Welcome, my beautiful friends!

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you will enjoy your visit. I welcome your comments and questions. Have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

BECCA Ultimate Coverage Complexion Creme & Perfect Skin Mineral Powder Foundation in "Noisette"

I have been driving myself nuts lately, experimenting with different foundations.  My HG has been Laura Mercier's Mineral Powder (and always keep in my collection).

Many times, while in ULTA or Sephora, I would glance at the Becca counter, but never really tried her products.  I was interested in the Ultimate Coverage Complexion Creme, so one day, decided to take a gamble on it.  I chose the shade "Noisette", which is a neutral-medium shade.  The other two shades for medium skintone is "Nude" (medium w/yellow) and "Olive", which is a deeper yellow tone -- too deep for my skin, but would be great if you have a tan.  I tried the "Nude", which is fine for me, but a bit too much on the yellow side.  I have found that "Noisette" is perfect for me because it has a balance of yellow and neutral tones.  I have to say, Becca has beautiful foundations and it's very easy to find a shade that works for you.

Now, onto the formula.  I really had my doubts about trying a "cream" formula, especially for my oily-combo skin.  This formula is very unique in that it is "water-based" and has a "higher pigment" concentration -- so it's great for oilier skins and for people who need a "high-coverage" foundation.  

The first time I applied this, I was like "Whoa....this stuff is freaking awesome!"  It covered all of my redness and discoloration immediately!  I was impressed!  Now, there are some people who are not a fan of this formula, because as it is "water-based", you have to apply it quickly and blend quickly! 

I would also recommend that you apply this over moisturized skin and make sure your skin is "smooth" (exfoliated), otherwise, flaky skin and dry patches will be more noticeable. 

I have found the best way to apply this foundation cream is with my Sonia Kashuk cream foundation brush.  All you need is ONE pump to cover your entire face!  Now, I've seen some Women use more than that -- but it's really not necessary.  It's best to apply one pump to the back of your hand, and either apply "dots" around your face and blend with either a beauty blender, or a synthetic foundation brush.  I just dip my brush into the foundation, a little bit at a time, then start dotting all over my face, and blend-blend-blend quickly.  It dries and sets very fast -- which I happen to love. 

It's so easy to apply and you literally have your foundation done in less than ONE minute! It's fabulous!

I have found this formula to be very long-wearing.  I can apply this and have it on all day, and it holds up very well.  I do see some shine coming through around 4-5 hours, but that is just normal with my skin type.  You can use a setting powder, if you wish, but it's not necessary.  I also purchased the Mineral Powder in the same shade, "Noisette", so I will even apply some of that powder over it.  I have found that using a primer, and I happen to love the Urban Decay B6 Vitamin Complexion Spray, which I will spray on before and after my foundation and it holds up really well.

Onto the Perfect Skin Mineral Powder.  I also have this in the shade "Noisette".  This is a really nice powder, but I would not call it a full-coverage foundation.  I would say it's medium coverage, and very lightweight.  It's great for those days when you don't want to wear a lot of make-up.

I can go on and on but this post will be too long, LOL.  I really love both of these foundations.  The packaging is beautiful also!  This complexion creme is one that I can say I would definitely purchase again!

Below is the Becca Ultimate Coverage Complexion Creme in the shade "Noisette".  Now, you can see how pigmented this is.  The picture below that is "blended" -- you can see how beautiful it looks on the skin!

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Shine Lipstick in "130 Innocent"

When Estee Lauder launched their Pure Color Envy lipsticks, I honestly have to say, I wasn't a huge fan of them.  While some of the colors were quite beautiful, I really didn't see a color that really stood-out for me, or anything that I needed to have in my collection.  I also was not very fond of the formula; it's quite pigmented, but a bit too 'creamy' for my tastes and the lipstick tube gets quite messy.

