Saturday, June 30, 2012

Chanel's Lumiere D' Artifice Beiges

I kept calling this piece the Chanel Shimmer Brick since I couldn't remember the name of it and because it's resemblance to my shimmer brick collection. I swatched a little of this on the top of my hand when it first came in. "Ooo, pretty shimmer," I thought, but it's a shimmer that lingered in my mind. I tried to tell myself that I just did not need another illuminating powder.

But I did. This powder doesn't add shimmer. It creates a perfect glow. I love it and it really helps to even out my complexion.

The packaging for the compact itself is pretty swanky and I like that it also comes with the little applicator brush. I think this purchase will bounce between home and my handbag because it will be great for touch-ups throughout the day to help liven up my face. Sometimes after hours and hours of running around I look in the mirror and can't help but think I look like hell. That problem is solved!

The Lumiere D' Artifice Beiges ($65) is a limited edition piece for Chanel's 2012 fall collection. The pressed powder is supposed to look like a string of sequins (I think) which is really cute. I can't wait to check out more of the fall collection, but I'm glad I splurged a little right now and got this.

Not quite a glamour shot, but this is me at work, Lumiere'd out.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale 2012 Beauty Exclusives!

I have been hunting high and low for weeks now looking for any hint of what the Anniversary Sale Beauty Exclusives will be and I finally found a leak of the upcoming catalog. There are some really neat things in there (of course). The Mr. was rolling his eyes with every page I flicked through on my iPad.

Anyways, here are the goods. The quality isn't great, but this will give you an idea of what's to come. I picked my faves so I could get them posted as soon as I could.

Laura Mercier Touch Up Brush Collection for Eyes and Cheeks ($60) and the Signature Color Essentials for Face, Eyes & Lips ($80) That set looks like everything you need to get ready on the go.

MAC Illustrated 

Triple Feature Lip Bags ($39.50), two Brush Sets ($49.50 each), and two Smokey Eye Sets ($49.50 each)


A  Purple Revolution Anniversary Color Collection with 3 Couleurs Smokey Eyeshadow Trio ($48), three nail polishes Les Violets Hypnotiques in Shadow, Poison, and Orchard ($23 each), Diorshow Extase Mascara in Plum ($28.50) and a Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss in Draped Lilac ($28). 

I think I want all of them. 


Joie De Vivre Cheek Palette ($65) and the Love Rite Set ($55). 

I'm a sucker for minis. 

Bobbi Brown

Skincare Essentials ($62) and the City Twilight Collection ($80). 

More minis! 

Time to start saving up because there is a A LOT that I want from this sale.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fiestaware by MAC

I'm really excited about everything I write, or I probably wouldn't write about it. This one has a little special place in my heart though. Here's the back story.

When I was little I always loved Fiestaware brand dishes (if only I still had such modest taste). My plan was to grow up and have Fiestaware in every colour. Their Small Bowl is the perfect size for making Maruchan (not Nissin) ramen when you're a broke college student (with a toaster oven). Finally I got my first real apartment and I was too broke to deck out my kitchen in Fiestaware, but my mum was awesome enough to buy me a set and get me started since I left my ramen bowls with my other parent in Hawaii. I do have all mismatched dishes from when my first apartment still. The Mr. strongly dislikes them, so maybe I can convince him that we should finally get my fiesta set. It's not like I am asking for Juliska or Wedgewood. The moral of this story is, as soon as I heard MAC had a colour named Fiestaware I squealed with delight and nostalgia.

Now, this has to be one of my last nail polish purchases for awhile now. I need to cut myself off or paint each finger a different colour. I really like this one though. It is part of MAC's Casual Colors collection and it looks like part of their dedicated nail collection now. It's a cream colour, but still took three coats to get a nice clean finish. The colour itself is a nice softened red-coraly orange. I like that I can go into work tomorrow and now feel like I have over the top nails, which seems like the point to the Casual Colors collection.

I strongly suggest not passing out on the couch after housecleaning and doing your nails because you probably will have little marks all over your fingertips. Thankfully, I had taken my pictures before my catnap with Maitai.

All in all Fiestaware Nail Lacquer ($16) makes for a great addition to shoebox of polishes. Now to go price out some dishes.

Powder to the People and BOOYAH!!!

I am such a sucker for Polka dotted things and things with funny names. MAC's Beth Ditto collection offers both. I only got two things so I don't feel too guilty about buying into yet another MAC Summer collection.

Powder to the People is intended to be some sort of an eye pallet, but I'm not so sold on that idea. I played around with the colour on my eyes, but I prefer it much more as a blush blended together. I bought it for the Polka dots not the practicality, but that does make it one pricey blush at $38. It could be worse I guess. I'm still quite happy with it.

