Friday, February 28, 2014

Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo is one of those items that has always sounded like a great idea for me, but I've struggled to figure out how to use it in real life.  I've worked my way through a series of failed flings with dry shampoo, but may have landed on a winning formula with Drybar's Detox Dry Shampoo.

I've briefly discussed my hair on this blog before, but let me refresh your memory since it's been a few months.  I have long, straight, fine color-treated hair- and a lot of it.  I dye my hair red (I'm not telling if I'm a natural redhead or another color!), so naturally it fades very quickly.  One of the top tricks that I've come across is both delaying the initial wash following when I get my hair dyed, and also shampooing less often.

I may know it's bad, but I grew up having to wash my hair daily because I'd sweat in my sleep and would end up with oily hair.  Over the past year, I've made a dedicated effort to wash my hair far less often.  Enter dry shampoo.

In full disclosure, I purchased the Detox Dry Shampoo as a part of the Morning After Kit at Sephora only because the store was out of the shower cap alone- the real reason I was in the store (review to follow).

Detox Dry Shampoo retails for $20 for 3.5oz, and comes in two versions: original and brunette.  The Morning After Kit (LE) retails for $35 and includes Detox Dry Shampoo and The Morning After Shower Cap. 

Here's the rear of the can:

Ingredient-hawks, you can find the full list here.  I verified that the list on the site matches that on the back of the can exactly.

This is an aerosol, with a large nozzle:

Now, let's talk about the dry shampoo:

The directions state to shake extremely well, then spray 2-4 inches from roots and gently blend.  I tried this two mornings recently when I was running late for work. 

In both cases, I shook the can for a good 3 minutes or so (hey, I listen to extremely), then applied a good 2 inches from my roots.  I applied a healthy amount since I have a lot of hair and blended.

In both trials, I also brought pins/hair ties to put my hair up if it felt greasy by mid-day.  Shockingly, I never felt the need to do so!  It took me a bit longer to do my hair since I did more of a real blowout in each section prior to flat ironing my hair.  Still, it was faster than washing and drying my hair that morning.

It applied clear and blended with my hair, which is a plus. Other dry shampoos that I've tried have left me looking like I have dandruff.  By a mile, this is my best experience with a dry shampoo.  I wouldn't use it on a regular basis, but it's great to have on-hand for a pinch.

NOTD: Dior Porcelaine

Today's NOTD is the last of the four selections from Dior's Spring 2014 Trianon Collection that I showed earlier in the month.

Porcelaine is a light blue creme that I struggled with, formula-wise.  This is three coats, and I was never happy with it.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Dior Serum de Rouge- Rosewood Serum 740

I guess it's a week of Rosewood!  I brought you Burberry Beauty Sheer Eyeshadow in Rosewood earlier this week, and I've got another Rosewood-hued product to discuss today.

I stumbled into Dior Serum de Rouge somewhat accidentally.  While searching for the Dior Diva rewards for 2014 (which I submitted receipts for and will let you all see what they are when I receive them), I discovered that Dior Serum de Rouge in Rosewood Serum (#740) was a prior year reward- and subsequently started investigating this formula.

Dior Serum de Rouge isn't shaped quite like your average lipstick or lipgloss.  It's a thin tube with the same pattern on the outside as on the Rouge Dior lipsticks.  The applicator is much smaller than most lipsticks:

You get color by turning the bottom section. However, beware! Once twisted, there's no way to push the color back in the tube. It's a major design flaw, in my opinion.

Rosewood is a lovely pink.  Here it is, with flash:

This is truly a MLBB color on just about everyone- including me.  This is a great color just to throw in your bag to have as a backup throughout the day, due to the formula.  Rosewood is a mid-toned rosy pink that I've seen on just about every skintone.  If you're going to try just one shade of Serum de Rouge, this is a can't miss.

