YSL Rebel Nudes Set

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Yves Saint Laurent Rebel Nudes gift set is a Nordstrom beauty exclusive as part of their Anniversary sale (and the last item from my haul), but all of the shades are available separately. I like all of the colors and the formulas, so the set was a great value for me. The set also includes the makeup bag pictured above.

I thought I would offer a bit of a breakdown of the pricing if you are trying to determine if this would be a good value for you or not. The Rouge Volupte Shine Oil-in-Stick is normally $37, the Vernis A Levres Plump Up and Glossy Stain are $36 each, for a total value of $109 (for some reason the Nordstrom site says the value is $108). The set retails for $72, so you essentially get one lip item and the makeup bag for free. That is a pretty significant price break considering all of the items are full size. If you do not like one color, you could always gift it.

I really love the Glossy Stain formula and feel that it is very unique. The glosses dry down and do not transfer very much, but the look is still glossy. I also like that they are not drying to the lips and that I can wear them without a primer or balm underneath. They leave behind a nice wash of color, even when most of the shine has faded.  They are probably the longest lasting glosses that I have and I have gotten significant wear time from them (3-5 hours depending on how much I eat/drink, which is impressive for a gloss formula).

The clear Glossy Stain shade is called 200 Plump Up and is meant to have a plumping effect. It does not give me a noticeable plumping effect, but if you are someone looking for a plumping formula that does not tingle, this fits the bill. It does give the lips a very pretty shimmer. The 07 Corail Aquatique shade has quickly become one of my favorites. It is a wonderful coral color that looks great on my summer skintone and complements the bronzers I seem to be wearing non-stop.

The Shine Oil-in-Stick is not a formula I have tried before. It launched earlier this year and has a high concentration of oil to provide moisture to the lips. The shade has buildable coverage and does definitely feel moisturizing. The 47 Beige Blouse shade is definitely more of a rose/pink nude. For some reason it looks much cooler toned on my lips than it does swatched on the arm or even in the tube. I tend to prefer the Nude in Private shade over this one right now as I gravitate toward warmer colors in the summer, but think during the winter the Beige Blouse shade will be more of a staple for me. Given that it is a more moisturizing formula, it is not as long lasting (around 2 hours).


On the lips in same order shown above:

This set is a great value if you are looking to restock on shades or try different YSL lip formulas. I own several Glossy Stains and have to say that it is one of my favorite lip formulas. Overall, I am very happy I picked this one up. There is also a Rock Pink set if you are looking for more cool toned options. The set is available exclusively at Nordstrom, but all of the products contained in the set (excepting the makeup bag) are available at Sephora, YSL Beauty, Neiman Marcus, etc. What is your favorite YSL lip formula?

Laura Mercier Flawless Icons Eye and Cheek Palette

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Laura Mercier Flawless Icons Eye and Cheek Palette is a Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Beauty Exclusive. It contains eight eyeshadows and two face powders. You get a nice mix of colors and neutrals for the eyeshadows. The face powders include a bronzer and highlighter. All of the pans are a nice size and I like that the shape and placement of the face powder pans made it easy to dip a brush into them and not get any other powder on the brush.

Front of palette:

Reverse of palette:

The eyeshadows are nice quality and pigmentation is buildable, but they are not super high pigment. The shadows did not have any fallout, fading, or creasing when I tested.  I was especially impressed by the lack of creasing, as I was in the heat for several hours on one of the days I tested the palette. Note - I have oily eyelids and always use eye primer, so your mileage may vary. It did take a bit of work to make some of the shadows have the amount of pigmentation that I wanted. I like that there are some neutrals and a few purples added in for fun, making the palette very versatile. It is also nice to see a mix of mattes and shimmers. If you are someone who prefers a more sheer wash of color, you will definitely like these.

Swatches of eyeshadows in direct sunlight:

Swatches outdoors in shade:

Swatches indoors:

The two face powders are very soft and easily blended.  The highlighter is very beautiful - it has some shimmer flecks, but I did not find it to be overly frosty. The highlighter blends very nicely over other products and layers well. The bronzer is a bit harder for me. It took a lot to get it to show up on me for the arm swatches and for testing on my face. The color of the bronzer is nice and I suspect that this will be a great bronzer for people with fairer skin tones, as it is lighter in color and very sheer. I prefer the bronzer in the Charlotte Tilbury palette, as it works much better on my skintone. Swatches of face powders below.