BOOYAH!!! Of course I needed a bright flippin' orange lip cream. This guy is quite pigmented. I'd show of picture of it on my, but my pimples just look too awful to be seen on the internet! (side note, I need to find a good anti-redness cream that doesn't make me break out). The Pro Longwear Lipcreme ($17) is kind of an awkward tube to use, but with enough wear the stick should settle more to the shape of my lips.

Just a hint of colour.

It's a'ight, but it looks much better on the cheeks.

The rest of the collection looked pretty cool, but I'm trying to retain myself since there are going to be a lot of awesome new releases in the next coming month. For now, here's swatches.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dior Summer Mix

Just a day after the official start of Summer I got a chance to play with my new Dior pieces. only has half of the collection available. I still want to get the the gold coloured Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss in Gold Sunrise, but that little one is only available on the Dior website right now, along with the rest of the collection.

I have always been a fan of the Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss so I was excited to see these fun colours come out. When I ordered Rose Bikini I thought it was going to be a more watermelon colour, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was much brighter.

I want to formally apologize in this post for my horrible breakout on my chin. I was trying an anti-redness serum which just ended up causing more redness by producing pimples everywhere.

This is the first time I used the Dior Vernis Gloss and I was caught off guard by the oddly shaped application brush. It's wider that most and has a rounded tip at the end. On larger nails it makes application easier, but when I tried to paint my smaller toenails it was a little more difficult.

I really like both colours and the almost jelly finish they have. With Lagoon I would say that you could confidently be done with just one coat. This is not so with the yellow share. With the lightness of Acapulco I had to apply three coats. I think it's a very pretty yellow though. It's a nice reminder that I need to go a vacation. Acapulco maybe?



Since there are no new shows to watch during Summer, I've been watching old Star Trek episodes from the Original Series. I noticed that the Lagoon Nail Polish is quite similar in to blueness to Spock's Starfleet uniform. Yup, sometimes I can't help but be a nerd.

There's a total of four Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss ($28) shades:

Orange Pareo - orange
Rouge Croisiere - red
Rose Bikini - bright pink
Gold Sunrise - gold

And four shades of Vernis Gloss ($23):

Lagoon - Star Fleet uniform blue
Acapulco - bright yellow
Calypso - bright red
Cosmo - watermelon pink

Swatch Time! I actually has some sun to swatch with (note the grass)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Ray of Light by Deborah Lippmann

So, I went a little beauty crazed, but I feel liked I barely picked up any colour pieces. I did get this nail polish since I am getting a better at application (just a smidge better). I still need lots more practice.

The pretty holographic flecks caught my eye and that is named after a Madonna song.

It's a little dark for me on my fingernails, so it will probably go on my toes when I feel more up to giving myself a pedicure. The nail polish has a jelly composition, so it is a good idea to put on at least two coats. The little flecks sparkle much more after a top coat.

Deborah Lippmann "Ray of Light" ($18)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What to Do When Running Late

Today, like most other days I was running late for work. It's never my intention, but my mornings just go by so quickly. Unlike other mornings though, I wanted to get out of the house rather than show up within my ten minute grace period.

I was inspired by the jewelry set that The Mr. bought my and my Crislu CZ stud earrings (Mr. needs to buy me the matching David Yurman earrings in the set). Anyways, off my tangent. My outfit today was cute and simple with pretty and simples jewelry to match. I thought my makeup could reflect that. I quickly grabbed NARS Blush in Orgasm ($28) and MAC Highlighting Powder in Crew ($29) for a nice all over glow. I skipped all eye makeup and left the house with MAC Lip Conditioner ($15). I should mention that this was all after my primer, foundation, and concealer. Some things I feel too naked without.

Here you can kind of see the necklace that The Mr. got me, but my overall look was quite simple. A top, cardigan, and comfy pants. What else could a girl need? Oh, and a scarf.

I made it to work on time and still felt confident with my look. Yay! This look could also come in handy for the next surprise Driver's License photo.

Surprise Driver's License Photo! (and my swatch project)

It's no surprise to many that I am not a morning person, but let me start this story at the beginning.

Since we moved here The Mr. and I have been having problems with receiving mail. That includes bills, packages, and more importantly, my Driver's License. I should also mention that I am a huge procrastinator (a really bad habit that I need to break), so it took me until today to finally wake up early enough to get this sorted out before I needed to start getting ready for work. I thought nothing of this errand. Get out of bed, put clothes on, brush teeth, and ask some questions about where my license is. I get the the Department of Licensing (not like the DMV back home) and wait 10 minutes (nothing like the DMV back home). I argue with the lady who doesn't seem to understand that we'd love to fix our mail problem but can't, and BAM, she hands me a piece of paper and tells me to wait over there.

