken in natural lighting.

Burberry No. 22 “Pale Barley” Eyeshadow

Neutral eyeshadows are my weakness and when your collection is largely made up of brown-neutral shadows, it can be perceived as “boring” and “unintresting.” For me, wearing a ton of color has never been a part of my personality. I stick to neutrals and mono-chromatic tones (even in clothes) because it transitions well from day to night; work to play; and is rather “safe” since everything goes with everything.

Enter: Burberry eyeshadow in “Pale Barley.” The packaging is exquisite – black velvet pouch with the Burberry signature plaid stipes imprinted on it; and, a sleek gun-metal silver mirrored case that shuts magnetically. Though the case will be plagued by fingerprints, I don’t mind since it will be permanently housed in its original pouch.

Aft first glance, the color doesn’t seem interesting. In fact, it looks like your every-day-run-of-the-mill brown eyeshadow. After reading and hearing about rave reviews, every one claimed that the color was unique and not like your ordinary brown shadows. I admit, I was intrigued. Deeply.

“Pale Barley” is neither pale nor sheer. It’s quite richly pigmented and for $29 – it better be! Although it appears to be a simple color, the rusty golden brown is tinged with subtle shimmer that gives your eyelid a good wash of color. The coppery, peachy tones illuminate in the sunlight, and in indoor lighting, the subdued earthy brown shade gives dimension and sheen that’s like no other.

The warm golden sparkles are well-controlled – no worries. The texture is soft and buttery, with no fall out, and transfers from brush/spong tip to skin well. The application is smooth and blendable and the luminous sheen that the shadow provides differs greatly from other brownish, taupeish, bronzeish shades I own.

For me, this is a great all over lid color; I follow it with an application of a slightly darker shade in the crease/corners of my eyes. If you pair brown eyeliner (like MAC “Teddy”), it’s the perfect combination that is to die for.

Are you interested in Burberry’s makeup line? This is my first Burberry purchase and it seems like this is definitely a keeper. If you own a lot of neutral shadows already and are hesitant with “Pale Barley,” treat yourself and give this a shot. I promise it’s like nothing you already have.

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

REVIEW: YSL Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain #18 – “Rose Pastelle”

I’m featuring my very first YSL product ever today and I’m deathly afraid that I’ve awoken yet another bad habit. Despite my love for luxurious high-end makeup, I’m very careful with what I want to invest in. At the end of the day, it’s the brand name you’re paying for, so the performance and quality of the product is still important and should remain the #1 factor. Unlike some other beauty enthusiasts out there, I don’t purchase products to “collect” because I find it wasteful. I mean, the products DO expire at some point in time.

With that being said, I avoided YSL this whole time because none of the products wow’ed me. In fact, even though I do watch YouTube videos on the daily, YSL makeup never tugged at my heartstrings. I do admit to swatching and playing with the products, but like I said, it never did anything for me and I knew I was going to take my money elsewhere. Now, with the release of the Glossy Stains, I’m doomed.

I went to Sephora and picked up Glossy Stain #18: “Rose Pastelle” and I’m in heaven. While I was there, I “cashed in” my reward points for a moisturizer by Benefit.

Typical YSL packaging here. I’m afraid of getting stratches on it, lol! It’s sleek, shiny, and very portable. One of the things I like about high-end products is their attention to detail regarding the packaging. It certainly doesn’t feel cheap; in fact, this gloss has some weight to it.

Sephora says that YSL’s glossy stains are “a revolutionary new lip product that combines the texture and shine of a gloss with the long-wear of a stain.” This is true. The texture is liquidy and slightly creamy; nothing about this product is sticky in any way. I swear. After application, it’s shiny, the color remains true, and after some of it has worn off, the pigment of the color remains – hence, the “stain.”

Notice the interesting applicator part. The tear-shaped spongey tip is flexible so you can move it around easily to fit the contours of your lip. Fantastic! Also, it doesn’t get all goopy with excess product which is always a plus in my book. On Sephora’s webiste, the applicator is described as having “a unique slanted tip and short soft bristles” that provides a “flawless application with perfect precision.”

