Pixi Lip Lift Max - Petal Ice

Saturday, September 24, 2016

I bought the Pixi Lip Lift Max one day when I was replenishing my Glow Tonic toner (try it if you have not - it is one of the best acid toners). I love glosses and the formula seemed promising. The product is described as a volumizing lip treatment with a glossy finish.

The gloss does have a nice cooling/tingling sensation.  I know that turns some people off, but it does not bother me.  It performs really well on its own and layers nicely over lipstick. It is fairly sticky, but I find that stickier glosses tend to have better lasting power and that is true with this one as well. I can get a few hours out of it depending on how much I eat/drink. Swatch on the lips below.

The main issue I have with this one is the price. The first thing I noticed was that the packaging makes it seem like there is more product than there actually is. The package the gloss is encased in is a normal size, but when you look at the package, you will notice that the tube has a large amount of plastic and a smaller amount of product in the middle. The part where the product is housed is barely larger than the wand.

In the Pixi gloss, you get .09oz/2.7g for $14, which is fairly expensive comparatively speaking. Price per ounce for Pixi is $155.56. I pulled three different glosses for comparison from Buxom, NARS, and Chanel. You can get a full size Buxom Full On lip polish, which is .15oz of product, for $20. If you look at price per ounce, that is $133.33, significantly cheaper than Pixi. NARS lipgloss is .18oz for $26, which is a price per ounce of $144.44, which is also cheaper than Pixi! Chanel lipgloss retails for $30 for .19oz (and they make a plumping lipgloss for that price, if you are interested in that). That is a price per ounce of $157.89, which is only marginally more than Pixi. I feel that the Pixi is definitely over priced for what you are getting, especially since it is not really marketed as a luxury brand. They are keeping the price low by giving you a small amount of product, but once you really break it down to price per ounce, you are paying a luxury price for a product you are buying at Target.

I feel that this gloss is good quality, but for the money and what you are getting, I would rather spend a little more up front, actually save money in the long run, and get a different product. I don't regret this purchase, but now that I have done the price breakdown, I will not be repurchasing this in the future. Pixi will still be getting plenty of my money from their Skintreats line, as I love Glow Tonic, the Nourishing Cleansing Balm, and H2O Skindrink. If you have not checked out their skin products yet, I highly suggest you do. Those are very high quality and reasonably priced. Let me know if you would like a review of those products.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Air Blush Soft Glow Duo - Flesh & Fantasy

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Marc Jacobs launched the Air Blush line a couple months ago. It is marketed as a palette that lets you use either side individually or combining the shades, thus giving you three color options from the one blush. As an aside, I had to chuckle at the description stating that this gives a "dance-floor flush" because it has been some time since my clubbing days, which makes me feel old. I digress... I chose the color Flesh and Fantasy, as it seemed like a nice neutral to see if I like the formula and I am definitely not disappointed.

The blush itself is housed in a nice shiny black package. It is plastic, but does not feel cheap. I like the metal push button opener; it feels more special than just pulling the blush case apart. The pan is a really large size, which is nice considering the cost of the blush is $42. You can sweep the color on the left side for a lighter, more highlighted shade, or the right side for a deeper blush. The brand recommends sweeping a brush over the palette vertically to get the colors from the sides, which I did find worked pretty well. If you are truly looking to get only one of the colors without any hint of the other, you are going to need to squeeze your brush to do so.  The color is a light, nude blush that I can pair with more vibrant eye or lip looks. It lasted all day on me when tested.

Close up of the pan:

Swatches below. All swatches in order of first photo.


Indoors (no flash):

Indoors (with flash):

I am happy with this purchase, as I like the customization aspect of the blush. It has a really nice finish and blends so well. The shimmer is noticeable but not overly dramatic, and it can be worn during the day/at work. If you are looking for a neutral blush that adds a light flush to the skin, you should definitely look into this. I purchased mine at Sephora, but it is available at Marc Jacobs Beauty stockists. There are four other shades available if you like the idea of the palette, but not this particular shade.  Have you tried any new blushes lately? Any tried and true favorites?

CHANEL Fall 2016: Joues Contraste Evening Beige and Rouge Profond

Saturday, September 17, 2016

After loving the Candeur et Experience eyeshadow palette from the Chanel Fall Collection, I purchased two of the blushes. I chose Rouge Profond, which is from the Le Rouge Collection, and Evening Beige, which is from the Ultra Wear Flawless Collection. Rouge Profond is a pretty true red and Evening Beige is not, as the name implies, beige, but more of a warm coppery tone. I like that they are both warm colors that have a Fall feel to them. 

Both colors have a great level of pigment and show up on skin without having to build up the product. Evening Beige is a bit more sheer than Rouge Profond. They both blend easily on the skin and lasted a full work day without any fading. Evening Beige has a shimmer in it that is noticeable, but it is not glittery. Rouge Profond is more of a matte shade. 

