Posts Tagged holiday
Even though this is the time for giving, you can’t help but be pulled in by all the fabulous gift sets and beautiful holiday products gracing the shelves of your favorite stores – at least, THIS HERE GIRL can’t help but be tempted! While I’ve done well not buying too much for me this month (except for my EPIC DevaCurl haul that I indulged in earlier this week – details on my first professional haircut in over 5 years [I KNOW] plus the whole DevaCurl experience so far are forthcoming!), I have done a fair bit of ogling. All the pretty things!
There are always hoards of items on my ‘to buy’ list, but I feel like a holiday wishlist should be a bit more special, with items that might otherwise be completely out of the question (you never know who might be reading this post to get ideas! *hinthint*). I picked out four products that particularly have caught my eye and given me something to dream about (aside from sugarplum fairies, and the myriad of WHACK-A-DOO dreams you have when you’re pregnant!).
Tarte Dream Come Hue 12 Piece Collectors Set ($210 CAD)
Normally sets like this are a little intimidating to me – so many of one (or two) things! – but ever since the collectable Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushes launched years ago I wanted to try them out. Unfortunately, they contain lanolin, which is not my friend, but so do NARS blush, and I wear them fine without issue. I think if I were wearing them every day it might be more of a problem (like I found when I was using a Laura Mercier concealer with lanolin for my undereye area), but I rotate my blush ever day, so… Since I’m way behind in trying these babies out, wouldn’t it make the most sense to just try SIX AT ONCE? And while I’m at it, I can try six of the brand’s Lipsurgence Lip Tints too….I mean, it’s just the most logical solution. Right?
YSL Volupté Tint-In-Oil ($35CAD)
Though I only own two YSL products (both lippies), I am always intrigued by their newest launches. The Tint-In-Oil is a lip color/stain + conditioner that boasts a handful of nourishing oils to keep lips looking youthful and hydrated. Even though the matte lipstick movement is still going strong, as much as I love the way it looks it doesn’t always work out for me in the drier winter months. After seeing a few swatches online, I found myself really coveting the juicy, glossy yet bright shades of these – in particular I’m lemming Pink About Me, a medium purple-tinged pink. Cool-toned pinks will get me every time!
Urban Decay Naked Vault ($336 CAD)
This is another kind of obscene collectors set, but since I don’t own any of the Naked palettes, its like it was made for someone like me, no? Zero to sixty, that’s how I roll. Truth be told, I have no interest in the Flushed blush/bronzer/highlight trios that come in this set, so it might not be the best value for me – as I’m really angling for the 3 Naked palettes, which ring in at $64CAD each, I’d be better off to just buy the three and call it a day at $192. But where’s the fun in that??
In any case, it’s showing as sold out online at Sephora, so THIS particular item really was just a dream…
Fresh Sugar Face Polish ($68CAD)
I snagged a deluxe sample of this when I shopped Sephora during the VIB [Rouge] sale, and I have been pleasantly surprised by how much I love it. It’s got the perfect consistency – gentle yet effectively scrubby, without feeling harsh in the least (likely due to the inclusion of seed oils like meadowfoam, grape, strawberry, and macadamia). My skin feels stupidly soft and smooth after using this, and has a major glow – it would be ideal to use before a party or other special event. I thought it might cause problems because fragrance is kind of high on the ingredient list, but I haven’t experienced any issues so far using it once a week for the past month. I think for me, as long as my daily products don’t contain fragrance, I’m mostly safe. The price is steeper than I’d normally pay for a scrub, but honestly I think I might cave in the New Year – it’s that lovely.
Interestingly enough, though my ongoing wishlist is crazy-long, the number of items I’d actually want to receive (at one time) is fairly low – I like to space out my beauty acquisitions so it gives me time to use stuff up, and also doesn’t get too overwhelming. I think this list would give me a lot to play with – probably more than is sensible, given that there are two collectors sets lol – but what the heck – it IS the holidays, after all!
What’s on your wishlist this year?
