Thursday, November 27, 2014

Review: Bobbi Brown Holiday 2014 Copper Diamond Shimmer Brick

Bobbi Brown shimmer brick

Bobbi Brown shimmer brick

There are some products out there that are iconic - Chanel No. 5, Nars Orgasm blush, and of course Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks. For some reason, the Copper Diamond Shimmer Brick that has been released as part of the Bobbi Brown Holiday 2014 collection, caught my eye. I've never owned one and thought this would be a great opportunity to get one.

As with the other releases in the holiday collection, the shimmer brick is encased in a plastic tortoise shell case. It's gorgeous and I sometimes find myself just ogling at the packaging.

Bobbi Brown shimmer brick

When I first saw this online, the name "Copper Diamond" was kind of misleading. I was expecting more of a coppery shimmer, even though it's described to give a lit-from-within warm golden hue. In the pan, it does look like it would be more coppery than gold. However, when swatched, it truly is a warm golden shimmer on the skin.

On the cheeks, it's quite a subtle golden shimmer that's absolutely perfect for the holidays. Just for fun, I wanted to see what this would look like if I used a heavy hand and piled it on. To my surprise, it looked more natural than I thought it would. My cheeks were a lot more highlighted than if I just used one swipe on each cheek, but it still gave my cheeks a beautiful glow without looking too over the top. This would also look great on the eyes as an inner corner highlight, or in the middle of the lid to give a pop to the eyes.

This shimmer brick is a great way to add some festive shimmer for the holidays, but still give a beautiful highlight on the cheeks. I'm glad I got a hold of this and can now see why the Bobbi Brown shimmer bricks are so popular. If you're looking for a little something special for the holidays, this would be a great item to add to your wishlist.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Bobbi Brown Holiday 2014 Releases

Bobbi Brown warm eyeshadow palette, shimmer brick

Bobbi Brown warm eyeshadow palette, shimmer brick

Bobbi Brown warm eyeshadow palette, shimmer brick

Bobbi Brown warm eyeshadow palette, shimmer brick
This year, I started becoming more interested in Bobbi Brown products. I always liked the limited edition palettes that were released, but never bought one. I adore their brushes and like the values the brand promotes. So, it wouldn't be long before I would actually get my hands on one of their eyeshadow palettes and one of their famous shimmer bricks.

When pictures of this year's holiday releases started surfacing, I knew I had to have at least one of the products. With the tortoise shell packaging combined with what seemed like the perfect mix of warm eyeshadows in the Warm Eye Palette, I had to have it! And why not pick up the shimmer brick included in this collection as well?

I actually bought these two products before the Sephora VIB sale came around, but I knew I had to get them quickly before either one sold out. When I got my hands on the palette and shimmer brick, even the boxes they came in were extremely nice and fitting for the holidays. The few days after ordering and receiving my package, the shimmer brick had sold out on the Sephora site. But, I'm pretty sure you can still find it at other retailers and on the Bobbi Brown site.

Reviews on each of these products will be up on the blog within the next few days!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Current Lip Balm Picks

lip balms

I use lip balms all year-round and it's something I can't live without. They help keep my lips soft and hydrated, but also keep them protected from the elements of the environment. My current picks at the moment are the Christian Dior Creme de Rose Smoothing Plumping Lip Balm, Nivea Kiss of Milk & Honey Soothing Lip Care, Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment, and Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm.

Christian Dior Creme de Rose: A rose-scented lip balm that does truly smooth and plump the lips. It's appropriate to use when you're out and about during the day, since it has an SPF of 10. However, I prefer to use it at home and right before I sleep because you have to use your fingers to apply it. In the morning, my lips are smooth and hydrated.

Nivea Milk & Honey Soothing Lip Care: This is a good basic drugstore lip balm. Even though it doesn't keep my lip moisturized as long as my other picks, it does get the job done. It's cheap and widely available.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment: This lip balm has cult status and I can understand why. It's hydrating, smells great, and good to use during the day, as this has an SPF of 15. I have samples of the Sugar Berry and Rose shades, which give a wonderful sheer colour on the lips.

Jack Black Intense Therapy: I have this in the grapefruit scent and it smells amazing, but unfortunately, it doesn't taste very good. This lip balm has the highest SPF out of all four - an SPF of 25, which is especially great in the summer time. I like that you have to squeeze out the balm to use, which makes it quite hygienic. This also has a great amount of slip and keeps my lips hydrated.

