Friday, January 31, 2014

Tom Ford Spring 2014 Lip Color Sheers in Summer Fling and Paradiso: Sneak Peak, Photos, Swatches, First Impressions

Tom Ford's Spring 2014 makeup collection is a small collection of limited edition lip color conditioners and nail lacquers.  The lip color conditioners, or lip sheers, are new to the Tom Ford lip line up claiming to be "semi-translucent" and moisturizing with "vitamin C, vitamin E, shea butter and other natural oils."  Because I'm an incurable lip junkie, I could not resist getting a couple of these.  Yes, these are ridiculously expensive, but I was just way to curious to see how these would perform compared to more affordable alternatives.  The lipstick/lip balm hybrids are my favorite types of lipstick because they tend to have sheer to medium pigmentation that I prefer over opaque formulas and moisture for my perpetually dry lips is always welcome.

Immediately upon opening my package and unwrapping these from the packing paper, I noticed how hefty these lipsticks are.  I know many luxury beauty brands beef up the packaging, but I felt this was heavier than I've noticed before.  I pulled out a couple of other Tom Ford lipsticks I own including the older packing and the current packing and found that these lip color conditioners are indeed just slightly heavier.  Why?  I have no idea.  The packaging is still the same size.  These come in the original white and gold lacquer packaging that the Tom Ford lip color was initially housed in before they were changed into the mahogany packaging.  The lipstick bullet is different in that it is "beveled" or, as I'd like to put it, chopped off (straight across the top).  I guess this would help you distinguish it from the older lip color formula if you own any since they have the same white and gold packaging.  The main difference between the lip sheer packing and the original lip color packing is the difference in the embossing on the top of the lipstick cap.  The new lip sheers have "TF" embossed in the gold on the cap and the original lip colors have "Tom Ford" embossed on the cap.  The lip sheers still have the "TF" embossed into the actual product.  These also have the same vanilla scent as the regular Tom Ford lip colors.  

Summer Fling is described as "pink coral".  I think it's a neutral to warm pink, my-lips-but-better shade.  This shade has some sparkle to it.  I usually don't like shimmer or sparkle in my lip products but the shimmers in this lipstick seem to make my lips look fuller and gives that "3-D" effect.

Paradiso is described as "light coral".  I'm totally lost on the light coral because I don' think there's anything light about this shade.  Paradiso is a bright coral but not so bright that it's neon or unwearable on a daily basis or in an office setting.  I think it's a fun shade for spring and summer and just brightens the whole complexion.  There is no shimmer in this shade.  The finish is a subtle satin.

Below are a couple of swatches I took in my bathroom because the lighting in there seems to be the most balanced between warm and cool.  I think the colors in the photos are true to life as are the colors in the above photos of the product in the tube.  It took a few swipes to get the color below mostly because the "TF" is embossed pretty deeply into the lipstick.  However, with swiping this a few times, I could see how this lipstick is easily buildable.

This last photo I tried to capture some of that sparkle in Summer Fling.  It's difficult to see in the photo but it is obvious in real life.

And finally, I swiped on each of the colors and took some really quick photos.  I apologize for the dark circles and crazy hair, but I think the photos capture how the lipsticks look on the lips pretty well.  The color payoff is great right off the bat but not fully opaque so there is room for buildability (totally making up this word).  

Wearing Summer Fling

Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette on the eyes.  Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara on lashes.  Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Whiz in Brunette and Tinted Brow Gel in Granite on brows.  The remnants of Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Dim Infusion on cheeks.  Foundation is Chanel Perfection Lumiere in 30 Beige.  All makeup is about 12 hours old.

Wearing Paradiso

I'm going to test these over the next few days.  In the meantime, I thought I'd post some photos and swatches for you in case you were considering any of these colors.  My expectations are high considering the price point and the fact that the Tom Ford lip colors are some of my favorite lipsticks.    Check back soon for the full review.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Dior Crème de Rose Smoothing Plumping Lip Balm

Dior's Crème de Rose Smoothing Plumping Lip Balm ($27) is quickly becoming a cult favorite as it is getting rave reviews from many popular beauty bloggers and YouTube beauty gurus.  I have to admit, I have been suckered into purchasing this rather pricey lip balm because of the positive reviews across the board.  That and the fact that I am a lip product junkie.  And because I have very annoyingly dry lips and will almost try anything to make them as soft as a baby's bottom as possible. This is how I justified the purchase anyway.