Outdoors in direct sunlight:


I am happy with the purchase as a whole, even though the bronzer does not work well for me. I think that the palette is a pretty good value, as you get 8 eyeshadows and 2 face powders for $65. If you are looking for an introduction into Laura Mercier products, I think this is a nice place to start. If you have a fairer skintone, the color scheme will work very well for you. If you are choosing between this and the Charlotte Tilbury palette and you are light-medium skintone or darker,  I would recommend the CT palette. The Laura Mercier palette is available at Nordstrom as part of their Anniversary Sale. Have you tried any of the Beauty Exclusives from the Nordstrom sale?

Laura Mercier Flawless Icons Eye and Cheek Palette - Sneak Peek

Saturday, July 23, 2016

I ordered the Laura Mercier Flawless Icons Eye and Cheek Palette as part of my haul from the Nordstrom  Anniversary Sale. I thought I should give a peak at the palette with some swatches for people that may be wanting to order now.  I am still compiling my final thoughts and will have another post in a few days with a full review and additional swatches.

Eyeshadow swatches in direct sun:

Face swatches in direct sun:

The palette retails for $65 and is available at Nordstrom. What have you ordered from the sale?

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Beauty Palette - The Dolce Vita Look

Friday, July 22, 2016

As promised from earlier this week, here are my thoughts on the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Beauty Palette - The Dolce Vita look. The palette is easy to apply as a concept - you basically just paint your face by number. It took about 5 minutes to get all of the colors on. I think that the palette is very convenient for travel and touchups, as the colors are nice neutrals that will get you through most situations. The palette seems a little small when you first look at it, but the pans are mostly decent sized. My only complaint in relation to the pans would be the size of the blushes. It was harder to dip a brush in those (they are the same size as the eyeshadows) and I wish they were larger.

Wear time is excellent - I got a full day with no issues, migration or creasing. The eyeshadow colors apply nicely and have minimal fallout - there was a small amount after blending, but nothing major. The face colors are pretty, but the powders are very soft. There is a lot of kickup in the pan itself when you swish a brush in it, but the softness helps the powders to blend nicely. The only exception to that for me is the highlighter. I found the highlight shade harder to blend and it also emphasized pores more than some of my other highlighters.

You also receive a mini version of the Legendary Lashes mascara with the palette. The mascara for me was average. I did not see anything majorly special about it to spend $32 on the full size version. I did like that it helped lashes hold a curl better than some others I have tried, so if that is something you look for in a mascara you may like this one. As far as lengthening or volumizing lashes, I do not think that it is any better than my usual mascaras or others I have tried.

Swatches in order 1-7:

Reverse of palette:

Overall, I am glad I made the purchase. I can definitely see myself bringing this palette on trips or possibly keeping it in my desk at work in case I need to touch up or change my look to go out after work. I feel that the palette is good quality (although the highlighter is not my favorite) and the colors will likely flatter many skin tones.  The palette costs $75 and is available at Nordstrom as part of their Anniversary Sale. Have you tried this palette or the mascara that came with it? What are your thoughts?

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Beauty Palette - The Dolce Vita Look Sneak Peek

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Charlotte Tilbury has launched a darker version of her Instant Beauty Palette 5-Minute Face on the Go. The color is called the Dolce Vita Look on the Nordstrom website, but the box itself says Seductive Beauty. I'm not sure which naming version is supposed to be correct, but for ease of finding it on the Nordstrom website, I titled this post based on their naming convention. The palette is exclusive to Nordstrom as part of their Anniversary Sale. Right now the sale is only open to cardholders, but will open to everyone on July 22. The palette also comes with a sample of Legendary Lashes mascara. Based on how quickly her last palette sold out, I suspect this one will do the same.

Close up of the pans in direct sunlight:

I wanted to give a little peak at the palette (I just got it last night) so that people could see it prior to the public sale. I will have a full review later this week once I actually use it. First impressions are that the palette has a great neutral color scheme that I think will work for more skin tones than the last Instant Beauty Palette did. The powders seem soft and blendable, but I will update with my thoughts once I put it to use for a couple days.

Below are swatches in direct sunlight. The swatches are palette pans 1-7 left to right:

The palette retails for $75 and is available exclusively at Nordstrom. What are you getting from the Anniversary Sale?

Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips - Miranda May and Very Victoria

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Charlotte Tilbury just launched a new lipstick collection titled Hot Lips. The shades are inspired by various celebrities and the collection includes a few repromotes of previously released shades. The lipsticks have one of two formulas - K.I.S.S.I.N.G., which is a cream, or Matte Revolution, which is, as the name suggests, matte. I already own a Matte Revolution shade (Bond Girl), so I wanted to purchase a couple of colors in that formula since I already know that I love it. I chose the new shade Miranda May and also one of the repromotes, Very Victoria.

