Sunday, February 22, 2015

Weekly Beauty Edit 2.22.2015

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I was all over the place this week with my makeup and skincare. I planned to wear that blush and wore this blush. Was sure I wanted a peachy look and landed up with pink.  I wanted to take a trip to Sephora but never made it.

Mani of the Week
Let's get this information out there and then move past it. I own almost 1000 bottles of nail polish. One thousand. My oldest bottle is OPI Milano Tomato which was part of 1991Spring Carnival Collection. My nail polish is truly a collection. Last week I swooned over the packaging design of Smith & Cult nail polish. This week, I'm swooning over the formula. This is The. Best. Nail. Polish. Ever. Trust me, with almost 1000 bottles, I know of what I speak! Granted, this is my one and only bottle. It could be this pigment color of Suburban Warrior takes to the formula beautifully. Let's face it, if somebody bought Essie's Tart Deco as their first ever Essie, they'd never buy another bottle of Essie. The Smith & Cult's Suburban Warrior went on like melted butter. Opaque in one coat, not a hint of a drag marks and zero puddling even when I brought the brush too close to the cuticle. Glossy as can be. I have to admit, when I first saw the brush I was disappointed. It looked like the Marc Jacobs brush which I detest, very small and narrow. But it did not matter one bit with Smith & Cult. For the record, I used Revlon Colorstay Base Coat and Sally Hansen Insta-Dri top coat. This color is a bright but not hot pink, leans a tiny bit to blue undertones.
Smith & Cult Suburban Warrior
Lip-A-Looza
Wonderful week in lipstick. If you follow me, you know I am not a nude or neutral lip person. Ugh. I try. Over and over I've read that it's a matter of finding the right color nude. I don't think so. But I will continue the search. Meanwhile, this was really pretty week. From left to right Urban Decay Revolution Jilted, MAC Creme Sheen Speed Dial, Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy 410 Dynamic, Tarina Tarentino Watermelon Wow, Rimmel Moisture Renew 230 Coral Garden, Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Happy Ending, and Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy 230 Infamous


Skincare
Fresh's Rose Face Mask
Two new skincare items this week, both were masks. One was a sheet mask that came in my February Ipsy bag, Hada Labo Ultimate Anti-Aging Deep Hydration, and the other was a sample I selected from my last Sephora purchase, Fresh's Rose Face Mask. Each is for hydrating. It's sub zero around here and my oily skin is parched from sub sub zero wind chills. I think it's really hard to reveiw hydrating masks. With scrubs or exfoliating peels, you can "feel" the smoothness of your skin. With hydrating masks, I think you just have to place your hand on the radio and say I believe, I believe, I believe. (Please tell me you all know this reference!).  I keep trying to like sheet masks. Ewww. The slimy glycerin makes my stomach flip. Reminds me of boogers. Sorry, it does.It's not so bad once I get it on my face but when I'm taking it out of the package and unfolding it...ugh. Both masks were fine.

Haul-A-Lulu
IT Cosmetics Brushes for Ulta OMG Foundation Brush - if I lined up all my foundation brushes, this would fall someplace in the middle. It's a tiny too bit dense for my liking.
Rimmel Lasting Finish Foundation in 200 Soft Beige - not a fan, coverage is light and I expected medium, pore coverage is not good at all.
Laura Geller Creme Glaze in Desert Dusk
Anastasia Brow Whiz in Medium Brown - jury is still lot on color, product is wonderful. I think I'm more of a brow powder girl.
Laura Geller Creme Glaze 8 Shadow Palette in Desert Dusk - my heart be still, run to Ulta to get this. Feel like a cream, they are so smooth, beautiful pigment that blends with almost no effort but don't get muddy. This palette blow Tarte's Tartelette out of the water, in my opinion.
Tarte Miracles of the Amazon Kit from QVC
Tarte Miracles from the Amazon TSV kit from QVC- what a deal! Mascara, Lip Gloss, two brushes, new Foundcealer and a beautiful eye and cheek palette.

Revo Lip Balms (Walgreen dupe for EOS) - Pink Frosted Cupcake, Pink Sugar, Marshmallow Cream, and Bubble Gum. I think these are much better than EOS which I find waxy. Also, the flavors are more true in Revo and always new flavors to indulge in.

Edits and Deletes
Jergens BB Body Cream - I did not find this moisturizing. Worse than that, I'm not sure how I missed the headline that this contained dihydroxyacetone, the ingredient that makes a sunless tanner work. Imagine my surprise when mid day, I kept getting whiffs of that dreaded self-tanner scent. Had no idea where it was coming from and then the light bulb went off.


