Sunday, December 15, 2013
This lipstick formula was an instant hit since it's first release last year and many shades of this product are often sold out at Sephora and Ulta. Many ladies consider this lipstick to be one of their favorite cream formulas and it is now a cult favorite product from this company. I will state very early in the review that this is NOT my favorite lipstick formula and I will not be buying any more tubes after I use up what I purchased.
We are going to start with the product description and shades from the Too Faced website. "Indulge your lips with rich creamy color, drenched with luscious, hydrating moisturizers including white lotus flower and power peptides. Moisture has never been so pretty! 16 Must-Have Colors: Something for every fashion and mood in sought-after shades for each color family: nudes, spices, pinks, and reds. Lotus Flower Extract: Hydrating, soothing, and lip-conditioning with environmental protection provided by anti-oxidants. Power Peptides: Conditioning, smoothing, and firming for delicate lip area. Indulgent color: Saturated, one-swipe formulas drench lips with sexy, pure color."
The shades that are found in this formula are...
- Naughty Nude - chestnut
- Naked Dolly- satin pink
- Nude Beach - nude peach
- In The Buff - warm beige
- Spice Spice Baby - pinky brown
- Cinnamon Kiss - spiced brown
- Honey Bear - toasted mauve
- Sweet Maple - plum brown
- Marshmallow Bunny - marshmellow pink
- Razzle Dazzle Rose - pink rose
- Juicy Melons - pink coral
- Fuchsia Shock - fuchsia pink
- I Want Candy - raspberry rose
- Coral Fire - coral red
- Stiletto Red - classic red
- Divine Wine - Bordeaux
I started with buying both Naked Dolly and Marshmallow Bunny, I wanted to start with nude and neutral pink lipstick shades from this product in order to start working with the formula. I had originally planned to then order more of the saturated shades; I had my eyes on Razzle Dazzle Rose, I Want Candy, and Stiletto Red but I quickly decided against purchasing more shades once I started to work with this formula.
I am going to start with why I didn't like this formula and how my wear testing of these shades went. I was looking for a creamy lipstick that was easy to wear and hydrating on the lips, I had a picture in my head of these being a more hydrating version of the Urban Decay Revolution Lipsticks that I have been loving the past few months. The La Crème Lipsticks are not at all like those in formula and they reminded me very much of the MAC Sheen Supreme Lipsticks that I loved so much last spring. If I would have know this fact, my initial wear tests probably would have gone better...
I will be the first to admit that I didn't plan out the initial wear test and I should not have done my first impression on a Monday morning while getting ready for work. I decided to grab Naked Dolly instead of my usual Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Naked, the shades look similar in the package and I was expecting them to be very similar on the lips. I will also admit that I did not properly exfoliate my lips as I have found that I usually can skip this step with the Urban Decay formula. I should not have skipped the exfoliation step and I should never test new products out on a Monday morning...
The initial application was quite nice, it applied smoothly and felt very creamy and hydrating. I was very happy with my first impression but this happiness quickly wore off in the morning hours. Naked Dolly is a nude pink that looks very wearable. My first huge issue with this formula occurred when I looked in the mirror once I got to work. I noticed that my lips had a golden shimmer cast in certain lights and I went back to look up the product description again, I wondered how I had missed the detail about a shimmer finish when first looking at the product. It turns out that this fact is never mentioned in the product description but has been noted by quite a few people that reviewed the product on the Sephora and Too Faced websites. I felt like I had been mislead a bit because I don't think that I would have purchased this product if I would have known that the majority of the shades contain shimmer.
My biggest issue with the wear on the first day is how the lipstick behaved over the first few hours of wear. The shimmer particles clung to the dry patches on my lips, creating a clumpy appearance to my lips. I dabbed a drop of coffee off my mouth and the formula smeared all over the place, ruining my overall lip look. After several hours, I was so disgusted with the product that I wiped it all off and just applied a clear balm to get through the rest of the work day. I tried the Marshmallow Bunny shade once I got home and saw that it has a silver shimmer finish to it. At this point, I was ready to return both tubes and never try this formula again.
I forced myself to give this product a second test before deciding that I couldn't stand it. The next morning, I exfoliated my lips well in the shower and prepped my lips the way that I would when getting ready to wear a bright shade of the Stila Stay All Day Lipstick. The application and wear of this product was much improved after exfoliation, the initial application was smooth and it stayed smooth much longer throughout the day. I did add a touch of lip balm before reapplying this product after lunch and this helped the formula stay smooth throughout the rest of the day. Once I got home, I did the same test with the other shade and obtained the same results.
