I cannot believe the first month of 2017 has come and gone – I feel like the last few weeks have been a blur! I hope each of you have had a great start to the new year. In the beauty world I feel like things have been all about lips and highlighters. It appears the liquid lipstick trend is here to stay for quite some time. I still have my battle of the liquid lipstick post coming soon – with new launches almost weekly it seems like there’s more to test and try out. I’ve put a cut-off for testing though – I have two more detailed reviews to post before the official roundup. Today I have a roundup of the best and worst in beauty testing for January even though many of these have been put to the test for more than a month. Sometimes with products you know by the second or third use that a particular item just won’t work. Other items take a bit more testing to decide. By popular request here is my first Hits and Misses post of the year. We’ll start off with the hits.
January Favorites – Makeup
This month’s favorite items and discoveries include:
- MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Plus is something I finally tried and can’t believe it took me so long, it gives the skin a nice soft diffused look, it removes shine without looking heavy or overly matte and the best thing about this one is the color selection which I think is pretty good (shown on the skin here and also worn here)
- Diorskin Nude Air Glow Powder in 002 Freshlight (shown on the face here) has been my go-to soft bronzer shade for the past few months, it has the perfect amount of warmth and has a sheer but buildable finish that works for my winter skintone color right now
- Chanel Joues Contraste in Elegance (review here) is my perfect everyday beige blush, it goes with everything and adds life to the face without looking too dark or orange
- Chantecaille Faux Cils Longest Lash Mascara is one that took me years to try because I tried a mini and thought it literally was the worst thing ever. Based on raves of a few friends who swore it was THE best thing in mascara I decided to order one and was blown away. They assured me the full size was better than the minis and they were right. I don’t know that I’ll repurchase this because even I have limits when it comes to expensive items. At a whopping $72 I don’t know that I can say it’s worth it but this mascara is really good. It lengthens, volumizes, holds curl, doesn’t smudge and doesn’t look crunchy. It’s supposed to have lash-growth ingredients but I haven’t used it long enough to see results.
- Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo (c/o, swatches here) are great in terms of formula, color payoff and color selection
- Chanel Le Rouge Crayon de Couleur (c/o, all shades swatched here) are my favorite lip launch of the year so far, I love a good glossy lip and these have a feel and look like the Rouge Coco Shines but with a lot more pigment
- Marc Jacobs Le Marc Liquid Lip Creme in Truth or Bare (c/o, all shades reviewed here) is my favorite rose pink liquid lipstick
- Dior Addict Lip Glow is something that is almost always in my purse these days (review of all shades here), my most-worn shade is either Lilac or Coral, the new Berry color (c/o) is a really pretty one too
- Tom Ford Lips and Boys in Douglas (c/o, review here) is my go-to these days for a soft cool-toned pink shimmer
January Favorites – Skincare
Skincare favorites include a mix of old and new:
- I’ve found myself reaching a lot for the Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate and the Midnight Recovery Concentrate for evenings, both feel just so amazing on the skin giving it just the right amount of hydration, it’s brightened the skin and makes it feel healthier and smoother, if you don’t want to splurge on the full sizes you may want to consider the Day to Night Set which has miniatures of six items at a value price, alternatively if you visit you local Kiehl’s store they usually have samples so ask if they have these available (making a purchase will usually make it easier to get a couple samples)
- Bioderma Sensibio was mentioned in my 2016 favorites, I use this as a toner and it’s just perfect for my sensitive skin, it leaves the skin feeling refreshed and clean, it has helped calm and comfort the skin, especially since I’m prone to flare ups or sensitivity, I have both the 250 and 100 ml versions (one I took with me on travel), can’t rave about this enough
- Chanel La Solution 10 de Chanel (c/o) is another good gentle moisturizer for sensitive skin, I’ve been reaching for this a lot, it hydrates without feeling greasy and gives relief for dry skin without being heavy, I will definitely repurchase once this is used up
- Tatcha The Essence (c/o) is something I got a mini of with an order (I had a promo code) and fell in love with it immediately, I discussed essence a few posts back and many of you gave me some really good feedback on what to try! I’m currently testing three, this one from Tatcha and the SK-II Genoptics Aura Essence and Genoptics Spot Essence (c/o). It’s going to take me several weeks to see which one is truly the best, but I noticed results immediately from the Tatcha Essence. It softens the skin without feeling heavy or leaving a film on the skin like some other essence or serums do. It’s watery but not too runny so it’s easy to apply. It does make my moisturizer absorb into the skin better. As one who doesn’t like things that feel heavy on the skin I absolutely love this one.
