Face of the Day for Gloomy Winter Weather

Now that Texas has transitioned into winter-mode, I’ve seen more gloomy and cloudy days here the last few weeks. It’s hard to feel inspired when it’s cold outside and it gets dark earlier, but I try to keep things interesting by adding some glow to my complexion. For me, I “shopped my stash” and put some items back into rotation like my NARS Illuminator and Bobbi Brown BB Cream.

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NARS Illuminator in “Copacabana” and Bobbi Brown BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 35 in Extra Light
Mixing the NARS Illuminator in “Copacabana” with the Bobbi Brown BB Cream gave me the perfect amount of both coverage and dewiness, without risking looking glittery or oily/shiny. I forgot about how much I really loved the Bobbi Brown BB Cream, so it was nice falling back in love with it.

Dior Addict Lipstick in “Diorissime” 249
The Dior Addict Lipstick in “Diorissime” isn’t a new product and I recently reviewed it as well. However, the subtle brightness is perfect for gloomy days because it reminds me that at least my lips feel and look pretty, lol. Even when I wear this without lip balm underneath, I have perfectly hydrated lips in the winter so that’s one less thing to worry about.

MAC Powder Blush in “Pink Swoon”
Occasionally, I’ll take a break from MAC’s “Well Dressed” and I venture off and try a different shade of blush. “Pink Swoon” has been a recent favorite of mine and goes really well with the Dior Addict Lipstick in “Diorissime” — the perfect amount of brightness and subtleness. I tend to reach for this blush when I need something a little different and interesting.

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
My trusty Real Techniques Expert Face Brush is great for applying any base product. The Bobbi Brown BB Cream is very creamy and a small dollop goes a long ways. The Expert Face Brush blends the product out beautifully and seamlessly within seconds, which is perfect for busy mornings when I can’t be bothered.

What are you wearing this winter? What about on gloomy days?

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It’s a Chanel Kind of Day

I’m never a fan about stubbornly sticking with a single brand. But, for me, my collection is so vast my products have to be on rotation — even when I’m travelling or on vacation. A few days ago, I was really feeling the inner Chanel goddess within me; so, I decided I’d pamper my complexion with Chanel products — old and new. Sometimes it’s the little things that can really kick-start your day — like, starting your morning with a wee bit of Chanel.

My base makeup started with applying the Chanel CC Cream – Complete Correction Sunscreen, and I really made sure to apply an even layer all over my face. With CC creams, since they’re mostly a skincare item rather than a cosmetic item, I try to be quite liberal with the application — often, using it even on my eyelids and neck.

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Then, I powdered with the Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour in N10. Using a big, fluffy brush, I generously dusted the product all over my face. But, I concentrated most of the color/product on the center of my face since that’s where I wanted to really attribute some glow.

Also, I was inspired by YouTube’s MakeupByTiffanyD and her recent Chanel haul — so, I dug around my collection to resurrect my long-lost Chanel blush in Rose Ecrin. Years ago, I was obsessed with Chanel’s blushes and that’s all I used for months. It was nice to “shop my stash” and rediscover this blush; it’s truly a classic staple item. On a side note, Chanel blushes have a rose scent, which I know can be off-putting for some. But, the blushes are long-lasting, look pretty on the skin, and the thing will last years and years. Using this blush again reminded me why I love Chanel blushes and why I was so obsessed with them awhile back. I would have to say that my love the blushes have been rekindled. :)

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I felt re-inspired using items that were already in my possession. This month, I’ve been dabbling in new products and really taking the time to research them — so, it was nice using what was already in my collection since they’ve surpassed the “trial period.”

I encourage all of you to shop from your current stash as well. What are you loving this week?

REVIEW: Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Foundation Powder – 02 Ivory

Laura Mercier released a new powder foundation called the Smooth Finish Foundation Powder. Designed as “a second-skin, oil-free powder foundation that can be used wet or dry,” this product is considered to be a “silky smooth innovation [that] offers a natural veil that imparts a color-true finish that lasts up to eight hours. It glides on effortlessly, camouflages, hydrates, and blurs fine lines, never settling into them. Ultra fine micronized pigments flex with skin for coverage that is even and flawless. [You can] use it as a sheer to medium powder or build coverage [by] using it wet.”

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I purchased the shade 02 Ivory and I feel that it’s a good match. At first it looked really light in the pan when I first got it, but after “breaking it in,” it looks less frightening, lol. The powder is extremely finely milled and thin — and it’s smooth like butter, so the application is very soft and virtually undetectable. This provides great coverage and is long-lasting with great oil-control, which makes it most optimal for the summer time. It keeps my skin comfortable — not too oily or too dry; and, functions as a “soft-focus” tool so even on bad skin days the powder sits nicely on my skin.

