Archive for category Estee Lauder
I spent two hours – TWO HOURS! – last night, researching what products and shades I should to order from Becca Cosmetics (a brand I’ve yet to try and desperately want to). My (totally logical – I swear!) reason for doing this? To avoid purchasing any shades that were similar to ones I already own. I DID come up with a (very) pared down list, you’ll be happy to hear; if you’re interested (and FYI – the blog Shades of BECCA is a good resource for some swatches):
Papaya Beach Tint $30CAD (hot red)
Fallen Angel Ultimate Color Gloss $29CAD (nude spice)
There were a handful of other products I liked the look of, but in checking out swatches, they seemed to be too close to items I already own (though, c’mon, the brand is gorgeous and I could have easily gone for one of everything!). Which brings me to the point.
You’re all familiar with my organizational obsession right? (and…if you’re new and not aware: Hello! My name is Latoya and YES, I have a problem which manifests itself into a bit of compulsive organization. Could be worse!) Anyway, another problem I have is lack of funds; when you own a home on your own and don’t make the big bucks, things can get tricky. However, I have ANOTHER problem (jeez, someone institutionalize me, will ya?), which is that I love shopping – for cosmetics in particular. Smash the three of these together and what do you get? Well…you get THIS:
What ‘THIS’ is, is me taking a good look at an area of my makeup collection – specifically blush/bronzers in this instance – and seeing where I have gaps. By gaps, I mean: what shades do I lack that I can justify buying, in order to round out my stash and also quell the burning desire to shop my face off. Ya dig? This fantabulous idea kills
three birds three mosquitoes (no one cares about those) with one big-ass swat. I get to organize something*, figure out what shades or products I’m missing, and rationally and systematically purchase new items that are on my wishlist and fit the ‘missing’ bill. BOOM!
*Seriously guys, I joke but….I really like organizing things. So much so, that near the end of the month I’m signing up for a Professional Organizers intro course to see if I’d like to become a professional organizer for realz. It’s THAT serious :S
So, as you can see, I’m starting with blush – because clearly blush is THE BEST EVER and deserves the number one spot for allowing EVEN MORE BLUSH. Because clearly 20 (+ 7 bronzer-type things and 2 mini-blush) are NOT ENOUGH.
(I swear I’m not on the sauce tonight guys – I just feel a little peppy ’cause I’m back into running and signed up for the Ottawa 1/2 Marathon in May…wooo! )
Even with 20+ blush, I can plainly see what shades I’m lacking: A bright red! (NARS Turkish Red is more of a burgundy) A true orange! (NARS Taj Mahal is kind of a burnt orange and quite shimmery) A neutral pink! (…I literally do not own one beige-y pink blush, for shame) A nice deep berry would be lovely! And also – varying formulations! I have NO cheek tints, and only four cream blush. You see, there actually ARE shades/formulas I do not have despite having far more blush than is probably necessary. And then, there are shades I need NO more of, like medium pinks…I have enough of those, yep. I don’t think I need any more bronzers, especially since I rarely wear them and I’m already kinda *ahem* bronze. I only really have a couple coral shades, which tends to be the one a lot of people go gaga for (myself included), but I’ll hold off till the warmer months on thinking about those right now. Same goes for apricot-hued shades.
Left to right (flash): NARS Desire, Illamasqua Unrequited (discontinued shade*), theBalm Down Boy, Chanel Blush Horizon de Chanel, Benefit Bella Bamba, Illamasqua Hussy, Bobbi Brown Calypso Coral, NARS Torrid, theBalm Hot Mama
Left to right (flash): NARS Laguna Illuminator, Too Faced Sun Bunny Bronzing Powder, NARS Laguna Multiple, MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder, Milani Sunset Duos in Sunset Beach, Clinique Bronze Uplighting, Estee Lauder Illuminating Gelee in Shimmering Sands
What I’m wondering is, what gaps do YOU see? Since I only have my stash to compare it to, I can’t get a good idea of what I’m missing. What shades can you suggest that I should focus on buying?
I’m planning on doing this little experiment with all my makeup over the next little while, so be prepared: more lame examples of my organizational obsession coming your way! But do come back anyway, because I need your help
Is your makeup collection where you want it to be, or do you have a few gaps you’d like to fill?
