Friday, November 7, 2014

Tom Ford Nail Lacquer in Vapor

Today I'm going to share a limited edition, discontinued Tom Ford Nail Lacquer with you. Vapor was a limited edition release from the Spring 2013 collection, but I actually found it at a CCO (Cosmetics Company Outlet) in June 2014- one of three polishes I was thrilled to stumble upon.

Vapor is a tricky polish. It's a metallic white polish with a decided silver undertone. The whole collection had a metallic edge, but I suspect that Vapor is the most metallic of the three shades.

I have three coats of Vapor plus a topcoat on my nails in this photo:

I'll be honest, this is one that you need absolutely perfect nails to pull off. Even with a ridge-filling base coat, every imperfection in the nail is highlighted by the metallic formula.  This is somewhat similar to Chanel Attraction, but with far more of a silver tone.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Michael Kors Nail Lacquer in Limelight

Today I'm sharing with you one of my two initial selections from Michael Kors' nail line. I've seen this collection at Macy's for months (where it's an exclusive), and have often wondered about the quality. These polishes retail for $18 and are 0.3fl/9ml each, which is smaller than Chanel, Dior, YSL, or Tom Ford, but larger than Burberry polishes.

Limelight is a vibrant lime creme that photographs more neon than in person. It's in the same color family as Butter London Jaded Jack. I have three thin coats, without a topcoat in this photo:

I purchased this as a part of the Sporty Collection Lip & Nail Gift Set when it was a one-day special over the 4th of July holiday at Macy's.

In terms of formula, I find this a nice creme- nothing exceptional but also nice to work with. I tested this for two days and didn't have problems with chipping in that time.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Chanel Le Vernis Paradoxical

Today I'm happy to share with you a classic Chanel polish that most collectors have in their stash: Chanel Le Vernis in Paradoxical.

Paradoxical is a multidimensional purple that photographs much darker than it appears in the bottle. Paradoxical is a muted purple, appearing somewhat milky in person. I'm not sure why it pulled so dark in this shot, but I actually photographed it on three separate occasions with the same result.

I have two coats, without a topcoat on my nails in this photo.

This just seems perfect for this time of year.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

CK One Nail Polish in Graphite

Today I'm happy to share with you my first and only selection from CK One's color line, an Ulta exclusive. These polishes contain 9ml of product and retail for $14.

Graphite is a muted lilac-silver metallic polish. It's quite lovely, and the formula is excellent. I had no problems with brushstrokes.  There are two coats and no top coat on my nails here.

I purchased this polish during Ulta's clearance this past summer, and it has piqued my interest in regards to the rest of this line. The various products that I've tried have all been reasonably priced and performed well- perhaps this is another area to explore soon.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Chanel Le Vernis Sweet Star- 2014 Vogue FNO

I'll be the first to admit that I'm lagging behind lately on blog posts. Real life has gotten in the way.

I hope that some of my posts to come will more than make up for it. First up, Chanel Le Vernis in Sweet Star.

Let's take a moment to stare at the glorious shimmer swirling around in that bottle. This is one of the most limited releases that I've seen from Chanel as of late. Select Neiman Marcus stores received extremely limited quantities (5 or less) bottles of this, and I was able to nab one. I don't have any information on upcoming releases or any insider information. I was just lucky enough to find this stunning shade.

Sweet Star is the star (no pun intended) of the Vogue Fashion Night Out collection. There are also 3 eyeliners, although I passed.

Sweet Star is a multi-chrome chameleon. Here's the same bottle, inside.

And 3 coats, on my nails:

Sweet Star is the most complex and beautiful polish I've ever owned, and my collection is roughly around 1,000 bottles at this point. Inside, it looks almost greenish grey- like Black Pearl's much lighter cousin. Outside, I see flashes of purple, gold, and blue!

Here's another shot, outside, cool light, not in the direct sun:

It almost looks like a molten metallic here.

It's in the sun where Sweet Star really dances and comes to life:

I could stare at this shade all day and night. Sweet Star has the same Chanel wand:

Again- look at how different the shade looks on my thumb there!  I'll conclude the photo posts with this shot:

Just look at the bottle- it's incredible.  I wouldn't call this a duochrome- it's a multi-chrome. It's the most impressive of all of the Chanels that I own, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. Keep your eyes peeled for any other releases of this shade- I may try to get a backup. It's that good.