I apply this with a fluffy powder brush for a sheerer effect, but it’s designed to be a product that’s customizable coverage-wise. I’ve used the sponge to spot-conceal and it does a really great job at adding additional coverage to the designated area without looking cakey. The coverage in general is wonderful, which surprised me because this is a powder. Not only is this a great on-the-go product, but it’s easy to use which is a winner in my book (since I can get a bit lazy at times).

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So far, despite its new release, this product has done well. The reviews are high and so that’s a good sign. I would recommend this over the Benefit ‘Hello Flawless!’ SPF 15 powder foundation. While my absolute favorite is still the Chantecaille Compact Makeup Foundation, this comes in a close, close second. I recommend, especially if you’ve got oily skin and you’re looking for a powder foundation that provides high coverage without looking or feeling heavy.

Made in USA.
Retails for $45.00 USD.
0.3 oz.

REVIEW: Le Blush Creme de Chanel – Chanel Cream Blush in 64 “Inspiration”

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Say, what?? Chanel released cream blushes?

Yes. And, they’re selling like hot cakes right now. I had to track down the only color I wanted at Macy’s this time around. In the pan, the colors look much darker than I had expected. However, the color pay-off is pretty, the application process is easy and smooth, and nothing beats feeling pretty when wearing Chanel. That’s all. The Le Blush Creme is marketed as “an innovative powder-cream formula [that] offers an enticing new way to blush with sheer yet vibrant pigments for instant luminosity.” The “silky texture offers a long-wear satin finish—soft and comfortable for every skin type—and is simple to apply with fingertips or brush.”

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I agree with everything. First off, the gel-mousse texture is easy to work with because it’s soft and creamy — not tacky and sticky like Bobbi Brown’s cream blush. Much like my beloved Illamasqua Cream Blusher in “Promise”, the product is soft to the touch and blends seamlessly into the skin. Basically, since it melts on contact, I don’t feel like I’m rubbing off any base makeup or wiping the blush color away. Also, the color leaves behind a soft glow that makes your cheeks look glowy without looking too shiny.

Wear time for this cream blush is average. To get a few additional hours of wear, I’d suggest dusting on some translucent setting powder, but on its own, the blush wears fine throughout the day as long as there’s no excessive sweating/activities. I chose the color “Inspiration” because it’s warm and would flatter my skintone the best. I apply this with any ol’ synthetic brush, but as always, the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush is my favorite. I recommend! :)

Made in France.
Retails for $38 USD.

Face of the Night

Normally, my ‘night makeup’ is just like my ‘day makeup’ — with some minor add-on’s: lip product + additional eyeshadow. As always, I like to emphasize glowy skin so I switched things up a bit.

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To start off, I moisturized with the Neutrogena Healthy Defense Moisturizer SPF 50 and followed it with Benefit’s POREfessional. After prepping my skin, I used Dior’s BB Creme in fair and skipped concealer. To set everything, I dusted on Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in “Diffused Light” and added Benefit’s Bella Bamba blush; I skipped highlighter because this blush is already brightening and glimmery (not to mixed up with shimmery).

My lash and eyebrow routines are the same, but I will be updating you on what I’m using since the products have been changed around. My goal with the next face of the day/night is to post everything — like you requested!

I’ve moved on from the Urban Decay Naked palette, but didn’t go far since now I’m playing around with my MAC palette again, which all of you are already familiar with. Also, I was in the mood to throw on a Chanel lipgloss, which I haven’t given attention to in months! Welcome back, old friend. :)

As always, thanks for reading. :)

Review: Lancome Renergie Éclat Multi-Lift Multi-Action Tinted Skincare Illuminate + Lift Instant Enhancer

Recently at an outlet sale, I purchased the Lancome RÉNERGIE ÉCLAT MULTI-LIFT Multi-Action Tinted Skincare Illuminate + Lift Instant Enhancer for $25 and it was such a steal. I was always interested in this product some time ago, but felt that $75.00 (regular retail price) for it was ridiculous for a product that wasn’t even a foundation.

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I’m quite pleased with this product and I’ll probably go back and get one for my mom. Keep in mind, technically, I can’t review this product on its lifting and anti-aging performance — although that’s what the product is designed to do. But I do believe that the skincare ingredients in this product has done wonders for my skin — in terms of “preventative measures” regarding anti-aging.

