Friday, April 29, 2011

Testing out a new MAC Lipstick Formula...

Happy Friday.

I did not stay up late to watch the event of the year - The Royal Wedding. Like the other lazy people in the world, I watched the highlights this morning and browsed online. Kate Middleton looked as any other woman does on her wedding day - like a Princess!
(good luck you crazy kids!)
Photo source:
AP Associated Press

Okay moving on....I decided to press my luck with a MAC lipstick. As you know, I have super SENSITIVE lips and most MAC lipstick formulas do not play well with my lips. So far I have the best luck with the Lustre formula.

I decided to take the new Sheen Supreme formula for a trial spin. These replace the former Slimshine sheers. It applies very easily and it's looks exactly as it is described - pigmented as a lipstick with the sheen of a lipglass. I am just thankful it's not as sticky as a traditional lipglass!

I wanted to take a break from the corals and pink/nude beiges that I wear so often. I chose a deep, blue plum.

(Quite the Thing! on my NC42 arm)
 I get about 2 1/2-3 hours of wear time - pretty decent. I like the amount of pigment on my lips - if I want more of a color impact I plan on pairing this with MAC Beet Lip Pencil (bright reddish-pink). But for work, I like it as is on my lips:

It's nice and wakes my face up.

Especially when I pair it with NARS Desire (cotton candy pink) blush.

So the next morning, I am sad to report I experience some rawness. Fortunately, my lips were not peeling but it is a sign that I cannot wear this continuously. But I will keep this one on rotation.

My final assessment - I am planning on picking one up in nude beige color, naturally!

Retail - $14.50 USD

Picked up at Macy's, Daly City - my least favorite MAC counter. FYI - please work on your customer service skills!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Turning a Chanel Loss into a Big Win!

I don't own a whole lot of Chanel products probably because of the hefty price tag attached to it. Yes, I only have a handful of glosses, eye pencils and lipsticks. Sadly, I had to return the two Rouge Coco Shines I reviewed a few weeks ago because once the dust settled I realized I only wanted them because everyone seemed to be loving them. I should have learned from the heartbreak of trying to obtain a Limited Edition MAC piece - for the most part, it's hype. Okay, wait I am not saying a classic Chanel item is like a flashy MAC Limited Edition Mineralize Finish Powder. I am just reminding myself that I shouldn't always follow everyone else, especially if it's going to be part of a permanent collection. I didn't wasn't feeling the RCS because I didn't like how once the color fades it would settle in the crevices of my lips - not cute. Maybe I need to try a different color. Also, I have way too many orange/red and coral glosses - something I never thought I would say.

Okay so luckily I was able to redeem my Chanel loss with a current upgrade from the Summer 2011, Les Fleurs D'Ete Chanel - the Bronze Corail palette:

(Bronzing goodness!)

Yes, the one on the right. As you can see the tester has been a bit beat up but the color on this picture is better and is not as flat as this:

This picture reminds me of an Neopolitan Ice Cream Sandwich...mmm....Ice Cream Sammich! Seriously, the coral shade is lot more vibrant in person and there is a fine shimmer in this palette that Chanel does so well - it's lovely. It leaves a shimmer on my

Corail palette on my NC 42 forearm.

The pearly, peachy champagne highlight shade is a new favorite - it gives my tan skin a lovely glow. Especially when combined with my favorite liquid highlighter than is still on my shopping list:

Instead of showing you guys a picture of this traditionally on my cheeks, I want to share on how the top 3 shades of this palette looks on my eyes.

So first off  I used UD Primer Potion in Greed (gold shimmer)
Lid is the first shade of the palette - light golden brown shimmer stripe
Crease - third shade of palette - bronze chocolate with coral bits of shimmer stripe
Highlight - second shade - champagne stripe.

I finished with LM Caviar liner in Chestnut and lots of black mascara - Chanel Inimitable Intense.

Lips: LM Lip Glace in Ambre Rose
Face - LM Tinted Moisturizer, Caramel/ Chanel Bronze Corail Palette.

(I think I got it right this time - please ignore the bright light above my head)

For $50, I'd say I'm getting my money's worth and I'm becoming a better multi-tasker. I am sensing a new, unhealthy addiction to bronzers. This is what happens when you live in the fog!

Retail - $50 - I bought this at my local Nordstrom (SF).

Monday, April 25, 2011


Not that famous champagne and orange juice beverage you pound in the morning - pretty much the acceptable and fancy option to get wasted well before noon.

