Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Clinique GWP and Giveaway!

Disclaimer:  This was a GWP.
Clinique had a GWP recently at Lord & Taylor that did it's siren song thing on me, and this time it's going to benefit a blog reader as well!  Why, you may ask?  Well, Lord & Taylor sent me two of the GWP sets, each in a separate box no less.  So, let's take a closer look at what you could win!
  • Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+
  • Repairwear Laser Focus
  • Liquid Facial Soap Mild
  • Different Lipstick in Glazed Berry
  • High Impact Mascara in Black
  • All About Shadow Quad (Angel Eyes, Blushed, Portobello, Morning Java)
  • Two makeup bags
Clinique recently reformulated their eyeshadow formula, and they are much nicer!  More pigmentation, smooth, just all around better than Clinique shades I've tried in the past.  Très bien
Angel Eyes
Angel Eyes provides more sparkle than color, and did have the tendency to migrate beyond where I placed it.  It worked well as an inner eye highlighter.
Blushed is a medium satin salmon pink.  It gives soft color and applies smoothly.
Portobello is a soft. satin taupe.  The satin finish shades are not intensely pigmented, providing more of a soft focus finish.
Morning Java
Morning Java is a deep brown with multi-tonal shimmer.  It is nicely pigmented and applies smoothly.
Glazed Berry is a bright medium pink shimmer.  It's a flattering color on me and does not veer into frost territory.  I find Clinique's Different Lipstick formula to be lightweight and comfortable to wear, and they do not dry out my lips.
Glazed Berry
I'm a big fan of Clinique's High Impact mascara, which I find to be a no fuss performer that defines and lengthens my lashes with a deep black color.  Most impressively, it does not smudge on me, even in Mobile's sauna like climate.
Okay, now for the giveaway rules!  The giveaway is open to blog readers from the U.S. and Canada only.  I am not responsible for items lost, damaged, or stolen in transit. To enter, see the Rafflecopter options below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 21, 2014

Boscia Haul and BB Creams

First up, apologies for the lack of posts last week.  I'm in the midst of writing a grant application, which has entailed 12 hours days and lots of hair pulling.  I'm still not finished, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.  Totally unrelated but perhaps timely given my absence, I'll be posting a giveaway tomorrow :-)  Secondly, Boscia had a really nice sale and GWP a few weeks back that I took advantage of, resulting in all you see above.  I haven't delved deeply into Boscia's line of products, but now I've got quite the variety of items to indulge in.  All this came to only:
Gotta love that!  I was curious if the sale was motivated by looming product expiration dates, as Sephora also has some of the same items deeply discounted.  More than likely that's the case, as the pink boxed items have this on it:
So, Boscia has moved to the front of the line of product rotation.  I'm quite pleased with the two B.B. creams in the mix.  I've been mixing the bronze with the regular, although I think I overdid the bronze initially.  In some pictures I look suspiciously oompa loompa.

I'd say these provide medium coverage and they are working nicely with my oily skin.  The regular B.B. cream comes in one self-adjusting shade, which did indeed blend well with my skin tone.  The bronze B.B. cream is quite a bit darker, and could be used for contouring or darkening lighter foundations.  Both have a subtle shimmer to them that does not translate as sparkly or shiny, and based on the below picture I'd say the bronze has gold flecks and the regular has silver. 
I apply with a foundation brush, which helped with any pore settling issues.  The resulting finish is smooth and natural looking, so these may now be my foundation choice for the rest of the summer, considering their SPF 27 and PA++ content.  What is PA++, you may ask (I did)?  Appareintly, it's a grade of UVA protection that provides superior defense against the rays that cause collagen damage and photo-aging of the skin.  Considering the semi-tropical climate I live in, that's a good thing.  The formula also includes Abyssine, a naturally derived survival molecule, to shield and soothe skin,  Hydroxyprolisilane to promotes skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of fine lines, and Beta-Glucan to provide essential moisture and protect against environmental damage.
 Boscia B.B. creams are $38, and mine were both part of the GWP, making them free :-)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Neo Aura Lip & Cheek Stain Gel by Vincent Longo