Cheers,
Lulu

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Weekly Beauty Edit 2.15.2015

Another very long work week, hurried makeup in the morning and too tired to shop once I got home. As I sit and think about my week of beauty, I had some fun on those hurried mornings or more honestly, at the stop lights driving in to the office!  By the end of the week I had 3 eye lash curlers in my purse, 4 mascaras, two concealers, 3 shadow singles, 2 shadow brushes and 8 lipsticks. This would be in addition to my normal cosmetic case. Life is grand!

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Edits and Deletes
video
I edited down my shadow sticks this week and deleted quite a few. I think I've mentioned that eye shadow is my least favorite makeup category although you'd never know it by the size of my collection. I started with 38.  My first edit led to deleting 12. That left me with 26. I was hoping to get down to 15 and finally did! I swatched the remaining 26 and admittedly, quite a few almost dupes. After all, we like what we like and we buy more of what we like. 
38 before and 15 after




Byline on Brushes
Crown HD Powder Brush / Sigma Large Contour F40
Crown Brush HD Powder Brush - This is a large, synthetic brush with a pinched ferrule. Because this brush is not dense and has lots of give, it's great for loose finishing powders. It's machine cut but still has a nice soft finish to the bristles. With all the give it has, it won't remove other powder products already on the face such as highlighter or blush. The new discovery for this week was using it as a bronzer brush. It sweeps on a hint of color for warming up your face if your foundation is a bit too light. I love it for bronzer! I think finding the right brush for bronzer is not easy. Bobbi Brow seems to have the corner on that market but for me, sometimes, her bronzer brush picks up a bit too much pigment for my winter color. Crown Brushes are often on hautelook and have their own site as well. This came in the HD Brush set and I'm not sure what the individual name might be. Here's a link to the set. When I bought it, the ferrules came in black. I don't know if this brush is sold individually, worth contacting Crown Brush if you're interested but I think the set is worth the price.

Sigma Large Contour F40 - The makeup world is ablaze with contour sets. Every brand seems to be launching a contour kit. The right brush is important! Small enough to not make an obvious chisel but soft enough to blend it out. I have a few Sigma brush kits and for the most part, they have been very good. I've not run into shedding, maybe I bought them at the right time. I have two of the F40s, the one pictured is from the Mrs Bunny Travel Kit when it was pink and blue. I use the pointed tip to dip into the contour and apply to my lower cheek, flip the brush and use to blend it out. Here a link to the individual brush and the Mrs. Bunny travel set.

Haul-A-Lulu
Smith & Cult in Suburban Warrior - this is a new to me brand of nail polish. Price is $18 a bottle so near high end but not at Dior's or Chanel's $27 price point. I bought it for the packaging. I love packaging. I choose restaurants for atmosphere. If I love the atmosphere, I can put up with overcooked pasta. Unless it's $40 for the entree, then I'm might get a little cranky. I digress. The bottle is very heavy, substantial. You know there will be more of these little puppies on the way. I don't shop at Neiman's but I made the sacrifice for the sake of this polish. All together now... a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do~! This will be my mani of the week for next week!

video


 February Ipsy Bag - Every month, this is the best $10 I spend on beauty. It arrives in the cutest fuchsia foil bubble envelope. That alone is a smile. Then you get a makeup bag each month. I give them away but they are cute and sturdy. The makeup bag is filled with 5 or 6 products, some full size, some deluxe sample size. Do I use everything? Absolutely not. But for a present each month that is always
February 2015 Ipsy Bag
a surprise, so rare in this world, $10 is worth it. I have discovered great products through this monthly subscription and maybe more importantly, I've learned to avoid things. Case in point, this month one of the items was a full size City Color Lip Stain. Loved the color but the taste was horrendous. A mix of a chemical plant and seaweed. I barely put it on my lips and I had to wipe it off an apply grape lip balm to mask the taste. That didn't work so then I went for my Sara Happy Lemonade lip scrub. I like City Colors. It's an inexpensive brand with highly pigmented products. I also love lip stains. I had my eye on quite a few of these. Not any more!

Mani of the Week
Layla Softouch Effect 08 with glossy top coat
Layla Softouch Effect in 08 - Layla is not quite an indie label in the US but not quite a main stream brand either. It's made in Milano and can be purchased on line only. I'm At one time, Ulta carried it and I was thrilled. Love this brand. Applies like a dream, interesting finishes, cute bottle and a good brush. The formula is on the thin side but fully opaque on two coats which is why it's such a dream to apply. I own 7 or 8 bottles and have never had drag marks or puddling. Clean up is easy but I do suggest waiting until it is fully dry for clean up. The Softouch Effect is their matte line and 08 is a cherry red. Hello, Valentine! I wore it matte most of the week and then applied a shiny topcoat on Friday. Base coat used was Orly Bonder and Top Coat was NYX In a NY Minute. However, this polish is great with any base coat or top coat, not fussy at all.