While I was away this fall, something terrible happened – I missed the Chanel fall collection entirely! Thankfully, there wasn’t too much I wanted to try, but I DID desperately want Malice, the gorgeous ruby-hued polish and the only one released with the seasonal launch. As it disappeared from shelves in a snap, I was left to scour the internet trying to find a dupe to the shade. What I came up with that was close (though by no means an exact match, or even that close, unfortunately), was Deborah Lippmann’s Through the Fire.
Through the Fire, a ‘radiant merlot hue’ was released as part of her 2012 Holiday collection (along with Cleopatra in New York). While it doesn’t have the slight berry tinge that Malice appears to have, it still has that inner glow that captivates the eye. Below, this is two coats with Poshe Fast Drying Top Coat.
Apparently, one of the true closer dupes to Malice is OPI’s Royal Rajah Ruby, which if you remember I was iffy about at first, but then found love using it as a pedi shade. Personally I think RRR is too brown-leaning, but it pleases me that I have one of the closest colors to Malice already in my stash.
As for TtF, I pulled RRR plus a couple other shades to see how they all compare – OPI’s Every Month is Oktoberfest, which has been noted by other bloggers as a potential Malice twin (it’s not), and Misa’s Red Pumps at the Nordstrom (which isn’t like Malice at all, nor TtF – but is red and also has that gorgeous radiance about it).
While RRR is in the same vein as TtF, it’s not a dupe and I like TtF much better on my fingernails, as its more feminine with it’s red tones. Though I tend to prefer cremes over other formulations of polish, I gotta say that these types of polishes with a less metallic shimmer and more of an inner fire, are totally up my alley. I could stare at them all day! All four of these polishes captivate my heart in one way or another, and while I don’t feel that my lemming for Malice is fully abated, I’m not totally broken-hearted over it :)
Did you pick up Malice, or did you miss it too? Are you a fan of shimmer polishes, or other types?
While some people are able to go away on vacation and continue to communicate with the outside world, I was pretty much MIA the entire time I was in New Zealand (there I go again!). Any time I wanted to access the internet, I had to pay for wireless or for computer time, and I was just not having it. In this day and age, it’s like paying for water (which also annoys me), so I pretty much forgot the whole idea except to periodically let my family and friends know I was alive.
However, when I got an email from Sephora’s PR giving me the opportunity to chose one of the sets from the holiday collections, I happily paid a few bucks in order to respond and select my set. Of all the offerings, the cream of the crop was most definitely Hourglass’ Best of Hourglass collection ($68CAD), which came with a travel size of their popular Veil Mineral Primer, a full size Film Noir Full Spectrum mascara in Onyx, a full size Extreme Sheen lipgloss in Ignite, and a deluxe sample of the new No. 28 Primer Serum. Hel-lo! How could I pass up on on these goodies!!?
As I had tried the Veil Mineral Primer before, in the travel size, and finished it, I was happy to have another small bottle to replace it (for a glowing, more thorough review on this product, see Liz’s post at Beauty Reductionista). The other three products were entirely new to me, and as anything I have tried from the brand has pretty much knocked my socks off, I was totally eager to get my grabby hands on them and play. First, let’s discuss the Film Noir Full Spectrum mascara:
To be clear, there is another Film Noir mascara that Hourglass makes, but it is the one that you paint on lash by lash. This is your regular bristle-brush mascara, and in reality the brush itself IS pretty regular. It doesn’t have any bells or whistles and looks pretty…normal, compared to every gimmicky brush that’s come out in the last few years. Don’t let that fool you, however! Though my pictures below don’t truly do it justice, this mascara is LOVELY. It separates my lashes perfectly while giving them some serious length as well as volume. It’s one of the few mascaras I’ve tried that I’ve actually gotten compliments on from people who aren’t bloggers (you guys count…but not in this instance because this is our BIZNESS, yo).
It’s a drier formula than I usually like, but I think it’s actually the *perfect* consistency – not really dry at all but not so wet that its glopping on and causing clumps. The brush really combs through the lashes each time, leaving them entirely clump-free. I didn’t have to separate my lashes in the photos above with a comb afterward at all, which is uncommon I find. It’s a total win. I would actually spend the $33CAD and buy this again! Note: There ARE parabens in the mascara.