I have to tell you, I have been having a BLAST creating different looks and playing with products that I already have (versus getting sucked into the never-ending *new-New-NEW!!* vortex) – it has been the absolute best solution I’ve found to control my shopping tendencies and appreciate what I own rather than the lust-buy-forget-repeat cycle I’ve been guilty of in the past. I’m not knocking picking up new and pretty things – goodness knows there’s a (great!!) time and place for that, and I still am buying more makeup than I’ll ever need – but I also get fed up with myself when I go out and pick up new products before giving the ones I own proper love. It totally suits my new mentality of making sure everything I have is awesome and that’s it’s getting semi-regular attention. Anything that’s not floating the Latoya boat is getting booted. End of story.
Anyway, I’ve been experimenting a lot lately – way more than I have for YEARS, maybe since I was in university – and it’s amazing the combinations and shades you can come up with when you put your mind to it! I find I was forgetting the whole reason I started the blog, which was because I loved USING makeup, not just acquiring it, and I’ve been pushing myself out of the box and trying new looks and realizing I have some pretty awesome products!! Does anyone remember the Canadian cooking show ‘The Urban Peasant?’ He used to always say “Use what you got,” and dammit if I’m not following his lead ;P
Good grief I’m chatty.
Ok, onwards to the looks! I wanted to do 3 different Summer-themed looks to cover each of the main focal points of the face – cheeks, lips and eyes. I’ve sort of started following a general rule of thumb when it comes to wearing what kind of looks when: I often wear a bolder lip to work, because hey! – I’m not kissing anyone there, and reapplication at my desk is easy-peasy; a strong eye when going ‘out’ somewhere; and a defined cheek for more laid-back kind of days, as it makes me look polished but isn’t too much and doesn’t require any maintenance. Of course, any of these combinations can be worn at any time, and you could even pair two of them together for a whole different look, but for the purpose of this post I’m going to give distinction between them.
Look #1 – Focus on Cheeks:
In my first look, I focused on an all-over bronzed glow combined with a more flushed cheek to enhance. This is a super-quick and easy way to wear makeup in the Summer months, as it just builds upon the warmth the sun naturally bestows upon the skin. If I’m going for a more casual look, this is usually what I lean toward. The products I used are below.
And the resulting look!:
Capturing the strength of cheek products is tricky; it seems like you need to go more heavy-handed than you normally would in order to get the same effect you’d see in person. While I wasn’t sporting ‘clown-cheeks’ to be sure, my blush was more noticeable in real life, and I actually quite liked it! By using Milani’s Sunset Beach (the bronze side) as bronzer and then a bit extra under the cheekbones to contour, NARS South Beach to highlight on top of cheekbones (then blended out toward temples and any residual down the bridge of my nose), and Illamasqua Tweak on the higher point of the apples of my cheeks to emphasize (and blending like crazy to avoid any harsh edges), it just looked like I had been out in the sun all day. Pretty natural actually with just a touch of glam from the highlight. To finish I dabbed on MAC’s Crosswires lippie as a stain, and added a touch of clear gloss to give a bit of shine.
Look #2 – Focus on Lips:
My next look took me more out of my comfort zone, as I VERY rarely wear pigmented lip colors plus a glossy finish – a matte bold lip is much more subdued and easier to pull off in most cases. But I had an inspiration from my lookbook (a photo album full of looks I’ve clipped out of magazines) that came to mind and I really wanted to try it. In it, the model is wearing a rich coral-red lip that has this insane glossy shine to it, while the rest of the makeup is very subtle with just a beachy glow. As my lip collection is sort of in transition, I didn’t have the exact shade I was looking for, so I had to get creative:
Clockwise from left: Estee Lauder Illuminating Gelee in Shimmering Sands, theBalm Read My Lips Lipstick in Wanted, Sephora She Sparkles lipgloss, MAC Lychee Luxe Lipglass, Ojon Restorative Mascara
By combining a shiny red lip color with a coral gloss and adding extra gloss on top of that, I came close to what I was aiming for – and even though it wasn’t exactly the same, I think it ended up being relatively flattering! I’d never tried theBalm lip product before, hadn’t even swatched it, but it popped into my head and I figured now was the time to try it out. MAC’s Lychee Luxe is one of my fave shades of gloss (though truth be told I don’t think I’ll buy any more MAC glosses – I’m SO over the sticky texture!), and the pinky-coral tone kept the red from being too cool and Christmas-y looking. Plus the gold shimmer of Sephora’s She Sparkles gave it a Summery kick, and that extra dose of shiny I was going for. By keeping the rest of my makeup extremely simple, the bright glossiness of the lips didn’t seem so obnoxious.
