Friday, March 15, 2013

Illamasqua Nail Polish in Speckle

Happy Friday!! Hope you all have some fun plans for this weekend! Today I just wanted to share a few pictures of a new nail polish I've been wearing this past week, Illamasqua's Nail Polish in Speckle. 

The speckled nail polishes are part of the Spring 2013 collection from Illamasqua called I'mperfection. I love the idea behind this collection- a celebration of all the features that make us perfectly imperfect! Everyone and their mother in the beauty community has been all abuzz about these offerings, and it's not difficult to see why! 

The speckled nail polishes are a cream opaque formula, interspersed with various sizes of matte glitter particles. The formula is innovative and trendy, yet still wearable. I adore that from afar it appears as though I am wearing a lilac nail polish and not until you are up close do you notice the interesting texture. 

Although Speckle was fairly opaque in 2 coats, I opted to wear a sheer layer of Essie's Lilacism underneath for some added opacity. 

So far the wear time on this polish is fantastic. I did my manicure Saturday morning and it's still going strong with hardly any wear or chips.

What do you think of the new speckled nail polishes from Illamasqua? Perfect for Spring or just another fad?

Thanks for reading! xx

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Rediscovered: Stila Gerbera & MAC Sable

Hello lovelies! I've decided to start a new series on my blog highlighting the products that I rediscover from time to time in my makeup collection. My stash of products is admittedly quite extensive and I tend to get into makeup ruts and neglect products. So, in an attempt to make better use of the collection I have (and stop spending so much money on more makeup) I am going to try to rekindle my love for some of my forgotten beauties.

Stila Convertible Color in Gerbera is a soft peach shade that is super flattering on fair to light skin tones. Unfortunately, this cute little compact has been sitting unloved in my makeup drawers for the past at least 12 months, since I purchased it. Despite how beautiful the color is, I was just never able to get into using it on a regular basis because of the application, or lack thereof I should say. I originally applied this using my fingers which just didn't work. I found it difficult to blend and would end up with patchy, uneven color distribution. That was all until a week ago when I whipped this baby out for my Peaches and Cream post and gave it a try with the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. Finally I understood what all the fuss was about with these Convertible Colors! The Expert Face Brush made application effortless and left a flawless, beautifully diffused finish. I am in love with this blush now and it is the only blush to grace my cheeks for the past week. Applied properly, Gerbera leaves a dewy (but not sticky) finish on the cheeks that makes you look youthful and well rested. It also has incredible staying powder for a cream blush. Because of the luminous finish, I like to apply this blush higher on the cheekbones to act as a very subtle highlight as well. Give this one a try ladies, you won't be sorry!

Now on to the eyes! On a whim I decided last week to pull out my MAC eyeshadow palette. I was inspired by this video from the beautiful Lucy Garrick on youtube to whip out my MAC Sable Eyeshadow (a shimmering plum-toned medium brown), another long-forgotten favorite. I buffed Sable across the eyelid and under the lower lashline, with a little naked lunch in the inner third of the eye and a bit of MUFE Aqua Eyes Eyeliner in 2L on the lashlines. Let me tell you, I could not believe what this did for my green eyes! The first day I wore this look, even one of my coworkers commented asking if I had done something different with my makeup. If you are looking for a sophisticated yet feminine eye look that will make green or hazel eyes pop, look no further! The plum tones in Sable contrast with green eyes and create a gorgeous effect.

So there you have it, my rediscovered makeup look, fresh for Spring! Are there any makeup products you have neglected that you plan on using again?

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Spring Skin Care Haul

Spring is almost here! And what that means is no longer hiding behind a) layers of clothes and b) layers of makeup. In preparation for the warmer months ahead, I took a trip to my local Sephora to stock up on some old favorites as well as some new goodies to make sure my skin is in tip-top condition for Spring!

