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Cult Nails Midnight Masquerade Collection

Cult Nails Masquerade Nail Lacquer
Cult Nails Masquerade Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Midnight Masquerade Collection ($24.00 for 3 x 0.50 fl. oz.) consists of three full-sized polishes. Note, there are only 500 sets available, and the colors must be purchased together as a set of three to take advantage of the pre-order pricing. The set is $24 between now and November 14th, and any remaining polishes will be sold individually at full price ($12 each). Cult Nails’ formula is one of my favorites, because it’s long-wearing, pigmented, and a lot of the shades have a naturally high-shine finish (no need for a top coat).

Masquerade is described as a “green [with] color shifting micro-glitter that blends from emerald to gold to magenta.” It’s a cool-toned green with a bluish tinge and then the color-shifting micro-glitter that sparkles from gold to rose gold to magenta to green. It’s a total joy to wear, really, because at any angle, you’ll see the micro-glitter dance, sparkle, and change. It was mostly opaque after two coats, but if enough light catches underneath my nail, it shows a little visible nail line. The consistency was on the thinner side, so be sure to wipe off excess so that you don’t over-apply in a single coat. The dry down was somewhat shiny but a top coat would be recommended. I couldn’t think of a dupe for this.

Midnight Mist is described as an “olive toned base with an intense copper/golden shimmer.” It’s a muted, olive brown with very fine copper shimmer. The finish almost looks metallic, but the shimmer is fine enough that it reads more like a pearled finish. There were very, very slight brush strokes sometimes visible, depending on the angle. It was opaque in two coats. Chanel Mysterious (601) (P, $27.00) is darker, cream. Rescue Beauty Lounge Scrangie 2.0 (LE, $20.00) is more shimmery. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Ripley (P, $10.00) is greener, more metallic. SpaRitual Lithophonic (LE, $10.00) is much darker. Rescue Beauty Lounge Turn It Around (LE, $20.00) is similar but a warmer, greener hue and the shimmer is larger. Cult Nails In a Trance (LE, $12.00) is warmer, greener, less shimmery. See comparison swatches.

Ms. Conduct is described as a “rich taupe creme.” It’s a deep, dark taupe with neutral-to-cool undertones and a high-shine, cream finish. It has impeccable glossiness even without a top coat. The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin, and the color was fully opaque in nearly one coat (but I used two coats in the swatches). Urban Decay Gunmetal (LE) is similar. Chanel Western Light (LE, $27.00) is darker. Zoya Codie (P, $8.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Cult Nails Nail Lacquer Masquerade
Masquerade
Masquerade
A

Limited Edition

9.5
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
94%
Total
Cult Nails Nail Lacquer Midnight Mist
A

Limited Edition

9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
10
Longevity
4.5
Application
94%
Total
Cult Nails Nail Lacquer Ms. Conduct
Ms. Conduct
Ms. Conduct
A

Limited Edition

10
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
98%
Total

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A Few of My Favorite Things – 16 Beauty Indulgences Worth the Splurge


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.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Blue Velvet & Sally Enamored Hi-Shine Nail lacquers

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.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Lacquer Blue Velvet (132)
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
9.5
Longevity
5
Application
98%
Total
Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Lacquer Sally (130)
Sally (130)
Sally (130)
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
9.5
Longevity
5
Application
98%
Total

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Makeup Geek Cinderella, Cupcake, Burlesque, Bitten Eyeshadows

Makeup Geek Cinderella Eyeshadow
Makeup Geek Cinderella Eyeshadow

Makeup Geek Cinderella Eyeshadow Eyeshadow ($5.99 for 0.064 oz.) is described as a “pale shimmery pink.” It’s a light-medium, peachy-beige with a frosted finish. In the pan, there is an almost pink tint, but it wasn’t visible when swatched–if you have significantly pink undertones, you might see it come through on your skin. It had good color payoff, and the texture was soft, blendable, though a smidgen powdery. It wore well for eight and a half hours without creasing or fading. Tom Ford Beauty In the Pink #2 is lighter, less warm-toned. (LE) theBalm Third Eye Blinded (P, $16.00) is lighter. NARS Nepal (P, $24.00) is similar. MAC Jete (LE, $15.00) is pinker. Estee Lauder Violet Underground #3 (LE, $21.00) is lighter. MAC Jest is a little lighter. See comparison swatches.