I tried out Chanel's latest polish offering, Mimosa - a bright, minimal shimmer, tweety bird kind of yellow. I was really skeptical because the only yellow polishes I am use to seeing are the 80's revival neon polishes. My Chanel M.A. - the delightful Ms. M has been calling me to let me know that this yellow will not disappoint me. She knows me so well and she knows I have a weakness for anything Chanel. So I made a point to make an appearance and play with the new Summer collection.

(Mimosa on NC 42 skin)

As you can see only Chanel can put out a chic Yellow polish that isn't Taxi neon yellow!

But if you closer you'll see that even after 3 coats there's major streaking.

(I apologize for the raggedy appearance of my cuticle)
 I do realize that I literally slapped this on at the counter but it gave me an indication that this is a high maintenance color. I would have to have a nail technician apply on me at my next manicure.

Lately, I have been trying to do my own polish to save some money and I guess buying a $25 nail polish really wouldn't help my cause either.

The Verdict:
A personal pass...pretty color, yes but not worth (my time and money). I say if you are a serious collector or want to really highlight tan or fair skin do pick this one up!

$25 at all Department Stores carrying the Chanel cosmetic line.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

How to IGNITE at work...

Taking full advantage of the VIB sale at Sephora, not only did I decide to load up on my favorites - another NARS blush and a multiple but purchasing brands I normally never buy, ie. Laura Mercier haul and today's lipstick - Illmasqua's Ignite.

Yet again I was influenced by the lovely Jen at My Funny Valentine. But I have yet to concoct my own skincare. Out of sheer laziness and the general fact that I really sucked in chemistry class I prefer to "ooh and ahhh" over her homemade beauty chemistry posts!

I really love orangey-reds on her, I think she's about two shades lighter than I am. But because I am still working the nerve to wear a full on orange lip - I have found away to make it more wearble at the office, aside from wearing a tangerine gloss.

(Tangerine-red on NC 42 skin)

I remembered the advice I got from a Burberry M.A. - "use your finger to pick up the color and just pat on your lip for a softer look". Well it worked very nicely! It gave me a soft, workable tangerine stain. The natural dark tint of my lips gave it a deeper color - me likey!

This lipstick is described as matte but it's anything but that. From my horrors of matte lipstick, drying and accentuating the flakiness on my lips, this goes on like a satin finish and dries down so comfortably. Then again I applied this on top of a lip balm for good measure.

I kept my makeup super simple - Rosegold (NARS Nepal) shadow on top of my my UD primer in Greed (sparkly gold) and lined with soft walnut brown liner - LM Caviar Eye Liner in Chestnut and lots of black mascara (Dior Extase).

And of course my favorite coral blush - NARS Gilda and a swipe of the Multiple in South Beach (rich bronze). Also used tinted moisturizer - LM Caramel.

I am loving this lipstick - thanks JEN!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Loving Laura Pt. 2, Electric Boogaloo

Sorry, I can never resist making an 80's break dancing movie reference when appropriate.

So next up at bat is Laura Mercier's Lip Glace (lip gloss). I bought this about 3 yrs ago in the shade Bellini (peach-coral) but because my hormones were trying to normalize after my pregnancy, this gloss made my lips itch and irritated. I am happy to report that my lips now welcome these glosses!

The shade I chose, Ambre Rose is described as a bronze, red-quartz. I love it because it's a lovely bronze shade that makes me think of Summer at the beach when I don't want a whole lot of makeup on my face.

Swatch on my NC 42 arm - sorry, for the dark lighting.

On my lips, in the bathroom lighting, it looks a bit red.

And in the sunlight, after 40mns of commuting. The color has started to set and you will see that it almost looks like I don't have anything on my lips. But it does give me that 'My Lips But Better' look. It has a nice amount of pigment when you first apply, but not as pigmented as a Dolce and Gabbana gloss, per se. This also is an indication that if you can get a solid hour of wear time out of this gloss, consider yourself lucky!

Not very long wear time, but I am just happy it doesn't irritate my lips. It also has a very strong candy like smell - think caramel/hazelnut/vanilla. It actually reminds me of a caramel latte. If that bothers you - stay away. On the lips, it feels a little thicker than a NARS (except the sticky sheers) but thinner than a MAC Lipglass. The shimmer is nice and not overwhelming. It also has the doe foot applicator and that's a plus for me.

