Wednesday, March 28, 2012

LAVANILA: The Healthy Deodorant

This week on, I review an all natural product to keep you feeling fresh and smelling good through some trying times!

LAVANILA: The Healthy Deodorant

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Weekend Fun

I had one of my favorite married couple pals over yesterday for a brunch. These two have known me for over 20yrs...truly scary because they can dish out serious dirt on me and it also means we're old! I made a wild mushroom fritatta, Mr. Lex fried a pound of bacon and we served endless mimosas. The last time I got together with these two we had a 8hr brunch. I told them this time it probably won't be eight hours because now I've got a little girl and unfortunately it wasn't eight hours.

It was close to NINE! They came over a little after noon and did not leave until almost 9. That's okay because it was raining, I love their company, it rained most of the day and they brought me a bottle of my favorite bourbon - how could I kick anyone out for that? Unfortunately I forgot to take a pick of how our day started but I can show you how it ended:

As for the Doritto taco  from Taco Bell, just like the McRib from McDonald's, it was anti-climatic. But then again it's from Taco Bell. I think I would have just enjoyed this better if my doritto flavored taco shell wasn't so stale. Well at least I can now go on with my life knowing I tried this thing.

I'm also making great use of my little cocktail making book my husband picked up for me from a bargain bin. I used the bourbon (Bulleit) in an afternoon cocktail:

It's an Old Fashioned: Bourbon, sugar cube mashed in bitters and water and four cubes of ice. It knocked me on my ass. A sip of this and I immediately aged forty-five years.

Well I guess I needed a "grandpa" beverage to go with my cardigan.

I hope you are all enjoying your weekend!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Nordstrom Triple Points Weekend

Hey Nordstrom card holding fans, you knew what last weekend was, right? For those of you that don't know what the hell I'm talking about it was triple points weekend for Nordstrom card holders. Meaning that for every item purchased you not only earned one point per dollar spent - you earned 3pt per dollar! When you collect 2000 points you earn a Nordstrom note, $20 coupon off your next purchase.

So what did I buy? My purchases were pretty modest but they were items on my radar list:

From the top, a pair of classic cat eye tortoiseshell framed sunglasses by Kate Spade. I love Kate Spade shades - my other favorite pair of shades I own are my Kate Spade aviators. Also, my shades need some updating.

The bright fuchsia gloss is of course part of the recent Roses Ultimes de Chanel Glossimer/Nail collection. I love this gloss and I will post a look soon. And of course, my shadow collection is not complete without this very classic and one size fits all taupe shimmer, Safari. Such a beautiful nude on my eye that I'm kicking myself for not buying it years sooner. Also, I heard a nasty rumor that this is being discontinued - I hope the counter manager was wrong. Luckily, I snagged the last one she had.

My plan is to be responsible and pay off my bill before the next points event happens - I better check their calendar to get ready. Another great thing being about their fashion rewards program? On a day you  know you'll be making that huge purchase, you can arrange for a triple points day (you are only allowed one day).

Also, I am told that another HUGE NARS event will occur at the Westfield Nordstrom, downtown SF.

You know I have to be ready for that one!!

What did you guys score??

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Making Peace with a Former Enemy...

Once upon a time, I loved lipstick - just adored it. I laughed at lip gloss, I thought I was too much of a lady to bother with glossy, juvenile lips. I also thought I was too cool and too much of a badass to be bothered with reapplying every hour, like you would need to with lip gloss. My favorite formula was something with a touch of slip, like a satin finish, but I was mad for MATTE lips. Yup, that's right the drier the better I thought. It was until I embraced gloss and all things moisturizing on my lips I said goodbye to matte. Plus, matte formulas was really doing a number on my lips.

Peeling lips + matte formula = lips that are just not cute to look at!

Many years pass by and I made my way with many glosses. I think I just started to get bored with glosses so I then ventured into the lipstick/gloss hybrids, the lip cremes. But even that started to lose my interest.

I ventured back to lipsticks because I was craving a more intense pigment versus color shock and gloss factor. I was also curious about current matte formulas. If technology is moving at warped speed, then surely the matte lipstick has to have improved just a little since we last met (more than ten years ago).

Glad to say it has and I discovered it in one of my go-to cosmetic brands: NARS.

As you can see, I'm starting a small collection consisting of the Velvet Matte Lip Pencils and the slim Pure Matte Lipstick. Both of these items are unscented.

