Monday, July 28, 2014

On the Daily: Origins Smarty Plants CC SPF 20

[Product was purchased by me; * was a gift from a friend.]

I have a couple of foundation-type items that I'm rotating through lately, and one of them is the Origins Smarty Plants CC Cream in 01 Light to Medium. There are only two shades (01 Light to Medium and 02 Medium to Dark) and I am of two minds on this: on the one hand, it's a CC cream, so it's not meant for full color coverage and is rather sheer. On the other hand...two? Really?

Naive/lazy color offerings aside, this CC cream is "a color correcting formula that visibly perfects for a radiant, flawless finish" meant for all skin types. Out of the tube, it's a peach cream with flecks of gray. It has a broad spectrum SPF of 20, but to be honest, I always wear separate sunscreen, so the presence of SPF isn't a big factor for me. 

The above photo is just for a color comparison; the other three bases in the photo are traditional liquid foundations (or liquid-to-powder, for the L'Oreal). Here's a comparison with another CC Cream from It Cosmetics*.

You can see that the Origins CC Cream starts to turn a bit orange when it touches skin. It's not Oompa Loompa orange, though. Just a bit of warmth. And it's sheer, so it's not very obvious. In the bottom photo, I blended both swatches out - not as well as I would on my face, because I still wanted product to be visible.
For those curious, I think the It Cosmetics CC offers higher coverage (and SPF 50!), but is a bit flat looking. I prefer the Origins.

The finish is sheer and rather luminous, which brightens my face and fulfills the color-correcting promises. I don't have a ton of redness or blotchiness, and I do need an extra corrector for dark under eye circles. But I do really like this CC cream! I like to apply the Origins CC Cream and then dust bronzer (Too Faced or Armani) all over, as the bronzer helps to even out skin even further (when my skin is pasty, blemishes and hyperpigmentation are far more obvious). Here's an example:
Makeup from this post. Base is Origins CC Cream, Armani 400 Sun Fabric Bronzer, and Sonia Kashuk Illuminator.

For higher coverage, it layers well under a light powder, like DiorSkin Nude. That's my idea of high, comfortable coverage these days (and another BB cream, which I'll talk about later). Here's a photo of that combination (with updated, shorter, darker hair):
Sorry for the shoddy lighting.

En somme, if you want something that just gives your skin a boost and mitigates uneven appearances, this isn't a bad one to try. It has a faintly plant-y smell and keeps skin from drying out, as well. It is $35, but I wasn't expecting (or wanting) high coverage - just a little something extra to keep my skin from looking sallow, as yellow undertones are wont to do - and this helps a lot, without packing on a lot of product or changing the texture/finish of my skin.

active ingredients: octinoxate 7.5%, octisalate 4.00%, oxybenzone 3.5%
inactive ingredients: water\aqua\eau, trioctyldodecyl citrate, silica, phenyl trimethicone, butylene glycol, glyceryl stearate, behenyl alcohol, dimethicone, octyldodecyl stearoyl stearate, peg-40 stearate, poly-glyceryl-10 pentastearate, pentylene glycol, citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot) fruit oil*, citrus limon (lemon) peel oil*, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) peel oil*, cinnamomum camphora (camphor) bark oil*, mentha viridis (spearment) leaf oil*, magnolia acuminata flower extract, iris pallida root extract, rosa damascena extract, citral, linalool, limonene, algae extract, camellia sinensis (white tea) leaf extract, camellia sinensis (green tea) leaf extract, sapindus mukurossi fruit extract, glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract, laminaria saccharina extract, thermus thermophillus ferment, triticum vulgare (wheat) germ extract, hordeum vulgare (barley) extract\extrait d'orge, castanea sativa (chestnut) seed extract, salicylic acid, cholesterol, sucrose, caffeine, arginine, macadamia ternifolia seed oil, hydrogenated polyisobutene, hydrogenated lecithin, tocopheral acetate, ethylhexyl-glycerin, glycerin, caesalpinia spinosa gum, isopropyl myristate, lecithin, polyquaternium-51, sodium stearoyl lactylate, ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate/vp copolymer, squalane, sodium pca, urea, glycyrrhetinic acid, polymethyl methacrylate, sodium hyaluronate, galactoarabinan, sodium dehydroacetate, citric acid, phospholipids, trehalose, xanthan gum, ascorbyl tocopheryl maleate, disodium edta, bht, phenoxyethanol
[+/-]: titanium dioxide (CI 77891), iron ixodes (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), mica
*essential oil

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Serge Lutens Gris Clair: Smoky Perfection

[Product was purchased by me.]