So, what does the product do?? –> It “coat[s] your lips with color that offers a lightweight texture, which immediately melts onto lips.” Glossy Stain “delivers intense glossy color for an extremely long-lasting shine.” Again, true. However, I would have to say that it isn’t super long-lasting, but this varies – depending on when you apply this and when after the application you eat, drink, etc.

Normally, products that claim to “stain your lips” dry them out; and products that claim to be “glossy and high shine” are so sticky your lips stick together. Glossy Stains are the best of both worlds: stain + gloss (and the name fits so well).

In a regular swatch, #18 is a cool pink and is one of the lightest shades in the total range of 19 colors. However, on the lips, it transpires as a milky pink. The product is semi-opaque, and from what I saw at the store, all the glossy stains were richly pigmented. On my lips, #18 levels out to be light, nude-ish pink that isn’t tacky like Barbie-pink. Indoor lighting makes this color seem brighter, however. For this particular color, I think the overall outcome of the shades largely depends on what your original lip color is.

Item retails for a whopping $32 for 0.20 oz. GEEZ. It’s a hefty price tag for something so small. As with all high-end products, none of it is actually necessary. I still recommend this product! You deserve a treat. Go get it. :)

*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)

Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Brightening Makeup SPF 25 PA +++

So, my weakness is totally base makeup. And, anything that says “brightening makeup” has got my undivided attention – that’s for sure. Introducing: Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Brightening Makeup SPF 25 PA +++. Aside from Benefit’s gimmicky claims, I love this foundation. In fact, my Armani and Chanel foundations are on rotation-break because this foundation is my current fave at the moment. :)

Benefit’s Hello Flawless foundation claims to be a “brightening, oil-free liquid foundation with SPF 25 PA+++ protection.” This part is true; it does provide a glowy, brightened, healthy effect and the added sun protection is always a plus with the summer seaons approaching. Although it’s oil-free, I still blot halfway through the day. For me, it’s not that big of a deal since I tend to blot with ANY foundation I use.

According to Sephora’s website, “this natural-finish foundation builds from light to medium coverage for a natural complexion and features light-diffusing properties and hydrating benefits. Its nourishing formula contains Benefit’s exclusive Oxygen Wow Hydrating Complex, which helps boost cellular respiration for a “plumping up” effect, protects against environmental stresses, and contains vitamin C and E derivatives known to prevent the signs of aging.”

This foundation does provide a natural finish, but even though it’s natural, the coverage is quite buildable – which is nice since I don’t really like to use concealer. The formula is hydrating and thin. In fact, when you first squirt it out, you’ll be surprised to see that it will run right off your hand if you’re not careful.

With that being said, the blendable formula is nice when you want a light coating of foundation. Even with its light texture, coverage is good – but definitely not heavy/full coverage by any means. I’m not too sure about the “plumping effect” and the “exclusive Oxygen Wow Hydrating Complex,” but it does sound fancy and enticing. :)

I use this in the shade “Ivory,” which is the lightest shade in the range. This shade is good for those with “neutral porcelain for fair complexions,” but I admit that this color leans more towards the ‘yellow’ tone rather than neutral. I like that the foundation is easy to use and blendable; and, I appreciate the watery texture this product has since it will be summer soon.

I’m enjoying this foundation right now because you don’t need fancy tools and all the time in the world in the mornings to apply it; and since I prefer natural looking foundation, this is right up my alley. I discovered this is NOT good for dry skin days, especially if your skin is flaking a bit. Also, I’m not sure if you mature gals will like this – although it is hydrating, it’s still oil-free, so this may not provide you with the moisture you need.

The pump is average and the plastic-y see-through bottle is just okay for me. Benefit’s Hello Flawless foundation retails for $34 for 1 fluid ounce. It isn’t super cheap, but also, it isn’t super high-end either; it’s right in the middle. I recommend you give this a try for the summer months!

Product made in France.

SIDE NOTE: What does PA +++ mean?
* SPF stands for the protection grade of the UVB filter.
* PA stands for the protection grade of the UVA filter.
* The highest standard of sun protection rating is the three-star PA rating. Benefit’s foundation has three stars, which translates to the highest protection.
[extracted from http://www.benefitcosmetics.com]

*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)
*Quotes extracted from sephora.com and benefitcosmetics.com