Stories for: Beauty

Beauty, MakeupHoliday Eyeshadow Extravaganza

Smashbox-Full-Exposure-PaletteI am definitely an overpacker.  I can admit it.  From shoes to clothes to makeup, if I even have a hint that I might need it, it’s usually going in my suitcase. But I’m trying to get better because not only are my suitcases always ridiculously heavy, but I never, ever use half the stuff I bring with me. So this Christmas when I head back east, I’m throwing caution to the wind and only taking two (that’s right – TWO) eyeshadow palettes.  It’s not as crazy as it sounds though because they’re both filled with tons of amazing shades that can get me through both day and night.

Smashbox’s Full Exposure palette has fourteen different shades, ranging from light ivory to deep black, with most of them falling into the brown/bronze category. It’s a great selection for daytime looks, but the four darker shades also allow you to create an amazing smoky eye, so it’s super versatile.  And I love the fact that the shades come in two different finishes – there are mattes and shimmers, so unlike some palettes, you can choose how much you want to shine. There are a plethora of hues in this one and I know I’ll use it almost every morning to create a neutral, daytime look for when I’m shopping or visiting friends.  As a bonus, it also comes with a dual-ended brush and a mini Full Exposure mascara, so I can just toss the entire package in my suitcase and be good to go.  Genius!

Laura-Geller-20-Shades-of-Baked-Eyeshadow-PaletteFor my more colorful looks, I’m also packing Laura Gellar’s new 20 Shades of Baked. This one is exactly what it sounds like: 20 shades of their baked eyeshadow– that can be used wet or dry–everything from blues to greens to purples, with some neutrals thrown in for good measure.  With this palette, I’ll be able to create the looks that are a little more creative and fun – maybe for a night out with friends or a holiday party.  I’ve always loved the formula of Laura Gellar’s shadows – they’re smooth and blend well – and this collection is pretty close to perfection, shade-wise.  (And it’s a $215 value for $49, which is amazing).

And think of how much lighter my suitcase will be without the twenty or so palettes I usually drag with me!  My back (and baggage fees) are already happier!

Beauty, MakeupHoliday With Marc Jacobs

s1630433-main-hero-300I’ve said it a bunch of times here, but I love Marc Jacobs.  Just… everything he creates.  So I get giddy with excitement whenever I can own any of the makeup items in his collection (if only I could afford the shoes and bag too!)  And when I managed to get my hands on a few pieces for the holidays, I couldn’t wait to share.  The Sky Liner, a new 7-piece set of petite-sized eyeliners, is super adorable and a great deal.  For $45, you get a wide assortment of shades – five previously released bestsellers and two new limited-edition hues. And the limited-edition shades are stunning – Sunset is a Golden Bronze Shimmer and Midnight in Paris is an Inky Indigo Blue – both colors that I see myself reaching for again and again.  I love the formula of the liners themselves too – they’re a gel texture that blends easily and they’re super pigmented (and waterproof!) so they stick around forever.  I’m really in love with this set – it’s perfect as a treat for yourself, but the sleek black box the liners are housed in also makes it great for a gift.

imgI also managed to get my hands on a few shades of Marc’s Kiss Pop Lip Color Sticks and those are great too.  I love, love, love the shape of them – they’re so adorable and so different from any other lip product I already own.  Every time I take one out of my bag, every woman around oohs and aahs (and rightly so).  They’re all infused with honey so they’re soothing on your lips, and again, I’m totally obsessed with the shades I tried. I tested out Tangerine Red, Strawberry Red and Burgundy Berry and they were all great.  (I’m especially into Strawberry Red – it’s the perfect bright shade for the holidays).  One of these would make a great stocking stuffer for any of your makeup obsessed friends.