I know, it's not August, I lied. I'M BACK. Mostly. I'm trying to catch up on blog posts. In return, here's perfume.
Sorry for the iPhone photo...just not up to regular blogging activities yet. But we are all moved in!
My "road to acquisition" for Serge Lutens Gris Clair was winding and long, like overgrown paths through the moors of Brönte sisters novels (by the by, I hate Jane Eyre. I have never met anyone else who shared this opinion, though. Something-something-dreamy-Mr. Rochester. WHAT the flying f--squirrel? Dude was a creepster.). Su, who knew of my love for lavender and is a master of perfume recommendations, originally sent me a sample, by way of a perfume swap, but by the time it reached me, it had evaporated. I was left with the faintest echo of vapors, which I desperately tried to inhale and characterize, to determine if I would have liked it. Couldn't decide.

I left it at that for a while (probably years). When I finally put together a Serge Lutens sample order from Surrender to Chance, I made sure to include Gris Clair... (the ellipsis is kind of making me twitch... ... see?). It was the first one I tried when the package arrived, and initially, I was like whoa, they were not kidding about this lavender business. It is definitely a lavender fragrance, make no mistake. Herb-y, medicinal lavender, first and foremost (which I like, but I know it's a turnoff to many). 

But the drydown, guys. The drydown. It grants this smoky, gray, faintly vanilla-sweet, aura that feels both masculine and feminine, if those things matter, and is divine. Crisp and clear, not fuzzy or muddled. It's a colder weather scent, but the smokiness makes it appropriate for summer nights, as well. It reminds me of that scene from the 2005 Pride and Prejudice (you know which one I'm talking about), if they were walking through France instead of bonny old England, with lavender fields instead of grassy countryside.
Oh man, this scene gets me every time. EVERY TIME.
Perhaps M. Lutens would not appreciate my fangirling over Gris Clair... ; next time don't put an ellipsis in the name, then. [edit 08.21.15: the SL twitter folk said the ellipsis is not part of the name, thank goodness.]

Anyway, so I was madly in love and the full bottle is $140 etc., etc., you know how that goes, but amazingly I picked this up on Amazon, for something like $68 including tax (there was this whole discussion on Twitter about it with Mimi - we were hoping I wouldn't end up with, as she put it, "Sergy Lootens Grey Light." Also, this is why you must all be friends with me on Twitter, so we can agonize over these decisions together). AND IT IS MINE. And the bottle is pretty and classic with all these straight lines (okay, it's rectangular, but my description is still valid) and I smell GOOD (although S. said "kind of manly" and I said "What if that's what I was going for?" and he said "Oh ok.").

The end.

(Also I haven't bothered learning what's import or export or ridiculously impossible to procure where you/I live, but if you're interested in a sample, because PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and "kind of manly" sold you on it, Surrender to Chance is pretty good.)

(Also also, I am now trying out some widgets and affiliate links and ads. Please let me know if you have any issues, and also, feel free to click or not click as you like.)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Lip Wardrobe: Summer Season

I figured since I did one for winter and spring, I'd keep on keeping on. Here are my favorite lip products right now, perfect for embracing sunshine!
I've linked to reviews or FOTDs featuring these where possible.

Since I dyed my hair back to dark brown (mostly), I can wear violet again, so MAC Narcissus is back. It was limited edition (eep), but I think there are a few similar shades out there now, like Shiseido VI324 Lacquer Rouge and Maybelline Luxe in Lilac Color Elixir. I don't own either of those, but you can see the Shiseido on Wandz here.

The other surprise is Lancôme's Lip Lover in Framboise Étoile; I'm not much for pink, but this juicy fuchsia is beautiful and the formula is really comfortable.
Under artificial light.

Shiseido GD817 Lacquer Rouge is great for layering lightly under gloss; it's what I'm wearing in this post here (under Dior Addict Gloss in Bal d'été).

Maybelline Mandarin Rapture is a Color Elixir; I like the formula a lot and have five, but this juicy orange (with barely there sparkle) is the one I'm wearing the most often this summer.
Same order, different lighting (natural) and no labels.

I like YSL Orange Fougueux because it's matte (even though it's still a bit glossy in this swatch). It's also not as BAM orange as it looks in the bottle.

And MAC Lady Danger. LET US BE LADIES DANGERRRR. 'Nuff said.

What are your go-tos this summer? (Or this winter, for you Southern hemisphere folk.)

Also. We're moving next week (to a different part of WA state), and that means packing up the iMac (i.e., blogging machine) and also the makeup - I'll probably resume posting in August. Enjoy the rest of July! I'll be bouncing around on Twitter (and complaining about the heat - 108 deg F in place of future residence yesterday, ouch!) and Instagram, so don't forget to follow and let me know how you're doing.