REN Mayblossom T-Zone Control Cleansing Gel
For starters, I've noticed that the REN Skin Care line has been getting lots of praise in the beauty world lately. I may or may not have mentioned, but ever since I went off of the birth control pill my normally combination skin has taken a nose-dive into seriously oily territory. I have been on the hunt for an oil-controlling cleanser to use in the mornings. The REN Mayblossom T-Zone Control Cleansing Gel got great reviews on, so I'm going to give it a shot! I especially appreciate that it is free of all the baddies like parabens, sulfates, mineral oil and synthetic fragrances. You can purchase this here

Clinique Turnaround Concentrate Radiance Renewer
Ever in search of that elusive glow, I also picked up the Clinique Turnaround Concentrate Radiance Renewer. I was watching a video from Kate from ghostparties who has amazing skin and mentioned that she uses this, so I was sold! This serum is meant to be used under your moisturizer to gently exfoliate, even skin tone and lighten any discolorations. If I can get my skin to look even half as luminous as Kate's, I'll be a happy lady! You can purchase this here.

Kate Somerville Nourish Daily Moisturizer
Kate Somerville's Nourish Daily Moisturizer was a repurchase. This moisturizer has been my holy-grail night cream for the past few months. It is lightweight, intensely moisturizing and just lovely on my sensitive skin. I even converted my boyfriend to using this and he loves it as well! You can purchase this here.

Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector SPF 42
The Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector was another repurchase. This is hands-down the best sunscreen I have found on the market. It feels like you have nothing on the skin. For a full review, click here.You can purchase this here.

I would love to know how you are getting your skin Spring-ready! Please let me know what your holy grail skin products are.

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

New Shade! Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 in Petal

Just in time for Spring, the maker of my favorite lip balm, Fresh, has released a new shade of their ever famous Sugar Lip Treatments. I have gone through countless tubes of the original, non-tinted Sugar Lip Treatment. Although pricey, I haven't been able to find an alternative that compares to it in hydrating capabilities, texture, and scent (gorgeous lemony-goodness!). And although all the prior tinted versions were beautiful, there was never one that was wearable enough for me to splash out the money. That is until now!

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Petal is a soft, neutral pink shade, that I was left wondering for years when Fresh would release! Although I had hoped it would be more a baby pink shade, I have still come to appreciate and love this tinted balm. It reminds me of the Sugar Lip Treatment in Honey, but with pink tones and not as dark. The color is a natural, sophisticated pink that leans towards light mauve. Not overly bright, I imagine this shade would look suitable on many skin tones and ages. It is fairly pigmented and can be worn as either a sheer wash, or built up to a more opaque lip. The Petal shade makes your lips look naturally full, flushed, and plump (think what you wished your lips look like on their own).  I also find the wear time for this lip balm to be excellent and I love how soft and comfortable my lips feel with it on.

 I am wearing tarte Smooth Operator Tinted Moisturizer, Stila Convertible Color in Gerbera, Burberry Eyeshadow in Pale Barley, Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Petal

I can see myself getting quite some use out of this product this Spring. What do you think about Fresh's newest Lip Treatment release? 

Thanks for reading!


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Peaches and Cream

If you were to sort through my makeup collection, you would be sure to find a whole lot of peach products.  Whether on the eyes, lips, or cheeks, peach makeup has always been a full-proof way to bring a little life back into lackluster post-Winter skin. A universally-flattering shade, it has the ability to bring warmth and life to the face while still remaining youthful and feminine. With Spring quickly approaching (fingers crossed!) I'm sure a lot of us are turning to products that can give us a bit of a glow and restore a "peaches and cream" complexion. Also, peach is a great option when the bronzes and corals of Summer can seem out of place in the early Spring months. So, I thought it was only suitable to compile a mini collection of some of my most-reached-for peach products.

When Winter, stress, or lack of sleep has leached all the glow out of my face, one of my favorite solutions is to apply a peach, or peachy-pink blush. I find the warm tones in peach blushes look more natural on my skin tone than true pinks do. Some of my all-time favorites are MAC Immortal Flower (review here), a matte "peaches and cream" shade and of course NARS Deep Throat, a shimmering golden peachy-pink blush. On the rare occasion that I feel like a cream blush, my go-to is the lovely Stila Convertable Color in Gerbera, a near counterpart in cream form to MAC's Immortal Flower.