- Kate Somerville EradiKate Daily Cleanser is something I ordered the day it launched online at Sephora. By the time this post is going live I’ve already used up one full tube 85% of the way and the one shown is a backup. I don’t have acne but I do experience breakouts and earlier this month I started breaking out around the chin and cheeks from a combination of getting really sick and experiencing a high level of stress. Using this helped clear up the skin without drying it out. It has sulfur which targets acne and blemishes. Based on the formula I don’t think it’s going to be for everyone, but I’ve tried every single one of Kate Somerville’s cleansers and her line is the one I keep replenishing for cleansers. I can use this daily without it drying out my skin and love it. That being said I still love her Gentle Daily Wash for times when I don’t have skin issues.
Four items that did not work for me include:
- Burberry Liquid Lip Velvet (review here) did not work for me because the color selection just wasn’t flattering for my olive skin tone, even the neutrals did not work. Shades were either too light or too dark, colors lacked life and washed out my complexion. Formula-wise they were ok, but none of the colors worked for me leading me to call these a miss.
- Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation is something I bought months ago back in early fall. I had high hopes as it looked amazing on a few of my fellow blogger friends. I mixed two shades in Y315 and Y405 to get a good match although the product is so sheer an exact color match isn’t really necessary. This was a miss for me because it caused my skin to become irritated which I suspect is from the fragrance. Tiny bumps surfaced all over my cheeks and since I test a lot of skincare and foundations, this took months of testing to make sure this was the culprit and not something else. Formula also felt sticky because of the gel-like texture. Coverage was not enough for me. This was a huge let-down since I consider the Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick and Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation to be in my top picks for foundation.
- Glamglow PLUMPRAGEOUS Nudes got me based on their social media marketing. As a nude lip lover I just couldn’t resist and ordered 4 online sight unseen. The colors looked SO perfect! These come with a plastic spatula applicator which I found did not apply product evenly or easily. Second these are THE most painful lip plumping products I’ve ever tested – they burned my lips and if a tiny bit touched my tongue, a spicy tingle sensation went shooting to the back of my mouth. I tested two on separate occasions and the most I could tolerate was 45 minutes on the lips before I had to wipe it off and give the lips a thorough cleanse. I returned 3 of the 4. The one shown is going to a friend who is curious about this and doesn’t mind a tingle.
- Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara was an impulse buy. The packaging has written on it a few statements like 1,944% more volume, 97% saw intense volume and length, 94% said this mascara stays put all day. There is an asterisk that says based on consumer study results. I did not research how many people tested this or were part of it, but at $23 it seemed worth a try. I know some mascaras take a few pumps or uses to get going so I gave this one 6 tries on 6 separate occasions. It does add volume and length and the color is a rich deep black. However the clumps were seriously horrible with this one. Layering was an absolute no for me. It made my lashes look super spidery and when I tried to separate or comb them out the mascara just looked even more clumpy and made the lashes stick together. It’s also extremely difficult to remove.
That’s wraps it up for January’s beauty hits and misses! I’d love to hear about yours as well – so please feel free to share them in the comments. If you have any feedback about the items I tried let me know.
P.S. A number of you have sent me e-mails saying you weren’t getting the email newsletters anymore. I’ve re-added the subscribe feature on the sidebar at the top of the page (if you’re on a desktop computer). Let me know if you have any issues – if you enter your email address you’ll be sent a verification link and should be good to go!
Press samples indicated with c/o.