It was very hard to narrow down from the selection - all of the colors really are beautiful. My one complaint is that the shades appear very different on the Charlotte Tilbury website and press photos than they do swatched anywhere else. For example, the Super Cindy shade looks like a brownish nude on the CT website and is described by CT on her Instagram as a 90's Nude, but all of the blog swatches I have seen have described the shade as peachy and it appears that way in photos (see Temptalia, Beauty Professor, and The Beauty Look Book). I wish that the shades appeared more as they really are, as I really wanted some of the colors based on how they looked on the CT site (Super Cindy, Kidman's Kiss, and Secret Salma), but decided to pick up different choices based on real swatches.  If you are looking to purchase these, I highly suggest you do not go by the press photos and instead look at blogger pictures.

As I said, I really do like the Matte Revolution formula. It is not a matte in the sense that a lot of mattes do not have any shine or luminosity to them at all. These give the lips a nice glow despite not being a shiny product. I also like that they are not drying, as I tend to have drier lips and cannot wear ultra matte shades. I do prep the lips with a little bit of balm so that they go on smoothly and lasting power is decent (3-4 hours depending on how much I eat/drink).

Swatches in full sunlight:

Swatches in shade:

Lip swatch of Miranda May:

Lip swatch of Very Victoria:

Ingredients list:

Overall, I am happy with my two picks and think I may also purchase Secret Salma (even though it is not the exact shade I loved in the CT photos, I do still really like the color). The lipsticks retail for $32 each and are available at Charlotte Tilbury, Beautylish (where I got mine), Selfridges, and Nordstrom. $2 from each purchase does go to the charity Women for Women International. Have you bought any of these? Do you have any other Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks?

Rose Gold Loves

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Today I thought I would share some of my rose gold favorites. Rose gold is such a nice color that, to me, goes with everything. I find that it is flattering on most skin tones and I tend to wear a lot more rose gold in the summer, as I love how it looks when I have a bit of a tan. I picked an eyeshadow palette, single powder eyeshadow, highlighter, lip gloss, single cream eyeshadow, and a nail polish to give some variety.

Below (clockwise from top): Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Rose Gold, Nars Lip Gloss in Orgasm, and L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Amber Rush.

Tons of people seem to be in love with Becca's highlighting products. I got the Rose Gold shade in a sampler set and I was so excited to try it out. I do like it, but I find that it is not something I can wear to work. I feel like it gives a more extreme highlight and has a lot of shimmer. While the effect is very beautiful, I tend to be more conservative at work and stick to my Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders for highlighters during the day. That said, this is a beautiful color and the finish is very nice. The powder is easy to blend and it layers nicely with other products.

What can I say that hasn't been said about Nars and the Orgasm color in general? Just buy it, if you haven't already. The gloss is a great quality, not sticky, has decent staying power (around 3 hours), and the color is so flattering. If you have the blush and love it, get the gloss. Trust me, you will love it too.

The L'Oreal Infallible eye shadow was a total impulse buy one day in Target. It is such a pretty color and staying power is impressive. It lasts all day on me without creasing. The powder is a little chunky, but it blends well and I find that if I apply it by itself with my fingers there is less fallout.

Below is the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Color in Rose Gold:

I have the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour in 4 or 5 colors, but the Rose Gold is the one I reach for most often. I find that it is a great base color, makes powders layered over it last forever, and it also is very pretty on its own with just liner and mascara. This is definitely one of my top used products overall and I truly love it.

Swatches of the above products in direct sunlight:

The Urban Decay Naked 3 palette:

The Urban Decay Naked 3 palette is another high use item for me. I always travel with it and love that the shades look so great on their own or blended. Limit is great base colors. I love Nooner as a crease color if using lighter shades on the lid and it is also great on its own with a bit of liner
. Dust and Burnout I use as highlight colors. Trick is such a unique shade to me. It is a color chameleon and changes greatly in different lighting. It can look more rose, gold or orange/peach depending on the light. Swatches below are the shades Dust through Nooner of the Urban Decay 3 palette:

I hope you have enjoyed my picks. What are some of your rose gold favorites?

Current Favorites/Link Love

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Today I thought I would share some of my current favorite links. Hope you enjoy some of these as much as I have.