In most cases, Sweet Star appears to be grey, and is completely appropriate in all situations. I wore it for three days straight, which is unreal for me. I love it. I hope that you enjoy all of the photos- and that you're able to find your own Sweet Star in the future!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

September 2014 Favorites

I'm running a bit late for my monthly favorites, but here goes:

Reviews are linked where appropriate; others will be coming very soon.

Giorgio Armani Organica Eye Palette- By far and away my favorite purchase in awhile, possibly of the year. It's perfect, and creates a foolproof look for me.
Giorgio Armani Eye & Brow Maestro #3- My new brow obsession.
Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Liquid Eyeliner- My new go-to eyeliner pen.

NARS Audacious Lipsticks- My new obsession. I can't wait to share these with you. I'm putting my group through their paces.
Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G. in B*tch Perfect- My new favorite nude.
Lancome Lip Lover 314 Casse Noisette- I'm in love with this formula, and I've been picking up more of the neutral shades lately.

Chantecaille Cheek Fabric in Bliss- My go-to and perfect cheeks in a palette.
Benefit Rockateur Blush- Perfect for fall, and I don't pull it out often


Tom Ford Nail Lacquer in Black Cherry- My favorite new vampy shade.
Tom Ford Nail Lacquer in Bordeaux Lust- I keep going back to this over and over again. It's perfect for my moody nails.
Sephora by OPI Go My Own Way- An old nail polish but one of my favorites. This shade just seems right with my current wardrobe during this month of transition.
Chanel Le Vernis Secret- A lovely, clean nude for fall.
Lancome French Idole Vernis in Love Amethyste Brune- A wonderfully complex, moody purple.
Si by Giorgio Armani- My transition scent. If I had a better nose for scent, I'd rave about it.

What all did you love last month?

Look out for new posts starting tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

August & September 2014 Empties

It's been quite a few months since I've done one of these, and quite a few days since my last post. Life's been quite hectic, and I've been swatching up a storm. I have several hundred images to edit, so please bear with me!

I combined empties for August and September 2014. When appropriate, reviews are inline linked:



  • Philosophy Purity Cleansing Wipes (2)- These are my go-to and I always repurchase
  • Shiseido Benefiance Creamy Cleanser- This is a lovely cleanser that my skin just loves. I haven't repurchased, but I have so many cleansers to go through.
  • Chanel Le Jour Serum, Chanel La Nuit Serum, Chanel Le Weekend Serum- I bought a deluxe travel kit of these three serums to test. I finished them but don't anticipate buying the full sized merely because of the price point right now.
  • First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads- I forgot just how wonderful these are for my skin. I'm not sure what the magic is, but I see a difference when I'm using them versus when I don't.
  • Clinique 7-Day Scrub Cream- I can't believe that I haven't reviewed this before. It's very gentle and plays nicely with my sensitive skin.
  • Chanel Le Lift Serum (deluxe sample)
  • Estee Lauder Advanced Time Zone Eye Cream (deluxe sample)- I received this as a GWP and found it to be lovely but nothing exceptional.
  • Olay Fresh Effects Dew Over Hydrating Gel Moisturizer (deluxe sample)- After reading a great review, I wanted to try this over the summer. For a drugstore product, it's fantastic.

Makeup and Nails:

  • Guerlain Maxi Lash Mascara deluxe sample- This is my first time trying it and I loved it. There are so many other mascaras I'd like to try that I'm not likely to purchase anytime soon.
  • Clarins Be Long Mascara- Same as above.
  • Dior Addict Mascara deluxe sample- See the prior 2 mascaras.
  • Formula X topcoat- I finish one of these every few months. It's an affordable and well-performing topcoat.
  • 2x Acetone Nail Polish Remover (16oz each), Sephora by OPI 2oz nail polish remover- I go through a lot of nail polish remover swatching- who couldn't see that coming?

Bath and Body Products:

  • Bliss Body Butter (unscented)- This is my HG moisturizer. I always stock up when the B1G2 comes up once a year. It's perfection for my sensitive skin.
  • Whish Shave Crave- I keep meaning to review this- it's pricey but the only shaving cream my legs can handle.
  • Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Lavender Chamomile Body Wash and Foam Bath (3)
  • Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Stress Relief travel lotion
  • Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Energy travel body wash
  • Bath and Body Works Wild Citrus Dandelion Body Wash

That may be 2 months' worth, but it's still not bad for finishing products!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Dior Vernis #206 Pied de Poule

It all started innocently enough with a request from my boss for me to attend a meeting. Soon enough, I learned that the meeting would include upper management.  Looking at my mani of Tom Ford Black Cherry, I suddenly felt the need to buy the most neutral polish I knew of on the market right now. Shortly after work that very day, I brought home Dior's Pied de Poule.