Look #3 – Focus on Eyes:
Lastly, I wanted to showcase a Summer look for eyes. I do tend to wear more eye makeup than anything else, though this is subtly changing over the past few months – I’m trying to break out of the same old of bold eyes and muted cheeks/lips. For this look, I pushed myself again to play and experiment more than normal, which actually was quite easy once I determined what shade was going to anchor my look – Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Cream #24, the bold canary yellow I reviewed last week! After choosing a bright shade like that, everything else seemed easy in comparison
Clockwise from left: MAC Arena eyeshadow, Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream #24, Rouge Bunny Rouge Original Skin Blush in Florita, Clinique Brush-On Cream Liner in Black Honey, Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Liner in Perversion, Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Mascara, Ardene Eyeshadow in 8B, MAC Evolution Revolution Lipglass
Left to right: Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream #24, Ardene Eyeshadow in 8B, Urban Decay Last Call eyeshadow, Clinique Brush-On Cream Liner in Black Honey, Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Liner in Perversion, Rouge Bunny Rouge Original Skin Blush in Florita, MAC Evolution Revolution Lipglass
Here’s how I made it work:
Above – Sunlight; Below – With flashI applied MUFE Aqua Cream #24 all over the lid, then applied Ardene 8B to the middle of the lid outward. I added UD’s Last Call to the outer lid and crease, and highlighted the brow and the inner corners of the eye with MAC’s Arena. Finally I lined the upper lash line with UD’s Perversion liquid liner, and the bottom lash line with Clinique’s Black Honey, and piled on a generous dose of mascara on top and bottom lashes.
As I mentioned in the review, this vibrant matte yellow Aqua Cream is surprizingly easy to use – easy to work with, easy to blend, and didn’t look as garish as I thought it would once applied. I absolutely ADORED how this look came out overall, it felt SO Summery and warm and fun, and I can see myself recreating this over and over this season, because it was an easy way to inject some color into my palette without being too over the top. And it got me using another shade that never gets love from me – the Ardene shadow, which by the way has a lovely buttery texture and is probably like $3 at the store.
Also, I can’t deal with how great Florita looked with this combination – it gives the perfect amount of glow for the Summer without being shimmery, which would also compete with the shadows. Finishing with the pale pink MAC gloss added just the right touch of glossiness and muted quality to my lips to compliment the look best.
All in all, though I think the last look was my favorite out of the three (typical!), I’m going to make every effort to rotate between a focus on eyes, lips and cheeks and continue to experiment with different looks and play with lesser-used shades in order to have more fun with makeup, and be more mindful of what I already own. I SO enjoyed creating these looks over the past couple weeks, and I truly hope you got some benefit out of them as well! Its nice to showcase and talk about other products that aren’t brand-spanking new or the most talked-about in the blogosphere. Sometimes I find I get so saturated with the same old, that when I stumble upon posts that discuss makeup I haven’t heard/thought of, it’s like a breath of fresh air!
…and now I’m done. Thanks for sticking through this if you made it this far! Hope you enjoyed!!
The past 30 days seemed to drag on, don’t you think? I found this month a bit tough to keep myself under control – nothing too serious, but I kept feeling like it should be time again for me to be able to buy something else pretty guilt free I think my mini Burberry haul really added to the heft my purchases list has this month. I’m not going to worry about it, since it was a 30th birthday splurge and I’m worth it, dammit! But, back on the horse – I plan on doing better this coming month. I think I’m one of the last ones standing regarding the low/no-buy (except Larie, who’s extended her ban – hooray!), so possibly these posts have lost their zest for you, but nonetheless I’m going to keep pressing on because otherwise I have no one to hold me accountable!
I think I should be recapping a few of the guidelines before jumping right into the empties/purchases, so let me just refresh your memory:
1) Makeup: Purchase no more than 10 items per season
2) Nail Polish: Purchase no more than 5 polish per month
3) Skincare: Use one, Buy one
Ok, now that we’ve got that out of the way – let’s see how I’m doing (gulp!).
Purchased (May 20-June 19):
Here we have:
- Marcelle Hydra-C Facial Exfoliating Gel ($10.74CAD – sale)
- Life Brand Skin Relieving Moisturizing Lotion ($5.99CAD – sale)
- Aveeno Sensitive Skin Sunscreen ($10.99 – sale)
- Zoya Arizona & Wednesday polishes ($8.75CAD each)
- Essie Bikini So Teeny & Blanc polishes ($7.99CAD – sale – and $11.99CAD, respectively)
- Orly In A Snap Quick Drying Top Coat ($12CAD)
- Essie First Base Base Coat ($12CAD)
- Sparitual Aurum polish ($12CAD)
- Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base ($66CAD)
- Burberry Light Glow Blush in Russet ($54CAD)
- Burberry Sheer Eye Shadow in Trench ($33CAD)
- Chanel Illusion d’Ombre in Abstraction #88 ($37CAD)
Err…yea. Not great…but in fairness, my birthday was last month and I felt it was appropriate to treat myself Ah well! Many of these I’ve reviewed already – and I plan on posting the other polish shades soon, especially Bikini So Teeny – LOVE this shade!!! And the Marcelle scrub is actually quite lovely as well.