The lip balm is housed in a thick, white, plastic container pot that screws open with "CD" embossed on the lid.  It's maybe about an inch and half in diameter and three-quarters of an inch tall.  I wouldn't say it's small but definitely compact enough to stick in your purse or clutch.  I don't think I'd carry this around in my pocket though.  

The balm has a soft baby pink tint but it's pretty much clear on the lips.  It goes on buttery smooth and hydrates very nicely.  I don't think the product is especially more moisturizing than any other standard lip balm, but the feel of it is so nice on the lips, which is what I would expect from a luxury lip product.  After a while the lips do get slightly tacky as the balm wears off or your lips absorb the moisture.  The product claims to be plumping, but I didn't notice any extra juiciness to my lips (darn?).  I'm not sure how I feel about lip plumping products so I'm not too disappointed.  The product has the most delicate rose scent in the pot that translates just slightly to the lips.  I don't think it's too heavy or overbearing, but it does tend to linger for a while.  I love rose-scented things so this is just a nice luxurious touch to the overall experience.  As an added bonus, there's also SPF 10 in it, so you also get some sun protection.  

Overall, I really like this lip balm and would recommend because feels really, really nice on the lips and provides a good amount of moisture.  Though my lips need a lot of TLC, I tend to abandon a lot of lip balms and treatments because I dread the way they make my lips feel or the way they taste.  With Dior's Crème de Rose, it's an absolute joy to slather this stuff on.  It doesn't repair my super dry lips completely overnight, but I think it does an adequate job and with daily use the condition of my lips have improved immensely.  I like applying this at night before bed but I find myself reaching for it during the day too if I'm not wearing any other lip product.  It performs very well under lip products as well.  

As an added tip, I suggest pressing your finger gently into one spot on the balm to "start" the balm.  The top layer of the balm is a little tougher than the balm underneath.  It reminded me of melted candle wax than had dried again.  It just takes a little more warming up than the balm underneath that top layer to get smooth.  If you press a little spot down in the balm, that spot will always be soft and ready to use.

I bought mine at Sephora.  You can also find it at or your local Dior counter.  

Monday, January 13, 2014

December 2013 Beauty Favorites

Not too many products to share with you this month as I've been sticking to my usual tried and true products.  I'm thinking of doing a holy grail beauty products video to show you the stuff I pretty much use on a daily basis.  I hope you enjoy the video, and thank you so much for watching!

Products mentioned:

1.  Maybelline One-by-One Volum' Express Waterproof mascara
2.  YSL Gloss Volupte Iridescent 102 Rose Satine
3.  Urban Decay Naked3 palette
4.  The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit shower gel
5.  The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit and Vineyard Peach Body Butters
6.  Simple Cleansing makeup wipes

Sunday, December 22, 2013

November 2013 Beauty Favorites

Hello everyone!  It's been a while since I posted a video to my channel.  A lot has happened in life, but I am grateful to say that I am happier and healthier than ever.  I hope you guys are too!  I'm very happy to be back.  I'm trying to get on a regular filming, editing, and uploading schedule now that things in life are settling out.  I've got a few videos already filmed.  It's really been great getting back to sharing my beauty obsession.

Here is the list of products I talk about in the video.  Enjoy!

1.  Urban Decay NAKED Skin Beauty Balm
2.  Smashbox Photo Finish More Than Primer - Blemish Control
3.  Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer - Nude
4.  Tarte Cheek Stain - Tipsy
5.  e.l.f. Small Stipple Brush
6.  Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette
7.  Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder - Luminous Light
8.  Chanel Ombres Matelassees de Chanel - Charming
9.  Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz - Brunette
10.  Anastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel - Granite
11.  NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer - Medium1 Custard
12.  Real Techniques Expect Face Brush
13.  Murad Acne Complex 30-Day Kit

Friday, November 1, 2013

Chanel Charming Ombres Matelassee de Chanel Eyeshadow Palette - Preview, Photos, Swatches

The Chanel Ombres Matelassees de Chanel Eyeshadow Palette in Charming ($80.00) is a limited edition item that is part of the Chanel Holiday 2013 collection.  The holiday collection has been out for a few weeks now, but for some reason this palette was just recently released.  I swooped on it as soon I saw it pop up on Nordstrom's website as this was the only holiday item from Chanel I was interested in purchasing.  I did end up purchasing a polish from the collection, but that's for another post.

