Monday, June 30, 2014

BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal: Powder vs. Liquid

Now that I've gotten over my fear of using luminizers on my oily skin, I'm starting to appreciate the difference between powder and liquid versions.  As an aside and in case you are wondering what constitutes oily skin, here's a reference point:
So, it's nice when a brand like BECCA offers luminizers in both formats.  I bought Opal in powder format back in the spring, and have received several samples of the liquid Opal with purchases. 
I love mixing a liquid luminizer in my foundation, but have not gotten adept at using them to highlight smaller areas of my face.  The liquid version of Opal is a bit darker in tone and less shimmery than the powder version and I actually prefer the color and finish of it over the Opal powder. 
Powders work best for pinpointing areas such as the bridge of my nose or the top of my cheekbones. However, the powder Opal can veer into metallic territory quite easily, so I have to use a very light touch when applying.
Opal liquid (L), Opal powder (R)
Of course, too much of the liquid mixed with foundation produces more "glow" than I want as well, as I found out the first time I tried it.  A bit more dewy than I'm comfortable with, considering my oily skin starts producing it's own glow soon enough.  Still, no denying that BECCA's Opal luminizer is quite lovely.  A bit pricey at $38 for the powder and $41 for the liquid, but still lovely.

Friday, June 27, 2014

NOTD: OPI's A Piers to be Tan and Bit Faker by Butter London

Disclaimer:  I purchases these.
I was in a brown mood this week, so when I went to peruse my polishes A Piers to be Tan by OPI jumped out at me.  For a couple of reasons, actually.  Obviously, the rich caramel color was one.  The second was I don't remember acquiring this.  Hmmm.....the hazards of over consumption, or perhaps signs of a declining memory? 
Regardless, I'm happy to have it and the formula was spot on, no issues to speak of.  I did an accent nail with Bit Faker by Butter London, and I liked it so much I need to break it out again, and soon.  Really lovely!  One coat of Seche Vite on top was enough to amp up shine and smooth things out.
I'm going on 4 days of wear as I type this and I've got zero chips and just a smidgen of tip wear.  A Piers to be Tan is from the 2013 Fall/Winter San Francisco collection, and even though I can't remember when/how/where I got it, it's a keeper!
Linking up with The Nail files hosted by Jennie Shaw:

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Bali Swimmables Water Resistant Blush by Cargo

Cargo is one of those brands that has flown under the radar for me.  I remember when they were leaving Sephora, which was about the time I started seriously collecting makeup.  While I saw them in store at Ulta, nothing really tempted me.  So, practically everything they offer is new to me, which is kind of fun.

Now Ulta has stopped carrying Cargo, and I took the opportunity to load up due to the steep discount (75%).  So far, there are several hits and one definite miss, and today I'll be showing you one of the hits.

Bali was part of the Suited to a Tea Colour Kit, and is part of the Swimmables Water Resistant Blush line.  These feature a long wearing formula with
"special silicone-coated powder that offers stronger adhesion for lasting waterproof wear. Infused with L-lysine found naturally in your skin, it provides remarkably long wear and easily withstands moisture. Sweat-proof, tear-proof and heat-proof, this durable blush holds up beautifully giving your skin an effortless glow." (Source:  Dermstore)
Given Mobile's hot and humid climate, this appeals to me.  The soft pinky rose shade also has a slight bluish shimmer that produces a lovely glow.  I've been wearing it over other blushes as a highlight on the top of my cheeks as well as other traditional highlight spots, and I like it!
Bali over elf's Superstar
My Bali is a deluxe travel size, but the regular sized blushes retail for $26.  Even though Ulta and Sephora no longer carry Cargo, there are plenty of other places, both online and in store, to purchase (I understand Kohl's is now carrying Cargo).  Quite happy with Bali!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Pretty Pink Beautiful Color Moisturizing Lipstick by Elizabeth Arden

Disclaimer:  This was a GWP.
Pretty Pink is one of the lighter pink lipsticks I can wear without verging too far into Magda territory.  I'm sure the cream finish helps, as Magda was fond of light pink frosted lipsticks.  Of course, I could be kidding myself, as I also wore blue eyeshadow with Pretty Pink, which may have put right alongside Magda :-)
Part of the Beautiful Color Moisturizing line, these lipsticks are supposed to wear for 12 hours while still providing moisture to lips.  I've got to call BS on the 12 hours, although I suppose if you never ate/drank/talked/licked your lips in a 12 hour period, it's possible.
I did find Pretty Pink to be comfortable to wear and it didn't dry out my lips, but it also has a rather unforgiving tendency to emphasize imperfections, including any dry bits of skin.  No matter how much I exfoliated, there always seemed to be some.  I find lighter colors to be unforgiving in general unless they are extremely creamy and emollient, and while I wouldn't call Pretty Pink dry in texture, it also wasn't particularly creamy.
Fortunately, you'd have to invade my personal space to see what photos capture up close so well, so I'll continue to wear Pretty Pink when I need a lighter pink lipstick.  I received mine as a GWP, hence the basic black tube as opposed to the usual square shiny gold packaging.
At $25 each I'm not sure I'm wowed enough to rave about the Beautiful Color Moisturizing lipsticks based on Pretty Pink alone, but there are enough pluses (including a light staining quality, which was a surprise for a lighter shade) I'm open to trying more.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Geisha Satin Finish Powder Blush by MAKE: Review and Comparison Swatches