My discard pile is somewhat meager this month – and I blame the handful of products I have that just won’t die!!!! They’re driving me crazy. I even took a shot of them so you could see what I mean:
All of these products have been *thisclose* to being finished for like a month. Well, excluding the MAC shadow (in Arena – great natural brow highlight for darker-skinned ladies), I just threw that in there because – PAN! PAN! PAN!! Being able to see pan is very exciting for me; I only have one other full-size product showing pan in my stash, a blush from CoverFX, and it’s just HUGE. As for the rest…it’s just ridiculous, half of these are deluxe sample sizes, WTF are they still kicking around for?? I can’t STAND sample size products :S I promise you that next month, these will be finished, kaput. Or else I’m gonna go stark raving MAD.
…Anyway. Empties, anyone?
Used Up (May 20-June 19):
winners loser are:
- Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturizer SPF15 in 06
- Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF15 Original
- Estee Lauder Sumptuous Bold Volume Lifting Mascara (sample)
- Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in Bourbon
- Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator
- Clinique City Block Sheer Daily Face Protector SPF25
- Life Brand Skin Relieving Moisturizing Lotion
- Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray
So there’s a lot of Clinique, and a lot of the Moisture Surge line eh? Hmm. Guess my skin’s been thirsty lately I do like the line, and almost every school we get a bottle of the Face Spray, which used to sit in my cupboard going mostly unused, ’till I read this article on Beauty Editor, and now I use it daily and it is AMAZING. I thought it was just for a pick-me-up, but it’s way better when used between skincare applications. The Moisture Surge Intense was nice, but I actually like the original better, which is weird because that one is merely a temporary solution, whereas this one supposedly restores your moisture barrier to help ‘fix’ the problem. I just didn’t like the texture as much, or something. The Tinted Moisturizer provides quite good coverage for that kind of product, but it’s a bit too hydrating for me (re: greasy), especially in the Summer. Would be perfect for someone with drier skin though!
As for the other Clinique product, the City Block Sheer, I honestly think switching to physical sunscreens has been the difference-maker in my skin. I have absolutely NO irritation ever and my skin has never been better – I haven’t needed to wear foundation in months. I will never go back to chemical if I can help it. Also, I find that using only this sunscreen in the warmer months, with no ‘official’ moisturizer during the day, has made me SO much less oily, I hardly have an issue with it now at all (though it could be because I’m also not wearing foundation). Hallelujah!
Here lies the second Fresh Lip Treatment which I have finished, and finished HARD:
I’m sad to say but I won’t ever repurchase these again, as I find that due to the high fragrance in them they cause irritation in my lips, which means that even though they’re hydrated, their often rough and chapped. I have one more to finish and then I’m done with them! Too bad because they’re lovely but just not for me!
I snagged a sample of the Estee Lauder Sumptuous mascara in April which was sweet because I was considering picking it up as my next mascara. However, I was underwhelmed. I sort of don’t think mascara samples are fully representative of the full-size product, but at the same time, the brush was just OK (very reminiscent of Clinique’s Lash Doubling, which I could just order for free on my gratis), and it didn’t give me KA-POW lashes in the least, which is sort of my goal. So, I’ll pass for now.
I used to love the UD 24/7 pencils and wanted to acquire them in every shade (I still have probably 5-6), but lately I find that they’re so gritty feeling with all the sparkle, and its just not comfortable on my eyes. I did like this shade, Bourbon, a lot though. But, once a pencil gets down too far for me to sharpen it, out it goes!
Lastly…the Life Brand Moisturizing Lotion, which I’ve talked about before (I really should just stop putting those in because ~snooze~ but you can see how fast I go through them eh?) Also, I know how much you enjoy the fact that I cut these tubes in half to get as much product as I can LOL (also see the Clinique SPF). What can I say? I hate waste
OK! Putting it all together, here’s a quick recap:
1) Makeup: 4 makeup items purchased [12 this season (Spring)] *Tossed 3*
2) Nail Polish: 5 polish purchased this month (13 total since the beginning of 2012)
3) Skincare: Used 5, Bought 3
This time around, that’s 5 full-size skincare products, 1 sample, and 2 makeup items
So…I didn’t succeed on the makeup front, but I’m pretty pleased overall that I was able to only buy 12 items over the course of 3 months – it felt like I was buying a lot more! Happily, only one of those products was really a ‘filler’ purchase (the Revlon lip butter from last month’s recap) , which I’m trying to avoid, so even though I went over my limit, I mainly only picked up items I really wanted/love, which is ultimately the goal of this whole endeavor anyway, so YAY to that!