This color is a true neutral pink.  Here's the same swatch in a few different light conditions:

Outside, no flash:

Outside, with flash:

Inside, no flash:

Inside, with flash:

Honestly, the inside with flash shows the shine the best and is closest to the color.  I've gotten a lot of use out of this somewhat impulse purchase (I can justify almost any purchase by thinking "well, I'll just blog about it...").  It's now become a true staple.

Yes, the color is pretty. But what makes this so magical? It's the formula.  Like the name implies, this is also a conditioning serum. This is the first lipstick I've tried that leaves my lips more moisturized, even when I was testing it on some of the coldest days in decades!  The formula alone makes this worth seeking out.  It nourishes and moisturizes while imparting color that lasts about 4 hours on me.  This is truly a HG formula for me.

Serum de Rouge retails for $34 and is available at Dior counters.

NOTD: Essie Romper Room

Today's NOTD is another Essie Spring 2014 polish.  Romper Room, a light pink creme, had formula that astounded me. Opaque in two coats, quick-drying, it's a dream.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ulta Eyeshadow Brush #2

Today I'm going to share one of my hidden secrets with you: Ulta's Eyeshadow Brush #2.  It retails for just $10, but it's a staple in my brush wardrobe and outperforms brushes that cost two or three times that!

Ulta Eyeshadow Brush #2 is the smaller of two eyeshadow brushes in Ulta's line.  It has a gunmetal grey handle and short, synthetic bristles.  They're packed somewhat densely, but not like MAC brushes.

Most people would pass on this brush because it's okay at applying powder. They're missing what a hidden gem this is.

Here's a close-up of the brush head:

This is the best brush I've found on the market for dealing with creme eyeshadows such as Chanel Illusion d'Ombre, Dior Diorshow Fusion Mono, Buxom Stay-There Shadow, and Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams.  The synthetic bristles clean up so easily, and it's easy to control the layers.

Even though these retail for $10 each, Ulta often has them on sale.  Consider them a bargain steal and don't think twice about grabbing one to try with your creme shadows.

NOTD: Essie Fashion Playground

Today's NOTD is yet another selection from Spring 2014, Essie Fashion Playground. This mint creme was opaque in two coats and the formula is wonderful.

Two coats, no topcoat.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Burberry Beauty Sheer Eyeshadow- 09 Rosewood

Today I bring you the review I teased this past weekend when I wouldn't reveal what product exactly I was testing that was wrapped in the Burberry plaid.

After spending some serious time looking through other bloggers' reviews, it was this photo from one of my favorite blogs, The Beauty Look Book that sold me on the idea of finally ordering one of Burberry Beauty's single eyeshadows.  I've been looking for a good pink shadow for awhile after regretting passing on Tom Ford's In the Pink trio from last fall.  Before I even realized it, Burberry Beauty Sheer Eyeshadow- 09 Rosewood had flown into my shopping bag at Nordstrom and I'd already clicked confirm before I even registered what I'd done.

I've been itching to try out Burberry Beauty for a long time, but I've been frustrated with the brand for their Cali-centric approach to actually letting people see the products. Still, I took a leap of faith because the nearest counter is longer than I'd drive for eyeshadow.  Just be warned, I plan to cover this in-depth since most of the country has no access in person to Burberry Beauty and I had lots of questions despite reading every review I could find online.

Let's talk about the line for a moment.  Currently the Sheer Eyeshadow formula is Burberry's only offering for single shadows.  As of today, I spotted 21 colors online at Nordstrom, 18 at, and 14 at Saks. One of the frustrating aspects of this brand is that need to shop around to find the colors you're looking for.  They retail for $29 for 2.5g of shadow- in line with other high-end brands.

Here's the box.  I mention this only because it's a textured cardboard.  I think the second photo shows that the best.  This box itself jumps out from the others.

And here's the side which shows the shade:

OK, that's all well and good.  Let's talk about the packaging a bit.  I know this is ridiculously detailed for most readers, but this is the first non-nail item I've purchased from Burberry Beauty so this is all new to me.

Like most brands, Burberry wraps their packaging in a dustcover. I can't be bothered with these generally, but the plaid makes this irresistable.

