Browsing Tag

Spring 2015

Barneys New York GWP

Barneys Love Yourself Beauty Event – March 2015

March 13, 2015

Tomorrow March 14th is the last day for the Barneys Love Yourself Beauty Event this spring. Spend $200 or more in beauty at Barneys New York in store and online and get this goody bag filled with minis and samples. Mine just arrived today, above is what came in my bag (I ordered from a store).
The contents of the gift bag:
Tatcha Beauty Papers 1 pack/30 sheets
Deborah Lippmann Mermaid Dream Nail Polish mini 8 ml
ReVive Moisturizing Renewal Cream 7 ml
Malin + Goetz Vitamin E Face Moisturizer 29 ml
La Mer Illuminating Eye Gel 5 ml (I have the full size of this and it’s awesome)
Helmut Lang Cuiron Spray 1.5 ml
Kevyn Aucoin The Fleshtone Lip Pencil Medium  .73 g
Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer 5 ml
Sisely Ecological Compound 4 ml
Radical Extreme Repair 8 ml
Kiehl’s Super Multi-Corrective Cream 7 ml
Givenchy Phenomen’Eyes 4 g
Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Cream 15 ml
NARS Restorative Night Treatment 2 ml
Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment 10 ml
Replica Eau de Toilette mini spray
Giorgio Armani Black Ecstasy Mascara 2 ml
Chantecaille Mini Brilliant Lipgloss in Pretty 1.5 ml
Moroccan Oil Treatment Light 10 ml
L’Artisan La Chasse Aux Papillons mini spray
Rituals Yogi Flow Foaming Shower Gel 6.7 fl oz
3LAB Perfect Cream 8 g
Long Valery Joseph Extend Hairspray 2 oz
Mila Moursi Ice Cube Infusion 5 ml dose

In case you’re curious, this is what I ordered:

By Terry CC Cream
Aesop Geranium Body Wash
Byredo Cotton Poplin Candle
By Terry Cellularose Hydra Toner
The event ends tomorrow on the 14th and gifts are available online and in stores at Barneys New York. There’s no promo code online and as long as they still have stock left the gift should be added to your cart once you hit the $200 mark (while supplies lasts). If you’re interested I suggest getting your order in soon! If you’re in doubt I suggest calling your closest store to place an order.
Did you buy anything for the Love Yourself Event? I’d love to hear what you stocked up on!

Dior Vernis in Rose 499, Pink 599 and Corail 899

March 12, 2015

There are three new Dior Vernis Gel Shine Nail Lacquers in Rose 499, Pink 599 and Corail 899 ($27 each for 10 ml/0.33 fl oz, made in France). These are currently available exclusively at Neiman Marcus and – they were released with the new Rouge Dior Brilliant Lipshines (my picks swatched here).

The three new nail lacquers are fresh spring-summery colors. Each color has a stunning mix of subtle shimmers in them that give the colors depth without being frosty or too shimmery. Like most other Dior nail polishes, these have shimmer that’s more visible in the bottle but on the nails they act more like creams. Below you can see the shimmer becomes more visible depending on how light hits the bottle.

Rose 499 is the only one of the three that has a more visible shimmer with gold and rose flecks. On my nails it’s still very natural. This one is on the sheer side with a jelly finish. The color itself is very natural. If you’re looking for a soft shimmery neutral pink, this one is lovely, although for soft pinks, Lady 294 from the Kingdom of Colors Spring release is my favorite by far.

Even though it’s sheer, you can still get smooth medium coverage with two coats:

Pink 599 is a warm pink that pulls almost peachy on me. This is my favorite of the three. It’s hard to find warmer pinks that don’t look orange on my olive skin. This one has a lovely jelly finish and has enough pink to still, well look pink. Two coats shown below.

