Bright Summer Lip Looks

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Today I thought I would share a quick roundup of some of my favorite bright lip colors for summer. I find that bright colors are so much fun for lips in the summer, especially since I tend to wear less makeup everywhere else due to the heat. I think these colors help liven up the complexion and make me look more put together.

I picked the Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment in Tulip, Marc Jacobs Lip Creme in Je T'Aime, tarte Amazonian Butter Lipstick in Coral Blossom, YSL Volupte Tint-in-Oil in No 5 Cherry My Cherie, Chanel Glossimer in Amour, and Nars Lip Gloss in Salamanca. See swatches below.

In direct sunlight:

Outdoors in shade:

I hope you enjoyed these favorites. What are some of your favorite summer lippies?

Setting and Refreshing Sprays

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Setting and refreshing sprays are, for me, a huge part of my daily skincare and makeup routine. I think setting sprays help give a little life to your makeup, extend staying power, and also play a huge part in refreshing skin throughout the day. I thought I would share a few of my favorites, as well as how I use them in my routine.

By far, my favorite setting spray that extends the life of my makeup, as well as keeping skin looking fresh, is the Urban Decay Chill Makeup Setting Spray. I love the cooling feeling it imparts on skin when applied. It has definitely helped me balance my combination skin. The cooling effect lasts for a long time and it keeps my t-zone from getting oily, but does not dry out my cheeks. I love that it is not sticky at all and the mister is ultra fine, which helps spray evenly and consistently across the face. I have had to use oil absorbing sheets far less when I use this as my setting spray. Urban Decay makes several other setting sprays as well, which I have yet to try, but do look forward to.

The Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist has a lovely rose scent and is a great setting spray and refresher throughout the day. It is designed to help balance combination skin types. It does have alcohol as a main ingredient, but I find that it is not overly drying, possibly from the aloe it contains as well. It also contains marshmallow, which is an ingredient I find works well for my skin for anti-inflammatory purposes.

The Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray is something that I have repurchased several times now. This is nice because it is oil free. This spray contains aloe as well, which I love as an ingredient, as it provides moisture but does not make me break out. Despite the claims, I do not find it overly moisturizing, which works for my combination skin. If you are drier, I would recommend the Tatcha Luminous instead.

The Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist is a luxury item. I really love the packaging (everything from the Tatcha line has the most beautiful containers), as it comes in a nice glass bottle. I have this in the full size for home and the purse size (shown above) for my bag. This is great as a mist before makeup if you are feeling a bit dry and can also be used after makeup. It is very glowy and will be way too much for oily skin types. I can only spray it on my cheeks, but I love the hydration and luminosity it gives the skin. One bit of caution though - if you spray too much at once, it can get slightly tacky. If you have dry skin, I can see this being a holy grail mist for you.

I bought the L'Occitane Immortelle Precious Mist when I was looking for sprays that did not contain alcohol. I had recently started using retinol and was getting a lot of the dryness associated with that. I use another Immortelle moisturizer from L'Occitane and really like it, so I thought I would try this out. I find that this is very refreshing and has the nice Immortelle smell like the other products from the line. I love using this applied to a Beauty Blender for an afternoon touchup. It is an aerosol and I have accidentally gotten my hair with it a couple of times. That is honestly the only thing I wish was a bit better. The mist is really wide and that makes it a bit more difficult to control.

The Supergoop Defense Refresh Setting Mist with Rosemary is another recent purchase. I was looking for something with SPF that can be applied over makeup (and not ruin it). As part of adding retinol, it is also really important to protect your skin from the sun. As most sunscreens only last a few hours, it is necessary to reapply. The dilemma, of course, is when you are wearing makeup. I don't want to take all of my makeup off to reapply and most sunscreens are lotions that do not go over makeup well at all. I have tried some of the powder sunscreen formulations and did not really like adding that much powder to my skin. The Supergoop Spray has SPF 50, which is on the higher end, a really fresh rosemary scent, and adds a matte finish. Many times, I will layer this with another spray on my cheeks, as it is a bit drying. If you have oily skin, you most likely will not have to do that. So far, it is the best option I have have found for adding SPF later in the day. I did notice that Coola has made an SPF spray and am interested in trying that one to see how it compares.