Due to my issues with the more neutral shades of this formula, I decided against buying the rose and red shades that I initially liked. I can only see the issues with this formula being even worse with a more pigmented shade and I wouldn't want to wear a formula that moves around so much in a shade that will be even more evident when it smears.
Overall, this is probably one of my biggest product fails in the past few months. I was expecting a pigmented creamy lipstick and received a cream formula filled with shimmer. I can make this formula work with a bit more effort than I was expecting and I will keep both of these tubes and use them up over the next few months. I prefer more of a matte finish lipstick and I won't be buying any more shades in this formula...
photo courtesy of Too Faced
Saturday, December 14, 2013
I have already started to see pictures of the Too Faced spring collection and that collection will actually be releasing on their website early next week. This company is always the earliest but I am sure that several companies will have their spring collections out by the week after Christmas and we will then go full swing into the newest beauty products that will be arriving in the next month or two.
Allure has always published the spring and fall runway trends and this is the article that I have traditionally used to review what trends we will be seeing each season. This spring will be no different and I am using the Allure article about the biggest runway trends from the December issue of this magazine. They have highlighted the top nine hair and makeup trends from the runways, I have found this article to be the best source of the trends that we will be shopping from in the coming weeks. I am also going to start picking the trends that I will be following this spring season and starting to get ideas of what products that I will need to add to my collection (and what products I already own that will work well).
Allure's top trends for the upcoming spring season!
The Rumpled Braid - The trick to creating the textured plaits at Alberta Ferretti was scrunching first: Hairstylist Guido misted the volumizing spray all over damp hair, then scrunched as he blew the hair dry using a diffuser. Then he curled the top layer, combed through the resulting waves with his fingers, and teased the crown before weaving a classic braid at the neck.
Romantic Ponytail - Guido called the ribboned hair at Nina Ricci "simple and feminine". We call it one of the most elegant ponytails we've seen. He secured the low ponytail with a black elastic, then tied a ribbon in a bow to conceal the band. The ponytails stayed intact, even after one model was almost wrestled off the runway by a protestor who stormed the show.
Casual-Cool Bun - To keep the chignon at Celine from looking like something you'd wear to ballet class, Guido ran his fingers through the top of the hair to add a little volume and brushed the sides to keep them flat. Once the hair was twisted into a knot and pinned, he used a lightweight hair spray to smooth flyaways and make sure it was clean, not crunchy.
Hottest Lip Color: Orange - Orange is the new red. And pink. And any other lipstick shade you might think about reaching for. "Right now it just feels cooler than red, " said makeup artist Gucci Westman, echoing the sentiments of pretty much every other pro. Creamy, matte, neon, or pastel - every single orange looked fresh and strong.
Metallic Smoky Eyes - Whoever said not to mix metals clearly never saw how sexy gold, bronze, and copper can look together. Case in point: the glimmering smoky eyes at Gucci, which combined all three hues into one beautifully burnished halo.
Messy Updos - The most beautiful updos were the ones that looked a little (or a lot) unkempt. To create them at Michael Kors, hairstylist Orlando Pita curled random sections, then sprinkled in texturizing powder before twisting and pinning the hair into a haphazard chignon, letting pieces fall out along the way. At Rochas, hairstylist Eugene Souleiman achieved "multitextured, chaotic-yet-beautiful twists" with beach spray, furiously brushing out sections of hair that had been curled, crimped, and straightened. "It's a bad hair day gone right," he said.
Gold Fever - Makeup artists and hairstylists glided everything in sight. (No, really, you should see our notebook.) "For 15 years I've done metallic looks in blues, yellows, and greens," said Pat McGrath. "This season, when designers asked for metallic makeup, they wanted it to look more sophisticated."
Gilt-y Pleasure - We first spotted this Sylvain Le Hen barrette at the Jason Wu show - and soon after on several editors. Stylist Kate Young found the clips at Colette in Paris and gave them to hairstylist Odile Gilbert, who snapped them on the models' low, sleek ponytails. "It looks graphic and elegant," said Gilbert. "The rose gold is my favorite".