With that said, when EL launched the Pure Color Envy "Shine" -- I thought it would be another disappointment for me.....boy, how I was wrong!  I absolutely fell in love with the Pure Color Envy Shines!  They are creamy, pigmented and "shiny", but not so 'over-the-top' shiny, where the color disappears on your lips or slides off....this formula is hydrating, yet the color lasts and lasts!  I have to say, next to the Chanel Rouge Coco Shines, this is my next favorite!

Now, choosing a color was the hardest part.  I actually ended up with a color that I originally thought I would not like.  I chose "130 - Innocent", which is a soft, peachy-nude.  There is a broad range of colors to choose from, but I thought there were too many "pinks".  I would have liked to see more rosy-neutrals....every day wearable colors. These have a slight scent, almost "vanilla", if you will, but hardly noticeable.   

The packaging is super-luxe!  I love the lipstick case, with the magnetic "click" closure -- feels very high-end.  The case is a deep, metallic blue with the gold EL name on the top of the case and on the tube itself -- SO pretty!

I want to note that on Estee Lauder's website, a lot of the colors appear to have "shimmer" in them -- they do NOT.  These are "cream" formula's, so keep that in mind.  It's best to go to a EL counter and check them out first before you buy online.

Now, the pics!  Enjoy!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Lancome Color Design Sensational Effects Lipcolor -- "#124 Haute Nude" (cream)

One of my favorite nude lips is the Lancome Color Design Lipcolor in shade #124, "Haute Nude" (new for Spring, 2015).  
I recently saw this on display at Nordstrom (Spring, 2015) and when I swatched it....it was love at first sight!  I knew, right then and there that this is the nude I've been searching for.  Now, do I really need another "Nudey-Beigey" Lipstick? 
Hmmm.......No!  LOL

This is the perfect shade of nude for my medium-toned lips.  It's not one of those "washed-out" nudes; this is more of a "my lips, but better" kinda color!  

While it states this is a 'cream' formula, you will notice some very teenie-tiny flecks of shimmer, but it is undetectable on the lips!  It gives my lips a luminous glow, that I absolutely love!  I pair this with my Chanel "nude" lip pencil or Elizabeth Arden lip pencil in "sugared kiss", which gives the color a whole new dimension -- more of a "rose" neutral lip -- I just love it!  Looks great without any lip liner as well!!

This formula is long-wearing!  It stayed on my lips for several hours, and did not feel drying at all.  

I also love that the Color Design Lipsticks do not have any fragrance.  Now, don't get me wrong, I love the scent of the Rouge Absolue lippies!  

My only negative/downside is the packaging -- the lipstick tube is just devine; however, it is a bit confusing when you want to open the case because the end where the label is is actually the "top" of the lipstick, and the other end has a "jewel" thingy, if you will, so you can't stand this lipstick upright...well, you can, but it's top-heavy, so it will fall over very easily (see pic below).  It's not really a big deal, but I don't understand the design -- maybe Lancome just wanted to make it unique, and indeed they have!  

The only other thing I want to mention about the Color Design lipstick, is that they have several different formulas; cream, shimmer, metallic, and sheer......so, please be careful and make sure you know which formula you are getting.  I happen to really love the cream formula.

Okay, onto the pics!

Me, wearing Lancome Color Design Sensational Effects Lipcolor in shade "124, Haute Nude" 
Close-Up:  Lancome Color Design Lipcolor in "124 Haute Nude" -- This is my absolute favorite nude lipstick to-date!
 Interesting design

Friday, March 13, 2015

Shiseido Perfect Rouge BE740 "Vision"

A lipstick I truly adore is the Shiseido Perfect Rouge!  I purchased this shade, "BE740 -Vision" back in the summer and I swore that I posted it on my blog, but I discovered I had not....how could I have overlooked this beauty?  I have raved about these lippy's many times, so I will just say that BE740 "Vision" is the most beautiful beige!  It has just the perfect balance of beige and soft rose -- such a beautiful nudey-beige, if you will.  So gorgeous with that Brigitte Bardot smoky eye!  See pics below!   

