Sunday, September 16, 2012

LACQUER LUST: OPI 'Just Spotted the Lizard'

I purchased this nail polish about a month ago and have definitely fallen in love with it.  'Just Spotted the Lizard' came out with the recent Spiderman collection by OPI, but I am not sure if you can still purchase it in stores.  There has actually been a lot of hype surrounding this shade because it's an exact dupe for Chanel 'Peridot' Nail Lacquer.  And, looking at swatches of both, they are definitely similar.  Except the price tag, of course.

This shade is stunning and like nothing I have in my collection.  It's shimmery, which is not what I typically go for, but the unique shade definitely drew me in.  The color changes depending on the angle you're looking at it from and the lighting.  Sometimes it's gold, sometimes it's green, sometimes it's blue.  It's one of those nail colors that you can't help but stare at all the time.  I seriously catch myself just staring at my nails at random points during the day.  

This polish lasts on the nails for about 4 - 5 days without chipping, which is fairly good in my opinion.  The coats are just thin, shimmery coats that build up to a more opaque color.  It takes quite a few coats to build up the color, maybe 5 or 6, but the coats dry very fast since they are quite thin.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

RETAIL THERAPY: French Pharmacie Haul (#1?!)

Bonjour mes amis! As some of you may or may not know, I recently moved to Paris to study abroad for a semester.  Which explains the a) lack of blog posts and b) the French pharmacie haul!!!  I knew that one of the first things I wanted to do when I got here was check out the famous pharmacies to hoard some French skincare goodies that have been hyped in the beauty world...and well, I was pretty successful. 

Bioderma is definitely one of the most well known French skincare products. So, so, so many youtubers and beauty bloggers rave on and on about how amazing this product is, and it definitely lives up to its expectations.  This product is like a miracle make up remover.  I mean, I've never been quite picky with my make up removers.  Anything will do, usually.  But when I use this soaked in a cotton round, my make up, even my water proof mascara, literally glided off my face.  I just hold the cotton round to my eye for a few seconds and, poof, as soon as I swipe the round, my make up is practically gone.  It's extremely gentle and doesn't irritate my eyes or my skin at all.  I plan on seriously STOCKING up on this before I head home to the States.  

There has been a ridiculous amount of hype for the Caudalie Beauty Elixir, as well.  I actually purchased a small bottle of this while still in the States but immediately returned it when I read that you could buy it for about half the price in France.  So, I waited patiently and made sure to pick it up on my first trip to the pharmacie.  This product is basically just a toner spray/make up setting spray/beauty spray.  I spray it on my face after I wash it and once again after I apply my make up.  It takes away any tightness I might feel in my face and also takes away the powdery look that I may be left with after setting my make up with loose powder.  It's got a very fresh, herbally scent that is really soothing and relaxing.  Some people will simply spray the product into their hands and cup their hands around their nose and mouth to relax them throughout the day.  It's been a really nice, refreshing little treat after a long, hot day in Paris. 

My skin has been extremely dry recently.  A couple of weeks ago, I tried out a couple of new products and realized that my skin reacted very badly to them, therefore causing my skin to become really dry, flakey, and red. Normally my skin is quite oily/normal, so all of my skincare products almost made it worse.  I decided to purchase this Cold Cream by Avene after some research on products that help soothe dry skin.  So far, it has been a huge help.  It's a very thick, creamy moisturizer and leaves my skin feeling less tight and uncomfortable when I wake up in the morning. 

The last product I made sure to get from the pharmacie was the Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm.  I heard so much about this product from essiebutton on youtube and was really interested in trying it out.  I love lip balms and am always really eager to try new ones out.  I recently fell in love with Blistex, but found that it made my lips a little bit too slick and greasy.  I heard that this lip balm was a bit more matte and worked well when layered under lipsticks.  I am seriously in love with this lip balm now.  It's the PERFECT lip balm for people who feel like usual lip balms make their lips much too shiny and glossy.  It's just a great every day lip balm that instantly moisturizes my lips without feeling too greasy.  

I'm so sorry for such a long absence, but now that my life has settled down a little, I plan on getting back to a normal updating schedule. 


Sunday, July 15, 2012

RETAIL THERAPY: Birchbox July 2012 'The Senses'

Frankly, I was pretty disappointed with this month's Birchbox. When I got the email saying that this month would be a collaboration with Glamour magazine, I got super, super excited. I expected some really great high end beauty samples. But, I ended up just getting a things that I wasn't too excited about. Other people seemed to either love their box this month or were disappointed just like I was. This box's theme was 'The Senses' and was supposed to "guarantee a multi-sensory experience". Eh. Maybe next time, Birchbox. 

This first sample was Oscar de la Renta 'Live in Love' perfume. I am not really a huge fan of perfume samples. I just end up letting them sit around in my room and gather dust. Birchbox describes this perfume as: "this elegant floral layers ethereal notes of hyacinth and orchid over a rich base of sandalwood and cedar".  It smells nice, yes, but it just smells too mature to me, to be honest. It's just not my cup of tea. It does have a very strong floral scent, but it's just not as fresh as I like my perfumes to be. 

