Wednesday, November 6th, 2013


Holiday Indulgences

One question I get asked a lot prior to Sephora’s winter sale (20% off for VIBs with code VIBTOPIA, 11/7 through 11/11!) is, “What do you recommend?” This is a loaded question! There are so many ways to answer this question! The way I tend to frame my answer is in the context of, “What have I wanted to buy but felt was a little too expensive normally? What favorites do I need to stock-up on?” I think sales offer us an opportunity to indulge in something that might be above our price point comfort zone the rest of the year, or be more willing to take a chance on a brand we’re not familiar with (because they’re not cheap!) as well as stock-up on things we know we’ll use over and over again.

Of course, it being the holiday season, there are also plenty of seasonal offerings to indulge in like sets and palettes–you can see my top palette picks in full here as well as some picks for sets and kits generally. Those both cover some of the seasonal offerings, and this post is less focused on seasonal/limited edition as it is just really fantastic products that I highly recommend from trying them.

Products to Indulge In — Lips

  • Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick ($22 @ Sephora, see my review here) — great if you love creamy, more emollient lipsticks with high pigmentation and moderate lasting power
  • YSL Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stains ($34 @ Sephora, see my review here) — long-wearing, moderately pigmented color that doesn’t dry out lips
  • Givenchy Le Rouge ($36 @ Sephora, see my review here) — creamy, luminous opaque lip color that wears well, makes lips look smoother than they really are
  • Guerlain Rouge G Lip Color ($49.50 @ Sephora, see my review here) — Rouge G is a long-time favorite (still reigning supreme after years and years of trying new formulas) for long-wear, hydration, opacity, and feel
  • Buxom Full-Bodied Lipstick ($21 @ Sephora, see my review here) — superbly hydrating, smooth, rich color that wears well
  • Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lipgloss ($24 @ Sephora, see my review here) — for a high-gloss, insanely shimmering/glimmering gloss

Products to Indulge In — Face

  • Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush ($26 @ Sephora, see my review here) — a variety of gorgeous shades from intensely pigmented to subtly neutral with a soft, blendable formula
  • Illamasqua Velvet Blusher ($26 @ Sephora, see my review here) — perfect for someone who loves the feel and blendability of of a cream blush but look and finish of a powder
  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder ($45 @ Sephora, see my review here) — a gorgeous finishing/luminizing powder to give that something special to the skin (and don’t forget the Ambient Lighting Palette!)
  • Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer ($ @ Sephora, see my review here) — creates a lovely, smooth canvas and helps keep makeup on longer

Products to Indulge In — Eyes

Most of what I wanted to recommend (in terms of what came to mind) were palettes, which I’ve recommended previously here.

  • Hourglass Visionaire Eyeshadow Duo ($38 @ Sephora, see my review here) — buttery, soft texture and intense color payoff
  • bareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow ($30 & up @ Sephora, see my review here) — one of my all-time favorite eyeshadow formulas for texture and color payoff
  • Dior Diorshow Fusion Mono Eyeshadows ($30 @ Sephora, see my review here) — obsessed with these pigmented cream eyeshadows that wear well

Products to Indulge In — Nails

  • Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer ($18 @ Sephora, see my review here) — high-shine, long-wearing formula with a nice range of colors/textures
  • Illamasqua Nail Varnish ($17 @ Sephora, see my review here) — one of my all-time favorites for application, wear, and range
  • Guerlain Nail Lacquer ($23 @ Sephora, see my review here) — so glossy and high-shine, pigmented, long-wearing

Products to Stock-Up On

These are your favorites, but this is a little list of basics that we sometimes blank on but often have a favorite we use quite frequently, so consider what you reach for in these product types:

  • Eyeshadow Primer
  • Lip Balm/Lip Care
  • Foundation
  • Skincare
  • Mascara
  • Shampoo/Conditioner/Sprays
  • Top/Base Coats (for nails)
  • Makeup Remover

Are you indulging in Sephora’s upcoming VIB sale? What’s on your list? What would you recommend to someone?