Cupcake Eyeshadow Eyeshadow ($5.99 for 0.064 oz.) is described as a “matte medium pink.” It’s a muted, medium pink with neutral-to-warm undertones and a matte finish. The texture was soft and finely-milled, and it had so-so color payoff; it tended to sheer out when applied, so it was best applied by patting on and only blending the edges. It lasted for seven and a half hours and then showed signs of fading. NARS Douce France #2 (LE, $24.00) is lighter. MAC Endless Passion (P, $21.00) is cooler-toned. MAC Sushi Flower (P, $15.00) is darker, brighter. See comparison swatches.

Burlesque Eyeshadow Eyeshadow ($5.99 for 0.064 oz.) is described as a “deep metallic burgundy.” It’s a muted, dark maroon with warm, brown undertones and a soft, frosted finish. It had nice color payoff, and the texture was soft and blendable. It wore well for eight and a half hours without fading or creasing. Chanel Seduction #1 (LE) is lighter. theBalm Alice Copper (P, $16.00) is darker, cooler-toned. MAC Idyllic (LE, $18.00) is a cream product. MAC Cranberry (P, $15.00) is similar–slightly cooler-toned. MAC Brazenly (LE, $15.00) is darker, purpler. Inglot #452 (P, $6.00) is similar in color but more metallic. See comparison swatches.

Bitten Eyeshadow Eyeshadow ($5.99 for 0.064 oz.) is described as a “matte deep maroon red.” It’s a muted, neutral-to-warm red with a matte finish. It had good pigmentation, and though the texture was soft and easy to blend on the lid, it was powdery. Use a lighter touch to initially grab the eyeshadow, and you may want to tap off the excess, and then pat onto the lid to minimize fall out. It wore well for eight hours before showing slight signs of fading. NARS Douce France #3 (LE, $24.00) is cooler-toned, brighter. See comparison swatches.

Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Cinderella
Cinderella
Cinderella
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
93%
Total
Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Cupcake
Cupcake
Cupcake
8.5
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
8
Longevity
4.5
Application
84%
Total
Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Burlesque
Burlesque
Burlesque
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
96%
Total
Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Bitten
Bitten
Bitten
9
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
7.5
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
87%
Total

Laura Mercier Holiday 2013 Gifting Collection

Laura Mercier Holiday 2013 Collection
Laura Mercier Holiday 2013 Collection

Petite Baked Eye Colour Bonbons ($25.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Amethyst Trio
  • Bronze Trio
  • Emerald Trio

Luxe Colour Wardrobe Dual Decker Colour for Eye & Cheeks ($125.00) (Limited Edition)

Laura Mercier’s ultimate holiday accessory features a range of products that will leave your eyes and cheeks flawlessly glowing. Palette includes:

  • Eight eyeshadows in Morning Dew matte, Coffee Ground matte, African Violet luster, Ballerina Pink sateen, Deep Night matte, Dusk luster, Sable sateen and Crystal Beige luster.
  • Three Tightline Cake eyeliners in Black Ebony, Ground Espresso and Bleu Marine.
  • Two Second Skin cheek colors in Barely Pink and Heather Pink.
  • Face highlighter in Golden Shimmer.
  • Longwear Crème eye pencil in Espresso.
  • Double-Ended Crease/Smudge brush.
  • Travel Pony Tail brush.
  • Travel Flat eyeliner brush.
  • Instructional insert.

Color to Go Eye, Lip & Cheek Palette ($50.00)

  • Natural Nudes
  • Smoky Violet

Artist Palette ($48.00) (Limited Edition, Sephora Exclusive)

Enclosed in a luxurious textured, chocolate brown case, this complete compact includes a large mirror and 12 eye colors hand selected by Laura Mercier. Mix and match for endless eye looks. 0.03 oz x 12 in Eye Colour in Sparkling Dew, Guava, African Violet, Plum Smoke, Kir Royal, Violet Ink, Vanilla Nuts, Primrose, Fresco, Bamboo, Truffle, Espresso Bean.

