Friday, November 21, 2014

BITE Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayons

I love a dramatic, matte lip. Mattes stay on longer than other formulas. These never make your lips feel dry and they always fade evenly! There's nothing worse than realizing all the color has faded from the inside of your lips but the edges are still intact, and you look crazy.

The creamy formula is made with Resveratrol (antioxidant), orange peel wax and organic fruit butters, jojoba and castor oil. It smells citrusy thanks to orange peel.

BITE products are free of parabens, phthalates, polybutenes, sulfates and petroleum byproducts. The lips-only collection is made with food-grade ingredients.

After trying Framboise, a vibrant pink/purple, I had to have Brandy, a muted raspberry and Aubergine, eggplant. I love them all. Framboise was more of my summer lip, but now that it's fall, I love a dark, dramatic, matte lip. These are $24 each. But, they're probably a little better for you to ingest than other brands that use things like lead.

These are a MUST for me. The creamy color will never dry out your lips. With some long-lasting lip products, the color fades in a strange way. These last about 3 hours for me when I use one layer. Available in 12 shades. Absolute love. After purchasing them I thought I accidentally threw them away and freaked out. But I found them.

Smashbox Always Sharp 3D Liner - No Sharpener Needed

I love Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner. In thought I'd never need another formula.

While Smashbox Always Sharp 3D Liner is not as creamy, its staying power is about the same. I chose 3D Sparks, black with gold pearl. Somehow this liner stays sharp, I assume with some contraption in the cap. I don't know where the shavings go... but I love that I don't have to deal with locating my sharpener. Both are $20 each.

*Sometimes you can find an Ulta coupon for $4 off, making it $16.

I am very tempted to buy this Always Sharp On The Rocks Always Sharp Liner Set ($39, $100 value.) It includes 5 liners. But how many eyeliners does one person need?!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Review: Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide

Laura Mercier knows how to do foundation. She gets it. One of my old standbys is her Silk Creme Foundation so I was quite interested in the Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide ($48.)

It's described as a long-wear, oil-free foundation that magically blurs the line between real skin and makeup. When I first got it, I used my fingers to apply and the finish was kind of thick and weird. I wasn't impressed. Then I read an interview of Laura Mercier somewhere and it said her favorite way to use it was dabbing it on with a damp beautyblender sponge. So I tried that method and was completely sold. *She mentioned she also liked using a small amount with fingers and blending until it was gone. I think I was initially using too much.

The two-part formula is designed to provide the most natural looking color and coverage. Color true pigments and reflective waters separate in the bottle and need to be mixed, so you need to shake it for at least 10 seconds and tap it at the end. 

This is a very liquidy, watery foundation. I put a small line on the back of my hand and then use my fingers to dot some on my forehead, cheeks, nose and chin before using the beautyblender to bounce and smooth everything. I get light coverage with one layer and medium with two. The finish is nearly imperceivable, which is no easy feat. 

I had some trouble finding the right color. I don't like to actually go into Sephora because I will inevitably spend more money, so I guessed and ordered online. My dog ate the first one, which was Golden - light-medium with warm undertones, and it was too dark anyway, but I got lucky when I tried Honey - light-medium with neutral/slightly warm undertones. Perfect match. 

I LOVE this foundation, but I also have pretty clear skin so I don't need a whole lot of coverage. If I get a blemish and need more I use my Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick. 

***Disclosure: Sample provided free of charge from a PR Company or brand for consideration. That did not change my opinion of those products. See disclosure for more info.

You Need This: Beautyblender,, sur.face pro

The beautyblender* ($19.95) is latex free, non-allergenic and odor free. The hot pink, egg shaped sponge doubles in size when you get it wet. You need to hold it under running water and squeeze it about 10 times, then wrap it in a towel and squeeze out the excess water.

I've been using Laura Mercier's Smooth Finish Foundation ($48, review coming soon) and LOVE the results using the Beautyblender. All foundations look better when you use this sponge. The finish is totally natural.

I use the large rounded end to bounce dots of the foundation around my entire face before I go back in with more on my cheeks or wherever I'm red. I turn it upside down and use the pointed end to roll on under eye concealer and on the corners of my nose.

The beautyblender micro.minis* ($17.95) are 2 tiny, lime green beautyblenders, they're 1/4 of the size of the original. These are adorable. I think they're perfect for cream highlighter, contour and blush.

I love the new sur.face pro by beautyblender* ($40), it's a clear palette that sits on top of a 6 well dish with a flexible spatula. The fact that it's clear allows you to custom blend to perfection.
I personally like to mix a NARS multiple bronzer with 2 shades of Illamasqua cream pigments for my contour and this makes that super easy. It's designed so you can write on it with a dry-erase marker and label your creations.

Overall, I think that the beautyblender is a definite necessity for anyone that wears foundation. I'm not sure how I lived without it. It really makes all the difference in the world. It's also great for powder products.

