Browsing Tag

Make Up For Ever

Hauls Nordstrom Sephora

A Mini Sephora + Nordstrom Beauty Haul

October 11, 2015

I did a haul last week at Sephora and Nordstrom, both stores are dangerous for the wallet but oh so fun. I had four items on my shopping list and as usual, ended up with more than I intended. These days I prefer to shop online more than in store because it’s easier, more convenient and saves time, but every now and then it’s fun to go see things in person.

From Nordstrom at MAC I picked up the Viva Glam Miley Cyrus II Lipglass. The first one from last year really surprised me – I fell in love with it even though it’s packed with lots of sparkle. Last year’s (which is still available) was a sparkling hot sheer pink (swatched here). This year’s version is a bright sheer coral that’s also sparkly but super pretty. I don’t usually like high-sparkle glosses but I highly recommend checking out both. I also picked up a Cremesheen Pearl Lipstick in Koi Coral for a friend. It’s so pretty I think I need to pick up one for myself.

Sephora has the cutest new shopping bags, although I still see the older glossy bags around. After seeing the October Beauty Insider 250 Perk for Bite Beauty on Instagram, I went to the store to track it down since it hasn’t popped up online yet. This month’s color is Kir Royale which is a deep wine berry plum color. It’s available individually as the Luminous Creme Lipstick. It’s a brighter color than it looks in the tube – but I’m trying to be braver in wearing bolder lip colors for fall.

Here are quick swatches of the Bite Beauty Kir Royale and MAC Viva Glam Miley Cyrus II:

Burberry Beauty finally launched at Sephora and one near me received items in store! I’ve had the Fresh Glow Luminous Highlighting Pen and Effortless Contouring Pen for Face and Eyes on my radar since August. I finally decided to bite the bullet and buy both. I opted for the Medium No. 01 Contour shade (the lighter option). I haven’t played with them yet except to swatch them in store on the hand but I’ll have a review soon. In the meantime you can see the Medium Contour Pen in action in this lovely video from RaeView on her YouTube Channel in her Tutorial | London Fashion Week GRWM, Burberry SS16 Makeup. Both the Highlighting and Contour Pen are also applied by Wendy Rowe in the Burberry Spring/Summer 2016 Runway Make-up Tutorial | Sephora video too. They look super easy to use and apply for contouring-challenged people like me.

Sheet masks have been on my radar over the past few months. I’m still smitten with Tatcha and Kiehl’s but decided to try some others. Dr. Jart+ Brightening Infusion Hydrogel Mask has mixed reviews but there were single sheets available in store so I decided to pick one up to try it. If you’ve tried any of Dr. Jart+ masks let me know what you think!

Last but not least, I’ve been on the hunt for a new concealer. I did a favorites roundup last year on my tried and true and while there’s nothing wrong with the ones I use, I’ve been wanting something new. I’ve been testing and swatching several over the past few months in store. It’s taken me a while to decide on some. I’ll have a more detailed roundup on the best ones for spots versus under eyes. Two additions are the Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer (I picked up Medium Neutral) and the Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer (I ordered 8 online and also picked up 7 last week).
If you have Beauty Insider Points to redeem I think the October Beauty Insider 250 Point Perk for Bite Beauty is worth trying to track down. I suspect it will launch online like the others did (I passed on the pink and coral ones). You can get the lipstick individually, but the gloss is super pretty. I highly recommend it – it’s such a pretty color for fall.
Have you hauled anything recently? Would love to hear about any new beauty picks!

The Makeup Show LA – March 2015

April 13, 2015

A few weekends ago I attended The Makeup Show in Los Angeles for the first time. The Makeup Show is series of events held for beauty professionals and students. Earlier last month, the team kindly sent over a preview package mid-March to showcase some new items and brands that would be making their debut at the show. I was glad to be able to attend the show in person to experience the event first hand. There will be events held throughout the US this year, check out the details for tickets and exhibits at The Makeup Show and follow them on Instagram @themakeupshow or The Makeup Show Blog to stay up to date with the latest and get sneak peeks of what is to come.