New Aura is a warm honey brown lip and cheek stain by Vincent, one of the six that I recently picked up for a song.  Loving the formula on these, which makes them so easy to use!
Neo Aura has a orangish undertone that I really like, but you'll notice that it definitely leans toward a brownish red on the lips.  The biggest surprise for me with these lip and cheek stains is how well they perform in each area - which is not always the case with multi-tasking products. 
Topped with clear lip balm
I've not noticed that these dry out my lips and find them comfortable to wear.  They do contain aloe vera oil extract, which would help in that area.  Regularly priced at $24 each, consider me a fan.  I'm happy to have gotten all six!

Monday, July 14, 2014

NYX Macaron Lippie in Orange Blossom

I don't know if you got your hands on any of the Macaroon Lippies yet, but I picked up Orange Blossom and Key Lime to try out.  I would have gotten some of the other colors but they've been out of stock at ulta.com for a few weeks now.  It's not like I need lip colors that I will never wear out in public, but sometimes you just want to have fun :-)
Orange sherbert.  That's what NYX's Macaroon Lippie in Orange Blossom reminds me of, color wise. I was hopeful that this would be one of the Macaron shades that I could potentially wear out of the house, and the arm swatch was promising.  A packaging note, and not sure if they all do this, but I could not get the lipstick to stay swirled up.  It would sink back down into the bullet when I was taking pictures.  I do like that you can see the color via the clear colored middle.
Alas, Orange Blossom is a bit too pastel, although I'm still oddly drawn to it.  I guess my love of orange, in all it's variations, runs deep.  There is also significant lip line settling, which is more evident up close.  I know pastels in general can be difficult, so I tried using a lip brush to smooth things out, but that seemed to remove pigment more than anything. 
It's not hideous awful (I think), and my Cantaloup Artistique blush by Troy Surratt matches it perfectly.  Take a look:

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Using a gloss on top of Orange Blossom was really the saving grace, however.  Here is Orange Blossom with Castelo, from the Le Metier de Beaute Red Rapture lip kaleidoscope.
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Next is Orange Blossom with Esthetique, from the Bauhaus lip kaleidoscope. 

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Last up is Orange Blossom with Criterion from the Bauhas kaleidoscope.  This made for such a soft peach hued lip!  Glosses are definitely the way to go with Orange Blossom, IMO. 

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Beauty a la Mode Duo by Laura Geller

 Disclaimer:  I purchased this.
Beauty a la Mode contains a dessert inspired duo for cheeks and eyes, the Blush -n- Brighten in Dreamsicle and the Baked Eye Pie shadow trio in Apple Peach Pie. 

Laura Geller specializes in baked products, and while I've dabbled a few times in her products, I've yet to get hooked on any.  Okay, I did use up an entire Balance -n- Brighten Baked Color Correcting Foundation a few years back, but the Baby Cakes Blushed palette (review here) is still languishing, unloved.  Could Beauty a la Mode change my perception, perhaps?
Well, yes and yes!  Both items are really lovely, with good pigmentation and smooth color.  Let's start with Apple Peach Pie, the eyeshadow trio.  The top triangle is a lovely coppery gold shimmer, followed by a mossy green satin, and then a salmon pink satin.  I was uncertain how all three would look together, but found they do complement each other.
Here's a few looks I've done with them.  You can also use these wet to intensify color, which is what I did with the green above my lash line.  The iridescent lighter green on the inner lower lash line is Kudos from the Bare Escentuals Star Treatment palette. :
 I'm even more enamoured with Dreamsicle, a warm learning medium pink with a satin finish.  I didn't have to struggle to get color with this one (I'm looking at you, Baby Cakes palette), nor was there the high shimmer factor that's in a lot Laura Geller's baked blushes.  Love.
I bought Beauty a la Mode on sale from Ulta.com, but I don't see it there anymore.  It is still available at laurageller.com for $39.