Monday, May 30, 2011

A Beauty Confession





 Today, while I was writing out my confessions for the Friday Confessional post of Modesty Brown's blog, I got to thinking about my makeup and beauty past.  I though of many things I could have included, but decided not to make that post a ridiculously long one and just share some of my confessions here. 

I'm fairly sure I have already told you all about how I used to carry around a mini toolbox full of different flavored lip smackers when I was very young.   However, I didn't even tell you about where my love of making over others began. 

I have always been rather good at doing my own makeup, considering I was a dancer for 12 years.  I taught myself how to apply false lashes to myself by the age of 11 because of a little incident where my mother glued my eye shut before a dance competition (eyelash glue isn't that strong so I easily pulled my eye open again, it was just an uncomfortable event).  Well, I have a younger brother, 7 years younger than I am.  He always wanted to be included in the fun when I had friends over, so one day, we got a bit creative with him.  We decided to turn Andrew into Andrea. (At this point I'm hoping my brother does not read my blog because he will most certainly kill me for posting about this.. o well :)  ) 

Andrea always got a fabulous makeup job.  He was only about 4, so it wasn't too hard to turn him into a girl.  I also owned several hair pieces from dance which we would put on him.  The look would be finished off by putting him in a skirt and stuffing tennis balls in his shirt.  Then, and this is where it gets really evil, we would make him "model" while we took pictures.  Now, I know everyone is dying to see a picture here, and I must admit, they are hilarious.  However, I am saving them for his future fiance.  All I can say is, once when we got them developed, my mother asked who the little girl was, not recognizing it as her own son. 

Now that you all think I'm about the meanest sister ever, do you have any similar beauty "sins" to share? 


*My Friday Confessional will be featured on Modesty Brown on June 17, but I will be sure to let you all know when it is up.
image from shutterstock.com

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday Stuff You Can't Have

Today I bring you Estee Lauder Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick in Extravagant Berry from Holiday 2010.  This lipstick has crazy gorgeous gold sparkle on the outside of the bullet.
The gold sparkle is part of what attracted me to this lipstick because I really can't think of any other reason.  I'm not usually an Estee Lauder fan and I usually avoid there stuff.  The foundations break me out and I find the skincare to be too harsh.  But, this lipstick was pretty and I was able to swap for it. 
The color does not disappoint, gorgeous, saturated, vampy reddish berry.  It looked oh so sexy on the lips for about 5 minutes, which was the time it took to suck the moisture out of my lips.  Now, granted, I have extremely sensitive and dry lips.  My favorite lipstick formulas are Paul & Joe, Chantecaille lip chic and hydrachic, and Laura Mercier Stick Gloss. 

Do I think you could still get your hands on this lipstick if you wanted to?  I'm sure you could find it with some searching. 

On other notes, I took my mom to see Danielle at the Le Metier de Beaute counter in my Neiman Marcus.  We both got our makeup done, mine was using the lovely Penelope Kaleidoscope, which made my eyes look huge.  I wasn't really paying attention during my mom's (I know bad beauty blogger), but I was getting a facial at the Bulgari counter (seriously, their skincare is amazing and smells so good).  I also forgot my camera, so I couldn't take pictures of how gorgeous we left looking.  My mom picked up the lash growth serum and the liquid liner pen in aqua.  She also took home a sample of the Peau Vierge treatment.  I'm still fighting the good fight to convince her that it's ok to spend money on good skincare and base makeup products. 

Did anyone else do anything fun or are still planning fun things this weekend?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Pangea Organics Lip Balm

I have been receiving my Birchbox since February now and I am loving it.  Each month, I receive around 5 deluxe samples of products for hair, skin, and body.  Such samples include brands such as Nars, Ahava and Pangea Organics.

About 2 months ago, I received a full sized Pangea Organics Lip balm in Italian Red Mandarin with Rose.  There are 2 other flavors, Egyptian Fennel Grapefruit & Sweet Orange and Pyrenees Lavender w/ Cardamom.