Quick overview of dates for upcoming shows:

  • May 3-4, 2015 NYC
  • June 13-14, 2015 Dallas
  • August 29-30, 2015 Pop-Up Shop in San Francisco (new!)
  • January 30-31, 2016 Orlando
There were over sixty beauty brands that with booths from the show. At the top of my list to visit were the Beautylish and Hakuhodo. The Beautylish booth was setup like a mini pharmacy with shelves of their Bioderma Sensibio and Bioderma Sébium – both of which are currently sold out, but be sure to put yourself on the wait list online. I was beyond excited to see the Hakuhodo brushes in person for the first time ever and limited myself to purchase 4 although I have a very long wish list now. A new discovery for me was the Korean brand MustaeV. The Makeup Show Press package included the Bloom Pouch (also shown here) which is perfect for travel. I picked up some items from the line and will have a review soon. Additional stops included the booths for Make Up For Ever, Nigel’s Beauty Emporium, Kevyn Aucoin, and NARS.

A few quick snapshots from the show that I was able to get in between the crowds of attendees:



Make Up For Ever


Ellis Faas Gallery


Most of the lines offered their items at discounted prices from retail listed prices for those who attended the show. Here is my extensive (and rather expensive) haul. I left with four different kinds of brush cleaner that I’ve been putting to the test. I am eager to see if there is really a difference between the brands or if they all perform the same.

The Make Up For Ever items can be found at Sephora. The only thing exclusive to the show (and perhaps the pro line) was the mini Step 1 Primer Set. There were four small primers in a clear zip bag, but each item was rung up at the register separately. The OCC Creme Color Concentrate in Discipline can be found at Nordstrom

The Hakuhodo brushes I bought include the ones with white goat hair. I purchased J501 and J505 (both cheek/powder), G5514 (for eyes), the Fan Brush White H2369 and the Brush Cleaner. Hakuhodo did not have any discounts on their brushes at the show but it was nice to be able to see and touch them in person. Other items I picked up were some Kevyn Aucoin items like the Matte Lip Color in Enduring, The Celestial Skin Liquid Lighting in Candlelight and Lip Gloss in Neottiana. After falling in love with the Large Bloom Pouch from MustaeV, I knew I had to stop by the booth at the show. They have an extensive line of brushes but the ones that stood out to me were the travel-sized EasyGo Line. The Blush Brush is the perfect size and shape for travel. They were kind enough to gift a few items to test out. I’ve already put the brush cleaner to use and the Spray is perfect for when I’m swatching a large number of items. It cleans the brushes effectively and but doesn’t make the brushes too wet so they dry quickly.
Last but not least includes the Bioderma Makeup Removers from Beautylish. I already purchased the smaller 250ml size of the Sensibio right when it launched in February thinking the small size would be sufficient. I also prefer smaller sized items so they don’t take up a lot of counter space. However, both of these are so good, I’ve already used up 1/2 of the Sensibio H20. If these are something you think you’ll use daily, I highly recommend that you opt for the larger 500 ml size. You also get the travel sized mini as a bonus when you buy the larger ones. I ordered 1 back up of each of the large sizes online because they keep selling out and this is something I don’t want to be without when I run through the bottles. They’ve sold out online yet again so I highly recommend you add yourself to the wait list. They will shoot you an e-mail once it is back in stock.
One last shot of the Make Up For Ever booth, I didn’t pick up any of the shadows because there were too many people crowded around the items:

Hope you enjoyed this brief recap of The Makeup Show LA! I wish I had gotten more photos of the booths but I got lost in all the makeup goodness. Plus there were so many people in attendance it was difficult to get photos of the booths like Stila, Smashbox, Sephora and OCC. Have you ever been to one of the events before? If so which city?
Be sure to check out the details of upcoming events, ticket information, exhibits and schedules online  at their website The Makeup Show. You can also follow them via social channels for more photos of the events on Instagram @themakeupshow, Twitter @themakeupshow and Facebook.
Many thanks to The Makeup Show for inviting me to the event! The MustaeV and Beautylish items were gifted courtesy for review consideration. All other items purchased by me.

