Thursday, May 28, 2015

Ibiza and Formentera

A few months back, Charlotte Tilbury launched these aptly named cream blush/lip/bronzer duo products called Beach Sticks, named after gorgeous sunny and sandy locales the world over. I had hit the point in Winter, where I was  so pale and sallow that I looked ill. Some people look pale and interesting. I look pale and ill. These cream sticks were so easy to use, first you start with Ibiza, which is a bronzer, and you draw it all over the high points of the face, then you tap it in to blend. I can't even begin to explain to you the amazing quality of this formulation, it literally melts into your skin. Then, I follow with Formentera, which gives a little sunburnt rosey-ness to the cheeks and the lips. The result is super natural-- like you've spent a day out in the sun, except you really don't look artificial or like you've rubbed your face with dirt in an effort to look tanned. No oompa-loompa orange, which obviously is a benefit. I think these will be great moving into summer because they will just perfect a natural face. They have good staying power, which is a plus.

Pictured below is how the products look when fully blended. Also note my beautiful best friend and fellow journalist T, who is gorgeous beyond belief. Maybe I'll start taking more professional photos of my makeup instead of shameless selfies-- but this was the only one I could find that I distinctly remember having used these products.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Sophisticate

Hi all! Today is a special post because I'm finally sharing my thoughts on products made by a makeup artist that I am obsessed and I mean, OBSESSED with, the inimitable Charlotte Tilbury. Charlotte did something genius in launching her collection, by curating a number of looks, 'Golden Goddess', 'Uptown Girl', 'Ingenue', 'Bombshell', 'Glamour Muse', 'Dolce Vita', and 'The Sophisticate' amongst others. This was a stroke of genius. Why? A woman can look at each collection and see which one she identifies with the most (she ties them to various icons past and present) and choose to buy the whole kit, as well as traditionally buy whichever product suits her fancy. My lovely mother got me 'The Sophisticate' for Christmas, think gorgeous earthy tones, that can go from polished during the day, but dialed up to a sophisticated smokey eye at night. I have thoughts on each product in the kit but I'll try to keep them short. Below are also two shameless selfies I took while wearing the look dialed down (with a snapchat filter tbh) and dialed up for night time (RIP healthy holiday glow)

(1) Full Fat Lashes Mascara- I'm not normally one to buy high end mascara anymore because I always find them disappointing. But this came with the set. I was left disappointed and found it flakey and smudgy despite actually applying beautifully. It does what it claims, but doesn't wear well. I have liked it more since it's dried out, but I wouldn't such splashing out for it, unless you want panda eyes. 
(2) The Classic Eyeliner Powder Pencil in Audrey- This product I go back and forth on. The color is certainly beautiful and less severe than black, but the application is finnicky and I consider myself a champ at a feline flick. You have to sharpen it every time you use it, and I was often frustrated when trying to make the application of pigment on each eye even (sometimes the pencil needs to be warmed up-- too much fuss). I feel frustrated thinking about it. This is another one I would pass on. 
(3) The Sophisticate Eye Palette- Now this is a product I will love forever. I use the top two during the day for some natural definition, but I can amp it up during the night. The formulation is lovely, and although 3 out of the 4 shadows are matte, they blend well. If you want a natural polished palette, with lovely earthy tones, I would highly suggest this one. 
(4) Cheek to Chic Blush in Sex on Fire- Aside from the cheeky name, which I love, the formulation of this bad-gal is a dream. It's a sophisticated rosey shade, and you are supposed to swish the outside ring on your cheekbones, and then pop the center on the cherry of your cheek. Instant sculpting that looks natural and lasts well. No clown face from your blush. We've all been there. 
(5) Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk- I'm not one to line my lips, but this liner is a dream. It's the perfect natural lip color, and just gives a teeeeeeeeensy bit of reshaping where you need it if you're going for a super polished lip look (lipstick and gloss). I think I'm set on this one for life. It's not waxy or drying. Glides on like a dream. 
(6) K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Hepburn Honey- Obviously the name for this is a draw for me. But besides that, it's a gorgeous nude lipstick that doesn't give my super pigmented pout zombie lips. It's very moisturizing and wears well. The packaging makes me feel like a movie star. I will say though, you need to make sure your lips aren't dry or flakey, because this formulation will get gunked up with that and it isn't cute. 
(7) Lip Lustre in High Society- Lastly comes gloss. I don't religiously wear it, but this formulation is worth it. It gives the right amount of shine, but isn't the slightest bit sticky. It's also the perfect pinky nude-- think Rosie Huntington Whitely Pouty. Best of all, it's very compact, and perfect to slip into your clutch for a night out. 

