Friday, June 29, 2012

Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation

I am always down to trying new foundation, especially one that has gotten rave reviews. So when I picked up a couple items from Illamasqua, I thought I would give their newly released Skin Base Foundation ($42) a try. Illamasqua describes this foundation as follows: “Inspired by the cult Asian market Beauty Balm creams, Skin Base Foundation is a brand new, refined formula unlike anything on the UK market. Easily blendable, it effortlessly creates a perfect complexion, and like the entire Illamasqua foundation range, is undetectable in a professional HD environment. Suitable for all skin types, it smoothes, softens and conditions your skin whilst providing natural, buildable coverage.” This foundation is cruelty free and comes in a large range of shades, Sephora offers 17 shades and Illamasqua’s website offers all 26 shades.
I was super excited to try out this foundation. I have seen it used by Sam & Nic of Pixiwoo in several of their videos and it always looked great on their skin, pretty flawless. I was matched to 6.5 which is described as light with yellow undertones. It comes in a squeeze tube similar to what most tinted moisturizer and BB creams come in. This is nice because it is easy to control how much product you need. The formula is thick but extremely blendable and smooth. I have been using my Real Techniques Expert Face brush (review coming soon) to apply and it helps to really buff the product into the skin. Skin Base is also highly pigmented so you don’t need much of it to do the whole face. Applied, the finish is a bit dewy but that can be toned down with a little pressed powder. I’d say that this foundation gives medium coverage but can definitely be built up to full coverage because of the high pigmentation. I also liked that the product lasted for the whole day on me and looked natural and really evened out my skin tone. Overall I am glad that I gave this foundation a try, it’s great for everyday and gives a flawless finish. Definitely go check it out!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Illamasqua Naked Rose Powder Blusher

Naked Rose Powder Blusher ($24) is the first blush I have tried from the Illamasqua range.  It was newly release with the Naked Strangers collection.  Illamasqua blushers are supposed to “Illuminate, radiate, and make your face come alive with the colour and drama of Illamasqua Powder Blusher. Colour-intense and highly pigmented, use it to shade, brighten, enhance and define the shape of your face. Be bold; be daring, be the centre of attention.”

First off, all Illamasqua blushes come in sleek, black compact packaging with a see through top.  The pan is just the right size to allow your brush to pick up the perfect amount of product, a quick swirl and you’re ready to apply.  Naked Rose blusher is a soft neutral pink, with a highly pigmented matte finish. The powder is fine-milled and soft to the touch. It applies beautifully to cheeks and adds a perfect natural pink flush that lasts pretty much all day.  It’s a great shade for everyday and looks fabulous on my lighter skin tone.  I am very impressed with this shade of blusher and the formula.  Definitely perfect for all year round!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Illamasqua Sheer Lipgloss in Intimacy

I purchased a few items from the Naked Strangers collection released by Illamasqua. The first being Sheer Lipgloss ($20) is the color Intimacy. Described as a nude brown pink on the Illamasqua website, I find that this gloss is the most beautiful nude pink shade I have seen in awhile.
Intimacy is a super-wearable natural color with just the tiniest hint of shimmer. It is decently pigment for a sheer gloss formula and wears for about 3 hours (without eating or drinking). The formula is super creamy, not sticky at all and has a subtle candy like scent. This is the second Sheer Lipgloss I have purchased from Illamasqua and it looks like they changed up the packaging, definitely for the better. The glosses use to be in a squeeze tube which can be messy and allow too much product to be dispensed. Now the glosses come in a tube with a wand for much easier application. If you are looking for a great neutral pinky nude, this has to be one of the best around!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Le Métier de Beauté Haute House Hues Nail Lacquer in Snappy Dragon

This is my first experience trying Le Metier de Beaute Nail Lacquer ($18). I have read countless reviews about the formula and the different shades they offer on other blogs. So I decided to try one of their limited edition shades from the Neiman Marcus exclusive Spring 2012 Haute House Hues Collection, Snappy Dragon.
Snappy Dragon is a bright neon pink, almost fuschia, with blue undertones. The finish is a cream satin and with two coats you get opaque coverage. I really like the brush that these polishes come with. I feel like they really help with the application of the polish. I am pretty unsteady when it comes to polishing my nails, but I had no problem with this polish at all. All Le Metier de Beaute nail lacquers are formulated 3-Free without formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and Proposition 65-compliant. They are also fortified with strengthening proteins and hydrators.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hourglass Illusion Tinted Moisturizer

I visited my local Sephora a few weeks ago in search of a new foundation for summer.  I have been using Chanel Perfection Lumiere for awhile now and love it, but I wanted something a little lighter for the summer.  So I went in looking for a tinted moisturizer.  SO I walked around a bit and stumbled across the brand Hourglass and their tinted moisturizer called Illusion ($55).  I asked the sales associate working at the time about this product and she raved about it, so of course I had to try it out.  She made me a sample and off I went to give a good at home.