I hope this roundup of sprays is helpful to you. What are some of your recommendations?

Buxom Full-On Lip Creams and Polishes

Saturday, June 18, 2016

I am a lip gloss person. I'm not sure if that is from gloss being so huge when I was in high school in the late 90s or what the deal is, but it is my preferred lip formula a majority of the time. One of my favorite brands for lip gloss is Buxom. I really like the formula for so many reasons. Buxom has two different types of gloss - one is called Full-On Lip Polish and the other is Full-On Lip Cream. The main difference between the two is shimmer. The Polishes have it and the Creams do not.

Both the Polishes and Creams have a tingly feel that is supposed to give slight plumping effect. I don't really get a huge plumping boost, but I do like the feel of these. They are moisturizing and not overly sticky. They have a great staying power for how shiny they are - I can usually get 3-4 hours out of these depending on how much I eat/drink. The color payoff on these nice - slightly jelly and sheer, but the color is definitely noticeable.  I also love that they do not settle into lip lines. This is especially important for me for the lighter colors, like White Russian. White Russian is what I wish Nars Turkish Delight could have been, as TD settles horribly on me.

I have three of each to show you of my favorites. First will be the creams:

The Lip Polishes are:

Swatches below in full sunlight:

Swatches below in shade:

I honestly cannot say enough great things about these. I wear both the cream and polish formulations all the time. I also love that Buxom puts out sampler sets - many of the ones pictured above have come from various sample sets that I have gotten from them. It is a great way to try the formula and get a multitude of colors. Right now Sephora has a set of the polishes which contains some really cute brights - you get 6 mini polishes for $32. The full size versions are $20 each and retail at Sephora, Ulta, Buxom, etc. What are your favorite glosses?

tarte tartelette tease palette

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The tarte tartlette tease palette was an impulse buy for me in the checkout line. It is super cute and compact and I thought it would be useful to take with me on an upcoming trip. The palette has six colors inside, a mirror, and the pans are decent size.

I really like the neutral color scheme of the palette and the mix of shimmer and matte shades. The two lighter shades on the left perform really well as eyeshadow bases. My main issue with the palette are the shimmer shades in the middle. I had a lot of fallout with those. If you are someone who does eye makeup first, this may not be an issue for you. For me, I like to do eyes after foundation and had to do a ton of cleanup from the shimmer going everywhere. I did note that reviews of this palette have been pretty mixed and I think a lot of that is dependent upon when you do your shadow - before or after foundation. The mattes perform well and have good color saturation. The shadows lasted about 8 hours on me before they started to migrate (keep in mind I used primer).

Below swatches in direct sun:

Swatches in shade:

Overall, the palette did not work for me, as one third of it (the shimmers) will not be useful for me at all. I do not like shadows with a lot of fallout and the shimmers have way too much for me. The lighter shades are a nice base, but the issues with the shimmer shades and the mattes being just average makes this something that I am disappointed in. I really love a lot of tarte's other products, the Amazonian lip butters especially, so I was sad to see that the palette was not really up to standard.

The palette retails for $21 and is available at Sephora, tarte, and Ulta. Have you tried this palette? If so, what are your thoughts?

Current Mask Favorites from Dr. Jart, Boscia, and Kate Somerville

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Today I thought I would talk about a few of my current favorite skincare masks. My skin type is combination/sensitive and I am definitely prone to breakouts. I use masks for a variety of functions, depending on the season and what is going on with my skin. Below are some masks that I am currently enjoying.

I recently had to go to an even drier climate than Colorado for a conference and both during the trip and after coming back, I found that my skin has been more dry than usual. As dryness leads to excessive oil production in the t-zone, I am trying to rehydrate my skin so that oil production stays more normal.

