Birchbox launched their own makeup line called LOC (Love of Color) and today I have a review of their new summer colors from the Dream Team Collection. I was able to play with the items at the Birchbox Soho Store while in New York and they were kind enough to ship a set out for me to try out. For those new to the LOC makeup line, the products launched so far are in pencil format sized at the right size to ensure you can easily use up the color by the end of the season. It’s perfect for those who like to stay on trend. There are a number of ways to try these – individually or in multiple curated sets. Price point wise, I find them reasonably priced and the quality is on point.
I have the LOC Dream Team Ultimate Collection ($52, a $95 value) swatched to review for you today which has 5 Ultra-Gloss Lip Pencils and 3 One and Done Shadow Sticks. In the set you also get a large pencil sharpener. If you’re the kind of person who really likes value sets, I think this one will be a winner in your book.
The Ultra-Gloss Lip Pencils come in two kinds of formulas. One is a sheer glossy shades and others are full coverage creams. All the ones I tried are non-shimmers and apply flawlessly with smooth coverage. Colors are as follows:
Birthday Suit is a pale nude, on me it’s a bit pinkish in color and very pale. The formula is pretty flawless though which I found surprising for such a light color. Most pale lip colors end up looking chalky on me or require a lot of blending or added liner. This one is an easier-to-pull-off nude compared to the Charlotte Tilbury Kim KW Hot Lips (at least on me).
Cupid’s Bow is an ultra-cool blue-based fuchsia. This one is full coverage with a glossy sheen. The formula is really good, color is not my cup of tea. I usually find colors this cool-toned to be very hard for me to pull off.
Cherry Bomb is a perfect cherry red. It’s warm toned but not orangey. Coverage is full.
Punch Line is a sheer bright pink which I’m obsessed with. It gives a healthy pink glow to the lips that looks natural because of the transparency.
Purple Reign is a sheer cool-toned purple which I also really like.
As far as I can tell, there is no detectable scent or taste. Texture is medium to thick but doesn’t feel heavy. They hug the lips well so they stay put and don’t bleed. Lasting power is better than a glossy or sheer lipstick but not quite as long as a matte lipstick.
Next up are the One and Done Shadow Sticks. These are creamy shadow sticks that set quickly so once you apply I recommend blending fast because once they set, they do not budge. For those who find eyeshadow fades quickly, I highly recommend you check these out because I found the lasting power quite impressive. I would have preferred it if these were in a twist-up format, but I suspect being packaged that way might cause them to dry out.
Heavy Petal is a shimmering champagne color. Peachy Sheen is a soft golden peach. Haute Cocoa is a chocolate brown shimmer. The shimmer in these blends out to a nice sheen. I found they layered well together. Given the fact that they dry and set quickly though I found that layering powder shadows on top needs to be done quickly if you like blending.
I give all of these a thumbs up for quality, price and lasting power. They all perform really well. Had I been able to pick out individual colors versus the set, I would have skipped Cupid’s Bow just because I don’t usually wear colors that bright or cool-toned. All others get a thumbs up from me and I especially appreciate that the Birchbox stock photos on their website of this collection are very accurate.
Lancôme Juicy Shakers ($21 each) are tinted lip oils that come in a bi-phase formula with oil and color that you shake to mix up before applying. These launched earlier the spring and quite a few of you have raved about them. Lancôme is one of those lines where I haven’t explored color a lot – I have a few skincare staples including the Micellar Cleansing Water (best packaging ever) and the Bi-Facil Makeup Remover (long-time fav). Simmer Juicy Tube was my go-to lip gloss in my college days (seems like a lifetime ago!). I’ve started to explore more in the Lancôme line and when a surprise package of the Juicy Shakers showed up at my door I could not contain my excitement. The first thought that popped into my head was “I hope these are good” because I’m easily impressed by novel packaging. Sometimes the packaging is better than the product itself but I’m thrilled to report that these are indeed every bit as good as the hype formula-wise.