Me, wearing Shiseido Perfect Rouge BE740 "Vision" -- I should have done a smoky eye here, but this was a summer day when I was just dashing out to run errands -- so, minimal make-up here....just some powder, bronzer, mascara and Perfect Rouge!

Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick, "N51 - Coral Confident"

If you've been following my blog for the past several years, you already know that I am a fan of both MUFE's Rouge Artist Intense and Natural lipstick formula.

The shade I have here is from the MUFE Natural line; #51, which is named "Coral Confident".  I find it frustrating that these French cosmetic companies put numbers on their make-up, instead of just the name, or some do both; however, MUFE does gives the lipstick a name, but they don't put it on the packaging, itself....Urgghhhh!!

Anywho......I saw this shade online and it looked like a lovely sheer coral shade that I thought would be pretty for the upcoming summer season.  However, I took some pictures of the color on my lips (see pics below), and it was quite frustrating to get the exact shade on camera because the color looked more like a bright coral in my bathroom, while it looked totally different in natural lighting and outdoors.....more of a soft pinky-coral.  So, I took several pictures in different lighting for comparison.

The formula:  I love -- it's more silky than the original "Intense" formula (which is more matte); however the Natural formula is still very pigmented.

Okay, now for the pics!

This picture was taken indoors, with flash:

This pic was taken indoors with natural lighting.....see how different it looks?

This pic was taken outdoors, in natural lighting:

And lastly, this pic was taken outdoors in full sun.....see how it looks more of a soft coral-pink?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Vichy Idealia Life Serum

After reading rave reviews about the Vichy Idealia Life Serum, I had to give it a try.  Vichy is a brand which is owned by Lancome.  I have tried the Lancome Visionnaire, which I loved, but it is very expensive.  Lancome just improved the Visionnaire serum, but I haven't tried the new formula yet.

With that said, I thought I would give the Vichy brand a try.  This serum claims to give the skin a radiant and smoother appearance, even out skintone and refine pores.  

I used the entire 1.01 ounce of product and sadly, did not see any visible results.  So many women raved about this serum, so that is why I am scratching my head because this product did nothing for me.  I did not see improvement in my pores.  If anything, I saw more blackheads in places that I never had blackheads before.  

Maybe for some women, this is great; however for me, I cannot say anything remarkable.  

Rosy Lips! MAC, Clarins, Dior, Lancome & Elizabeth Arden

I was recently rummaging through all my lipsticks and realized how many rosy lipsticks I have!  Oh my!!  

Thought I would share just a few with you.  I really love all of these, so I can't really say which one is my favorite.

Some swatches.....all in order as they appear above.  Now, I am not a big fan of swatches, because I can just never seem to get the photo to come out right.  Of course, the colors look different depending on the lighting, so it's really difficult to get the actual color.  Additionally, I just swatched them on a white tissue, not on my lips so of course, the color will look different depending on your skin/lip tone.  But, I just did this for fun and for the heck of it.  The picture above was taken with flash.  The picture below is without flash.

Nexxus Phyto Organics Kelate Purifying Shampoo

I was looking for a good clarifying shampoo and saw this one on Amazon.  It got really good reviews, so I decided to try it out.  This is a very nice purifying/clarifying shampoo and it smells really great.  It's a clear liquid formula and rinses very nicely.  I love how soft my hair feels after using this shampoo.  
I've been using this about twice a month or so to get rid of buildup from styling products.  This is also great for swimmers hair because it helps remove impurities and chlorine from your hair if you spend a lot of time swimming, which I do in the summertime.

Phyto Organics is an organic line from NEXXUS.  I happen to own several products from the Phyto Organics line and love them all.  These products are only sold in exclusive salons in the states and are very hard to find, so ordering online is the best route for me.

