Browsing Tag

Summer 2014


Sephora Formula X Wunderkind

June 12, 2014
If you visit a Sephora store soon a massive redesigned nail bar featuring their new Formula X is bound to catch your eye. It’s a hard-to-miss wall of color stocked with tester, pull out clear adhesives for swatches along with nail polish remover and cotton. I’ve featured Push the Limits Nail Lacquer and The System / Delete. Today I’m featuring a new shade that was released for summer Wunderkind Formula X ($10.50 for 12 ml/0.4 fl oz).

Wunderkind is a dark shimmery blue with a slight purple tint. It caught my eye at the store and I swatched it immediately. The first coat is very very sheer but the formula is smooth and easy to apply. The second coat transform the color into a full coverage smooth slightly milky blue pearl. I like that it’s a dark blue with a hint of purple but that it’s not so dark that it turns black on the nail. The blue actually shows through making it more true to what you see in the bottle.

Here it is on me with two coats along with the Formula X Base Coat and Top Coat. The manicure looked fresh through Day 5 without any tip wear or chipping (I took it off on day 5 to swatch other colors). Here’s quick snapshot of the brush as well – the white cap pulls off.

A few comparisons to other blues: Deborah Lippmann Ray of Light, Chanel Blue Satin, Chanel Bel-Argus, Guerlain Riviera (discontinued) and Chanel Blue Rebel (discontinued).

Overall love for the formula, wear time, color and in particular love the reasonable price point. Wunderkind ($10.50) is part of The Cut Summer 2014 collection. Available now at Sephora.
Have you tried anything from the Formula X line? What did you think?

MAC Sharon Osbourne Collection Picks | Duchess Eyeshadow Quad, Bijou and Pussywillow Lipglass

June 11, 2014

The MAC Sharon and Kelly Osbourne collaboration is my favorite MAC release this year. Items have already launched online and will be available in stores and counters this Thursday June 12th. The entire collection features limited-edition products and as with most popular MAC releases many items sold out online within the first few hours of the launch.

I was able to get three items on my wishlist: the Sharon Osbourne Duchess Eyeshadow Quad ($44) along with the two Sharon Osbourne Lipglasses ($16.50 each) in Bijou and Pussywillow. If you’re contemplating whether or not to get these, my recommendation is a huge yes to all three. The colors are naturally flattering and look amazing on every other blogger I’ve read reviews on, all with different skintones and hair color. Swatched below:

Duchess Eyeshadow Quad has four warmish neutrals, the only shade you can purchase individually right now is Embark. All the others appear to be exclusive to this quad. I found the pigment to be really good – the Veluxe Pearl formula is one of the best MAC has. The colors:

  • Sweet Eyes (Veluxe Pearl) is a pearly pale champagne gold and ivory shimmer
  • Sexy Eyes (Veluxe Pearl) is a soft pinky copper shimmer
  • Femme Fatale (Satin) is a warmer copper shimmer
  • Embark (Matte) is a matte brown (on me it looks more satiny)

Although MAC Duchess has colors that can probably be easily duplicated by other brands, I really like this one because it has just the right amount of shimmer and isn’t overly frosted. The closest I have is Chanel Spices which is sheerer, lighter and more subdued. MAC Duchess by comparison is darker, warmer and more pigmented.

Bijou Lipglass is the perfect nude mauvey pink. I think I will need a back up (it’s that good). It does settle into the lip lines a bit if you don’t blend well but it’s not too obvious and can be easily blended out. Pussywillow Lipglass is a stunning gold shimmer. It looks better in person and for me it has enough color to wear alone without washing out the complexion.

Some comparisons below to MAC Nice Buzz Plushglass, Burberry Nude Glow Lip Glow, MAC Naked Space (discontinued), MAC Summer Crop (discontinued), MAC Rich & Witty (discontinued), MAC Angel Lipglass and MAC Lust Lipglass.

Overall love. I will be at the counters this Thursday trying to get both of the blushes (which sold out online literally in the blink of an eye). I’m undecided on the other items as they look like they are nice to have but perhaps dupe-able. The Kelly collection looks a bit cool-toned for my olive skin tone but if you’ve tried any items I’d love to hear your thoughts.

The Sharon Osbourne Duchess Quad, Bijou Lipglass and Pussywillow Lipglass are all limited-edition and currently still available online now at Nordstrom, Macy’s and Available in MAC stores and counters starting Thursday June 12th.

Did you get anything from the Kelly or Sharon Osbourne collection? What else do you think I should check out?