Let's just say I am picky about lip balm.  I hate when they are waxy (lookin at you Burts Bees).  I have found many too be kind of drying (chapstick, you suck).  I have been using CO Bigelow lipgloss in a very thin layer to moisturize my lips, which isn't particularly ideal.  That was until this lip balm.

I love it.  It isn't waxy.  It doesn't feel thick.  It actually moisturizes my lips.  It's not sticky or slippery.  Granted, it doesn't have SPF, but I can deal.  I keep this baby by my bed to slick on when ever I'm in there.  The smell is awesome.  It's a subtle citrus scent that's a bit floral.  I have on good word (@bellebellebeau on twitter) that the lavender is an awesome scent as well.  These retail for $12 which is pricier for a lip balm but certainly not breaking the bank.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Le Metier de Beaute's New "Ken's Korals" Collection Available

I was browsing the Neiman Marcus website to see what was new and exciting when I happened upon the LMdB special summer collection called Ken's Korals which includes a, hold on to your seats here people, LARGER SIZED!!!! nail polish and a lipstick, both in a vibrant coral/red color. 
Here is the Neimanmarcus.com photo of the polish.  They do not report the size difference, but the wonderful person behind the Metierbeaute twitter account confirmed for me that it is larger.  This retails for $18.


Here is the Neimanmarcus.com photo of the lipstick.  A lovely complementary red/coral.  It retails for $32.

Will you be picking up either piece of this collection?  I will have to see them in person to decide, but I love a good coral polish.

Chantecaille Compact Soleil in Capri

Now that its about to be summer and I am still ghastly pale (thanks to me finally finding a sunscreen that works for me), I needed a new bronzer.  Previously, I only had Giorgio Armani's bronzer in shade 1, which I love, but it is quite shimmery which I would like to avoid when I am breaking out.  Enter the Chantecaille Compact Soleil here.  Chantecaille is known for making beautiful, subtle makeup that enhances your natural beauty. 

The compact soleil is touted as having ginko biloba and wild rose to heal and protect skin.  The powder is very silky, typical of Chantecaille.  It blends seamlessly and is a dream to apply, even with my lack of good bronzer brush.  I have been using the Sonia Kashuk duo fiber to apply it. 


The color of Capri, the shade I picked up, is a peachy brown shade which really complements my warm, pale (wah) skin.  I can't find any shimmer in it, it just imparts a nice glow. 

The packaging is the traditional Chantecaille shiny silver saucer shaped pan without a brush.  It is a quite large pan which I think will take some time for me to get through. 

Compact soleil comes 3 shades, Capri, Tahiti and a new shade, St. Barth's.  I haven't swatched the other bronzer shades in person, so I can't really comment on the differences. 

Overall, I am very happy with my purchase of Compact soleil in capri.  The color is naturally enhancing and makes me look tanned and healthy. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Le Metier de Beaute Classic-Flawless Finish Liquid Foundation

Le Metier de Beaute's cult base product would definitely be the Peau Vierge Tinted treatment product which means the foundation has been pushed to the wayside.  As much as I would love to be able to just wear PV, I just need a little more coverage for my blemishes and scarring.  The Classic-Flawless Finish Liquid Foundation is a much better choice for me. 
According to the Neiman Marcus website:
"This Lightweight, light diffusing, creamy formula evens out skintone and imperfections for a luminous, natural look" 
It is touted for being hydrating, lasting all day, and containing vitamins A&E.  It also contains spf 8 (ok I'll admit, spf 8 is really not very impressive.  I wouldn't rely on this to be your only sun protection)

I got matched to shade 3 which is one of their lighter shades.  The range contains 12 shades which go quite dark and have an amazing ability to adjust to your skin.  When I first saw 3, I thought Danielle was crazy and that it wouldn't match but amazingly it blends right in. 
Here it is wet, looking quite pale (take into account this is swatched on my inner arm which basically never sees the sun so is lighter than my face). I have a picture of what color it dries, but you will have to keep reading to see it. (Muahahahaha).