My final assessment - I would probably pick up one more shade but I am not really running out to buy the entire collection. Not exactly a Fail for me. It is nice and I like the sweet scent but I still prefer NARS, Chanel and D&G glosses over these.

Retail price - $22/0.159 oz

For your viewing pleasure:
And yes I did see this in the theater (and it's predecessor, Breakin' the year before).

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Learning to love Laura

Laura Mercier that is. This brand has always been under my radar but I always get sidetracked by other French cosmetic lines: NARS, Chanel, Dior...

Lately, I have been paying more attention to this line - I love using the combination of the oil-free primer and the tinted moisturizer in Caramel. Therefore, I have added a few new things to my collection - THANK YOU SEPHORA V.I.B. sale!

Today I will focus on Black Karat from the Baked Eye Shadow collection:

Black Karat with NARS Shadow Stick in Aigle Noir

(L to R: Aigle Noir, Black Karat on NC 42 forearm)
 The color itself looks like a black with gold glitter at first glance but once you lay it out on your arm (like I did) you'll see it's more of a super dark brown with black woven into it and the gold is hard to not detect.

This is my kind of color for a one-pan smoky eye look!

You can use this dry or wet - depending on how intense you want this color to be:
Top - I swatched it wet using a MAC 266 brush
Bottom - Dry swatch using a MAC 239 brush

The gold is bolder when wet but the dark brown base seems to stay the same.

Either way, I like it!

I layered it on top of the Aigle Noir shadow stick. I then took my MAC 266 brush and applied Black Karat wet to my lower lash line. I applied MAC Arena to my browbone and finished with a couple of coats of Dior's Extase masacara.

Please also check out Gaia's reviews and pictures of Black Karat. She has better photos of this lovely shade. Her LM reviews are basically the reason I have been tiptoeing to that counter recently!

I will attempt to do a comparison between this shade and any MAC Mineral Shadows I may still own. I have lost a few in transit - one slip and it's a messy spill on your bathroom floor, sadly!

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Day That I Gained a Major Holiday Date For Life!

Today I am celebrating my three year anniversary with my husband. I couldn't be happier. He is my number fan, my rock, my supporter. When I think I just can't do it and I want to pull the plug on this crazy blog project of mine he is there to talk me out of it.

When I found out that I was pregnant, I was scared that he was going to run away. He took my hand and said, "WE'RE going to be okay"

At times I'm irrational, more times than others I am irritated beyond consoling but he is there to give me my space and when I finally let go of whatever it was that robbed me of my energy he rubs my back or gives me a hug letting me know it's okay. I can be a difficult woman, I won't lie. I am lucky that he is man enough to be patient and he loves me just the way I am.

He is the best husband and father I could have asked for - he gets the job done. He will change a smelly diaper without any complaints. He has cleaned the crib mattress our daughter got sick on many times at 12 or 1AM.

He is a true partner.

I once thought I was the unmarrying kind. Not that I didn't believe in the union, I was just paranoid of being with a man that would philander or leave me - it's what I am use to seeing in my family. I was skeptical and everytime I gave my heart to a man, my timing was off or bad things happened. I guess I accepted the fate that I wasn't deserving of that kind of pure love.

I am glad that I was wrong.

(April 18, 2008)
 At SF City Hall. I have to mention that I was also 7 months pregnant in this photo.I like telling our daughter that she was there at the wedding too.

This is my other favorite photo from that day:

A quiet moment of pure happiness - I found my partner for life.

If we did have a traditional wedding, we would have danced to this song:

Back to writing about eye shadow and lipstick tomorrow!

I'm also lucky that he's planning to build a makeup storage unit for me since we don't have room in our bedroom for a vanity table.

Friday, April 15, 2011

What's at the Bottom of My Makeup Pouch?

In attempt to utilize all the beauty loot I have, I developed a new game - "What's at the bottom of my makeup pouch?"

In all honesty, I have one large pouch filled with lipsticks, another large bag filled with blushes, one filled w/glosses, one for shadows, a makeup case filled with more shadows and random samples - you get the point.

I HAVE A LOT OF MAKEUP! I know, I get it!

This is not a self-imposed ban or intervention, just an exercise to get me to use more of what I already have. So I picked this lipstick this morning and I forgot how much I like it. And it sets the tone for a Spring look.

MAC's Syrup - described as a cloudy, pink.