Mini lip products are my weakness and for spring Sephora launched a new Sephora Favorites set called Give Me Some Nude Lip ($28 for a $88 value). It has six lip colors from different brands with a mix of four minis and two full sized products. To me the color theme seems to have some more mauves and neutral pinks rather than all nude shades but I really like all the colors.
In this set you get:
- Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Honeycomb (0.05 oz/1.55 g) which is a perfect creamy beige, it has full opaque creamy coverage, also reviewed in this post here
- Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Marc Lip Creme in Slow Burn (0.05 oz/1.7 g) I have the liquid version reviewed here which I adore, I thought I had the lipstick version but after checking my stash I found I did not, this has full opaque creamy coverage
- Buxom Full-On Lip Cream in White Russian (0.07 oz/1.55 g) is a sheer white beige gloss that plumps up the lips and has a slight tingly sensation, on me it doesn’t sting but I definitely feel the cooling effects and it has a noticeable tingle, this has a high shine and semi-thick texture but isn’t goopy, also swatched here
- Too Faced Melted Matte Liquidified Matte Long Wear Lipstick in Queen B (0.08 oz/2.3 ml) is a soft light pink mauve, it’s a formula I had been curious about for a while so this set was the perfect way for me to try it, the color is wearable on me for a cool-toned shade and I liked that it didn’t dry to an overly matte finish
- Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in 1993 Comfort Matte (0.11 oz/3.4 g) comes in a full size, it’s a brown shade with a very slight cool undertone, this did indeed feel comforting on the lips and even though it’s matte, it had a soft looking finish that didn’t feel or look dry, based on this I may give the lipsticks another go (from my first experience I found a different finish very dry)
- Estee Edit The Barest Contour Lip Liner in In the Buff (0.009 oz/0.25 g) is a pretty nude rose, I have semi mixed feelings about this one, as a liner it’s medium-sheer so it won’t give full coverage, but it has a smooth texture that is easy to use and doesn’t tug if you line the edges of your lip, I love the color and the finish for a truly bare kind of liner that won’t look too done up, most of my liners though usually have more pigment, but I do think this is one I could get used to
It can be easy to get suckered into value sets or palettes. I usually try to stick with a rule that if there are 2 shades I don’t think I’ll use then I’ll try to pass. Sets are easier for me to justify because I can always gift away portions to friends. In this case the $28 price point didn’t seem like it would break the bank and the set had items I was interested in trying. I already have Honeycomb and White Russian but didn’t mind having another one of each, especially since they are minis.
For those wondering if you need both the Marc Jacobs Beauty Slow Burn Le Marc Lip Creme Lipstick and Liquid, the colors are identical. The liquid is more opaque with a glossy sheen while the lipstick has a more matte/satin finish. I would say it’s a tough pick – right now I have a slight preference for the liquid version, but they are both excellent.
To me the only real “nude” is Bite Beauty Honeycomb but I know everyone has a different take on what they think the color should look like. Overall I think the set has a great mix of shades that are neutrals but they are all very different from each other.
If these colors are up your alley then I think this is a great buy – you’ll use up all the colors because of the size and it’s a great way to try six formulas and brands at an affordable price. If not then I’d say save the $ for something you think you’ll really love.
The Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Nude Lip can be found online and in stores at Sephora for $28. These sets are limited-edition and usually stick around for a season.
Have you tried any of these formulas yet? What did you think?
Happy Wednesday everyone! I have the first what’s in my bag post of the year. Lately the purse I’ve been carrying the most frequently is the Celine Belt Bag in the mini size (review of what fits inside plus thoughts on style in this post here). I own two of the same style, just in different colors. I alternate between the Light Taupe (shown) and Black. For the spring 2017 season they added another size called the Micro which is smaller, has a longer removable strap and can be worn as a crossbody. I took a quick peek while in LA at one a couple months ago and promptly walked away so I would not be tempted – but I will say it’s really cute!
I picked up some new sunglasses from J.Crew called the Irving Sunglasses in the Smoke Olive color. I love the ones that come in lighter colors because they’re fun and different. These frames are small enough for my face size and shape so I could not resist! The store near me only carried it in two colors otherwise I would have probably bought the light clear pink ones.