And a new Marc Jacobs bag would make a great holiday surprise for me too. Just throwing it out there, universe…

Bath & Body, BeautySo Smooth, Olivina

Olivina

Have you heard of Olivina? This Napa Valley-based beauty company is inspired by the ingredients that surrounds them and handcrafts their products in the USA. I’ve been much more mindful of the ingredients of products that I’m putting on my body, and love that these vegetable-based products are thoughtfully formulated free of parabens, phthalates, petroleum and SLS. Even better, they’re packaged in PET plastic (the gold standard in recyclable containers!). READ MORE

Beauty, NailsAu Natural

Zoya Naturel Deux

This is the time of year when, as much as I love summer nail polish shades, I start to get sick of them and get ready to put on winter colors again.  I don’t know what it is, but I just feel like they look better on me.  Especially creams.  They’re my jam (…is what I would call them if anyone still used that phrase!)  So of course I was super excited about Zoya’s new fall collection, Natural Deux (2).  It has exactly the kinds of shades I’ve been craving and can’t wait to put on.  Here’s what you’ll find in the collection:

  • Spencer – A full-coverage, rich camel cream
  • Chanelle – A full coverage, toasted almond cream
  • Emilia – A full-coverage, dark chocolate cream
  • Marnie – A full coverage, deep warm plum cream
  • Aubrey – A full-coverage, medium mauve cream
  • Madeline – A full-coverage, muted rose cream

I love that these are all full-coverage – two coats is all you need of these (and some you could definitely get by on one).  Spencer and Chanelle are my favorites – they’re basic neutrals, but just look so great on.  You could wear them to work or for a night out and it would look equally as good.  (I love polishes that are versatile like that.  You don’t have to worry that you’re ever wearing the wrong thing).  I also really like Marnie.  I’m not usually a plum girl, but this one just looks gorgeous on.  The entire collection is just really wearable – definitely one to covet for when the weather gets a little cooler.  (Or now!)

Beauty, MakeupAll The Intensity

NARS Dual Intensity Shadow

You know you have a makeup problem when you actually shriek in excitement when you see a display of new eyeshadows from a brand you love.  Sadly, this actually happened to me in the middle of a crowded Sephora, but the best part is, since I was amongst my other makeup-loving people there, no one even batted a (fake) eyelash.  Some people even oohed and aahed with me!  It was a great moment in makeup history.  And now that I’ve tried NARS’ new Dual-Intensity Eyeshadows, I’m happy to report that all our excitement was worth it. 

The new shadows come in twelve shades and can be used dry or wet (for deeper color), so it’s almost like getting two shades in one.  (Which is nice, because at $29 each, they’re definitely a little bit of a splurge).  My favorites shades are Desdemona (a rich shimmering burgundy), Lysithea (a shark grey) and Giove (a dark navy), but honestly, I could’ve happily scooped them all up (you know, if someone else was paying…)  The shadows themselves lasted all day on me and blended like a dream – definitely splurge-worthy if you’re looking to add a few new shades to your fall wardrobe.  Thanks, NARS!

Beauty, MakeupDiorskin Star

starDespite my reluctance to fall in love with a foundation, Dior’s latest innovation, the new brightening Diorskin Star collection, left me no choice! My usual complaints of heaviness, a touch too matte or shiny, or a non-natural looking shade, are all distant memories. Diorskin Star steps it up to the next level in terms of picture-perfect illumination, and it’s no wonder that it is a favorite for photo shoots! I’ve had to do a double-take of photos of myself, trying to remember if they have been photoshopped, before I recall that I had on Diorskin Star foundation that day. I definitely feel more of a glow through my newfound flawless skin which has magically gotten younger by a few years. I apply the foundation in the morning and even after running around all day, it’s still going strong when I wash my face at night. I love the higher SPF 30 rating, so I feel completely protected from sun damage.