However, I will admit – SO happy that we’re into the Summer season now and I have 10 more items I’m allowed to buy!!!!!!! (Though…condo furnishings will probably deplete my budget for the next little while, so no fear of going over 10 this time around!)
Have you tried any of the products I mentioned? What are your feelings on sample size products? What’s the last ‘filler’ purchase you made?
As much as I’d like to, there’s just no way that I’m ever going to be able to review every pretty beauty product out there, because the sad fact is that I’m far from Ms. Moneybags. It’s disappointing, because I so appreciate posts from others which give me the full low down on shades etc. from products within a brand, as it makes my
compulsive shopping much easier (and my lemmings list smaller/larger, depending!). However, now that I am the proud new owner of an iPhone, I’m able to do a lot more undercover work at all the beauty stores I frequent, which will hopefully help you narrow down (or, expand) the field for which products you want to shell out for. Earlier this week I had my first opportunity to put myself to work, and because it was laid out so pretty for me, I decided to swatch Estee Lauder’s new(ish) Pure Color Blushes ($32CAD), of which I’ve been eying for months.
The display actually looks much nicer here than it did 15 minutes before I took the photo, as the coordination of shades was KILLING me (had been for weeks) and my OCD-self had to rearrange them all in a somewhat organized flow. Then I was able to proceed with the swatching/snapping First, what I like to think of as ‘The Cools’:
Since I gravitate toward warmer blush shades, none of these called to me, though Sensuous Rose would be a much-needed addition to my stash as I tend toward brights and have very few subtle shades, which I could stand to have. Sensuous Rose and Audacious Plum are ‘satin’ finishes, which look more matte to me, while Mauve Mystique has obvious shimmer/glitter, and Electric Pink is a satin.
Next, ‘The Warms’ – AKA My Kind Of Shades!:
*Sorry for the blurred photo, I had another shot but it didn’t depict the shades as accurately!
Even though these shades had much warmer tones, I actually wasn’t into them much, with the exception of Wild Sunset of course, which I absolutely ADORE. It looks SOO good, I must own this blush – it’s the number one on my list out of them all. There’s slight shimmer in it, but not so much that it’s unwearable. Brazen Bronze is fairly shimmery, and Peach Passion is even more so, while Hot Sienna is more matte.
Below, we have the more badass colors, the ones I call ‘The Vamps’:
The only shade I own even remotely like these shades is Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge in Velvet Plum, which is similar to Rebel Rose. Intriguing Plum IS intriguing – I’d like to see what it looks like on, because it is intense. Lover’s Blush isn’t really vampy but it just seemed to ‘go’ if you know what I mean. It looks more pinky here but it’s more beige-y in reality. All shades are satin finishes with the exception of shimmery Lover’s Blush.
Last, we have ‘The Romantics’, obvious rose and pink tones:
Poppy Passion, a satin finish, could be stellar in the Winter when you’re going for that windburned flush, but I think for the Summer it leans a bit too cool for my liking. Exotic Pink doesn’t do it for me at all, and looks a bit too shimmery to be qualified as a ‘satin’ but whatever. Pink Ingenue would look so sweet on the right skintone, maybe even mine in the right season, but for now I’ll pass. As you can see, it’s a shimmer finish.
And that’s that! Not too shabby for a camera phone, huh? I hope these swatches were at least remotely helpful! I had so much fun doing this, and I can’t wait to do it again! It’s handy that I know ALL of the SA’s at Mills and Shoppers on Spring Garden (a boutique location), because I can do this without looking totally shady. Some of the SA’s at Sephora know me, but I’m not there often enough (surprized? – hey, remember I don’t have a car LOL) for me to really have an ‘in’ yet – I’ll work on it
Any shades caught your eye? Have you tried this formula yet? Let me know what you think of it!