Corail 899 is a vibrant coral red. In my mind Dior can do no wrong when it comes to bright orange and coral nail polishes. This one is really beautiful with flawless rich coverage. It is however very similar to prior releases. It’s very similar to Glory 660 from spring. Corail is more orange while Glory is more pink. The new Corail is also very similar to other Chanel colors. On the nail wheel compared side by side they look almost identical from arms length. A close look will show that there are slight differences in undertone (some are more orange, others more red, some are lighter etc.). On a computer screen it may be hard to see the real difference.

Nail comparison swatches:

Dior Tra-La-La (reviewed here)
Dior Incognito (swatched here)
Chanel Ming (discontinued)
Dior Rosy Bow (discontinued)
Dior Aventure (swatches here)
Chanel Lilis (review here)
Dior Glory (swatches here)
Dior Lucky (original version)

Bottom line flawless. Each color is easy to use with a rounded chiseled brush that makes applying nail polish really easy. Those who have tried Dior’s formula know how incredibly smooth the colors are. They really are phenomenal. Lasting power is good if you use a good base and top coat. (My favorites here). If you’re a Dior nail polish fan, you may want to skip Corail because it’s very similar to other shades. Rose is nice but not a must-have for me because it’s so close to my natural skin tone but it gives a flawless soft polished look. Pink is a really fun warm spring-to-summer pink color that I find unique and wearable.

Available now at Neiman Marcus (where I bought mine) and Have you checked these out yet? What’s on your nails this week?


Fresh Sugar Nude Tinted Lip Treatment

March 11, 2015
Wallet on Chain by Chanel
Coin Purse Insert from Curieuse Wallet by Louis Vuitton
Sunglasses are Gucci

The latest from Fresh Beauty is the new Sugar Nude Tinted Lip Treatment ($22.50 for 4.3 g / 0.15 oz). It’s currently available as a Exclusive for VIB/VIB Rouge Members online and at for purchase but will be available at all Fresh retail locations later this spring in May. I ordered mine online and give it a huge thumbs up.

Fresh Sugar Nude is described as a shimmery blush nude tint. It gives a barely there wash of color but has enough pigment to cover my lip entirely with a smooth veil of pearlescent beige shimmer. Before I swatched this I was worried this might be too sheer or be invisible on the lips, but I am happy to report that even though it’s natural, it does show up as a my-lips-but-nude-and-better kind of color.

This appears to be the first Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment that has shimmer and I hope Fresh will add this lovely shimmer to future shades. In the tube it looks like a soft peachy blush beige. There is a gold sheen to it and when you see it swatched in real life you will see champagne pearl like shimmers mixed in too.

Per Fresh, these tinted lip balms contain SPF 15 and the following key ingredients:

  • Sugar is a natural humectant that ensures long-lasting moisture.
  • Meadowfoam seed oil, blackcurrant seed oil, passionflower seed oil, and avocado oil are rich in super moisturizing fatty acids.
  • Vitamin A helps to firm, retexturize, and smooth the skin.
  • Antioxidant grapeseed polyphenols and vitamins C and E provide protection from wrinkle-causing free radicals.
  • Beeswax, an emollient substance with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, softens the skin and enhances elasticity.
  • Carnauba wax, a natural wax that coats the leaves of the Brazilian Carnauba Palm, seals in moisture and acts as a protective barrier to prevent dehydration.
Ingredients: Cera Alba (Beeswax), Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Olive Oil Decyl Esters, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Parfum (Fragrance), Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Sucrose Tetrastearate Triacetate, Limnanthes Alba, (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Passiflora Incarnata Seed Oil, Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Seed Oil, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Persea Gratissima, (Avocado) Oil , Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Vanillin, Ammonium Glycyrrhizate, Polyglyceryl-3 Polyricinoleate, Propyl Gallate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Ci 15850 (Red 7 Lake), Ci 19140 (Yellow 5 Lake), Ci 42090 (Blue 1 Lake), Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Limonene, Citral, Linalool, Benzyl Alcohol, BHT.

Here it is swatched, photos can’t do this one justice. The color blends in with my skin tone, in real life you can see the shimmer better.

