Friday, November 28, 2014

NOTD: Autumn Goodness with Julep, Zoya, and OPI

After over a week of bare nails due to laziness, I gravitated towards colors reflected in the turning leaves here on the Gulf Coast.  We don't really get the spectacular colors other areas do, but this year has been one of the better ones, no doubt due to a some early (and unusual for this area) cold snaps.
OPI's Orange You Fantastic from the Coca-Cola collection just slays me.  Gold and red glitter in a sheer orange tint, this is fall in glitter form.  Julep's Sheila was a bit of a revelation in that it's an easy one coater, and Zoya's metallic gold Ziv rounded out the trio and helped tie it all together.
I hope everyone is enjoying fall in whatever form it takes where you are at.  It's supposed to be in the sunny 70's on Sunday, so I'll be soaking that up while it lasts :-)  Linking up with The Nail Files hosted by Jennie Shaw:

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope all that celebrate are having a happy Thanksgiving, however you chose to do it!  My non traditional Thanksgiving meal featured fresh from the Gulf shrimp, French bread, salad, and lemon meringue pie.  Feeling relaxed and thankful, and looking forward to several more days of puttering around the house, destressing, and spending quality time with family, both human and canine :-)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Goldfinger Eyeshadow Kaleidoscope by Le Métier de Beauté

 Disclaimer:  I purchased this.
The Beauty Vault VIP subscription program from Le Métier de Beauté (LMdB) continues to be stellar this year, with not a single misstep yet.  The October entry was a gorgeous eyeshadow kaleidoscope called Goldfinger:
Golden Function
Violet File
My initial impression when I saw the colors together was "hmroo?", but somehow they work, especially when layered.  That's the genius of LMdB's shadows, as they take on a beautiful complexity when combined together.  For instance, Golden Function and Violet File produce the most ethereal soft champagne taupe.  I don't know how LMdB does it, but it's stunning.
Golden Function + Violet File
Below are some other layering combos.  Golden Function + Gunmetal gives the best antique gold, just so pretty!
Eye kaleidoscopes are pricey at $95, but I'm a solid convert after having tried several via the VIP subscription.  The quality of the shadows is great, and the layering combos take you far beyond the four shadow pans.   I'll be signing up for a third year of the program when the time comes, no doubt!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Deep Forest Color Tattoo 24/7 Cream Eyeshadow by Maybelline

I've made no secret of my love for the Maybelline 24/7 Color Tattoo cream eyeshadows, but some work better than others.  From the Leather series, Cream Beige is my absolute favorite (review here).  I'd rank Deep Forest as more of a mid to low tier performer. 
I've also got an issue with the name, as this does not evoke a dark green, which is what I think of with "Deep Forest".  This is more of a grunge green, which could have spawned a whole range of creative names.  Oh well, missed opportunities on a couple of levels here.
I actually like the grungy green color, but did find it a bit difficult to get smooth color with Deep Forest.  It worked best for me as a base color for powder shadows, as I could fill in any patchiness.  I apply it with my finger, and you can see even in the arm swatch that it's not smooth color :-/  You can build up color intensity with a flat synthetic brush, but I still don't find it as smooth as I'd like.
So, I go with a more sheer application as a base shade or as an eyeliner, and it's workable.  Here I'm using the Sephora + Pantone Universe Daybreak Full Spectrum eyeshadow palette (review here) with Deep Forest as an eyeliner.
Below, I'm using Deep Forest as a base shadow on the first third of my lid and on the lower lash line, topped lightly with Lancome's Electrifying Sparkle Color Design Infinite Shadow (review here). 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Incandescent Electra from the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette

Disclaimer:  I purchased this.
Incandescent Electra is the exclusive blush shade from the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette, and definitely a motivating factor for me in buying the palette.  I love a good peachy blush, and this one looked like it would work quite well with my fair but warm complexion. 
Each palette is unique and can vary in the blush to powder striation, and mine has a predominance of the peach blush to the Incandescent Ambient Lighting powder.  This makes me happy, as Incandescent is more of a highlighting powder and I prefer a lower shimmer content in my blushes.  This one is quite lovely.
I find the finish of all the Ambient Lighting powders and blushes to be skin enhancing, and they really perform well on my oily skin.  I can still see mostly intact pigment with the blushes at the end of the day, which is not always the case for me.  These are probably the longest wearing powder blushes I've experienced.
It's a toss up for me if Incandescent Electra or Mood Exposure is my favorite from the Ambient Lighting Blush palette.  Indeed, they are similar in tone, with Incandescent Electra leaning slightly more peach and Mood Exposure more terracotta.  Electra also has a higher shimmer content due to the Incandescent Ambient powder, but it still falls comfortably within my acceptable shimmer level (NARS Orgasm would not, for example).
I'm quite happy with my Ambient Lighting Blush Palette ($58).  The formula totally works for me, and I'd love to see another palette with some of the other shades and perhaps another exclusive color.  The palette is currently listed as limited edition (although Hourglass did that with the powder palette, but then brought it back as permanent), and it's currently showing as out of stock at Sephora.  You can still get it from Hourglass, Net-a-Porter, and Space NK, however.

Friday, November 21, 2014

BECCA Ultimate Coverage Complexion Crème in Sand and Cashmere

I was looking for something at ulta.com to bump my purchase up to the free shipping threshold, and came upon the sample set from BECCA.  Featuring a travel sized Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal and two Ultimate Coverage Complexion Crème samples in Sand and Cashmere, I figured why not?  The travel sized Shimmering Skin Perfector is regularly priced at $19, so there's a bit of savings in there as well.
The Ultimate Coverage Complexion Crème line from Becca is a full coverage foundation that features a balance of 21% pure pigment and 22% water to conceal imperfections, redness, hyperpigmentation and the like with a lightweight cream. 
It's definitely got the pigment thing down and does a good job of covering the above mentioned issues without looking overly cakey or obvious.  I say overly, because anytime you are dealing with lots of pigmentation, it's a fine line between coverage and the dreaded mask like effect.  On the plus side, I found it easy to apply with a brush, although there was a bit of pore settling that needed more careful smoothing out. 
Opal Shimmering Skin Perfector
The finish is semi-matte, and I also experimented combining the Opal Illuminating Skin Perfector with the foundation as well.  I've done comparisons of the powder vs. cream versions before, which you can see here.
Wearing Cashmere with Sand as a concealer
Cashmere (neutral beige, neutral undertones) was the better match for my complexion, but I did use Sand (pale beige, yellow/golden undertones) as a concealer in the above picture.  Wear time was a respectable 8 hours on my oily skin before breakdown was starting to be an issue. 
Cashmere + Sand + Opal blended
Above is a blend of Cashmere, Sand and Opal together.  I would probably go with a slightly smaller dab of Opal next time (I used a healthy pea sized amount), as I felt like I need to powder my face to tone down the shimmer a bit.  Final thoughts:  I like the foundation, but not sure I like it enough to spend $44 for it.  On days I need more coverage it's definitely a good option, but I feel like Revlon's Colorstay Whipped Creme (review here) is a good full coverage option for my oily skin, at about 1/4 of the cost.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

