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Edward Bess Eye Makeup

Edward Bess Earth Tones Natural Eyeshadow Palette, Perfect Line Every Time, Big Wow Full Brow Pomade and Wish Granted Mascara

October 27, 2016
Edward Bess Earth Tones + New Eye Launches

Edward Bess has launched quite a few new things including some classic additions in eye makeup along with three new perfumes. Today I’m reviewing the eye makeup – all true to Edward Bess style where makeup is classic to enhance your features in a natural way but make them look better. I got a sneak preview back in September at Neiman Marcus while visiting his counter. He swatched his new Perfect Line Every Time Liner on the back of his hand and once it sets it does not budge. If you are able to visit any of his counters while he’s in store (all locations listed here) I highly recommend you do – you will be in for a treat.

In today’s review lineup:

All eye products are available at Net-A-Porter. The liner and mascara are also available at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. Eyeshadow, liner and mascara are available at QVC (some prices vary with sets).
Edward Bess Earth Tones Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills
Up first is my favorite item the Earth Tones Naturally Enhancing Eyeshadow Palette. It has five natural shades that are very natural but not invisible. The colors look like they run neutral-cool in the palette but on my skin they have a mix of neutral, cool and warm. Colors have the most beautiful finely milled kind of shimmer and texture is buttery soft for smooth natural application. If you like bold full pigment kinds of shades you may find this too natural. But for the person who wants a very natural look for the eyes and a palette that is easy to wear for everyday this one is a great one.
Edward Bess Earth Tones Eyeshadow Palette

Colors are a pale cool white shimmer, satiny light pink mauve, medium warm plum shimmer, shimmering grey taupe mauve, deeper cool-toned purple. Swatched below:

Quick eye look with all colors on the eyes:

Edward Bess Earth Tones swatched

I couldn’t find anything quite like the colors in this palette from what I own. I pulled the Dior Eye Reviver Palette reviewed here which has a similar effect in the natural finish but runs cooler and has a sheerer finish with some of the shades.

Edward Bess Earth Tones vs Dior Eye Reviver Palette
Edward Bess Earth Tones
Next are the Perfect Line Every Time Liner in Deep Deep Black and Wish Granted Magic in a Bottle Mascara in Onyx. The Perfect Line liner is a deep true black with a twist up style applicator and smudge brush at the end. It does indeed last a very long time (all day on me) with out smudging or budging once you apply and let it set. It glides on easily without any tugging and gives a rich deep black color. It does set quickly so if you need to smudge or blend with an applicator I recommend you do so quickly.
The Wish Granted Mascara is a true black mascara. It’s described as a long lasting clump free mascara to add volume. I am extremely picky with mascara as I have straight lashes that require curling. Most mascaras smudge, don’t hold the curl, or flake. This one from Edward Bess did not smudge and there was no clumping so on those points it’s a winner. For me I have a serious need for volume and this one can be built in two layers for volume but I found it didn’t give me as much drama as some other formulas. 
Edward Bess Perfect Line Every Time and Wish Granted Mascara

Perfect Line in action at Edward’s counter:

Edward Bess Perfect Line Every Time

Last but not least are three brow products called Big Wow Full Brow Pomade . It comes in three colors, Light Taupe, Medium Taupe and Rich. I can use either Medium Taupe or Rich for my coloring and it’s really really good. It is an easy to blend natural looking brow product. It has a whipped formula that is lightweight and has the ability to coat hairs or fill in sparse areas. As one who finds I can’t wear any brow products with red, I really like these color options. He has a Dual Ended Brow Brush for these, but I find you can use any angled brush. I tried with the MAC 266 and Wayne Goss Brush 21 and both worked really well.
These look natural and are easy to use. Thumbs up.

Edward Bess Big Wow Full Brow Pomade

Edward Bess Big Wow Full Brow Pomade
One last quick look from my visit to his counter at Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills. Many of you often ask what my natural lip color looks like, here’s a photo of me without anything on the lips – it was after lunch and everything had worn off. To the right is his Big Kiss Lipstick.

Bottom line some solid additions to Edward Bess’s line. I really love his Earth Tones Eyeshadow Palette and the new Brow Pomades and as a natural-neutral makeup lover these are just perfect. I’ll have a dedicated post on his fragrances soon. One briefly reviewed in my Fall Fragrance Loves for Him and Her post if you want a quick peek.

All eye products are available at Net-A-Porter. The liner and mascara are also available at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. Eyeshadow, liner and mascara are available at QVC (some prices vary with sets). All items also available from his website Edward Bess.

