Ahh, spring. Even though I live in Los Angeles now and don’t really have to suffer through “winter” anymore, it still gets cold here (relatively speaking) and I’m still always excited when the new spring collections come out and remind me that warmer weather is just around the corner. So, naturally, I was super happy to get my hands on a few new products from Stila that just scream “Spring!”
The new Color Balm Lipsticks are a really interesting mix of lipstick, lip balm and lip gloss. They’re very pigmented, which I’m happy about because my pet peeve in lip products is when you spend a lot of money on them and then can barely notice that they’re on your lips. Luckily, that’s not the case here at all — I tried out Valentina, an orange poppy shade, and Gemma, a pink violet, and both of them have tons of color to them. However, they’re not only colorful, they’re also moisturizing and shiny (hence the balm and gloss aspects) and have two super cool touches to them — a mirrored cap for easy application on the go and the sides of the tubes have the word “Stila” printed on them with the color of the shade peeking through, so you don’t have to open the lipstick to see which shade you’ve got. Such a good idea!
I also tried out two of the new Stay All Day 3D Wet-to-Set Eyeshadow Trios. They come in several different color palettes and I tested First Light, a trio of browns and pinks, and Safari, which is greens and browns. Like the name suggests, you can use them dry or apply them wet for a more saturated color payoff. The shadows all blend easily and lasted the whole day on me (with a primer) when applied wet. If you’re a Stila addict like me, definitely check these out. What says “Spring is almost here” more than some new makeup?!
Like Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction of an early spring comes the newest color to Fresh’s beloved Sugar Lip Treatment range. Petal, inspired by the “first bloom of spring,” is the makeup equivalent of a warm breeze, sprouting seeds, and first “all-clear” for bare legs. This pretty, pure pink tint is the stuff innocence is made out of. True to the “your lips but better” color impact of the other colors in Fresh’s cult favorite product range, it goes on in a sheer, light pink, inhabiting that comfortable range between Chapstick and full-on lipstick/gloss. Supremely moisturizing, light, and beautiful, this has become my go-to for slicking on just before I venture into the frigid outdoors for a run. It’s just the thing to keep on my vanity table to remind me that spring and all of its brightness and color is near.
Coverups in makeup, like in real life, can be a messy ordeal. Too much coverup (both of the concealer and the lying sense) can make the situation worse. And when you want to avoid a Scarlett in the Library with a Candlestick situation, you need it to go away, fast. Fake Up, Benefit’s newest hydrating concealer, is your tool for making that happen. Its double ring design is ingenious, with an outside hydrating ring that’s formulated with Vitamin E and apple seed extract, and a concealing core. When you swipe it on, you get both rings at once, producing a hydrating mixture that effortlessly hides dark circles and most importantly, doesn’t settle into lines. It comes in three shades: light, medium and dark, retails for $24 and will be available in March.
I was lucky enough to attend the launch party for Drew Barrymore’s new beauty line, Flower Beauty, and let me tell you: True Moviestar (both her and the line.) She is the kind of skilled talker that makes you feel like you’re the only person in the room–although you are probably the least important. Most celebrity interviews go something like this: Interviewer lobbies as many questions towards the interviewee as possible (usually in a 10-15 time span.) Interviewer tries to ignore the growing amount of impatient people around her, trying to do the same thing. Interviewee is nice and accommodating, but trying to get through the press line in one piece while delivering the party message.
An interview with Drew is more like this: Drew walks casually around the party with her glass of Barrymore wine. Drew makes sure that you also have a glass of wine for the interview. Drew freely laughs loudly and often. And then it’s more like a conversation with Drew, with her asking how long you’ve been writing? What your site is about? In the back of your mind, you know that there are probably all-important questions (how does she like motherhood? What is she going to raise the baby as?,) that you should be asking, to make your encounter with her US Weekly worthy, but those kind of float away as you listen to her talk about she spends most of her days in sweatpants and scrunchies. (Stars! They’re just like us!) And then you get to the line, and she talks about how she really, really slaved over 181 SKUs and you reserve a little bit of doubt, because how many celebrities tell you about how involved they are in their new bag/skincare/clothing for dog company. (more…)
MAKE UP FOR EVER and I have been having a little bit of a love affair this year, so I was really excited to try their new Pro Finish Multi-Use Foundation. I’m not normally a huge fan of powder foundations – I’m definitely more of a liquid foundation kind of girl – but if you’re looking for a light to medium coverage foundation that’s easily portable, this one might be right up your alley.
Like almost all of MAKE UP FOR EVER’S products, it’s available in a huge selection of shades, which is fabulous. I’m so glad we’ve come such a long way from the days when foundations were available in five or so different colors. That was the worst, right? You can apply Pro Finish with the sponge included in the compact in two ways – wet or dry. Applying it dry gives you more coverage and a matte finish, wet gives you sheerer coverage and a satin finish. The coverage is definitely buildable, but I’d say if you’re looking for serious coverage, I’d still go with a liquid foundation over this – Pro Finish is more medium coverage (at least on me). I love the texture of this powder and how easily and perfectly it blends into my skin (make sure you get color matched to ensure that you buy the perfect shade for your skin tone). On me, it lasts almost all day so there’s really no need to reapply, but if you’re heading out for the night after work, it’s easy to just toss the compact in your bag for touch ups on the go. I do wish it had an SPF in it, but since I always wear sunscreen anyway, that really isn’t too much of a sticking point. The love affair continues!