I'm not exactly sure what the official color description is for Pied de Poule, but I'd call it a taupey greige. It's a brown, but has a healthy dose of grey in it.  Pied de Poule is new for Fall 2014, and not my normal cup of tea. Actually, it sort of reminds me of a very light chai latte if I'm being honest.

Pied de Poule is as appropriate for the office as my bright lime and sunflower yellow polishes are not. It's soft, sophisticated, and unabashedly neutral. I could call it slightly boring, but it's just what I needed to cleanse the palette and be totally appropriate.

I have three coats plus a topcoat on my nails in this shot. Sorry for the strange little box, but those darned Dior caps are like mirrors!

That meeting, by the way? I aced it.  Thanks, Pied de Poule!

And I liked it so much that I fixed the one chipped nail and took it for a second spin for another seriously important career meeting. As we all know, I'm not exactly monogamous with my nail polish.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Burberry Nail Lacquers in Antique Gold & Dark Bottle Green

Today I have a double dose of nail goodness for your Saturday morning pleasure. I haven't been doing as many nail posts lately simply because I have a number of LE Fall items to get reviews out on ASAP.

Burberry's Fall 2014 color collection included six total nail shades. Of those, one (Oxblood), has made two prior appearances on this blog. I chose two of the five new shades, passing on Elderberry because I've bought so many dark purples as of late, Ink Blue because I have multiple dark blues, and Teal Blue because of the warnings from amazing blogger Color Me Loud who ran into formula and staining issues (seriously, go check out her swatches. Amazing!).

That left me with two new loves: Antique Gold (#445) and Dark Bottle Green (#423). Both retail for $22, which is somewhat affordable compared to Dior, Chanel, and Tom Ford. I've made it a point to seek out varying formulas and colors from Burberry. Their formula has come a long way since I bemoaned it with Oxblood.

First up, Antique Gold. I actually pre-ordered (and subsequently cancelled) this from Saks. It's a thin, metallic formula, but self-levels well. That huge dent visible on my nail is actually my current nailbed. If I had longer nails, I'd have cut it off.

A metallic formula is by its very nature less forgiving than my usual cremes. That is three thin coats, and NO topcoat on my nails here. I'll admit to a quick swatch 'n run with these shades because I wanted to get through my fall picks. I honestly don't have anything quite like the brassy (in a good way) Antique Gold. I can see myself wearing this a lot when it gets just a bit cooler. I can still get away without a coat most days, so I'm not in the mood for this yet.

And then there's Dark Bottle Green. My swatches look much darker than the promo photos, but my swatches aren't in the sun or in direct light. I have three coats, no topcoat on my nails here.

I didn't do the best cleanup job here; my apologies. In my defense, I was running out of natural light and needed to get this swatch completed since my bosses likely would've made the "smelly diaper face" when confronted with green nails in a conservative workplace. (For the record, the only dark green I've smuggled through the workplace is Chanel Mysterious, which could pass for something other than green in many lights.)

I don't have a comparison swatch, but when I brought this home I immediately thought of Button London British Racing Green. The Butter London shade is about 1/8-1/4 shade lighter, with a pronounced silver shimmer giving it a lighter appearance. I'd call them fraternal twinsies. If you have one, the other isn't necessarily required.

I didn't get a chance to try these out for wear time, but I've been getting 1-2 days out of Burberry polishes as of late.  I really find these shades to be a great addition to the line, and highly recommend them for fall.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Jason Wu for Lancome Mini Precision Cheek Brush

Today marks the end of my little string of Lancome reviews. I fully anticipate my next ones will be the next group of Lip Lovers that I have purchased.

I fell in love with the Jason Wu for Lancome Mini Precision Cheek Brush ($20). Why? I'm a sucker for mini brushes that perform like their full-sized counterparts but can live comfortably in any makeup bag.

I know I'm a bit slow on this review, but I like to give all brushes a real test before I review them.

The Mini Precision Cheek Brush is the travel version of the Lancome Precision Cheek Brush #7.  I've found the mini to be perfectly sized for any makeup bag, and use it for both blush touch-ups and for all-over powder touch-ups. I actually prefer it for all-over powder because the bristles are so tightly packed. When I tested this with a number of blushes, I had a hard time not picking up too much powder.