I like the pump and the overall packaging. It comes with 1.3 fl. oz. of product, which is more than a standard foundation. I’ve also reviewed the Lancome RÉNERGIE EYE MULTIPLE ACTION Ultimate Eye Care Duo, which is still performing well. In my experience, the RÉNERGIE line seems to be very effective.

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This product is marketed as “a lightweight tinted moisturizer that addresses signs of aging” and claims to be “more than a BB cream.” I would say, in terms of coverage, this is NOT a foundation and NOT really a tinted moisturizer. I would say it’s more like a BB cream that is hydrating. With this product, I need to set it with powder and it strangely doesn’t contribute to any oil production throughout the day — which is weird, but good. Sephora says that “this new generation of multi-function tinted skincare product moisturizes, lifts, illuminates, and instantly evens skintone.”

I agree that it moisturizes, illuminates, and evens skinstone. That’s really all I expect from a good BB cream/tinted moisturizer. I don’t expect much coverage, and it’s a good thing I didn’t! This product is “created with lifting and color-correcting Multi-Tension technology designed to target upper layers of the skin. The “multi-action formula helps skin feel firmer and denser, as if lifted. Wrinkles appear reduced, and skin’s texture feels smoother.”

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The texture of the product is really slick and smooth. Because of that, it blends seamlessly into the skin very quickly. I can feel my skin drinking up the hydrating ingredients, because it plumps up my skin and makes it look so smooth and radiant. Pores, redness, and lines are concealed immediately and feels nice too. However, there’s no actual coverage — just mild blurring of the imperfections. In my opinion, if you need/like more coverage, it’s probably best to use this product as a primer and layer something on top.

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I got shade 1, which is the lightest shade that seems to work well for my skintone. The shade is very forgiving because it doesn’t seem to actually have that much pigmentation — hence, the lack of coverage. The one thing that I must rave about is the brightening effects of this product. It’s so pretty and it looks just like your skin, but better. I’d say this is more like a “skin enhancer” and I think it would look just as pretty underneath a base product that provides more coverage. Also, unlike most BB creams and tinted moisturizer, this product does not include any sun protection.

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I would recommend this product based on its illuminating and brightening factors, but don’t say I didn’t warn you about the coverage. I think the original retail price of $75.00 is ridiculous; and, the outlet price is only slightly better. If you can hit up the sale, you can snag this for $25, which I think is completely reasonable. I’m going to see how my mom likes it, but I’ll most likely not re-purchase this again unless it’s on sale.

I love how the product looks and feels, but I don’t think it’s for everyone. As always, thanks for reading and happy spring break! :)

Rénergie Éclat is available in four shades for all skintones, from fair to deep:
– Fair/rosy skin: Shade 1 tones down redness
– Fair/beige skin: Shade 2 neutralizes yellowing
– Golden/beige skin: Shade 3 illuminates olive tones
– Golden/dark skin: Shade 4 awakens gray tones

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Check out the glow and illumination from this product! :)

1.3 oz.
Made in France.
Retails for $75.00.
Outlet price $63.90.

NARS The Multiple – “Luxor”

I’m a sucker for highlighters and that’s no secret. Even on no makeup days, I’ve got to use some kind of highlighter. Normally, I’m all about the powder highlighters because I trust them more than liquid or cream ones. However, I purchased the NARS The Multiple in “Luxor” and I’ve been truly satisfied since!

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The Multiple, in general, is “an all-in-one, cream-to-powder, multipurpose makeup stick.” You can use it to beautifully “highlight, sculpt, and warm the eyes, cheeks, lips, and body in an array of shades, from sheer accents to mauve and bronze.” I like multi-functioning products and I like products that look pretty, most of all.

NARS is a trusty brand that I go to often, and if you’re looking for a convenient highlighter, then I’d give The Multiple a try. There’s different shades for different purposes, but currently, I’m only interested in the ones that will highlight the skin naturally. I have my eye set on “Copacabana” next. :)

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The packaging is sleek and slightly rubbery, so much like all the other NARS products, it will get dirty and finger-printy. However, it’s easy to use and carry around if you need to because it’s so compact. In my experience, it’s best to layer this product after liquid/cream foundation/BB cream application so that it has something to slide on top of. You can swipe directly from the tube, use your finger, or use a brush. I like to swipe it along the tops of my cheeks and then use my fingers to blend it in.

When layering on top of a powder product (like powder foundation), I like to use a foundation brush or a buffing brush to swipe the product on with. I apply this last after all base products and blush.

