Metallic Eyes

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

One of the bigger trends right now is metallic eye looks. Sephora has a whole page dedicated to the "Rebel Eyes" look in their Trending at Sephora section. I pulled some of my favorite metallic eye shadows to share with you. Some are tried and true favorites and others are fairly new to me.

Here are my picks:

Kat Von D Metal Crush Eyeshadow in Synergy. This is one of the highest color payoff eyeshadows that I have. The color is a beautiful coppery bronze and a little goes a very long way. As long as you do not use too much of the product, there is minimal fallout when blending. It is ultra long lasting and I have not had any creasing or fading issues.

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill in 6 Khaki Pulse. This is another formula specifically created to be long lasting. It advertises 24 hour wear and a waterproof finish. I have not tested either of those claims (mostly because I do not go to bed with makeup on). I will say that I have worn this on some particularly hot and humid days and I have not had any fading or creasing.

NARS Dual Intensity in Dione. This shadow advertises 8 hour wear. Honestly, as much as I love the color and other NARS products, I do find that it creases before that. I have oily lids and always wear primer, but this product does tend to fade and crease on me prior to the 8 hour promise. I am a big fan of the color and tend to wear it on days when I know I will be out for a shorter period of time.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Suspect. This is one of my favorite metallic shades for day and I wear it to work all of the time. It is a nice neutral, but with a little edge. Urban Decay shadows are some of my favorites (the Naked Palettes, especially). This color is available on its own and is also in the Naked 2 palette if you already own that.

Maybelline Color Tattoo Eye Chrome in Beige Luster. I am a fan of the Maybelline Color Tattoo range and have a few of the shadows. The Eye Chrome is a newer formulation for the line and I purchased two of the colors recently. The formula is a cream housed in a tube with a doe-foot applicator. Beige Luster is my favorite of the two. Once it sets, this formulation really lasts. It takes a lot of waterproof makeup remover to get this off.

See swatches below. All swatches in order of first photo.

In direct sunlight:

Outdoors in shade:

Indoors (no flash):

What are some of your favorite metallic eye shades? Are there any trends you are into right now?

Hourglass Luminous Bronze Light Bronzer

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Hourglass Luminous Bronze Light bronzer is something that I have had on my wishlist for quite some time. I purchased the mini size bronzer, as the full size is really large and Hourglass powders last forever. There are two bronze shades offered: Luminous Bronze Light and Radiant Bronze Light. I chose Luminous Bronze Light - partially because I thought the lighter color would suit me better and also because the other shade is not yet available in the mini size. 

Luminous Bronze Light is described as a medium tan shade fused with Luminous Light, a champagne pearl powder, for a softer, candlelit warmth that is for fair/light complexions. Radiant Bronze Light is a warm bronze shade fused with Radiant Light, a golden beige powder, to mimic a summer glow that is suited for medium/deep complexions.

I really love Hourglass highlighters and had high hopes for the bronzer. Let me start by saying that it does not disappoint. The packaging is consistent with other Hourglass powders and comes in a great gold case. The marbling effect in the pan is similar to the blushes and is always so pretty to look at. The powder is extremely blendable and gives a very nice soft finish. Below is an extreme close up of the pan so you can see the beautiful shimmer and marbling:

I pulled a few other bronzers from my collection to see how it compared color-wise. It seems to be one of the lightest bronzers I own, which I think will be ideal for giving a bit of glow, especially during the winter when I lose my tan.

Comparison swatches below. All swatches are in the order of the first photo.

Outdoors in full sunlight:

Outdoors in shade:

Indoors (no flash):

I am really happy with this purchase and have yet to meet an Hourglass powder that I don't like. I may eventually get the darker shade if they come out with a mini size of that, as I think it would be a nice, more dramatic summer bronze for me. The mini size retails for $24 (0.05oz/1.4g) and the full size retails for $50 (0.39 oz/11g). They are sold at all Hourglass stockists. What is your favorite bronzer?

Bare Minerals GEN NUDE Lips

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Bare Minerals recently launched a collection of nude lip colors in three different formulas: a matte liquid, gloss, and lipstick. I purchased two of the Bare Minerals GEN NUDE Buttercream lip glosses on a whim while I was replenishing some skincare items a few weeks ago and also received a deluxe sample of the GEN NUDE Matte Liquid Lipcolor. The most noticeable part of trying to decide on a couple colors to buy was the impressive color selection. It is nice to see a large range of nude lip colors offered because, let's face it, "nude" is not the same shade for everyone. I think that the variety of shades will make it easier for most skin tones to find something they like.