The packaging is the typical sleek, black Chanel compact complete with velvet pouch and two applicators.  There is the usual double ended sponge tip applicator and an applicator with a sponge tip on one end and natural hair brush on the other end.  I have not seen this type of applicator in a Chanel palette before.

I am loving the quilted embossed pattern of the shadows.  The detail is just such a nice touch and makes the palette look so put together.  However, it seems the pretty pattern won't stand a chance with regular use because the shadows are so soft.  

I haven't gotten a chance to play with this palette much as I have been super busy.  I wanted to just get the photos and swatches up first because I could see a nice, wearable palette like this selling out.  I will post an update with a full review as soon as I have a chance to form a solid opinion on this palette.  What I can tell you from just swatching these shadows is that they are super soft, smooth, and buttery to the touch.  The pigmentation is there too.  The swatches you see in the photos took about two swipes.  I wouldn't say they are very saturated but pigmented enough so that I could not foresee there being any problems in performance.  The middle bronze shade swatched the best, yielding the best color payoff and having the most buttery feel.  The two darker colors on the right in general swatched better than the two lighter colors on the left, but I would not say that the lighter colors are inferior just yet.

Warm indoor lighting

Warm indoor lighting

Cool indoor lighting

From left to right, the first shade is an ivory that leans pink.  The second shade is a light brown that is similar to Urban Decay Naked or Naked 2.  The third shade is a gorgeous bronze shade that leans more towards the warm side.  The fourth shade is a mostly neutral dark brown.  The 5th shade is a dark slate gray that appears a little bluish.

At first glance, all the shadows except for the middle shade appear to be matte.  However, on closer inspection, all the shadows actually have a slight satin sheen so that they are not completely matte.  I think this prevents them from being chalky or powdery.  I can't say how the shadows will look on the eyes just yet, but from the impression that I get from the swatches, the finish seems like it has the potential to be very natural, wearable, and sophisticated.

The Chanel Charming eyeshadow palette is available now.  I got mine online from  Stay tuned for a complete review.

Have you picked up anything from the Chanel holiday collection?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

May 2013 Favorites

Hey everyone! My beauty favorites are now up.... and on time! I've been productive lately with filming videos. It's always the editing part that takes the longest. I have a few videos on the editing block, so hopefully those will be up soon. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this latest installment. Thanks for watching!

Products mentioned:
Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation - B20: Beige Tendre
Chanel Nail Vernis - Bel-Argus and Azure
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer - Medium1 - Custard
Burberry Sheer Eyeshadow - No.21 - Midnight Brown
Hourglass No. 28 Lip Treatment Oil
YSL Rouge Volupté Shine - 4, 6, 15
Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick - Bronze

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Urban Decay Naked Basics Tutorial

Hi everyone!  Here is my latest tutorial using the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette.  I used to absolutely hate matte eyeshadows.  Perhaps because I ran into bad formulas and they never worked out for me.  Or maybe because I just like shimmer and glitter so much I'd rather buy those kind of eye shadows over matte ones.  Whatever the reason, mattes weren't my thing.

Then comes the Naked and Naked 2 palettes where Urban Decay put a few matte shadows in with their shimmery shadows.  I definitely started to learn how to incorporate the matte shadows into my looks and really learned to appreciate what they can do.  With Urban Decay's pigmented and smooth formulation, the mattes were so much easier to use than the ones I've tried in the past.

The Naked Basics Palette is a palette of all but one matte eye shadows.  This palette is meant to accompany the Naked and Naked 2 palettes because a lot of people thought there should've been more matte shadows in those palettes, but you can definitely use it alone, which is what I did in this tutorial.

Here is what I used:

Revlon Nearly Naked foundation - Shell + Fresh Beige mixed
Physicians Formula Super BB concealer - Light/Medium
Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer - 7
Chanel Crayon Sourcils Sculpting Eyebrow Pencil - Brun Cendre
Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette - Venus, Naked, Foxy, Faint, Crave
Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Waterproof Mascara
Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush - Fantastic
Maybelline Color Whisper lipstick - Lust for Blush

Hope you enjoy and thanks for watching!