I’m just gonna get right to the point here: I kicked ASS this month in the low-buy. Whooped some major butt. And once I got on a roll, it just kept getting easier! Dudes, I only bought TWO THINGS – and not even fun stuff. Check it out:
Purchased (Apr. 20-May 19):
Unfortunately, my little spree at Holts will run my monthly budget right back up to where it normally is, despite my frugality lol…Oh well! You only turn 30 once
Sadly however, my empties are fairly modest this month too, to match my purchases. I have a handful of products that are *thisclose* to being finished, but I just couldn’t get there. How annoying. I find when I’m down to the dregs of a product, I’m just dying for it to be over and done. Blah. However, there are a couple makeup items that I just couldn’t justify hanging on to any more – I know I’m never going to wear them and I don’t think I can pawn them off on anyone either – so out they go.
So what’ve we got here? A defiled tube of Aveeno’s Moisturizing Body Lotion – gotta get every last drop! I stopped buying the big pump containers because it’s harder to get it all out. I also think I’ll stop buying the Aveeno version and go with the knockoff one I bought above – it’s a couple bucks cheaper and the ingredients are identical.
I can’t quite remember why I switched from TRESemme’s conditioner to Infusium23 Moisture Replenisher Conditioner – likely because TRESemme’s bottle was HUGE – but I know I grabbed it for the lower levels of ‘cones, and because fragrance is one of the last ingredients listed. I quite liked this actually – it’s no frills but I kept my hair hydrated and smooth.
I kept Glysomed Hand Cream (fragrance free) by my bed and applied it every night. Super basic but kept my hands moisturized without any worries of irritation. Snoozeville, I know, but it works!
MAC’s Cleanse Off Oil, which I picked up in a swap like two years ago, and only used when I wore heavier makeup. Works fairly well, and smells heavenly but I won’t repurchase for that exact reason.
I keep getting these sample bottles of Clinique’s Take The Day Off makeup remover in the GWP’s, and I keep using ‘em up – it’s great for removing heavier eye makeup for if you’ve got major lipstick going on. This size is actually perfect for me too because I use it infrequently – anything bigger would be too much.
Another defiled tube…I LOVE Clinique’s Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief, and hoard samples of this like mad. I like it even better than the newer version, which actually repairs your moisture barrier (whereas this is basically a fancy aloe gel and offers just a temporary fix). And every customer I have that comes in for it feels the same way – we don’t *need* it exactly, but gosh darn does it ever feel great! Its perfect especially for oilier skins that still crave hydration but hate the greasy feel. I use this often as my base before any occasion, as it makes my skin super-soft and plump.
I’m disappointed that they no longer make Korres Yogurt Velvety Moisturizing Mask – this was great for oily skin to hydrate and smooth, and I used it once a week to great results. It’s tough to find hydrating masks for oily skin. I guess I could recreate my own yogurt mask to similar effects, but…I wanna pricey mask in a fancy jar! *pout*
My second bottle of Ole Henriksen’s Truth Serum. I do still like this but I read more infomation on it after it and realized I could be using something much more effective for about the same price.
Mario Badescu’s Glycolic Foaming Cleanser was fine, though I didn’t notice that my skin was extra smooth (exfoliated) after use. I was considering buying a wash with glycolic acid to get my exfoliation that way, since I no longer use scrubs, but the system I have going now is working really well so I’m putting that on the backburner for now. I wouldn’t buy the full-size of this wash anyway, it was filled with sulfates, which I avoid – especially on my skin.
I received Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair as a sample when I bought the Shimmering Sands gelee. I’ve tried it before and my thoughts are still the same – it may work but I’m not seeing the fruits of it’s labour. That’s no fault necessarily of the product, as I don’t have visible damage to see improvement upon, but I also don’t notice any benefits like softer, smoother skin – which I DO experience from Clinique’s Repairwear Laser Focus – so for me it’s a no-go at this stage. It’s also got a sticky texture which is a bit of a turn-off (though if it worked miracles, that’d be my last concern).
When I bought the Sephora + Pantone kit for my giveaway, everyone at Sephora was so excited since I was the first to buy it, that they threw in a little treat for me too – a Bare Minerals kit with the Flawless Definition mascara, along with a hydrating powder, and a lip color. You recall my review on the mascara when I purchased it a few months ago? Yea, thoughts haven’t changed. It still has a funky smell – which I now realize is just the mascara itself, not that it’s gone bad – and it’s just plain dry!! It’s soo tough to put on, blah. It’s too bad, because the brush itself is great, and with the right formula I think this really could be quite volumizing, but alas that’s not the case.
This is Bring on the Bling by OPI, from the 2010 Burlesque collection. Gorgeous shade, but 1) glitter is a PITA, as we all know, and 2) it got thicker than molasses after only a handful of wears. I tried thinner and it didn’t do a darn thing. This is completely unwearable, so I’m not sure why I’m hanging on to it. Bye bye!