Swatch comparisons:

Tom Ford Lips & Boys Orlando (swatched on lips here)
Tom Ford Lip Color Nude Vanille
Tom Ford Lip Color Sheer In the Buff (discontinued, lip swatches here)
MAC Bao Bao Wan Lipstick Romantic Breakdown
Fresh Sugar Honey (old swatch here)
Marc Jacobs Sheer Lip Gel Anais + Moody Margot (review here)
Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick Nude Kate (on the lips here and here)

I give this a huge thumbs up. Coverage and pigment is similar to that of the discontinued Tom Ford Lip Color Sheers in Pink Dune and In the Buff – sheer but buildable. If you liked either of those, then you will like the new Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment. Fresh Sugar Nude is a bit lighter in color due to the pearlescent quality mixed into the lip treatment. You can see the shimmer in the tube better in real life, it glows and is really luminous. 

Lasting power is really good for a tinted lip balm. It won’t last through snacks or coffee but if left untouched it stays put for a decent amount of time. I love the hydrating feel and it has that signature Fresh Sugar scent that is sweet, lemony and sugary all at the same time.

Definitely worth checking out. Available now at Sephora and Fresh.

Bronzer + Blush Charlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury Beach Sticks

March 5, 2015

Charlotte Tilbury’s Beach Sticks finally launched in the US ($45 each for 6.5 g / 0.23 oz, made in Italy). I ordered mine sight unseen online and have been experimenting with these. The Charlotte Tilbury Beach Sticks are twist up cream blushes and highlighters. They come in summery colors with different degrees of shimmer. The texture of these sticks is quite creamy making them easy to blend and layer. Straight from the tube they swipe and swatch with medium pigment. Once you blend with a finger the color sheers out quite a bit. You don’t have to pack layers on to get the color to show up, but in my experience I did need 2-3 swipe + blend layers to get them to show up on my medium olive skin. The brighter colors like Las Salinas and Ibiza are more visible on the skin while Formentera and Moon Beach are lighter and less visible. These sticks have a soft dewy finish that give the skin a youthful glow. They don’t get greasy or oily as quickly as NARS Multiples do on me, but by late afternoon, alone they do fade. There is a slight vanilla scent with the beach sticks but it is very faint.

The colors I picked out: 

  • Formentera is a nude pink with a slight sheen, this adds a lovely nude blush look to the face, pigment is sheer to medium
  • Ibiza is a tan bronze with golden shimmer, this is nice as a bronzer, pigment is medium
  • Moon Beach is a sheer shimmery golden peach, this makes a nice highlighter and adds a sheen to the skin, pigment is sheer to medium
  • Las Salinas is a bright sheer hot pink with golden shimmer, pigment on this is sheer to medium

Detail photos and swatches:

Swatched straight from the tube:

1 swipe sheered out – don’t let these swatches deter you, they adhere to the face much better than they do on the arms, if you have 2-3 swipes on the face, they show up a lot better:

A few comparison swatches for color reference:

NARS Multiple in Puerto Vallarta
NARS Matte Multiple in Vientiane
NARS Multiple in G-Spot
NARS Multiple in Malibu

After putting these Beach Sticks to the test I find myself having mixed feelings. The colors are stunning and the texture adds a really lovely glow to the skin without making it look or feel greasy. Moon Beach works extremely well layered over powder blush on the high point of the cheek bone to give a dewy glow. Ibiza has enough warmth and color to be a good natural contour for me (traditional contouring creams are too sharp and grey-looking). Las Salinas would be better if the color were more visible, I think sheer bright pinks can be done beautifully to add a healthy glow. On my medium skin it sheers out after blending so I need to add 2 more swipes for the color I want. Don’t get me wrong it is workable, on me it just takes a bit more work and I personally prefer a stronger blush when it comes to color. Formentera is nude on me and although it does show up it is very very natural.

They also work amazingly well as a base for powder blush to help bring out pigment without darkening the powder or altering the color. In addition they layer well over powder and foundation without looking cake or heavy. If you’ve watched some videos online seeing how these are applied, the best way to use these is to swipe them directly on your face and then blend.