This item sold quickly online, but I noticed it at a few counters over the past couple of weeks.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Lancome Fall 2014 French Idole Vernis in Love Amethyste Brune

Today I'm happy to share with you my selection from one of the more underrated collections from this fall: Lancome's Fall 2014 French Idole Collection. I chose just one item- Vernis in Love #387, Amethyste Brune.

I really enjoy this shade. It and Tom Ford Bordeaux Lust have been the most frequently spotted shades on my nails as of late. Formula-wise, it's incredibly thin but quick-drying. I built up four very thin coats plus Seche Vite topcoat on my nails in this shot.

These photos don't really do the shade justice. It has such a lovely shimmer and is the perfect fall purple.  I know I've been featuring a lot of Lancome lately, but I've been exploring the brand this year after falling for Lip Lovers (more reviews coming, believe it or not).

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Lancome Universal Nude Lip Set

While browsing recently, I spotted a great little set from Lancome and immediately purchased. Once I received it, I realized that this was one of the first Holiday 2014 releases.

Lancome's Universal Nude Lip Set ($42) is comprised of four items: Color Design Lipstick in Trendy Mauve ($22.50), Gloss in Love in #351 Lily en Lame ($27), Le Lipstique in Clair ($25), and a beautiful black makeup bag/pouch. This is a great value, with a total MSRP for the 3 items at $74.50, plus the makeup bag.

I'm going to start by talking about the one piece that I didn't swatch or photograph much- the Le Lipstique in Clair. It's a lovely clear lipliner. I've tried multiple brands' clear lipliners, and find that the Lancome version works well for a workday. At $25, it wouldn't be my first choice (I find the MUFE a fantastic value at $19), but it's a great inclusion in the set. I'm not a big fan of brushes included with lipliners, but this one is adequate.

Next, let's talk about the unexpected love (for me): the bag.

This cute little clutch tucks into all but the smallest bags, and has a surprisingly large capacity. At an evening event where I was carrying a clutch, this held my Chanel Les Beiges, a small brush, lip balm, and lipstick.

It's the little details, like the flap that conceals the zipper and the crystal pull that make this a lovely addition.

Now, let's talk about the 2 colored lip products. I didn't do in-depth testing of each piece, but wanted to put swatches out there for those who are thinking of buying the set either for themselves or as a gift. When I speak about wear time, these are initial thoughts, and based upon my prior experience with the brand's items and only one day of testing rather than the usual 3-5 that I give an item.

First, the Lancome Color Design lipstick in Trendy Mauve (0.14 oz/4g/ $22.50) is a full-coverage, satin lipstick. I find this to be a darker nude, but still wearable with my pigmented lips. I find the design of the Color Design lipsticks to be bizarre. It's upside down! Look at the rounded end on the end of the tube!

It's quite lovely and is the Lancome rose:

As long as you don't try to stand the tube up, it shouldn't bother you. For taking photos, it was a giant pain in the rear.

Trendy Mauve is a brown nude:

In general, I find these last 3-4 hours, or until I start eating or drinking. At this price point, they're nice lipsticks.

Next, let's talk about Gloss in Love #351, Lily en Lame. Although the flash washes out the "Gloss in Love" label, I find this shot to be the most accurate in terms of the actual color:

For those who haven't seen the wand, here's a terrible shot of it:

It's somewhat similar to Giorgio Armani Flash Lacquer #600 (review pending), and a very glittery gloss. When I was swatching, it look several attempts to remove the residual glitter from my hands. Wear time is 2-3 hours, or until eating/drinking. It's fairly soft (and by that, I mean non-gritty).

In terms of nudes, I find this to be more of a rosy set, based on my swatches.

Outdoor swatch of the lipstick & gloss (no direct sun when I was swatching):

I didn't swatch the lipliner since it's clear.

Lip swatch of just the Trendy Mauve Color Design Lipstick:

Lip swatches of just Gloss in Love #351, Lily en Lame:

Lip swatch of all 3 items together:

Bottom Line: I love it. This is a great set all around- neutral lipstick, gorgeous gloss, clear lipliner (who doesn't need another one of those?), and awesome bag. For me, this is a can't miss. It will work on a number of skintones.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Chantecaille Cheek Shade in Bliss

Today, I bring you another review that I've taken my sweet time with. Chantecaille Cheek Shade in Bliss ($38, LE) is the brand's special release in celebration of their 15th anniversary collection. I didn't pick up the gorgeous eyeshadow trio, but I did fall head over stilettos for this stunning blush.  Let's just take a moment to enjoy the beauty eye candy.