As far as texture goes, it is quite liquidy and really easy to blend in.  Coverage is medium and buildable.  It gives me a nice base but I still need concealer to cover up some of the darker scarring (and my dark circles which have been getting increasingly darker, if anyone knows of a good eye cream for this, please let me know!).  I love the hydration factor.  I think this has helped to even out my combo skin. 

My only qualm with this is something I have a difficult time setting it.  It definitely doesn't get along with my Laura Mercier setting powder, which leaves me looking a bit cakey.  O well, I guess I will have to try the LMdB setting powder :)


O yes, you wanted to see the picture of how the foundation dries? Ok fine, here you go.
See, it dries much darker.  I would definitely recommend getting color matched at a counter or trying to get your hands on a sample before buying. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday Stuff You Can't Have

Chanel Luna Joues Contraste.  From some preliminary research, it seems this, ok I'll admit it, quite strange, highlighter/ blush powder was released as limited edition in Spring 2008.  I acquired it in a swap (yay), and I must say, haven't quite used it much.  I mean, it's a shimmery white powder, which usually screams "run away before you end up looking like a 90s disaster!"  However, when I have used this, it imparts a really nice ethereal glow with a barely there shimmer.  It's not at all garish or super obvious.
This is a really heavy swatch.  With a small blender brush or a fan brush, it is much less harsh.  The powder is very fine and silky, easily picked up by any kind of brush.  Would I have bought this during its initial release, no, probably now.  Am I happy I received it in a swap?  Sure, it is a nice product to have around.

Also, in conjunction with the Sunday post, I am going to include one random question in hopes of getting to know the readers better.
What is your favorite tea? 
 Mine is Sleepytime, nothing can beat this classic for me.  Although, I am quite a fan of both Starbucks and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf's holiday teas.  I purchase 2 tins of each when the holidays roll around. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Becca Eyeshadow in Shantung

I'm back! I have finished finals (only 1 more semester until I graduate!!), and I am ready to get back to reviewing and showing you all the pretties.
Shantung is a heavily pigmented, shimmery bronze brown color.  Becca has amazing products and the eyeshadows are no exception.  It blends amazingly and lasts very well, for me.  I added that little part at the end because I have pretty oily eyelids so I require a primer with all eyeshadows.

In my opinion, the only downside is that the pan is kind of tiny.  Overall, definitely a must have for neutral lovers like me.

This product can be purchased here.  Note: this is an affiliate link. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Le Metier de Beaute Sheer Brilliance Lip Gloss

First, I showed you Le Metier de Beaute eyeshadows and pen liners, then I showed you their lipsticks, next you saw their creme glosses and now, I bring you...

Sheer Brilliance lip gloss! Le Metier de Beaute sheer brilliance glosses, as their name suggests, are sheer and shimmery.  I own one, Cannes, and it is highly used in my collection.  They make excellent lipstick toppers but are also gorgeous on their own.  If you are looking for a highly pigmented gloss, I would pick up on the creme glosses, but if you just want something fun, sparkly, non-sticky and which leaves your lips in better condition than they started, look no further.


L-R: Maui, Uma Paro, Bondi Beach, Ibiza, Monaco, Cannes, Cap d' Antibes, Dubai, Bali, La Belle, Captiva, Summerland
Just like with the other swatches, make sure to click on the other pictures to see the colors better.  It was a cloudy day when I took these pictures so they are not as sparkly as I would like.
Heres a little bit closer. 

