Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Review! | Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua & Perfection Lumiere Velvet

Hello lovelies!  Happy October 1st!  Today I thought I'd share 2 of my favorite foundations of all-time.  I've sampled the gamut of foundations over the years and have found a lot of favorites within the genre.  That being said, Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua and Perfection Lumiere Velvet have risen to the top!  
After what seemed like years of reading rave reviews about Vitalumiere Aqua (hereinafter VLA), I finally decided to try it.  VLA is a light coverage foundation with a watery consistency (it's not called Vitalumiere AQUA for nothin'!) containing SPF 15.  This is my perfect warm-weather foundation as it feels like nothing on the skin, gives me a little SPF coverage, and looks like my skin only better.  VLA does not offer a lot of coverage so I spot-conceal blemishes where I need a little help.  I have combination-oily skin so I always set my base with a dusting of powder.  Without the setting powder, VLA dries to a dewy, natural finish.  VLA stays put all day with minimal oil break-through in the late afternoon.  Even in the heat and humidity of Puerto Rico on our honeymoon, VLA held up beautifully.  The compact plastic packaging makes it uber travel-friendly whether you're off to San Tropez or just commuting the the office.
My foundation matches are:
  • Estee Lauder Creamy Vanilla
  • Lancome Buff (N)
  • Laura Mercier Medium Ivory
  • MAC NW20-25
  • Maybelline Sandy Beige
  • NARS Santa Fe 

Chanel's 30 Beige is a great match, even though it looks a bit dark in the above arm swatch.

Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet (PLV) is a lightweight medium buildable foundation that dries down to a matte finish.  PLV has been my go-to when I need a bit more coverage.  It covers the sun spots and blemish scars on the sides of my face, so the coverage is definitely there.  It can be built to full coverage, but I find a single application looks beautiful on it's own.  If you have normal to dry skin, you can probably skip setting powder with this one and have a long day of shine-free happiness.  I still set this with powder because my t-zone has a mind of it's own, and I can go the entire day without re-powdering.  This is mind-blowing!  PLV also feels completely weightless on the skin.  This is my base product right-hand man whenever I'm doing a FOTD/EOTD post.  It makes the skin look like you spent a lot of time on it when, in reality, it took you 30 seconds. :)
They both come in the travel handy plastic packaging and have a beautiful light, fresh scent.  If scented base products are a no-no for you, test them at the counter first if you can.  The smell disappears completely for me once the foundations set.  Neither VLA or PLV have ever caused my skin to break out.  Both formulas need to be shaken first for the foundations to look their best on your skin.  I usually shake all of my liquid foundations before I use them so this step isn't a big deal for me.  They both have a squeeze nozzle type dispenser so controlling the amount of product per use is very simple.
Next to an iPhone 5C for size comparison
I love both of these foundation for different reasons; the Perfection Lumiere Velvet for it's flawless finish and longevity on my oily skin, and the Vitalumiere Aqua for it's ease of application and the my-skin-but-better appearance it gives.  If I could only use one for the rest of eternity, I would go with the Perfection Lumiere Velvet simply due to the higher coverage and matte finish.

PRICE: $45.00 USD

Have you tried PLV or VLA?  What is your favorite foundation at the moment?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

TAG! | The Autumn Tag

To celebrate the official First Day of Fall (insert gleeful screams and Arsenio Hall fist twirls), I thought I'd do The Autumn Tag!  Thanks to my Edmontonian sweet babaloo Tracy from Beauty Reflections for tagging me!  I tag anyone who's as excited as I am about fall's arrival! :)

We're talking coffees.  What's your favorite seasonal drink from Starbucks or your favorite coffee shop?
Most def the classic PSL.  Although my true love will always be the Gingerbread and Eggnog lattes from their holiday offerings!  MMMMMmmmmmmm.
The temperature the day I got my first PSL this year!
Accessories: What do you opt for, scarves, boots, or gloves?
It's still in the 80's here in Atlanta during the day, so gloves are not really fall staples.  Boots and scarves, though?  I love them!  I own a ridiculous amount of scarves.  I think they're the easiest way to dress up a plain shirt and pants.  My two favorite places to buy scarves are Target and!  Some of my favorite scarves of all-time are from Forever 21 and cost under $5 bucks!