Diorskin Star was originally inspired by Dior’s own expert makeup artists, and it transforms skin like no other foundation to mimic the glow achieved in photography studios. One of the secrets of Diorskin Star’s unified complexion is its Light Pulsion Complex which erases dullness and color imperfections. Even my red patches are virtually gone with a light application due to color-filter pigments which recreate perfect light. Light-trapping extracts include Immortelle Extract, Paquerette Extract and Licorice Extract which work with hollow silica beads capture to diffuse light minus the shine. I had no trouble matching my finicky skin color, as there is such a wide spectrum with minute tweaks in between each shade. Diorskin Star goes on looking very natural but silky and works best for combination skin.

Beauty, TravelTatcha Jet Set Travel

kitThe waning days of summer are bittersweet, the perfect backdrop for one last hurrah – an island vacation, in my case. As I jetted off to the Caribbean, I was most excited to have the new Tatcha Travel Set to keep me fresh and in tip-top beauty shape to complement a few days of rest and recuperation. The Japanese-inspired line was born from founder Victoria Tsai’s chance encounter with a geisha in Kyoto, whose legendary beauty and timeless porcelain skin is preserved in legend. Tatcha’s products draws from generations of beauty wisdom coupled with scientific research to produce a precious collection indispensable for those seeking the best of all worlds.

READ MORE

Beauty, NailsPolish Perfection

268x248I have a lot of nail polish. Like, A LOT of nail polish. (Ask any of my friends who’ve seen my stash. Especially the men…their reaction is usually something along the lines of “Why do you need so many of one color?” Foolish, foolish men…)

So I always get excited when I can discover a new brand–one that I don’t buy every month that has shades that are new to me. One such brand I’ve recently stumbled across is Lauren B Beauty. The brand is 5 free, which means that it doesn’t have any formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin,  or camphor and they’re vegan friendly and cruelty free. You couldn’t ask for anything more in a polish, really. And I love the fact that all the shades are named for things in Los Angeles or places around the city that I call home. There’s even a dark grey called L.A. Smog, which totally makes me giggle because it’s a gorgeous color that represents one of the most joked about attributes of the cit. My other favorite shade is Hollywood Blvd., also known as a party in a bottle. So.  Much.  Glitter. And it looks just as good on its own as it does layered over other polishes, so it’s almost like getting two colors for the price of one.

I also find it super, super adorable that when Lauren was little, she already loved nail polish so much that she would set up a nail salon in her garage and give her relatives manicures.  So sweet.  (A girl after my own heart!)  Isn’t discovering great new products the best thing ever?

Beauty, MakeupSmoke Out

Master_247velvet

Urban Decay is really knocking it out of the park lately and their streak continues with the new shade additions to their already fabulous 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil collection.  The new releases are called the 24/7 Velvet Glide-On Eye Pencils and there are five smoky shades that have the same great formula and long-lasting color, but these are specifically meant to be used to create a smoky eye.  My favorite look to create!)  Here are the new colors you’ll want to run out and buy immediately.

  • Black Velvet – A rich, smoky black matte
  • Cult – A deep, smoky green matte
  • Lure – A smoky charcoal matte
  • Lush – A rich, smoky brown matte
  • Minx – A smoky, rich navy matte
  • Plushie – A smoky, rich purple matte

I love them all, but I’m totally obsessed with Plushie and Minx. They’re so deep and rich and colorful without being too bright. Compared to the original formula, these pencils are more powdery and blend even easier (and I thought they were already easy!) so it’s super simple to use them to create whatever look you’re trying to achieve.   even love that Urban Decay has made the barrel of each one the shade of the pencil so they’re easy to find in an over-crowded makeup drawer. (I can’t be the only one who has to practically shove my drawers shut to close them, right? RIGHT??)  The pencils are just a cinch to use, a cinch to blend, and they leave behind fabulous color.  What more could you ask for?

Beauty, NailsA Nail Treat

Treat Collection

We recently heard about Berlin-based nail brand, Treat Collection, and loved the large range of shades so much that we just had to try it out! They kindly sent us a selection of colors to choose from, and every single one of them is consistently good. Here are the colors in the box:  READ MORE

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