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“Luxor” is an iridescent pink and it’s a shade that you can’t go wrong with — no matter what your skintone is. It’s flattering, illuminating, and glowy without looking like your face is oily. The slightly pinky-white tone is brightening, but isn’t stark or harsh. The pearlescent sheen blends into your skin beautifully and stays that way, even when you’re sweating. Be careful to NOT set this with powder because it will look dull and patchy if you do that. That’s why, even if I apply powder blush over a liquid/cream base, I still apply The Multiple last, as my final step.

You can use this wherever you’d normally highlight: the tops of your cheeks, your cupid’s bow, along the brow bone, and down the bridge of your nose. Use a brush if you’re in a hurry, and it will act just like a powder highlighter.

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This shade seems to be universally flattering and provides such an angelic effect on the skin. It instantly helps you look awake and healthy, and paired with a glowy foundation/BB cream, it’s the perfect combination of looking natural, yet pretty. It’s truly an all-in-one. This has become a staple in my makeup bag and I feel that I won’t be returning to my powder highlighters for awhile! Most of all, I like how it’s so easy to use. Other non-powder highlighters are hard to use because they’re hard to blend or they don’t look natural enough for me.

What do you think? :)

0.50 oz.
Retails for $39.00 USD.

Quick Face of the Day

Here’s a quick face of the day post for those who are curious what products are “on rotation.” I wasn’t in the mood to mess around with anything relatively new and had to get out the door quickly — so, basicially what you’ll see here are products that are ‘slap on-able.’

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Face:
1. I had added something new to my skincare routine this morning: the Lancome Visionnaire Advanced Skin Corrector serum. So far, I really like it, but I think it’s best to apply this at night under a night cream. For now, I like it during the day for an extra oomph. Pictured here is a sample size from my Beauty Insider points.
2. I’ve had a random, stubborn spot lately that needs some intense treatment. I’ve been layering my La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo: Dual Action Acne Treatment to keep the acne-fighting ingredients going during the day.
3. My foundation of choice has been the NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Mont Blanc. It’s back in rotation after I veered away to use BB creams. I forgot how much I adored this foundation.
4. The Benefit Erase Paste in Fair is my concealer lately. See the review here. You’ll also be seeing more of Benefit cosmetics since I’ve been obsessed with their products the last few weeks. This product is great for brightening up dark spots, even post-hyperpigmentation.
5. The highlighter I’ve been using is The NARS Multiple in “Luxor” and I’m so in love with this. “Luxor” is an iridescent pink that is pretty and natural, and gives the skin a hint of a glow. Love.
6. For blush, I’m using MAC’s “Melba,” which is just okay for me. On me, it’s bit more reddish orange than I’d like so I have to use a light hand. I guess I’m a pink-blush girl all the way, but this has been in my collection and it deserves some use/love.

Lips:
1. The lips have been kept simple as usual, but I’ve been in my Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 in Rose. This is also a Beauty Insider sample and I really like it. However, I think I still prefer for my Dior balm over this one. The Rose shade is tinted so it helps when I’m in a rush.

Eyes:
Not pictured — but, I’m still on my Naked Basics kick. I’ll let you know when I’m using something different! :)

Benefit ‘Hello Flawless!’ SPF 15

The Benefit ‘Hello Flawless!’ powder foundation is a new addition to my collection I’ve been loving. This item isn’t new by any means, and the only reason why I decided to give it a go is because a YouTuber by the name of Raeview, recommended it awhile back.

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I don’t have a favorite powder foundation currently; and, for the most part, I tend to avoid powder products (unless it’s mineral) because I can’t stand that flat matte look. Other powder foundation posts I’ve written include the:

1. DiorSkin Forever Compact Flawless Perfection Fusion Wear Makeup (and I compare this with the Chanel Double Perfection Natural Matte Powder Makeup);
2. and the Chantecaille Compact Makeup Foundation;
3. and the Shiseido Sun Protection Compact Foundation;
4. and the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish – which tends to clog my pores (and I discovered this weeks after writing this corresponding post).

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Previously, Chantecaille Compact Makeup Foundation was steadily in first place for me; however, I used it up so fast! To be fair, after I purchased the product, I loved it so much I used it everyday for weeks straight. And, before I knew it, I had hit pan – and, then shortly after that, it was gone – all within just a few months. I haven’t re-purchased since if you’re wondering.