One of my go-to looks in the warmer months is to wear a shimmering peach-toned eyeshadow across the lids, paired with my signature black winged liner. The winged liner helps to bring subtle definition to the eye, while the shimmering peach shades disguise any shadows and bring light to the eye area. For cream products, I love the Chanel Ilusion d'Ombre Eyeshadow in Emerveille, a very subtle, yet highly shimmery nude peach shade. Of course no peach-themed post would be complete without a nod to the gorgeous golden-peach MAC Paint Pot in Rubenesque. My two pics for powder eyeshadows have to be the limited edition NARS Eyeshadow Trio in Ramatuelle (review here) and a long-time favorite, the Clinique Eyeshadow Duo in Sunburst

Truth be told, I don't often stray far from my favorite baby pink lip shades, but when I do want something more warm-toned, one of my favorites is Stila's Lip Glace in Apricot (which has the most divine smell). For a more nude peach lip, I turn to Revlon's Lip Butter in Creamsicle

In this photo I am wearing MAC's Paint Pot in Rubenesque across the eye lid, then topped with the NARS Trio in Ramatuelle. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner on the top lashline and MAC Powersurge Eye Kohl on the bottom line help to define my eyes. I added a pop of peach on my cheeks with MAC's Blush in Immortal Flower and then finished off the look with Stila's Lip Glace in Apricot on the lips.

What are your favorite peach products?
Thanks for reading lovelies! 



Sunday, February 17, 2013

Buying Into the Hype: A Clarins Makeup Haul

It seems that for the longest time I have been hearing nothing but rave reviews about makeup offering from Clarins. Up until now though, the brand never quite appealed to me. Maybe it just seemed a little too adult or old-fashioned to me? It appears that in the last few years though, Clarins has really pushed themselves to deliver more trend-forward, modern makeup. I have to say after getting a chance to use a few of their products, my initial stigma against them couldn't have been more wrong! Call me a Clarins convert, because I'm hooked!

The three products I decided to pick up were all items that I have seen reviewed before and raved about from other beauty bloggers, so of course I had high hopes!

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector (purchase here) was one of the main products I have wanted to try. I have seen countless posts on blogs dedicated to this little beauty. I purchased the shade 01 Rose Shimmer, a sheer nude pink. It is my understanding that this product is meant to be a balm-gloss type hybrid. Marketed as intensely hydrating and plumping, it is supposed to bring a 3-D effect to the lips. My first impression? The smell of this product is absolutely divine. It smells exactly like cotton candy!

I then chose to purchase the new Skin Illusion Loose Powder Foundation (purchase here) in 108 Sand. This is a loose mineral foundation that is incredibly finely milled and contains light reflecting pigments and plant extracts to create a radiant finish on the skin. So far, I am incredibly impressed and will have a full review up as soon as I have had adequate time to test it out. In the meantime, here is the post that peaked my interest in this foundation to begin with, from the lovely Gemma of Gemsmaquillage (link here)

Lastly, I couldn't resist this bronzer/blush duo face powder called Colour Accents Powder and Blush (purchase here). I believe this face powder was part of the Fall 2012 collection but is still available on the Clarins website and at select counters. This compact contains alternating shades of light bronze and a deeper bronze, interlaced with baby pink stripes.  Using a smaller brush, you do have the option to use the individual shades, but I prefer running my large MAC 187 Duo Fibre brush across the entire compact to create a bronzed glow. Happily, this powder looks just as beautiful in the compact as it does on the skin.  It really is a fair girl's dream bronzing powder! 

Have you tried any makeup products from Clarins? If so, are there any others you would recommend?

Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend! Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Subtle Smoke: A Romantic Makeup Look

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, I thought I would share with you my go-to look for a romantic night out. This look consists of slightly smokey, plummy eyes, glowing skin, and light pink lips. Although I am a fan of more dramatic makeup looks on others, I just don't feel that I can pull them off myself. When I know I have an event or a special evening to attend, I really like to take the approach of my everyday makeup, but just bumping up one element of it, being either smoking out the eyes a little more or putting a vibrant color on my lips. 