If you like a natural blush or want a dewy glow that isn’t greasy these are amazing. If you want more color, you may find these a bit too sheer. They do show up if you swipe a few times and the upside is that these are good for touchups and since they are natural they are impossible to overdo. I’m happy I did purchase these although they are fairly expensive at $45 each. The only shade I think I would have skipped if I had seen these in person is Formentera. Have you tried these yet? What did you think?


Rouge Dior Brilliant Lipshine & Care Couture Colour

March 2, 2015

Dior released a new lip gloss formula called Rouge Dior Brilliant Lipshine and Care Couture Colour ($35 each for 6 ml/0.20 fl oz, made in France). These are currently exclusive to Neiman Marcus and but will be released at all Dior counters later this spring (update, now also available at Nordstrom, Sephora, Bergdorf Goodman and all Dior retailers). I picked up several shades last month and have been playing with them for a few weeks. These are incredible glosses. They are luminous lip glosses with a skincare aspect Dior calls Rouge Dior Brilliant a “couture lip balm gloss with lip care oil.” The colors I saw all act like creams but each has a very subtle hint of shimmer to give the gloss dimension on the lips.

Coverage of these glosses is medium in terms of pigment. The brighter and darker colors do have more pigment than the neutrals but overall the color of each shade will show up on the lips. There is a subtle signature floral Dior scent on the glosses but it is significantly lighter than some of their previous formulas of lipstick and gloss so those with sensitive noses should be able to tolerate the fragrance.
The formula itself is quite soothing and moisturizing on the lips. They wear well alone or with a liner. The texture is not thick so you can easily layer it over lipstick without feeling like there is too much product on the lips. The colors I’ve been playing with all apply with a smooth streak-free finish and add a medium tint of color. Lasting power is medium – it stays put without sliding off for a few hours but it will transfer off the lips if you snack or drink tea/coffee frequently.

The Dior Brilliant Lipshines come with a sponge tip applicator that have a unique design. The shape is tapered to give you precise application around the edges of the lip and there is a small reservoir designed to give you the perfect dose of gloss for your lip. The applicator is different from anything I’ve seen and works beautifully.

The colors I picked up:

Swan is a medium rose pink
Paname is a neutral nude beige
Miss is a bright but soft pink
Bonheur is a sheer light pink (the sheerest of the ones I tried)
Victoire is a peach

Swatches below on the lips:

A few comparison swatches:

NARS Lip Gloss in Turkish Delight (swatched here)
Tom Ford Lipgloss in Peach Absolut
Dior Addict Fluid Stick in Frisson (swatched here)
Dior Addict Fluid Stick in Tiny Pink (swatches here)
Tom Ford Lipgloss in Pink Sugar
NARS Lip Gloss in Angelika (review here)
NARS Lip Gloss in Corsica (discontinued, reviewed here)
NARS Lip Gloss in Belize

In terms of formula comparison, these are similar in concept to the Chanel Rouge Allure Glosses released last October (review of my picks here). The color schemes of the Chanel and Dior are very different, Chanel being more edgy and classic and sharp while Dior has more nude options and the colors are softer. Texture wise the Chanel has a thicker formula that lasts longer, however Dior has one that is more moisturizing. In terms of lasting power the Chanel lasts longer on me compared to the Dior, mainly because the Chanel is thicker.

My counter didn’t have all the shades available as testers, in fact three of the five shades I bought were bought based on what they looked like in the tube so I went with the safe ones. There are others that are deeper and brighter that look phenomenal (in particular Times Square and Soho) but I wanted to be able to swatch on the hand first. I will probably go back for one deeper/darker shade. In the meantime I have five lovely neutrals that aren’t nudes that work perfectly for everyday. If you’re in search of a medium coverage gloss, I recommend these with a huge thumbs up. Either these Rouge Dior Brilliant Lipshines or the Chanel Rouge Allure Glosses are phenomenal in terms of formula. They come with a high price tag but in my testing experience with all kinds of glosses these are among the top in terms of performance, lasting power and being fuss-free. They are glosses that just work.