Have you tried these yet? If yes what did you think?
Many thanks to Edward for keeping me stocked on his latest and greatest.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Base Makeup Eye Makeup Sephora

Anastasia Beverly Hills Master Palette by Mario and Stick Foundation

October 13, 2016
Anastasia Beverly Hills Master Palette by Mario and Stick Foundation

My love for Anastasia Beverly Hills continues with two new launches in the Master Palette by Mario ($45 for .7g/0.2 oz x 12 shadows) and Stick Foundation in Warm Natural and Golden ($25 for 9 g/0.32 oz). I bought all three from Sephora – the palette is something I ordered sight unseen. For the foundation I spent some time in store swatching colors but they did not have all the testers or colors for sale. Luckily they had the colors that matched my skintone range so I was able to find something that matched. For a line that I feel is very much on the trendy side I’ve been fortunate to find some really great products that are still suitable for my conservative makeup taste. Pigment and formulas are versatile, rich in pigmented and shimmer, but still easy to blend out for a less sharp look. As much as I love new makeup trends I will not bake my face, strobe heavily, use the heavy contour method or have my highlighter “on fleek” as the young ones say these days. So for my fellow conservative makeup lovers – I think you might be able to find some really good products that are easy to wear even if you feel like you’re not the trendy type.

Up first is the Master Palette by Mario. This is the first eyeshadow palette I’ve bought from Anastasia Beverly Hills. After a few years of accumulating several palettes in my early days of makeup exploration I found many sat unused in my makeup drawers if I did not love all the colors. So I made myself a self-imposed rule that if there were 2-3 shades I did not like I told myself “don’t buy it.” I did try to stick with it and for quite a few years I was able to resist a lot of palettes. In recent years palettes have been more tempting and my resolve weakened. In this case there were 2 shades I didn’t really like which included the olive and navy teal – but seeing swatches online made me decide to cave and I’m glad I did.

The Beauty Look Book - Anastasia Beverly Hills Master Palette by Mario review

This is one of the more trendy palettes I own. The shimmer is noticeable and on the scale of shimmer intensity I would say it’s pretty high but I can still wear all the colors. The pigment is medium but buildable to full coverage. There are a few matte shades which also have excellent coverage. The shades are easy to blend and layer. Texture is soft so there is some fallout when applying on the eyes but I have yet to find a powder shadow that doesn’t have some level of fall out. Once on the eyes the colors stay put – no smudging, fading or creeping. I like that they apply well with or without a base (at least for me).

Colors include:

  • Hollywood is a pale shimmery gold
  • NYC is a warm coppery bronze shimmer
    Kim is a warm tan shimmer with orange tones
  • Muse is a reddish pink shimmer
  • Marina is a shimmering champagne mauve
  • Claudia is a deep greyed navy shimmer
  • Lula is a matte cool brown
  • Isabel is a matte burnt orange
  • Violeta is a warm deep brown
  • 5th Ave is a shimmering pale frosted gold
  • Bronx is a shimmering olive
  • Paris is a shimmering bronze
In terms of how to wear this palette I often get overwhelmed with this many options – but I really like this one. I’ve tried every single color in combinations of 3-4 shades and every time the look is just really pretty. Unfortunately I don’t have any eye looks for you as I’m still trying to figure out how to photograph warm shades on the eyes.

The brush is easy to use and the shape is good for blending and lid application – quality isn’t the best as I feel it’s not as soft as I’m used to, but it’s functional and works.

The Beauty Look Book - Anastasia Beverly Hills Master Palette by Mario review

A few more close ups:

The Beauty Look Book - Anastasia Beverly Hills Master Palette by Mario review

The Beauty Look Book - Anastasia Beverly Hills Master Palette by Mario Swatches

The Beauty Look Book - Anastasia Beverly Hills Master Palette by Mario Swatches
Next up are the Stick Foundations. These offer medium-full to full coverage. Picking a color was a bit tricky in store as there is a wide range and they aren’t displayed in sequential order. There are handy face photos with models to help narrow down your shade. My exact match is Warm Natural but with full coverage foundations often times an exact match can make the face look a bit flat. I picked up Golden as well which matches my tanned body so I use two shades and blend.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Foundation in Warm Natural and Golden - The Beauty Look Book

I would say the finish pulls more on the matte side and for me – I don’t like matte finish foundations because I find they emphasize fine lines and crevices. Especially around the mouth where lines form when you smile – full coverage mattes tend to creep into those lines and age my face. The one from Anastasia Beverly Hills does not emphasize lines but if you have dry skin or skin that tends to pull dry you will probably find it too drying for all over the face. I think it still can be used for extra coverage if you like to layer foundations. To date my favorite foundation stick is still the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation (review soon but you can see it in action on my face in this post here).

Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Foundation in Warm Natural and Golden swatched

Foundation Stick Swatches Lancome, Make Up For Ever, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Hourglass, Tom Ford
Shown above:
To find your match if you’re looking online or want to know where to start I recommend visiting their Stick Foundation Pinterest Page where they have lots of swatches, face charts and more. Here are a few that helped me. Based on these my best guess was Natural, Warm Natural and Golden and I think it was pretty accurate:

One last look:

The Beauty Look Book - Anastasia Beverly Hills Master Palette by Mario and Stick Foundation
Bottom line winners in my book and even though some of you have pointed out the line is overpriced as items are made in China, I still find quality and performance to be quite good. I’ve found them priced reasonably although many of you may be correct in your assessment that they are priced higher than they should be considering where the product is made. I still find what I’ve tried to be solid performers. Update: I took a closer look at the eyeshadow palette, shadows are made in USA and brush is made in PRC. Foundation sticks say made in PRC.

For other reviews you can always click the tag/label at the bottom of each post to find other features. I’ll link the ones I’ve done below for reference.

I bought the Master Palette by Mario and Stick Foundation at Sephora. You can also find the line at Ulta Beauty, Macy’s and Anastasia Beverly Hills.

Have you tried these yet? What did you think?
Eye Makeup

Kevyn Aucoin The Making Eyes Kit x Space NK

September 27, 2016
Kevyn Aucoin Making Eyes x Space NK Exclusive

Every once in a while I’ll try a product and wonder what took me so long to try it. Kevyn Aucoin eyeshadows fall into that category (along with some of the blushes reviewed here). For the longest time I’ve avoided many items from the Kevyn Aucoin beauty line simply because of the price points. So many of his products have been widely raved about, and rightly so due to their good quality and solid performance. Kevyn Aucoin recently launched a set exclusive to Space NK called The Making Eyes Kit ($125, a $160 value if you purchase items separately). This kit includes:
  • The Essential Eye Shadow Set Palette #2 (0.04 oz)
  • The Precision Brow Pencil Brunette (0.03 oz)
  • The Expert Mascara Black (0.4 oz)
  • The Eyelash Curler
  • The Eye Pencil Primatif Basic Black (0.04 oz) 
Space NK kindly sent the set for me to try and part of me was really excited to try things I’ve always been curious about. The other part of me wondered if this would live up to the hype as the items look incredibly basic. I love beauty basics and classics but sometimes there are products that just simply seem a bit too basic to justify the splurge when less expensive options will work just as well. I was really impressed with the Eye Shadow Palette, Brow Pencil and Eye Pencil. More thoughts on each item below.

Quick look at the box. The set comes cased in a large black box with a mirror. I like that everything has it’s own individually molded compartment so if you have this shipped to you, items stay in place. I’m not sure what I’ll do with the box at the moment. I suppose I could use it for travel by taking out the insert. The larger mirror is nice to have when you’re on the go. However the box is made of cardboard so I don’t  know how well it will hold up traveling.

Kevyn Aucoin Making Eyes x Space NK Exclusive
First a look at the items swatched:

For me the winner of this set is The Essential Eye Shadow Set Palette #2 which has a mix of cool tones. The set comes with a little instruction card on how to apply the colors but I took one look and decided to apply them my own way. I have no crease in the lids so most of the time I need to apply shadows differently from most other women anyways in a gradient. Since I have no fold or crease I don’t usually do the outer corner or v-shape blending.

Colors in this palette include a shimmering soft but pigmented black, lavender purple shimmer, beige satin, white frost, bone satin. All of the colors have some degree of shimmer but it is very soft on the skin. If you’re a no-shimmer kind of person for eyeshadows I think this will still work for you as the finish is VERY very soft.

The pigment is medium but buildable. Texture is very soft and looks natural on the eyes. As one who does not really like cool tones (especially white frosts) because they often look sharp or contrast with my olive skin I was surprised to find this one worked really well with my skintone for a cool-toned smoky eye with a hint of purple. The black looks like it could be chalky if you swatch it on the hand or arm. With a brush it’s intense and very pigmented but not too sharp. It’s a very good one to apply along the lash line and easy to blend and smoke out. Below shows all the items in the kit applied including the mascara, liner and brow pencil.

The only other added product was the Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick in Rose Gold all over the lids used as a base.

Next are The Precision Brow Pencil Brunette and The Eye Pencil Primatif Basic Black. The Precision Brow Pencil is very easy to use and Brunette is a good neutral to cool toned brown that works for my dark hair. For me I like that there is no red undertone which I find some brow pencils have, yet there’s not too much grey which can sometimes cause my brows to look ashy. I like that if you twist product up you can also twist it back down.

The Eye Pencil in Basic Black is one of the deepest black pencils I’ve tried. It has a smooth and super creamy texture. In terms of lasting power it stayed put on my eyes all day without any smudging or budging. I used it along upper lashes and waterline. That being said, I will usually also see how it holds up on the arm. When I test liners, let it sit for about 30 minutes on the arm, then take my finger and swipe it across the arm swatch to see how much it smudges. On the arm it smudged while some other liners set and don’t budge. That being said I tried this on a few different days and on my eyes it lasted all day without any budging so for me it’s a winner.