I love trying out different lip balms and have found ones that I love, and ones that I haven't enjoyed. At the moment, there are two that I especially want to try - Nuxe Reve de Miel and By Terry Baume de Rose.

What are some of your favourite lip balms?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sephora VIB Sale Haul 2014

beauty products

beauty products

beauty products

beauty products

I'm a little late to the party in posting all the goodies I bought during the VIB sale. I got a few things in store, but a majority of the items were purchased online on the 5th and didn't arrive until 2 days ago. Some items are re-purchases, while most are new products I've been wanting to try out for a while now.

I might've gone just a little crazy in the amount of stuff I got, but I promise you I try to do most of my beauty shopping when the VIB sales happen so my wallet hurts a little less. So, let's get onto what I got!

Bumble and bumble Non-Stop Softness Set
This set includes the travel-sized Hairdresser's Invisible Oil, Shampoo and Conditioner. I've been hearing great things about all three of these products and thought it would be a good time to snag this set. This specific set isn't available anymore, but you can check out this similar set.

Caudalie Instant Radiance Set
This year was the year I started trying out Caudalie products and have fallen in love with them, especially the Beauty Elixir. Since I always want to try out new serums, I got this set. It includes a travel size Beauty Elixir and a 30mL bottle of the Vinoperfect Serum. The serum's been on my to-try list for a while, so this was a great deal. Unfortunately, this set also isn't available anymore on the Sephora site.

Beauty Blender + Solid Cleanser
Another great deal that was available during the sale, but is also sold out on the Sephora site. I've wanted to find out what the hype was about surrounding the Beauty Blender, so I immediately put this in my online cart when the sale started before it sold out.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light
When this first came out, I didn't want to fall into the hype of it. I've been absolutely loving the Nars Translucent powder, so I didn't think I would ever need this. Now that the hype around this product has died down a little, I decided it was time to try it out. I got Diffused Light, which is described as a soft, warm, pale yellow that reduces redness, eliminates shine, and gives skin clarity. I haven't used it yet, but I look forward to trying this out.

Nars All Day Luminous Powder Foundation in Stromboli 
Because I love Nars, I wanted to give this a try. A few years ago, I tried out their powder foundation (which I can't find on Sephora's site) and wasn't too happy with the results. Since then, I've grown to love the translucent powder. Nars's new offering has gotten great reviews and I'm hoping it'll have better results than the previous powder I tried.

Dior Star Fluid Foundation in 031 Sand
Another product that a lot of people have been raving about. I tend to go for more mattifying foundations, so I wanted to try a foundation that has a different finish. I've liked the formula and feel of it from what I've tried in stores.

One of my favourite concealers. This is a re-purchase. Nothing else to say. It's amazing.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette
How could I walk away from this sale without purchasing a blush? Everyone's raved about this blush palette and I wanted to get my hands on it. Did I need another blush, much less 3 additional blushes? Definitely not, but it was on sale and I couldn't say no.

Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm
This has also been on my to-try list for a while. I've heard that it's great at taking off makeup and it's probably one of the more affordable cleansing balms on the market.

Nars Audacious Lipstick in Brigitte
Brigitte is described as a nude rose but most people have said it's more of a coral pinky shade. I'm excited to try this out! I have my eyes on Anita and Anna for future purchases.

Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Creme Lipstick in Fawn
I also wanted to try this lipstick out after reading Liz's review. I chose Fawn, which is described as a rose coral. I'm hoping this will look good on my pigmented lips.

Dior Nail Polish in 494 Junon
Junon was the colour I was most interested in when the new gel shine formula was released. I didn't get it until now because I didn't think the colour would look good on me. But I feel that it's neutral enough that it'll work with my skin tone and colour.

I've never owned a glass nail file and for most of my life, I've been using the dinky little one that's attached to my nail clipper. I finally convinced myself to get a glass file so I'll stop damaging my nails further.

Glamglow Powdermud Dualcleanse Treatment Sample
This was the only sample I chose to include in my order. I like trying out masks, so I hope this one wows me since so many people like the Glamglow masks.

And lastly, during this sale, I renewed my VIB Rouge status. Because of this, I received a bottle of the Formula X nail polish in a red shade that's exclusive to those who renew their VIB Rouge status.

