Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wish List Wednesday - August 28, 2013

Wish List Wednesday 8-28-13
1. Reve de Miel Honey Lip Balm - after 2 friends piped up that this was their HG balm, I decided I need to check it out!
2. Girligo by Soap & Glory - lotion and that fabulous S&G fragrance in one?  Yes, please!
3. Red Trench Coat.  I can't stop thinking about how much I need one of these in my life!
4. Estee Lauder Pure Color Eyeshadow Duo in Raisins.  This has been on my wish list for years.  The shadows look to have an almost gel-like consistency and the colors in the duo are right up my alley!
5. Lush Creamy Candy Bubble Bar.  I used my last one up and I have to get another one!  It was the best smelling bath ever and my skin was so nourished I didn't need to put on lotion afterwards!  YAY!

What are some items getting your heart rate up this fine Wednesday?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

REVIEW! | Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation in Medium Ivory

What can I say about Laura Mercier's Silk Creme Foundation besides I LOVE IT?  Hmm.  That may actually sum it up in full!  LMSC is something I've been wanting to test drive for a long time.  Earlier this summer, when I got some sun and my current foundation options were all way too light, I finally picked it up.
The foundation comes in a handy-dandy squeeze tube, making it's lack of glass packaging a real traveller's treat.  As I said previously, I bought the shade Medium Ivory when I had more color earlier in the summer and had no foundations that matched my new skin tone.  I'd morphed from NW20 to somewhere between NW30-35.  Oddly enough, even though my tan has completely faded, Medium Ivory is still a perfect match!  My skin is typically MAC NW20, NARS Deauville (Sheer Glow), and Revlon ColorStay in Buff Beige for point of reference.

Below I've swatched it on my NW20 arm in indoor lighting and with a flash.  You can really see the gloriousness of the matte finish in the flash shot!  The matte has some life and doesn't look overly "done" or powdery.

This foundation is so unique in that there's literally no wrong way to apply it.  Fingers, wet sponge, dry sponge, dry brush, wet brush, kabuki brush, flat brush - I've tried every application and it comes out flawlessly every. single. time.  I have never been able to apply base using a flat foundation brush and not see streaks and general creepiness that has to be smoothed out with fingers until I tried it with the Silk Creme.  It came out beautifully; no streaks, no brush strokes, nothing needed to be blended down.  The coverage is on the medium-to-full side, but it feels completely weightless and...well, silky!  This foundation lasts beautifully all day on my combo/oily skin.

Onto the face swatches!  I had a seriously angry chin blemish (a "chemish"?) when I took these, so just try to ignore it! :)  Here's my face sans makeup.
Below I'm wearing Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation only - no primer, concealer, or powder.

As you can see, it gives my skin an almost airbrushed look, which makes me REALLY happy!
This is one of my favorite foundations ever, and I am pretty picky about foundation.  The fuller coverage without the heavy feel combined with the completely fuss-free application makes it a total rock star in my book!

My Rating: A
Where to Buy: Laura MercierSephora

Below is a complete list of the makeup used in the look above, in case anyone's curious!
Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation in Medium Ivory
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla (full review here)
MAC Select Cover-Up in NW25
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium

MAC Powder Blush in Prism (matte)
Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer

NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base
MAC Phloof! (tear duct and brow bone highlight)
MAC Quarry (lid and crease)
MAC Sumptuous Olive (lid and outer crease)
MAC Pearlglide Intense Eyeliner in Lord it Up
Maybelline Lash Discovery in Black
Benefit Bad Gal Lash in Rich Black

Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25 in Black Tea & Raspberry
MAC Lipstick in Smash Hit (glitter)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Weekend Wrap-Up