The micro.minis and the sur.face pro are super fun extras. If you do a lot of contouring I recommend the micro.minis and if you're a makeup artist, you'll adore the sur.face pro.

***Disclosure: Samples provided free of charge from a PR Company or brand for consideration. That did not change my opinion of those products. See disclosure for more info.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Extra Points @ Sephora through 4/10

Don't forget to use Ebates! If you don't belong, click here. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Physical Exfoliation - Sponges and Dry Brushing

I love a good scrub. For the face, I like the original St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub. For the body, Tree Hut's Shea Sugar Scrub in Coconut Lime sloughs away dead skin and moisturizes. I wanted a cheap, physical option that would do a good job removing dead skin around my nose.

On an Ulta trip, I picked up an EcoTools Pure Complexion Facial Sponge - Deep Cleansing for $5.99. It's a natural sponge made from Konjac vegetable fiber and exfoliating bamboo charcoal. It's hard in the package but once you get it wet, it becomes a sponge. I love the texture of it. Simply apply your cleanser on top and massage it into your skin. Boscia makes a Konjac cleansing sponge for $18 that I might try out. But for $6 it's a great find. I will probably buy another one.
I also picked up an Earth Therapeutics Far-Reaching Body Brush ($8.99), which has natural bristles. Dry brushing is a practice common in European spas. Look at some of the benefits:
- tones muscles
- stimulates circulation
- removes dead skin cells filled with toxins
- cleanses lymphatic system
- removes cellulite
- tightens skin to prevent premature aging
- helps digestion

Use long, sweeping strokes from your feet upwards, hands to shoulders and torso in an upward direction.
Always brush toward your heart and women should avoid brushing their breasts.

The first time I tried it, it made my skin a little raw but I did notice a lot of skin flaking off. Now I really enjoy doing it, it's a pre-bath or shower ritual that makes me feel good. My skin is softer than it has ever been. I use a sugar scrub one day a week and dry brush all the other days. After I bathe, I massage in an oil and a body cream or lotion to seal it all in. I enjoy dry brushing and highly recommend it.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

New Shades of Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour

Laura Mercier's Caviar Stick Eye Colour ($28) is now available in 6 new colors:
-Burnished Bronze
-Tuxedo (matte)
-Gilded Gold

I adore these eye sticks.  I own Sand Glow, Khaki, Amethyst and Smoke and they are all beautiful. I use them alone but most of the time, together. They're creamy and easy to blend and they dry to a budge-proof finish. I never even bother using primer with these because they last all day alone. They are the longest wearing and most blendable cream eyeshadows I've ever used.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Must Have Hair Care for Platinum Blondes

A few months ago I went from my natural Asian dark brown hair to platinum. It's the cool thing to do. Evidence here. I read an article in Vogue yesterday about how, "Everyone should do it at least once in their young life." How it brings attention to you, and it really does. I get complimented on it a lot, like every other day by random strangers. I also get hit on a whole lot more.

In order to keep my hair in the best shape possible I use these products:

Platinum Hair Products

Platinum Hair Products by kyle-kingsley featuring nexxus hair ca
I do not shampoo every day. Every time you hair comes into contact with water, the color fades. I shampoo once or twice a week and then use the cleansing conditioner or don't use anything the other days.

-I smooth Nexxus Color Assure Pre-Wash Primer through my hair before my shower. The lightweight oil repels water to protect color. I found a Nexxus coupon in one of my magazines, I'm pretty sure it was Vogue or In Style, for $6 off any product so I recommend looking for one and then using it at Target for the best price.

-Herbal Essences Color Me Happy Cleansing Conditioner helps fight fade out while gently cleansing and conditioning. I love this stuff, I had no idea it even existed. Great if you don't want to wash your hair every day.

-The J Beverly Hills Blonde Neutralizing Shampoo is a deep purple to reduce brassiness to chemically-lightened blonde hair, neutralize unwanted warm tones and add cool brightness to reduce yellow tones. This is my regular shampoo because my hair stylist gave it to me.

-In addition to using the J Beverly Hills Fragile Color-Safe Conditioner, I like to use Davines Alchemic Silver Conditioner. This bright purple conditioning cream balances the color in chemically treated hair to keep color and shine vibrant. Although it is a conditioner it's also sort of a mask if you leave it on long enough.

When you bleach your hair it obviously gets pretty damaged. I like to use a mask once a week.
My two favorite repairing masks are:
-DermOrganic Intensive Hair Repair Masque which repairs damage, seals the cuticle, neutralizes pH, and restores resilience to salon-treated hair.  Rich in rice amino acids that replicate the keratin structure of human hair.
-Oil of Morocco Deep Hydrating Conditioning Treatment contains Argan Oil, Keratin and Grape Seed Oil to combat damage, breakage, split ends, dryness, dullness and frizz. This therapeutic remedy deeply penetrates leaving hair hydrated, restored, fortified and nourished with added strength and luster.