FOTD: Mint Julep

I don't think I've actually ever had one, because um, confession time: actual mint can be kind of weird in drinks sometimes. Sometimes it's refreshing. Sometimes it's, erm, not.

And that eloquent statement is the opener for today's Cocktail FOTD. Mint juleps look like this:
Actually, it's probably not that bad. Just bourbon, simple syrup, and mint.[source]
All I could think about was the fact that mint is actually green, but in most makeup incarnations (and ice cream - ergh I love mint ice cream) it's that cool blue-green-seafoam-but-not-quite color that we all love. (Also, bourbon).

And then I didn't even use a mint shade, really. The look I came up with is gold and green; I used the gold and dark green shades from the Marc Jacobs Siren palette, and the green from the Shiseido Color Bar palette. Finished with Smashbox Limitless Liquid Liner in Jet Black and Clinique High Impact Curling mascara. Oh, and Sephora Retractable Waterproof Eyeliner in 05 Green on the lower lashline.

And this is the only photo I have where I'm not making wonky faces and my hair was a disaster that day so CROP OUT ALL THE THINGS.

In other news, that Marc Jacobs palette is really growing on me.

And we're out of bourbon.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Combatting Dry Skin Woes

[Product marked * is a PR sample; ** was a gift from a friend. All other items were purchased by me. No affiliate links.]

I know what you're thinking: "Larie, you crazy lady, it's summer. THERE IS NO DRY SKINS."

If we could all be so lucky! I'm not sure why dry skin has plagued me more than usual this year, but there it is. I had to up my hydration game, y'all. 

I finished my Vitamin C serum (Lumene) so I opened this bottle of Sukin Rose hip Oil** (which was a gift from the fabulous Vita). It's a little hard to spread out but I am definitely liking it; I feel like it does a good job of soothing skin and reducing redness.

I switched to a rich, rich, rich morning moisturizer - Ole Henriksen Nurture Me. It has a delicious orange cream smell, and I'm dealing (reluctantly) with the jar packaging. It's easy to smooth into skin, and it's really been helping restore suppleness to my previously parched skin.

Once or twice a week, I also MASK. Origins Drink Up is good; it's a 10-minute mask that you wash off. I like to do it after I pop out of the shower - apply to damp skin, lounge around for 10 minutes, wash off, and follow up with my usual night routine. 

The other mask I've been liking is First Aid Beauty's Facial Radiance Overnight Mask. This is massaged into skin before bed (over any other serums, moisturizers, etc.; I usually do my usual night sequence and then apply this last, right before bed) and I always see the difference the next day. It's a cool, refreshing gel that's a treat in the summer heat, as well.
Of course, I do still exfoliate once or twice a week, and need to pick gentler products for this task. Since I mentioned in my last post that the Tatcha Classic Rice Enzyme Powder left my skin feeling a little too tight, the kind people at Tatcha offered to send over the Gentle version*, instead. This one is perfect. (I feel like Goldlilocks). The rice powder turns into a gentle paste that can be massaged into skin and washed off cleanly, without any irritation or tightness. I also love that this is an exfoliator that doesn't have the plastic microbeads that have filled the Great Lakes. Plus, everything Tatcha feels luxurious.
Tatcha Gentle Rice Enzyme Powder*
For the rest of me, I slather on this Out of Africa Skin Saver (Vanilla). It's nice - it's a drugstore option at a friendly price that still gets the job done. I've had it for quite a while and have only gone through perhaps a third of the bottle so far. It's usually an oil, but that depends on the weather. In the winter it was a little thicker; on the hottest days here (90 degrees F +), it can get a bit runny. Either way, it's always pretty easy to warm up and rub into skin. It can feel a bit greasy afterwards, but I live with it. The vanilla scent is also that darker, bourbon vanilla scent, which I don't love, but like well enough.

What products do you use to combat dry skin? 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

FOTD: Fruit Tingle

Back to the Cocktail FOTD series! This one was fun. I'd never heard of a Fruit Tingle before, but the lovely Emma suggested it (the Google tells me that it is a drink that originated in Australia).

You can see why it caught my interest - such vibrant colors! So I pulled out my Marc Jacobs palette, my Color Bar palette, and my Shiseido trio of purples, and put this together.
NARS Smudge-Proof Shadow Base, Marc Jacobs Siren blue shade under Shiseido Color Bar Curaçao, Color Bar Parfait Amour under VI308 left shade. Marc Jacobs Siren white shade under eyes. Finished with Shu Uemura Calligraphy Ink, Sephora 06 Pool Party and Clinique High Impact Curling mascara.
Colorful, but not over the top, right? Something still acceptable for grocery shopping!
Base makeup: Origins CC Cream in Light/Medium. Gah, the review is coming, Tracy! I promise!