The Boscia Tsubaki Oil Deep Hydration Hydrogel Mask is a sheet mask that is single use.  I like that this mask is actually two pieces, as most sheet masks are one. I feel that the two pieces allow for more control over where you put the mask and how it fits. The formula contains tsubaki (also called camellia) oil, glycerin, and Vitamin E. I find it to be very hydrating and it has not caused any breakouts for me, which is always a concern.

The Dr. Jart Dermask Water Jet Hydra Solution is also a sheet mask. This may be my favorite sheet mask of all time, at this point. I love that it  hydrates skin, but also contains ingredients that are anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. This is wonderful if you have problematic skin, as many masks that are designed to control breakouts are not very hydrating. Personally, I find that breakouts are diminished using this and that it calms any redness from breakouts that I have.

The Nuxe Masque Creme Fraiche de Beaute is cream formulation that comes in a tube. A little definitely goes a long way with this one, as I have had the tube for quite some time and still have a lot left. This mask can be used a couple of ways. You can put it on and remove or you can massage it into skin. It can also be used on  the eye area, which is nice. I tend to use this on my eyes and also on the cheeks. I am too oily in the t-zone to use elsewhere, but I find that using this on my cheeks really helps calm the dryness that I sometimes have there. This also has a beautiful floral smell from the various floral extracts in the ingredients.

As I mentioned, acne is a skin care concern of mine. I find that exfoliation and also treatments help deal with breakouts and the flaky skin they often leave behind. I like sheet masks a lot because they are single use and also very portable for traveling.  The Dr. Jart Dermask Micro Jet Clearing Solution is great for helping to control breakouts and clear out pores. I do find it to be more gentle than most detoxifying treatments, which usually just leave my skin parched. I also like that it contains ingredients meant to help fade current scars that you may have, which is a common problem for acne sufferers.

The Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment is a great choice for me for exfoliation. I like that you initially massage it on and let it sit for a couple minutes so that it draws impurities from the skin. It gives a gentle exfoliation and tingles when it is sitting on your face. I am one of those people that loves the tingly feeling because to me that signals it is working, but I know it is not for everyone. There is also a gentle version of this available if your skin is very sensitive to physical exfoliants.

I hope this is helpful to you in deciding on some masks or discovering something new that will help your skin. I know that I am always on the lookout for new skincare products. What are some of your favorites?

Wander Beauty On-the-Glow Blush and Illuminator

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Wander Beauty is a newer beauty line that recently became available at Sephora. The products are designed to be portable for travel or just carrying with you in your purse or makeup bag. I purchased the On-the-Glow Blush and Illuminator, which is a dual ended stick that contains cream blush and highlighter. It comes in 3 different shades currently, but I purchased the Coral Rose/Nude Glow option.

The color payoff on the blush is pretty buildable, which I like. I am not a fan of blushes that are too strong because I feel it is harder to sheer things out than it is to build them up. The blush is a sheer satin finish without any sparkle to it. The highlighter definitely has shimmer, but it is not overly frosty. See swatches below.

In direct sunlight:

Indoor lighting (no flash):

I really like having something full size that takes the place of two products, especially for travel. Performance on the blush is average, but the highlighter definitely has longer staying power. I did not use a setting powder with these, as I wanted to keep more of the glow. I am sure setting it would help with longevity, but I opted to just add a little touchup of the blush and keep the glowiness.

Overall, this was a winner for me and I look forward to trying other items from the line. The dual ended lipsticks look very promising and may be my next purchase from Wander. The On-the-Glow Blush and Illuminator retails for $42 and is available at Sephora and Wander Beauty. Have you tried anything from Wander yet? What are some of your on-the-go favorites?