Hourglass describes Illusion Tinted Moisturizer as “the perfect alternative to liquid foundation, Illusion is an advanced SPF 15 tinted moisturizer formulated with INSTALIFT® at 3% and Hydraluronic Filling Spheres at 3% to deliver a more radiant and youthful complexion.”  It is oil, fragrance, paraben, gluten, sulfate free and vegan.  It is also suppose to be water-resistant.  It comes in 6 shades, I was matched to Ivory. 
After trying this product out for a few days, I decided that I really like it and went back and purchased it.  Illusion is much thicker than your average tinted moisturizer; it almost has the coverage and texture of a light cream foundation.  It’s very lightweight, I hardly feel like I have anything on, and wears beautifully, no need for touch ups as often.  The coverage is quite natural and evens out my skin tone pretty well.   When my skin is clear of breakouts, I find I don’t need to wear much concealer, which is always nice. Overall, I think I found my foundation for the summer! Mission accomplished.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Edward Bess Monte Carlo Quad Royale

Monte Carlo is one of three Quad Royale ($45) face highlighters from Edward Bess. It contains four coordinated shades to sculpt and highlight the face. It gives a healthy peachy glow with a subtle shimmer. Monte Carlo can be used as a sheer highlighter and it’s pigmented enough to be applied as a blush. 
The Quad consists of a light peach, a golden peach, medium peach with a hint of pink and deeper peachy-coral. The texture of this powder is smooth, silky and is finely milled.  It’s super easy to apply and blend on the face for a natural glow, the color is not overpowering at all. It's neutral enough for all skin tones; lighter skin tones could definitely use this as a blush. 

The Quad Royales come in the signature Edward Bess sleek black compact and comes with its own brush which is good for on-the-go touch ups.  Overall, I have loved every Edward Bess product I have ever purchased and this is another winner!  Stay tuned for new Deep Shine lipgloss shades from Edward Bess! He launched three new shades and I can’t wait to get my hands on them!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Rouge Bunny Rouge Sweet Excesses Glassy Gloss in Rhubarb Custard

Rouge Bunny Rouge has released five gorgeous pinkish shades of Glassy Gloss with the Mistral Look for Summer 2012. I haven’t had a chance to try the Glassy Gloss formula, so I thought what better time than now. Out of the five shades, which all look beautiful, I chose Rhubarb Custard. The RBR site describes these shades as “milky nude rosewood – an irreplaceable my-lips-but-better colour.” It’s definitely a my lips but better color, a warm neutral pink. The new shades have “a new ultra glossy formula that combines a non-sticky finish with intense moisturizing properties which have an immediate effect on dry skin. Rose Seed Extract smoothes away fine lines, rejuvenates and regains lost natural colour and skin tone while Vitamin E works as an anti-oxidant.”
I did find the Glassy Gloss formula to be moisturizing and non-sticky. I have super dry lips that peel and crack all the time, so I constantly have something on my lips.  Even after the color wore off, my lips still felt pretty hydrated and soft.  The texture is rather thick and applies quite smoothly and evenly. This gloss has descent staying power but not the greatest; I found I have to apply a couple times through out the day.  Another thing that I really like is the scent of this product, it reminds my of sweet tarts or some candy, I can’t quite decide.  Anyway, overall I really like the RBR Glassy Gloss formula and may have to check out more shades in the future.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Le Métier de Beauté Aurora Kaleidoscope Lip Kit

For Spring 2012 Le Métier de Beauté released a new Kaleidoscope Lip Kit in Aurora as well as an Eye Kit in Northern Lights (Both $95). I have never tried their lip or eye kits so I decided to give the lip kit a try. The Aurora Lip Kit is described as follows; “Le Métier de Beaute's new Spring 2012 Kaleidoscope Lip Kit mixes mysterious and luxurious hues reflective of the Northern Lights, a natural light display in the night sky. Caused by a collision of naturally charged atomic particles in the atmosphere, the Aurora Borealis turn the sky from purples to magentas to blues—magnetic color abounds.”