Artsy Eyes - Talk about works of art: At Derek Lam, makeup artist Tom Pecheux created cubelike cat eyes, referencing sculptor Donald Judd. At Celine, makeup artist Dick Page drew "surrealist" brows. McGrath looked to street art when she airbrushed graffiti-style scribbles across the brow bones at Prada, and at Chanel, Philips made miniature abstract paintings by brushing rainbow-colored theatrical paint around the eyes, framed with black lines across the lids and brows.
There are five new hairstylists that we will be seeing all over this place this spring season and I am quite fond of the Romantic Ponytail. This look will work well in many different situations and I will be able to wear it to work if I change out the type of ribbon used in the look. The Gilt-y Pleasure style will also be a favorite of mine this spring, this look will be easier for me to wear in a professional environment. I will be looking for a few different styles of gilded barrettes and ponytail holders and I will be wearing this look all through the spring and summer.
I am not a fan of the orange lip look and I will be skipping over this. I have never liked or looked good in peach or orange hues so I will be sticking to my classic pink and red lip looks. I like both the metallic and the gilded eye looks that were all over the runways and I will be working with these looks to make them more friendly for the professional environment. The Artsy Eye look is probably not for me, I don't think that I have the skills to create these types of looks and I don't know that I like them enough to spend a lot of time learning how to create them.
I will be adding more hair styling products to my shopping list and I am excited to see some new eye shadow palettes. I am a bit on the fence about what lip products I will/won't need for spring since I am not going to be adapting the orange lip hues that promise to rule the collections.
photo courtesy of Google
Friday, December 13, 2013
Today's yoga pose is the first inversion that I ever tried, Supported Shoulderstand is the pose that starts most students' experience with inversions. I still struggle with an unsupported version of this pose, so we will look at the supported modification of the pose. This pose can easily become unsupported by pulling the blankets away and using no support on the shoulders.
Yoga Journal provides details on the pose and the steps to follow in order to safely start working up into Shoulderstand.
- Fold two or more firm blankets into rectangles measuring about 1 foot by 2 feet, and stack them on top of each other. You can place a sticky mat over the blankets to help the upper arms stay in place while in the pose. Then lie on the blankets with your shoulders supported (and parallel to one of the longer edges) and your head on the floor. Lay your arms on the floor alongside your torso, and bend your knees and set your feet against the floor with the heels close to the sitting bones. Exhale, press your arms against the floor, and push your feet away from the floor, drawing your thighs into the front torso.
- Continue to lift by curling the pelvis and then back the torso away from the floor, so that your knees come toward your face. Stretch your arms out parallel to the edge of the blanket and turn them outward so the fingers press against the floor (and the thumbs point behind you). Bend your elbows and draw them toward each other. Lay the backs of your upper arms on the blanket and spread your palms against the back of your torso. Raise your pelvis over your shoulders, so that the torso is relatively perpendicular to the floor. Walk your hands up your back (toward the floor) without letting your elbows slide too much wider than shoulder width.
- Inhale and lift your bent knees toward the ceiling, bringing your thighs in line with your torso and hanging the heels down by your buttocks. Press your tailbone toward your pubis and turn the upper thighs inward slightly. Finally inhale and straighten the knees, pressing the heels up toward the ceiling. When the backs of the legs are fully lengthened, lift the balls of the big toes so the inner legs are slightly longer than the outer.
- Soften the throat and tongue. Firm the shoulder blades against the back, and move the sternum toward the chin. Your forehead should be relatively parallel to the floor, your chin perpendicular. Press the backs of your upper arms and tops of your shoulders actively into the blanket support, and try to lift the upper spine away from the floor. Gaze softly at your chin.
- As a beginning practitioner, stay in the pose for about 30 seconds. Gradually add 5 to 10 seconds to your stay everyday or until you can comfortably hold the pose for 3 minutes. Then continue for 3 minutes each day for a week or two, until you feel relatively comfortable in this pose. Again gradually and 5 to 10 seconds onto your stay until you can comfortably hold the pose for 5 minutes. To come down, exhale, bend your knees into your torso again, and roll your back torso slowly and carefully onto the floor, keeping the back of your head on the floor.
Supported Shoulderstand is usually the first inversion that a yoga teacher will start to work their students into. I will say that I fell out of this pose many times before my teacher decided that I was going to learn this pose in a different way. The only way that I could learn how to straighten up correctly was to do this pose with my feet against a wall. Once I mastered being able to hold that for 3 minutes, I then worked on doing this pose with the blanket supports and holding it for a minute. I have worked up to holding the pose for three minutes and I am still working on holding it for longer.