And if you aren’t a VIB, while Sephora has hinted at upcoming promotions for BIs as well, they haven’t confirmed what that means (could just be more samples, free shipping, etc. or it could be really awesome), Beauty.com’s F&F sale is open to all with 20% off.

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Marc Jacobs Beauty Blue Velvet (132) Enamored Hi-Shine Nail lacquer
Marc Jacobs Beauty Blue Velvet (132) Enamored Hi-Shine Nail lacquer

Marc Jacobs Beauty Blue Velvet (132) Enamored Hi-Shine Nail lacquer ($18.00 for 0.43 fl. oz.) is described as an “iridescent deep ocean blue.” It’s a rich, medium-dark blue with very fine, metallic bluish-teal shimmer and a slightly shiny finish. It was fully opaque in two coats, but it was nearly opaque in just one, so it was quite pigmented. The formula applied evenly and smoothly, and though it seemed rather metallic, I didn’t have issues with brush strokes. The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin. NARS Night Flight (LE, $19.00) is much darker, while China Glaze Manhunt (LE, $8.00) is brighter and a cream. China Glaze Blue Bells (LE, $8.00) is brighter and lighter. Zoya Song (P, $8.00) is brighter. See comparison swatches.

Sally (130) Enamored Hi-Shine Nail lacquer ($18.00 for 0.43 fl. oz.) is described as an “iridescent blackened green.” It’s a deep, dark blackened green–an inky green almost–with emerald green micro-shimmer. It was opaque in two coats, and the consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin, so the polish applied evenly and smoothly without pooling along the edges. It dried down to a naturally shiny finish. NARS Night Porter (LE, $19.00) is warmer. Illamasqua Kink (LE, $17.00) has no shimmer and has a rubber finish. Zoya Ray (P, $8.00) is brighter but similar. Butter London British Racing Green (P, $15.00) is lighter–not as blackened. See comparison swatches.

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Blue Velvet (132)

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10/10

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10/10

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9.5/10

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9.5/10

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5/5

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Sally (130)

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10/10

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10/10

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9.5/10

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9.5/10

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5/5

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Monday, November 4th, 2013

Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Charm Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer
Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Charm Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer

Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Charm (112) Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.43 oz.) is described as a “rosy copper metallic shimmer.” It shifts between a soft, coppery peach and a more genuine rose gold–I found it to be a chameleon and really a color that changed depending on the angle, amount of light, and the color of the lighting. The finish was heavily frosted and metallic, so the dry down had some shine but a top coat would be recommended for a really great finish. There were a few, very, very subtle brush strokes that I could detect, but only if I looked closely and there was a lot of light. It was very nearly opaque after two coats. I went through other copper, orange, and peach-hued polishes that I’ve reviewed in the past, but I couldn’t find anything that was similar.

Petra (140) Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.43 oz.) is described as a “dirty bronze metallic shimmer.” It’s a cool-toned, purplish-gray taupe with copper and bronze metallic shimmer. I didn’t detect any brush strokes no matter the angle or lighting situation with this one, and it was fully opaque after two coats. If I was a normal person and reach for a color over and over again, I could easily see this becoming a go-to for fall/winter (I might, in fact, make it my go to for my toes this season at least!). I thought Illamasqua Facet (LE, $17.00) might be similar but it is lighter and warmer in a way. See comparison swatches.

So far, I’ve had good luck with Marc Jacobs’ formula in regards to wear–lasting between seven and ten days with minor tip wear but no chipping–but almost no formula chips on me. It did seem to wear slightly longer than the average polish did on me.  Both polishes had a nice consistency that wasn’t too thick or too thin, so both applied evenly, smoothly, and didn’t pool along the edges.  The more metallic finish also helped both shades dry faster than the average polish.