How was your weekend?  I had a great one!  I had some fun with Jason and my mom, and I got a lot of stuff done!
Friday I depotted MAC eyeshadows for the first time by following this wonderful tutorial.  After I slowed down and realized there was a right and wrong place to pry the shadow open, it was really easy!  One thing I'd add to the supply list would be bandages.  Ya know, in case you're like me and just claw and pry at things like an animal until you accidentally stab yourself in the hand (twice) with sharp plastic bits.  Actual blood was shed, guys!  I was going Hulkamaniac on it!  These pythons were running wild on that eyeshadow pot!
After the learning curve of eyeshadow #1, it was totally smooth sailing easiness!  Now I have a nice looking palette and 3 empty pots to add to my Back to MAC stash.  For anyone who isn't familiar with the program, MAC will give you a free lipstick for every 6 empty MAC containers you send in to the website or bring in to a counter.  It's a great recycling program with a nice little reward!
I've started seeing the new Fall Bath & Body Works candles popping up on the interwebs and that's got me really pumped!  There's one in particular I really want to sniff called Sweater Weather!  I mean, how perfect is that name?  Anywho, I have a few 3 wick candles with very little left in the proverbial tank so I thought it would be good to upcycle them before I buy new ones.  I followed this tutorial:
In the past I've put them in the freezer to loosen the last of the wax, but this warm water melty method worked even better!  You put a pan of water on the stove on low heat and set the candles in it.  The wax melts on the bottom and the sides which allows it to pop right out into the trash can!  You wipe the rest of the melted wax out with dry paper towels and then go at it with soap and water.  After vigorous cleaning, you have some really nice jars that can be used to store anything your little heart desires.  I'm using mine to store q-tips and cotton balls.  They'd also make great brush holders!
The labels will soak right off, but I decided to leave a few on because I like the design.  If I ever tire of them, I can easily soak the labels off in warm water or just simply turn the labels toward the wall.  Lazy fix for the win! ;) 

Last but not least, I washed my brushes.  
For some reason, this task always relaxes me.  I do love starting the week off with clean brushes!

How was your weekend?  Did you do anything fun or cross anything off your to do list?

Friday, August 16, 2013

FAVORITES! | August 2013

Since it's been awhile since I've posted a monthly faves, I thought I'd giddy up since we're nearly through with August!  Where is the time going?!  The summer is almost kaput!  

Freeman Feeling Beautiful Dead Sea Minerals Facial Anti-Stress Mask:  This is one of the best drugstore finds!  If you have oily skin like me and want something that will deep cleanse your pores, this mask is a champ!  I've had some really crazy breakouts lately stemming from a bad decision I made to apply an oil to my face.  Unfortunately, I'd forgotten that I'd already tried this about a year or two ago and the oil had made my face explode in a bevy of pimpled madness!  I didn't remember my previous experience until the first 5 (of 11!!!) break outs came flying to the surface of my skin.  Oy!  This mask has been wonderful for drying out the 11 monsters-of-rock blemishes and ensuring no new ones creep up.  This mask is a really fun turquoise blue color on the skin, and I'm all about an added hit of fun!

MAC Select Cover-Up in NW25: Continuing my earlier mentions about my current blemish sitch, this concealer has been THE BOMB!  I had to get something thick enough to cover the plethora of problems I had going on that would stay put.  This stuff is fantastic!  I've been applying it with a concealer brush and setting it with my go-to daily bud MSFN, and at the end of the (long hot summer) day, my blemishes are still covered and the concealer hasn't cracked, slid, or oxidized.  If you have any redness, marks, scars, or blemishes that you want to keep under wraps without it looking like you've piled on the concealer, this stuff could be a big help to you!  I'd compare the coverage to that of Benefit's Erase Paste, but this is in a handy squeeze tube and is a little creamier.  Full review soon!

No Lift Nails Avocado "E" Cuticle Oil: After mooning over the nails/cuticles of Amber from Beauty Junkies Unite, I followed her advice and starting using cuticle oil every night.  I dispense a single drop onto each of my cuticles and massage it in following my nightly hand cream.  I have really noticed a huge difference in my cuticles!  They aren't dry and raggedy any more!  I have never found a cuticle conditioner that I was that crazy about before, but I love this cuticle oil!  I found mine at Sally Beauty Supply for about $5 bucks.  It only contains three ingredients: avocado oil, almond oil, and vitamin E.  The squeeze bottle allows just the right amount to be dispensed every time, and because it contains almond oil, it smells like sweet, delicious amaretto!