A full size of this perfume is $25 - $78, so my sample is worth $0.75

Okay, this sample was really, really annoying to me.  This thing is freaking TINY. It's 0.07 fl. oz.  I could probably only use this once and that's it. And even then, I wouldn't be able to really figure out whether or not I liked it.  I've always wanted to try Jouer products because I've heard good things about them, but this is barely even a sample. Ugh. What Birchbox said about this sample was: "This lightweight award-winner is our daily shortcut to dewy skin that feels natural and looks gorgeous". 

A full size of this is $38 for 1.7 fl. oz. so my sample is worth $1.56

The next sample was these boscia Green Tea Blotting Linens. I don't really use blotting papers, even if I have oily skin. They just don't do much for me and I find them to be too much trouble.  I've used these boscia blotting papers before and I liked them, but ended up just not using them.  It's a decent sized sample, though. Birchbox says: "These shine-busting sheets absorb oil with all-natural green tea extracts to leave skin matte".

A full size is $10 for 100 sheets, so this sample is worth $2.50

This was the most exciting product in the July Birchbox.  I know a lot of girls received this Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in last month's Birchbox and I was pretty jealous. I use liquid eyeliner every day so this product is really relevant to me, which made me really happy.  The color is interesting, too.  It's a dark, olive green shade.  I tried it out last night and I actually think it looks really nice.  It's flattering on my brown eyes and is dark enough to still work for every day.  It's a nice change from my every day black liquid eyeliner.  I'm also really pleased with the fact that it's a full sized product. Birchbox says: "Direct from London, these punchy color liners feature a pen-style applicator that's truly goofproof". 

A full size is $15, so this sample is worth $15. 

One of the lifestyle extras this month was This Larabar Uber Cherry Cobbler bar.  I'm food in the Birchbox, but I'll try it out.  It looks pretty good, anyway.  Maybe I'll like it and find a whole new snack obsession. Who knows.  Birchbox says: " The latest addition to our snack drawer, these healthy and satisfying bars are packed with dried nuts and fruits". 

A full size is $27.95 for 16 bars, so my sample is worth $0.87

The next lifestyle extra was this set of ear buds.  I thought this was pretty cute and pretty helpful.  I always use ear buds for exercising but I always seem to lose them.  The neon colors of these ear buds is also pretty adorable.  I have really small ears, so normal ear buds tend to not fit my ears and these feel a little big, but I'm sure I could make them work. Birchbox says: "We designed these neon headphones just for you. Pair them with your best playlist." 

This sample is worth $0, since Birchbox made them themselves.

Once again, I was pretty disappointed with this box.  I was really hoping for a great box with a nice actual make up samples since it was a collaboration with Glamour magazine.  But, I was only really excited about the Eyeko Liquid Eyeliner. But, I'm not gonna rule out Birchbox just because this box was disappointing. 

The total worth of this month's Birchbox was: $20.68.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

FACE OF THE DAY: Fourth of July!

Foundation: Lancome Teint Idole Ultra in 410 W Bisque
Concealer: Bobbi Brown Stick Concealer in 4.25 Natural Tan
Powder: Laura Mercier Transluscent Setting Powder
Bronzer: NYC Bronzer in 'Sunny'
Blush: NARS Blush in 'Luster'
Brows: MAC Eye Shadow in 'Mystery'
Eyeliner: Maybelline Gel Liner in Black
Lipstick: NARS Lipstick in Heatwave
Lashes: Salon Perfect Demi Wispies

I hope everyone has a fantastic Fourth of July, even if you aren't celebrating America's independence! 


Monday, July 2, 2012


I'm actually doing my monthly favorites on time this month! Maybe a couple of days late, but still at the beginning of July! On that note...can you believe it's already July? We're more than halfway through this year. That's a scary thought.

Dr. Jart BB Cream and Lancome Teint Idole Ultra in 410 Bisque W

First up is my foundation combination for this month.  I've been hearing insane buzz about the Dr. Jart BB Cream for the last couple of months and got a little sample from Sephora at the beginning of the month.  And let me tell you, it's definitely living up to the hype.  I was pretty skeptical at first because a lot of the girls I've seen trying it are fairly pale with pink undertones while I'm closer to the medium side with yellow undertones.    But when I applied it alone, the shade blended into my skin tone and seemed to adjust to a shade that was almost perfect.  I thought to darken it up a bit and bring out some more yellow tones in my foundation I would mix in my regular foundation, which is the Lancome Teint Idole Ultra in 410 Bisque W.  This combination has been my every day foundation for this whole month and I cannot be happier.  I'll have a more in depth Beauty Rave post up about the Dr. Jart BB Cream soon!

Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso

Another item I've heard a lot of hype about recently is this Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso. You guys know that I love me some peach tones and this blush is one of the most beautiful blushes I've ever used.  I've always skimmed over the Milani section at the drug stores because I just always assume that it won't be good quality, but after hearing from a bunch of beauty gurus about this blush, I decided to give it a go. It is the perfect peachy coral shade and goes on with a really natural, glowy finish.  I was really pleasantly surprised by the pigmentation of this blush as well.  It really leaves your face looking fresh, which is a look that I love for the summertime. 