The two Buttercream shades I purchased are Forbidden and Must Have. The Buttercream formula has a nice smooth texture and is not sticky at all. It applies pretty evenly, although Forbidden may be a bit light for my lip shade, as I had to work a little harder to blend that one in. Must Have is an apply and go color for me. Staying power on these is pretty short and I have gotten max an hour and a half of wear time, but usually about an hour before I need to reapply. It is not a big deal to me, as glosses often tend to have shorter wear times. I'm sure the wear time issue is largely due to the glosses being hydrating, but I have other glosses than can last hours, so it is a bit disappointing.

I am not a huge matte lip color lover and do not really use liquid lipsticks at all, but I chose to try the sample of the Matte Liquid Lip color because it was a free Sephora VIB reward option and curiosity got the best of me. I received the color Swag, which is described as a mauve. It has a nice consistency that is easy to blend and apply to lips. It dries down nicely to matte finish and does not settle into lip lines  as long as you do not over apply (made that mistake one day). It is not as drying as some other matte liquid colors I have tried, but if you have dry lips, especially with any peeling or flaking, this is not for you. The color lasted around 3 hours on average for me before fading. Even though liquid mattes are not something I reach for very often, this is a nice formula that I can see myself using. 

Swatches below in order of first labeled photo.

Ourdoors in direct sun:


Swatched on lips:

Since the ingredients are not fully listed at all stockists, here they are for your reference. 

The Buttercream formula:

Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Oleic/Linoleic/Linolenic Polyglycerides, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax (Cera Carnauba/Cire De Carnauba), Brassica Campestris/Aleurites Fordi Oil Copolymer, Flavor (Aroma), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax (Candelilla Cera/Cire Candelilla), Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax, Sorbitan Olivate, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Theobroma Grandiflorum Seed Butter, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Wax, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Butter, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Portulaca Pilosa Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, Amethyst Powder, Tourmaline Powder, Nephrite Powder, Pearl Powder, Sapphire Powder, Beeswax (Cera Alba/Cire D'abeille), Glyceryl Caprylate, Diisostearyl Malate, Sorbitan Isostearate, Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostearate, Sucrose Cocoate, Silica. May Contain (+/-): Mica, Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Carmine (Ci 75470), Blue 1 Lake (Ci 42090), Red 6 (Ci 15850), Red 7 Lake (Ci 15850), Red 28 Lake (Ci 45410), Yellow 5 Lake (Ci 19140), Yellow 6 Lake (Ci 15985).

The Matte Liquid formula:

Isododecane, Octyldodecanol, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Dimethicone/Bis-Isobutyl Ppg-20 Crosspolymer, Nylon-12, Caprylyl Methicone, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Silica, Polyethylene, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Acetylated Glycol Stearate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax (Candelilla Cera/Cire Candelilla), Microcrystalline Wax (Cera Microcristallina/Cire Microcristalline), Glyceryl Behenate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Diisostearyl Malate, Vanillin, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Silica Silylate, Water (Aqua/Eau), Caprylyl Glycol. May Contain (+/-): Mica, Blue 1 Lake (Ci 42090), Yellow 5 Lake (Ci 19140), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499), Red 28 Lake (Ci 45410), Red 33 Lake (Ci 17200), Red 7 Lake (Ci 15850), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891).

One last item to note about the ingredients - if you have any type of gluten sensitivity and need to avoid gluten in your makeup products, both of these items are gluten free.

This seems to be a really great launch from Bare Minerals. The color selection and quality of the products are amazing. I really think almost every skintone is represented, which is wonderful. The products are available at all Bare Minerals stockists. The Buttercream glosses and Matte Liquid color retail for $18 each. The Radiant lipsticks are $20.  Have you purchased any of these? What is your perfect nude?

Current Loves/Wish List

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Here are some of the items that I have been getting a ton of use from lately:

Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips in Miranda May. Full review here, but the bright color has been a staple for me recently.

Natasha Denona 5 Eyeshadow #02 has been my go to formula, as it has the most amazing pigmentation and staying power. Full recap with swatches here. I definitely need to get another of these palettes soon.

By Terry Baume de Rose (review here) has been helping with the hydration issues my lips are having with the 90+ degree weather we are currently experiencing. I am very ready for fall or, at least, some relief from this heat.

Freida Rothman's Indigo Armour Collection. The whole collection is beautiful and I was so excited and very grateful to receive the rectangular ring (shown above) as a gift from my family.