Please excuse the first picture.  I have no idea why the picture is sideways because that is not how I took the picture.

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette and Naked 3 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencil Duo in Darkside and Blackheart

The Urban Decay Naked 3 Eye Shadow Palette has been out for a while now and I have had this palette for several months, and I'm just getting around to posting it.  Sorry!

I usually don't purchase eye shadow palettes, but the Naked 3 really caught my eye and I kept thinking about it, until one day, I stopped at ULTA to pick it up!  I really love the Naked 3 Palette's nudey/rosy hue, which compliments my hazel eyes very nicely.  

There are tons of blogs and reviews on this, so I will keep this short.  To sum it up, I LOVE THIS!!  I have been having fun using all the different shades and they are all beautiful.  The Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette is the only eyeshadows I have been wearing. See the lovely pics below of all the different looks with this palette!

They are all beautiful, but I have been especially loving Dust (beautiful highlighter), Burnout, Buzz, Liar, Factory, Mugshot....Darkside and Blackout are amazing for lining the eyes and adding depth to your contour.


Of course, I had to pick up the 24/7 eye pencil Naked 3 Duo!

Swatch of the Urban Decay Naked 3 Eye Pencil Duo (Darkside & Blackheart)

Some pics of me wearing the UD Naked 3 eyeshadows:

Friday, March 6, 2015

How fresh is your make-up?

Do you ever wonder how fresh is the make-up you just purchased at your local cosmetic counter?  You might be surprised to find out how old that new tube of lipstick actually is that you just purchased from your upscale department store.

I recently purchased a new tube of Lancome lipstick, only to find out when I got home and looked up the batch code on-line, that the lipstick was more than 2-years old.  I was shocked and of course, upset that I had to return it.  

This has happened to me several times (I won't mention which department store); but now, I am more cautious when I buy a new tube of lipstick or a new foundation.  I tend to use this rule of thumb:  If you shop there often and know they are always turning around their products (new stock), then you are probably safe.  But, on the other hand, if you find they don't sell a lot of a particular brand and unless it's not a new product or season, then I would be cautious and buy elsewhere or buy online.  I find that my local MAC counter does not have this problem, because they seem to turn over their products very fast and replenish old stock.

One thing that I really have a gripe with is that these department store make-up counters should do more thorough inventories and if it is "old stock", then they should either send it back to the manufacturer, or sell it at a discount.  To me, there is nothing more frustrating and upsetting than to discover that I just bought a new Lancome lipstick that is "old stock", yet I paid a premium-luxury price for it!  That, to me, is just wrong!  

This is why I want to encourage you to check your cosmetic's when you buy them.  Now, I know this not exactly easy to do when you are out shopping and purchasing new make-up, so you could just bring the product home and check it on-line, or use your smart phone.......

There are some very reliable and up-to-date website where you can look up to see see when your make-up was manufactured and what the expiration date is.  I will share a couple of good one's with you.

All you have to do is select which brand (drugstore or department store), and look for the batch code on the product (see example below; whether it is a foundation, lipstick, powder, facial cream, etc.  Most brands I use (Lancome, Dior, MUFE, L'Oreal) have the numbers clearly labeled on the packaging or the bottle/tube itself (see examples below):

The picture below is a tube of Lancome L'Absolu Rouge Lipstick.  The number "250" is the shade/color (Beige Mirage); The number/code below that is the batch code (when the product was made).

The next picture is MUFE (Make Up Forever) Rouge Artist Lipstick box.  The batch code is the numbers/alpha at the bottom.  They also stamp the code on the bottom of the lipstick case itself (see next picture below).

Picture of a batch code stamped on a MUFE Lipstick.  It's very hard to read and you almost need a magnifying glass to read it, unless you have 20/20 vision!  LOL

I hope this information was helpful to you!

You can do a search on-line for "cosmetic batch codes" or "cosmetic expiration dates", but here are a couple that I always use and they are reliable.