Beauty Look Book's recap of her NYC vacation. I will be going back to NYC on vacation later this year and loved seeing her photos.

Beauty Editer's 5 best selling highlighters article. I am perhaps a bit too obsessed with highlighters right now and this was right up my alley.

Temptalia's swatches of the new NARS Dual Intensity blush palette. I have held off from purchasing the other Dual Intensity blushes, but may cave in on this one, especially given the A- rating.

All of the Cartier in Florence pictures on Instagram. I loved seeing the images of one of my favorite cities in the world (plus, who doesn't dream about Cartier?). Search the hashtag #cartierinflorence on Instagram and I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Cafe Makeup's swatches of the NARS Hot Sand duos. I have both Orgasm and Laguna, but that Hot Sand Illuminator is getting to me.

Also, Hourglass is coming out with a new palette later this year and it looks amazing. I use their face products all the time. I feel that the powders especially are so beautiful and the highest quality. I love that the Hourglass highlighters give a more natural look that I can wear to work.

What are some of your current favorites?

COVER FX Custom Enhancer Drops - Moonlight and Sunkissed

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops were launched recently and I purchased one of the highlight shades, Moonlight, and one of the bronzers, Sunkissed. The Drops work much like other products from Cover FX, wherein you can use them to customize to your liking. You can use the drops on their own or you can mix them into existing products that you have.

I have used the bronzer shade to add depth to some of my winter foundation colors that are now too light and have also used the highlight shade to add some shimmer to matte foundation formulas. They also work wonderfully on their own as a highlighter or bronzer. Lisa Eldridge did a beautiful video recently that used the Moonlight shade as a highlight and I highly recommend you check it out (mostly because I am obsessed with her and think she is fab). See swatches below of the Moonlight shade:

See swatches below of the Sunkissed shade:

These drops have been such a great purchase and I have used them a lot since I got them a month ago. I love that the bronzer has enabled me to use some of the foundations that would normally be sitting in a drawer for the next few months since I do tan significantly in the summer (despite using sunscreen). The highlight shade blends so nicely over foundation and concealer without removing or budging what is underneath, which I feel that is often a problem with other liquid highlighters. If you would like to see swatches on a variety of skin tones, head over to Beauty Editer.

The drops retail for $42 for .5oz and are available at Sephora and Cover FX. Have you tried these yet? Which shade is your favorite?

By Terry Baume de Rose in Coral Stellar

Saturday, July 2, 2016

By Terry Baume de Rose is a serious splurge for me and I have put off trying it due to the expense. $56 for a lip balm is a steep price and honestly I was not sure if I could justify it (still not sure, even though I love it). I weighed going for the original balm or one of the colors and decided that I wanted to try a color first. I chose Coral Stellar, as summer is upon us and I thought the shade would coordinate well with bronzers and other things that I tend to wear more in the summer.

The balm comes in a frosted glass pot with a metal lid that can work as a mirror. One thing that I really wanted to test with this one is its actual performance as a lip balm. Prior to testing, I wasn't sure if it would be a great balm or if people were just getting on the hype bandwagon. I have been using this for over a month now and, in this case, the rave reviews are correct. It is one of the most hydrating treatments I have ever used.

The balm has a strong rose scent that lasts for quite some time. I like the smell, it is fresh and floral, but if you are someone that does not like items that are scented or if you do not like rose, this may not be for you. It has great staying power and lasts for several hours, depending on how much I eat or drink, before I feel the need to reapply. I'm not a person that buys a lot of items that come in pots. I dislike having to carry a lip brush with me everywhere and I do not like putting my fingers into the pot. Given that, I would love to see this in a squeeze tube or something similar (like the packaging for the Bite Agave lip masks). The Baume de Rose Crystal is in a tube with an applicator, so I may give that a go when this one runs out.

The balm itself has a slight shimmer and a sheer color payoff.  I have noticed that some of the other colors appear to be a bit more pigmented based on swatches on other blogs, but this one is not. It is not a huge deal to me, but I do wish this one had a slightly higher color payoff. It is something to be aware of if you are looking at buying the Coral Stellar shade specifically.

Overall, I am glad I finally tried it. It is a great treatment and high quality, but I think I will always have a little sticker shock with the price (although I am not sure why considering the rise of ultra high priced lip items, like Tom Ford or Louboutin). The original Baume de Rose ($60) and the tinted version ($56) are available at Space.NK, beauty.com, Beautylish, Barneys, and a few other retailers.

Have you tried the Baume de Rose? What is the most you have spent on a lip product?