Next, we have the Extreme Sheen gloss in Ignite, described as a ‘rose beige shimmer.’ I’d say this is more of a sheer shimmering gloss with a touch of beige more than anything, but it’s still pretty. To buy this separately would cost $33CAD so with that plus the mascara you’re almost have the price of the set alone – not too shabby! The gloss does have fragrance but it’s the last ingredient listed and it’s faint. I haven’t noticed any issues yet so hopefully it remains that way!
As you can see, the gloss is essentially colorless with a hint of shimmer. I typically like my glosses fairly opaque, but this somehow makes my lips look quite nice in the absence of pigment. It’s a nice way to punch up clear gloss, and it adds a subtle something extra layered over other lip colors. Surprisingly, the staying power is pretty decent even with its translucency, and it feels good on the lips – smooth and not sticky at all. I’d love to try this formula out in a few other shades.
Lastly, but far from least, is the No. 28 Primer Serum. I know it’s a cheap cop-out to put this marketing image versus the real thing, but to be honest – I don’t want to waste a drop of it’s precious contents. IT’S SO GOOD! And as much as I love you, I just can’t swatch this for no good reason. I’m hoarding it like crazy! At $75CAD for 1oz, you can probably understand why (though – I just saw that you can also get this in a travel size like the Veil primer – 0.33oz for $26CAD – sign me up!!).
Essentially the product combines the effects of a primer (reducing the look of pores, refining and smoothing the skin’s surface, and luminizing) with the treatment of a serum (strengthening skin’s moisture barrier, shielding against environmental aggressors, and hydrating). All this action means that the skin looks younger and dewier and AMAZING. It contains essential oils, lipid-rich plant oils, and vitamins to nuture the skin, while being free of parabens and fragrance.
DUDES. Not only does it sound amazing and make a whole lotta fabulous claims, but it delivers. I actually wore it for about 5 days straight (before remembering I can’t afford to buy the full size right now and hence it must be conserved), and my skin looked awesome. Not just while wearing makeup, but overall it was improving the look of my skin! It’s all sorts of YES PLEASE and believe you me I will be shelling out for this when the sample vial is finished. I love that it helps my makeup wear better. I love that it doesn’t make me greasy and in fact helps to control oil while still giving me a fresh, healthy look. I love that it doesn’t irritate my fussy skin one iota. The only thing I don’t love is the price, but I can get over that. When you think about it like a two-in-one product, primer + treatment, the cost doesn’t seem so outrageous. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.
So, basically, the moral of the story is, you need to buy this kit. Or if not the set itself, you need to try each and every one of these products at some point, especially the Primer Serum. I can’t imagine anyone NOT being happy with the collection, and it just reinforces my belief that Hourglass might just be the best makeup brand EVER. Just sayin’.
What do you think of Hourglass? Would you be willing to shell out for a product that produces results, or do you have a $$ limit? What makeup brand do you think is worth the hype?
*Product was sent for my unbiased consideration.
Throughout my entire New Zealand trip*, I never purchased one cosmetic save for a mascara in the airport en route, so it was a nice end to my self-imposed purgatory to arrive home to three different holiday sets to play with. I was most excited to play with one of Illamasqua’s holiday Lip Twin Sets ($41CAD), which provide you with a matching gloss and lipstick to wear separately or together depending on your look that day. The set I received contained Obey, a pale peachy pink matte lipstick (reg. $29CAD), and Plentiful, a bright peachy pink gloss (reg. $27CAD).
*note: I’m fairly certain I’ve mentioned New Zealand in every single post since I got back – forgive me, I’m just hanging on to those memories for dear life!
The two shades are very close, albeit Obey is lighter, and compliment each other exceptionally.
On a pale complexion, or perhaps someone lighter with less pigmented lips, these shades would be quite pretty. They veer into nude territory without being dead-looking, and the effect would be very flattering. However, because the two lip products are so pigment-rich, the paleness of the colors in their opaqueness do not work well on me.