LUSH Bubblegum Lip Scrub: Best. Lip scrub. Evah!  It tastes like cotton candy or those bright orange circus peanuts candy (it smells exactly like the Snow Fairy Body Wash and Creamy Candy Bubble Bar, if you're familiar with either of those Lush products).  It removes dead skins cells and leaves your lips feeling silky smooth and dreamy.  I could eat with a spoon.  If this flavor isn't your jam, they have a few other flavor options that may tickle your fancy.  This is one of my all-time favorite products and something I've repurchased four times.  

Nivea Caramel Cream Kiss Lip Butter: One of my favorite balms ever, Nivea Lip Butters are very hydrating without being overly greasy.  I love the tins, too, because they fit so nicely in shallow desk drawers or small purses.  When I get done exfoliating at night, I slather this on before bed and wake up with happy, moisturized lips!  The Caramel Cream Kiss has been my favorite flavor (of the 4 available) the past few months because it smells like a heavenly dessert but doesn't have any taste, which is good because I would end up eating it right off my lips.

MAC Tan Pigment: "I can't stop...and I won't stop...can't you see it's we who own the night...can't you see it's we who 'bout that life?"  Sorry, I was originally going to type "I can't stop using this!" but then the Miley Cyrus started up and I, literally, couldn't stop!  This pigment is awesome!  I think it's the most flattering, prettiest shade ever and that would look beautiful on the fairest to the deepest skin tones.  It's SO easy, too!  I sweep on a little highlight shadow (UD Virgin, UD Bootycall, or MAC Phloof!) on the brow bone, sweep on the Tan pigment, and blend it through the crease with a fluffy blending brush.  Voila - DONE!  It's such a simple process but because Tan is so multi-faceted, it looks like you really put a lot of effort into your eye makeup!  [Full review here.]

What's your favorite easy eye look?  What's your all-time #1 lip balm?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

REVIEW! | MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium was first mentioned in my April 2013 Favorites post.  A little over four months have passed and it's the product I've used without fail every single day!  I figured it was high time I wrote up a proper review since it's a product that's near and dear to my heart. 
I was originally reluctant to try it because I was thrown by the word "Mineralize", which typically translates to "shimmeralize".  If you have oily skin like me, the last trait you look for in a setting powder is shimmer.  I'm a matte gal; mad for matte, if you will.  Well, at least when it comes to setting powder.  The Mineralize Skinfinish Natural (hereinafter "MSFN") is everything I'd been looking for; it finishes and sets my makeup without caking while providing a natural matte finish.  It was love at first try!  Medium has suited me regardless of being "winter pale" (NW20) all the way through having a serious dose of summer color thanks to the sun and repeated uses of Beautisol.  
The powder is finely milled and silky.  I like to apply mine with a dense powder brush (I use the Sonia Kashuk powder brush from the $14.99 Brush Couture set at Target); I swirl it over the powder, swirl it around in the lid to distribute the powder evenly onto the brush, and then I sweep it on after I've applied foundation and concealer.  It's also a great help if you find that you've gotten a little too crazy with your blush; just tamp some MSFN over your cheeks for an instant tone-down!
Wearing MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium as a setting powder
Being a makeup lover, I often buy different things to see if the grass is greener.  "Can that powder mattify better than this one?", "Is that coral blush longer lasting than this one?", and so on.  That being said, I haven't even looked in the direction of another powder since I started using the MSFN.  The day I hit pan on this lovely little dome o' awesomeness, I will be heading to the MAC site to pick up a new one!  
MAC has a whole slew of highlighting powders called Mineralize Skinfinishes, so just be aware to specify Mineralize Skinfinish Natural if you're looking for matte!  I absolutely LOVE this powder; it's one of the best purchases I've made this year and something I cannot recommend enough.  :)