Voila! Much more Tilbury lusciousness  to come, stay tuned. XX Rox

T. McE 04.21.2015

I found this sitting in my drafts, and even thought it has been here for months I have to say, Trish McEvoy Instant Eye Lift was a brilliant under-eye corrector. It wasn't cakey, and I didn't have to use concealer over it. I used every single last drop possible before it gave out on me. Also I wanted show the world a time when I had temporarily stopped biting my nails. Le Sigh. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Skincare Revisits II.MMXV

I think every single one of these products has appeared on the blog at one point or another-- but having finally used them up, I have some thoughts some that might differ from my original posts.

La Roche Posay Hydraphase Legère-- My relationship with this facial moisturizer is like that of one you might have with comfortable boyfriend. He's safe, but every once in a while you stray because you find something more appealing and perhaps a little dangerous. That may or may not work out-- but every time you go back to him, you remember why it is you love him and his safe self. This moisturizer has never failed me. It had hyaluronic acid in it before that was trendy. It goes on smoothly, it keeps my face comfortably hydrated and theres a heavier iteration for the winter. I'll probably always come back to this. It's my safe place.

GlamGlow ThirstyMud-- I think that this product was largely overhyped. After longterm use, I didn't really notice a drastic difference in hydration and I felt like most of the product sat on my skin, never to be absorbed. It smelled nice, but I don't think I'd recommend it.

Nuxe Rêve de Miel-- Another love of my life. This lip balm has never failed me. The bee pollen and honey soothe irritation, and the texture is matte. Fear not, boys, this won't make you look like you've been wearing lip gloss. But it will get rid of your chapped lips. The only downside is that it only comes in a clunky glass jar, so it's only suitable for desk or bedside table residence.

Vasanti Brightenup Exfoliating Scrub-- As far as scrubs go, I like this one because it's all natural and it doesn't have those beads that are slowly destroying our ecosystem. That said, I prefer to exfoliate with a toner. I don't think I'd add a scrub to my regime again unless I really found it necessary...

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Balm Dotcom

I have been a fan of the blog Into the Gloss for years. I have spent many delightful hours scouring my favorite tastemakers Top Shelves and reading about secret beauty tips. I was thrilled that Emily Weiss, the founder of ITG, and the formerly known "Super Intern" from The Hills, was spinning off of the ITG brand and branching out into skincare. While I didn't buy the whole line, I did buy two of the universal skin salves, and their hydrating moisturizer (thoughts to come later). Let me tell you, the balm dotcom is named that for a reason. I LOVE IT. I squeezed the life out of my first tube, applying everywhere from my chapped lips while I was out and about, my cuticles, elbows, knees, feet-- basically anywhere that felt dry, and it really helped condition my skin. It's also made from all natural ingredients and unlike the comparable Aquaphor or Vaseline, it's not quite as tacky or sticky. It's incredibly emollient, which I happen to prefer. And the packaging-- not only is is super duper cute, but it actually allows you to squeeze it down all the way to the bottom, getting every last drop of value for your money and comfort for your skin. It's a huge plus in my book. If you're interested mosey on over to ... even just to see how cute the site is.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Moisturizer I.MMXV

As part of my product purge, I've been making sure to dip into my sample drawer to use some of those goodies up as well. I had been saving two luxe moisturizers, and I figured, since my skin is as dry as a sandbox in the winter I might as well give these a go. I also blow through hand cream at this time of year like its my job (hand washing + cold air = easily chapped hands). Below are my thoughts.