Smashbox Double Exposure Eyeshadow Palette

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Smashbox Double Exposure palette is something I recently bought. It has 14 shadows inside the palette, which also holds a brush. The palette comes with a tester size of Full Exposure mascara. The Double Exposure name comes from the fact that the shadows can be used wet or dry. The box contains a packet for how to use the palette based on desired look and eye shape. I do wish they specified different shadow colors that could be used in creating the looks. I think it would be more helpful that way, especially for people needing some extra guidance. There is a sheet that details the color names and the manner in which the shades change when applied with a dampened brush. 

The colors swatch and apply beautifully, with no fallout. I definitely prefer shadows with no fallout, as I am someone who tends to do my eye makeup last and hate having try to clean up after. The only shadow I am not particularly crazy about in this palette is the white, which is called Blanc. It is the only one that, for me, was a bit chalky and harder to apply. Other than that, I am very impressed by these and love the application both wet and dry.

Staying power is great with the shadows and they lasted throughout the work day and evening without migrating or caking in the crease. Please note that I do always use primer because I have oily eyelids, so keep that in mind.

Below are swatched dry:

In direct sunlight:

In shade:

Below are swatched wet:

In direct sunlight:

In shade (with flash):

I saw some comments on the Sephora site regarding people not loving the brush and I do partially agree with that, particularly concerning the angled side. I find that the domed side is the more functional of the two and performs much better when wet vs. dry. It is not the best brush I have come across, but not really the worst either. I do feel the brushes in the Urban Decay Naked palettes are much better. I have had some Smashbox brushes in the past and know that they are usually better quality, so I am kind of surprised that this one was not better. Definitely do not take the quality of this brush and dismiss the rest of the Smashbox brushes as a whole - I assure you they are normally great brushes.

Overall, I think this is a really great palette. It has good color saturation, especially when wet, and no fallout. The texture of the shadows is nice and on par with other high end brands. True to the claim, the palette worked wonderfully after using the shadows when wet. This is definitely a purchase I am happy with and will use often.

The Smashbox Double Exposure retails for $39, although when I purchased it was on sale for $29. I purchased mine at Sephora, but it looks like it is also available at Smashbox. Have you tried this yet? What are some of your favorite palettes?

Besame Cosmetics Lipstick Matches - American Beauty

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

I bought the Besame Cosmetics Classic Color Lipstick Matches on a whim during the Sephora Rouge sale. The packaging is just like the name describes, an old matchbook. It definitely has an old Hollywood vibe (or a modern vintage, like Dita Von Teese). I purchased the color American Beauty, which is described as a cool berry red.

In order to use the product, you have to fold along the perforated edge and then tear off an individual stick, much like a regular matchbook. The compact size and style of the package makes it perfect for putting in a clutch for a night out.

The color payoff was surprising. According to Besame, each stick is one application. I think that is fairly accurate, as I used one match to swatch on my arm and test on the lips. I have to say that I was very surprised by the color payoff and the lack of any drying feel, even though the shade is definitely a matte when put on the lips (I did notice that it swatched a bit more creamy on the arms). The match was fairly easy to apply, but I do recommend prepping the lips first to ensure even application. It works wonderfully as a stain as well. The lipstick lasted a few hours for me and left a very nice berry stain after that I applied gloss over.

I pulled a few different shades in my collection to see how the Besame compared. The color looks much darker in the matchbook and on the stick than it does swatched on the lips or arm. See swatches below.

Outdoors in full sunlight:

Outdoors in shade:

Swatches from top: Besame Cosmetics American Beauty, Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella, Marc Jacobs Lip Creme in So Rouge Le Marc, L'Oreal Colour Riche in British Red, and Nars lipstick in Gipsy.

Overall, I think this was a really fun purchase and I love the vintage vibe of the line as a whole. I am interested in trying some of the full size lipsticks and do wish that they would expand the matchstick line to include a few of their other lipstick colors. Currently, they only have the matchsticks for their reds, but I would love this in some of the pink shades.

Besame Cosmetics Classic Color Lipstick Matches currently retail for $6 and are available in 6 shades. I found mine at Sephora and they are also available on Besame's website. Have you tried anything from Besame before? What is your favorite red lip?

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