Monday, February 29, 2016

MAC Monday: Hot Tahiti Glaze Lipstick

Sometimes you have plans, and other times you stumble into a post. Today is the later, as I remembered how much I love this lipstick after wearing it to work. And MAC Monday returns after a 1-week vacation! And... Happy Leap Day!

I was wearing this dress in the sold out black/red plaid and was looking for a lipstick in the red/wine family.

Nothing seemed quite right, until I pulled out MAC Hot Tahiti.

Hot Tahiti is a lipstick that doesn't seem to get a lot of love, but it's honestly one of my favorites from MAC. I'm not precisely sure why, but I have a few thoughts.

1. Hot Tahiti is one of just a few Glaze lipsticks. These are intentionally glossy, thin, sheer, but buildable. I love them because the color's buildable and they moisturize my sensitive lips. No, the wear time isn't great (3-5 hours) but let's be honest- who isn't sipping on something all day at work?

2. Hot Tahiti is the opposite of a Matte- which is what's in. Phshaw.

3. MAC doesn't do a lot of promoting or repromotion of their Glazes other than Pervette. I can't find any mentions of this being promoted within the past five years or so.

4. MAC's color description seems off for this: This is lipstick that's totally dependent on your natural lip color. On me, it's a stunning vampy rose that leans towards wine. I adore personalized lip shades.

Here's Hot Tahiti on my lips, in action:

Isn't it awesome?

Here's a swatch of it on my hand, both one pass (left) and built up (right)

Hot Tahiti is exactly why I started MAC Monday. You can grab it directly from MAC either online or in their stores. I haven't hunted at counters to make sure that it is available there.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Laura Mercier Paris After the Rain Palette

Today I'd like to share with one of the first products I actually picked up for Spring 2016- and one of the items that I think is perfectly situated for the winter-spring transition. I also haven't seen very many reviews, so I'm happy to share this albeit a bit late in the game.

First, I have to show this photo to you- this is how long I've been sitting on photos! Yes, that's snow, and it's pre-camera purchase.

Laura Mercier's Spring 2016 collection is anchored by the Paris After the Rain Palette ($55). Laura Mercier's website describes this as "A gorgeous palette with 8 matte and multi-chrome finishes with endless eye look possibilities. The Multi Chrome Pearl Topper can be used to help blend a strong base colour, intensify a subtle base colour or illuminate a matte colour."

I call it gorgeous and quite unexpected for Spring. Let's take a look. I'm going to be honest- I've reshot these photos a few times, so the palette is showing some wear. That's one of things I want to talk about in-depth.

Row 1 (Matte Eye Color): Saint Germain, Tour Eiffel, Champs Elysee, Le Marais
Row 2 (Multi Chrome Pearl Topper): Arc de Triomphe, Rue de Rivoli, La Madeleine, Montmartre

I adore the Parisian names- there's something about this palette that feels glamorous.

Let's look at the mattes first:

Overall, these are buttery for mattes and blend well. They're perfect on their own, or as an anchoring base. But warning: these are soft. Make sure you tap your brush and be ready to do cleanup. You also will need to be careful not to overblend- you can blend them into nothing.

Next, the gem-like Multi Chrome Pearl Toppers:

Aren't they beautiful?

Here's the deal. There is a lot of fallout, but just spray your brush with a little Fix+ before picking up pigment and you'll be fine. Also be prepared to do a bit of cleanup.

Now, this is a bit hazy (due to the atmospheric conditions) but worth showing because of the sun:

These are gorgeous.

I love layering these shades for a totally smoky eye with a twist.

There's one major downside to this palettte- I think it has gone over that buttery line into way too soft. Take a look at my palette after I re-swatched (with better lighting):

Did I not tell you these have a ton of fallout and are prone to overblending?  It's a shame since this is literally the perfect size for travel. That texture is the only thing that makes me not want to bring it with me when I travel.
Overall, this palette is the perfect size for travel and a lot of fun in this in-between (okay, FINE it's still winter but a girl can dream, right?) time. Just be careful with the Multi Chrome Pearl Toppers and you're ready to go. The more I play with this palette the more I fall in love.

Sunday Dreaming

After a week off to bust out all of those Chanel reviews, my favorite post of the week is back: Sunday Dreaming.  Why is it my favorite? I love sharing what's on my mind with you!

I've been trying to slow my purchases a bit after realizing that I'm about to outgrow my current makeup storage. Yikes! Plus, I'm pretty content as we settle into the time between Spring and Summer releases.