Last but not least are The Expert Mascara Black and The Eyelash Curler. Both of these have been raved about by many people. To date I have only tried the mascara in mini forms that usually come with the Space NK gwps and had not really been that impressed. The full size does perform better but my heart still belongs to the Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara and Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascaras for volume, curl-holding and lasting power. The one from Kevyn Aucoin is a deep black, doesn’t clump or smudge. It does a good job at coating each lash but for me it simply does not hold the curl and doesn’t give me the volume the other two do. Do note that I have incredibly skimpy straight lashes so I need a miracle mascara to make it look like I have any.

The eyelash curler works well too. I was relieved to find there was no pinching (for me the Shiseido one everyone raves about just doesn’t work for me at all). It has a very lightweight feel which makes it easy to use but I prefer something with a bit more weight to it. That being said it performs well and I am happy to own it.
Bottom line a solid set of good eye basics. I am already plotting another eyeshadow palette purchase because this one is just so good. If you have any recommendations for the palettes or duos let me know! You can find all the items in this set individually if you prefer to pick and choose items on your own. However the Kevyn Aucoin The Making Eyes Kit as a set is a Space NK exclusive.

Have you tried any of these yet? What did you think?
The Making Eyes Kit was provided courtesy of Space NK for review.
Bronzer + Blush Eye Makeup Lips Tom Ford Beauty

Tom Ford Beauty AW16 Color Collection

September 18, 2016

For fall Tom Ford Beauty has launched new items for lips and eyes along with a few repromoted shades. Many of you have been eagerly waiting for the review and I can say that the new launches do not disappoint. By now the items have arrived in store and counters – I ordered these sight unseen and only have one that I would say I regret buying. For the AW16 Color Collection, items include:
The item I was most excited about was the Eye Color Duo called AW16 which was featured on the runway for this year’s fashion week. The online stock photos are not accurate though. Based on the online images I expected a soft peachy shimmer and neutral-cool brown taupe neutral shimmer. The duo is a lot more neutral in real life. Many of you have asked how it compares to Nude Dip (originally reviewed here). I’ll show comparisons below. As a die hard Tom Ford eyeshadow lover there was nothing that would have stopped me from purchasing it. There are subtle differences if you look closely. The duo has a brighter shimmer for the pale side and the deep side is deeper than Nude Dip’s darkest color. However they are remarkably similar. Texture is the same for the duo and quads which is my favorite formula from Tom Ford. They are very pigmented and easy to blend. The shimmer is just unmatched with any other brand.

AW16:

AW16 layered over Platinum (the right side looks faded because I hold my camera sideways and the flash always washes that side out):

AW16 swatched on the left, Nude Dip on the right:

Next are the Cream Color for eyes, both repromoted shades Pink Haze and Platinum. I’ve received dozens of requests for swatches compared to the originals (yes I still have them, they are still good and haven’t turned in color or scent) and also compared to the Golden Peach Cream Powder Duo. The artist at my local counter said they were different, I think they are really close so there’s no need to re-buy if you already own these from past seasons. These are some of my favorite cream shadows. They are easy to blend, super creamy and work well with my skintype. I like layering them together for an effortless look.

Pink Haze is a medium warm pink shimmer. Platinum is the perfect fawn brown taupe.

Love Lust was repromoted with this launch but when I saw photos pop up online it looked drastically different from the one I own. Out of curiosity I had to buy it. I adore Tom Ford Blushes anyways so having an extra one was ok in my mind. It’s been a while since I’ve looked at their blushes because they really do last a long time, but the current one is lighter and less peach than the original one I have. I don’t know if there are differences in batches or if they changed the color. If you own it let me know what you think yours looks like.

Swatch comparisons:

Last but not least are the Lip Contour Duos. Each product has a lip shaping liner with tiny glitter flecks and a cream lip color on the other end. The liners match the lipstick and they are both full coverage. The liners are on the stiff side and I broke the tips of a few when I applied them on bare lips although I will say they were a bit on the dry side. I found application best for the liner if I prepped the lips with a bit of balm first and then applied in short strokes. For me the liner glitter isn’t as chunky as I expected and is very subtle so even the conservative makeup-wearer can still wear these. The liners have a matte finish and truly extend the lasting power of the lip color. For me when I used the liner the lip color lasted a lot longer.

The lipstick side is a full coverage cream. They have a soft finish and glide across the lips. Many of the shades have a 90’s vibe to me and as a neutral lip lover I found quite a few options I can wear for everyday. In addition there are some lovely pinks, mauves and a plum. I skipped the bright reds as the only two reds I really wear are Edward Bess Amor Lip Gloss or the Louboutin Rouge Loubilaque.