The Glossover

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Le Charm (112)

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9.5/10

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9.5/10

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9.5/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Dupes
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product

Petra (140)

A+

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9.5/10

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5/5

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Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Marc Jacobs Beauty for Holiday 2013
Marc Jacobs Beauty for Holiday 2013

After unveiling one of the most sought-after beauty collections in decades, Marc Jacobs has followed-up with an array of exclusive items, just in time for holiday gifting. As with his fashion, Marc’s rule-breaking creativity is at the heart of his makeup vision. For him, it’s about the spirit of youth, confidence and experimentation, and holiday 2013 is no different. From statement-making lips and provocative eyes, to a decadent ensemble of must-haves, each item is quintessentially Marc.

LoveMarc Collection ($350.00, $490 value) (Limited Edition)

Showcased in a lacquered box, this limited edition set features a wardrobe of twelve long-wearing LoveMarc Lip Gel shades, including one new shade, Showstopper – the ultimate Marc Jacobs red.

Showstopper collection ($89.00, $216 value)

Indulge in this decadent set of beauty essentials encased in a patent leather makeup bag patterned in the iconic faille. The set includes Lash Lifter Gel Volume Mascara, Magic Marc’er Precision Pen Eyeliner, Honey EDP Mini Rollerball, plus limited edition shades of Lust for Lacquer Lip Vinyl (Kiss This) and Style Eye-Con No. 3 Plush Shadow Palette (The Star).

Lightshow Luminizing Powder ($59.00) (Limited Edition)

This luxurious, limited edition luminizing powder offers a subtle bronzing effect with a blend of four luminous shades in one compact. The powder design is inspired by the fishnet pattern seen in the Marc Jacobs fall 2013 runway show.

  • Close-Up (302) Brightening

LoveMarc Lip Gel ($30.00)

  • Showstopper (134) Classic Red

Tonite Lights Glitter Dust ($32.00)

Perfect for the spotlight seekers, this longwearing and light-catching sparkling eyeshadow glides on with a featherweight and velvety sparkle.

  • Stagelight Sheer silver veil
  • Ultraviolet Light Intense metallic purple
  • Blacklight Intense metallic black

Availability: Now @ Sephora

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Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Illamasqua Apocalips Lipstick Sleek Sunset Eyeshadow Palette Inglot #434 Marc Jacobs Th(ink) Giorgio Armani #701 Giorgio Armani #701 NARS Taj Mahal Cult Nails You're My Dandy Lion Fyrinnae Parental Advisory OCC Jubilee Illamasqua Stranger

October is a time that reminds me to be brave; to not be afraid of bold, unusual colors. Halloween is an often excuse to play with color in ways we’ve never felt comfortable doing so the rest of the year, but it also serves as a great reminder to: experiment more. play more. go outside of our comfort zone. embrace the unknown. thirst for something different. These are a few of my favorite more unique and unusual shades that I’ve come across, and I hope you’ll share your own unusual finds with me!