What's your favorite music to listen to during Autumn?
I listen to whatever I like at the time, but I totally get that a lot of songs have seasonal vibes.  For me, summer is all about infectious hooks and cheeky songs like Katy Perry's California Gurls, Arianna Grande's Problem, Iggy Azalea's Fancy, and Poison's Nothin' But A Good Time.  To me, "fall" music has a more dreamy/moody quality to it.  A few faves are Lana del Rey's This Is What Makes Us Girls, Muse's Starlight, Heart's These Dreams, and Glenn Frey's You Belong to the City. 

What's your favorite perfume scent this time of the year?
Lately it's been Chloe because I'm almost finished with the bottle and I am on a mission to have it in my next empties post!  I also love Elizabeth & James Nirvana White, even though it's by no means strong or heady like a lot of fall/winter fragrances.
Candles - what scents will you be burning this season?
Pumpkin Caramel Latte from Bath + Body Works is one of my favorite scents EVER!  I also picked up a mini sized candle of Leaves and I like that one, but not as much as Pumpkin Caramel Latte.

What do you love most about Autumn?
Where do I even begin?!  It's so fleeting here in Atlanta that it's like a unicorn.  After a summer of high heat and humidity that won't quit, there's something absolutely magical about cool breezes, crisp leaves, and getting to wear layers and sweaters and cozy clothes, and have a fire in the fireplace!  I love watching the leaves change; maples are my favorite with their fiery colors.  Sipping coffee in the sunroom with the windows open to allow the deliciously humidity-free breeze into the apartment while I read blogs on Sundays is one of my favorite things in life!  
Favorite makeup look?
Light matte brown eyeshadows and richer lip colors in tarnished reds and berries says autumn to me.  I also love a purple smoky eye!
What are you looking forward to most this fall?  
October 13th will be me and Jason's 6 year anniversary and October 26th is our 6 month wedding anniversary!  I'm also super thrilled to be taking a trip to Arizona with my BFF Emily in early November!  We're going for a wedding of a friend of hers and then staying a few extra days to explore.  We're going to drive some of Route 66, which is a dream come true for both of us!
Emily & me, Sassytown, 2 tickets pls

Sunday, September 21, 2014

FOTD | Fresh Peach & Aqua Eye feat. Anastasia Beverly Hills Maya Mia Palette

If you're not following Norvina on Instagram, you're missing out on some serious makeup inspiration!  Norvina a/k/a Claudia Soare, president of Anastasia Beverly Hills and daughter of founder Anastasia Soare, has a feed packed with gorgeous makeup looks and hilarious memes and gifs.  One of my favorite looks she's ever done was this stunning two-toned lid:
Image credit: @norvina
I was beyond thrilled to see a tutorial for a similar look featured on one of Get the Look cards included with the Maya Mia Palette, the latest palette collab from ABH with the stunning Maya Janeska (full review coming soon!).  Obviously, this is the look I tried first!
For the eyes, I primed with NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base.  From the Maya Mia Palette, I applied Warm Taupe and Caramel in the crease and darkened the outer V with Sienna.  I applied Fresh Peach on the outer lid and Aqua on the inner lid and blended slightly.  I popped Glisten on the inner corners.  I applied LORAC Front of the Liner Liquid Liner in Black to the upper lash line and lined the bottom lash line and water line with MAC Technakohl Liner in Graphblack.  I primed the lashes with a coat of Maybelline Volum' Express Pumped Up! Colossal Mascara in Glam Black and followed with 2 coats of Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Mascara.  I defined the brows using Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Blonde and Brow Wiz in Medium Brown.  I finished them off with Benefit Gimme Brow in Medium/Deep.

For the face, I applied NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation in Santa Fe with a wet Beauty Blender. I concealed under the eyes with Garnier Anti-Dark-Circle Eye Roller and contoured with MAC Golden Bronzing Powder.  I applied Cover Girl Clean Glow Blusher in Roses to the apples of my cheeks and swept the powder upward toward the temples.