The packaging itself is a gunmetal grey and heavy:

The top has the same Burberry plaid:

And finally, here's the bottom:

Overall, I give the packaging an A-.  It's appropriately sturdy and has enough weight to it that you don't worry about it being knocked off a vanity easily.  I love the Burberry plaid, and the gunmetal grey.  The only negative to me is that the shiny surface just invites fingerprints.

The packaging is beautiful once you open the lid.

The eyeshadow is recessed just enough that there's no worries of fallout going everywhere and over the little foam applicator.  It's tucked into a perfectly-sized inset, but I rarely use foam applicators. For this formula, however, I may consider it.  I'll get to that in a moment.  All eyeshadows are pressed with the Burberry plaid, which is a nice touch.  The case itself is smaller than Chanel or Dior singles- but that's just fine by me.  It's a great size to tuck into a makeup bag that you bring in your purse for touch-ups.  With this formula, you'll probably want to make some.

Let's take a moment to talk about Rosewood.  It's a beautiful metallic pink with hints of brown undertones.  It's a true neutral, and I can see this color working either as a lid or crease color.  I've been looking for a nice, workable pink that isn't "pink pink", if you know what I mean. This almost taupey mauve is pretty much what I've been seeking out.

So far all of the photos I've been showing you are outside, in natural light, but not in direct light. They've been hiding the metallic edge to this shade.

This photo is outside, in indirect light, with flash:

I got up early on my day off when I heard the forecast was for a sunny day just to get a couple of photos of Rosewood.  It was worth dealing with the mud and snow.

Side note: you can see these were later since the pan had already been swatched at this point.

And just to complete the range of lighting conditions to show how this shade really looks...

Inside, without flash- where it looks brown:

Inside, with flash (where the mauvey-rose tones are prominent):

This is the type of shadow that's suddenly very interesting to me. Once upon a time, I would've dismissed this as boring.  It's certainly not.

I guess I need to start believing beauty companies when they name a product "sheer."  Because Burberry's Sheer Eyeshadows are exactly that.  I was shocked at the lack of color payoff when I first swatched with a MAC 282SE. I switched to a MAC 219SE in order to get the color more intensely packed for the swatches.  On the eye, however, I found that my trusty MAC 239 worked nicely, both in terms of getting good color payoff and blending.

In all of these photos, the densely-packed swatch from the MAC 219SE is on the left and the diffuse, sheer wash from the MAC 282SE is on the right.

Outside, no flash (no direct sunshine):

And here's the same swatches, same constraints, but with the camera's flash turned on:

The metallic edge isn't visible in the photographs, but it's there in real life.

Here's the same swatches, indoors (with no natural light bleeding in):

No flash:

With flash:

The last photo, with flash, shows the metallic sheen the best. On the eye, it's subtle and wearable.

In terms of the formula, through several days of testing I've come to enjoy how sheer but buildable it is.  I experienced some fallout, but that really depended upon both the type of brush I used and the amount of shadow I was attempting to pack onto my eye at any point.  A light hand, good brushes, and patience are the keys to working successfully with this formula.

I tested this with NARS Pro Prime Eyeshadow Primer, my go-to primer on a daily basis.  I have major problems with fading if I fail to use primer, so I can't speak to wear time on bare lids with this shadow. It was actually unseasonably warm this past weekend, and I was a bit sweaty at times running errands.  On both days, my makeup looked like I'd just applied it at hour 8-10.  There was no fade-out and no fall-out throughout the day.  For a sheer shadow, I'm impressed with the longevity. 

Bottom Line: I really enjoy Burberry Beauty Sheer Eyeshadow- 09 Rosewood. I love that it's a permanent shade.  At $29, it's in line with Chanel and Dior.  The packaging makes it feel like a luxury splurge.  I find Rosewood to be a beautiful color that most would enjoy having in their collection.  It's a pink-mauvey-taupe, depending on application and the light.  I can see this becoming one of my go-tos, and it's successfully filled that "I want a workable pink" urge I've been fighting.  Just be prepared to work with the formula when you apply it and you'll enjoy this shadow. As for me, I think I'll be planning my next purchase soon.