As pretty as they are, for this particular occasion I avoided any bright or dark lip colors. I find that men don't really appreciate dramatic makeup the way that women do. Chances are, no matter how pretty your fuchsia lipstick looks on you, the person you want to be kissing tomorrow night doesn't want to be wearing it as well. 

*Please excuse the frizzy hair!*

For the eyes, I built the look around the new Spring 2013 Chanel Eye Quad in Raffnement (review here). I prepped my lids with a little Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Barely Beige, then buffed the taupe shade across the lid. I then defined the outer corner, crease and lower lashline with the darker shimmering plum shade. To highlight the inner corners, I applied the iridescent lavender shade. Because I wanted to keep this look sexy and smokey, I avoided any pencil or gel liner and went for a black eyeshadow, MAC's Black Tied, to line my upper lashline. No smokey eye is complete without lashing of an ultra-black, volumizing mascara. My choice had to be the amazing new Chanel Le Volume de Chanel Mascara.

I didn't want my cheeks to compete with the eyes in any way. I just wanted a glowing, healthy look to my skin. To achieve this, I dusted some Benefit Blush in Hervana on my cheeks, followed by Benefit Watt's Up! Highlighter across my cheekbones, browbone, and down the bridge of my nose.

For a romantic night out, you want your lips to look as soft and kissable as possible. For this effect, I chose Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Sourire, a warm light pink color. The glossy, balmy formula of this lipstick is ideal for a night out because you won't have to worry about it getting anywhere.

Let me know what your go-to look is when you have a romantic night out!

Hope you all have a very happy Valentine's Day no matter what your plans are!


Sunday, February 10, 2013

January Favorites

 Hello Lovelies! Hard to believe we are already into the second month of 2013! The year is already flying by! Here's a little breakdown of the products I was particularly loving last month.

Stella McCartney Stella Perfume
Feeling a little bored with my usual fragrance, I was on the hunt for a new scent last January. I had heard so many bloggers mention Stella, so I gave it a little spritz on a recent trip to Sephora. Oh wow this fragrance is heaven! I believe the main notes of Stella are rose and amber, which are scents I would never think I would go for. I generally gravitate towards more floral, light fragrances. Something about this fragrance though is so romantic and sophisticated (but not in a stuffy way) that I was immediately hooked. And I can't lie, that stunning limited edition patterned bottle made the purchase all the more easy.

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Sourire
This is my first ever Chanel Coco Shine and I have been reaching for it non stop since picking it up in January. It is the perfect semi-sheer warm pink and seems to look appropriate no matter the occasion. You can see swatches of the color here!

Chanel Le Volume de Chanel Mascara
This is a sample I received in January when I purchased my Sourire Rouge Coco Shine. I am blown away by how amazing this mascara is! It is ultra black, incredibly volumizing, not at all clumpy and holds a curl like no one's business. I've been recommending it to friends, coworkers, anyone who I can! I think once this sample runs out, I just might have to purchase a full size, because any other mascara I have tried just doesn't compare to this!

Bumble and bumble Sunday Shampoo
I have to say this clarifying shampoo lives up to all its hype. A quick wash with this one to two times a week removes all the product buildup in my hair and leaves me with voluminous, shiny strands for days. An added bonus is that you need the smallest amount to achieve luxurious suds, so I expect this bottle will last ages.

Bumble and bumble Surf Spray
This salt water spray has been my saving grace this past month. A few spritzes of this in damp hair helps me achieve tousled, voluminous, effortless waves with just enough hold to avoid a poufy mess. If you would like to see how I achieve my no-heat beachy waves, click here!

butter London La Moss
This nail polish is the perfect vampy merlot color and was on my fingers almost all of January. The formula is beautiful and ultra-long lasting as well. For a full review, click here!

What were your favorite products in January? 

Thanks for reading 


Monday, February 4, 2013

Today I'm Wearing #17: Chanel Nail Colour in #509 Paradoxal

Chanel Nail Colour in #509 Paradoxal is a color I was hunting down for a very long time. Every time I would visit a Chanel makeup counter, they were inevitably sold out of this color. I thought that since I had no luck at the Chanel counters, I might be able to find a similar color from another brand, but to no avail. I finally threw in the towel a few weeks ago, and ordered this nail polish online. Even with the hefty price tag, I can't say I regret it. It's just so darn pretty!