  1. Illamasqua Apocalips is a vivid, medium-dark blue-teal with a matte finish. I love the unusual color, but what I love even more is that it still applies and wears fairly well. It’s definitely a show-stopping color!
  2. Sleek Sunset Palette is a budget-friendly palette that’s top-to-bottom fantastic. No duds in the bunch; not only is this a feat for an eyeshadow palette in general, but to do so at under $15? It’s quite unusual!
  3. Inglot #434 is a cool-toned, purplish taupe–a glorious mix of purple, gray, and brown for something infinitely complex, bold but neutral.
  4. Marc Jacobs Beauty Th(ink) is a bold, cool-toned violet purple with a pearly shimmer that really opens up the eye–and it is a shade that had many, many readers asking, “What are you wearing?” Purple eyeliners that can be applied with opaque, rich color are hard to come by, but Th(ink) makes a strong case for one that does.
  5. Giorgio Armani #701 is a cool-toned, sheer bluish-purple gloss filled with blue and violet shimmer. It’s very intriguing on its own, but it can be layered over lipstick for a different look.
  6. NARS Taj Mahal is bold, bright, but not totally over-the-top, and it’s more of a tangerine than a full-on orange with red tones, so it has more golden, yellowy undertones.
  7. Cult Nails You’re My Dandy Lion is a warm, buttery yellow with a cream finish–and lo and behold, it applies beautifully. It’s practically a unicorn among polish!
  8. Fyrinnae Parental Advisory is a bold, bright, royal purple like I haven’t seen before. It’s so vibrant and pigmented–if you are a fiend for purple eyeshadow, it is a must-have.
  9. OCC Jubilee is a pale, aqua-green with a blue-purple duochrome. It’s metallic, shimmering, and reflective. I love the way the color shifts as you move, as it is layered over other products, and will lean one way or another depending on what is paired with.
  10. Illamasqua Stranger is a green-ish gold gloss with a high-shine finish, lots of metallic shimmer, and it is a shade that changes as you move.

I hope you’ll consider sharing your must-haves for October in the comments! Here’s a quickie list to get you started…

Must-Have Eye Products:
Must-Have Cheek/Face Products:
Must-Have Lip Products:
Must-Have Hair/Skin Products:

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Marc Jacobs Beauty The Mod (112) Style Eye-Con No. 3 Palette
Marc Jacobs Beauty The Mod (112) Style Eye-Con No. 3 Palette

Marc Jacobs Beauty The Mod (112) Style Eye-Con No. 3 Palette ($42.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a trio of eyeshadows with a smoky, monochromatic vibe. The formula in these is supposed to “allow true, instant color payoff and long-lasting, plush performance.” The three eyeshadows vary in size, with the lightest being the largest and the darkest being the smallest. The white eyeshadow is the best performer, as it is pigmented and had a good texture, while the other two were less impressive and required some extra work/patience to get to work just right. I think the palette is a rather basic set of shades, so it’s a real shame this didn’t knock it out of the park–because a good smoky eye palette is always a nice color combination for a permanent range.

The Mod #1 is described as an “eggshell white.” It’s a neutral-toned white with a satin finish; it’s not a stark, bright white, but it’s not so warm that it looks more ivory than white. It had really nice color payoff, though the texture was just slightly powdery (but it was easy to blend). MAC This or That #1 is warmer. theBalm Metal-ica is more shimmery. Urban Decay Venus is more ivory-colored. Giorgio Armani Open is similar. See comparison swatches.

The Mod #2 is described as a “black with iridescent shimmer.” It’s a medium-dark matte black with silver and teal iridescent shimmer. The color payoff was good, but the texture was slightly dry and stiffer to work with than many of the other Marc Jacobs’ eyeshadows I’ve played with, so it does take extra work to blend it out on the lid. theBalm Guilty Gwen is more frosted. NARS Night Breed is more matte. Lancome The New Black is similar. Illamasqua Zeitgeist is also similar. Chanel Mirifique is more sparkly, cream. Sugarpill Stella is very similar. See comparison swatches.

The Mod #3 is described as a “light grayish taupe.” It’s a pale, cool-toned gray with hints of purple and a satiny sheen. It had decent color payoff, but this shade was somewhat powdery and slightly dry, so it was difficult to achieve opaque, lasting color. This one was prone to fading after six hours of wear. NARS Namibia is matte. Disney What’s It is lighter. MAC Silver Gull is sparkly. Giorgio Armani Moonlight White #2 is similar. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

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The Mod (112)

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I think the palette is a rather basic set of shades, so it's a real shame this didn't knock it out of the park--because a good smoky eye palette is always a nice color combination for a permanent range.

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8.5/10

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9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

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The Mod #1

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9/10

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10/10

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9/10

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The Mod #2

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8.5/10

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9/10

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8/10

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8.5/10

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4/5

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