I almost always love the SEPHORA + PANTONE collections when they come out every season and this fall is no exception. The limited-edition products are meant to convey the energy of nature’s elements – Earth, Air, Fire and Water – through color, texture and design. It’s a really interesting idea – the colors were inspired by shifting climates and atmospheric conditions, so you get a wide spectrum of shades ranging from bolds to neutrals. The collection includes a number of different products – Jumbo Eye Pencils, Molten Liquid Liners, etc… and so far I’ve had the opportunity to try out the Elemental Energy Eye Shadow Palette and three of the four Elemental Energy Lacquers. READ MORE
Guilty pleasure: Michelle Phan videos. There may even have been one or two occasions where a marathon YouTube tutorial watching session has led to me exclaiming “OMG how it is already 3am!” Even though I’m much more of a “natural looking makeup” girl myself, I always appreciated Michelle’s ability to transform her eyes (it’s an Asian thing). So when her line em Michelle Phan launched, the first products I wanted to get my hands on were her eye makeup, in particular, the much-touted waterliner.
The waterliner, as it turns out, was love at first use. Phan created this product for her fans who wanted an eyeliner that was easy to apply, had great color payoff, and didn’t smudge or budge even on the delicate waterline. The waterliner certainly lives up to all those promises: it glides on smoothly and is highly pigmented so there’s no need to go over the lid multiple times, the thickness is just right, and best of all, once on, the liner stays put. It’s one of the few liners that I can use on my lower eyelid and still have the look be in tact (no panda eyes there) hours later. On the other side of the liner is a smudge tip which makes it easy to blend the color onto the lids for a smokier and softer effect if desired. This product is truly a game changer in my makeup routine because for the first time, I can create beautifully lined eyes in just 30 seconds with no muss, no fuss. Now having wider, more expressive eyes can be an every day beauty look, not just saved for special occasions.
My favorite shades are Midnight Black for the most intense, glamorous finish, Chocolate Dream for an every-day soft, pretty look and Amazing Grey, which creates a really nice, dreamy effect. The waterliner comes in 12 shades ranging from amethyst to turquoise to rose gold. The next step is to collect them all!
I work long hours at the office and go out a lot of times afterwards (I mean, who doesn’t need an after work drink..every day), so I really need my makeup to last as long as possible. Because as much as I say I’m going to touch up after work, I really only do it about half of the time (or less) because it’s just a pain. If I’ve already set aside time for makeup during the day, I don’t want to do it again! I’m just lazy that way, ok? So I’m really loving the duo of Stila’s new CC Cream Stick and Stay All Day Concealer. It’s quick, easy and gives me the look of a flawless complexion that lasts straight through after work drinks. It’s the perfect combo! READ MORE
After a summer of barely there makeup, I’m embracing the change of season by returning to polished makeup–the darker colors for fall practically demand it! The first step to the new made-up me is flawless foundation and this season that is Smashbox Liquid Halo HD Foundation with Broad Spectrum SPF 15. Now that I’ve been spoiled with all those super natural BB and CC creams, I have a higher standard for my foundations–no longer will I accept anything too heavy, too cake-y, or too mask-like. Smashbox Liquid Halo HD Foundation is fabulous because it’s an ultra-blendable light texture that doesn’t coat or cake on the skin but still leaves behind a completely even complexion and that enviable glowing-yet-matte finish. The product is almost like a gel and formulated with Liquid Light Technology that acts as filters and diffusers to blur out imperfections. The foundation is easy to apply with fingers or a brush, goes on smoothly, and blends into skin easily leaving your face looking natural-but-better–a great product for everyday wear and the perfect canvas to show off those rich fall hues.
MAKE UP FOR EVER has just put all the other brands on notice because they’re introducing a new Artisan Brush Collection that involves a whopping SEVENTY-SIX brushes. Seventy-six! I didn’t even know that many were possible! The brushes range from the kind that you’ll use every day to more specialized ones that you would only use on special occasions–there is seriously a brush for anything and everything you could ever want to do on your face or body. The creation of the brushes has been a five year process for MAKE UP FOR EVER’s Creator and Artistic Director, Dany Sanz: the construction of each brush involved twenty-five unique stages and each one was hand-crafted by a total of thirty people from beginning to end. That’s a lot of detail! READ MORE
Remember how I had OCC? Well, it’s flaring up again.
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) just debuted its Fragmented Alice Colour Collection and it’s now available! For the first time, the cult makeup artist favorite is collaborating with a painter, Chicago native Gail Potocki, whose hauntingly beautiful, twisted series Fragmented Alice paintings present what the brand calls a “uniquely macabre” take on C.S. Lewis’s Alice in Wonderland.
I checked out Gail’s paintings recently at a launch event, where OCC Brand Manager and Director of Makeup Artistry Courtney Tichman demonstrated the limited-edition collection. After gazing at Alice’s often forlorn, oil-painted expression, enhanced by layers and layers of color, I was instantly inspired to go home and play with my makeup. What seemed like unwearable shades at first in the OCC collection turned out to be delightfully sheer, majestic, even psychedelic! READ MORE
Butter London is one of my favorite nail polish brands of all time–not only are their colors fantastic, but the names are always fun and remind me of the six months I spent living in London during college. So I was super excited when they decided to branch out and release a makeup collection with all sorts of new products for eyes, cheeks and lips. So far, I’ve only gotten a chance to try two of the eye products, but I totally loved them and can’t wait to pick up some of the lip and cheek stuff soon.
The Wink Eye Pencil in Jaded Jack is a bright, almost neon, lime green creme. I can’t say I have many occasions that call for this shade, but if I did, I would be all over it because I love the texture and staying power of it. Even if this gorgeous green isn’t your shade, don’t despair: the eye pencils come in a lot of shades that are easier to wear, like Indigo Punk, a gorgeous violet shimmer, or Brown Sugar, a basic chocolate brown creme.
I also tried out the Wink Cream Eye Shadow in Inky Six, a baby blue shimmer. Lately, I’ve been really into the creme shadows because they’re super easy and very portable. Indy Six is actually a very wearable shade that still lets you bust out of the neutral zone with ease. The best part is that the products don’t break the bank–both the Eye Pencils and the Cream Eye Shadows are under 20 bucks, which is right in line with some of my other must-have brands like Urban Decay, Stila and MAKE UP FOR EVER. Can’t wait to see more from this fantastic brand!
After such a hot, wet and frankly, kind of weird summer (not gonna lie)…I’m looking forward to fall. While the summer thunderstorms are still raging, I’ve already begun dabbling into our fall beauty collections. At the top of my list is Laura Mercier’s Limited Edition Dark Spell Collection, which presents an astounding array of colors and concepts that define the mysterious and seductive woman. This cutting edge collection is a necessity for the dramatic femme who wants to make a statement! The eyes are the focus of this collection of dark grays and deep blacks then accented by rich lips, resulting in a smoldering, attention-grabbing look. READ MORE
Like many mixed-race gals, or actually, just gals in general, I find it hard to choose a foundation that matches my exact skin shade and tone — so I usually settle for something sheer in the “Ivory” or “Light Neutral” category. When I first heard NARS was releasing a new Radiant Cream Compact Foundation in 20 shades (yes, 20 shades!), I thought, “Finally! They must have the perfect match!” But alas, the closest I could find was Deauville (a light shade with a neutral balance of pink and yellow undertone). I must confess, I thought this shade would be too dark, too thick and too warm at first, but au contraire, it worked out beautifully! READ MORE
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