NOTD: Essie Style Hunter

Today's NOTD is another Spring 2014 selection, Essie Style Hunter.  It's similar in tone to Chanel Tapage, but a bit more red.

The formula on all of these new Essies is really impressing me- this is nearly a one-coater.  Two coats, no top coat in this photo.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Comparison: Dior Addict Lip Gloss #442 Petillante vs Dior Addict Lip Gloss #343 Spring Ball

In my earlier overview of Dior's Spring 2014 Trianon Collection, I compared new (and limited edition) Dior Addict Lip Gloss Petillante #442 to one of the permanent shades that was featured for Spring 2013, #343 Spring Ball.  What I neglected to give you were photos.  Truthfully, it was because I couldn't find my Spring Ball!  Well, I found it- and I'd like to give you an in-depth overview.

Here's a shot of the two glosses I'll be talking about.  They are both light offerings that read mostly nude on the lips, and both from the revamped Dior Addict gloss line.  You can already see the main difference- the undertones.

In all of my swatches, Petillante (#442) will be on the left, and Spring Ball (#343) will be on the right.  Petillante has a pink-peach undertone, where as Spring Ball has only peach undertones.  Both have obvious sparkle both in the tube and on the lips.

They look nearly identical on my heavily pigmented lips, so I'm going to stick to hand swatches for this post.

Here, outside without flash, and not under a porch (that's important to note), you can see how close they are.  My original advice was that Petillante was only a must-buy for owners of Spring Ball if you wanted to be matchy-matchy with the LE Rouge Dior offering or collect all of the lighter glosses. I think this photo illustrates why I made that suggestion the best.

Here's a photo of the same swatches outside, with flash:

They look even more similar there.

Another outside, with flash shot (from a different location):

Here's the same swatches, but indoors.

No flash:

And with flash:

Bottom line: I stand by my earlier statements that these two glosses read essentially the same, especially if worn alone on semi-pigmented lips.  I own both and realize that they're pretty similar. However, I bought because I previously purchased the Spring Ball items and wanted the matching gloss for Rouge Dior Rose Crinoline for Spring 2014.

Both Dior Addict Lip Glosses retail for $29.50.  #442 Petillante is a limited edition and starting to sell out.  #343 is a permanent collection item and readily available via the usual locations.

Fuel Your Inner Sparkle Princess with Dior

Warning: This post is about to break my number one rule about limited-edition products that are no longer on counters.

For many little girls, the idea of becoming a sparkly princess is a common fantasy. One has only to look at the popularity of Disney Princesses to understand.  Luckily, Dior has a series of products to bring even the most mature woman back to her sparkle princess roots: a sparkling trio for lips of a Princess, plus last year's Princess nail polish (just look at the last post to see it as a NOTD).

Last year, I was attracted to the red-coral fierceness of Diablotine when this collection was initially launched.  This year, it's Princess speaking to me.  After a sultry winter of berry lips, there's something refreshing about carnation pink.  I find it the perfect accessory for spring- it plays nicely with all of the other pastels.

First, let's talk about Princess nail polish for a second.  It's a flawless, sparkling pink that seems like the sparkly cousin to Chanel May. Unfortunately, I haven't spotted it at any retailers in the past couple of months (unlike Delice, which still lurks at a few places if you look hard enough).

Now that I've broken my rule, let's move onto the Princess items you can still get your hands on.  First, the two lipsticks.

One of the best parts of this collection is the ability to play with both the Dior Addict and Addict Extreme lipstick formulas.  You can tell the difference in the color of the lipstick case- Addict is a shimmery, iridescent silver.  Addict Extreme is an ultra-luxe navy.

Princess (#553) is one of the permanent shades in the Addict formula.  It is described as "sheer carnation pink."