I paired it with MAC's Plum lip pencil (reddish plum) and Plushglass in Ample Pink (full soft rose)

L to R:
MAC Plum Lip Pencil
Syrup - Lustre Finish Lipstick
MAC Plushglass - Ample pink (sheer soft rose)

I am still going strong with the plummy shades. Instead of the red plum of Burberry's Prune - I am going with a pinkish plum with today's lip look.

(NC 42 for reference)

I have been doing my lips first lately to help inspire the rest of the colors for my face. You ever build a whole outfit just based on a pair of shoes?

Yeah, this is kind of like that idea.

I wanted a fresh eye so instead of a black liquid line - I went with a blue, MAC's Superslick Liquid Eye Liner in Signature Blue. And I kept the rest of the lid pretty neutral with MAC PP in Groundwork on the entire lid to browbone, the hazelnut/gold shade of NARS Hula Hula layered on top of lid (only) and Burberry's Rosewood in the crease. Then followed with lots of layers of Dior Extase black mascara.

Face - LM Tinted Moisturizer (caramel)with a drop of NARS Copacabana Illuminator mixed together (my new favorite way to wear this illuminator). Edward Bess bronzer (Daydream) and a touch of NARS Cream Blush (lokoum).

This should have taken me no longer than 10mns but I was finding a whole bunch of stuff I haven't used in a while. I really need to take an inventory of what I own.

Final Assessment - an itemized list isn't that crazy of an idea if it will help me see what I own.

Happy Friday....FYI

Sephora's VIB discount sale starts today (4/15-4/21)...
Online code: CHICWEEK.
15% off all orders and in stores with a coupon. Sorry, I don't have link to instore coupon.

Yeah just what I need - more makeup.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Burberry Prune

I realize this is not a new color from the Burberry Cosmetic line but from all the peach and orangey-red lipsticks/glosses I have been testing I am now craving to wear something with a bit more of a backbone - deep but not vampy dark or bright for the office.

I went with a classic shade from a forgotten tube found at the bottom of my lipstick pouch.

(NC 42)
Burberry Prune No. 14 Lip Cover (red-plum shade).

I apologize for the sloppy looking lip swatch. I had to use my right hand swiping this on my left wrist. It's hard to do when your a lefty.

As you can see it's pretty opaque. Although, this is a pretty heavy swatch. This lasts about 3 on me - about the time I will reapply because I feel like my lips are dry. This does not dry your lips. Once it settles it does feel comfortable and you are left with a pretty red wine like stain. Since I am regular gloss girl, I am use to a glossy feel on my lips. Also, this does not settle in the lines of my lips like most sheers do (ROUGE COCO SHINE, sadly). It has a light scent that makes me think of a luxurious skin cream. It's pleasant and doesn't linger too long. I also don't need to tell you how cool the packaging is, either.

This color may turn more red - depending on your own individual skin tone but on me it pulls a lovely red plum shade. But if I apply heavier it becomes raisin.

My final assessment - NEED to add more shades to my collection. I only own this and universally flattering Rosewood.

(yes, I am wearing my bathrobe in this pic)

Retail - $30 USD at Nordstrom or online.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

EOTD - Olive Smoky Eye

It was another morning where I just didn't want to be bothered with a complicated, intensely blended look that needed 5 different shadows and included 3 different textures. Yes, I have been lazy lately. I guess I'm already in Summer mode and yes, it's still April.

Well I took these three shades and tried to make the best of it. So here's my smoky olive eye look:

and this is what I used:

(NC 42 forearm)
 L to R:
MAC Rubenesque Paint Pot - peach gold cream shadow (lid)
MAC Sumptuous Olive - khaki w/pearl (lid)
MAC Soba - light golden brown shimmer
UD 24/7 Eyeliner - Stash - Drk Green/Gold (top lashline/smudged bottom)

I apologize for my lack of enthusiasm but at least I'm trying. For a Tuesday morning, it sure feels like a Monday.

Maybe this will cheer me up:

A fan video of one of my new favorite bands: The Ettes
Crown of Age

If anything I am now pumped to meet with my trainer at the gym this afternoon!

Monday, April 11, 2011

7 Minute Face

I really tried to challenge myself to do my entire face in 5 minutes. Unless I just came from the gym locker room on a Saturday, I don't see this happening on a regular work day morning.

I did get really close, I accomplished it in 7 minutes.