It seems like there are tons of new launches happening in beauty right now. Here are a few I have my eye on:

Anastasia Foundation Stick. I love stick foundations in general and the lower price point of $25 has really piqued my interest in these. They are currently available from Anastasia's website, but I will most likely wait until I can see them in person at Sephora to ensure a good match.

NARS Velvet Lip Glides. These are described as a lipstick and lipgloss hybrid and I am really looking forward to trying these when they launch in early September. Temptalia already has some swatches up of the colors and the formula looks amazing. 

Elizabeth and James Nirvana Bourbon and Rose fragrances. I checked them out in person this weekend and they are amazing. I love the White (reviewed here) and Black versions, so I am sure that as we move into fall, these two will be purchased and added to the collection. 

Current Summer Scents

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Today I am sharing a few of the scents that have been in my rotation a lot this summer. Like most people, I prefer lighter scents in the summer. I also tend to go a little heavier on the florals, as well. I hope you enjoy this roundup. Please let me know if you would like to see another post like this as we move into fall.

I have Elizabeth and James Nirvana in Black and White and love them both, but in the summer I prefer the White version. The main notes in White are Peony, Muguet (aka Lily of the Valley), and Musk. It is a great floral that dries down to a clean scent. I love the rollerball version, as I prefer how it dries down on my skin versus on my clothes when sprayed. As I love both of the current Nirvana scents, I am definitely going to be checking out the new Rose and Bourbon versions.

Tocca Simone is a scent that I have from a sampler set of a few Tocca perfumes. Out of all of them, Simone was hands down my favorite for summer. The description says that the inspiration came from Australia's Bondi Beach, so it is not surprising that it has become such a summer staple. It has a fruity scent and I definitely get a big hit of watermelon and woods with this one. The main notes are: Apple, Watermelon, Lemon, Calypsone, Frangipani, Ylang- Ylang, Rose Petals, Freesia, Creamy Lactones, Blonde Woods, Musk, Amber, and Nirvanolide. 

I have a few scents from Maison Margiela (Flower Market, Jazz Club, and Lazy Sunday Morning) and have found that I really get a lot of use out of them. I know that Beach Walk is a favorite of many people, but for some reason it does not agree with my body chemistry. I love the scent and think it would be great for summer as well, but it  is sadly not for me. I have been using Flower Market a lot lately, as it truly is like stepping into a flower market. I love how fresh the florals are and also think the packaging is adorable. The notes for Flower Market are: Crushed Leaves, Freesia, Sambac Jasmine, Jasmine Infusion, Tuberose Infusion, Rose from Grasse, Peach, Cedarwood, and Oak Moss. 

Chloe is another brand that I love and have multiple fragrances from. Roses de Chloe is the one I have been wearing the most lately, though. I love the strength of the rose notes and how they are truly highlighted in the scent. I also like that the packaging gets a great vintage look to it as the metal does tend to patina a bit. The notes include Fresh Cut Roses, Bergamot, Rose Essence, Magnolia Accord, White Musk, and Amber. 

Last, but certainly not least, is actually my favorite of the bunch. It is Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt. This is the scent that truly makes me think of the sea. I think that so many beachy scents tend to go the sunscreen smell route and are oftentimes cloying. This one is not. To me, it highlights the best parts of the beach - driftwood, salt, and an overall cleanliness in the air. I wear it year round and people always ask me what it is, I think mostly because it is so different. The notes on this one are: Top: bergamot, ambrette seeds, buchu leaves. Middle: sea salt, mineral accord, dry fruits. Base: driftwood accord, guaiac wood, white musk, sage.

What are some of your current favorite summer scents? 

Natasha Denona Eyeshadow Palette 5 in Palette 02

Saturday, August 13, 2016

As I mentioned in the Face Glow review post, I recently purchased a Natasha Denona eyshadow palette. I chose Palette 02 because Beauty Professor stated in her review that it reminded her of the Tom Ford Honeymoon palette, which is often sold out and is something I have yet to splurge on.  I have green eyes and know that purple and taupe-y colors definitely flatter my eyes, so that was another selling point for me. There are 13 palettes total, so there is something for everyone. I have had my eye on the Palette 04, as well, and may eventually cave.

A close up of the pans:

The shadows in the palette are good size pans, which I like. They are highly pigmented and the only eyeshadow I own that is even close to comparable pigment-wise is Kat Von D Metal Crush. Wear time on these is impressive. I do always wear primer because I have oily lids, but these lasted over 13 hours on me before I took my makeup off and I experienced no fading or creasing. I also really love that there is no fallout, which is remarkable considering the pigment level.

