Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Chantecaille Save the Bees: Spring Gorgeousness

Disclaimer:  I purchased this.
I'll just ahead and let you know upfront:  I love this palette.  LOVE IT.  I don't care that it did cost $83, totally worth it to me!
As described on Nordstrom's site:
Chantecaille Save the Bees eye and cheek palette was created not only to give you gorgeous, wearable shades but to raise awareness for the plight of bees and the fragility of our ecosystems. With every purchase, 5% of proceeds will be donated to the Xerces Society to help protect bees and our environment.

Shades include:
- Sky: an eye-opening delicate pale blue sheen that instantly brightens the eye area.
- Honey: a glistening golden highlighter that adds a soft touch of radiance to both cheeks and eyes.
- Beehive: a versatile and flattering grey-beige that can be intensified when applied wet.
- Nectar: a warm coral pink blush that delivers a cheerful pop of color to all skin tones. 
Honey and Beehive
Sky and Nectar
Nectar:  concentrated and blended
The arm swatches are somewhat deceiving, as they look rather delicate, but what they don't capture is how well the colors show up on the face!  I don't have to layer to build color at all - these are soft colors but nicely pigmented.  
Sky on bottom finger and UD shade on top finger
I was originally a bit leery of the pale blue shade Sky, but once I realized how well it works as an inner eye highlighter, was completely won over.  It's similar but not a dupe for one of the duotone colors in Urban Decay's Glinda palette, the blue side of the middle pan.  Sky is finer in texture than the shade from Glinda, nor does it have a pinkish duotone shift. 
Honey is a gorgeous gold, and that's coming from somewhat of a gold shadow connoisseur.  Beehive is a lovely taupe which showed some interesting complexity in the sun.  The coral Nectar shows up so nicely with just a few swipes across my cheeks.  
The gold on the bees is an overlay that brushes off easily, but I've been working around it on the eye shades just to save the prettiness for a while.
Hands down, my favorite palette so far this spring.  I liked the Wild Horse palette, but I love Save the Bees!

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Santigolden Age Be Legendary Lip Gloss in All Gold E'rything

Disclaimer:  I purchased this.
All Gold E'rything ($20) is part of The Santigolden Age collection from Smashbox, one of the most visually striking collections I've seen this spring.  I've been waiting and waiting for some swatches before I bought anything, but finally decided to dive in blind using an Ulta 20% off coupon.
All Gold E'rything features the new Be Legendary gloss formula, which is billed as having an airy feel and glassy finish.  My last venture into Smashbox glosses found them to be a bit too sticky for my taste, but I'm happy to report I like the Be Legendary formula much better! 
All Gold E'rything is gold flecks suspended in a clear base (not copper as I had seen it described on some sites).  I liked it best as a topper over lipstick, and the idea behind the glosses is to mix and match them with other shades. 
Over bare lips
All Gold E'rything was comfortable to wear and felt hydrating, with a nice wear time for a gloss of 3-4 hours.  Here I'm wearing it over Tangerine, a matte lipstick from MAKE.  I like it! I can see this as a go to summer gloss option.

Friday, April 11, 2014

NOTD: Rose by Julep and Some Sugar Skulls

Rose by Julep is the kind of red that is made for warm weather.  Described by Julep as a juicy watermelon red crème, I'd actually describe the finish as a crelly - a cross between a jelly and a cream.  I love a crelly finish, as the gloss factor is uber strong!
The formula was very easy to work with and I'm wearing two coats with Zoya's base and top coats.  After two days of admiring Rose on her own, I decided to add a few water decals as accents that I recently picked up from  Born Pretty.  I won a $20 gift certificate for the Born Pretty store from Jasmine at The Happy Sloths, and I went a little crazy picking out water decals.  Thank you Jasmine and Born Pretty!
I've got a thing for sugar skulls and other Day of the Dead symbology.  Something about the macabre combined with a joie de vivre appeals to me, so I certainly couldn't pass this little guy up!    
Linking up with The Nail Files hosted by Jennie Shaw!

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Le Métier de Beauté March and April VIP Subscription Boxes: A Plethora of Complexion Goodness