Close ups of the pans:

Evening Beige:

Rouge Profond:



Direct sunlight:

Outdoors in shade:

Indoors (no flash):

Overall, I am happy with all of my picks from the Chanel Fall 2016 Collections. I really love the colors and feel that while they are different than what I would normally choose, they are very wearable. The quality is superb, as is typical from Chanel. Have you tried any new blushes recently?

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit - Surreal Light

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit in Surreal Light was one of those instant purchases for me. I love Hourglass powders and think that the quality is amazing. The palette is housed in a marble printed case and contains 5 pans of product. Although the marble is pretty (and, let's face it, Instagram worthy), I think I would have preferred to keep the metal packaging. To me, the metal seems more luxe than a marble printed plastic case and is also in keeping with the overall aesthetic of the brand, but that is more personal preference than anything else and does not affect the quality of the product inside.

I have to say, I think this palette is better suited to the lighter side of the skin tone spectrum. I am light-medium and the only items that show up really well on my skin are the Surreal Effect Blush and the Surreal Strobe Light. The Finishing Powder that takes up the left side of the palette is meant to blend into skin, but if you have a darker complexion, this may make you look ashy (I would definitely recommend trying in store). The middle column sort of blends into my skin and is hard to see. All of the powders blend well and are buttery soft. They each lasted all day on me when tested.

I definitely take exception to them labeling/marketing this palette as universally flattering - the bronzer is too light for my skin, and I am on the lighter side. What would someone with medium to dark skintones use it for? One thing I have noticed is that Hourglass has not seemed to put out a palette for medium-dark complexions, and I really think that they need to. Their powder products are, to me, the highest quality on the market and it is a shame that they are under-serving such a large part of the market.

As with the palette from last year, the pan sizes are really small. I wish they would go back to the trios or use this size palette and make it a quad. It is really difficult to dip a brush into this and not pickup the adjacent powders. The size would not be as much of an issue for a different product, but bronzer, blush, and highlighter fan brushes all tend to be larger. You basically have to squeeze your brush to dip it in the pans, which I am not a fan of doing.

One thing that is a bit odd to me is how they labeled/numbered the palette. I would think that normally you would start at the left, which they did, and do the top row first, then bottom. They did not do that. The far left pan is 1, which makes sense, but then 2 is actually the bottom middle shade, then it goes up to the top middle shade, over to the top right shade, and down again to the bottom right shade. See diagram below. Most people that I have seen swatch it did not do it in that order. I did not either, which is why I labeled the swatches below with the numbers. That is something they should probably think about for next time, as it can make it confusing for people who are trying to look at swatches.

Palette Swatches. All swatches in order of first photo.

Outdoors in full sunlight:

Outdoors in shade:

Indoors (no flash):

I pulled some of my other Hourglass Palettes and individual items so you can see how the new palette compares to some existing products. First, the blushes. I swatched two blushes from the new palette, an individual blush in Radiant Magenta, and two of the blushes from the Ambient Lighting Blush Palette, Luminous Flush and Incandescent Electra. In case you are looking for dupes, if Radiant Magenta and Incandescent Electra had a baby, it would be the Surreal Effect blush. 

Blush swatches. All swatches are in the order of the first photo.


Indoors (no flash):

For the bronzer, I pulled the Hourglass Luminous Bronze Light (reviewed here). Surreal Bronze Light is noticeably lighter than the Luminous Bronze Light bronzer, which was already made for lighter skin tones. It really does not show up on my skin tone very well as a bronzer. For me, it acts more as a nude blush, but even then it is very hard to see. See swatches outdoors in full sunlight:

I used the Ambient Lighting Palette highlighters as comparison shades for the highlighters/finishing powder in the Ambient Lighting Edit. See swatches below:

Overall, this palette is very pretty, and the quality, as always, is incredible. I do wish the pan sizes were larger and would love to see Hourglass put out a new trio or a quad, instead of trying to cram 5-6 powders into one palette. I probably should have waited to see this in store because I most likely would not have purchased it, as a lot of the colors are really hard to see on my skin tone. If you have a lighter skin tone, run out and buy this - you will not regret it. I would absolutely love this if the colors showed up on my skin better. Medium to darker skin tones really should test in store to see how the colors work on your skin.

The palette retails for $80 and is sold at Sephora and Hourglass. What are your thoughts on this palette?

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit - Surreal Light - Sneak Peak

Saturday, September 10, 2016

I thought I would give everyone a quick peak at the new Hourglass Palette. I just received it, so I will be testing each of the items separately to see how they wear and will provide a full review next week. I will make sure to include some comparison swatches with other Hourglass powders in the full review so you can see if you already have Hourglass items that are similar. For now, I am previewing some swatches of the palette. Initial swatches seem to be of the usual Hourglass quality, as their highlighters are on the more subtle side of the spectrum. 

