Friday, September 19, 2014

FOTD: Coz Glitter Makes You Look Like a Fairy

So says Rae. Which got me thinking that I should give the glitter shades in my Shu Uemura Mint and Vanilla palette another go.
Shu Uemura Mint and Vanilla, which was an LE palette.
I tried the gold glitter shade once (here) and was rather indifferent; I felt like I was subjected to glitter particles in my eyeballs all day (I wasn't really), and wasn't impressed with how it looked. The Shu Uemura glitter shadows are like glitter topcoats for nails - flakie ones, though they are not holographic. They actually adhere pretty well to a base and provide lots of sparkle.

I decided to use the green glitter shade this time, and instead of layering it over a similar color, I patted it over a base of the Laura Mercier Amethyst Caviar Stick. I liked the contrast.

Other makeup worn:
MAC Lingering + MAC Brow Finisher
MAC Pro Longwear Concealer (NW25)
MAC Mineralize Concealer (NC20)
MAC Whisper of Gilt (LE)
MAC Stratus (LE)
Dior Pisanelle Pink Rouge Dior (dc)
Eyeko Alexa Chung Lash Enhancing Eye Do Eyeliner

Then I put Dior's Addict Gloss in Étoilée on top of my lipstick, because it is also glittery and we might as well.

Sparklies. Ooooooh.

But I don't know if I feel like a fairy.

Maybe more like a...Slytherin?
Yep. I'm a geek. But you already knew that. And this hoodie is comfy. Although I wish I had a Ravenclaw one. That's probably more my speed.

How do you feel about glitter eye shadow? Although I don't feel they are must-haves (glitter is polarizing), if you want glitter, Shu Uemura makes some nice ones. I feel like I should experiment with more color combinations.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Polished Palette: bareMinerals Ready 8.0 Power Neutrals

[Product was purchased by me.]

I've been going through a neutral phase in terms of eye makeup. My Shiseido BE213 palette gets a lot of love (I've hit pan, ha!), but it is shimmery, as is the YSL Afrique palette; the latter is also thoroughly warm-toned. I wanted some mattes - both light and dark - in easy, hard to eff-up shades and a smooth formula. I also had a Sephora gift card, so I picked out this the bareMinerals Ready 8.0 Power Neutrals palette ($40). 
Top row, L-R: Boss Lady, Moneymaker, Schmooze, Boardroom
Bottom row, L-R: Exec, Payday, Magnate, Get Ahead
It runs toward the cool, gray end of the neutral spectrum. Five of the shades are matte - Moneymaker, Boardroom, Payday, Magnateand Get Ahead. Schmooze has a shimmer/pearl finish, and Boss Lady and Exec have specks of glitter/sparkle. The shadows are all powdery soft (Magnate swatches the driest, but still performs nicely on lids), smooth, and easy to blend and layer. I feel like the texture of these shadows is a bit thin, somehow, which also keeps them from turning heavy on lids.
L-R: Boss Lady, Moneymaker, Schmooze, Boardroom.
L-R: Exec, Payday, Magnate, Get Ahead.
This is the kind of palette that I think is easy to pack up on trips or keep in the Daily Tray, as it contains fool-proof shades that can be mixed and matched in many ways to create an effortless, refined "natural" look. Something low-key and office appropriate, or complementary to a bright/vampy lip. It's not going to necessarily take you "from day to night" like some other neutral palettes promise, but I've got a multitude of other colors and textures and finishes that I can mix in to amp it up. I also like layering shades over shimmery/matte cream bases to add dimension. And on its own, the palette provides a shade dark enough for the crease (I use both Boardroom and Get Ahead for the crease), as well as a few to highlight.
The included pamphlet has some looks to try.
Overall, I'm happy with this. I've worn it here with a vampy lip (Magnate and Get Ahead over Laura Mercier Rose Gold Caviar Stick).
Lipstick from this post.
For another opinion, you can hop on over to Monika's blog

How do you feel about shades like this? Do you prefer a "neutral" palette with more oomph, or do you like the inclusion of mattes?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

An Autumn Tag

Fall is my favorite season, but for some reason, I'm not particularly eager for it to come around this year. Shorts and summer dresses are comfortable, people, and while I love boots, layering is a pain. But those ubiquitous Starbucks ads are singlehandedly convincing people that autumn is here, even though it's still 90 degrees F outside. FINE.

I was tagged by the lovely Lindsay. Thank you!

1. OK, we're talking coffee - what's your favorite seasonal drink from Starbucks or another coffee shop?

S. and I usually drink our coffee daily at home (we have a Chemex - it's pretty great), and I take it black. So when I splurge on a coffee shop, it is usually on some sugary vaguely-coffee-like concoction. I actually think I like irish cream lattes better than PSLs (I KNOW) and those are available year round...but the other thing I really liked when we lived in Seattle was this spiced apple cider chai from Tully's (at least, I think that's what it was). It was really good.

