Friday, January 30, 2015

Cynthia Rowley Beauty Lip Stain in Heartthrob

Given that Valentines Day is right around the corner, it seems appropriate to show you the aptly named Heartthrob.  I received this mini in a Birchbox and wasn't expecting much, to be honest.  A soft coral red, this lip (and cheek) stain pleasantly surprised me. 
The formula is more of a lip butter, with minimal stickiness but a decent wear time of 3 hours or so.  It's also moderately moisturizing, which is tres important in the dead of winter. Okay, it was 76 degrees yesterday in Mobile, but my lips need mega moisture all year round.
Does it really stain my lips?  Yes, as a repeat application during the day and a quick check of the mirror show lips that are progressively more pigmented. 
A full sized lip stain is $20, but Birchbox has a trio set available for $45.  Unfortunately, Heartthrob is not one of them and I can't seem to find it anywhere.  The other full sized versions on both Birchbox's and Cynthia Rowley's site are sold out.  Not sure if that is due to popularity or because they are no longer available, but there ya go.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Le Métier de Beauté VIP January Box: Beautiful Multitasker

Disclaimer:  I purchased these.
January's VIP subscription box from Le Métier de Beauté featured something old and something new.  The something old was the kabuki brush ($85), which those that subscribed last year also received in the inaugural box (links are to full reviews).  That's fine by me, as I love and use mine regularly, so a second one will also be put to good use.   Composed of 100% natural goat hair, it's densely packed and quite soft.  I primarily use mine for face powders.
The something new is a lovely single ($30) that can be used as both a blush or an eyeshadow, a true multitasker for someone like me with a fair but warm toned complexion.
Summer sunset at Redondo Beach Pier (Source: Yelp)
Sadly, this one has no name on it, so I'll make up my own.  Let's call it Redondo Beach, because that's the name that flew into my head when I was typing this.  A perusal of Google images says that works just fine.
Redondo Beach has a lovely but subtle shimmer to it, which translates more to a satin finish on my skin.  It works well as both an eye shadow or a blush, although the color puts it mainly in the latter camp for me.  Fortunately, blue eyes and this salmon/apricot shade work well together, so I'll be able to use it for both purposes.
I went for a monochromatic look in this FOTD, with Redondo Beach on both my cheeks and eyes.  I used Urban Decay's now discontinued (why, UD, why?) 24/7 eye pencil in Lucky to line my upper and lower lashline, and Chantecaille's Faux Cils mascara.
On my lips I'm wearing Urban Decay's Fiend Revolution lipstick topped with Tom Ford's Luca from Lips & Boys.  I'm going to find ways to wear Luca that works if it kills me.
The total value of January's VIP box was $115, and I'll enjoy both products for quite some time to come.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Julep Nailed It! Mini Set and Eliana NOTD

Disclaimer:  I purchased this.
I go through phases with brands, and Julep was low on my radar until last month when I bought more than a few things during a really good sale.  The Nailed It! mini set was one of the items that spoke to me, given my love of mini polishes.  I only owned one of the polishes in the set, Cameron, which sealed the deal.
The set includes mini's of:

Lorenzana: Shiitake crème
Margot: Old Hollywood gold shimmer
Cameron: Silver lilac stardust (matte glitter)
Logan: Sultry aubergine shimmer

Rae: Radiant orchid crème
Maddy: Raspberry sorbet shimmer
Myriam: Casino red crème
DeAnn: Ripe loganberry crème
Princess Grace: Rich papaya crème
Eliana: Soft denim crème
Phoebe: Vibrant jungle metallic
Monaco: Dazzling mariner blue crème
The teal leaning blue Eliana was my first choice to wear from this set.  The finish is a crelly (cream/jelly), and I'm wearing two coats with Julep's Freedom top coat.
The first coat is streaky, but a careful second coat fills things out nicely.  Three thin coats may even be optimal.  I'm going on 5 days of wear now with no chips or even tip wear, so color me happy.
The Nailed It! set is currently in stock for $48, but Julep frequently has sales/discount codes/GWP's, and I'd wait for one if it appeals to you.  I paid $19.99 for it, just to give you an idea of how discounted items can be during a really good sale.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Becca Sheer Eye Tint in Romanticism: A Taupe Lover's Delight

I've been wanting to try BECCA's eye tints for a while now, and had my eye on the 24/7 Tints set at Sephora for the longest time.  Fortunately, it was still available during their Sale on Sale event right after Christmas, and I snapped it up. 
The 24/7 Tints set (it's no longer in stock at Sephora, but the shades are all available individually) contained two eye tints, Romanticism and Gilt, and two cheek tints, Raspberry and Grapefruit.  Today I have Romanticism to show you, which I've been wearing about every other day for the past two weeks.  I'm smitten.
Why am I smitten?  Well, although the online description is a "mauve bronze", it's such a soft, pretty taupe. I love how natural it looks on, and enjoy wearing it on it's own with eyeliner or as a base shadow with another taupe powder shadow to define my crease.  Below I'm wearing it on it's own with Urban Decay's Stray Dog 24/7 pencil on my upper lash line, and Mainline on my bottom lash line. 
In the full face shot, I'm wearing it as a base shadow with Burnished Sapphire from Le Métier de Beauté's After Dark kaleidoscope to darken the crease and outer edges of my eyes. 
Over primer, I get a good 8 hours of wear and they tend to fade as opposed to crease on me.  I honestly was not expecting too much from the sheer tints, as the online reviews were decidedly mixed.  Romanticism is hitting my sweet spot though!  Glad I snapped up the set before it was gone, as I paid about $28 for the set of four tints, which are regularly $24 each for the eye tints and $25 each for the cheek tints.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