1. Tatcha Soothing Triple Recovery Cream ($135)

I could rave for hours about how much I love everything I've tried from Tatcha. This brand does everything right- from offering generous travel-sized products for sale to luxe packaging to products that just plain work.

I got a deluxe sample of this moisturizer (from Sephora possibly?) and have fallen in love. The price tag is a bit gut-wrenching, but my dry, sensitive, rosacea skin is so happy. Don't let the indigo color scare you- it melds into the skin without any blue residue. Once I've finished my sample, I may have to splurge on the full sized product.

2.  By Terry Hulie de Rose ($106)

I recently had the opportunity to try a sample of this Rose Oil, and my skin adored it. I've always relied upon Guerlain's Abeille Royale Oil for calming my skin but it turns out that By Terry Hulie de Rose has a similar effect on my skin. Anything that leaves my skin moisturized and happy is totally worth investigating in a full size.

3. MAC 170 Synthetic Rounded Slant Brush ($35)

I'm on #TeamBuyAllTheBrushes this year anyhow, but this recent new offering from MAC has me clamoring. One of my favorite brushes is actually last fall's It Cosmetics Heart brush- and this looks to have the elements I love- a super densely packed face brush.

4. YSL Touche Eclat Neutralizer ($38)

I've been playing with a couple of redness-reducing products the past couple of weeks (reviews to come) and can't wait to play with YSL's offering.

5. Marc Jacobs Cover(t) Stick Color Corrector ($42)

OK, I love the shade name- Covert Affairs (side note: So sad they didn't really wrap up that show properly!). I also am curious to try a stick since I've tried two primers, a concealer, and am looking at the Touche Eclat version. It's all about redness reduction for me.

There we have it- 5 things I'm dreaming about this week!  What's tops on your wishlist?

Saturday, February 27, 2016

NARS Nouvelle Vogue Spring 2016 Collection

Although NARS' Spring 2016 Nouvelle Vogue Color Collection launched on NARS' website 15 January and to counters on 1 February, I'm running a little behind in picking it up. Blame that on buying two entire Chanel collections lately.

I picked up a few key items from this collection that I'd like to share with you.

Let's start with the eyes today. Included in this collection is a duo eyeshadow and three Dual Intensity Shadows. I was severely tempted to just buy it all but slightly refrained, opting instead for Dual Intensity Kari and Tavros ($29 each, 0.05oz).

Let's start with Kari, a soft rose eyeshadow. It's quite different than other Dual Intensity eyeshadows I've tried (and I've tried most of them in the line).

Dual Intensity shadows are generally known to be metallic; Kari is not. It's almost more of a satiny shimmer. I love it in my crease. This is more of a softer, more feminine version of this line. I'm going to tip my hand on Tavros and just show them both to you here:

See what I mean about Kari having a different texture? (Yes, that's still my IV point under Tavros.) I find it interesting that NARS has taken the line in this direction and wonder if they're going to be releasing more eyeshadows like Kari. I'd welcome them.

And then there's Tavros.

When I first saw photos of this collection, Tavros caught my eye- and took my breath away. I am a sucker for a metallic icy mint shadow and have many of them in my collection.

I could just get lost in those all day long. I adore a wash of icy mint in the heat of summer for a pop of color.

The absolute showstopper for the collection in my opinion was the duo: Hammamet ($35, 0.14oz).

Funny story: I planned to skip this. I'm glad that I didn't. I thought it was just another neutral duo.  It sort of is, but a piece that brought me to tears has turned out to be a staple in my makeup bag.

So, here's the (not-so) funny story: After one of my infusions, I decided to stop by Sephora to attempt to pick up the last couple of pieces I wanted from the collection in-person. I had Tavros on hold, but decided to take a look at Hammamet. I'm right-handed, so without even thinking I went to swatch the duo on my left hand. I pressed down on that fresh IV site and literally saw stars. The world started to go dark on me. Tears came to my eyes. Lesson learned: NEVER accidentally swatch on a fresh IV location! It took some makeup remover, alcohol to disinfect, and sitting down for a few moments I bought the duo.

And despite it being warm, I was determined to make it work.

Luckily, it's pretty easy. I have used this so many different ways. It's my current favorite neutral eye look.

One of the pieces I was most interested in purchasing from the collection is Impassioned Blush ($30, 0.16oz).