Wait! That over there has a camera. That's not fair! I have to another photo for my license. That can't be so, I look like I just got out of bed. Sneak attack. I think I now officially have the worst Driver's License ever. Oh, and they also don't let you look at the picture and retake it of its bad (one small win for the California DMV).

It's so bad... I can't show the whole thing.

In other news.... I swatched everything searchable that goes on my lips. Every time I browse through lipsticks for inspiration. I think, "Don't I have something similar?" It turns out that I actually did. I found some shades that were quite similar. Here's the outcome of my project. I should label it sometime.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Longer Days, Shorter Routine

I know my last post was about the gloomy weather in Washington, but the truth is the weather up here is more moody than gloomy. This being my first Spring, and soon to be Summer, up here I have noticed that the shift from hot days and chilly days changes at the flick of a Maitai's tail.

So, in most cases, as the days get longer my makeup routine needs to get shorter before the sun turns my face into a very hot and sticky mess. Heat and sweat do are not kind on a full face of makeup. It's during these months that my routine can be cut down to about 10 - 15 minutes. A natural look works best and besides, you don't want to lose out on an hour of fun in the sun because you were getting ready.

I still have more in my lineup than most, but I have cut out the major mess maker, my foundation. It is common to switch over from foundation to a tinted moisturizer, but I am still on the hunt for the best one that won't look too gooey on my face. I'm thinking the Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer will be my next target, since I have heard great things.

For now, this is what I've got...

1. NARS Pro-Prime Multi-Protect Primer SPF30 PA+++ ($32)
2. NARS Illuminator in Oragasm (This one a GWP, but a big one is $30)
3. Bobbi Brown Face Touch Up Stick in Porcelain ($23)
4. Laura Mercier Secret Concealer in #1 ($22)
5. Benefit Brow Zings in Medium ($30)
6. NARS Eyeliner Stylo in Nabucco ($27)
7. Bobbi Brown Simmer Wash Eye Shadow in Chocolate ($21)
8. Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Bronze ($39)
9. Guerlain Emilio Pucci Terra Azzurra Bronzing Powder ($75)
10. Dior Diorshow Extase Mascara ($28)
11. MAC Suntints SPF 20 Liquid Lip Balm in Au Rose ($16)
12. NARS Body Glow ($59)

It's important to protect with SPF and I like that I've got that covered with my primer. I know I should use a sunscreen alone, but bad habits die hard. I use the Illuminator to set a base for a tanner look, but before that I have to conceal as many spots and blotches as I can find! Then brows because I'm so self conscience without them. I know we're all supposed to cut back on the liquid liners in the summer time but I still like using my Stylo or my YSL Shocking eyeliner for precision. To make it look a little more natural I pat a little eyeshadow over them. Next, bronzer and I like using the Guerlain Bronzing powder on my cheeks as a blush. I go light on the mascara and then use a good lip balm with SPF. I really like the Suntints from MAC's Hey, Sailor! collection because it's handy and the packaging is pretty.

NARS Body Glow is a bit of a splurge at $59, but it give a really amazing glow all over and smells amazing, like when I used to visit Mexico as a kid. I love it.

Simple and mostly natural.

This picture is not from today, but my summer routine came in handy getting ready for work today. Thanks to the Washington DOL I was running pretty late today.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Gloomy Weather Means I Have to Fake It (Freckles)

I am quite pasty, and now I live in Washington which means that I am destine to receive even less sunshine. I played with Xen-Tan and I love it, but what is another way to look like I've leave the house whenever the sunshine decides to come out.Why not add some freckles?

I used to get them when I was a kid, and not I can recreate nice healthy ones (without over exposure to unhealthy UV rays, not that I see much of those anyways). 

They are really easy to create with a finishing brush, a fine point eyeliner brush, and a powder eye shadow, like MAC's Texture ($15).

I swiped this under the running faucet to get it just wet enough to pick up colour. As you can see with the finishing brush damp the hairs clump together to help leave perfect little dot shapes on the cheeks and across the nose. 

To add more precise freckles I dampen my fine point liner brush and randomly place more freckles all over. 

I still need more practice, but it is a great technique to play around with. At first I thought they looked a little too unnatural so I added a little bronzing powder over my cheeks to help smooth everything out.