Pigment of colors ranges from sheer to medium in coverage. Compared to a few other brands of lip oils I’ve tried, the Lancôme Juicy Shakers far exceed the YSL Volupté Tint-in-Oils I tried in pigment and packaging design. Texture-wise they have a lighter weight texture and finish compared to the Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oils. All the Lancôme Juicy Shakers are scented and flavored – but each and every one is pleasant and not overly sweet. Scents are different for each shade to mimic the color names. If you are very sensitive to fragrance you might want to give these a sniff at the counter first before buying. As one who is extremely sensitive to sweet fragrances when it comes to lip products I can say that these are soft enough for my super sensitive nose.
The Lancôme Juicy Shakers are packaged in a small shaker with a sponge tip applicator. It literally looks like a miniature doll-sized cocktail shaker which is beyond cute! The sponge comes in a triangle-shaped applicator which is squishy and absorbs color + oil. According to Lancome these are the first cushion-applicator products for lips.
So far these appear to be well sealed at the top when you twist them close – I haven’t seen or had any leaking issues like I did with the YSL oils. There are two tiny balls inside the color which helps to mix the oil + pigment when you shake them. The three on the left are what the product looks like when you shake it. The blue one is what the product looks like when the oil and color have separated.
There are 17 shades in the permanent lineup that I have swatches. There are also 3 limited-edition shades which I have not seen or tried, but I’ll list them below. Some of the lighter colors are sheerer and have less color-payoff. There are a couple light ones that did show up well on my lips, but for the most part, the brighter or deeper shades are the ones that look the best. They have a very hydrating soothing feel and definitely feel like oils. On me I found the finish emollient almost to the point that they could slide off the lips but they stayed put on me. These contain a mix of Musk Rose Oil to regenerate and soothe, Cranberry Oil to protect, Peach Oil to soften and nourish, and Almond Oil to leave the lips supple.
Apri-Cute is a true apricot orange
Show Me the Honey is a sheer light honey peach color
Freedom of Peach is a pretty medium peach
Cherry Symphony is a ruby red
Great-Fruit is an orangey red pink
Walk the Lime is a orange red
Piece of Cake is a nude rose pink
Vanilla Pop is a warm terracotta nude
Berry in Love is a cool-toned violet with a hint of shimmer
Lemon Explosion is a sheer sparkling clear pink
Meli Melon pretty pink
Boom Meringue is a light pink
Bohemian Raspberry is a raspberry red
Wonder Melon is a melon red
Berry Tale is a watermelon pink
Mangoes Wild is a reddish orange pink
Mint to Be is a shimmering clear blue-shimmer
Swatched on bare lips:
Overall lasting power is like that of a lip gloss. They are oils so they won’t last as long like a regular lipstick or liquid lipstick. I found the deeper shades seemed to have colors that lasted longer than the lighter colors. There was color transfer with drinks and snacks. Although I don’t intentionally eat my lip products, you can’t avoid tasting them and I think the Lancôme Juicy Shakers taste like a soft subtly sweet candy. As one who doesn’t like cherries, papaya or blueberries I am beyond thrilled that those flavors weren’t in the lineup.
If you’re a fan of lip oils I think you will adore these. If you’ve been looking for a lip oil that has color these are definitely worth checking out. They are on the sheer to medium side for pigment but they will show up on the lips. All with the exception of Show Me the Honey and Lemon Explosion showed up on my pigmented lips. Some of the pinks looked very similar on my lips – there are nuances in undertone, some warmer, some cooler and some deeper so there are lots to choose from to suit your specific complexion.
Overall huge thumbs up. I love the soft cushion tip and think the packaging is genius. They added a lot of moisture and hydration to my lips. When I first tested these my lips were a bit dried out from a few lipsticks I had been wearing. Using the Juicy Shakers restored moisture to my lips and did indeed help to regenerate the lip surface to it’s normal state.
You can find the Lancôme Juicy Shakers for $21 each. I think they are definitely worth checking out. This month is going to be another lip-heavy review month so if sheers or oils aren’t your thing stay tuned for upcoming reviews on lip pencils, liquid lipsticks, lip lacquers and more traditional/classic lipstick formulas.
My top 5 favorites include Boom Meringue, Mint to Be, Freedom of Peach, Berry in Love and Mangoes Wild.