L-R: Maui, Uma Paro, Bondi beach, Ibiza, Monaco, Cannes, Cap d'Antibes, Dubai, Bali, La Belle, Captiva
L-R: Ibiza, Monaco, Cannes, Cap d'Antibes, Dubai, Bali, La Belle, Captiva, Summerland

Aren't they fabulous?? Which ones are you going to pick up?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Stuff You Can't Have

Today you can't have Chantecaille's Promenade in Prague palette.  Its a beauty with lovely smoky neutrals and a blue/purple accent.  It also includes the most gorgeously glowy peach blush ever made, winter bloom.
Here are the colors with the overlay to show their names.  I'm fairly certain they are all permanent colors.  And just because its so gorgeous, here are some more :)

Hope you all have wonderful Sundays (or at least better than mine because I'm in the middle of finals...boo)

Friday, May 13, 2011

My Skincare Routine

Since I have finally found a skincare routine I am happy with, I have decided to final post about it for you guys.  My skin is still not where I want it to be, I'm struggling with quite a few acne scars now that my acne is down to a minimum, but I'm always very hesitant to add new products to my routine as my skin is very sensitive. On that note, it is also combination, normal, meaning i have a bit of oilyness in the t-zone area but not a lot and the rest of my face is normal, not dry or oily.  I am very sensitive thanks to a bout of retin-a a few years ago (before you go preaching to me about how to use retin-a properly, I was closely followed by a derm and I did use it in the correct way).  I am also highly acne prone and break out from consumption of dairy products (I'm lactose-intollerant).

And now, on to my routine.

AM:
In the morning, I cleanse my face with the Shu Uemura anti-oxidant cleansing oil.  Then, I apply Chantecaille vital essence with arbutin which is supposed to help with hyperpigmentation (I'm looking at you acne scars), but to be honest, I haven't seen much of a difference with the addition of the arbutin (I used the regular version before).  I did notice that my face is more balanced with this product though.  Next, I use clindamyacin phosphate lotion, which is a prescription from my derm for my acne.  It is very mild and gentle and I actually find it to be hydrating enough that I do not need an extra moisturizer in the day time.  (Not pictured)  Lastly, I used the Josie Maran Daily Sun Protection Argan Oil Infused spf 40+, phew, that is a mouth full.  This is the only sunscreen I have found that doesn't break me out or make me feel like my face is on fire (I'm very sensitive to chemical sunscreen ingredients.  This sunscreen uses titanium dioxide and zinc oxide as its sunscreen ingredients, both physical blockers.  If needed, I spot treat with the DDF benzoyl peroxide gel.

PM:
Just like the morning, I cleanse with the Shu Uemura oil.  This stuff is amazing for removing all my makeup but is great for sensitive skin.  I follow that with my Acanya gel, which is also a prescription for acne that contains benzoyl peroxide and clindamyacin.  I follow that with the Desert Essences Jojoba oil patted into my face.  I use eye cream but its usually just what ever sample I happen to have at the moment, so nothing in particular.  Also, twice a week I use the Bulgari radiance facial exfoliator.  I also use masks at least once a week. One of my favorites is Origins Out of Trouble masks.  I have several masks that I used to like by dry to be hard which I am finding to be especially aggravating to my skin lately, so I have repurposed them to overnight spot treatments.


I also have a clarisonic which I use at least once a week, usually at night with my Shu oil.  I also own a tria acne treatment light which i use over active spots whenever time permits (it is a pretty time consuming device).

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments or email me.  Also, let me know your favorite mask as I am in the market for a new one :)


Shu Uemura Gloss Unlimited

The best thing about ordering Shu Uemura online (which is the only way you can get it anymore in the US) is that you get samples with each order.  Since I have placed 2 orders with Shu, I have gotten 2 smaller sized gloss unlimiteds, WN283s and PK333s.
For sample sizes, these glosses are rather generous!  The one of the left is PK333s and WN283s is on the right. These glosses are lovely, really moisturizing.  They last a while but they are a bit sticky.  WN is pretty darn pigmented mauve with gold shimmer.  PK is a more sheer pink with lots of silver shimmer shot through.
PK is on the bottom and WN is on the top.  Sorry the quality of these swatches are sub par.  Here is another one to show the shimmer.
Look at the sparkle in those! They are so fun and gorgeous! I am so sad Shu is not in the US anymore.  they really do have alot of quality products.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Le Metier de Beaute Lip Creme Lip Gloss Swatches

And the moment you have all been waiting for....