Monday, November 17, 2014

My Neutral Eyeshadow Palette Collection

neutral eye shadow palettes
neutral eyeshadow palettes
Clockwise from left: Urban Decay Naked Palette, NARS And God Created the Woman, Lise Watier Eyeshadow Quartet in Les Cognacs, Covergirl Eye Enhancer Palette in Shimmery Sands, Revlon Colourstay Palette in 01 Copper Spice, Tom Ford Quad in Cognac Sable, Too Faced Eye Love Sample Palette, Laura Mercier 3 Pan Palette with Sandstone, Cafe Au Lait and Spiced Cider (blush)

I think it's safe to say that I have a bit of a problem when it comes to neutral eyeshadow palettes. Over the past few years, I have accumulated several palettes, a few which I don't even really use today! For some reason, I'm always trying to find the perfect neutral palette that has a balance of matte and shimmery shadows, and the right balance of highlighting, all-over lid and crease shades. For some, this sounds like an easy palette to find, but I've yet to find it!

The first ever neutral palette I bought was a Maybelline quad (might've been called Chai Latte) which had the perfect taupe shade, but then a depotting session went wrong and it was ruined. I also didn't care much for the lack of pigmentation for the rest of the shades. So, I tried out a few other palettes from the drugstore - Revlon, Covergirl and Lise Watier. I quite enjoy the Revlon quad, but the two lightest shades are too yellow for my liking. The Covergirl trio is too sparkly and not pigmented enough and same with the Lise Watier quad.

My foray into higher-end palettes started with the Too Faced sampler palette that I got as one of the point perks at Sephora. I wasn't too satisfied with the shades in the palette. Then, Urban Decay announced the release of the first Naked palette. I fell absolutely in love with this palette. It's warm-toned and has a variety of gorgeous neutral shades both light and dark. BUT! It was still missing the option of a few matte shades.

I wanted to try my hand at customizing my own palette, so I bought Sandstone and Cafe Au Lait. I do really like both shades, but it still felt like something was missing. When NARS came out with their And God Created the Woman palette, I have to say I mostly bought it because I love NARS, I wanted to try out their eye shadows and it seemed like a great value - 6 shadows, a brush and a mini eye primer. Unfortunately, I think the quality seems sub-par compared to their regular sized shadows.

And finally, my most recent acquisition, the Tom Ford quad in Cognac Sable (reviewed here). It's a gorgeous, extremely pigmented palette that's perfect for everyday use and for those special occasions. Though it does lack transition colours and could be too shimmery for my liking depending on the mood I'm in.

While all of these palettes have a place in my collection, I do still want a palette that can do everything I'm looking for. Maybe once I do, I'll stop buying and hoarding all these eyeshadows I will never finish!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Evening Skincare Routine

skincare products

Every night, I look forward to taking off my makeup and doing my skincare routine. There's something so relaxing and calming about taking everything off and nourishing my skin. Even though it seems like I use an excess amount of products on my face, each product has its purpose.

skin cleansers

When I get home, I like using the Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Make-up Remover to take off everything on my eyes and use whatever is left on the cotton pad to take off everything else on my face. This is my favourite eye makeup remover as it's able to take off everything, including extremely waterproof mascara. I then use another cotton pad with Bioderma Sensibio Micellaire water to ensure I've gotten off all the makeup on my face. Afterwards, I cleanse my face with the Aveeno Skin Brightening Daily Scrub. The exfoliating beads are very small and gentle, but still make my skin so smooth. 

skincare products

Treating my skin and layering on each product is my favourite part of the routine. I spray on the Caudalie Beauty Elixir as my toner. This has helped in reducing the redness in my skin and the amount of pimples I've gotten. If I do have any pimples that I need to treat, I use the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo. This contains salicylic acid and works amazingly on my pimples. Then, I use the La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar Serum on scars and dark spots to help in fading them. Currently, my serum of choice is the Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster. It's light, smells citrus-y, and helps with brightening my skin. Then, I apply the Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation moisturizer, which also helps with brightening the skin, and fading scars and hyperpigmentation. And lastly, I apply the Clarins Eye Contour Balm around my eye area. This eye cream is extremely light, but I'll probably have to switch to a thicker cream when winter comes. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Morning Skincare Routine

skincare products

My morning skincare routine is pretty simple and doesn't change much, unlike my evening routine. I've found that my skin doesn't like to be cleansed too much, so all the cleansing I do in the morning is splashing my face with water, then toning with the Aveeno Positively Radiant Toner. The toner helps to balance my skin without stripping it of the natural oils.