For the lips, I filled them in with MAC Beurre Cremestick Liner and topped it with MAC Blankety Amplified Lipstick.  I went back in with Beurre and defined the corners to give the lips some depth.  I just learned this awesome trick from Kandee Johnson's video "How To Get Tons Of Compliments On Your Lip Color"!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Review! | Softlips Cube in Vanilla Bean

You all know I have a soft spot for lip balms.  For years, balms were all I wore!  I couldn't resist picking up this adorable little Softlips Cube, $3.79 USD, when I spotted it at my local CVS.
The balm is smooth and slick, and leaves a hint of shine; it's very much the same as the Softlips stick balms.  Usually formulas feel differently across a brand when they're packaged differently so I'm pretty impressed that the Cube retains the feel of the original formula.  The Vanilla Bean flavor is lovely and soft.  It's also available in Pomegranate-Blueberry and Fresh Mint.  
The formula contains Shea Butter, Vitamins A, C, and E, and SPF 15.  The Softlips Cube immediately calls to mind the eos Smooth Lip Balm Sphere due to the design.  I find the Softlips version to be slightly smoother on the lips, but the eos balms last a bit longer.  I find myself reapplying the Cube every 20-25 minutes or so.  While the Softlips Cube is hydrating, it's not as quenching or replenishing as a tube balm such as MAC's Lip Conditioner Tube, Aquaphor, or Bite Beauty's Agave Lip Mask.  However, stick balms are never as emollient as tube balms, so I'm not really faulting it there.  Texturally, the Softlips Cube reminds me most of Maybelline Baby Lips in Quench.
Overall, I think this is great little balm and I love the pretty packaging design.  With only 14 weeks left until Christmas (!!!), the Softlips Cube would make a great stocking stuffer!


Friday, September 12, 2014

FIVE FAVE! | Easy Eyes

I've started using the stopwatch timer on my phone when I begin applying makeup and I've been shocked to discover my typical morning routine takes around 20 minutes, half the time spent on the eyes!  In an effort to save time, I've been reaching for easy, one-step shadows and I thought I'd share my five favorites!

MAC Groundwork Paint Pot.  An incredibly subtle way to define the lid and add a touch of polish.  Apply this matte medium cool brown with your finger and blend out the edges.  DONE.

MAC Jest Eyeshadow. This bubbly shade of pink champagne brightens up the eye area like a cup of morning joe.

Maybelline Color Tattoo Bad to the Bronze.  If you don't own this shadow yet, it deserves a spot on your wish list tout de suite!  This bronzy brown sparkling BEAUTY is brimming with dimension. [Review here]

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer.  Sometimes you just need a little definition, and what's easier than using your go-to bronzer?  Swirl a fluffy blending brush across the pan and sweep it back and forth on your crease.  The easiest eyeshadow look there is! [Review here]

Urban Decay YDK.  This was one of my first loves in the single-shadow-look game!  It's a glorious bronzy pinkish brown shimmer with so much depth.  I think it's my all-time favorite UD shadow!

What are your five fave "easy eyes"?  How long does it take you to do your makeup in the morning?

Monday, September 8, 2014

REVIEW! | Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stain - Cannes Crush, Shanghai Sizzle, Stockholm Chic

I've had these Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stains for a few weeks and thought I'd share my thoughts!  I love the boxy-yet-sleek, high lacquer packaging.  They do attract fingerprints and can get scratched up easily if you toss them into a bag, but that's not the end of the world.
The Moisture Stains have no discernible smell or taste on the lips.  They do not play well with wet lips or lips primed with balm; the color skips right over any wet patches.  You need dry, non-balm-primed lips for these to perform their best.
The pigmentation is quite strong!  One pull from the tube provides just the right amount of product for full coverage.  The fuzzy paddle applicator is perfection.
They are very comfortable on the lips; they feel like a gel/balm hybrid.  If you've tried the YSL Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stains or the Maybelline Color Elixirs, you're already familiar with the texture of the Revlon Moisture Stains.  While these are not quite as hydrating as a balm, my lips certainly don't feel dried out after I've worn them.  The Moisture Stains leave my lips in great condition!
The only point of contention is that these do not leave much of a stain.  I'm completely fine with that, but the word "Stain" is in the product title, after all, so I thought I'd mention it.  I find these fade evenly.  I would recommend wiping off your lips prior to reapplying, as the product will go on a lot smoother.  I get about 2.5-3 hours of wear from these.
Overall, the Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stains are a great addition to the lip hybrid game, and are  definitely more pigmented than their ritzier counterparts!

Where to Buy: These are currently buy one, get one 50% off at ULTA!