There’s the AW16 Lip Contour Duo shade and eight in the regular Lip Contour Duo lineup (I picked out the lightest ones):

Colors as they apply on me, liners match lipstick almost exactly with the exception that the liners have tiny gold flecks:
  • AW16 is a super pale beige cream, this is the only shade I regret buying, alone it’s just pure death, if I layer a pinky or peachy gloss on top I can make it work
  • Public Display is a beige cream nude
  • Fling it On is a peachy pink color
  • Dream Obscene is a mauvey lilac color
  • Show it Off is a mauve plum (my favorite!)
  • I’ll Teach You is a deep fuschia pink
  • Make Me is a drop dead gorgeous plum
Close ups, first the lipstick:

 Lip liner side:

Quick look with AW16 + Platinum for eyes, Love Lust on the cheeks (current version which is almost like a highlighter on my skintone) and Public Display on the lips:

As a huge fan of Tom Ford Beauty I think there are some lovely items in the fall collection. The prices are among the highest in the beauty world but in my experience the quality, color payoff and textures are really good. The AW16 Duo has a lot of similar qualities to Nude Dip so if you’re debating which one to get, I’d say go for Nude Dip.

Out of the Lip Contour Duos, my favorites actually are the mauves and plums with Show It Off being the winner for me. In the neutral zone I think there are some good options but regular lip colors like Pink Dusk, Revolve Around Me and Spanish Pink are still my favorite neutrals from his line. Still the Lip Contour Duos are solid performers and the lipstick side is among the creamiest formula I’ve tried with full coverage in one swipe.

At this time I’m not sure which items are permanent or limited-edition. I think it’s safe to say the AW16 items are limited. There are also some new Private Blend Fragrances that have launched. I gave them a brief sniff at the counter and got a mini sample made of one, but of course I’ve forgotten where I put it and can’t remember which one it was. Once I find it I’ll report back.

You can find the Tom Ford Beauty Autumn Winter collection at Tom Ford counters now. Online at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Tom Ford. Note that the BG Rewarding Beauty event is still going on through the 18th – as Tom Ford is pretty spendy the event is a nice time to have some savings off splurges. Details in this post.

Have you checked out the Tom Ford fall collection items yet?
What did you think? Any winners for you?
Dior Eye Makeup Highlighters

Dior Skyline Collection for Fall 2016

August 23, 2016

The Dior Skyline Collection for Fall 2016 is the first fall collection I’m reviewing this year. A lot of you have been e-mailing me and messaging me about fall beauty which has just started to arrive at counters. The most highly requested item for review has been the Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer in this collection and I will say right up front go buy it now – Dior never disappoints with highlighters and they give a very pretty glow. The Dior team has also created a special promo code for Beauty Look Book readers so if you see any items that catch your eye, scroll down to the end of this post for details.

The items from fall that I have to review:

Up first are the standouts in my opinion which include the Diorblush Light and Contour Sticks and Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer. I already reviewed and swatched the contour sticks but I will repost photos for reference. As a quick recap, the Diorblush Light and Contour sticks are natural looking contour creams that are very easy to use and that won’t give you a harsh look. They blend nicely along the cheeks and for a contour-dummy like myself, they’re impossible to overdo.

A closer look at the contour sticks:

The Diorskin Nude Air Luminzer 001 for fall is absolutely stunning. It comes with an embossed design on the surface. This is one of those shades that will look different on everyone. Fair skin-toned beauty lovers will find this almost peachy while deeper skintones will find this more pale. On my medium skintone I find it to be a champagne gold with slight peachy tones. It’s finely milled, blends in with the skin flawlessly, doesn’t emphasize pores, stays put all day and has the prettiest sheen. The highlighter comes with a tiny kabuki brush which is well made but for me on the small side so I find it best for touch ups or on-the-go rather than for regular application.

Left is swatched heavily, right is blended out. You can blend or sheer out the color more if you prefer a more diffused glow. It’s absolutely perfect!

Swatch comparisons below show that the Nude Air Glowing Gardens 002 from spring is a tiny bit lighter than the Nude Air Luminizer for Fall 2016. On my face they are almost identical, I put one on each side of my face and they looked pretty close. Photos of course cannot do the shimmers or texture justice but I hope these help show the difference. And yes, even if you already own the spring versions, I think the one for fall is still a must.

Up next are the two Skyline Eyeshadow Palettes. These also come with a stunning embossed surface. Texture is similar to that of the highlighter – they’re powders with a slightly creamy feel. Pigment is medium but buildable and the texture melds in with the skin so they don’t look powdery. If you apply them with a slightly damp brush the color can be intensified.

Capital of Light has a mix of shimmery and satiny shades including a gorgeous grey taupe, pale ivory white shimmer, satiny baby pink, shimmering tan and deep violet plum. The mix of colors creates a pretty smokey plum eye.