Sephora Beauty Insider VIB Rouge 15% Off Event Starts Today: 4/12 through 4/21/2015

April 12, 2015

The Sephora Beauty Insider event is happening this month! VIB Rouge Members get early access starting today where you can get 15% off your purchases online at with code ROUGELOVE and in stores by showing the mailer or copy of the e-mail you received with the barcodes 4/12 through 4/21. VIB and other Beauty Insider Members will have access at later dates (will update as more as I receive more info).

I placed an order online this morning to avoid the crowds, although quite a few of the Surratt Beauty items I had on my wish list sold out already. I’ll have my haul to share with you in the next week (my package is expected to arrive Tuesday or Wednesday).

In the meantime if you need some recommendations here is a list of items I’ve reviewed from the past few years that are good to save on. Sales on mid to high-end luxury products rarely occur except with the occasional friends and family discounts. In the mix a few splurges along with classic staples.

Row 1, left to right:

Row 2, left to right

Row 3, left to right:

Row 4, left to right: 

Did you buy anything for the VIB Rouge Beauty Insider sale at Sephora? If you’re shopping online be sure to enter in the code ROUGELOVE at checkout. If you’re a VIB/Beauty Insider Member, what’s on your wish list or in your shopping cart?


On My Radar / New in Beauty

August 19, 2014

A few new items on my radar this week:

  1. Truffle Privacy Clutches have just launched in 4 colors Dove Grey, Blush, White and Seaglass
  2. Edward Bess has designed a new Ultra Slick Lipstick in Betty named for personal shopper Betty Halbreich, an emblem of style at Bergdorf Goodman since 1976
  3. Urban Decay Naked Basics2 just launched today on (it will be available at other retailers later this fall)
  4. Make Up For Ever launched their new Artist Shadows (over 200 shades), I quickly swatched a few in-store a couple days ago but didn’t have time to look in detail, the texture seems super soft and pigmented
  5. Guerlain Les Sables Four Pan Palette is one of three Guerlain eye palettes to launch early fall
  6. Guerlain KissKiss Lipstick is a new formula that comes in over 20 shades, there are a number of stunning soft rose pinks, I have my eye on Fall in Rose, Baby Rose, and Golden Girl
  7. MAC Prep + Prime Finishing Mist is supposed to be the regular Fix+ in upgraded packaging, I’ve been a huge fan of the regular Fix+, I hope the formula didn’t change too much (or at all really), if you’ve seen this, do you think it’s the same?
  8. Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate is Shiseido’s latest for anti-aging and skin smoothing, it claims to give your skin the ultimate glow in just one week, I’ll have to investigate and see if I can find a small sample
  9. Bobbi Brown has a new limited-edition Smoky Nudes Eye Shadow Palette, I’ve found these to be hit or miss in the past with formulas, the colors look stunning from stock photos
  10. Bobbi Brown Sandstone Shimmerbrick is a repromote with the Smoky Nudes collection, it is one of my favorites of all the Shimmerbricks, if you missed out before I highly recommend you check this one out
  11. Bobbi Brown has four new Creamy Matte Lip Colors in Nude, Warm Nude, Soft Nude and Pink Nude, all of these colors look like they are right up my alley, although I’m not a fan of matte lips, I might make an exception if the colors are naturally flattering
What’s on your fall beauty radar?

Base Makeup

My Search For a New Foundation Love: Part 2

February 12, 2011

My foundation sampling experiences Part 2 with Chanel Pro Lumiere, Diorskin Nude Natural Glow Hydrating Makeup SPF 10, Dolce & Gabbana Powder Foundation, Laura Mercier Crème Smooth, Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complexe Tinted Treatment, Make Up Forever Face & Body Liquid Makeup & Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua. Click read more to see the details on each.