Some people say their greatest fear is looking matte. My greatest fear is looking non-matte in pictures (along with an unusual fear of birds. Specifically, birds in NYC, who like the honey badger, just don’t care.) And in this age of high-flash iPhone/Instagram photography, I’ve come to find that skin foundation formulas with SPF or radiance, while beautiful in person, are my greatest fear realized. Looking over Facebook pictures from last night, I’m like, who is that Casper-face from last night? And then I realize, with horror, that it is me. It took me a while to realize that, no, I wasn’t suffering from a case of wrong foundation color, but that in the ultimate of first class problems, my skin was too radiant and reflecting too much high photography light, something I never thought possible. So when preparing for a night out, I reach for Jouer’s Matte Moisturizing Tint. A similar formula to their cult favorite, the Luminizing Moisturizing Tint, this has all the benefits of the original while making you look camera-ready. In person: your skin looks flawless, but most importantly, touchable and unmask-like. In photos: your skin still looks flawless, poreless, and most importantly, positively reflects light so that it you look natural and presentable on-camera. You look like you, but better, with this smooth formula that lies somewhere between a foundation and a traditional tinted moisturizer. Add a dab of highlighter around your cheekbones and temples and you’ll be ready for your close-up.
When it comes to corals, Benefit makes, hands down, some of the most beautiful and wearable ones on the market. I have been a long time user of ChaChaTint, a juicy mango stain that gives your cheeks that perfectly sheer wash of color. Then last year, I was obsessed with Hervana, which I used every single day in the morning and then again before heading out of work. Just one swirl over its pretty surface of peach, coral, and berry triangles, produced an angelic flush that worked with any makeup look I was going for. And now, my reach-for product is Benefit’s Fine One One (which by the way, I always mis-read as “One Fine Day,” because it is, every time I use it), a cream blush stick that combines pink champagne, sheer watermelon, and soft coral to produce color payoff that you can build from sheer and natural to bright and cheery.
What’s better than a new lip wardrobe to start off the new year? I could not have been more excited to get my hands on Clinique’s new Chubby Stick Intense set, which is now everywhere : on my vanity, in my handbags, strewn across my work desk, even a spare stick or two stashed in my favorite coat pockets. With 8 colors running the gamut from a pretty dusky nude (Curviest Caramel) to a rich wine purple (Grandest Grape), and a a few vibrant pinks, reds and corals in between, there’s something in the set for practically any makeup mood I could be in. But what I love best about these is that at they also double as lip balms — packed with mango and shea butters that help nourish, soften, and smooth lips. The light, creamy texture stays moist on the lips throughout the day and the rich color payoff doesn’t fade even after hours. Users of the original Chubby Sticks will notice that the Intense set is much more pigmented and just one swipe is enough to give your lips that rich pop of juicy color. I would also particularly recommend this product for winter months when my lips are always cracked and normal lipsticks just accentuate the dryness. The Intense Chubby Sticks, on the other hand, immediately help smooth the surface and provide a light glossy finish that hides any hint of wintery patches. My favorite shades? Curviest Caramel for anytime wear, Chunkiest Chili for day or night red, and Roomiest Rose to bright a complexion. $16 each at Nordstrom or wherever Clinique is sold.
Welcome back! I hope everyone had a relaxing, lovely holiday! I spent most of mine sharing my newest beauty finds with my mom, getting bossed around in the kitchen by my chef-in-training brother, and watching YouTube videos with my dad. Oh yea — and recovering from having a little bit, too good of a time yesterday. Let’s just say that when I returned back to my apartment on what was officially, New Year’s Day, I was not in the place of mind to go through my normal 4-step bedtime skincare routine. Fortunately, I did have enough of my wits about me to grab Alba Botanica Hawaiian 3-in-1 Clean Towlettes. Makeup remover cloths–usually not my thing. My skin just doesn’t feel truly clean unless I’m splashing water on it. But in a pinch, these towlettes make my skin feel as clean as it can, despite not having any water nearby. With an alcohol-free formula, with a faintly sweet pineapple scent, these gentle wipes both remove makeup and contain enzymes to break down oil and grime. With zero post-use sticky residue, these generously-sized towels were gentle enough to remove all of my makeup, while keeping all of my just-applied eyelash extensions intact. And I was able to sleep easy, knowing I hadn’t broken any of my cardinal beauty rules.
I buy so many “big” name brand makeup and body care items that one of my favorite things is when I can discover a smaller, more indie brand that isn’t in every single store yet. It feels like a great achievement, like I’m in on a secret that the rest of the world doesn’t know yet. (Plus, it always feels good supporting smaller businesses). My newest band obsession is S.W. Basics of Brooklyn. All of their products are made in small batches by actual people (imagine that!) in Brooklyn and they’re ethically sourced with holistic ingredients. It’s so nice to know that what you’re putting on your body doesn’t have any chemical or “bad” ingredients. As the company says, their products are “super-simple, pared down blends of the absolutely essential ingredients needed for effective, truly all-natural skincare.” (more…)