If blended out as I’ve done here, Plentiful is a nice peachy shade that makes me think of spring. With the makeup I have on in the photo, it actually works well as a more nude-natural lip. The gloss is fairly thick however, and must be applied carefully to avoid it looking milky and obvious (at least on me).
Obey, on the other hand, washes me out completely. If I had a smokey eye here, it *might* work ok, but I would have to sheer it out to be comfortable with the shade. As well, due to the somewhat chalky nature of the color, you MUST have your lips in perfect condition – otherwise flakes and other issues are entirely apparent. I had exfoliated and hydrated my lips for a good hour before trying this again, with the same patchy results. Again, I think if your lips are less pigmented than mine (and you hair a more fair complexion), you could wear this shade well. I don’t think it’s a total no-go, just a complete NO-NO for me.
On top of the general shade issues of Obey, I discovered that the Illamasqua lipsticks contain lanolin, another no-no for me. The gloss also contains linalool and limonene, two potentially irritating ingredients I try to avoid, and both the lipstick and gloss contain fragrance. Neither appear to contain parabens, however. Here is the ingredient lists for both products:
Overall, I love the idea of the twin sets and I think Plentiful would be a gorgeous shade on the right person. I withhold making a full judgement on Obey until I see it on someone with the ‘right’ skin/lip tone, but have my reservations. Even the lip swatches on the Illamasqua site don’t make it look all that appealing. However, if you’re interested in the twin sets, there is another available on the website with the shades Sangers and Succubus, a rich blood red duo (and much more up my alley!).
What do you think of the lip twin sets? Would you wear a matching gloss on top of your lipstick? What lip shades do NOT work on you and why?
Products were sent by PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
So it’s been a week since I’ve been returned from my New Zealand adventure, and I’m slowly (verrrrrry slowly) getting back into the swing of things. It’s quite an adjustment to go from an action-packed-always-on-the-go-surrounded-by-people-partying-every-night atmosphere, to being…back to work, home alone, same-old same-old. I’m not knocking my life by any means – I’ve got a warm, cozy condo; a good (though perhaps boring) job; and great friends – but it’s still quite a change to get re-established into. And I’m someone who really likes to have things to look forward to (which is why I’m planning my next adventure!).
ANYWAY. Enough whining, and on with the show, right? Right. Tonight, I opted get a bunch of ‘To Do’s’ done and make bread (because what’s more comforting than baking bread!?), but I want to show you what you can expect to see on the blog in the next week or two. I happily came home to a few surprise packages that had been sent my way, so despite the fact that I haven’t been buying much in the way of exciting cosmetics in the past couple months (though…I did pick up an eyeshadow this weekend ~guilty face~), I do have several holiday sets – four to be exact – to fill you in on!
Illamasqua Lip Twin Set*
Hourglass Best of Hourglass Collection*
Make Up For Ever All Eyes On You Set*
(Clockwise from left): HD High Definition Powder, Aqua Cream Waterproof Cream Color in #16 (Pink Beige), Smoky Lash Extra Black Mascara, Aqua Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner Pencils in 21L (dark grey) and 0L (mat black)
Benefit High Flyin’ Glosses Lip Gloss Set
I think that’s a pretty good start to the holidays, don’t you? I will tell you now, I am absolutely IN LOVE with the Hourglass No. 28 Primer Serum – it makes my skin look amazing on it’s own, improves it’s texture, doesn’t cause ANY breakouts or irritation (even on my normal-to-oily skin), and my makeup wears better and smoother with it on (though I will say, it doesn’t make it last all day long). I’m definitely buying a full-size when money isn’t so tight!
So – keep your eyes peeled! I spent the morning Sunday taking photos of everything, though I have to redo my lipgloss swatches as I had a bit of unnoticed flaking going on – yikes! I don’t want to scare you away just when I’ve gotten back! :) Also…..one (or even two!) of these sets just *might* be part of a giveaway coming soon to a blog near you – just sayin’.
What’s on everyone’s wish list for the holiday season, cosmetics-wise? Anything you’ve already picked up and are loving?
*Products marked with an * were provided to me for consideration of review by the PR company/brand.