This 'pink orchid' blush just screamed to me. It's totally in my wheelhouse- a light, buildable, cool pink.  It turns out that reality was even better than what I was expecting

Bottom line: love.

This might be one of the last collections for Spring 2016 that I picked up, but I have already integrated two of the pieces into my daily routine. Have you picked up anything from NARS Spring 2016?

Friday, February 26, 2016

Burberry Spring/Summer 2016 Runway Highlighter Palette

I'm so glad that this was brought back in wide release so that I can talk about this with you. Keep an eye out on Burberry's site, Nordstrom, Sephora, and Saks for the most recent inventory. I bought mine at my local Burberry boutique.

Burrberry released two limited edition highlighter palettes for Spring/Summer 2016. Since I have so many light gold highlighters, I went for the white shade (#01). These highlighters retail for $68 (ouch!) and weigh in at 0.5g.

The compact is the same as Burberry's quads and blushes.

It has a nice velvet sleeve, with a pocket.

In that pocket is a small brush. Not my tool of choice for a highlighter, but it could be used for travel or in an emergency. And any true makeup lover knows that highlighter emergencies happen.

First, let's take a moment to appreciate the small details. From the plastic lace sleeve on the palette to the embossed lace on the highlighter, this is a true collector's item.

Take a close look at that sleeve.  Now, look at the pan.  Burberry simply nails the details.

Seriously, this one is almost too pretty to swatch.

In terms of a white highlighter, this one seems to be a chameleon. It's far more metallic simply swatched, but buffs out to a luminous glow.

This might be the season for the white highlighter- and this pale diva is loving it. I pulled two of my other white highlighters to give a real comparison.

When comparing the three recently-released white highlighters, we can set aside the white half of Chanel Perles et Fantaisies immediately. It's more of a sheen than a metallic highlighter and the most natural of the trio.

Both the Burberry Runway highlighter and Becca Pearl are metallic.  Burberry is a little more metallic and bright than Becca Pearl. It's also more sparkly in real life. It pulls more silver than Becca Pearl. Unfortunately I passed on the silver Chanel highlighter from holiday a couple of years ago, so I can't compare the two to see if I could tease the silver bits out of the Burberry.

Although they're all different, if the price tag of the Burberry scares you off, a buffed-out Burberry and buffed-out Becca will be close enough. If you're a hard-core highlighter fiend, go check it out. This is an incredible collector's piece.

I'll leave you with one more photo of this gorgeous highlighter.

Did you buy either of them?

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Lancome From Lancome With Love Spring 2016 Collection: Part III

Today brings the final post on Lancome's Spring 2016 collection- let's talk eyes.  I purchased two items from the collection- the blue eyeliner and blue palette. Both are exceptionally out-of-character for me, being the blue-eyed sort.

First, let's talk about the eyeliner.

For Spring 2016, Lancome offers up a new shade of Le Stylo Waterproof Long Lasting Eyeliner ($27): Bleu Ciel Parisien. I initially passed on this cornflower blue liner with a distinct white base since, well, I was afraid it would clash with my eyes.

One of the ladies at a local counter sweet talked me into trying it, and she was right. First, let's look at it on my skin:

Now, here's how I wear it. Yes, I could just line my upper lid. But wait... use this on the lower waterline. Trust me, it'll open your eyes. I don't have a photo to show, but this is the best way I've found to wear this unique shade. Formula-wise, it is quite soft (it's a twist-up liner), and sets quickly. Use the other end to blend, but do it quickly. That's quite normal for waterproof liners.

Bottom Line: Worth the purchase for a great formula in a fun color.

Next, let's talk about the Color Design Shadow and Liner Palette ($50).

I'm showing you #407, Bleu Ciel Parisien. It's packed with 4 pastels and one mid-toned color (designed to be used as a liner)

I'll be perfectly honest, this is the first Lancome palette I've ever purchased. It really captivated me at the counter with a finger swatch.

Since these are pastels, they're tricky little buggers to accurately capture. The darker shades are more accurate without flash, the lighter shades are more accurate with flash. So I give you both.

Without flash:

With flash:

These are exceptionally soft eyeshadows. So, there's the distinct probability that you can overblend on the eye. I thought about taking a photograph of the palette now, after testing and swatching- it looks well worn.

This is delicate. The looks it will produce are delicate.  I'll admit that I've been ignoring the suggested look- especially since they're calling for blue in the crease- but that's part of a good palette. The user should be able to come up with their own combinations.