Darphin Stimulskin Plus Moisturizer-- This moisturizer is  touted as good for normal to dry skin, so I was super excited to delve into it. It's has the most delicious velvety texture, and it's a dream to apply. It literally feels like coating your skin with luxury. Oh and like most Darphin products, it smells subtly divine. Aside from the application, I wasn't really impressed by this product though. I would apply it at night and consistently wake up in the morning with dry, flakey skin (gross, I know). It didn't make me break out or anything, but in terms of paying top dollar for a moisturizer, I don't think I would splurge for this one. It didn't yield any noticeable results and didn't really effectively moisturize either. At almost $300 dollars a tub, that's pretty much unacceptable. Save your pennies for something else.

Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Repair Day Crème-- In comparison to the Darphin, I absolutely adored this product. It's light and fluffy, like a meringue, but it pacts some serious moisturizing punch. I would put this on before my makeup in the morning and my skin would be dewy and hydrated-- and remain so for the rest of the day. It doesn't tout any radical benefits for your skin, except for making it a little bit more radiant and protecting it from aging factors (i.e. the sun), but it is indeed a very nice product that I would definitely considering purchasing a full-size container of in the future. It's also fragrance free, which is a huge pro, in my humble opinion.

Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Milk Hand Cream-- I love Laura Mercier's handcreams. They are thick and creamy, but not overly so, and they absorb pretty quickly. Some of the scents are pretty gourmandy though, so I wouldn't recommend if you are averse to the idea of smelling like a dessert. Because boy oh boy, does that scent linger.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Oribe I.MMXV

I've been sitting on these products for longer than I am willing to admit. I had some feelings about them, some good, some not. Read further if you so choose.

Oribe Gold Lust Shampoo- I originally bought this shampoo because it was one of Oribe's only offerings formulated without sulfates or parabens. This shampoo is lovely, it's moisturizing, it really does tame frizz and make your hair super manageable-- but I probably wouldn't buy this for myself again. I have very fine hair, so this made it look dirty/weighed down much quicker. I have since switched to his Volumista Shampoo, many thoughts to come... But if you have color treated hair, or if your hair is dry and thick, seriously, try this out-- it really does work magic and make your hair look significantly healthier and shinier.

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray- This product has been absolutely raved about for years and years and years by many a blogger. And while, I did love it for a time, I think I might have moved on. Firstly, unlike the Oribe Shampoos, the fragrance of this spray sticks with you and it is STRONG. Secondly, I couldn't even try to deny how much volume this product creates, because it really does work. It gives that perfect lived in, elegantly disheveled look. It's also AMAZING if you're trying to put your hair up in a tousled french twist, or really any perfectly imperfect style. It has just the right amount of grit. However, I wouldn't say this was a dry shampoo like many other people claim. I'd have to wash my hair the day after using it because undone is one thing-- grunge is an entirely different look that I have no desire to achieve. I won't be buying this again mainly because of the price tag-- it's super expensive and I'm not sure it really warrants such a high price for what it actually does. But if you're looking for a nice treat and you're feeling spendy, I guess its a nice buy...

Thursday, January 22, 2015

January 2015

Hi everyone. I'm back from yet another long hiatus. Things get crazy, the blog is the first to fall by the wayside-- my priorities are obviously very skewed. Since the new year began, I have decided that I'm going to get rid of some of the clutter in my life. It's no secret that I'm a little bit of a floozy when it comes to my products and potions, and on the first of day of the year I looked at myself in the mirror and said, "Get a grip, you don't need this much stuff." And so began my product purge-- I tossed the stuff that, let's face it, I had been hoarding and hadn't touched in years, and I have made it a personal point to use up samples and products that I hadn't finished, in part to rediscover why I replaced them. I can't chalk it all up to being fickle. Anyway, thus far, I've found it to be really enjoyable. There is something super satisfying about using the last of a product and then tossing it in the bin-- a cleanse if you will. I'll be trying to post more regularly with my thoughts, and I'll hopefully be semi-regular about it. A little personal project on top of all the grad school projects. Because let's face it, I'm a bit of a glutton for self-induced stress. More to come. xx