The flash brings out the multi-color shimmer in the Addict case better:

Here's a nice shot of the color outside, in natural light:

The flash makes this look a bit more intense than it really is:

With the sheer colors of Dior Addict, I don't get much longevity. However, the color fades to a pleasant stain nicely somewhere in the family of what Lip Glow does for me.  Since I have very pigmented lips, this just adds a sheer wash of color with some shimmer instead of looking like a lipstick lipstick.

Due to the pigmented lips, I'm just going to stick to hand swatches so you can appreciate the beauty of this color. Despite being a sparkle Princess, it's perfectly appropriate and sweet for the office, brunch, running errands, and everything you can imagine. This is such a perfect accompaniment to spring pastels.

First, the outdoor swatches. These were taken in late afternoon light, less than an hour before sunset.

No flash

With flash

Between the two swatches, the flash photo is closest to the real-life shade.  These are shimmery, glittering shades.

Now, the indoor photos:

No flash

With flash

Bottom line: this is just lovely.  It's more rosy than pure carnation, and manages to be a candied, pastel pink without moving into cartoon, Barbie, or little girl territory.  Addict lipstick retails for $32, and you can find Princess and the other permanent shades at Dior counters, Sephora, and

Finding the Princess Addict Extreme lipstick was a bit more difficult, but I managed to do it so I feel ok with showing you this shocking hot pink hotness.

As I mentioned before, the easy way to spot an Addict Extreme lipstick is the navy tube:

Princess Extreme (#553) was a limited-edition shade from the Spring 2013 collection.  Your local counter may still have it, but as of today it's in-stock at Bloomingdales online.

The major difference between the Addict and Addict Extreme formulas is pigmentation and longevity. These peeks at the tube should give you an idea of how Princess Extreme really is just that- that lovely, muted pink turned up about 10,000 notches.

The flash makes it look a bit more intense than it wears on the lips:

I get about 4 hours of wear from this creamy, pigmented formula, then it fades to a pleasant stain.  It's such a cheery pink, but I find it trickier to wear in a professional setting than its sheerer sister, but my office is a bit more conservative than most.  This is the color meant for a night out- it's important to always feel like a Princess if this is your groove.  I'll share some swatch photos on my hand for easy direct comparison with the Addict formula:

First, outside in natural light.  Like the other photos, these were taken in late afternoon winter light, near sunset.

No flash

With flash


No flash

With flash

Overall, it reads closest to the outdoors, with flash photo on my lips. Addict Extreme retails for $32, and is at the usual Dior locations.  As I mentioned, Bloomingdales still has this LE shade available online.

Although it should be pretty clear already, I took a few comparison photos between Addict Princess and Addict Extreme Princess Extreme.

Like the others, these were taken late afternoon, outside.

No flash
With flash

Although both the Addict and Addict Extreme lipsticks are lovely, there's one more Princess-hued lip product.  And that, of course, is the iconic Dior Addict Gloss.

This shot, taken outside with flash is pretty representative of the carnation pink shimmer bomb that Princess Addict Gloss really is.  Don't be frightened- it's very wearable.

For those who aren't familiar, this is what the wand looks like:

Naturally, I swatched this on my hand for a direct comparison.  First, the outdoor swatches:

No flash

With flash

On the lips, it's like the Addict in hue rather than Addict Extreme, but with more obvious and packed glitter. Addict and Addict gloss make a surprisingly calm and serene spring lip duo.

I get about 2-3 hours of wear, unless I eat or drink.  Dior Addict Glosses retail for $29.50 and Princess (#553) is part of the permanent collection.

Finally, I swatched all of them at once for easy comparison.  There are so many lovely forms of Dior Princess:

Outside, with no flash (most accurate)

Outside, with flash

Inside, no flash (least accurate)

Inside, with flash

Bottom Line: I love embracing my inner sparkle Princess in all forms with Dior Princess!  There's something for everyone, from neutral, sheer Addict to the pink-hot Addict Extreme or Addict Gloss.