Happy Wednesday everyone! I hope your week is going well so far. I took the day off yesterday for some me-time. Sometimes the weekends aren’t just enough to unwind. I drove to LA early in the morning for a much-needed facial at the Kate Somerville Clinic on Melrose, you can find recap and review on my previous experience here. Since my first visit, I’ve gone back and booked 3 more appointments and my favorite treatments are the Dermal Quench Oxygen Treatment and Signature Facial. The treatments are worth every penny and for me also worth the 2+ hour drive. Plus it’s always fun to explore the area with Violet Grey next door (peek here), a beautiful Chloe boutique nearby, cute coffee shops and much more. Of course LA trips always leave me with a huge wish list! But it’s nice to dream right? Sometimes distractions are good.
On the beauty front, I’ve pretty much spent my beauty budget on the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Beauty Exclusives (my mega haul here). My favorite item of the sale is the Moroccanoil Set. Quite a few of the palettes have sold out already but you can still find all the NARS sets. I have my eye on the Nordstrom’s Best Cheek Palette because it looks perfect for travel and contains all the colors one could possibly need.
On the fashion front, many of you asked if I ended up getting the Trouve Jacket I tried on – I waited too long and it sold out 🙁 The Paige Transcend Jeans from the sale that sold out are now back online available on sale as a backorder. I think they are a really good deal and if you can wait for them to ship, I highly recommend them. An alternative is the Hudson Nico Ankle Super Skinny Jeans which are a similar fit and same length as the Paige. I would recommend picking the same size across both brands.
In terms of summer staples, the Madewell Whisper Cotton Tank is what I’ve been wearing a lot. I have it in multiple colors (I size down to XXS because they run a bit loose). The Whisper Cotton Pocket Tee is on sale for all the colors if you’re a tees versus tank kind of girl. (I also size down for this style.)
For shoes, the J.Crew Cece is hands down the best I’ve tried for simple classic flats. They have a cushioned sole so they are comfortable to wear. The elastic won’t dig into your heel but it’s snug enough to keep them on the feet so they won’t fall off. They are really well made and I think well worth the splurge. The regular leather had been sold out for a few months but just popped back in stock so I’ll be ordering another pair soon. Also on my wishlist are these Ankle Lace Up Sandals which look like the perfect heel height. If you have any recs for good comfy lace up heels let me know.
Last but not least, I’m dreaming about the Chloe Small Drew. The Chloe store is so beautiful, you can’t help but go inside and just wish your entire closet was made of Chloe. I’m debating between a few colors – the black is the most classic and versatile option but the caramel option is also gorgeous. I’m saving my pennies for one soon.
I hope your week is going well so far! What’s on your radar or wishlist this week? Any new fall beauty sightings/thoughts yet?
Estée Lauder launched a new line earlier this year called The Estée Edit. It’s a line of makeup and some skincare items that are exclusive to Sephora online and in stores designed for a younger edgier kind of look compared to the more traditional classic Estée Lauder line. I’ve been testing out a few items from the line and up first is a review of the Cocobalm ($22 each for 0.34 oz) which comes in five colors and are packaged in some seriously cute round squeeze pods.
These are hydrating balms with coconut oil and actually smell like coconut too. They’re described as a lightweight liquid online but in my testing experience it’s on the medium-thick side and definitely balm-like versus liquid – which isn’t a bad thing, just a bit different than what the online description says. By comparison to other squeeze tube balms, these Estée Edit Cocobalms have a bit more pigment compared to the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors but not quite as much as the MAC Tendertalk Balms. In terms of texture for a liquid balm, the most liquid kind of lip treatments I’ve tried include the Clarins Instant Light Lip Oils and Fresh Tinted Sugar Shine Lip Treatments.
The packaging of the Cocobalms is one of the most unique I’ve seen. I did worry about functionality when I first popped open the top but they are easy to apply on the lips with a beveled dispenser. Since they are on the slightly thick side I prefer to apply with a brush so I don’t get my fingers messy. They cover the lip nicely with a cushion of moisture. It’s not lightweight or weightless by any means but at the same time they’re not overly thick or tacky. You do have to blend with a finger or brush to smooth out the color.