I’ve been hanging on to this lippie in the hope that I’ll make it work one day, but the fact is that Revlon’s Raspberry Mousse Colorstay lipstick is just not for me. It’s just a too TOO blue-leaning hot pink, and also has a shimmer finish, so it’s bad all around. If it were matte, maybe I could work this somehow, but its not and I’m just not keeping it any longer. I’ll find a rockin’ pink to take it’s place that WILL get a lot of love.
OK. So, let’s look at this month’s tally – 6 full-size skincare products, 5 samples, 1 makeup item and 1 polish. Meh. Next month will be better Though…next month I’ll also have a lot more purchases, so….
Now. It’s been an absolutely beautiful weekend, and I am finding it impossible to stay indoors. So I’m gonna end this here so I can get back out there! I hope everyone’s having a great long weekend (in Canada)/had a great weekend, and I hope anyone else participating in a low/no-buy had a good month – can’t wait to read all about it!!
Today, I have for you the last installment in my blush/bronzer/highlighter collection!! By the end of all these swatches, my arm was red and rashy LOL – it was quite a day! But I’m really pleased with the photos and swatches, and I think I see some holes in my collection that need filling!!! Mwahahahahaha… Oh. Sorry!
Today we’re going to look at the highlighters/illuminators in my stash. While I sort of feel like I have a fair amount, none of them really knock my socks off, so I feel like it’s lacking quite a bit. But, you can make the call when you see what I’ve got I guess!
For some of you, these products will be more like shimmering blushes rather than highlighters – indeed, on me I usually wear Estee Lauder’s Shimmering Sands and Clinique’s Bronze as a cheek color rather than a highlighter/illuminator, though that might change this week. You could probably layer these under a blush and still get the illuminating effect. I know some of you that own Bobbi Brown’s Nectar definitely use it as a blush as well – for me it’s too light to do so.
MUFE’s Uplight is the real true ‘highlighter’ in the group, but it’s got glitter particles that make it more suitable for night than day. Typically I use NARS South Beach Multiple as a compliment to my blush/bronzer, which gives a fantastic peachy-bronze glow to my skin (though it fades within a few hours). Clinique’s Bronze Up-lighting, which has about 1/3 left and is the oldest product here, has a bronze-rose tone that gives a fantastic glow, but is pretty intense and needs to be blended out well. The ‘Natural’ version of this product is a total winner, and I would recommend choosing that over this shade.
Swatches above taken with flash. Left to right: Estee Lauder Shimmering Sands, NARS South Beach Multiple, Clinique Bronze Up-lighting, MUFE Uplight #23, Bobbi Brown Nectar ShimmerbrickNatural light. Left to right: Estee Lauder Shimmering Sands, NARS South Beach Multiple, Clinique Bronze Up-lighting, MUFE Uplight #23, Bobbi Brown Nectar Shimmerbrick
While you can distinguish for the most part between each of these, I still always find luminizers and highlighters kind of funny, because at the end of the day they all look pretty similar when worn. Clearly, Shimmering Sands darker rose-bronze tones make it more of a bronzer/blush than a highlight, and could have been grouped as such, but I was trying to follow the names of products when posed with the ‘what goes where’ question. NARS South Beach is sort of a lighter shade of Shimmering Sands, and Clinique’s Up-Lighting here is also along the same color lines, but leans more rose than bronze. MUFE’s Uplight #23 is a champagne shimmer, and Bobbi Brown’s Nectar, while appearing quite coral on some skintones, looks downright pale pink on mine.
I also wanted to show a comparison between the two NARS Multiples (South Beach and Laguna) and Clinique’s Up-lighting, as they all are for the same kind of purpose – illuminate with a touch of color. I had initially paired Laguna in this group, but changed it to the bronzer section as it is likely used that way by fairer skintones.
Each of these are similar in their own right, but again – Clinique’s Bronze is actually more rose; South Beach is more of a pale bronzed rose; and Laguna is more brown. They are all distinguishable when worn on the face.
And there you have it – my entire blush/bronzer/highlighter collection to peruse, condemn, laugh at – whatever suits your fancy I hope it entertained you at the very least while I’m away! I feel
satisfied OK with the collection, but there are some new shades I’d like to add, while also eliminating some that have worn out there welcome. I see room for some berry tones, as well as some neutral shades and lighter-toned illuminators that can be worn with blush/bronzer, and don’t overpower it. Can you say ‘hooray’ for an excuse to shop!?