Luxe Travel Brush Collection ($125.00) (Limited Edition)

The Laura Mercier travel brush collection features a chic clutch filled with nine go-to brushes for perfect makeup application while you’re on the go. Full-size cheek color brush. Secret Camouflage/Camouflage powder brush. Allover Eye Color/Pony Tail brush. Eye Crease/Smudge brush. Flat Eyeline/Angled eyeliner brush.

Line & Define Mini Longwear Creme Eye Pencil Collection ($45.00) (Limited Edition)

Cover your eyes in luminous color with a sampler pack of Longer Crème eye pencils by Laura Mercier. Includes: Violet, Espresso, Noir, Sage, Cobalt.

Shimmer Effects Mini Caviar Stick Eye Colour Collection ($40.00) (Limited Edition)

Includes Pink Opal, Amethyst, Rosegold, Sugar Frost.

Mini Lip Glace Collection ($48.00) (Limited Edition

  • Bare Nudes
  • Bold Brights

Souffle Body Creme Sampler ($60.00) (Limited Edition)

Includes Ambre Vanille, Almond Coconut Milk, Creme de Pistache, and Fresh Fig.

Bath & Body Travel Quartet ($50.00) (Limited Edition)

Crème body wash (3 oz.): pour onto washcloth and gently lather onto skin before rinsing. Body butter (3 oz.): a richly moisturizing butter that naturally soothes and protects your skin. Hand crème (1 oz.): warm crème in hands and massage into skin. Eau Gourmande (0.5 oz.): spray on your skin as desired. Available in Tarte Au Citron or Fresh Fig.

Body & Bath Duet ($48.00) (Limited Edition)

Indulge in the ultimate luxury of a warm, fragranced bath. These softly scented bath salts work to melt away the stresses of the day, while the Soufflé Body Crème exfoliates, softens and soothes skin. Available in Almond Coconut Milk or Creme Brulee.

Hand Creme Sampler Collection ($28.00) (Limited Edition)

Give hands a luxurious taste of ultra-rich and velvety hydration. Set includes: Fresi Fig, Creme Brulee, Almond Coconut Milk, and Creme de Pistache.

Body & Bath Luxe Quartet ($80.00) (Limited Edition)

Indulge and escape with Laura’s luxe quartet in three delectable gourmande scents, which contains Honey Bath, Body Scrub, Souffle Body Crème and a candle. Available in Almond Coconut Milk, Creme Brulee, or Ambre Vanille.

Votive Candle Sampler Collection ($65.00) (Limited Edition)

Get warm and cozy for the holidays with four of Laura’s delicious votives. Set includes Creme Brulee, Fresh Fig, Ambre Vanille, Tarte au Citron.

Availability: Nordstrom, Sephora, Neiman Marcus

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Chanel Rouge Rubis Le Vernis Nail Lacquer

Chanel Rouge Rubis Le Vernis Nail Lacquer
Chanel Rouge Rubis Le Vernis Nail Lacquer

Chanel Rouge Rubis Le Vernis Nail Lacquer ($27.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as a “vivid red.” It’s a brilliantly bright, medium red with neutral undertones–balanced between warm and cool. Sometimes it looks almost warm-toned, and then it would look cool-toned; it’s very well-balanced. The texture is more jelly than it is cream, and it had such a naturally high-shine finish. It was opaque in two coats.  I normally get a week of wear with Chanel’s polish (but almost nothing chips on me), though I know that Chanel’s formula can be hit or miss for many!

There are plenty of similar shades, since it is a rather opaque red! It really depends on whether you’re looking for a perfectly neutral red or don’t mind one that leans cool or warm. MAC RiRi Woo (LE, $16.00) is cooler-toned, cream. MAC Touch of Red (LE, $16.00) is similar. MAC Russian Red (LE, $16.00) is cooler-toned. MAC Flaming Rose (P, $16.00) is pinker. Guerlain Champs-Elysees (P, $23.00) is slightly pinker.Dior Marilyn (LE, $26.00) is darker. Cult Nails Evil Queen (P, $12.00) is very similar. China Glaze Hey Sailor (LE, $8.00) is cooler-toned. Zoya Sooki (P, $8.00) is warmer. Essie Silken Cord (LE, $8.00) is cooler-toned. See comparison swatches.

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour Rouge Rubis
Rouge Rubis
Rouge Rubis
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
94%
Total

See more photos!

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