I’ve heard the same thing about Benefit’s ‘Hello Flawless!’ but at least it’s half the price of the Chantecaille Compact Makeup Foundation, and it performs just as good – in my opinion! My shade ‘I Love Me’ Ivory is for fair ivory/light complexions, and is also the lightest shade in the range. I would say that this product is everything that I’ve ever wanted in a powder foundation.

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Sephora describes the product as a “custom powder cover-up with SPF protection for the face.” It is “a blendable powder foundation with SPF 15 that goes on beautifully sheer and layers easily for customized coverage. Find your perfect shade and sweep it on with the accompanying brush for a sheer, natural finish; or apply with the sponge for full coverage or spot cover-up.”

The texture of this powder foundation is light and finely milled. As with all powder foundations, I dust it on with a powder brush or a kabuki brush; and, this is currently the only powder thus far that gets super powdery when I’m trying to get product onto the bristles. When applying, it feels like nothing – and, at first, I checked in the mirror to see if anything was happening – like, coverage~! Lol. Fortunately, application is easy – I dust/sweep it on and then add a few more sweeps onto my cheeks (because they tend to be pink).

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The product comes with its own tools – since it’s marketed as a “dual product.” You sweep on the product with the brush for light coverage; and, you use the sponge for more/heavier coverage. For me, I like to use my own brush for the sweeping. However, the sponge is quite handy for days when you’ve got spots or other issues that need covering.

The coverage this powder foundation provides is impressive. It’s definitely buildable – depending on what tool you use – and, yet, there’s no caking or the look of flatness. I like to mist over it anyway to give my skin some extra glow, but this foundation tends to get better as the day wears on. As it mixes with the environment and your natural oils, it remains dewy and healthy throughout the day. Oil-control is quite good, but still requires blotting.

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I recommend this product and it’s SO handy on lazy days when you can’t be bothered. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve saved myself from becoming annoyed in the morning by using this product – I blob on some concealer, pat it in, dust some ‘Hello Flawless!’ onto my face, add blush – and my face is done. All in about 2 minutes. :)

What are your thoughts? Intrigued?

Made in USA.
0.25 oz.
Retails for $34.00 USD.

Giorgio Armani | Sheer Blush 2 – Pink

I can confidently say that MAC’s “Well Dressed” blush is my absolute favorite. Also, it’s the only blush I’ve hit pan on and one that I will re-purchase in the very near future. I have gone weeks at a time using only “Well Dressed,” and quite frankly, if I never bought another blush again with only “Well Dressed” in my possession, that would suffice…

Until now, that is…

The soft, lightweight texture makes this blush easy to work with and blend. The color is sheer and natural, yet buildable – unfortunately, on darker skin tones, I don’t think this blush will do much. For medium skin tones, I suggest applying and layering with a heavier hand. Because of its soft texture, it tends to get powdery when I dip my brush into the pan. However, after dusting off the excess, it applies so beautifully onto the skin and imparts the most perfect glow without shimmer. It instantly lifts the face and gives tired-looking skin a radiant and instant glow.

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Giorgio Armani makeup, much like YSL makeup, never really interested me. I’m not sure if it’s because GA is the least accessible or if it’s because I’m pretty content with other designer makeup – like Chanel and Dior. Other than the Luminous Silk foundation, I never gravitated toward GA until I fell in love the blushes. I was walking through Neiman Marcus and glanced over at the counter and noticed a blush from far away. I walked over to look at it and just had to swatch it.

Of course, I ended up purchasing the blush and have been wearing it non-stop. I would say that “Well Dressed” is still in first place for me, but GA’s sheer blush in 2-Pink is a CLOSE second. GA’s website describes the product as “extremely soft and light” that will “enhance the complexion with a flush of natural color,” while “sculpt[ing] the face delicately and naturally.” The results? “Cheeks are left with a warm, radiant glow.”

Shade 2-Pink is light, dusty peachy-pink that isn’t too cool toned or too warm. You can see shimmer in the pan, but it doesn’t shimmer on the cheeks, thankfully. The shade is perfect for pairing with any look and I love the naturalness of the product. In the pan, this blush looks true pink but comes off on the skin with a slight hint of peachy-ness, but looks more pink in real life. It’s not orange or a real peach color, but it seems to adapt differently onto the skin than it looks in the pan. In my opinion, a real pink blush is “Well Dressed!” My main complaint is that it’s SO expensive for a blush. Ordinarily, when I’m this impressed with a shade, I’d be tempted to try other shade ranges. However, with GA’s sheer blushes, I’ll be skipping the rest.

Retails for $44.00 USD.