Parisian Sky has all shimmery shades. This one is better suited for an everyday kind of look. The colors include a shimmering tan, light sand shimmer, pale blue shimmer, silvery blue sparkle and deep chocolate shimmer. The blues give a sheer wash on the eyes and brighten the entire eye area when layered with the sand and beige colors. As one who rarely wears blue colors on the eyes, I found these surprisingly wearable.

Next up are two lip colors for the fall collection which is the Addict Hydra-Gel Core Mirror Shine Lipsticks ($35 each). There are a few repromoted colors like Incognito 316 which is a classic neutral pink that pulls cool on my skintone. There is one new limited-edition color called Sophisticated 927 which is a cool-toned plum with a silvery sheen. These have a smooth sheer to medium coverage and glossy shine. If you’re one who likes glossy finish lipsticks but want something to give visible coverage these are it. They have more coverage than the Rouge Dior Baumes but have that same glossy finish. These have a semi-thick almost gel-like feel which makes the pigment adhere well to the lips. Adding a liner of course will help extend the wear but they feel very comfortable on and fade nicely. As far as I can tell there is no detectable scent.

I applied these on the arm with a lip brush because these are the types of lip colors that don’t show up well on arm swatches straight from the tube, but do on the lips:

Below, applied straight from the tube on bare lips:

Last but not least are the Dior Vernis nail polishes in Minimal and Skyline. Both look very standard in the bottles and borderline boring. I will say at first glance I thought they looked a bit unimpressive but Dior polishes rarely disappoint. In my opinion, out of all the luxury brands that have reformulated their nail polishes over the years, the Dior revamp has been the best. Formula has always been top notch with a smooth, glossy flawless finish. They improved the brush by rounding the tips so application is really easy. Minimal is a perfect creamy beige peachy nude. Good nudes can be hard to find and this one brightens the hands without looking too pale. Skyline is a gorgeous chocolate cream, also not the most unique color but it has the perfect mix of brown and vamp to give the hands a perfectly polished look.

A lot of you have asked for nail comparisons – I’m fresh out of nail wheels so I will post comparisons in a separate post as soon as I get them in the mail. I will say right now though that Minimal is almost an exact dupe for Chanel’s discontinued Secret (the Dior is a bit brighter and has smoother/better coverage) and by comparison Chanel’s discontinued Emprise is a lot peachier and darker.

Two coats in sunlight:

Two coats of Skyline:

Bottom line gorgeous. Top three stand outs to me are the Diorskin Nude Air Luminzer 001 and Dior Vernis in Skyline and Minimal. The Addict Hydra-Gel Core Mirror Shine Lipsticks comes in close fourth for formula – right now I’m still in the summer state of mind but I think Sophisticated is perfect for fall. Quality-wise everything is excellent. Pigment on everything is rich and visible on the skin but easy to blend and layer for those who like a natural refined beauty look. If you buy just one item I would say go for the highlighter unless you already have a lot and don’t feel the need for one more in which case I would say opt for the Minimal nail polish. It’s a great everyday neutral that will give the hands a clean polished look.

Dior is offering an exclusive promo for Beauty Look Book readers. Dior.com usually offers complimentary samples with any online order but starting today through the end of the month they are giving my readers extra deluxe samples. With any $100+ purchase using code BEAUTYLB at Dior.com you will get some extra deluxe minis including a 5 ml Miss Dior Absolutely Blooming fragrance, mini Hydralife Sleeping Mask packette and mini Diorshow Maximizer 3D. Code is valid today through 8/31/2016, while supplies last (U.S. site only).

You can find the Dior Skyline Collection for fall available now online at Dior.com and at all Dior counters. All the items are limited-edition. Have you checked out the fall pieces yet? What did you think? If you haven’t, what’s on your wishlist?

Skyline Collection provided courtesy of Dior for review consideration. Many thanks to Dior for providing my readers with a special promo code!
Anastasia Beverly Hills Eye Makeup Sephora

Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadow Singles – More Shades Reviewed + Swatched

August 4, 2016

I’ve been adding more Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadows to my collection. Ever since the full color line launched at Sephora and Ulta I’ve been exploring the brand more and have been really pleased with everything I’ve tried so far. As a lover of natural makeup looks I am happy to report that although the makeup from Anastasia Beverly Hills can indeed create dramatic looks, there are a lot of options for natural beauty lovers and that even though the textures are very pigmented – shimmers can be blended for a more diffused natural look. I reviewed three quads I made a few months ago. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadows come in single pan format so you can pick and choose what colors you want. There is a magnetized 4 pan palette that is available for purchase or you can put these in your own compacts as well. Individual shadows are priced at $12 each or if you buy four at a time plus the compact they’re priced at $40.