Disclaimer:  I purchased this. Links provided for convenience only.
Geisha is the second of the MAKE blushes I picked up in April.  Online swatches of MAKE products were few and far between at the time, so I was flying a bit blind in my choices, but Geisha turned out to be a really nice choice.
At first glance I thought my other choice of MAKE blush, Czarina, was very close in color, but it's actually quite different in both intensity and color.  Whew. 
Geisha, Czarina
Like many other of my blush choices, I'd call this a soft peachy pink with a satin finish.  After looking through my blush collection I did find it to be more unique than I was anticipating.  It's also a standout for how smooth the finish is, which was a nice surprise.
The formula is oil-free, talc-free, fragrance-free, paraben-free, and never tested on animals.  It also contains good for your skin ingredients such as amino acids (lecithin and lauroyl lysine) and antioxidants (vitamins C and E) to moisturize and protect your complexion.  Color builds nicely and is hard to overdo as the color is quite soft, and wear time on my oily skin is a good 7-8 hours before I notice any breakdown.  
Thankful, Geisha, Cheeky Chic (top pan), Magic
The closest to Geisha I could find in both color and finish in my collection was Tarte's Amazonian Clay 12-hr blush Thankful.  In the compact Le Metier de Beaute's top pan from Cheeky Chic looked similar, but it leans much more coral.  The limited edition Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hr blush in Magic is somewhat close in color but with a matte finish.
At $25 each, the MAKE blushes are comparable in price to other mid-range brands, and the formula and finish of the two I've tried more than support the price.  Plus, a percentage of online sales goes towards the creation of local cooperatives.  Very nice!  I purchased mine online from Barney's New York, but they are also available directly from http://weseebeauty.com/

Monday, June 23, 2014

Malibu Punch Ultimate Colour Gloss by BECCA

Disclaimer:  I purchased this.
I'm more of a lip gloss than lipstick wearer, although my appreciation of the latter has grown.  However, if I can find a good gloss that packs color as well as shine, I'm going to go in that direction.  Malibu Punch (Endless Summer 2012 collection) by BECCA definitely delivers in both areas. 
Described as a "weightless yet highly pigmented gloss that imparts ultimate bold colour and intense shine", it also contains antioxidant Vitamin E to nourish and hydrate and emollient oils for glide, slip and comfort on the lips.  I found it to be a comfortable and fairly long lasting formula that left my lips feeling hydrated and with a punch of color for a good 3-4 hours.
It's the color that really grabs me, when it comes right down to it.  Orange has been a go to warm weather lip look for me this year, and Malibu Punch brings it.  I'm seeing that BECCA has both Malibu Punch and a plumy shade called Hummingbird in their "Farewell" section on sale ($19.20, originally $24), so this beauty is being phased out. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

NOTD: Lady Muck by Butter London

I've got a thing for pale blue nail polish, and Lady Muck straddles the line between a Wedgewood blue and pale gray, with a subtle silvery pearl glow.  There is a dusty quality to it that I quite like, and I could see wearing this color in any season.
As you can see from the pictures, different lighting levels bring out more of the gray or blue qualities.  When I glance down at my nails, I usually register more gray than blue.
The formula was very nice, and this is two coats over OPI's base coat and topped with Seche Vite.  I did experience some chipping at the 3 day mark, but my nails are peeling a bit for non-stop polish wear, which I think is contributing to that problem.
You'll notice I'm hiding the top part of my thumbe in each shot, and that's because there's a chip there.  The rest of the nails look great though, and this is day 3 of wear.
I acquired Lady Muck in mini form as part of the Boxing Day Fashion Pack that is currently available at Ulta for $17.50.  I love all the colors in this neutral toned set!  Linking up with The Nail Files hosted by Jennie Shaw:

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

June Birchbox: Away We Go!

June's Birchbox is all about travel-ready samples for wherever you chose to getaway to.  For me, that would be my backyard, but that doesn't mean I won't be able to get plenty of mileage from the items I received.  Let's take a closer look!
I received a nice assortment of items this month, starting with a generously sized sample of Davines Love Smoothing shampoo (sample value $7.50).  I also received foil samples of the Love Smoothing condition ($1.41) and OI/All in One leave in treatment (83 cents), so I'll be able to get the full experience with this line of products.  Nice!

Perlier is an Italian brand I've seen featured at HSN, but can't remember ever trying.  The Intensive Nurturing Body Balm with Sweet Almond Milk  (sample value $4.26) contains 25% shea butter and features a pleasant almond scent.  I love this size of lotion for my purse, and since I'm a compulsive hand lotion wearer, that's where it is promptly going.
I have perfumes selected as one of the items I prefer not to receive often, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy perfume samples.  I do, I was just tired of receiving Juicy Couture samples from Birchbox, as them seemed to have a heavy rotation.  The Catherine Malandrino sample ($3?) description says it "mingles summery fruits (Italian Mandarin, ruby red grapefruit, and Nashi pear) and florals for an elegant vibe", and at first spray my initial thought was "oh, another fruity floral".  After 15-20 minutes, however, it settles into something deeper and even a bit dusky (amber and musk are base notes), and I found myself sniffing my arm frequently.  I like!
I'm also a user of skin serums, typically samples that I receive, so the Caudalie Plyphenol anti-wrinkle defense serum ($4.13) will get put to good use. 

Last up is a sample of Benefit's They're Real! mascara ($7.66).  I'm drawing a blank of if I've tried this before, so it will be added to my rotation of mascaras when there is an opening.  The total value of this month's box is $28.79, but even more important, they are all items I will use :-)

Birchbox has also partnered with JetBlue with exclusive amenity kits for the new Mint Experience.  Jet Blue is not one of the airlines in my area, unfortunately, but based on the quiz included this month, it appears Portland is a city I'd like to visit.  Pretty accurate, as I did enjoy visiting Portland when I lived in the Boson area.  #Birchbox + #JetBlue.