Chanel Pro Lumiere Professional Finish Makeup SPF 15 ($54) This is an oil-free liquid foundation that provides a medium-to-full coverage with a semi-matte finish. I was matched best to Beige 40.

  • Pros: The texture is a slightly thicker than normal liquid foundation. Comes with a pump. I have gone through a full bottle but couldn’t remember why I never repurchased. I got another sample recently to see if I could figure why. The upside is you can easily control coverage depending on how much you layer. The finish is just as described “semi-matte” but you do need to set with powder.
  • Cons: I found this heavily scented, can’t quite put my finger on the smell, but it’s sweet which is something I wasn’t a huge fan of. Although this is described as medium to full, I found it more on the full side. I also found it a bit too heavy on the skin. If you have medium to dry with fuller coverage then I think this is a formula you will like. I found it too full and a bit fake looking even after blending it out with a sponge.

Diorskin Nude Natural Glow Hydrating Makeup SPF 10 ($46) Described on containing, “40% Active Mineralized water, this fluid foundation offers a fresh and hydrating finish.” I’ve heard non-stop raves about this one so I decided I had to try it.

  • Pros: Lightweight, flawless finish, nice liquid texture, lasts all day. No allergic reaction. Blends easily to cover the skin naturally. Feels amazing. Softly scented but not overpowering. Keeps skin non-oily. What’s not to love?
  • Cons: Color selection is odd. I’ve tried 20, 21 and 30 – all of which are slightly off. The benefit of the natural coverage is that I’ve been able to get away with both 20 and 21 – but I think my perfect match would be if I custom blended 20+21+30 (and not in equal proportions). I love everything except the color selection. I’ve found this typical of other Dior Tinted Moisturizers and Foundations. Perhaps I just need to sit down with my artist and try all the shades.

Dolce & Gabbana Powder Foundation ($59) I do not have immediate in person access to Dolce & Gabbana. Those who have read my Dolce & Gabbana posts know I can’t rave enough about Nikki from Saks Houston. She matched me over the phone when I told her my Chanel shade. PERFECT match! I used 140 Tan in the summer and currently use 100 Warm.

  • Pros: Full but natural velvety coverage. It’s truly versatile. I apply with the sponge (dry) over foundation or with a brush to set my liquid foundation. I can apply alone over my serum/primer. I can use for touchups during the day. Long lasting and no detectable scent. Comes with a separate bottom compartment to store the sponge. This is my new holy grail powder foundation twin to Chanel’s DPF.
  • Cons: Hard to find any, but the price tag of $59 is pretty steep. The gold packaging gets fingerprints and can get messy looking easily but it’s sturdy and after a while it’s not something I notice.

Laura Mercier Crème Smooth ($50) I received a sample at a Nordstrom Trend Show in Sunny Beige and Vanilla Beige. They were featuring this one with a hard sell describing it as the perfect lightweight cream that has full coverage “without visibly settling into fine lines”(quoted exactly!) The model looked flawless so practically EVERYONE in the crowd was intrigued (screaming with excitement is a better description).

  • Pros: Great color selection. I tried several and there were several shades I could have gone with. Provides natural finish and looks great … for 1 hour. It has a nice texture and blends well on the skin. I wish I could have loved this one. It’s thicker and creamy like in a pot. The amount of product you get for the price seems generous in my opinion.
  • Cons: I equate this to Armani’s Luminous Silk Foundation which looks great right after the application. Makes me look glowing and flawless but after 1-2 hours, I end up a greasey mess. It did settle into the fine lines in my face (and I don’t have many wrinkles yet). Definitely not long lasting. Perhaps just too heavy for my skin type. I know many have raved about it. If you like Chantecaille’s Future Skin (which I did not) then try this LM out.

Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complexe Tinted Treatment ($125) This is perhaps one of the most raved about miracle-workers for tinted moisturizers/face treatments. I was eager to try this out as I have not read a single bad review. I tried this in both shades on numerous occasions (in early July, mid-July, early September, and November).

  • Pros: The only upside I could find is that it has a luminous finish which gives an all over glow. Oh, it also comes with a pump. The packaging isn’t bad either.
  • Cons: I may be the only one who hasn’t liked this. Everyone I’ve spoken to loves this, but it made my skin worse. The texture dried to a thick uneven finish. It didn’t blend well on my face. I found the luminous quality too luminous and sparkly. Gave me reddish areas on the face with bumps around the hairline. Felt really difficult to clean off – it’s the type of product I had to slather cleansing oil all over, wash, then use my regular cleanser +rinse twice, and then use my toner to really feel clean. Perhaps it’s just not made for 29-year old normal-sensitive skin. Anyone else try this? Please share your experiences!

Make Up Forever Face & Body Liquid Makeup ($38) Another much-raved-about foundation. I loved the MAC Face & Body Foundation finish (so lovely) but within 2 days I developed cystic acne. I decided to try the MUFE version from Sephora. I was matched by a Sephora rep and I am disappointed to say I feel like I was unprofessionally matched. She just grabbed a random shade and said, “This looks good.” I asked her if she knew what the difference was between MUFE’s foundations and she said “they’re all matte, but this one is the most matte, I just LOVE this foundation.” Say what? How could this be the most matte when there is another one called Mat Velvet? I’ll keep my negative thoughts about Sephora reps to myself. There are definitely plenty of good things about Sephora.

  • Pros: Natural gel like finish. The one she used on me looked liquidy and felt a little like jelly. I wasn’t sure if it was just the tester or the real product, but it felt nice on the skin. It looked natural and felt slightly dewy.
  • Cons: I found the coverage too sheer and this foundation is simply too heavily scented for me. I couldn’t stand the smell. My skin developed a bumpy rash (odd because there was no red, just lots of bumps) within 30 minutes. I tried this several times at home to see if perhaps I didn’t have properly prepped skin. No luck. Don’t write this off – if you can try it at Sephora, I still recommend looking into it. They have a wide color selection. Chances are you’ll have to find a good match on your own though.

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua (to be released in March in the US) I was lucky to get a couple sample packets included in Japanese magazines. This is supposed to replace the Teint Innocence Liquid. I was a bit skeptical but I did have a little bit of faith in Chanel. With the discontinuation of Teint Innocence Liquid (big mistake in my mind), this will be the THIRD time Chanel has discontinued my Holy Grail Foundation (Teint Fluide Universel and the original DPF powder have both been long discontinued).

  • Pros: Thin texture allows a little to go a long way. This is less dewy than Teint Innocence but gives a similar flawless naturally soft finish. Coverage is sheer to medium (more on the medium side). I think I have found my new Holy Grail!!! It’s like if Lift Lumiere and Teint Innocence had a baby with a slightly thinner texture. Coverage is perfect in my opinion. I’ve set with powder but I think you could get away without using powder on top. LOVE!!!
  • Cons: Not sure if I can find any. I got samples of #20 which I found a tad too light, but still looked pretty good in undertone. I hope it’s not too pricey (as in please be under $50). I’m still very VERY VERY sad Teint Innocence is being pulled from their product lineup.
If you’ve tried any of these – please chime in with your experiences! I will be doing a comprehensive review of the brands and formulas I’ve tried in Part 3. I would like to kindly ask if you have a suggestion for something that I didn’t list above – please save it for Part 3. I think it will help readers (and myself) sort through your suggestions, thoughts and experiences if they are all in one spot. Thanks 🙂

Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams Warm Beige 13 & Taupe 15

July 2, 2010
It seems many of my recent purchases have been inspired by others. The new Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams $22 (from Sephora) are no different. This post I dedicate to Lakshmi. She had her eyes on these as soon as they came online and e-mailed me “gorgeous taupe eyeshadow alert!” the moment her Sephora received their shipment. I immediately went to Sephora the following week to check them out and my first try, I was not impressed. I’m not sure if it was just the questionable sanitary tester conditions, poor lighting, or use of my fingers that had me leaving empty handed. The first time I tried it, it didn’t blend well and looked extremely muddy on the eyes.