My Rating: A+
Cost: $30.00 USD for 10 grams
Where to Buy: MAC

What's your favorite setting powder?  Have you found your HG?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Mani Monday: Le Charm Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer

This nail polish rocks.  It's like MAC Tan Pigment, all molten coppery-champagne shimmering goodness, in polish form! 
My mom and I were cruising the aisles of Sephora this weekend and happened upon the new display for Marc Jacobs Beauty.  Everything is simplistically designed with clear glass and shiny black plastic "belted" with silver bands.  It's quite striking.  
Image credit to @heatherbickford
I was especially drawn to the nail polishes.  I love the bottle design!  They're slightly shorter than Essie bottles and about the same height as butter London's.  They're smooth and rounded, like river pebbles, and fit square in the palm of your hand.  Like polishes from butter London, Dior, and Chanel, the cap pops off to reveal a smaller brush handle.
My mom treated me to a polish (awww!  I know!  She's awesome!) and I selected Le Charm because it was so pretty and unlike anything else in my polish collection.  Le Charm is described as a rosy copper metallic shimmer, and that is spot-on.  This is typically the kind of eyeshadow color I like to wear.  On the nail, this color looks like thousands of gold and copper pigments layered on top of each other.  
I get full coverage in one coat - yes, ONE! - and there are no brush strokes in sight!  The brush itself is similar to OPI in that it's thick but not flat and isn't overly long.  Application is a cinch!
All of the Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquers are supposed to be superior polish with the shine of 30 coats of lacquer.  I think it's harder to judge a glossy shine on a metallic polish, but it definitely gleams and is perfectly smooth with or without a top coat.  I found Le Charm dried extremely fast which always adds extra points in my mind!
I am extremely impressed with this polish and will definitely be checking out some of the others in the 24 color collection.

My Rating: A+

Cost: $18.00 USD

Where to Buy: Sephora

Have you tried anything from the new Marc Jacobs Beauty collection?  Are there any Fall collections that you're particularly pumped about?  

I'm so ready for Fall!!!  Fall here in Atlanta is typically fleeting (usually just a few weeks), but it's such sweet relief after sweating for three months from 90+ degree (35 celsius average) temperatures with 100% humidity.  Sometimes the air is so heavy with humidity you can feel a film forming on your skin within a minute or two of being outside.  The air is so thick it's practically drinkable.  I can't wait for 62 degrees and pumpkin-flavored coffee drinks!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

REVIEW! | Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24H Foundation in 210 Buff

Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24H Foundation, $45.00 for 1 oz, is a full coverage matte foundation with a smooth, velvety finish.  It's a great full coverage option that doesn't feel heavy or cakey.  It's completely matte, which is great for those who just prefer the matte look or prefer to add shimmer either with their color products (hello MAC Mineralize Skinfinish and Milani Baked Blush!) or by adding an illuminator to their foundation (MAC Lustre Drops, NARS Illuminators).
The packaging is pretty; a frosted glass bottle with a pump for dispensing the perfect amount of product without the mess.  Pump up the jam!
Unblended / Blended
I'm wearing Teint Idole Ultra in the photos below.  I'm wearing Too Faced Sweethearts Blush on my cheeks in both shots so that's adding a bit of shimmer there.  As you can see on my forehead, nose, and chin, the coverage is completely matte.  I am not wearing setting powder in either shot.
The full coverage formula covers my spots and dots without looking like a makeup mask and the foundation feels breathable and comfortable.  I've definitely had issues with other full coverage liquid foundations feeling like they were sliding down my face after a few hours of wear.  Not with Teint Idole Ultra!  It feels like a light coverage foundation or tinted moisturizer but lasts all day without creeping.

You get the same amount as a bottle of Revlon ColorStay but the Lancome comes with a pump.  I've found the Lancome has more coverage than ColorStay and doesn't give the skin a powdery look.  Teint Idole Ultra does contain SPF 15, so there is minor flashback in photos.  For regular everyday wear, it's a champ!

My Rating: A
Where to Buy: Lancome, Sephora

What's your favorite full coverage foundation?