2. Accessories - what do you opt for: scarf, boots, or gloves?
Boots. I love boots - in all colors - black, brown, red, blue, tan. I need gray and purple. That is hands down my favorite fall/winter accessory. Scarves are fun and they definitely help keep me warm, but boots. Although I do wear all three when it gets really cold. And yes, I have a pair of Uggs. Judge me if you want, but my feet are warm, baby.

3. Music - what's your favorite music to listen to during Autumn?

I don't think my music taste is seasonal. We got an Rdio subscription recently (ad-free! Woo!) and I love being able to listen to pretty much anything at any time. I've been leaving it on artist stations, for variety and to discover new things. If you're curious, I keep a "now playing bar" on the right (an idea stolen from Denise).

4. Perfume - what's your favorite scent for this time of year?

I like vanilla year round, but I always cozy up to Prada Candy, and actually I think I'll still wear Guerlain Terracotta - the drydown is delicious. I want a full bottle of Diptyque Volutes or Eau Duelle to wear, too...we shall see. And for when I'm feeling mysterious...Serge Lutens Gris Clair!

5. Candles - what scents will you be burning this season?

Actually, I don't burn many candles. I love Marshmallow Fireside from B&BW but I probably won't pick any up this year - I don't get enough pleasure out of it versus something else I could spend the money on. I guess if money weren't an issue, I 'd want a NEST Vanilla Orchid and Almond candle, but that's not really autumn-esque. Maybe the Diptyque Vanille candle? I've never smelled it, though.

6. What do you love most about Autumn?

I love the clarity of crisp fall days; the wind is cold but not freezing, leaves crunch under my boots, the sky sighs through shades of gray...everything seems a bit melancholy, but also romantic. (Annnnnnd that's enough cheese for now. We could make a pizza.)

7. Favorite makeup look?

I pin all kinds of looks on my Pinterest board, and occasionally I go through them and try to do one. I always love vampy lipsticks, but I'm trying to experiment on the berry/pink end of the spectrum now. I think the next look I want to try is this one on Keira Knightley.

And I'm too lazy to take a photo, so here:
fall lipsticks

L-R: MAC Rebel, Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet L'adorée, Tom Ford Bruised Plum, NARS Audacious Vera, Givenchy Le Rouge Beige Plume, Lancome Rich Cashmere.

Lipstick wishlist! I want pinks and berries and purples and nudes this year. I have enough reds for three lifetimes

8. What are you looking forward to most in Autumn?

I would really like a job. The mostest. Once that happens, I think I will start planning a vacation. A real one, to a place S. and I have never been before. Maybe some place warm for next winter, or some place magical and cool and different (to us, okay?) like Prague or Scotland. Have travel plans or wishes? Let me know! Maybe we'll go there, instead, ha!

Okay! Your turn! Do the tag and let me know! I love seeing everyone's answers. Um, you're it. All of you.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Scents of the Week: Aug. 31 - Sept. 6

[Products * were received from friends.]

Don't worry, I'm out of samples, so this will be the last one for a while. (Until I obtain more samples, and become overwhelmed again.)

Sunday: Tocca Liliana (sample)
notes: Italian Bergamot, Neroli, Watery Peach, Muguet, Gardenia, White Peony, Sandalwood, Musk, Benzoin, Patchouli. 
There's that "watery fruit" thing again. Watery fruits aren't tasty, Tocca. It's kind of a generic "bright" fruity floral with musk. Oddly bubbly peach, itchy musk, candy center. This one is a bit more impactful and longer lasting than Graciella, but I like Graciella better.

Monday: Atelier Cologne Oolang Infini (travel spray)
notes: Bergamot, Tunisian Neroli, Oolang Tea, Jasmine Petals, Blond Leather, Tobacco Flower, Gaiac Wood, Haitian Vetiver. 
What is blue tea? The description on Sephora's site says "blue tea." That aside, I quite like this one, despite its lack of longevity. It's a brighter tea scent, being oolong rather than black tea - bright without any really bossy citrus.  Oolang Infini retains that unmistakeable Atelier Cologne base, but it seems more harmonious here than in some others from the line, as if it's a natural evolution of the tea note. It's not really warm or mysterious on me (as it is supposed to be), and I wish the tea lasted longer.

Tuesday: Diptyque Volutes EdT (sample)
notes: honeyed Egyptian tobacco, styrax, leather.
I have reviewed the EdP, but this is a case where they are quite different. The EdT, to my nose, is brighter and lingers in the green-iris phase, with more of a leather base; the smokey, sweet drydown of the EdP is just barely there, and smells almost vinyl-like to me here. If you are contemplating one, it may be worth trying to smell the other one before you commit. For example, Paris likes the EdT, I prefer the EdP.