Weekly Headliners
Products that stood out this week are:
Vaseline Lip Therapy in Creme Brulee - applied at bedtime, yummy
Urban Decay Perversion Mascara - nice lash for the office, not too shy, not too bold
IT Cosmetics CC Lip Cream in Live - gorgeous medium pink, shine blurs my lip lines although a bit too slippery for me to give it an A+
Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in Jersey - absolute perfection
Wet N Wild Nutty Single Eye Shadow - a classic taupe color, must have for every collection to sweep in the crease or sheer out all over the lid.


Cheers,
Lulu

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January: Beauty in Hindsight

 I forgot to publish this post. Better late than never!

I post a Weekly Beauty Edit each Sunday but I think it would be fun for me to look back at each month and ponder. Sometimes time changes the lens we look through, even if it is only a few weeks. Especially for someone like me who is so fickle with their makeup. No loyalty!

2015 Beauty Resolutions - How Am I Doing? Grade B+
  • 11 resolutions,failed on 2, need improvement on 1 = B+
  • Still meeting my obligation of testing new foundation! My favorite resolution!
  • Did not buy matte lipstick 
  • I have been using my Rogaine twice daily AND going the extra mile using HairMax, too
  • I went a week too long on coloring my roots - need improvement!
  • No bangs cut - dodged that bullet for now, but did buy a bangs hair piece. Um, no
  • Did not depot single shadows, not a single one in January. Fail.
  • Have not bought eye liner!
  • Still not using lip liner but I haven't bought any either, very tempted, had them in my hand.
  • Darn. Still rubbing my face dry instead of patting. Have to put a sign on my mirror.
  • Not even tempted to look at or bid on vintage perfume. Last bottle of Arpege broke my heart
  • Did not buy body wash! Really, really hard with BBW semi-annual sale.
January Stand Outs
Philosophy Apricots and Cream body lotion
Faith Hill Perfume
Philosophy Glazed Donut 3 in 1 Shower Gel
Diorskin Star Foundation
Chanel blush in Jersey
Philsophy Microdelivery Triple Acid Peel Pads
Bare Escentuals Lash Domination Mascara
Wet N Wild Nutty Single Shadow
Becca Ombre Nudes Eye Palette

5 Best New to Me Purchases
L'oreal Infallible Pro Matte Foundation
NARS All Day Weightless Luminous Foundation
Smashbox Pore Minimizing Primer
Maybelline Master Concealer
L'oreal Dual Lip Stain in 109

5 Disappointing to Me Purchases
Wet N Wild Maximum Volume Mascara - clumped
OPI Shine Nail System - took forever to dry, doesn't cure
Estee Lauder DoubleWear Waterproof Mascara - flaked, didn't hold my curl
Smashbox Photo Filter Powder Foundation - pores showed, coverage too light for my preference
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water Spray- what is this thing?

Repurchases
Elf Smudge Brush - can't have enough of these
Lancome Hypnose Drama mascara - love this one
Wei East Eyes Alive - favorite eye cream for day and reapplying over my concealer during the day
Agave Hair Oil - oh the scent, oh the shine, oh for taming fly-aways and frizzies
Gray Away Brunette Color Spray - holy grail to spray my thin spots and gray roots in 5 seconds
Maybelline Bouncy Blushes in additional colors - love the formula, bought more colors

Added to Fantasy List (unlikely to buy)
Marc Jacobs No 16 Contour Brush
Dior 5 Colour Eyeshadow in Montaigne
Maison Martin Margiela Replica Beach Walk
by Terry Terrybly Densiliss Foundation

Cheers,
Lulu
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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Weekly Beauty Edit 2.8.2015

Slow week in the world of makeup, skincare, hair and nails. It was a gruesome week at work, 60+ hours and bringing work home.  Interfered with my online shopping time!

Mani of the Week
Essie Suite Retreat, 2015 Resort Collections
Part of last week's Haul-A-Lulu was a color from Essie's 2015 Resort Collection, Suite Retreat. Have thoroughly enjoyed wearing this color. In some light it leans blue, other light it leans violet. Applied beautifully, no puddling! Opaque in two coats and no dragging. Clean-up was easy. Base coat was Revlon Colorstay Base Coat and Top Coat used was NYC In a New York Minute.  I own 6 base coats and Revlon Colorstay is my favorite. I like the brush, dry time and I find I have the least drag marks when I use it. However, it is discontinued. I stocked up and this week from amazon but they haven't arrived yet.  I had no chipping but I like to add the caveat I have a Nail Fairy because nail polish does not chip on me. It just doesn't. Then again, I don't do dishes! Train them well, ladies, train them well!
Edits and Deletes
Glitter nail polish was at the top of my delete list. Yesterday was a lazy day at home - a perfect day to tackled my wall of nail polish. I don't wear glitter polish. I have worn it from time to time and use the Elmer's Glue as a base coat trick (see my demo video here) which makes removal a 60 second task.