I'll be very careful about how I say this. I think this is palette that would probably work best on the fairer end of the complexion spectrum- there's a real danger of it turning into a monochromed, shimmery mess. But YMMV.

I do like this, although a more subtle, shimmery eye isn't my usual look. These had moderate staying power when I tested over the course of three days.

Bottom Line: Play with this one at the counter and decide for yourself, especially at this price point.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Lancome From Lancome With Love Spring 2016 Collection: Part II

Now that I've worn myself out trying to cover the new Chanel polishes, it's back to some of the posts that I'd planned. The Chanel La Perle collection wasn't the only one that I went crazy for this spring. I stepped outside of my usual brand box and fell totally in love with Lancome's Spring 2016 My Parisian Collection. I know I introduced it yesterday, but let's take a step back.

First, let's just take a moment and stare at this promo photography. Absolutely beautiful- and on-trend for Pantone's Colors of the Year.

This is a collection that looks light, frothy, and just screams cotton candy and spring. Before I get into which items came home with me, let's just take a moment and appreciate the genius of Lisa Eldridge. She's totally reinvented the brand and made it fresh again while still offering the core products that long-time Lancome lovers use. If you haven't seen the promo images, I encourage you to do so.

I'll be honest, I bought most of the collection. Bottom line, even the scariest light blue eyeliner is perfectly wearable! Unfortunately, we didn't get the 3 new Lip Lovers in the US (international readers if you find an option that would ship here please let me know!). Lancome has decided to mix up Spring and the Bridal collection for North America, so I'm going to be quite precise in how I talk about these items. From Spring, I purchased both nail polishes available in the US, one of the creme blushes, one of the eyeshadow palettes, one lipstick, and one eyeliner. From Bridal, I purchased one nail polish and one Lip Lover that I bought to you last week.

Today, we talk nails and cheeks after having already covered lips.

As a nail polish hoarder, I have quite a bit of experience with different formulas. I love Lancome's formula. It self-levels and dries nicely. Most cremes need only 2 coats, and they last for days on me. There are two polishes in this collection: 146 Rose Haussmann and 153 Bleu Ciel Parisien.

Let's talk about Rose Haussmann. Please allow me a mini-rant. This is the stock photo most retailers are using:

That's a lovely apricot, right? Let me introduce you to the REAL Rose Haussmann:

I had to check my bottle and box multiple times to see if it really was the same shade! So please don't believe the stock photos.

Rose Haussmann is a moderately warm light pink creme. It has full coverage in two coats.  Wear time is the same as other Lancome polishes for me- 3-5 days before the first crack, which makes it one of the best-wearing formulas on my hands.

Here's a nail wheel of comparisons (which I stole from the Dior post, hence the flagging of the Dior polish. Why recreate the wheel, right? I don't keep the working version of a photo to just move the star.)

It's a little warmer than the Dior, and I actually prefer the formula. Despite the confusing shade stock photo, this is one worth checking out.

The other nail polish, Bleu Ciel Parisien is one of those "go grab now, ask questions later" polishes. It's a fabulously opaque light blue. I've got an accent nail going on in this photo:

It's just awesome.  And just like the last comparison, I'm going to just repost the wheel I pulled for the Dior post:

It's over on the right side.  Let's Hear it for the Boy is the closest, but it has a superior formula. It's very easy to work with. I could've almost gotten away with just two coats rather than the standard three with a light polish. Bottom line: LOVE.

I also went way out of my comfort zone in this collection by purchasing a cream blush. Confession: this is only my third cream blush, and the most I've spent on one.

The My Parisian Blush comes in two shades. I'll be showing you 01 Corail de Ville.

This is such a fun blush- and it's so spongy. It's unlike the other cream blushes that I've played with:

I think that photo shows it best. I couldn't help not playing with it prior to shooting these photos (luckily I shot these photos awhile back since the sun has been absent around here!)

Corail de Ville is an apricot-learning coral:

And yes, it comes in an adorable tin:

Although that had nothing to do with the blush as a whole, I had to show you the adorable packaging that reflects the collection's theme.

As I mentioned, I haven't played with cream blushes that much so I'm not the best person to evaluate the formula. I do like that it's both buildable and sheerable. As someone who struggles with rosacea, it's a necessity to be able to make any blush subtle.

But here it is, swatched:

Obviously, it's blended on the left and more concentrated on the right.

Bottom Line: Based on my inexperience, it's not a must-have but I'll defer to those far more experienced than I.