Now that I own Chanel Paradoxal myself, I realize what a truly unique color it is. I am not at all surprised now that I had such a hard time finding a dupe for it! Depending on the lighting, this shade can appear more plum or more smokey grey. It is a complex, intriguing shade, that is guaranteed to look stylish on women of any age. The purple duochrome shimmer that is so prominent in the bottle is however much more subtle once on the nails. I only occasionally notice the shimmer when the light hits my nails just right.

Happily, I found this particular Chanel Nail Colour to be exceptionally smooth and opaque. It was in no way streaky, and an absolute breeze to apply. My only minor complaint is that although wear time was decent, it did chip a few days sooner than my Essie or butter London polishes.

Do you own any Chanel nail polishes? What are your thoughts on them? Worth the price, or just a lot of hype?

Thanks for reading! 


Thursday, January 31, 2013

My No- Heat Routine for Beachy Waves

Hello lovelies! Today I want to quickly share with you an easy routine I have found for creating undone, beachy waves. This look is staring two of my all-time favorite hair styling products from Bumble and bumble, the infamous Surf Spray and the Grooming Creme. This has been my go-to routine lately as it involves very little to no heat, makes styling my hair in the mornings practically effortless, and the end result looks like I put considerable effort into my hair (when in fact all I did was sleep in an extra 15 minutes).

I originally discovered this no-heat hair waving technique by watching this youtube video. With just a few tweaks, I've been able to create a process that seems to work perfectly with my slightly-wavy, long and thick hair. The natural texture of my hair is something that has always plagued me. I've never been able to let it just simply air dry because parts of it are so curly it almost looks crimpy, while the underneath sections are almost straight, leaving me with a half curly/wavy, half straight mess. Trust me, it's not really a cute look! In any case, I've always been drawn to the look of soft, effortless texture in hair and until now had used heating tools to achieve the look. I am glad to say that I find the results of this routine equal (if not prettier) to those I got spending 15 minutes in the morning curling my hair. I am by no means a morning person, so anything I can do to up the number of times I can hit the snooze in the mornings is good with me!


My Routine

Step 1: Wash hair the night before. Make sure hair is well conditioned.

Step 2: Apply a dime size amount of Bumble and bumble Grooming Creme through hair, avoiding the rootsComb product through hair with a wide-tooth comb.

Step 3: Let hair air dry, or if short on time blast hair with hair dryer on low heat.  

Step 4: When hair is 95% dry, spritz a liberal amount of Bumble and bumble Surf Spray through ends of hair up to about ear level (I generally avoid my roots).

Step 5: Section hair off into two parts on either side of head, like you are making pigtails. Starting near the temples, begin the rope-braiding technique from the video. Tie bottom of rope braid off with a small clear elastic. 

Step 6: Get some shut-eye!! ZZzzz

Step 7: In the morning, gently take out the rope braid and run fingers through hair to break up any twists. At this point you can choose to let your hair be. I generally apply some smoothing serum to the ends of my hair, and set everything with a light coating of hair spray.

My Best Tips

Through trial and error, I have discovered a few secrets that help guarantee a lovely end result. First off, make sure your hair is 90-95% dry when you put your hair in rope braids. This helps with proper wave formation overnight.

The smaller the section of hair you use when rope braiding, the more crimped your waves will appear in the morning. I generally recommend taking larger sections of hair than you think you need, for a more loose wave effect. I also do not recommend doing two separate rope braids on either side of your hair, vs. the end large one. This creates a much more crimped, 80's look.

If when you take the elastic out of your hair you are left with a funny bump, simply spritz a little water on the ends of your hair and smooth it out a bit.

There you have it! I hope you see some beautiful results with this routine!

Thanks for reading! 


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New Shades! Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colours

I have always been intrigued by the idea of cream shadows in stick form, but unfortunately had never been able to find a shade that appealed to me enough to purchase. As I am rather fair, I tend to go for more shimmery light to medium shades, and the original offerings from Laura Mercier in particular were far too smokey for me to wear on a day-to-day basis. That's why, when I discovered that Laura Mercier was releasing a multitude of new shimmery, lighter colors, I was over the moon. And let's just say, seeing them in person far exceeded my already high expectations!