Lip Gloss was also on my delete list this week. I have a large tray and it was time to trim the stash down. I rarely wear gloss and this is one category of beauty items I don't like to hold on to for any amount of time. Some of these had to go!

Skincare
I don't get chemical peels at a medi-spa or doctor's office. I do them at home. The real deal, not the "peels" sold at Ulta or Sephora such as Dr. Dennis Gross Peel Pads, Philosopy Microdelivery Triple Brightening Peel or Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads (which are all excellent by the way and I use the Philosophy). Those do exfoliate but they are sold for the mass market and although they work, they don't run deep. I buy my "real" chemical peels from makeupartistsschoice. They have many peels with different hydroxy acids at various strengths. The instructions are on line and very clear. They also sell TCA and Jessner peels but I have not hit that level of bravery yet.You peel like a lizard from these!

These "real" peels sting, really bite. Depending on how strong a peel you use, you will flake and if you use a really strong one, you will peel. If you regularly exfoliate, flaking might not be as drastic. Did I mention they bite? First time I used the Fade Peel, I could only keep it on for two minutes vs the recommended five minutes. Yowza. I also have the 15% salicylic acid and the 40% lactic acid. I'm ordering the next step up on both of these. I'm ready! I think.

If you choose to visit the website, take your time reading, learning, researching on other sites, and reading some more. They are very easy and quick but you need to choose wisely and start s-l-o-w. Most importantly, they are effective but no overnight miracles, it takes months and months to see real results. Improvement from skincare products is a very slow moving train. My over all skin tone is lighter based on the new shade I use in Estee Lauder Double Wear (this is over the course of a year). My hyperpigmentation on the left side of my face, from driving, is almost gone. I have to believe that if I did not do regular chemical peels, my skin would be sagging even worse than it already is! My pores are not clogged so they haven't been stretched open from debris. If I look at close up photos from a few years ago compared to now, my pores are not as glaring!

The sample sizesfrom makeupartistschoice.com  are plenty, plenty big. Enough for a dozen peels making them the perfect size for at home use. I did learn to fan myself while I have the peel on my face which helps greatly with tolerating the sting. The more you use these peels, the less they sting but they still sting! If you've ever used an epilator, these are like using an epilator on your face non-stop.The Pumpkin Peel with 5% Glycolic is very mild if you want to start by dipping your toe in.

This is just my two cents when it comes to skincare... I think if you are using skincare regularly, it's hard to see a difference when you move to a newer, greater, faster, miracle skincare line. It takes a leap in skincare to see a difference. Strong chemical peels are a huge leap. Using prescription Retin A is a huge leap. Adding an alpha or beta hydroxy acid is a huge leap. Staying out of the sun and using SPF daily is the biggest leap of all. Regardless, they all take time!

Empties
Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Hair and Scalp Treatment - I have itchy scalp. My hair is not dry, I don't have dandruff but I have itchy scalp.I think it is a mild reaction to hair dye because about the time I need to touch up my roots, most of my itching is gone and then it starts up after I color my roots. I use this as my conditioner every few shampoos. I try to get most of it on my scalp and then run it down the rest of my hair. It's a great tingle especially when you start rinsing! I find this treatment helpful but not great enough to repurchase. It does leave my hair very soft and shiny. I'm not a fan of the scent and I'm all about scent. I'm going to try Aveda's scalp treatment next. If you have suggestions, would love to hear them!

Chanel Sublimage La Creme Yeux (eye cream) -  Used this for my daytime eye cream. I had two samples that lasted me quite a long time. My under eye area is extremely dry and sensitive. It will get red and rashy at the drop of a dime or the thermometer. Even though this is Chanel, their eye cream is not scented like every other product they make. Amen! It's a nice eye cream but not at all remarkable. It's very pricey, heart stopping pricey ($225 for .5 oz).  I much prefer Clinique All About Eyes, Alegenist Eye Renewal Balm (love), Kiehl's Avocado or Wei East Eye Alive for daytime use. I could write a book on eye creams. I only need deep hydration, luckily I don't have dark circle or bags.

Haul-A-Lulu
LA Girl Glazed in Blushing
LA Girl Glazed Lip Paint in Blushing - this is a deep raspberry color that leans to violet. Maybe a berry is a better way to describe it but not at all a wine. Many bloggers and YTers are comparing this to Too Faced Melted Liquified Lipstick. I think it's the packaging that sparked the comparision. The delivery system is different, the finish is different, the texture is different and finally, the wear time is different. So I'm not sure why some think it's a dupe. I like it. It is glossier and more hydrating than the Too Faced but the wear time is not as long as Too Faced. The color I have, Blushing, does stain slightly. I prefer Too Faced due to delivery system, color range and delivery system.


Cheers,
Lulu
Let's connect on Instagram

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