Jo Malone Silk Blossom Cologne | Limited Edition

June 9, 2014

Jo Malone has released a couple new fragrances this spring-summer. There are two new florals, Silk Blossom Cologne ($65 to $120) and Tuberose Angelica Cologne Intense ($145). Both are lovely soft feminine spring-summery scents. I opted for the Silk Blossom which I found to be more spicy and well rounded with a mix of spice, florals, apricots and hint of powder undertones. When you smell Silk Blossom by itself, it seems like a basic floral, but if you spray this and compare it to the Tuberose Angelica (more floral and clearly tuberose-ish) or even Peony Blush Suede (sweeter, simpler with a more youthful feel, on me this one turns a bit rubbery), you will notice that the Silk Blossom has more spice and complexity. It’s hard to detect exactly what kind of floral notes there are since there is a blend of many notes. According to Jo Malone:

  • Top notes: White Pepper. Softer than black pepper, it diffuses elegant spiciness through the top notes.
  • Heart notes: Silk Blossom. Its fruity, peachy character and subtle green accent give the fragrance its enticing silky lightness. The heart of the fragrance is further enhanced by rose and jasmine petals.
  • Base notes: The verdancy of moss cushions the base of the fragrance in earthy, woody warmth.

I know many are fans of layering Jo Malone fragrances. I’ve mixed and layered a few on occasion but I prefer to wear them alone as is. That being said I’ve mixed my Silk Blossom with samples from gifts I’ve accumulated, I’ve found it blends well with Peony and Blush Suede and Orange Blossom.

Overall a winner in my book for spring and summer florals which seem to be taking over my fragrance routine these days. I find it lasts longer on me than most Jo Malone scents do and it fades nicely on the skin as it wears throughout the day. It doesn’t turn sweet or bitter like some florals can.

I’m normally not drawn to such sweet florals, but these days I’m loving Dolce by Dolce and Gabbana, Diptyque Geranium Odorata and still going through Jo Malone Wild Bluebell.

Jo Malone Silk Blossom is a limited-edition scent. It comes in three options:

I’ve been contemplating the candle, however it seemed significantly sweeter in the store. The pink packaging is to die for but I have some Diptyque on my wish list right now. Silk Blossom is available while supplies last at Neiman MarcusNordstrom,  SaksSelfridges and Jo Malone.

Have you tried any of the new Jo Malone fragrances this summer? What are your favorites?


MAC Pedro Lourenço Nude Eyeshadow Quad | Limited-Edition

June 5, 2014

The MAC Pedro Lourenço Nude Eyeshadow Quad ($44, limited-edition) is a stunning neutral palette. It has the perfect combination of soft rose, champagne, and reddish bronze to create a number of polished looks. I’ve had this on my radar for a few weeks now and I’m glad I was able to purchase one before it sold out. It has four colors in Pink Sands (a soft cool matte rose), All That Glitters (shimmery champagne), Rose Cloud (interesting matte brown, both cool and neutral with a bit of warmth) and Sable (warm bronze/copper frost). Two of the colors All That Glitters and Sable are available individually and even though I already own both in Pro-Palette Form, I still felt this quad was worth purchasing for the convenience and packaging. Plus the other two colors are really good mattes that have good pigment and texture.

What I like about this quad is that it has a good mix of neutral, cool and warm tones making it flattering on a number of skin tones. It’s one that I think will flatter those with pink tones or olive.

Here it is swatched on my olive/medium Chanel 30 skin, on me it pulls more warm. On darker skins I suspect there will be a bit more contrast and the shades will look a bit more neutral-cool.

Some have commented that it resembles the Urban Decay Naked3 Palette (review/swatches here). There are some similarities in the concept in that both Pedro Lourenço Nude and Urban Decay Naked3 have that soft feminine rose-gold theme. I swatched a few shades side by side to compare, I think they are different enough to justify both. The MAC is slightly more neutral/warm and also more subtle. The Urban Decay, while I still find natural, has more dramatic options with more frosted textures. I also pulled a few other shades from MAC.

Comparisons below: MAC Aria (discontinued), MAC Malt, MAC Kid (discontinued), Urban Decay Naked3

Overall a huge winner in my book and it’s a palette I highly recommend. I’ve only been able to wear this a couple days so far but it applies quite well with soft velvety textures. The shadows are not quite as velvety/buttery like Urban Decay or Burberry, but they are still very good. The MAC Pedro Lourenço Nude is a quad I know I will be wearing down to the pan.

The MAC Pedro Lourenço Nude Eyeshadow Quad ($44) is available as a limited-edition palette. I recommend you order or track this down at your local counter or store very soon as other items from the collection have already sold out online at lightening speed.