There are five colors total, pigment is similar across all shades which is sheer to medium. They do give a noticeable tint to my super pigmented lips but the effect is natural like most balms are:
Coco White is a sheer smooth milky white (it does look white on the lips, it’s not clear)
Coco Peach is a soft light peach color
Coco Blush is the perfect medium pink shade
Coco Berry is a pretty soft mauve purple plum (my fav!)
Coco Currant is a deep brown but transforms into a true plum on my lips
For a sheer wash of color and hydration I like these a lot more than I expected. When I first saw them I thought there might be a chance I would like the packaging more than the product but was pleasantly surprised. My top two picks are the Coco Blush and Coco Berry shades. They offer long lasting hydration (I tested on bare lips) and stayed put for hours. As with almost every lip product there will be color or product transfer if you touch anything to your lips but they stayed put relatively well even in humid heat without melting or feeling like they were sliding off my face.
If you need lots pigment and color you probably will find these too sheer in which case I’d recommend you opt for the Chanel Rouge Coco Stylos if you haven’t tried them yet. Those are the best in terms of pigment and hydration that I’ve tried to date. If you don’t like any feeling of product on your lips but want hydration and a soft hint of color opt for the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors instead. The Estee Edit Cocobalms aren’t heavy but aren’t weightless if that makes sense.
There will be another post this afternoon so stay tuned to see what’s next!
More details to follow on each item I’ve tested from the Estée Edit. So far the Cocobalms are my favorite item out of the line especially since I’m a lip balm junkie and adore the packaging. The coconut scent is to die for and I do think they’re worth a try. You can find the Estée Edit Cocobalms for $22 each, exclusively at Sephora.
Have you tested anything from the Estée Edit yet? What did you think?
Estée Edit items provided courtesy of the team for review consideration.
Summer is in full swing and I could not be happier that it’s sandal season. Living in Southern California it feels like it can be sandal season year round but during the spring to summer time I love that’s it’s actually in season.Today I’m sharing my favorite nail + sandal combinations to wear right now from Nordstrom. I love adding color to the toes because it adds a fun polished feel to your entire look. I adore brights, aquas, teals and sometimes violet for the toes during the summer, but it can be challenging to coordinate some polishes with all colors of sandals or outfits. I’ve picked out my favorite versatile polish shades that will work with a wide range of outfits no matter what you’re wearing (shoes or clothing-wise). I’m all about flats for comfort, but right now there are so many cute wedges and heels out for summer. Nordstrom has a dedicated Sandal Season section with handy filters to sort by style, heel height, color etc.
I hope you find this mini sandal + nail polish combo guide fun and helpful! Up first is the sandy nude + peachy coral combo:
Toes: Louboutin Miss Loubi on the toes, the most perfect coral pink ever! Two coats gives full coverage and the formula is among the best I’ve tried, I also love Dior Front Row for a bright shimmering fuschia
Shoes: Steve Madden Werkit Sandals in Black Suede, runs true to size on me, the suede is comfortable on the feet and soft in between the toes so no breaking in required
Toes: Dior Mirage is one of my favorite mauve plums, in my experience, Dior polishes have the best brush for easy DIY application (they’re curved to match the shape of the nail), the formula is also really good
Toes: Tom Ford Sugar Dune is my holy grail nude pink that goes with everything! It has smooth coverage with medium to full coverage, two coats is sufficient most of the time, but sometimes if I don’t have a super steady hand I need a third coat to even it out
What’s your favorite summer pedicure color to wear? Do you switch things up depending on outfit or shoes? I’m forever searching for a good opaque off-white nail polish that doesn’t look streaky, isn’t sheer and that also doesn’t look like white out on my toes. Any with medium-tan to deep skintone if you’ve found one please let me know! I love the way it looks on my friends but they are all at least 2-3 shades fairer than me and also have pink undertones so they can pull off white polish easier than me. If you have any sandal favorites please let me know! I live for recommendations because it makes it so much easier to narrow down styles to try on.
Many thanks to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post. As always all opinions my own.