I’m currently carrying multiples of the Clarity Clutch in the mini size from Truffle. I ordered the Nude and White last fall during one of their sales and like that they are small enough to throw in most of my purses. They’re just the right size and proportion to fit what a few things and keep contents edited.
As usual I have one too many lip products carried with me. I have my two favorite balms of the moment the Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade and Lanolips in Strawberry. I’ve used them repeatedly for weeks now. The weather has been on the cold side so we’ve cranked up the heater in our place which makes everything dry. Plus I’ve still been trying to get over a cold so my lips have been extra dry. These have kept my lips from peeling and cracking – I’ve been sure to apply on clean fingers instead of directly on the lips to keep them clean and free of germs.
Other staples for lips include NARS Lip Gloss in Turkish Delight which I like to layer with MAC Lip Pencil in Boldly Bare, Whirl or Dervish (neutral nude lip liners swatched and compared in this post here). The Marc Jacobs Le Marc Liquid Lip Creme (c/o) in Truth or Bare and Slow Burn have been worn frequently the past week. The Chanel Gloss Volume is pretty basic but it’s one of my favorite clear lip glosses for the pretty shine it gives and cushiony feel.
For fragrance I’ve been reaching for Byredo options a lot, I’ve been loving Oud Immortel although I probably need to switch things up to something a bit lighter and more cheery to lift the mood. I’ve still been dreaming about splurging on the Unnamed Perfume. It’s one of those scents I spritzed at the counter back in August and it still haunts me even months later. However I have promised myself to save up for the Creed Virgin Island Water before I buy any other perfume. Right now I don’t think it’s quite appropriate for the current weather or season, but in a couple of months I think it will be perfect and by then it will be mine! It’s the ultimate dreamy tropical vacation kind of scent I want to wear all spring to summer.
Last but not least I can’t help carrying the Tom Ford Soleil Eye and Cheek Palette. It’s not really all that practical to carry around but I love the sturdy compact and large mirror makes reapplying lipstick so much easier compared to the tiny mirrors you get in most compacts. If you haven’t checked them out I recommend you do (review on both colors here). They are both 100% worth the splurge.
Hope your first week of the new year is going well! I’ll have some reviews on MAC Shadescents and the Louis Vuitton perfumes coming up next! They’ve been on the to-do list for weeks now – I know many of you have been waiting so thanks for your patience!
What’s in your bag right now?
Marc Jacobs Beauty just launched new liquid lipsticks called the Le Marc Liquid Lip Creme ($28 each for 0.19 oz/ 3.49 mL). There are six colors total all in the neutral category with full smooth coverage and no detectable scent. These are liquid lipsticks formulated with Brazilian Cupuacu Butter and Collagen to help give the lips a fuller look with a nourishing formula. My biggest rant with most liquid lipsticks or matte liquids is that they tend to emphasize my lip lines and give them a dried-out cracked look. I often have to add a bit of gloss or balm on top to soften the overall look. The Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Cremes have a satiny sheen and creamy finish so they don’t ever look dried or cracked on the lips. These come with a sponge-tip applicator. I like that there is a little clear window at the base so you can tell what colors they are without having to look at the labels or open them up.