1. Montego Bay - soft pink
2. Valparaiso - raspberry
3. Cruella - scarlet red
4. Bahama - neutral pink brown
5. Train Bleu - deep aubergine

The Pure Matte Lipstick ($25/USD) wild mango butter to prevent dryness and peeling (two things my lips know very well), enriched with anti-oxidant properties: Vitamin C and acai oil . This is long wearing as mattes are and when it does settle it is not uncomfortable. Gloss is optional and I love them either way.

The Velvet Matte Lip Pencils are like oversized lip liners. NARS encourages the users to layer this with other lipsticks and glosses. I personally like to wear this on it's own, especially if I'm wearing the intense red, Cruella. But I do often reach for a gloss to top off Bahama or Train Bleu (this one especially is dark and needs a gloss to tone down the color). There are sixteen shades offered and yes, I would like to add more to my collection.

For Cruella, click here.
For a look at Train Bleu, click here.
And for Bahama, click here.

I am glad that I let go of my stubborn notion of what I thought matte is and gave these a shot. I now want to try out other matte lipsticks from other brands that I have had great luck with, like Chanel.

Here's another look at the Pure Matte Lipsticks:

I like that Montego Bay look like a soft pink in the case but on my skintone (NC42) it has a bit of a peach tone to it. Valparaiso (part of the Spring/Summer collection) is a bit more on the red side than it is pink. I really love these colors and the formula enough to look at more of the colors that are offered (twelve shades). 

Another reason why I am getting back into pigment saturated pouts? I am a huge fan of this beautiful and fashionable woman: Peony Lim. Her hair also one of the reasons I am darkening my hair back to one solid color again. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Guest Post for - March 13, 2012

Happy Tuesday,
I try my hand at translating a runway look from NARS for Rodarte's Fall 2012 collection.

M.I.S.S. Beauty: Runway the Reality – Rodarte FALL 2012

Yes, if you are bronzer happy like me then this is a look for you!

What are some of the runway beauty looks you are loving?

Monday, March 5, 2012

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer

Yes, I love tinted moisturizer. The first one I used was twelve years ago and it was from Stila. It was adequate but when the brand took a different turn I lost complete interest. Then came the infamous Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer/Face Primer combo. It was love! But I think the love was more for the face primer. The tinted moisturizer was fine - had built in SPF 20 and didn't make me break out but the color was somewhat off and it made my forehead ashy. I would apply this everywhere except my forehead. I would just slather on extra SPF and applied bronzer at my hairline.

It wasn't really a loss since I found my recent favorite foundation, Chanel Perfection Lumiere. But on days (weekend) that I want less coverage even that lightweight foundation feels a bit much. I am so thankful I was given a sample of the latest NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer.

Image provide by
I love this stuff. I was sad that my sample was gone in a week. Why do I love it? Well it has a built in SPF 30/PA +++ and still provides enough coverage without making my face feel cakey. It absorbs quickly and my skin feel comfortable. This moisturizer also claims to help reduce the appearance of discoloration and dark spots in just four weeks. I guess, time will tell as I'm only on week two and I haven't noticed anything different about my complexion just yet.

Kopara from French Polynesia (flat, gelatinous sediment found on the bottom of shallow lakes located on the  rims of the French Polynesian atolls) hydrates and improves skin's texture while mineral rich sea water revives and smoothes the complexion promoting a natural, brighter tone of the skin. This is also synthetic fragrance free but I keep thinking I smell a very light skincare type of scent. It does fade pretty quickly.

Honestly, I just love the color. Here's a color comparison:

Left - NARS Annapurna
Right - LM Caramel

Annapurna is medium with a peachy tone while Caramel is a light tan and best suitable for olive complexions. I do not have an olive complexion but for some reason I always thought I did. The peach undertone is suitable for my yellow undertones. Plus, my oil-free LM tinted moisturizer only contained SPF 20.

Even though this is a multi-tasking tinted moisturizer, it is recommended to use a primer beforehand to make sure this formula lasts the entire day. There are nine shades in this collection and I'm still shocked that I found a suitable color. Some brands offer more color options and I still had a hard time finding a perfect skin match.

So like I said time will tell if this moisturizer lives up to the claim but till then, I'm just happy that I eliminated my SPF step in the mornings and I can actually apply this to my forehead without worrying about my forehead looking gray!

This was purchased by yours truly at my local Nordstrom counter, $42/USD (price is also comparable to LM tinted moisturizers).