No Makeup Makeup Work Look

This was my second attempt at a No Makeup Makeup look (you can see my first here).  I wanted to look a bit more polished yet still au naturale, which I think I achieved.
In lieu of foundation, I went with Skin79's Super+ BB cream (review here).  It did a good job of smoothing out my skin and minimizing redness/dark spots.  I used Estee Lauder's Double Wear Blush-On Glow BB Highlighter in 1C (Cool) to conceal dark spots and as a highlighter on eyes, nose, and cupid's bow.  I set everything withLe Métier de Beauté's Peau Vierge pressed powder.
I primed my eyes with Urban Decay's champagne shimmer Sin eye primer, and then used Pur Mineral's Soul Mattes shadows Confidante, Companion, and Adore to lightly contour and highlight (swatches and review here).  To add a bit of definition along my upper and lower lash lines, I used Estee Lauder's Blackened Cocoa Pure Color Intense Kajal eyeliner pencil and then smudged Sidekick from Soul Mattes over it.  Brows were done with Giorgio Armani's Eye & Brow Maestro in medium brown, review here.
Blush is Pur Minerals Pink Powder, review to come soon.  Le Métier de Beauté's lip kaleidscope Gemini Kiss (review here) provided soft pink lips.  I need to use that palette more, it's really nice.
Overall, I'm pleased with how this came out!  I'm just back from the American Public Health Association's conference in New Orleans, where I learned lots of stuff, co-presented a paper, and ate lots of good food :-)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

No Makeup Makeup Weekend Look

I look better with makeup, I just do.  Even when I was a teenager with the glow that comes with youth, I can remember someone asking me if I was sick one time when I was out and about sans makeup.  However, my skin has been looking better than usual for some reason the past few days  (thoughts on that below), so I decided to experiment with a few no makeup looks to see what works best for me. Today is my running errands FOTD (face of the day), and tomorrow I'll show you the slightly more polished work FOTD.
Going without foundation is a bit scary for me, given my skin's sun damage and sebaceous hyperplasia, not to mention blemishes.  However, since my skin was looking fairly decent, I went with Clinique's City Block, a tinted SPF25 with translucent coverage.  I used Estee Lauder's Double Wear Brush-On Glow Highlighter in 1C Light (Cool) on the inner edges and under my eyes, along the bridge of my nose, and cupid's bow.  Good stuff, I'll review it soon.
I topped off with Le Metier de Beaute's Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Pressed Powder ($75) in shade 2 to cut down on the dewiness factor, given my oily skin.  On my brows, I'm wearing the Inika Blonde Bombshell brow pencil, which does indeed lean blonde.  It's the lightest brow shade I have, but helps to define and fill in my brows.  Good product, and I'm about two-thirds through mine. 
For a bit of gleam on my eyes, I used a touch of Urban Decay's shimmery champagne Sin eye primer.  Mascara is Estee Lauder's Sumptuous Extreme Lash Multiplying Volume in black, a favorite formula for both the deep black color and lack of clumpiness.   I finished with Hourglasses's Ambient Lighting powder palette, dusting Dim Light all over, highlighting with Incandescent Light, and dusting Radiant Light on my cheeks.
For my lips, I lined and filled in with Urban Decay's Glide-On lip pencil in Naked,  a slightly darker than my lips but better color.  It's really nice - very pigmented and smooth, plus comfortable to wear. In the center of my lips I dabbed a bit of Covergirl's Give Me Guava, a sheer peachy gold.  By the way, Give Me Guava is an almost but not quite dupe for Chantecaille's Lucky, which I adore.  Well here, you look:
Final thoughts:  Going for a no makeup makeup look is no less time consuming than a regular makeup look.  I may have cut down a few minutes given the lack of eyeshadow and foundation, but still.

Regarding my skin looking better, I'm thinking it's a factor of several things:
  • Regular exfoliation
  • Use of products containing retinol and/or peptides
  • Yoga:  I recently developed the painful tight hip muscle condition known as Piriformis syndrome, which has forced me back into my yoga practice.  I enjoy yoga, but now it's become a necessity.  All those twisty moves are good for your inner organs as well as your muscles, so maybe that's contributing.
  • Use of skin serums.  I slathered on Complexion Conserve Remedy Reserve Serum Saturday afternoon, and it was Sunday when I was like "boy, my skin look good".  Ingredients: castor oil*, carrot seed oil*, rose otto, soy oil*, vitamin e (* indicates certified organic ingredient).