Final thoughts? What shades are you coveting, if any? What shades can you suggest I add? Is my collection meager, just right, or too much? Inquiring minds want to know??
Last Fall, after being slow on the uptake when Modern Mercury – the first offering in the Estee Lauder Gelee phenomenon – came out, I cursed myself for missing out. Then, several other gorgeous LE luminizers came on the market (~cough~ LM’s Rose Rendezvous ~cough~) and I swore that the next time something like that was released, I was getting on that train ASAP. When I saw Estee’s Spring PR release pop up online, which included Topaz Chameleon (another gelee), I was determined to get my hands on it. However, two things prevented me from satisfying my lemming – first, Topaz Chameleon was majorly metallic, and almost copper-toned, so I wasn’t quite sure how I would make it work. Second, it never appeared here in stores – I even called a few Lauder counters and no one had even heard of it before (which is RIDICULOUS if you ask me – don’t you do your homework???). I considered buying it online, but as it looked a bit scary I wasn’t confident enough to buy it sight unseen.
A few short weeks later, I stumbled upon pictures of Estee’s Bronze Goddess Capri Summer 2012 collection (weird timing between the two, don’t you think?) and noticed that there was a third powder gelee, Shimmering Sands – a pale rosy-bronze shade that looked MUCH more wearable. In a flash, I looked up a few swatches online (The Beauty Look Book and Best Things in Beauty have great info/photos) and decided I could DO this. As this hadn’t popped up in stores yet either (surprize), I ordered online from the Lauder website. I paid about $50CAD total for the gelee (shipping is free with any $50 order in Canada); ironically, I was in Mills two days after I received it to find that they had it on counter (WTF?). Thankfully, it’s being priced at $50 here too, so I didn’t end up paying more – and I got a 10-day sample of the Advanced Night Repair, so I’m not complaining!
The gelees are housed in beautifully elegant golden packaging, always with a gorgeous imprinted design on the actual product (I assume Shimmering Sands wavy texture is supposed to mimic sand in the desert?). It comes with a large sponge applicator, which I have yet to try. The texture of the gelee is ridiculously light – it almost doesn’t feel like I’m picking anything up on my fingers at all, until I turn it to see it’s full of product. The description given for the gelees describes them as a ‘tri-blend liquid, powder, and gel formula’ – how in the world they do that, I do not know. All I can say is – this baby is feather-light and soft.In the pan, it looks as I previously described – pale rosy-bronze – but on the skin, it was surprizingly burnished; more like a luminous reddish-bronze. On the website, they recommend smoothing it on as an all-over soft sheen; however, from reading previous reviews on both this and the Topaz Chameleon version, I knew this probably isn’t the way to go, as they’re very pigmented. While they’re not glittery, the shimmer can easily be overdone, and careful placement and a light hand is critical. Regardless of knowing this, I can see how it would be easy to overdo. Picking product up on my brush feels the same as with my finger – like I’m not actually getting anything – but then BAM! there it is. So, remember to not let it’s light as air texture fool you – just go slow and build intensity if needed!
I like the way it looks on my skin – it’s not as reddish as I feared, and just makes me look sun-burnt in a pretty way. As well, the illuminating effect is well-executed; I feel glowing without being self-conscious that I look shiny or glittery (light hand though, remember!). However, it’s more of a bronze/blush rather than a luminizer (though I knew that going into it, really) – perhaps when I get a nice golden tan in about a month’s time, it’ll be just what I’m looking for. I’ve also read online that it works great as an eyeshadow, so I’ll have to try that next.
Overall, I love the technology of the gelee, and how light it feel and how little you need to apply to get an effect. I do like the way it looks worn, though it’s not *truly* what I’m searching for. A downside is that the Illuminating Gelees are 0.15oz, which is below average for this kind of product (LM’s Rose Rendezvous is 0.20oz for around the same price, and Guerlain’s Cruel Gardenia is 0.31oz – but a whole lot more, about $74CAD, though its over double the product). Of course, this wouldn’t really be an issue if I LOVED it….but alas I don’t! Unfortunately, this was one of those purchases that I made in haste that usually ends up being a regret. I can use it, thankfully, but I don’t feel excitement about it, which is against my new “policy” on only buying things I love. I admit that I let myself get carried away with the hype, and now I’m paying the consequences. Somewhat of an expensive lesson to learn, but hopefully it will serve as a reminder in the future!
Do you fall prey to the hype on products? Please share so I can feel better about myself >:\ Also, do you own any of the Illuminating Gelee’s? Which is your favorite?