NARS Duo Eye Shadow in Alhambra

I've been trying to "shop my stash" recently to rediscover beauty products that may have been overlooked and this NARS eye shadow duo in Alhambra is one of the items that I've definitely fallen back into love with.  I really love a neutral eye and in the summer I love to wear gold on my lids with a brown in the crease.  This NARS duo has the best light, neutral shades for a quick, simple eye look.  It comes with a light, pinky, champagne shade and a light gold shade as well.  The gold has been my go-to all over the lid shade and I've been loving the champagne shade in my inner corner.  The quality of NARS eye shadows are absolutely amazing.  They're silky and crazy pigmented.  This duo is a really great staple for anyone who loves a neutral eye. 

NARS Lipstick in Barbarella

This lipstick is one of those products that I don't think I could ever live without.  I am so absolutely in love with this color and this formulation that I always find myself going back to it.  Barbarella is the perfect peach shade and the formulation is creamy and glossy.  If I'm having one of those days where I can't decide what lipstick to wear, this is usually the one I go for.  It just works with every eye look and never looks overpowering or too much.  It's just the perfect compliment to any look.  I've worn this at least once or twice a week this entire month, and I have a feeling that that's the way it's going to be for a really, really long time.

MAC Eye Shadow in Arena

This is one of my most recent MAC "purchases".  I got this eye shadow when I Back 2 MAC'd a bunch of my old eye shadow containers.  I swatched it in the store and was instantly like, "I need this."  It's a really great all over the lid shade for days where you want to have a little bit of sheen on your eyes but don't want there to be a whole lot of color.  It's kind of a peachy shade but looks really natural on the lids.  I was a little worried it would be too orange on my eyes, but when you blend it out, it just looks natural and like you just have a light shimmery wash on your lids.  I've really been loving wearing this on its own with no shadow in the crease and just some eyeliner.  


Sunday, July 1, 2012

LACQUER LUST: Essie 'Bikini So Teeny'

There has been a lot of talk recently about this new summer shade from Essie. I've heard from all over youtube and in person about this particular nail polish.  I saw it on one of my friends a couple of days ago and realized that I needed to get it.  So yesterday, I went to about three different stores to get my hands on this color and finally got lucky at a small CVS near my home.

This shade is absolutely worth the hype.  Not only does it have the cutest nail polish name I've ever heard, but it's also a beautiful, unique color.  It's a little bit similar to Essie 'Lapis of Luxury', but 'Lapis of Luxury' is darker and more blue.  This is just the a cross of baby blue and periwinkle and has seriously become my new favorite.   I think this would be really flattering on every skin tone.  It looks beautiful on pale skin but still looks good on my skin tone as well. I can see myself wanting to constantly repaint my nails this shade this summer.  I'm absolutely hooked on this great summer shade. 


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

BEAUTY RAVE: My MAC Eye Shadow Collection

Recently, I went on a huge de-potting spree on all of my MAC eye shadows.  I had way too many and could not justify lugging around all of those individual shadows, especially with my trip to Paris coming up soon.  I'm going to be studying there for about four months, so I feel like I will want to have all of my make up with me.  It seemed more convenient to put all of my shadows into palettes, so they would be much easier to travel with.  I thought this would also be the perfect time to do a MAC eye shadow collection since all of my eye shadows will be in one place, making them easier to photograph and swatch.

Top row: Blanc Type, Arena, All That Glitters, Honey Lust, Soba
Middle row: Woodwinked, Romp, Tempting, Mulch, Bronze
Bottom row: Twinks, Brown Down, Carbonized, Mystery, Carbon

Left to right: Blanc Type, Arena, All That Glitters, Honey Lust, Soba

Left to right: Woodwinked, Romp, Tempting, Mulch, Bronze

Left to right: Twinks, Brown Down, Carbonized, Mystery, Carbon

Top row: Patina, Sumptuous Olive
Middle row: Shimmermoss, Parfait Amour

Left to right: Patina, Sumptuous Olive, Shimmermoss, Parfait Amour

Obviously, I am a huge fan of neutral eye shadows.  I basically only use neutral shadows with any eye shadow look.  I usually leave the color for my cheeks or my lips.  I do occasionally like to do a bright liner on my lower lash line, but it's pretty rare.  The first palette is my most used palette.  The second palette definitely does not get as much love as the first one does.  However, I've found that now that I have my shadows organized in palette form, I tend to use my shadows more, especially shades I may have previously overlooked.

My favorite shadows from my collection are probably: Arena, Woodwinked, Tempting, Bronze, Brown Down, and Mystery.  I use Mystery every day for my eyebrows, so it's definitely my most used color.  For an every day look, I will only use Arena on my lids with some eye liner.  If I am going for a real eye shadow look, I typically go for Bronze or Brown Down in the crease with something like Arena or Woodwinked on the lid.