Wednesday: L'Artisan La Chasse aux Papillons Extreme edp (sample)
notes: Linden blossom, lemon tree blossom, orange blossom, jasmine, tuberose
I think I bought the "extreme" version when I wanted the regular, for some reason that I can't recall. This one is a pretty jasmine/tuberose scent - light and lifted, delicate and girly, like the butterflies of its name. Slightly sweet in the beginning, but ultimately quite a nice white floral...that disappears too quickly. I think I will give the regular version a shot - I am a sucker for linden blossom.

Thursday: L'Artisan Piment Brûlant edp (sample)*
notes: Red pepper, soft and creamy chocolate, vanilla, cloves and poppy, hints of musk and amber.
This one comes to me by way of Amy, because I would never choose something that has chocolate in it, ha. I dabbed some on, and uh. It smells like bell pepper. And chocolatey amber. And gross. As S. so eloquently put it, "Who thought that would smell good?" (I made him smell it without telling him what it was, and I got a very carefully noncommittal "Um" in response. Then I told him it was bell pepper and chocolate and gross. He was relieved.) It's definitely an interesting scent, and I can't fault it for my discriminatory tastes, but nope, not for me.

Friday: Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur (sample)*
notes: bergamot, tangerine, cinnamon, vanilla, musk, amber
I think that Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black actually smells a lot like this, although that one is muddier and softer. Musc Ravageur has a pronounced amber note (I'm not big on amber), so while I like the rest of it, spicy sweet, I will keep my money, thanks. (It's always a victory when I get to keep my money).

Saturday: Dior J'Adore (sample)*
notes: Ylang-Ylang Essence, Damascena Rose Essence, Sambac Jasmine Absolute. 
Violet. So much violet. I got the faintest whiff of jasmine sambac at the very beginning, but I found J'adore quite straightforwardly sweet blackberry-violet on me, and I do not like it. I can understand why it's popular, but Dior fragrances and I rarely get along - this is no different. And holy smokes, is it tenacious. You will smell like J'Adore forever. Which is fine, if bold, juicy fruity florals are your thing...but that is not the case for me.

I am now actually out of samples. Such a relief. I'm also excited because fall is coming, and even though I hate cold weather, I love cold weather scents. These spritzy things of summer have had their time in the sun. What scents are you looking forward to wearing as the weather changes?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Mini Skincare Review #2: Kate Somerville Exfolikate

[Product was purchased by me as part of a sampler set.]

Kate Somerville Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment

Ingredients (from Sephora): Water, Lactic Acid, Polyethylene, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Pectin, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit, Lactobacillus Pumpkin Ferment Extract, Ceteareth-20, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Dehydroxanthan Gum, PEG-100 Stearate, Salicylic Acid, SD Alcohol 40-B, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Sorbic Acid, Cinnamomum Cassia Leaf Oil, Honey/Mel/Miel, Acetic Acid, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Bromelain, Papain, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Phenoxyethanol, Geranium Maculatum Oil, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Pogostemon Cablin Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Linalool, Limonene, Cinnamal, Beta-Carotene (CI 75130), Chlorophyllin-Copper Complex (CI 75810).

I used it a couple of times a while ago (before I stopped using microbead products), and found that yes, it exfoliates - skin is brighter and softer the following day. But, it smells really strongly of cinnamon, and I felt my face heat up after about 30 seconds of leaving it on, which is mildly alarming. It's meant to be both a physical and chemical exfoliator, and contains polyethylene beads, which are too tiny to be filtered out by most sewage systems and end up in the Great Lakes. On that alone, I really can't recommend it, especially since I haven't seen anything from the brand about reformulating the product to meet recent bans and regulations in regards to microbeads (please correct me if I'm wrong). 

The chemical exfoliators are primarily lactic acid, salicylic acid and acetic acid, combined with fruit enzymes. Fair enough (people argue that lactic acids need to stay on the skin for a longer time to act, but that can also depend on concentration). I wouldn't recommend leaving this one on for longer than 30 seconds - it gets intense.

At $85 for 2 oz and the microbeads, I would say this is a skip. I've tried mask alternatives (REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask, Ole Henriksen Blue/Black Berry Enzyme Gel Mask) that feel gentler and are meant to stay on the skin for a longer time, and I would recommend either of those over this one. It makes more sense for masks to be packed full of nutrients than a cleanser, in my opinion, as you are just going to wash all of that expensive stuff down the drain in a matter of seconds. For example, why would you have retinyl palmitate in a cleanser?

Think of the fish.

Have you tried this one? What do you look for in an exfoliating cleanser?