After "cleansing", I apply the Caudalie Pulpe Vitaminee Eye and Lip Cream (in the small tub) to my eye area (I can't find this on Sephora's site anymore, so I'm assuming they don't sell it anymore). If I know I'll be home for the day, I will use the Caudalie Moisturizing Sorbet, otherwise, I'll use the Murad Essential-C Day Moisturiser. The Caudalie moisturizer is lightweight, absorbs quickly and does not leave my skin feeling greasy. As for the Murad moisturizer, it has a strong citrus scent, but it does subside. I like that it has an SPF of 30 but doesn't feel like I'm wearing sunscreen.

I'm not too picky with the products I use for the daytime, as long as it protects my skin from the sun and does not make it oily.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Finding the Ultimate Brow Product: Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil - Dark Brunette

hourglass arch brow sculpting pencil dark brunette

When I started dabbling in makeup, I mostly ignored my eyebrows, except for tweezing and trimming them. Even amidst all these blog posts and YouTube videos saying that eyebrows frame the face and that they are important in everyone's daily makeup routine, I ignored it. But! I have finally seen the light. Now I'm on the search for the ultimate brow product.

I have to mention that I'm not going to try any brow powders or pomades - anything that requires the use of a brush to use the product. I want an all-in-one product. 

First up in this search is the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil. My brow hairs are black, but to match the dark brown colour of my hair, I bought the shade Dark Brunette. The colour isn't too warm, but cool enough to match both the colour of my hair and the brow hairs. You can see the colour of this shade in the swatch below. 

hourglass arch brow sculpting pencil dark brunette swatch

Both the formula and shape of the pencil are what I'm really enjoying with this pencil. The wedge-like shape of the pencil is quite handy for lazy people like me. I can use the wideness (but it's really not that wide!) of the pencil to shade in the sparser areas of my brows, but still use the edges of the pencil to create the fine lines that I need. 

hourglass arch brow sculpting pencil dark brunette

As for the formula, it has a waxy texture that helps to keep the hairs in place, while depositing the pigments. Because the pencil is a little on the harder side, it's easier to control where exactly the colour is going. I find that the formula and hardness of the pencil helps to control the amount of pigment being placed on the brows, so it's difficult to go overboard when applying. But if I do happen to find that I've been too heavy-handed, the spoolie is excellent in blending everything out.


You can see in the before and after pictures that the sparser areas have been filled in and overall, it looks more defined. I try to avoid applying too much product in the front of the brows to prevent my brows from looking too heavy. You can also see that the shade looks pretty natural and seems like a good match for me. 

I'm enjoying this product so far, but I'll have to test out other products before I decide on the brow product for me. 

Monday, November 03, 2014

Current Makeup Rotation: November 2014

makeup bag

Every month, I like to go through my makeup bag to see what products I want to switch in and out. I'm a creature of habit, so I usually stick to using the same products when it comes to my staple items. This includes my eyeliner, setting powder, and concealers.

makeup products

makeup products

I like to use Benefit's The Porefessional to prime my face before using all my concealers. I apply Maybelline's Instant Age Rewind to my dark circles to help brighten them. Then, I place some of the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard on top of the first concealer. I also use the shade Ginger to conceal dark spots, hyperpigmentation and redness around the face. If I have any pesky pimples that are healing or need extra coverage, I use the NARS Concealer in Ginger. Then I'll set everything with the NARS Light Reflecting Setting Powder.

After the base is set, I'll use the Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder in Natural to contour the face. My blush colours of choice right now are NARS Sin and Laura Mercier Spiced Cider.

This month, I'm trying to give some love to the eyeshadows in my customised Laura Mercier palette. I'll sweep Sandstone all over the lids, then place Cafe Au Lait in the crease. I line my eyes with the Kat Von D Ink Liner, curl my lashes with the Shu Uemura Lash Curler, apply the Shu Uemura Petal Lash Mascara, then line my lower lash line with either Urban Decay Whiskey or Gosh Velvet Touch Eyeliner in Funky Violet - whichever I grab first.

I'm still testing out eyebrow products, but I've been using the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil in Dark Brunette. I've been really enjoying this product, but will have to test out other products first to see if it's the one brow product for me.

What are some of the products in your current rotation?

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