Have you checked out the new Dior Lip Glosses? There are three new nail polishes that go with this collection as well in Pink, Rose and Corail – working on swatches this week 🙂

The Rouge Dior Brilliant Lipshines retail at $35 each. Both currently available at Neiman Marcus and Now also available at Nordstrom, Sephora, Bergdorf Goodman.

Eye Makeup

Burberry Beauty Wet & Dry Glow Shadows

February 26, 2015

Burberry has replaced all of their single eyeshadows with two new formulas. The original powder shadows have been replaced with a Wet & Dry Silk Shadow ($29 each for 2.7g/0.09 oz) formula which is a powder shadow that has a texture you can apply wet or dry. I have several of these I’ll be testing in the next week or so. In addition to this reformulation, there is another formula called the Wet & Dry Glow Shadow ($29 each for 1.8g/0.06 oz). These are metallic shadows with a unique gel-like texture similar to the NARS Dual Intensity Eye Shadows but not quite as sharp in the shimmer. I have the Wet & Dry Glow shadows to share with you today.

There are four colors in the Wet & Dry Glow Formula:

  • Optic White No. 000 is a soft silvery white pearl shimmer
  • Gold Pearl No. 001 is a pale neutral gold shimmer
  • Nude No. 002 is a taupey-tan nude shimmer
  • Shell No. 003 is a soft champagne pink nude shimmer
The shimmer in these colors is stunning. The pigment is almost creamy but has a powder feel. You can apply these dry with a brush or fingers much like you would apply a cream shadow. If you dampen the brush it will intensify the colors and change it slightly to look more dramatic on the skin. The texture is very smooth and the shimmer is finely milled making these a softer less intense version of the NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadows or other gelee/cream to powder metallics. The shimmer is still very noticeable but these are really quite lovely on the eyes. Alone or layered or combined with other colors.

These are multi-dimensional colors which makes them glow. The colors look different in the pan depending on how the light hits them. Here they are in full sunlight:

Indoors with artificial light to show how they glimmer:

Swatched with the sponge tip applicator and blended with the fingers:

Applied dry:

Applied wet:

Close ups of each color:

My personal two favorites are Nude and Shell. Nude is deep enough to wear on its own by layering it on the eyes. Shell is also a lovely neutral that works as an all over easy wash. On my skin Optic White and Gold Pearl are so pale they have a very similar effect on my skin, I have a slight preference for the Gold Pearl color, although Optic White is a stunning white color.

Some comparisons swatches (you can click for larger viewing):

Marc Jacobs Twinkle Pop Shadows in Volver + Au Revoir (review)

Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick in Rosegold (also seen here)
MAC Paint Pot in Rubenesque
Edward Bess All Over Seduction in Starlight (also swatched here)

I’m really pleased with all four shades. The formula is consistent among all colors and the texture is easy to layer which allows you to control the level of shimmer/color on your lids. The wet/dry formula is quite beautiful in the way it transforms when you apply with a damp brush. Lasting power with these was all day for me. It didn’t budge, fade or slide off from morning well until late evening.

You can find these Wet & Dry Glow Shadows at select Saks, Nordstrom and Burberry Boutiques. Online now at Saks and Nordstrom (some on backorder).

Optic White and Shell were provided for review consideration.
Gold Pearl and Nude purchased by me.

Marc Jacobs Beauty

Marc Jacobs Beauty New Nudes Sheer Lip Gel

February 25, 2015


Marc Jacobs released seven shades of a new lipstick formula called the New Nudes Sheer Lip Gel ($30 each for 3.6 g/0.12 oz). These have replaced the original Lip Gels but some of the colors have been re-promoted. Being a huge fan of the original lipstick my heart broke a little when I discovered it was being discontinued because it was so so good. I have two of the original colors to compare with the new ones in Role Play and Have We Met?. The colors are identical but the new formula is slightly sheerer in texture and color payoff. That being said, the New Nudes Sheer Lip Gels aren’t really all that sheer. I would say compared to the Le Marc Lip Cremes these new Lip Gels are sheer, but in terms of how they rank compared to all the lipsticks on the market I would say they are sheer to medium in coverage.