Some of you spotted some new quads in my travel bags here, here and here and have asked for swatches. I have sixteen more shades to share swatches. Based on the reviews I’ve read online some are a miss, most seem to be hits. There are quite a few shades that are online only – it took me a long time to research shades, swatches and other reviews to decide which ones to order. I feel lucky that all with the exception of one shade are all hits.
I found that the palettes were great for travel. I brought 3 quads with me but really could have gotten away with just one. I normally bring the Urban Decay Naked Palettes (all the eye palettes swatched in this post here) with me but decided to change it up on my last trip.

Four quads I put together – I don’t keep the shades in the same palettes all the time, but for the most part they stay in these combinations. The colors are really versatile, well pigmented, easy to blend and layer, have minimal fallout after application, stay put – what more could I ask for? I find they work well with or without a base. I feel like a broken record when I say this, but my two go-to bases are either the Edward Bess Illuminating Eye Base or Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick in Rose Gold (both swatched in this post here).

Top left quad: Lace, Victorian, Pose, Truffle Glitter
Top right quad: Gleam, Birkin, Intense Gaze, Topaz
Bottom left quad: Touch of Lilac, Belize, Macaroon, Brownie
Bottom right quad: Amber, Glisten, Comfort, Dark Chocolate Shimmer

A closer look at my picks. There are several different finishes which include glitter, matte, metallic, satin and shimmer. I think the quality is great across all formulas based on what I’ve tried. Sephora separates the formulas by finish – although I find some of the shimmers to be more glittery/sparkly. The swatches below will help you see the degree of shimmer in each shade.
Descriptions as I see them:
  • Lace is the only one I found slightly disappointing, it’s a sheer ivory champagne, it’s a good blending shade, but pigment was on the sheer side
  • Victorian is an light antique patina olive shimmer
  • Touch of Lilac is a soft light shimmer with a hint of lilac
  • Belize is a medium warm peachy brown skin-toned shimmer
  • Pose is a deep purple shimmer
  • Truffle Glitter is a highly metallic sparkle brown with gold flecks
  • Macaroon is a sparkly metallic lavendar purple
  • Brownie is a sparkling gold-flecked brown
  • Amber is a pretty shimmering warm gold amber
  • Glisten is a peachy bronze shimmer
  • Gleam is a metallic champagne peach
  • Birkin is a matte warm brown
  • Comfort is a warm shimmering auburn
  • Dark Chocolate Shimmer is a dark matte black with gold flecks
  • Intense Gaze is a shimmery pink red
  • Topaz is a warm golden tan shimmer

A closer look:

Swatches:

Another thumbs up from me. I still have not tried any of the Anastasia pre-made palettes although a number of you have urged me to. There are a lot of items coming out for fall though and since I already have a lot to play with from her line shadow-wise, I think I’m set for a while. I have to set aside my budget for other items to test and feature so I probably will not be reviewing the palettes she has out now. Plus I splurged on her new Sweets Glow Kit (which I definitely did not need). Out of all the ones she has launched, Sundipped Glow Kit (reviewed here) is hands down my favorite just in case you were wondering.

I’m sure there are a number of dupes for the shadows I picked out in other lines but I’m overall really pleased with the pigment, level of shimmer and ease of blendability with all except for Lace which turned out to be too sheer for what I wanted. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad, I just didn’t like it as much as the others. I found other colors to be more special. If you do order these I do recommend ordering 4 at a time + the compact for the $40 price (versus buying them in one-offs at the $12 price per shadow).

You can find the Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadows at Sephora, Ulta Beauty, Macy’s and Anastasia Beverly Hills. Have you tried these yet? Which are your favorite colors?

Anastasia Beverly Hills Eye Makeup Sephora

Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadow Review

June 8, 2016

I was over the moon when I found out Anastasia Beverly Hills expanded their product line to Sephora and immediately picked up a few eyeshadows. In store the first weeks they launched I saw a lot of testers but there were empty spots for product as stock was trickling in. I picked out a few shades in batches and the process of narrowing down picks was overwhelming because there are so many options! Shades went in and out of my online cart and I finally decided on 12. You can buy the Eyeshadow Singles for $12 each and the 4-Pan Empty Well Palette for $1. There are different textures ranging from matte, metallic, shimmer, satin and glitter. I picked out a mix of finishes to give them a test.

The colors I picked out vary in weight depending on finish. All the pans are the same size but some are more densely packed while the shimmers have lighter weight particles mixed in. I’ll list the weights per shade in case you’re interested. Pigment is very impressive across all the ones I bought. Perhaps I was lucky in selecting good shades – most I ordered sight unseen. Based on online swatches I was a bit concerned some of the colors such as Rose or Pink Champagne would be extremely glittery or frosted. You can apply some of them with a damp brush for an extremely pigmented almost foiled-looking finish for more intense coverage. With a dry brush over an eyeshadow base the finish is more natural looking. 