According to the Laura Mercier website, the new shades offered are: Pink Opal (bright pink with shimmer), Grey Pearl (mauvy grey), Rosegold (dirty pink with golden shimmer), Mint Snow (aqua), Sand Glow (taupe with golden shimmer), Sugar Frost (golden beige), Orchid (violet), Seashell (golden shimmer), and Sterling (bright icy shimmer). 

The day I stopped by the Laura Mercier counter, I was lucky enough that the regional brand rep was visiting so we got to play and swatch all the new colors. She also did an eye look on me, and walked me through the most effective way to apply these creams. Although most people may think blending with your finger tips is most effective with shadows in this form, what she taught me is that these work amazingly well when blended with a fluffy brush such as a MAC 217. The combination of cream product and blending brush just creates a seamless and professional looking eye look. 

Let's be honest, after swatching the new colors on my hand, I spent the rest of my mall trip walking around like a woman possessed, repeating over and over again to my sweet boyfriend about how stunning these shades are (poor guy). But, seeing as how I'm not made of money  I settled on the two I thought I would get the most use out of. I took home Sand Glow, a complex taupe/ antique gold/ pewter (can you tell this color is hard to describe?) shade and Rosegold, a shimmering warm pink copper. I was also very drawn to Grey Pearl, which despite its name is a soft medium mauve toned taupe. 

Left is Sand Glow, Right is Rosegold

After having these two shadow sticks in my possession for a few days, I can say I am incredibly impressed by the formula. I love how the metallic pigments catch the light and create a luminous effect around the eyes. The sticks themselves are creamy, blendable, buildable, long-lasting and just a joy to work with. The swatches on my hand lasted from my mall trip all through the night, even through my shower before bed. These babies do not budge! The color selection is also so unique and sophisticated. I think there is an offering for whatever you are looking for, be it light and illuminating to dark and smokey (more so in the original shades). 

Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colours swatched from top to bottom are Orchid, Sand Glow, Grey Pearl , Sugar Frost, Pink Opal, Seashell and Rosegold

Make sure to look out for upcoming FOTD's featuring these cream shadows!

What do you think of the new Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour shades? Anything that peaks your interest?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Today I'm Wearing #16: A Quick & Easy Weekend FOTD

Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend! The Winter chill seems to have momentarily lifted here in Northern California, so I've been spending as much time outdoors as possible before the rain and cold return. The pseudo-Spring weather has left me feeling partial to rather natural, light makeup looks the last few days. Just a little shimmer around the eyes, a bit of color on the face and lips, and I'm a happy camper.

For this look I used my Bobbi Brown BB Cream in Light to create buildable but imperceptable coverage on my face. I then followed up with a little Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Concealer under the eyes and on any blemishes. Everything was set with a dusting of MAC's Select Sheer Pressed Powder in NW20. 

To warm up my complexion, I buffed in a bit of Benefit's Hoola Bronzer and added some glow to the cheeks with tarte's Amazonian Clay Blush in Peaceful

For the eyes, it was all about subtle definition. With my finger tips I layered on MAC's Paint Pot in Rubenesque, a peachy gold shade, followed by a bit of bareMinerals Eyecolor in Nude Beach, a highly reflective nude pigment. I decided to forgo my usual gel/liquid liner and just used Stila's Smudge Stick in Stingray to tightline my upper lash line. No makeup look for me is complete without lashings of a volumizing mascara. I am currently testing out a sample of the new Chanel Le Volume de Chanel Mascara (little sneak preview: I'm in love). 

As I kept the rest of my face quite neutral, I wanted a pop of color on the lips, just to keep things interesting. For that, I decided on my much-loved Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Bonbon, a flattering coral-pink shade.

Does the weather influence how you do your makeup in the morning? 

Thanks for reading xx

Lots of Love,


Friday, January 25, 2013

New Year, New Design!