However, after getting more info from Lakshmi and reading Karla’s post about her swatch adventures with the MUFE Aqua Creams, I decided to try it once more. I have to say I agree with Karla that applying with fingers isn’t the best way to apply them. Spreading the color on the eye with my finger leaves an uneven application since it sets fast and doesn’t blend well. It applies much better when you use a brush. I used my MAC 242 and Bobbi Brown Cream Shadow Brush (one on each eye today) and I can definitely see a difference in the application.

Those not familiar with MUFE Aqua Creams – they are a new high pigmented cream shadow that is long-wearing and waterproof. I can’t attest to the waterproof part. I have tried their Aqua Lip Liner in 1C and I can’t say that it was longlasting. However the Aqua Creams do indeed last a long time without fading. Right now they are a Sephora Exclusive in the U.S. When I was at Sephora, the sales rep told me he recommended that I apply with a brush in thin layers. He said the pigmentation/texture of the cream was such that if you apply too much at first, you will get a cakey layer that will crack when dry. I’m not sure if this is true or not, but his input/advice did make sense.

I ended up coming home with #13 Warm Beige (which is a pale champagne pink) and #15 Taupe (a shimmery taupe):

I tried #2 Steel at Sephora with a Q-Tip applicator and it lasted from 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm without any smudging or fading. The only reason it came off was because I removed it in the shower. I passed on it at the store because it seemed similar to Bobbi Brown Galaxy (which I don’t find myself wearing frequently). I wasn’t able to compare it side by side, but knew I most likely wouldn’t use it a lot.

Those wondering, I swatch tested a few shades meant for cheeks. I personally didn’t see how it was possible to blend them on the cheeks since it’s a bit tricky for me to apply on the eyes. Some of the colors are stunning, but the texture seems too thick to be able to blend well for a natural blush.


Recent Sephora Haulings: Urban Decay, Lorac, Benefit, MUFE, Dior

August 13, 2009

I occasionally stop by Sephora and a couple days ago went to check out the new fall collections and saw they had the new Urban Decay/Dior fall items and picked up Ruthless Eyeshadow and Naked Lipstick and Red Dahlia Nail Polish.

The haul along with some other items I have picked up over the past few months:

Close ups of the items, Lorac Baked Matte Satin Blushes in Velvet Rope & Exposed:

Benefit Coralista & Rich Beach Eyeshadow (also featured HERE):

Benefit Lipsticks in Swoonderful, Lady’s Choice & Good to Go – all great neutrals:

Benefit/Urban Decay Lipsticks (no flash, L to R Jailbait, Naked, Swoonderful, Lady’s Choice & Good to Go):

Urban Decay Lipsticks in Jailbait & Naked:

Urban Decay Eyeshadows in Ruthless (deluxe), Shakedown & Naked (mattes):

Make Up For Ever Super Lipgloss + swatches in 20, 21, 30:

Dior Nail Polish in Red Dahlia (Sephora Exclusive) compared with some other fushia-pink-red shades – this is pulling more red in all the photos I’ve taken. It’s most similar to OPI Miami Beet, so you might want to try googling/searching for pics and swatches of that shade to get a better idea:

1. Dior Red Dahlia (bottle shown)
2. OPI Miami Beet (bottle shown)
3. Essie Private Bash
4. Essie Very Cranberry
5. Chanel Shangahi Red

Will be updated soon with comparisons to some true/classic reds so you can see the fuschia tones.