The Sheer Lip Gels come in a twist up beige tube with a magnetic cap. The size and design is identical to the original ones that came in the black tubes. There is a very soft vanilla scent to the lipsticks but it’s not overpowering. The texture is creamy and glides onto the lips and feels very moisturizing. Based on my testing I will say these are a no if you have super dry lips. Having a smooth lip surface is essential for these lipsticks, so I’d recommend adding a primer or lip balm first before applying. The texture and pigment ranges from slightly shimmery to full on creams and the pigment combined with the lightness of the colors can emphasize lip lines. Adding a lipliner by lining and filling or mixing a liner with these lipsticks solves any patchiness that might result by the contrast. Do note that I have pigmented lips so wearing nudes is a challenge for me, there tends to be a sharp contrast between my natural lip color and the lipsticks.



Above L to R: Sheer Lip Gels in Strange Magic, Moody Margot, Have We Met?, Role Play, Understudy, Anais, Eat Cake, (P)outliners in Prim(rose), Honey(bun), Nude(ist)



The colors are gorgeous but ease of wear varies depending on the color. This is the case with most nudes across all brands (for example Tom Ford Blush Nude takes a lot of tweaking for me to wear without looking like a ghost, on some of my other friends, it is an easy swipe and go color).





Strange Magic is a super pale pink. On the lips it resembles concealer and if you have any pigment in the lips this will look streaky and patchy if you wear it alone. It’s a layering or mixing color that can add a sheen to liners or darker lipsticks. Below it’s shown alone on the lips and then transformed into the perfect nude with the (P)Outliner in Nude(ist) added:






Moody Margot is a pale beige that has enough color to not wash out the face. It’s still on the pale side so if you have pigmented lips this one will perform best over a neutral liner.





Have We Met? is a bright hot warm pink that is ultra sheer so on the lips it’s more of a healthy subtle pink tint. The new formula is identical in color to the original formula, but the pigment is sheerer making this one look lighter on my lips.




Role Play is a medium neutral rose pink. The new formula performs the same as the original in terms of color, pigment and level of sheen. If there’s one I had to pick as my favorite this would be it.





Understudy is a warm peachy nude with a hint of coral. It’s a full opaque cream that has medium to full coverage. It has a smooth finish but looks a tiny bit streaky in the swatch photo because I was in a bit of a rush to get all 7 lipsticks lip swatches.




Anais is a sheer nude beige tan cream. This one has a bit more color than Moody Margot making it easier to wear. If you have pigmented lips this will contrast with your natural lip color so adding a liner will help smooth out the color.




Eat Cake is the darkest of the New Nudes and is a rosy terra-cotta peachy rose. It pulls very warm on me which and has just enough brightness to add life to the face. This is a medium to full coverage pigmented cream.





Here are some swatch comparisons of the original vs new formula of shades I have:



I am still trying to get over the fact that the original lip gels were discontinued, but the new ones proved to be just as good in terms of formula, wear and finish. Lasting power isn’t quite as long as the Le Marc Lip Cremes but lasts like the average medium-wear lipstick. Adding any of the (P)Outliner Long Wear Lipliners helps to extend the wear by a long shot. My favorite colors are the darker ones, mainly because I am nude-lip challenged due to the pigment in my natural lip tone. Fav picks include Role Play, Anais, Eat Cake and Understudy. The only shade I would say skip on is Strange Magic because it’s so pale and chalky by itself making it a super high maintenance nude.


The New Nudes Sheer Lip Gels retail for $30 each. Available now at Marc Jacobs Beauty and Sephora. Have you tried or bought any of these yet? Which colors did you try?


The Marc Jacobs Sheer Lip Gels were provided courtesy of MJ for review consideration.