The week is flying by so quickly I can hardly believe it. Summer dress and sandal season is here – we’ve been having a full week of clouds with tiny bits of sun here and there in Southern California. I’m anxious for the sun to come out! I have a roundup of some new things on my radar, but first I wanted to share that I’m having a mini blog sale on some purses and shoes. It is for US only and you can see all the items listed on this blog sale page here. Instructions and details are on the page for pricing, shipping information, etc. I thought I’d give my US readers a chance to shop first before I send the items away to be consigned.
Some quick highlights on a few of the items shown above: first up on my radar are summer dresses. I bought this Tank Dress from Madewell a few weeks ago in the darker color and love it. When I find a style I like I’m always tempted to buy it in multiple colors. This Striped Vacances (1) dress just popped up online which looks right up my alley and possibly this Topshop version as well.
My husband liked the Tory Burch Miller Sandals on me so much he said “you should buy more colors.” I don’t think I’ve ever heard him say that before so of course I ran to Nordstrom and bought the Makeup pair (13) which is a blush nude and these Steve Madden Gladiator Sandals (2) also caught my eye. I could not resist so I picked up the black ones.
The Estée Edit team sent over some of their summer collection and the Cocobalms (3) come in the most unique balm packaging I think I’ve seen. They are in a circular packaging and the center is squishy to dispense product. There are five options – I have yet to test them but it’s on my to do list.
There are a couple new items from Tatcha. The Skincare Travel Set (5) could not be more perfect. It has the best of Tatcha in travel sizes and comes in a gorgeous white case. I just ordered several travel sized items for my upcoming trip and wish I had bought this one instead. Also new from Tatcha is the Indigo Smoothing Black Sugar Gommage (12) which is limited-edition for summer. I was very lucky to get an early preview of this and it’s every bit as amazing as it sounds.
It’s been a while since I’ve done an Instagram roundup on the blog. I’ve been incorporating a few accessory and fashion bits about new discoveries and loves. It’s peony season right now and although I suspect will be ending soon, I’ve been enjoying every bit of it while it lasts.
I’ll be in NYC and Brooklyn next month and would love any recommendations on what to see, eat or visit. I’ll only be there for a few days but I have a list in the making right now 🙂
I’ve been on a shoe kick recently – a few of my beloved J.Crew flats were seeing better days and I reluctantly threw them away and gave my shoe closet an update. Thankfully they brought back the Cece Flats which are the same fit but a lot more comfortable (I picked up the black suede and tan leather options). These Chloe Scalloped Flats are by far the most comfortable I’ve tried and well worth the splurge. There’s a $100 Sam Edelman dupe here and $42 version/similar style here. I haven’t tried either for sizing/fit but if you’re looking for a similar look you may want to check those out.
For sandals, the Madewell Boardwalk Lace-Ups are perfect for summer. I wouldn’t recommend them for active wear or super long walks, but they are comfortable for weekend beach wear. I sized a half size down (they ran a bit big). If you need something a bit more sturdy the Boardwalk Crisscross is more substantial option.
A few of you recommended the La Mer Hydrating Facial Sheet Mask a few weeks back. I was gifted a couple sheet sets and you were all right – it’s amazing!! I’m waiting for a good gift with purchase to pop up before splurging on a full pack. I’m also about to start testing the AmorePacific Moisture Bound Sheet Mask as well so depending on how that one works I may wait and splurge on that set instead (review soon).
Several of you have been e-mailed me for bronzer recommendations. If you’re looking for something new and matte, the two Urban Decay Beached Bronzers are really nice (I prefer sunkissed). If you can’t do warm bronzers, Tom Ford Terra is the best neutral-cool matte I’ve tried. I’ll have a summer beauty round up soon and will do a separate bronzer post in the next couple of weeks.
Two last notes – if you’re in search of a beautiful coffee table book or gift, Gray Malin Beaches is amazing! I ordered a few of the special edition ones and the photographs in the book are phenomenal. (Regular edition available on Amazon.)
If you haven’t checked out the Diptyque Voyages Collection – I recommend doing so soon. They have select perfumes, skincare items and body care in mini travel sizes. The perfumes are so cute! (Quick post on one of them here.)
To my US readers I hope you are enjoying the day off this Memorial Day!