Swatches below:

Outdoors in full sun:

Outdoors in shade:


The only part of the palette I am not crazy about is the packaging. I feel that, while it is in sturdy packaging, it is not really up to par with the price tag or other items in the Natasha Denona line. The Face Glow palette is in a nice gold metal case. I do appreciate that you can see the colors through the plastic, which is useful if you have more than one of these, but at the same time, I would like the packaging to be more consistent. As an example, below are the ND Face Glow and Eyeshadow Palette and the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder and Modernist Eyeshadow Palette. Notice how the Hourglass packaging is consistent? I want the Natasha Denona items to be that way as well. I think it would look nicer and give the brand a signature look, but that is definitely just my opinion and some people may prefer the packaging that allows you to see the colors.

Another packaging item to note is that even though it appears there is space for a brush, one was not included. I am not sure why you would put that and not include a brush. I would prefer to just not have the space, as it is a waste considering most full size brushes will not fit. So unless you have a smaller one hanging around from an old palette, that space is just left there.

Outer box packaging with shadow color names and ingredients:

Overall, despite my design issues with the packaging (which are entirely personal), the quality of the product itself is phenomenal and more than makes up for it. I am definitely going to be getting another palette sometime in the future, as I have been using this palette so much and love it.  Given that these are so pigmented, they are going to last forever. I purchased the palette for $48 at Beautylish. What is your favorite brand for eyeshadow?

Sunscreen Rotation Summer 2016

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

I have spent a ton of time this summer testing out various sunscreens and items with sun protection in them. Now that I am in my 30's, I know one of the things that ages skin the most is the sun, so I always wear sunscreen (totally different from the massive amount of time I spent as a teenager in Florida tanning myself with Banana Boat SPF 4 tanning oil or, worse, baby oil).  For this post, I am rounding up a few sunscreens that have worked really well for me on various parts of my face.

Personally, my eyes have been a really overlooked area of sun protection. That is mostly because sunscreens tend to burn my skin when placed anywhere in the orbital area. Supergoop has resolved that issue for me by making an eye cream that is made with sun protection in it. I like that the SPF level in the cream is higher at SPF 37, as I am now using retinol on a regular basis to try to mitigate the fine lines in the area and need an SPF of at least 30. I find that this does not cause any type of stinging sensation, absorbs really well, is hydrating, and makeup layers over it nicely.

The Tatcha Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen contains an SPF 35 and is also meant to act like a blurring primer for makeup. It actually does do a nice job of minimizing pores for me and I like that it leaves the skin with a silky feel. One thing I do note is that if you do not let the product absorb fully, it can sometimes pill a bit. I usually let it set for about 3-5 minutes and that seems to do the trick. Once it sets, the finish is pretty flawless. I also like that this does not leave any type of white cast to my skin, even though it is an opaque cream color.

The Neutrogena Ultra Sheer liquid is something that I have repurchased a few times for various vacations. It has a runny consistency and you have to make sure you shake the product very well before applying. I use this mostly when I know I will be in the sun for outdoor activities. I have noted that this does tend to make makeup break down faster, so it is usually best when used on its own. I am also a fan of the Neutrogena breakout free sunscreens for days at the beach/pool.

The it Cosmetics CC cream is something that I have seen a lot of great reviews about. I do like that it is a sunscreen/color combo product that contains a high SPF of 50, but think that it is better suited for people with normal to dry skin. I can only use this on days when my skin is more dry. On days that I am leaning more oily, it is too moisturizing. If you have an oily skin type, this will be too much for you. It is nice to have a higher SPF rolled into a color product for days when I am not in the sun very much and this fits the bill for me.

Laura Mercier makes my favorite foundation primers and I currently rotate 3 of them - Original, Radiance, and Protect. Protect is great because it functions exactly like the original primer does, but has the added bonus of SPF 30.  The primer does a nice job of hydrating the drier areas of my face, but does not make me turn oily at all. I find that the Protect primer helps to make my foundation last much longer without any type of breakdown in my t-zone.

I reviewed the Supergoop Setting Mist more in depth here when I was discussing some of my favorite setting sprays. I will say that it is still the best option I have found for an SPF product that can be applied over makeup as a touch up. If you have a better one, please let me know in the comments, as it is not a perfect option.