Reverse of the palette:

See swatches below.

Outdoors in sunlight:

After just the initial swatching, I think that if you have more of a fair complexion, you will most likely find this very flattering. I think it may wash out or look ashy on darker skin tones. Stay tuned for the full review. 

Nude Lip Favorites

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Today I thought I would share some of my favorite options for nude lips. I am including a couple of different formulas and price points, so hopefully everyone can find something that works for them. Some of my personal preferences for a nude lip are colors that do not wash me out and also having a formula that I like. Please note that these are colors that work for my complexion - your nude may be entirely different from mine.

Starting with the glossy formulas, the YSL Glossy Stain is a formula that I absolutely love. I reviewed the formula more here, but I really enjoy that the gloss stays shiny, even though it is a drier finish. I have several of the colors, but my absolute nude favorite is 106 Beige Anarchist.

I picked up a L'Oreal Infallible Mega Gloss Cream in shade 103 Protest Queen at Boots when I was in the UK for vacation a couple months ago.  I really like that it does not settle into lip lines, as many lighter shade cream glosses are prone to do so. The gloss has nice lasting power and a great sheen. I really wish this formula was available in the US.

NYX Butter Glosses are some of my favorites. Tiramisu I feel that the formula is a good quality and very moisturizing. I have a bunch of these glosses and really love the color selection. to me, these are the best glosses for a budget price. My favorite pinky-nude gloss from Nyx is in the color Tiramisu.  

Swatches outdoors in direct sunlight (L-R: YSL, L'Oreal, Nyx):


Onto the lipsticks/balms, The YSL Rouge Volupte Shines are a fun swipe and go lip formula. They are not super long lasting (usually around 2 hours), but they do feel hydrating when they are on the lips. I have quite a few of the colors but shade 09 Nude in Private is my favorite. It is such a pretty and easy shade. It blends seamlessly with my lip tone and is a color that I usually have in my purse. 

I jumped when Charlotte Tilbury launched her Hot Lips Collection a couple months ago. Very Victoria is the nude shade that I picked up. Even though it technically was a re-promote and not a new launch, I really love the color and was not sure how some of the other colors would look on me. I love the formula (reviewed here) and the taupe color is very flattering. 

Tarte Park Avenue Princess is one of their Amazonian Butter lipsticks. It is a paler shade for me and probably the lightest color I can wear before it starts to wash me out. I also like the minty scent (something to keep in mind if you are not a mint person). 

Swatches outdoors in direct sunlight (L-R: YSL, Charlotte Tilbury, Tarte):


What are some of your favorite nude lip colors and formulas?

CHANEL Fall 2016: Le Rouge Collection No1 - Les 4 Ombres Candeur et Experience

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Chanel Fall 2016 Collection is the first with new Creative Director Lucia Pica. If you follow her Instagram, you can see so many reds that were part of the inspiration for this new collection. I purchased the eyeshadow palette in store, but am ordering a couple other items online. The collection is so beautiful to me and I want to grab a few more items before they sell out. 

The Candeur et Experience palette comes in the typical Chanel quad format. There are three neutral colors and then there is the red. The amazingly beautiful red. When I was in the store staring at the display, I thought it looked so pretty, but that I would seem totally crazy trying to wear it in real life. A Chanel artist saw me eyeing the palette and talked to me about it. I told her my concerns with the color and she said there are definitely ways to make it look more natural. I still honestly thought she was wrong, until she did my makeup. I wish I could have taken a picture of what the artist did, but it was in the evening and the lighting was not the best. I was blown away by how blendable the red color is. It is an accent that is different than what I am used to (I do not own a single other red shadow), but it really makes my eyes pop. It blends beautifully into the other colors and is almost coppery.

The artist used a few other colors from the collection, as well as some other new-to-me products, on me when she did my makeup and I had to do some deliberating on how much to buy budget wise. I received a sample of the new foundation and am testing that, as well.

Close up of the pans:

The eyeshadows wear beautifully and lasted a full day with no creasing or migration. There was no fallout when I blended. One thing to note, the colors swatch much more sheer on the arms and also look very similar. I was actually concerned about the level of pigmentation when I was in the store, but on the eyes the pigmentation level is higher and the colors are more noticeably different from each other. Below are swatches. All swatches are counterclockwise from top right of palette:

Outdoors in sunlight:

Outdoors in shade:

Indoors (no flash):

Overall,  I am very impressed by this collection. I like that it got me out of comfort zone a bit without being too much for me to wear realistically in my everyday life. This is something that I will get actual use out of, not a collectors item that I purchased because I thought it was pretty. I am definitely looking forward to the next collection from Lucia Pica, as I really like a lot of the items in this one. Did you purchase anything from the fall collection?