After Dark Stained Glass Test Tube x4 Set by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics

The After Dark Stained Glass Test Tube set is currently on sale at Sephora for $10, which is a great price point for those who haven't tried these out yet.  Personally, I'm a fan of Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetic (OCC) lip tars, including the stained glass formula.
These stained glass lip tars provide more sheer tints of color in comparison to the opaque matte lip tars, and I like how they start off with a high gloss finish and then dry down to a more matte stained look.  Despite being more sheer, three out of the four in this set still provide plenty of color, with a wear time of a good 3 hours or so.  Little Black Dress was much more sheer than I was expecting, and works best mixed with other shades.
Little Black Dress, New Wave, Jealous, Hedonist
I do need to wear more of the stained glass formula than the original lip tars, which require a minute amount they are so crazy pigmented.  Even still, these mini-sized lip tars will provide plenty of uses, and I hope OCC continues to release them, as I doubt I'll ever make it through the full sized versions ($18).
New Wave + Little Black Dress
Jealous + Hedonist + Little Black Dress
The biggest downside of the lip tars for me as that they are not easy to apply on the go, as they are best applied with  a lip brush.  A mini brush is included in this set, and the whole set is compact enough to throw in your purse if desired.
Wearing Jealous

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pink Escape Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelée by Josie Maran

I've got another coconut water infused cheek gelée by Josie Maran to show you, this time called Pink Escape.  I acquired this deluxe travel sized cheek tint via Sephora's Summer Stash Favorites set, which is currently on sale at Sephora for $30. 
The Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelée formula contains 50% coconut water, and the bouncy gel texture can be applied with either your fingers or a brush (I prefer using a brush).  It feels slightly cool when applied, and leaves behind a realistic but subtle flush of color.  I like how natural it looks, and color can be built up in intensity with multiple layers, but be careful as too much product will result in visible and uneven buildup of the product.
Pink Escape is close in color to Pink Island (full review here), but leans slightly more pink with Pink Island slightly more coral in comparison.  
Is the difference between the two colors enough to justify both?  Probably not.  I also find the smaller pot a tad more difficult to use, as the opening is just large enough to get your finger into.  However, if you want to give the formula a try without investing $22 for a full sized pot, the Summer Stash Favorites set would be a good option, provided there are other products in the set that you will use. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Luca Lip Color from Tom Ford's Lips & Boys

My first Tom Ford product.  Let's mark the occasion with a moment of silence.  Okay, now on to Luca from the Lips & Boys limited edition lip colors, which were released right around the holidays to the usual fanfare that surrounds Tom Ford.
I looked at pictures and reviews of these for what seemed like forever before I decided on the peach frosted Luca.  Something about it appealed to me, although maybe it was just the whoopla going in the beauty blogasphere world over these.
Cause honestly?  It's just okay.  I want to love it, especially since I paid $32 for what is larger than a sample sized but smaller than a full sized lipstick.  The packaging is definitely high end, but the color just isn't hitting that sweet spot for me, despite how pretty it looks in the tube.  It's a bit too light for my preference, and the frosted finish is not the most forgiving.
It has a tendency to settle in lip lines, although from a distance it's not that noticeable.  Perhaps the color just isn't working with my winter paleness and will look better once I get some sun (or Clarin's Golden Glow Booster, which I should probably just wear year round). 
Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike Luca.  I'm just a tad underwhelmed.  The formula is okay, neither hydrating or drying to my lips despite the "rare and exotic ingredients including soja seed extract, Brazilian murumuru butter and chamomilla flower oil to create an ultra-creamy texture with an incredibly smooth application", and I can get about 3 hours of comfortable wear.  I do like how there is an underlying pink tone to the peachy melon color, which makes it more unique.  I also have nothing quite like it in my collection, so there is that.
In these photos I was testing out a too dark BB cream, Smashbox's Camera Ready in medium, which probably doesn't help with the overall effect:  oompa loompa with pale frosted lips.
This inside shot show Luca's peach tint a bit better, although I'm still oompa loompa as I decided to try out the too dark Smashbox BB cream a second day, apparently thinking it would magically look better this time.  I'm persistent like that:
Then, I decided maybe I'll just use Luca as a layering lipstick.  Here I've layered it over Le Metier de Beaute's Dualistic Lip Pencil in Rouge, and my face is finally a more appropriate color:
Luca over LMdB's Rouge lip pencil
Rouge lip pencil only
Finally, I tried Luca with Chantecaille's Brilliant Gloss Lucky on top, hoping that would hit the sweet spot.  Which it did. 
So there ya go, my first Tom Ford lipstick, mixed emotions here.