Here is what I used:

LM Oil Free Primer
LM Tinted Moisturizer mixed with a drop of NARS Copocabana Illuminator for a bit of radiance
NARS (Coral) Gilda blush

MAC Espresso shadow/#266 brush for brows
Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner - Birthday Suit
UD 24/7 Eyeliner - Underground (smudged with MAC #219 pencil brush - lower lash line only)
Dior Extase mascara

Rouge Coco Shine - Rebelle (orange/red)

Not too bad:

After looking at this picture, I realized I could stand use some under eye concealor.

But that would have pushed me to the 8 minute mark!

What's the fastest time you can get your entire face ready? Aside from walking outside bare faced!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Rebelle and Sari D'Eau Rouge Coco Lipshines - First Glance...

A couple of weeks ago I swatched a few of my picks for the new Rouge Coco Shine lipsticks - a very hydrating, sheer lipshine. April 6th was the official launch date (here in the States) and of course I picked up two tubes that I knew was going to look good with my skin tone. I tried the Aqualumiere formula (it's predecessor) and it actually made my lips raw and itchy after each use so I had a slight hesitation trying this lipstick.

So far I'm pretty happy.

(Top Sari D'Eau - Bottom Rebelle - NC 42 in Natural Sunlight)
 Here's a few pics to compare the size of the regular sized Rouge Coco vs. the new lipshines:

(RCS Left - Regular RC Right)

(L to R: Sari D'Eau, Rebelle)

Sari D'Eau

Sari D'Eau is a lovely orangey-coral shimmer that I can't wait to wear with a heavy black lined eye and I love it paired with my NARS Gilda (coral) blush. This will also pair well with gold/bronze shadows.

A lovely red with an orange backbone. Again, I will wear this with a black lined eye and instead of a coral blush I will probably lean toward a more red blush (MAC Movie Star Red CCB) or a raspberry with a gold shimmer (NARS Lokoum cream blush). I am also curious to see how this would look layered on top of MAC's Redd liner (orangey red).

Again I have high hopes. Initially, it goes on with lots of slip - pretty sheer. You need at least two layers on its own and do use a liner if you want more of an impact. It does feel pretty hydrating - tested it at the mall while taking my daughter to take a picture with the Easter bunny. I had it on for at least 3hrs and it felt very comfortable on my lips even after it set and dried. I didn't get a chance to see how much pigment was left so I can't comment on color wear time.

I will be back with a follow up after I spend a few days with each color. Who knows, I may even pick up another tube by then!

Retail - $32 USD

Bonus Picture:

(Apparently she was more interested in her movie, "Tangled" than sitting next to a guy in a bunny suit!)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Gold Dust Woman

Traditional Summers here in SF is a bit of a joke. The morning can start anywhere from 60-65 degrees...afternoon can climb to 68-70 degrees and when I'm ready to leave the office to catch that last hours of the Summer sun the weather is back to 60 degreees! Yes, it is annoying but us locals have mastered the art of layering.

If I want the feeling of eternal sunshine in my heart I turn to this lady:

(I would wear those peep toe clog heels now!)
  Ms. Stephanie Lynn "Stevie" Nicks

She grew up in Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and yes, the San Francisco Bay Area. As much as I do appreciate the group Fleetwood Mac, I have to tell you honestly my favorite tracks are the ones that Stevie sings lead on. She takes you on a journey and her voice can just haunt you. I am also a fan of her solo work.

Yes, I am still trying to pretend that Lindsay Lohan never remade, "Edge of Seventeen" and I'm trying to forget the duet she sang with Taylor Swift on last year's Grammys - "Rhiannon"

I really love this 70's Southern California Bohemian look. It's like she was hanging out at the beach in bare feet during the day and then slips on a pair of sexy cognac leather platform sandals and goes to a party or dinner. She is even featured as a style reference in The Lucky Guide to Mastering Any Style (2008)

Here are just a few accessories I'm craving to help me nourish my inner-Stevie.

(Frye - Fran Wood T-strap $228/USD)

(Hive and Honey Brass Bracelet stack - $32)

(Kenneth Cole New York - $45)
I think my love of Turquoise came from playing with my mother's jewelry. I lost one of her rings from the early 70's and yes, she's still pissed at me.

My sisters and I all have our favorite Fleetwood Mac songs that feature Stevie singing lead:

For my sister Tatiana:

For my sister Kim:

As for myself - I will always have these two songs on continous rotation:

Edge of Seventeen

I now have an urge to twirl around in a white silk cape. I'm sure it'll go well here in the office!

Bonus clip:

Jack Black and Joan Cusak in School of Rock.