 Hello Lovelies!  I am thrilled today to unveil to you my bloggeroo's new look! She's had a major overhaul, all thanks to the amazingly talented Dana of Wonder Forest. I've been wanting to take on this project for many months, and with the start of a fresh year, I figured now was as good a time as any.

 I couldn't be happier with the results! The beauty of working with a designer like Dana, is that she can take this little glimmer of an idea and help it blossom into a full-blown gorgeous reality. Dana was so patient with me, even when I (mildly) obsessed over the smallest details. She really listened and took to heart the overall feel I was going for and through the process was able to capture my personal style and personality so perfectly.The result far exceeded anything that I could have created on my own.

Please excuse me if there are still a few little kinks that need to be ironed out here and there, but I just couldn't wait to share the exciting news! 

If you have any questions at all about my experience working with a designer or my layout in general, I'm more than happy to chat 


Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Little Retail Therapy

 I know it's  not a good habit to build, but what girl hasn't turned to retail therapy every once in a while when life has got her down? Last week was just one of those weeks. Nothing seemed to be going quite my way and by mid-week I really needed something to get me out of my funk. Luckily, my week got considerably more cheerful with the acquisition of a few little treasures courtesy of Kate Spade, Bobbi Brown and Chanel. Now I know I made some grand claims that January would be a month of no-buys but hey... my will-power is shaky at best when it comes to shopping. Maybe I'll have more luck next month. In the meantime, I'll find joy in sharing with you my new little beauties!

I believe these earrings from Kate Spade are new for Spring. I had been eyeing them on the Kate Spade website, and when I walked into the store and saw them sparkling on the little stand,  I just couldn't resist. I'm not normally a massive fan of dangling earrings, but the color and simple design of these ones really drew me in.

I have almost entirely used up my tarte Amazonian Clay Smooth Operator Tinted Moisturizer. Although I love that product, I was up for a little experimenting, and so I decided to give the Bobbi Brown BB Cream a try. So far I'm loving how this makes my skin look natural yet seamlessly perfected. I plan on writing a full review once I've had more time to play with it.

Last, but certainly not least, I made a B-line straight to the Chanel Cosmetics counter. Nothing makes my makeup-freak brain more giddy than seeing those little black and gold boxes thrown into a shopping bag! I picked up two Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Beryl, a soft lilac color new for Spring 2013, and Taupe, a complex shimmering plum taupe. I also nabbed my first Rouge Coco Shine in Sourire, a stunning but wearable sheer golden pink. The sales lady was also kind enough to throw in a sample of their new mascara, Le Volume de Chanel. I am sure I will get plenty of use out of these products, especially as we make our way into the Spring season.

Swatches from Top to Bottom are Le Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Taupe and Beryl, and Rouge Coco Shine in Sourire.

Have you ever been guilty of a little retail therapy?


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

First Impressions: Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation

Hello Lovelies! You may have seen a blog post a few weeks back on a beauty haul I did while on vacation in Southern California. Included in that mini haul was the Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation. This is marketed as a matiffying liquid-to-powder foundation, ideal for combination or oilier skin types. At the time I was so excited to find this foundation in a San Diego Sephora, as it had proved incredibly difficult to find in Northern California after Hourglass pulled it off the shelves to redo the packaging. I had high hopes that this would be my new HG face product, but as you will see, the Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation fell short for me.

Getting off on a positive note, I will start with the pros of this product. This foundation comes in a luxurious hefty metal tube that is very sleek and sexy looking. The newly improved pump is great for dispensing the correct amount of product, thereby reducing waste, and is also more sanitary than non-pump packaging. As for the formula itself, I did find that it lived up to it's claims and helped cut down on the shine through my t-zone over the course of the day. I would say I noticed about a 50% decrease in the oiliness of my skin throughout the day vs. my normal routine of tinted moisturizer. I think it is important to mention that although Hourglass says you can skip setting powder all together when using this foundation that I did still powder my face in the morning.

Now for the cons: The main fail for me was the color range (or lack thereof I should say). I picked up the lightest color offered, Porcelain. A little background info, I am fair with neutral skin tones. I generally go for NW20 products in MAC cosmetics. The problem that I came across with the shade Porcelain is although the shade was light enough for my complexion, it was much too yellow-toned for me. As you can see in the photos, the color in no way blends seamlessly into my skin. As a result, I found this foundation very hard to blend and make look natural. I also found that it made my face look more sallow and unhealthy. Never a good thing!