Lip Cremes!!!  Lip cremes were the most highly asked for to be swatched from the Le Metier de Beaute line, and for good reason.  They are excellent! And this is coming from a lip gloss fanatic...just look at the title of my blog.  Lip cremes are kind of a hybrid between a lipstick and a lipgloss.  They aren't sticky and they last pretty well for a lip gloss.  They are lovely by themselves are layered together or over lipstick.  I love to blend Papaye creme and Peche cream for a lovely peachy lip.  And now...on to the swatches.

I must admit, these swatches aren't as good as I hoped.  They are better when viewed larger so be sure to click on them.  The light that day was sub par so I will probably re-swatch them with better light at a later date.
L-R: Papaye creme, creme de la creme, framboise creme, peche creme, cafe creme, sweet creme, vanilla rose, cocoa creme, toffee creme, creme caramel

And here is another photo for you, with the addition of chocolate creme, which was hiding from me when I did the first round of swatching.
L-R: Papaye creme, creme de la creme, framboise creme, peche creme, cafe creme, sweet creme, vanilla rose, cocoa creme, toffee creme, creme caramel, chocolate creme

And last but not least...
 Fraise creme (which I managed to find right before I was about to leave)

Well there ya have it, the much awaited lip cremes.  I do have swatches of the Brilliance glosses for you as well, but you will just have to sit tight and wait for them (yes, I'm feeling especially evil this week).  

Again, a huge thanks to Danielle of Neiman Marcus San Diego, who I'm sure would be more than willing to assist you with any of your Le Metier de Beaute purchasing needs. (I am not affiliated)

On another note, Lovesong for my Lipgloss is now on Facebook, and I have been known to post pictures there for your viewing pleasure, before I review them here.  You can get access to the page by pressing the "like" button on the right sidebar.  

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments, email me (see right sidebar) or ask me on twitter (luv2smilexo)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Laura Mercier Undercover Pot in Shade 2

The Laura Mercier Undercover Pot really is a versatile product: spot concealer, under-eye concealer and setting powder all in one little pot.

Said powder is Laura's translucent setting powder.  It is to be used to set everything once you are done.  I do like it.  I think it definitely helps set everything.  However, I think that it leaves kind of a cakey appearance, especially when used over certain concealers (I'm looking at you Benefit Boi-ing).  Because of this, I probably would not purchase this product on its own, as this powder does come by its self in a larger size.

The spot concealer is really nice and thick.  While from preliminary testing I can tell that it does cover quite well, I can't really give a good analysis as I was already too dark to use the shade in 2.  Which brings me to a positive point, this stuff comes in some really pale shades, good news for the lovely pale ladies out there.
The spot concealer is on the left here.  Sorry this picture ended up being a bit blurry, but, don't worry, another is coming soon.

Lastly, the under-eye concealer is a very, and I mean very, creamy concealer.  I would say coverage is medium at best.  I wouldn't consider my dark circles to be as bad as some, but I wouldn't go out of the house without under-eye concealer.  It did not completely cover them.  Granted, this shade does have alot of peach tones in it, so it did make up for it by doing quite a bit of brightening.  However, this creased on me as well.  This might not be so bad if I were a bit more advanced in years and had some lines under and around the eyes, but I am not.  I am 21 years old and the only time I see lines under my eyes is when I use this concealer.
 As in the above photo, the under-eye concealer is on the right.

Overall, I would not buy this product again.  I do know tons of people who have loved this product though so your mileage may vary. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sunday Stuff You Can't Have

First of all, I would like to say Happy Mothers Day to all the lovely moms out there, especially my mom, who is superwoman and can definitely do anything.  She's always been supportive of everything I do.

Today, I bring you Clarins Summer Fever lip palette.  I seriously don't know why I own a lip palette.  I'm fairly certain I swapped for this when it was new.  Despite my disdain for lip palettes, this really does have gorgeous colors: bright orange and pink, shimmery peach, rust, champagne and bubblegum pink.  I love layering them and playing with the colors to create all new ones. 