You're really not supposed to wear your sunglasses on your head because it stretched out the arms, but I plopped 'em up there to show that I was ready for some sunshine! 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Hey, Sailor! by MAC

Finally, my Hey, Sailor pieces have arrived. Unfortunately, I was sent the wrong ones (thanks, Erick), so I had to exchange a couple of pieces this morning. The collection was only released a week and a half ago but already part of it is sold out (I was really hoping to pick up Rivera Life today).

This is a good enough haul for me. I already wrote about the Highlighting Powder ($29) and the lipstick in To Catch a Sailor ($15.50) in my post here from a couple of days ago. My new additions are:

the left to right

Send Me Sailing Lipglass ($15.50)
Cut Loose Lipglass ($15.50) 
Vestral White Nail Lacquer ($17)
Au Rose Suntints SPF20 Liquid Lip Balm ($16)

I was curious to see what a white lip gloss would look like. It actually looks pretty cool on. I imagine it would have a more practical use when applied over a bright lipstick to mute it. I will have to try it out.

I also wanted to note that I added those freckles. They're not natural. Well, if I went into the sun more, they could be real. The MAC sales associate showed me how to strategically apply them, just like the model in the Hey, Sailor Ad.

My nails kept chipping so I filed them down to little nubs. This is the best I could do with a white nail polish. I had to apply three layers to finally get the colour to even out. 

He're another shot of To Catch a Sailor.

This Lipglass is so fun I just couldn't help but have some fun with it. Send Me Sailing is a really beautiful deep read. There is no shimmer to it, which is really nice, and the Lipglass has a little bit of transparency to it. I originally had no intentions of buying another red lip item, but Erick accidentally sent it rather than my intended Cut Loose. I'm glad he did though. I really like this colour. It's one of those shades of red that you still feel confident in even if you're wearing nothing else.

I'm very serious about SPF, as you can tell. I enjoyed the Suntints of MAC "Surf Baby" collection from last year. I kept my little lip balm at my register so it was always handy. There is nothing worse than trying to sell with chapped lips. Even if I don't see that much sun up here in the Evergreen State I know that my lips are protected just in case.

And now swatches

The Highlighting Powder is a little tough to swatch, but in every picture I am wearing it all over. My powder brush looks pink from it, but the it goes on very sheer.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Smokey Eye (happy birthday li'l sis)

As the title mentions this posting is dedicated to my little sister, Nadj. Today is her 20th birthday, and now I feel so old!

A couple of times I have given her makeup sets so she can play around and learn how to compile a smokey eye. My mum has told me that they just don't come out the way they should (as good as her older sister's smoldering lids, jk!).

For my sister's birthday, I am going to make a step by step tutorial for my basic Smokey Eye. I'm definitely not an expert and there are tons of others that might explain better, but this one is special because it's for Nadj.

Step .5
Prep Work

One of the frustrating things about the smoking eye is that it can smudge and make you look like a hot mess rather than a hot mama. This is preventable though! I now use a little bit of eye cream under my eyes and on the lid. This extra moisture will help keep everything in place.

Step 1
Frame and Focus

I thought nothing of it years ago, but a while ago I realized how important it is to shape your eye brows. They really help to frame the face. Even just some shadow or light strokes with a pencil really help to emphasis the focal points to the eyes. I like Benefit's Brow-zings ($30).

Step 2
Set Up Base

I recently started using a cream shadow (Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow in Nude Beach, $24) for my eye shadow base. It's great because it goes on easily, blends well with other shadows, and helps to prevent that crease that sometimes develops over the course of the day (or night). I also like it because it creates a nice smooth base to put my shadow on.

Step 3

Since there will be a lot of dark and heavy shadow going on the best thing to do is go for a light pearly shade all over. From just under the brow and all over the lid I use Bobbi Brown's Eyeshadow in Bone ($21).

Step 4
Just a Shade of Grey

Now this is the part where I start the layering. With a traditional smokey eye I just try to find a nice steel grey colour from about the crease of my eye to the lash line. I blend a little into my all over colour and then I'm on to the next. Instead of a grey shade any colour will do if you're looking to add some "pop".

Step 5

Here is where I like to take flat eye liner brush or even my smudge brush to add my black shadow from the lash line to about a quarter to maybe even a third way up the eye lid. I also will add a little on the lower lash line. Then, smooth everything together. I like to use my fluffier eye shadow brush.

Step 6
Walk the Line

Line the lids. Bobbi Brown's Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner ($22) works best for me. It can be a little tricky to get the hang of at first, but with practice it is worth it to master gel eyeliner application.

Step 7
Load it up with Mascara

Smokey eyes need some bold lashes to go with 'em. I like to start with the Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Primer and Serum ($28) followed with Diorshow Backstage Makeup ($25).

I hope this tutorial helps, Nadj. Happy Birthday!