My other complaint with the formula is that it was not the most user friendly. It sets very quickly, so you have to blend fast! Because it sets to a powder finish, it is very hard to even things out once it dries. I found the best application method for me was with my fingertips. I don't feel that a traditional foundation brush would work well with the Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation. Hourglass recommends using their synthetic foundation brush, which reminds me of a less dense Real Techniques Buffing Brush.

Also, I can't say if this foundation is what definitely caused the issues, as I only wore this foundation for two days, but I did notice some breakouts on my skin the nights after wearing this. My skin is very reactive and often times even makeup that is touted to be noncomedogenic causes my skin to break out.

So, overall I am not completely dismissing this product. Unfortunately, I just couldn't make it work for me. If you are willing to work around the poor shade range and can find an application technique that works for you, this may be the ideal product to combat slick skin. Just make sure you are color matched before purchasing! 

Have you tried any Hourglass products? What were your experiences with them?

Thanks for reading!

Lots of Love,


Sunday, January 13, 2013

tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush Collection

I have been on a particular tarte cosmetics kick the last few weeks. I love that this brand makes natural beauty products that are still approachable, fun and modern. One of my all-time favorite offerings from tarte cosmetics is their line of Amazonian Clay 12- Hour Blushes. So, today I thought I might share with you my little collection!

These beauties come in a wide range of color options, are high quality, finely milled, and easily blended on the skin. I can't imagine ever hitting pan on one of these because of how pigmented they are. Happily, I find that these blushes live up their name-sake of being long-lasting. I'm not sure about 12 hours, but I would say they last at least 8-10 hours on my skin before I like to reapply.

Their claim to fame is tarte's Amazonian Clay, a white clay harvested from the Amazon river which is said to be a skin savior, able to balance both dry and oily skin areas. As a person with combination skin, I have had absolutely no issues with these lasting smoothly throughout the day. No patchiness or uneven wearing. Another important thing to mention, is these blushes have never caused an allergic reaction or any breakouts to my sensitive skin.

Also, as most women do, I have a deep appreciation for beautiful packaging. I feel that tarte hit the nail on the head with these adorable color-coordinated blush compacts!

Natural Beauty

Natural Beauty is one of my newer purchases. It is a strawberry-red color which can look very intimidating in the pan. However, once dusted on the cheeks it gives you that "I just played out in the snow" flush that so many of us love. It is more of a statement color though. When wearing this blush, no matter how lightly applied, I like to keep my eye makeup lighter and neutral, as not to compete with the cheeks. As you can see from the swatch, this color is extremely pigmented and the only brush I have found that perfectly distributes this color on my fair skin is the MAC 187, a duo-fibre brush.


Peaceful was included in the tarte Glow Your Way to Gorgeous makeup kit I picked up in the after- Christmas sales on Since receiving this blush, I have without fail reached for this color every morning when getting ready for the day. I can best describe this as a luminous, shimmering peachy-bronze shade. It does wonders for my tired morning complexion! This is the only one of the Amazonian Clay Blushes that I own that is not matte. I believe Peaceful is being released for Spring 2013 along with three other shimmering shades. 


Dollface is the first tarte Amazonian Clay Blush I ever purchased, back in Spring of 2012. As you can see by the pan, it has been very well loved. Dollface is your classic neutral-toned baby pink shade. I alternate between using this or Benefit's Hervana (which I find looks similar once on the skin) when I'm looking for a more sweet, girly flush.


Blissful is a true peach, slightly-coral shade. Although this is a beautiful color, I find that it doesn't look quite right with my complexion. Something about the nuances of this color just look odd with my coloring. This isn't to say that this shade doesn't look amazing on women of many different skin tones though! 

Swatches above top to bottom are Natural Beauty, Peaceful, Dollface, and Blissful.

Do you own any of the tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blushes? I would love to hear what your favorite shades are!

Thanks for reading!

Lots of Love,