Lips are also an area that I have overlooked as far as sun protection. I love the Fresh Sugar lipbalms and have several of them. They have a fun selection of colors and there is an SPF of 15. I love the lemon/sugary scent and find them to be nicely hydrating. I should look into some other lip products with a higher SPF, but these are working well for me right now.

I hope that this roundup has been helpful to you. I have recently ordered a few more sunscreens to test, especially as we move toward cooler weather. What are some of your favorite sunscreens?

Bright Pink Lips - Laura Mercier French Kiss Lipstick

Saturday, August 6, 2016

A little random fact about me - I am a magazine hoarder. I have tons of them; some saved for over a decade. I read them to remember things I used to like, or to get inspiration. I was looking through an old magazine the other day and saw this great feature about Debbie Harry. In several of the photos, she was wearing bright pink lips. I bought a sampler set from Sephora months ago that contained a very bright pink lipstick and it sat in my drawer collecting dust, until I saw this article and tried it out.

The sampler set I bought is no longer available (the Sephora Favorites Paint it Pink  set, in case you bought it), but the lipstick is sold separately and it is the Laura Mercier Velour Lovers Lip Colour in French Kiss, which is described as a bubblegum pink. The description of the product states that it is a matte lipstick that stays all day without drying or making lips feel chapped. I have to say that I am not in agreement with that. I do tend to have drier lips as a result of living in a dry climate, but this is definitely more drying than say the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution formula.  The staying power is pretty good though it does not last all day. I tested the formula on its own and got a 4 hour wear time. I have been putting a Make Up Forever Artist Plexi-Gloss in shade 202, which was also in the set, on top to achieve the shinier look in the photo. It also helps with some of the lip hydration issues I have with the formula, but obviously adding gloss makes wear time go down a bit.

Both colors swatched on the lips (Plexi-Gloss layered over the French Kiss lipstick):

This is definitely not an everyday look for me, but I did use this combo recently on a girls' night out and it was a nice change from my usual, more conservative lip looks. I kept the rest of my face more neutral so that the lips were the highlight of  the look. It is fun to sometimes switch things up and deviate from the norm. Have you tried any bold lip looks lately?

Natasha Denona All Over Glow Face and Body Shimmer Powder in Light

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

I have heard so many good things about the Natasha Denona line and decided to try something out for myself. I chose the All Over Glow Face and Body Shimmer Powder in the shade 01 Light. The powder comes in a gold metal case that is a decent size for a highlighter. My case did come with a small imperfection on the front that you can see above, but since I will probably scratch it anyway, I decided it was not a big deal for me.

A couple things that I always look for in a highlighter are that I can wear it to work and that it looks natural in the day. I love a good highlight, but many are so shimmery that it looks unprofessional or, in my opinion, a little much for daytime (as pretty as they are, I find the Becca highlighters to be too much most of the time). The Natasha Denona is one of the prettiest, subtle highlighters I have seen and I really love the finish. Will it replace the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders as my holy grail highlighter? Most likely not, but it is a really close second and I do love that it is the most understated highlighter that I have next to Hourglass. The powder lasted all day for me with no migration. I find that it is not frosty and does not overemphasize pores (for me all highlighters emphasize them slightly because I tend to have larger pores).

Here is an extreme close up so you can see all of the different shimmer colors:

I pulled a few other highlighters out to see how the Natasha Denona compares. Below clockwise from left: Natasha Denona in Light, Benefit Watt's Up, Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops in Moonlight, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light, and the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette.

Below are some comparison swatches so you can see the difference. The most subtle are the Hourglass powders, the Natasha Denona is more in the middle, and the Benefit and Cover FX have a higher shimmer. The swatches are all in the order of the first photo.


Direct Sun:

Indoors (no flash):

Below is a list of ingredients:

Talc, Mica, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Isopropyl Lanolate, Cetyl Acetate, Caprylyl Glycol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Acetylated Lanolin Alcohol, Dimethicone, Lauroyl Lysine, Parfum [Fragrance] (+/-) May Contain: CI 77491 [Iron Oxides], CI 77891 [Titanium Dioxide], CI 77492 [Iron Oxides], CI 77499 [Iron Oxides]

I have to say I am really happy with this purchase and am glad that I decided to get into the Natasha Denona line. I also bought an eyeshadow palette to be reviewed soon. This is one of the prettiest highlighters I own and I am most likely going to get the Medium shade to possibly use as a blush or bronzer. The ND blushes look beautiful as well. I purchased the powder from Beautylish and it retails for $38 for 10g/0.35 oz. Have you tried anything from Natasha Denona? Any recommendations for other products/colors from her line?