Bliss, like other Chantecaille blushes, is rather small, weighing in at just 2.5g. If you're anything like me, I've only ever hit pan on one blush before. So, I don't mind the small pebble-like blush.

Although it's not meant to be ergonomically pleasing, this beauty nestles into the palm of your hand just right.

Not that it has anything to do with the blush, but I just wanted to share this cheerful little box:

Now, let's get back to Bliss. It's an incredible shade, and the packaging truly reflects that.

It appears to be a light pink, innocent rosy shade. That rose on the pan is apropos.

In the sun, you can't help but stop and stare. Bliss glimmers without any noticeable shimmer or glitter. It also looks peachy in this full sun shot. It's breathtaking.

Using flash brings out more of the cool pink undertones- and gives you an idea of the super secret shimmer.

But take it inside with the same camera and same flash and it appears a bit warmer. Bliss is quite the chameleon, no?

In case you couldn't tell, I am in love with this stunner and couldn't stop photographing.

Now, let's talk pigmentation and wear. Bliss is the perfect light blush for me. If you're looking for a dark shade, take one last longing look at the stunning rose and keep on walking. This is probably too light for anyone darker than medium complexion. Although it's not even in the same galaxy, I'd throw it in the same universe as Benefit Dandelion. If Dandelion is flattering on your skin tone, you'll love Bliss.

I find that Bliss merely enhances my skin. I wish I could find the site, but another blogger called it  "good genes". I don't claim that phrase, but I agree with her (and wish I could remember who it was; I searched for a good 15 minutes!). Bliss makes my cheeks look luminous from within and healthy. It's my new go-to, and never too much.

In order to make Bliss show up, I had to swatch way too heavy. These swatches were done with a dense eyeshadow brush to pack on pigmentation. For reference, my skin is in the neighborhood of NW10-NW15, Bobbi Brown Alabaster, Burberry 02/202, NARS Mont Blanc.

Direct sun swatch:

Outside swatch, no direct sun:

Bottom line, this is love. It lasts all day, makes my cheeks look perfect, and is never too much. Why can't all blushes be like this?

I purchased mine at my local Chantecaille counter. Although it's hard to find online, (pst, check the brand's website) they're still at counters.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in B*tch Perfect

As I noted last week, I'm obsessing over pinky nude lips as of late. I'm happy to share with you today one of my new favorites- and my first (but undoubtedly not my last) purchase from Charlotte Tilbury Beauty.

Can we just take a second to appreciate that glorious starring from the rose gold tube gleaming in the sun? It's downright angelic!

Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipsticks retail for $32, contain 3.5g/0.12 oz, and are made in Italy. Here's a shot of the box:

Normally I'd reach for a bold shade, but with the almost universal love for B*tch Perfect I went out on a limb. It's a perfect rosy nude, although it's lighter than some of my photos would indicate.

This shot makes it look far more pink than it is, but it's the most accurate shot of the rose gold tube.

The tube itself is weighty, embossed with CT on the cap, and just oozes luxury. In the sea of dark lipstick tubes usually rattling about in my bag (NARS, Tom Ford, Chanel), this stands out. I very much appreciate the unique tube. Again, just check out the sun starring- incredible!

One of the reasons I've shied away from nudes in the past is that my highly pigmented lips overwhelm them, or they look unnatural. B*tch Perfect is perfect on me, and is full coverage with a swipe and a half.

Unlike the lighter NARS Audacious lipsticks (reviews to come), B*tch Perfect doesn't require lip exfoliation. I really like the formula- it's easy to work with, creamy but not too slippery, and lasts about 3-4 hours  (unless you're eating or drinking). In short, it's everything you'd want from a $32 lipstick.

Let me share a few swatches with you:

Only one skin swatch for you- in the sun. It looks lovely here.

B*tch Perfect is such a standout on the lips, so I have a few shots for you.

This is the closest to how it wears in the office, and everywhere but in the sun. It's just a perfectly beautiful nude:

In the sun, the peach comes out:

Overall, this is love. I've had it with me on a daily basis since I purchased. I resisted Charlotte Tilbury beauty for a few weeks after launch, and probably won't pick up anything until actual counters launch. Still, the quality is there and this is one of my new favorite lipsticks.