I noticed my hair lost a lot of its shine after bleaching. 
-Pureology Anti-Fade Perfect 4 Platinum Miracle Filler for Blondes is specifically made for hair that's been lightened up to four shades. Formulated with coriander oil, chamomile and lemon extract, this daily leave-in treatment fills in gaps in hair's cuticle, leaving high-lifted or highlighted blonde strands soft and shiny again. The exclusive AntiFade Complex helps maximize colour retention. This changed my hair texture making it silky and shiny.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Summer Lovin'

When the temperatures rise, it's important that what you put on your face stays there.

For my face, I've been mixing a dollop of Laura Mercier's Oil-Free Foundation Primer ($33 - Nordstrom is having a 10% off sale right now, until June 10th, so it's $29.70), an equal amount of Garnier's Oil-Free BB Cream, a dot of MUFE HD Foundation ($42)  and a pea sized amount of Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation Illuminator ($39) in IL01 - Sheer Beige. I have a deluxe sample of the Koh Gen Do and while it is nice, $39 is a bit much so I've ordered the NARS Hot Sand Illuminator ($30 @ Nordstrom $27) to see if it's a good replacement. I set my T-zone with a sheer, loose powder and a fluffy brush.

My bronze glow comes from a combination of NARS Multiple ($39) in Malaysia, but searching for it now on the internet it seems perhaps they have discontinued it - shown above is the Matte Multiple in Cappadoce, and NARS Bronzing Powder ($38) in Laguna.

On eyes, I have only been using Laura Mercier's Caviar Eye Sticks ($26, @ Nordstrom 10% off, $23.40) in Khaki, Amethyst and Sandglow. These glide on like a dream and are super easy to blend. They stay on all day without primer. A new favorite that I can't get enough of.

For cheeks, I'm loving Becca Beach Tint Shimmer Souffle ($27) in Watermelon/Moonstone, which is a coral red infused with pale gold. It provides a pop of color with an illuminating highlighter. LOVE. I can't wait to get my hands on Raspberry/Opal.

My other favorite for cheeks is Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee in Berry Bliss ($22) - a deep wine.The 50% coconut water blush gives the hydrating color of a gel-stain.

I suggest throwing YSL's Baby Doll Kiss & Blush ($40, @ Nordstrom it's $36) in 02 Rose Frivole in your purse or beach bag for instant, lasting color on the cheeks and lips. I'm really into blush right now, can you tell? I can't help myself! I think my next one will be 05 Rouge Effrontee. Don't tell my husband or my bank account!

I literally just received these Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors ($23) in 02 Apricot Shimmer and 05 Candy Shimmer, so I am not sure how I feel about them. I've heard rave reviews so I'm hopeful. These are sheer and smell like cotton candy. I'd prefer it contained some sun protection also but I guess I can layer something underneath.
I never leave the house without a spritz of Skindinavis'a The Makeup Finishing Spray ($29) to help everything stay put.

So, take advantage of that Nordstrom sale (I know 10% doesn't seem like much but it's rare that this stuff goes on sale) plus you get free shipping and returns. I'd love to hear what your summer favorites are!

Monday, June 02, 2014

Summer Glow Without the Sun

I've been using Clarins Golden Glow Booster ($30) morning and night, mixing 3 drops with my moisturizer. This product is a liquid bronzer designed to be added to moisturizer. You're technically supposed to use a Clarins moisturizer but I mix it with my Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream and it works perfectly. It's 99.8% natural and doesn't have that yucky smell that most self-tanners have. I find being tanner blurs your imperfections a bit more eliminating the need for much foundation.

For my body, I exfoliate and moisturize head to toe, and let the lotion sink in for at least an hour before rubbing in Banana Boat Summer Color Self-Tanning Lotion (around $10 @ Target - the only place I could find it.) I use the deep dark tan for my medium skin tone. Color develops in 3-4 hours. I don't get any rub-off from it and while it does have a slight yucky smell, it's not awful. There was no streaking at all.

If you don't want the color to be too deep you can dilute it with some of your lotion for a gradual tan effect. It's a good idea to use the lotion and tanner combo on your elbows, knees, ankles, and feet since those areas tend to get darker than others. Some people recommend using a glove to apply so your hands don't get stained, but if you work quickly (within 5 minutes) and wash your hands with soap and water afterward your palms will not get stained.

Both of these products are very highly rated in the beauty community. I am thoroughly sold. I actually don't think I've ever used a body tanner before but everyone looks better with a tan, so why not? It's obviously better for your skin to use a fake tan and then slather yourself in sunblock to prevent any damage.

To prolong your tan, keep your skin moisturized and exfoliate every 3 days so that as the tan wears off there are no spots.

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