March box
I'm a bit behind in posting my Le Métier de Beauté VIP subscription boxes, so thought I'd combine two months into one post.  The two boxes actually complement each other really well, as they contained a concealer and a finishing powder both featuring Le Métier de Beauté's proprietary Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complexe.
April box
What exactly is the  Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complexe, you ask?  Well, it features the exclusive and patented delivery system Syntoc Actif, which aids in the improved delivery of key ingredients to your skin.  Retinol is one of those key ingredients, which pleases me to no end.  Of course all of this costs a pretty penny ( or dollars), but considering you are getting skincare combined with your makeup, it could be worth it.
Fortunately, I'm getting to try these products at a fraction of the cost ($29/mo), due to the VIP year long subscription program.   Seriously, best makeup and skincare investment ever!  If you like luxury makeup and skincare, I'd jump on it when the subscription opens back up in July. 
The March box contained two items, the Ultra Hydration Eye Mask Duo ($18.75) and Peau Vierge Correcteur ($95) in medium.  The eye mask was enough for one use, and a set of eight packets retails for $150. 
The translucent gel patches feature a seaweed based formula and you leave them on for 15 minutes.  I'm fortunate in that I have minimal wrinkles, but the ones I do have are primarily under my eyes.  After I removed the mask, they had virtually disappeared.  While the price is prohibitive for me to use on a regular basis, I could totally see investing in a set for special occasions, when you want to look rested and at your best.  Bottom line, they delivered immediate results, even if those results are temporary. 
The Peau Vierge Correcteur in medium contains retinol and SPF16, which is fairly unique in a concealer.  The shade leans yellow and was a touch dark for under eye use, but it is perfect for concealing dark spots on my face.  I've been using it daily since I received it, and I love that not only is it concealing imperfections, it's also treating them. 
A little goes a long way, and staying power is impressive.  Some concealers blend themselves away, but this isn't one of them.  Love it.
The April box contained a single item, the Peau Vierge Anti-Again Pressed Powder ($75) in shade 2.  Now, I've seen some disappointment online that LMdB is sending out foundation type products in the VIP subscription boxes after saying they wouldn't, as complexion colors vary greatly and the shades in the boxes are not customized.  I get that, I really do. 
Applicator housed under powder
I've been fortunate in that I can wear the colors sent to me, but hopefully the next iteration of the subscription plan will either be customized, not send out complexion products, or state up front that you may get products that don't work for your skintone, so subscribe at your own risk.  I think that will cut down on the discontentment some subscribers have felt the past few months.  Personally, I view any subscription service as a buy at your own risk, as you never know what you may get or if it will work for you.  I've got a fairly high risk comfort level in most areas, however.  To my detriment sometimes :-)
I've been using the enclosed foam applicator to gently press the powder into my skin, which gives a thin layer of barely perceptible powder to set my foundation.  True to LMdB' skin treating philosphy, the powder contains:
  • Sodium Hyaluronate to increase skin hydration
  • Nylon-12 to help resist settling into fine lines and provide a soft-focus effect
  • TPM® as the powerfully efficient delivery system for key ingredients
  • Vital ET™, a bio-functional form of Vitamin E, to increase elasticity and delivers antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits
Yet another welcome addition to my collection!  To date, the value of the items I've received from the VIP subscription program has been $967.75, almost triple the $349 subscription price.  I continue to be happy I took the plunge :-)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Tangerine Matte Lipstick by MAKE

Disclaimer:  I purchased this.
I bought quite a few products from MAKE recently, my first foray into this brand.  If you're not familiar with MAKE, it's the first for-benefit brand of the We See Beauty Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to incubate and accelerate women-led, worker-owned cooperatives to drive large scale change.
What does that mean, exactly?  Well, the long version is here, but one aspect is that 1/3 of online sales from the We See Beauty site are donated to the foundation
"to accelerate a movement that believes through shared ownership, we can establish a more equitable and beautiful society for all."
I purchased mine from Barneys New York, and on there it says 10% goes to the foundation, good to know for future purchases.  So essentially, reinvesting in communities and people who are creating positive change.  I like that concept, plus I've seen some good reviews of the makeup!
Since I've been searching for the right orange matte lip shade for me, one of my choices was the Tangerine matte lipstick ($25).  I second guessed myself a bit when I first opened the tube, wondering would I be able to pull off this color.  According to Joey Maalouf in How to Pull Off Orange Lipstick Like a Pro  "For medium skintone, try an apricot hue. For fair skin, I prefer a tomato-colored orange. For dark skin, tangerine."  Hmmm well, let's see if I picked the right color.
The pigmentation is very good, and I like the angular shape of the lipstick, as it makes it quite easy to apply straight from the tube for opaque coverage.  I applied over exfoliated lips and on top of MAKE's lip primer, another product I picked up to hopefully help with lip line settling issues.  I'll review once I test it a bit more.
The color is actually tamer on than I was expecting from the swatch, no doubt tempered by my own lip color.  Worn over the primer, I found it quite comfortable and with a wear of about 4 hours.  The matte lipstick formula features squalane, candelilla wax, vitamin A and sunflower seed oil, so it may be comfortable on it's own as well.  It did not survive a meal, but my lips were starting to feel like they needed some hydration by that point anyhow.
Here I applied using a lip brush, which gave a lighter coating of color for a slightly more subdued look.  That's the one I was more comfortable with, as I'm still a bit shy about wearing bold lips to work.  Which is where I'm at the majority of the time I'm wearing makeup :-) 
I'm happy with Tangerine and glad I took a chance on it! I think it will successfully take me through the warm weather months, and I can now go on my next elusive color/product search.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Clinique All About Shadow Jammin' Duo and Intense Aubergine Quickliner

Disclaimer:  These were a gift with purchase.
In general, I've been so-so at best regarding Clinique eyeshadows.  If I had to put my finger on why these are not shadows I gravitate towards, it's because the ones I've tried (Coffee Shop duo and a GWP Plums palette) have lacked in pigmentation and seemed to require a lot of layering for color to show.  I'm happy to say my experience with the Jammin' duo ($20), a GWP when I purchased the Peach Pop blush, is better!  I'm still not inclined to purchase these on their own, but I do think this is a set that will get some future use.
While the pink shade doesn't show up well on my arm, it's a nice all over lid shade and I've used it several times, as I love pink shadows in the spring time.  The purple shade as a nice shimmer to it (enlarge photo to see better), although I find it a bit difficult to get smooth color with it, as it seemed to skip a bit on my lids.  That could be my lids, though, as they are not as firm as they used to be.
I also received Intense Aubergine ($16) in the GWP, and my conflicted feelings regarding Clinique's eyeshadow does not extend to their eyeliners.  These, I really like!  Intense Aubergine has a lovely shimmer to it which adds a bit of complexity without being flashy.  I love the color, kind of a dark chocolate purple.  These twist up pencils apply smoothly and wear strong on my oily lids, no complaints from me. Intense Aubergine is great with the Jammin' duo, very complementary colors.
Have you used Clinique's shadows or liners, and if so, what are your impressions?