The colors are all smooth and full coverage. They’re all creamy so no shimmers. Lasting power is impressive and they stay put really well for hours without budging or fading:
- Yours to Try is a yellow nude which is not a flattering color on me but it’s has a flawless finish and no streaks, the formula is excellent and very smooth with opaque coverage, the color however has too much yellow for my already yellow/olive toned skin
- Fawn Over Me is a peachy nude which is more wearable on my lips, with nudes I often worry how smooth they will look on my pigmented lips and this formula is flawless and streak-free in coverage
- Truth or Bare is probably my favorite, it’s a medium dusty rose pink
- Shush Blush is a described as a deep pink, on my complexion it almost pulls coral
- Slow Burn is a neutral cool nude rose
- Hot Cocoa is a brownish cinnamon shade
Several of you have asked for a roundup or comparison of liquid lipsticks and I’ve been working on one for the past few weeks – stay tuned! I’m still testing a few more formulas 🙂 Some quick thoughts on how these compare to a few other brands:
- The Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Creme colors (with the exception of the lightest one) are all easy for me to wear and incorporate into everyday looks
- Anastasia Liquid Lipsticks (Crush lip swatched here with a bit of clear gloss) have similar coverage and pigment intensity, but they dry to a cracked-looking finish (I need gloss on top) while the Marc Jacobs ones do not ever look dry
- Armani Lip Magnets (reviewed here) are among the best liquid lipsticks for texture, coverage and lightweight feel but all the colors run dark or deep, the Armani has a more weightless feel compared to the Marc Jacobs and the Lip Magnets meld with the lip texture in a more natural way
- Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks (Lolita and Lolita II swatched here) all tend to darken on my lip after drying, they also pull a little dry in finish, the Marc Jacobs lip cremes have a creamy feel, don’t darken or shift in color and feel more nourishing on the lips
- Christian Louboutin Loubilaques (three nudes swatched and reviewed here) are more of a lip lacquer but with a liquid lipstick feel, these are a lot more glossy and lush-looking in finish by comparison
- Tarte Quick Dry Matte Lip Paints (Bestie swatched here) have a distinctly matte finish
- NARS Lip Covers from summer (swatched here) have a similar concept in pigment and satiny finish but have a thicker creamier feel, the Marc Jacobs Le Marc Liquid Lip Cremes almost feel weightless when comparing the two formulas
If you like liquid lipsticks I think you’ll like these. Even though there are only six colors I think there’s a good variety to pick from. They’re neutrals that still have a pop of color so they’re bound to show up and look like you’re wearing lipstick. I haven’t been the biggest fan of liquid lipsticks just because they make my already-full lips look even bigger with the super opaque matte coverage but these have a nice satiny sheen that doesn’t make them look huge. My favorite is Truth or Bare. Have you tried these yet? So far they’re only available online but I suspect they will show up in stores in the spring. If you haven’t what are your favorite liquid lipsticks? Let me know if you have any review/comparison requests for formulas in the comments and I’ll do my best to include them in the upcoming roundup.
You can find these online now at Sephora and Marc Jacobs Beauty. They retail for $28 each.
These were provided courtesy of Marc Jacobs Beauty for review.
I have my huge Sephora
sale haul post for those who wanted to know what I bought during the VIB Rouge sale last week. For those who have VIB Member Status the 20% off Sephora Sale starts today 11/11 and runs through 11/14/2016 with code 20VIB
if you’re shopping online at Sephora.com
. You can use the code multiple times online and there are no product or brand exclusions. Up first are staples I stocked up on:
Left to right:
- Glamglow Supercleanse Daily Clearing Cleanser is something I bought in the 1 oz travel size, I have the full size but it’s nice to have a mini on hand for travel or mini trips, original review here in case you want more details
- First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Polish is one of the most gentle face scrubs I’ve used, in recent years I’ve stopped using most scrubs because I have very sensitive skin, this one is a good one!
- Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant in Vanilla Coconut is pretty much the only brand of deodorant I use, I don’t sweat a lot so I can’t say how well this holds up for those who do sweat a lot, but it lasts all day, isn’t irritating, smells great and aluminum-free, sometimes on days I’m in a rush it’s all I wear and I get compliments from random strangers saying “you smell really good, what are you wearing?”