Also, since I used it here, I'm torn about the Shu Uemura Calligraphy liner . It is blackest black, refillable and because of the brush tip, applies so smoothly. However. Still smudges like nuts on me because of emollient undereye creams (it's waterproof, so susceptible to oils). I set it here with NARS pressed powder, and that seems to help. But is it worth it?
Sephora Baked Sculpting Disc all over face (gift from the fabulous Tracy) and Dior Angélique Beige on lips.

This one was fun! Colorful, but not absurdly bright or wild (in my opinion, anyway). I should pull out the fun colors more often. Need more liquid liners. Or, well. "Need."

Any more colorful cocktails I should know about?

Thursday, July 3, 2014

YSL Couture Palette 03 Afrique - An Easy Everyday Palette

[Purchased by me.]

I took this on my trip, and it worked out very well - the five colors in the palette make for easy, no-brainer daily looks. I think I could use any of the shades in any way, and it would all work out well. The palette leans warm (I was also tempted by 04 Saharienne, which is its cooler sister), with the five shades below:
Swatched from lightest to darkest (top right corner, bottom right, top left, bottom left, center). 

The palest shade doesn't show up well against my skin, but it's not patchy in application. I like it as a highlight, as it is not overly frosty or too white. The pink has fine, glittery specks in it, and is cooler than the rest - a nice change from the other warm tones. The top left shade (middle swatch above) is my favorite - such a gorgeous apricot! The darker copper is nice, too. I wish the darkest brown (center) was a touch darker so that it would add more definition as a crease shade, but overall I'm not complaining. The colors don't look starkly different on eyes, but I think this palette works more as a no-fuss, easy way to change up the daily neutral look. And you're not confined to one lid shade, etc.
On eyes: Laura Mercier Rose Gold as base, YSL top left shade all over lids, copper shade on the center of lids, center brown in the crease, pale gold as highlight. YSL Red Agate on cheeks, Armani 400 bronzer all over face, and Maybelline Mandarin Rapture on lips.

The formula of this quint is much, much nicer than what I remember of the old YSL palettes; the shadows are a touch on the powdery side, but they blend out beautifully and pigmentation is good. Of course, it had better be - each palette is $60.

Since I'm usually into smaller palettes (they travel well, don't offer too many choices, and are usually well-coordinated to produce a variety of looks), this new offering from YSL really suits me. I'm not a huge fan of monochromatic palettes, so only a few of the more diverse ones appeal to me (and there is a olive-brown mixed one, oh yeah). I don't think they're must haves, of course, but since I was looking for a nice neutral palette (that had a few darker shades than my favorite Shiseido BE213), this one fit the bill.

Have you tried any of the new YSL palettes yet? How do you think they compare to the old formula?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

FOTD: Dirty...(Martinis, of course)

Green olives are vastly superior to those chalky, creaky black ones. I came up with this revelation a few days ago, right before we went to bed. S just rolled over and went to sleep.

(He doesn't even like olives. WHAT.)

Seriously, though. Green olives, right? Ha. So here is an olive-green eye look, even though I don't actually drink these old-fashioned martinis because vermouth is gross. I was inspired by two different looks; the first is Jennifer Lawrence's Golden Globe look from earlier this year, and the second is a vampy look from Pinterest. I don't typically pair darker, smokier eye shades with vampy looks (not so much because of "rules," but I don't want dark all the things to overwhelm my face), but today I figured, why not?
I guess with a vampy lipstick, it maybe ends up being more about the lipstick. Oh well. I used Laura Mercier Khaki Caviar Stick on lids, then blended it out with theBalm All About Alex (Shady Lady Vol.1) and Sophisticated (Nude'Tude palette) in the crease. Lined with Smashbox Limitless Liquid liner and Sephora Glitter Brown liquid liner (old formula). 
Hourglass No. 28 Serum and DiorSkin Nude powder as base, with MAC Stratus blush and Sonia Kashuk illuminator to highlight.

Lipstick is my beloved Rouge d'Armani 610.
See? I told you I haven't forgotten about the Cocktail series. I'm working on another one...something more colorful. Also, does anyone else feel like when your hair is short, you can wear ALL THE MAKEUPS? Also, now that my hair is darker again, I can pull out some lip colors that had to hide because they didn't jive with red hair.

Do you ever pair darker eye shadows with vampy lips? And do you drink the classic martini?