I have yet to try this pose in the unsupported fashion and I will be working up to this in the next few weeks. I plan to use this winter break to practice yoga as much as possible...while pushing myself at the gym. I have four weeks until class starts again...time to use it wisely!
photo courtesy of YogaJournal.com
Thursday, December 12, 2013
The Benefit website provides the following description of this undereye concealer formula, "This hydrating crease-control concealer - with vitamin E & apple seed extract - hides dark circles and diffuses fine lines for a silky smooth, ultra-natural look. It’s proven to keep skin hydrated for six hours."
The following testing results are also provided for this product...
- 100% said it hydrates skin
- 100% said it feels comfortable on skin
- 91% said it conceals dark circles
This is one of the most unique products that I have ever used on my eye area and I give Benefit points for this aspect of the product. This product combines the coverage of a stick concealer and then hydrating properties of an undereye balm. The concealer itself is in the middle of the product and it is surrounded by the hydrating balm. Once applied to the skin, they mix together and become a two-in-one product for hydrating and concealing. Benefit states that the product should be applied directly to the undereye area and then patted in using the ring finger.
I have used this product each morning and I have determined that I just cannot use it as described and this is just not the product for me. I started by hydrating my undereye area with the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream and then blend my foundation in the undereye area using a Beauty Blender. I have dark undereye circles and have always relied on a high coverage concealer to cover them up. Once I had all of these products in place, I applied the Benefit product to each of my undereye areas and then blended it in as suggested on the brand's website.
As with many two-in-one products that I have tried, this product falls short in both the hydrating and concealing aspects. I cannot use this without another eye cream as it seems like the application and blending of the product drag my delicate undereye skin. I have found that it also falls short in the concealing aspect, it is too sheer to fully cover my dark undereye circles. I have found no way in this product lives up to its description and I will not be buying this in the full size.
I found a way to use through the large sample size that I have of this product, I apply it after my foundation and use it as a primer to apply a full coverage concealer over. It works nicely in this aspect however this just adds an extra step to my routine that I don't reap much benefit from. I will use it in this fashion to finish the product up but I would not buy another tube to use only in this fashion.
This might be a nice undereye concealer for someone who doesn't struggle very much with dark undereye circles and only needs a small amount of coverage in this area. I just cannot really make this product work as I have to use it with both another eye cream and another undereye concealer, it only creates an extra step in my morning routine that isn't needed.
photo courtesy of Benefit
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
I think that I really wanted to love Downtown for two big reasons. The first reason is that it Rooney Mara is the cover model for this ad campaign and I love her minimalist downtown style. The second reason that I wanted to love this fragrance is that it smells like nothing that I already own and it is very unique. I own nothing like this fragrance for a reason...I just do not like unisex fragrances and would rather own a massive collection of floral fragrances.
I found this fragrance on the Macy*s website, it states that Downtown is, "This urban women's fragrance is sophisticated and extremely feminine yet has a confident edge. Featuring scents of watery plum and gardenia, you'll never get tired of this divine scent."
The key fragrance notes are: Neroli tunisia, fresh green pear, watery plum, gardenia petals, pink peppercorn, violet leaf, Texan cedarwood, vetiver, benzoin Laos orpur and musk.
As I stated above, I find that Downtown could be a unisex fragrance. The gardenia and violet leaf notes barely come out on my skin and I usually wear white florals very strongly. I get mostly the pear, cedarwood, and vetiver notes from Downtown. I did like how different this was but I didn't like how it wore on my skin. It reminded me more of a men's cologne than a fragrance geared toward females. If the floral notes were stronger, I probably would have been able to wear this fragrance but that is not the case so I will not be buying a full bottle of this fragrance.
The other disappointing aspect of this fragrance is the wear time. Calvin Klein fragrances have never worn very long on my skin and I find that they tend to be heavy on top notes and don't last on many people's skin. I got about two hours worth of wear time from this fragrance and I found that I needed to reapply it several times throughout my day and have been running through the samples that I have very quickly.
I was very hopeful that I had found a new perfume when I started trying these samples and I really wanted to like this fragrance but it just isn't for me. I will finish the little bit left in my samples up but then I will be moving onto another perfume.
photo courtesy of Macy*s
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Velvet Sugar is the Bath and Body Works version of Pink Sugar, a fragrance that I wore in college and got over as soon as I finished up my bottles of the perfume and the matching body products. I wanted to like this fragrance for the same reason that I love the Vanilla Bean Noel fragrance, I love sweet cupcake fragrances around the holidays and then will use them all the way through Valentine's Day. It's a good thing that I buy Vanilla Bean Noel body products every single year and have a good stock pile of them to use once the stores are sold out of the fragrance. I wanted to like this fragrance and add the body products to my line up but this one just isn't for me.