Finish is smooth and easy to blend. All the colors applied on the lids flawlessly – they have a soft texture that is very easy to layer. Some of the shimmer colors will have fall out when you apply them – but once on the lids they did stay put all day long without budging. I have hundreds of eyeshadows from other brands and do not need any more but being a beauty blogger am always curious about testing new formulas, brands and textures. I did not know what to expect from these – I thought there might be a good chance these were overhyped, but after putting these to the test I can say that these are definitely impressive. The pigment is very good, textures easy to blend and color selection seems to be diverse to suit a wide range of preferences.

Shades that I picked out:
  • Rose (1.7 g) is a neutral-warm mauve pink rose with silvery sparkles
  • Pink Champagne (1.6 g) is a cool-toned mauve pink shimmer, a cooler-version of rose
  • Gem (1.7 g) is a medium peach champagne shimmer
  • Chocolate Crumble (1.5 g) is a cool-toned brown shimmer
  • Nude (1.7 g) is a matte beige pink
  • Suede (1.7 g) is a soft pale yellow gold shimmer
  • Stone (1.7 g) is a light to medium neutral-cool brown
  • Smoke (1.7 g) is a matte neutral brown
  • Sateen (1.3 g) is a shimmery pale champagne frost
  • Chiffon (1.5 g) is an olive khaki kind of shimmer
  • Warm Taupe (1.7 g) is a medium warm taupe shade matte
  • Chocolate (1.6 g) is a shimmery medium chocolate brown
Close ups and swatches:

Some look extremely frosted when swatched on the arms or back of the hand. Once on the lids though the finish of the shimmer is more subtle and definitely very wearable for everyday.

While the price per shadow is reasonable – completing a palette does add up costing $49 for a complete palette. By comparison MAC has reduced the price of their Pro-Palette refills at MAC stores to $6 per pan with the price of the compact at $8 totaling $32. Of course the formulas are different and amount of product you get is different (weight varies depending on formula). Just a few things to consider if you are price/value conscious. MAC just launched new palette sizes and inserts that allow you to mix and match products. I really love the concept and I’ve been a long time fan of MAC products. A more detailed review to follow on the MAC pro palettes (so much to do and not enough time) but here’s a quick look at a few of the different options. As you can see below the pans of the Anastasia eyeshadows are the same size as the MAC eyeshadows. The only one shown below that is pre-filled and non-customizable is the MAC x9 palette. You can find all the MAC Pro Palette Options on their website here and at MAC Stores.
So you might want to know how do the Anastasia eyeshadows compare to MAC. If you’ve played with MAC before you know there are a lot of different formulas and finishes. Pigment, shimmer factor, color payoff and density depends on the formula. In general here are a few thoughts:
  • the MAC mattes have a softer more natural finish but harder texture compared to the Anastasia mattes, color payoff of Anastasia is more pigmented
  • the MAC Veluxe Pearl shadows have that almost buttery soft velvety finish that is similar to that of the Anastasia shimmer eyeshadows, color payoff is excellent for both
  • some of the Anastasia eyeshadows like Rose, Pink Champagne, Chocolate Crumble, Chiffon have a more metallic finish compared to MAC shimmers
  • overall texture of the Anastasia eyeshadows is softer and more velvety while the MAC eyeshadows tend to have a slightly stiffer or harder texture
  • is one better than the other? I would say sometimes yes, sometimes no. MAC Shroom is one of those classic all over wash kind of shades that has the perfect semi-sheer texture to blend out colors, Anastasia Sateen by comparison is similar in color but a lot more pigmented and a lot more frosted which gives more contrast on the lids if you are medium to tan to deep. In this case it really depends on what kind of look you want, how much shimmer and how much pigment. Sheerer finishes aren’t necessarily bad – I love sheer washes for a lot of reasons.

A quick look with the quad I put together with Sateen, Chiffon, Warm Taupe and Chocolate Crumble blended together on the lids:

Products worn:
The eyeshadows exceeded my expectations and I think every color I tested is top notch in terms of color, pigment, blendability and everything else I would want in an eyeshadow. I’ve forever been searching for an antique olive kind of shimmer eyeshadow that I can wear and Chiffon is IT! Most have a tiny bit too much green which clashes with my olive/yellow skin. The colors Rose and Pink Champagne are wearable pinks – huge for me since so many pinks can give me that unflattering pink-eye kind of look. Bottom line is I can’t wait to explore more of the colors. If you have any loves please let me know!
You can find the Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadows at Sephora, Ulta Beauty, Macy’s and on the Anastasia Beverly Hills website. I have not yet tried any of the palettes as many of them have had bold colors I did not think I would wear, but they did look interesting. As always would love to hear about your loves or thoughts on these. If you’ve been looking into them I hope these swatches are helpful!

P.S. I’m very behind on responding to comments – but will try to catch up soon!