The packaging is a shimmery brown, about the size of a 90's cell phone (if we can remember that far back). 
Here's another picture just to better show you the colors. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Le Metier de Beaute Penelope Kaleidoscope

My Le Metier counter received their tester for Penelope, the Kaleidoscope for summer 2011! Of course, I had to play with it.  The swatch on the left is the three lighter colors using the couches de colours technique, basically layering of colors, with the green applied kind of as a liner.

And another picture, because one wasn't enough.  The colors were all so beautiful, soft and pigmented.  I swatched these using just my fingers.  Penelope will be available anytime now.

If you do not have a counter close by, Danielle at Neimans San Diego is very knowledgeable and super helpful (619)692-9100. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chantecaille Le Stylo Liner in Black

It seems like pen style liquid liners are the trend lately and Chantecaille jumped right on the bandwagon.  Le Stylo comes in 3 shades: black, indigo and brown.  The pen is thick but not too thick.  It is thicker than the Le Metier pen style liner.  The ink is very pigmented and goes on smoothly and I find I do not need to do many coats to get a nice black line.  For reference, I use the tap method where you lay the pen on its side and tap it along your lash line. 
This swatch is just a drawn on line.  I find the tap method gives better pigmentation.  As far as lasting power goes, I am a bit disappointed.  It doesn't flake but I do find black under my eyes pretty quickly.  For reference, I live in a slightly humid area and am prone to get oily eyelids. 

Overall, I would recommend this liner to people who have dry lids and are not looking for something waterproof.  It is $26 and can be found at all Chantecaille retails.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Becca Cream Blush in Byzantine

I showed you the Becca cream blushes in Petal and Hyacinth here.  Well, now we have Byzantine.
Byzantine is a golden bronze color.  Unlike the other cream blushes I showed you, this one has shimmer.  I find it works really well to impart a bronzed glow to my cheeks.  I could probably get away with using this product as a bronzer, but you cool toned people out there should be wary that this may turn orange on you.
I actually wore this as my blush today and it was absolutely lovely.  Must have for warm toned lovelies if you ask me!

This product can be purchased at Skincarerx.  Noted: this is an affiliate link. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

April Favorites

Here are just a few things I was loving in April, and am still loving. 
1. Le Metier de Beaute foundation in shade 3.  This stuff covers my scarring and makes my skin look fabulous.  Its not heavy or cakey and not too matte or too dewey.  I also think that this product may have helped to improve my skin. Yay! The only downside is that it doesn't wear all day for me.  Touch ups are required.

2. Bulgari Radiance Facial Exfoliator.  My favorite Le Metier MA, Danielle, has been raving about Bulgari's skincare products and gave me a few samples to try.  Let me tell you, this exfoliator is AMAZING!! Yes, caps and exclamations are required.  I noticed a difference immediately after using it.  It has helped fade my acne scars like nobodys business AND I am noticing less breakouts.  I'm picking this bad boy up this weekend in a full size which will set me back $75, but it's worth it for how awesome my skin looks.

3. Shu cream eyeshadow in P beige. Reviewed here, I am still loving.  It's perfect for throwing on and making my eyes look brighter without much fuss. 

4. Pangea organics Italian red mandarin with rose lip balm.  Whew, that is one long name.  I received this in one of my Birchboxs and it was instant love.  It is moisturizing without being sticky or heavy and it doesn't make me feel as if my lips get "addicted" like I felt with Burts Bees.  Bonus, it smells pretty darn good.

5. Becca Beach tint in Watermelon. Swatched here. Still super easy to use and gorgeous for both cheeks and lips.

What were some of your favorites for April?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday Stuff You Can't Have

Today we have Chantecaille La baleine Bleue.  This collection also featured la baleine blanche which was a highlighting and blushing powder.  Bleue is the eye palette featuring blues and grays as well as a pretty gold color.  I must admit, I haven't used this palette much, it's almost too pretty to touch.  However, when I have used it, I have gotten several compliments.  I seriously need to get my hands on blanche.

Do you own anything too pretty to touch?