Velvet Sugar is said to be modeled after a Red Velvet Cupcake, one of my favorite desserts and one of the best holiday candles that Bath and Body Works has come out with this season. "Savor every moment of this sweetly sumptuous blend of red velvet créme and golden plum laced with a swirl of sugared musk, pink jasmine and wild strawberries. Too much is never enough." The top notes are: Wild Strawberries, White Nectarine, Pear Blossom, Apple Nectar. The middle notes of the fragrance are: Pink Jasmine, Golden Plum, Red Velvet Créme, Dewy Honeysuckle, Freesia. The base notes are: Golden Amber, Vanilla , Tolu Balsam, Caramel, Baileys Créme, Sugared Musk.
What is Tolu Balsam and what is it doing in this fragrance?! I tried this fragrance in the EDP and the matching Body Lotion and didn't fall in love with either. I loved the perfume bottle and actually wanted to love this fragrance just to have it sitting on my bureau but I couldn't bring myself to buy the perfume just to set the bottle out. This fragrance is all strawberries, sugar, sweet musk, and more sugar. I think I got a tooth ache from just trying this fragrance on...
The perfume is a mixture of the berry and sugar on me and then it settles down into the musk note, I got several compliments on the fragrance when I was wearing it but I still didn't like the way that it smelled. The lotion was more sugar and the shower gel was more strawberry, I considered buying the body products but I didn't love the fragrance enough to add more products to my already overloaded bureau and shower caddy. Maybe I will revisit this fragrance around Valentine's Day and see if my views on it change.
I put up a picture of the EDP in this fragrance because I love the packaging so much. The rest of the packaging and products are more in line with the traditional Signature Collection products. You can purchase the following products in this fragrance: Fine Fragrance Mist, Shower Gel, Body Lotion, Triple Moisture Body Cream, Luxury Bubble Bath, and Shimmer Mist. I am only considering the body products to be worthy of retrying next Valentine's Day, I cannot wear any of the fragrances in Velvet Sugar and doubt that my mind will change any time soon.
This hasn't been the best fall season for fragrances for me from this company but the candles and matching Wallflower Bulbs have been spot on and are one of the best holiday collections that I have seen in several years from this company.
photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works
Monday, December 9, 2013
There are two hydrating eye cream formulas from Bobbi Brown, I chose the less rich of the two as the richer formula was not available in the store when I bought my jar of this product. I would consider switching this formula out to a day usage during the coldest days of the winter and then ordering the richer of the two formulas for nighttime use. As for right now, I will be using this product for my night eye cream and then I will update and review the other formula if I decide that I need more moisture in my eye area as the winter continues.
"A hydrating cream that refreshes the eye area and prepares it for a seamless concealer application. This luxurious, concentrated cream is absorbed quickly, allowing it to deliver naturally occurring humectants that virtually melt into the skin. Before makeup application, a perfect level of emollients imparts a lightweight texture, allowing concealer to glide on evenly. Use in the evening to boost skin's ability to recharge and rehydrate during the nightly repair process. It plumps fine lines and improves skin's overall tone and texture. Skin looks and feels stronger and healthier. It leaves the eye area soft, smooth, and refreshed for up to 24 hours.", states the Sephora website.
I have been really loving this eye cream so far and I would recommend it to anyone that has normal to dry skin around their eyes. A very small amount applied to each eye fully hydrates and soothes the delicate under eye skin and this area looks and feels moist and plump when I wake up each morning. This product has a light creamy texture and sinks easily right into the skin and doesn't leave an oily residue on this area. There is a slight perfume smell to the product but it does not bother my eyes at all.
My least favorite aspect about this product is that it is contained in a jar, I do not love dipping my finger into the same jar over and over again. I wish that this product was contained in a tube, the product is a thin enough texture that a tube container would be very workable. I can see how the very hydrating formula might not work with a tube but I don't see any reason why this one can't be housed in that type of container.
The Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream is a solid formula for anyone with normal to dry skin, I wouldn't recommend it to someone with very oily skin. I think that I would continue to use it more as a night cream as it doesn't contain any special ingredient for relieving puffy eyes before makeup application.
photo courtesy of Sephora