- Sephora Collection The Cleanse Daily Brush Cleaner is one of my favorite quick-clean kind of sprays, it won’t clean brushes 100% but it’s great for powder shadow or blush brushes (anything powder like bronzer, highlighter etc.) – also available n a mini size
- Make Up For Ever Mist and Fix is one of the best makeup setting sprays I’ve tried although I have to say that I have not tried that many, ones I have tried are just ok, but this one is great, it sets makeup, makes powder look less powdery without messing up your makeup, helps extend wear, has no scent, and is also availble in a mini size
- Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt has been featured here before and a single tub will last a long time, I use it 1x per week to every other week now and am getting close to finishing another one so I stocked up, review here and here in case you’re curious
- Sephora Collection Soft Touch Cotton Pads are great basic cotton pads that won’t leave fibers in your eyes, I stocked up on 3 packs because apparently my husband has been using mine although he doesn’t use toner or need/use makeup remover so I’m not sure what he’s using them for, either way they are inexpensive even without the discount and don’t disintegrate
- YSL L’Homme Deodorant is a restock for my husband and it’s one of his favorite deodorants of all time, he has sensitive under arms but this one works for him – I bought it because the Sephora sales rep told me it was “the best” he tried and that I would not regret buying it, he was right! My husband loves the smell and I love the smell, it lasts all day on him and is non-irritating, he wants me to tell you that he thinks it will make a good stocking stuffer for guys, lol
Next are some sets that I found interesting and ordered online because of overwhelmingly positive customer reviews. One is being returned.
- Peter Thomas Roth masks have been raved about by so many I decided to finally try the Mask-A-Holic 5 Piece Kit ($75 for a $230 value), there is also the Mask Vault ($225 for a $352 value) but the 5 piece set seemed like a much better value/deal – if you’ve tried them let me know what you think or if you have favorites!
- Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil 7 Piece Body Butter Collection is something I bought for stocking stuffers, I tried Gingerbread Vanilla and had a friend over and asked her to take a whiff to make sure it just wasn’t me, these are very strong in scent and very very sweet, if you like sweet or vanilla you’ll love these, me and my friend found them too strong so it’s going back, I don’t think my friends will like these
- Elizabeth and James Find Your Nirvana Set has four 0.10 oz/ 3 mL Eau de Parfum mini rollerballs in Nirvana Black, Nirvana White, Nirvana Bourbon and Nirvana Rose, it’s a great way to try all four or keep one in a clutch
- Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Trans-Foam Clay Trio has a lot of positive reviews, they are clay masks that are supposed to transform into a foaming cleanser when you add water, I haven’t tried it yet but have high hopes!
- Skin Inc. Prep + Peel Set is something I bought to try the peel described as “non-abrasive” – will keep you posted as I try these, I may wait until after Thanksgiving to try these just in case I have an allergic reaction to anything
Elizabeth and James launched two candles in Nirvana Black
and Nirvana White
, both are online only (at least for the moment). They also have a couple sets with the candle like the House of Nirvana Black Gift Set
. I haven’t burned it yet but it smells amazing from just opening the box. The Nirvana Black is my favorite and I think having this as a home scent will be incredible. The Find Your Nirvana Set
minis shown next to candle for scale.
Makeup picks where I went for minis and stocking stuffers:
Last but not least, I did buy the Laura Mercier Iconics Holiday Box Set
. I went back and forth debating whether to buy it as there are a number of other Advent Calendar/Box Beauty Sets that are tempting this year. At the $170 retail price the 12 items in the box average to about $14.17 per item. With the 20% off the set price is $136 which makes each item about $11.33 (not including sales tax). The presentation is gorgeous and even though the box appears to be cardboard it’s very well made. I said I would review this earlier but after looking at it and seeing as I have already tried 8 of the 12 items I am going to save this as a gift for a very special someone although I don’t want to say who because it’s supposed to be a surprise. Everything is individually wrapped but if you want to see real life photographs I can carefully open the box to photograph for this post. Here’s the stock image as a place holder for now.
Hope you enjoyed this haul post! To recap, if you have VIB Member Status you can save 20% off purchases starting today 11/11 and through 11/14/2016 at Sephora. Use code 20VIB
at checkout if you’re shopping online at Sephora.com
P.S. I am expecting my Tom Ford Winter Soleil Eye and Cheek Palettes
to arrive today so I hope to photograph, test and swatch everything for my VIB readers before the sale ends even if it will be a first impressions kind of post.
Are you hauling anything during the sale this weekend? Or did you already shop last weekend for the VIB Rouge?