As you know, I had H&M’s French Smoke on earlier this week, which actually was a great choice considering I had an interview at work today for a higher-up position – a nice, neutral silver. However, I was finding it infinitely boring so I layered a couple coats of CG’s Party Hearty over it :) MUUUCH better! So festive and cute. Let’s check it out (two coats over FS):
Totally fun, right? For a glitter it’s not too rough and bumpy, either (though I plan on adding a top coat regardless so it’s smooth and shiny). Its definitely helping a bit to boost my mood (that and a glass of red wine :). I had a French test this morning (gov’t classes) and then the interview in the afternoon, so I’m a little mentally beat out. I can’t wait for the holidays to officially start already! Although, once it starts that also means it’s over soon after, boo. Time is always moving too quickly these days – sometimes it feels like it’s not moving fast enough but we need to hold on to every moment and appreciate it! At least I try to…it’s definitely a challenge sometimes (c’mon payday!).
Christmas holidays in particular I make an effort to slow down and enjoy every day. All the holiday parties and events, and the music, and the movies (and the food! And the eggnog!!)…I really try and make it ‘the most wonderful time of the year.’ :D
What about you?
I’ve determined that if I want to get anything done after work, I have to do it before I settle down for the night in front of my PC, because as soon as I do that, I’m completely useless. I spend hours online looking at other beauty blogs, investigating what’s new and fabulous; and then I turn to MUA where I research countless products that I plan to buy. In fact, I blame MUA for all of it – before I found it, I didn’t spend much time on the computer at all, really. But once I fell ino it’s clutches, it was all over *though I wouldn’t have it any other way :)*
Tonight, I decided I wanted to buy a few treat items for the Holiday season. I haven’t bought much makeup recently – my last splurge was Urban Decay’s BoS III (NYC) and with 16 shadows to play with, I’ve been kept fairly occupied for the past couple months. I’ve been trying to use up any products I have that are almost finished, and turns out I’m actually running ‘low’ on lipgloss (as in, I have only about…5-6 which in beauty land, that’s almost sacrilege!). As such, I’ve decided its time to pick up a new one. Additionally, I want a product that’s going to give me some major *glow* for all the festive parties of the season. So, here are the options I’ve come up with (I LOVE the newer format on MUA where you can really get specific in your search!):
MAC Plum Foolery blush vs NARS The Multiple in South Beach
MAC Love Nectar lustreglass vs NARS Supervixen gloss
I know these are quite different but the reviews of these particular items were so positive, I felt they had to be all noted as contenders. I’ve put some feelers out there for potential swaps for the blushes and Love Nectar, so hopefully someone will take mercy and indulge me :)
Ohhhh it never ends!!
On Sunday evening, I did something that is pretty much the end-all for nail polish wearers – I smashed my thumb in my door, and yep – totally going to lose the nail. It’s all black and blue and hideous looking! And just before the holiday season no less…waaaaaaaaa! :'( I had so many plans for my nails this season, with my ever-growing polish stash. I had it all planned out – MAC Ming Blue, Zoya Valerie, then OPI YMomC with holo glitter topcoat to ease into the season, followed by ChG Peace on Earth getting closer to Christmas. ChG Ruby Pumps worn the night we go to see this years’ holiday show ‘The Wizard of Oz’ at the Neptune (so perfect!) and OPI Bring on the Bling thrown in for any holiday parties. Then of course, ChG Party Hearty on Christmas Eve/Day, and OPI Holiday Glow to wrap up the month. [Side note: If reading that makes me seem a) entirely crazy, and/or b) like I have nothing to do with my time, well…I promise it’s just mostly a) lol] In any case, it’s going to be interesting without a thumbnail. Total bummer. Any suggestions on how to handle my dilemma??
On a different note – the polishes mentioned are all absolutely FANTASTIC. I have to learn how to take swatch photos that look true to color, but in the meantime – yow! Valerie in particular has really won my heart. It’s so fabulous while still remaining feminine, which I can’t really say for the others (save Ruby Pumps). I highly recommend all of them!!