Available online at Nordstrom, Macy’s, Bloomingdales and


L’Occitane La Collection de Grasse | Néroli & Orchidée

June 2, 2014

L’Occitane recently released Néroli & Orchidée as a new addition to their La Collection de Grasse line, inspired by the world perfume capital in the south of France. There is a lovely Néroli & Orchidée Collector’s Set ($85) which the 2.5 fl.oz Eau de Toilette, 6 fl.oz Shower Gel, and 6 fl.oz Body Milk. This fragrance line is a mix of both neroli and orchid, making it a lively juicy floral. I like that this set has a variety of items to sample. All are packaged in a lovely simply pink-beige tone making these lovely additions to your bathroom or guest room. The box is also quite lovely making this a great gift. Notes for these include orange, mandarin
neroli, lily of the valley, fig milk, peach
orchid, iris, musk – it is very feminine.

My favorite item of the three is the Shower Gel. It leaves the skin feeling very clean, I like to run a little bit into the bath – it bubbles nicely and I like that this feels nice on the skin.

The Body Milk has a soft and silky feel. The texture is thin but not too fluid, it’s very moisturizing and absorbs quickly into the skin and leaves the skin feeling refreshed and soft (no sticky remnants or dry-down). The Eau de Toilette has a very lightweight airy feel. With both of these the initial scent after first application is on the strong side of sweet. The best part in my opinion is the dry down. It turns less sharp and less sweet to a soft fruity floral. Lasting power on both of these layered is medium – but I usually prefer body products that are more subtle. I like that these are compact and small enough to fit on your night stand or dresser table without taking up a lot of space.

The Néroli & Orchidée Collector’s Set is available in stores and online at L’Occitane for $85 or individually as well. If you’re shopping online, don’t forget to check their Special Offers page for deals and gift with purchase offers. I’ve been eyeing the Vanille and Narcisse along with Mer and Mistral but have been avoiding the store because I always leave with more than what I have on my shopping list.

Have you tried anything from the La Collection de Grasse? What scent is your favorite?

This set was provided as a press sample by L’Occitane for review consideration, for more information see my Disclosures.


Chanel Tutti Frutti 621 and Mirabella 623 Le Vernis

May 11, 2014

Chanel Tutti Frutti and Mirabella Le Vernis ($27 each) are my favorite two shades out of the Reflets D’Été de Chanel Summer Collection. Tutti Frutti is a watermelon coral pink with a hint of gold shimmer and Mirabella is an orange. Both are gorgeous brights for summer. They just arrived recently at counters for spring/summer. I highly recommend both shades.

Chanel Tutti Frutti applies smoothly with full coverage. It’s the perfect mix between pink and coral. The color is bright and summery. I applied it here with two coats:

Chanel Mirabella is a vibrant orange cream. It’s a very orangey orange (if that makes sense). I usually worry about oranges making my skin look sallow, this one is warm enough that it works.

Comparisons below to Rescue Beauty Lounge Kellie Gonzo, Chanel Distraction, Guerlain A La Parisienne 263, Dior Aventure, Dior Wonderland, Dior Lucky (original version), Dior Cosmo, Dior Bikini (discontinued), Chanel Starlet, Dior Sunnies (discontinued), Chanel Lilis, Dior Tye and Dye (discontinued), Chanel Holiday, Guerlain Nahema 143 and Dior Captain.
Chanel Mirabella is closest to Dior Sunnies (Chanel is more opaque and slightly richer in coverage). Chanel Tutti Frutti is a more coral version of Dior Wonderland.

Bottom line love. I think they are both must- haves. They wear very well with around 5 days of wear without any chipping or tip wear. I usually use Deborah Lippmann Rehydrating Base Coat with Chanel Top Coat. Mirabella is listed as limited-editon while Tutti Frutti is listed as permanent. Both are available now. I purchased mine from Nordstrom.

Did you pick up anything from the summer collection? What were your favorites? 

Chanel Pink Tonic 619 Le Vernis

May 11, 2014
Chanel Pink Tonic #619 Le Vernis ($27, limited-edition) is a rich deep pink rose cream. The fuchsia tones give Pink Tonic a lovely brightness without making it looking electric. Unfortunately with any flash or sunlight the color was very hard to photograph. If you have any of Chanel’s other pinks like Riviera (discontinued), Rose Exhuberant, or Rose Insolent (discontinued) note that this summer’s Pink Tonic is very similar just more pigmented, darker in color and slightly more blue.
I found it applied very smoothly without any streaks or bubbles. You do need two coats for full coverage. I wore this on the toes and on the tips (on separate occasions) and loved it.

Some comparisons swatched to Chanel May, Chanel Riviera (discontinued), Pink Tonic, Rose Insolent (discontinued), Rose Exhuberant, Dior Plaza 579 and Guerlain Champs-Elysées 165.

Pink Tonic is a lovely bright rose fuchsia pink rose perfect for summer. As with many classic pinks, it does have a similar vibe and look to other colors. The difference is very slight but it is cooler-toned and darker than most other Chanels but is still a bright shade. You many not need it if you want to avoid duplicates or similar colors but I really like it. It’s listed as limited-edition.

Now at, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Saks and your local Chanel counters.