Aurora contains four colors in the lip crème formula. Illuminate - a sheer, hot pink with shimmer, Voltaic - a satin creamy nude mauve (my favorite), Dynamos - a glittery coppery coral and Eos - an opaque bright pink. Le Métier de Beauté lip kaleidoscopes are suppose to be layered to create one beautiful shade. But of course can be used on there own. If you are going to layer, you are supposed to layer the lip colors from the top to bottom. The glosses are not sticky and have pretty descent lasting power. I almost feel that they leave a stain of color once the gloss has worn off. Overall this is a great kit for summer and the colors are very wearable for all occasions. The packaging is beautiful but a little cumbersome to take on the go, especially if you are using a smaller handbag. 
L to R: Illuminate, Voltaic, Dynamos, Eos

Available at Neiman Marcus.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

MAC Have a Lovely Day ! Casual Colour Lip & Cheek Colour

MAC Have a Lovely Day! Casual Colour Lip & Cheek Colour ($20) is described by MAC as a neutral nude.  It is definitely a neutral color but I would describe it more as a nude pink.  It’s is a bit rosy, with a little mauve-tone to it.  This product as its name suggests can be used on lips and cheeks.    This is a new and limited edition product.  MAC describes the new formula as a “versatile, lightweight all-in-one colour for cheeks and lips. Creamy, super-blendable, barely there formula. Contains Vitamin E to help keep skin and lips nourished”. 
As a blush this product is quite dewy and definitely adds a nice glow to the skin.  The consistency is soft and creamy so it applies smoothly and evenly to the cheeks. It’s all pretty well pigmented so you don’t need much product to apply.  I prefer to apply cream products with a brush then smooth out with my finger that always seems to work best for me.   It also has a slight vanilla scent that is signature to some MAC products such as lipsticks and lipglasses.  When applied to the lips it seems pretty lightweight and gives a semi-matte natural-look.  I didn’t find it drying and it didn’t make my lips flakey.  I applied a clear lipgloss over top to give a bit more glossiness to the lips. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

June 2012 Birchbox

Yay, my second Birchbox was delivered on Friday and I was super excited to see what little goodies were inside.  This month's theme is Jet Set, devoted to products that will indulge your inner jetsetter.  So all the products are travel-friendly for your summer trips, where ever they may be.  Here is a run down of the products I received.

The first item is an Eyeko Fate Eye Stick in Old Gold.  Old Gold is a metallic gold with olive undertones.   Each one pairs dense, vibrant pigments with a retractable twist-up applicator. You can glide them on as a thick liner, or smudge them to create a shadow.  I have never tried the Eyeko brand before, I know that their mascara is really popular in the UK.  This color is ok, nothing super special. I haven't tried it on my eyes but swatched on my hand it's just ok.

The next item is Likewise Facial Moisturizer + Sun Protectant SPF 50 for Normal To Oily skin. This moisturizer with sunscreen is suppose to be great for break-out prone skin.  It's fragrance free and contains zinc oxide to protect against the sun and azelaic acid that acts as a toner to balance and calm blemishes.  I am excited to try out this product since I am prone to breakouts in the summer and I am always looking for a good moisturizer. 
theBalm Cosmetics Staniac in Beauty Queen is the next product I received. The gel formula looks dark in the tube but delivers a sheer tint that is easily blendable onto the cheeks. Beauty Queen is a magenta-toned pink that provides a nice natural flush for most skin tones. This stain is water based, so it doesn't set quite as fast as other stains do.  I have never been a fan of staining products but it will be fun to try one out. 

The last product in my Birchbox is Comodynes Self Tanning Intensive Towelettes for face and body. I received two of the single-use towelettes.  They promise to deliver a natural tan on the face and body that adjusts to your skin tone.  The formula is paraban-free and supposed to be moisturizing as well.  I haven't had a chance to try these out but every tan towel I have tried, I liked, so I hope this one will be a winner.

Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer

As you all may know, I am always on the hunt for the next amazing concealer, whether it be for under my eyes or to cover blemishes.  I am constantly trying new ones, some are winners and some are major losers.  One of the winners that I currently love is the Maracuja Creaseless Concealer ($24) from Tarte Cosmetics.  Tarte describes this product as an “A full-coverage concealer that won’t crease, flake, or leave you needing more.”  This concealer contains Maracuja Oil which is supposed to help improve the skin’s texture, tone and moisture content.  How does it do that? Well Maracuja Oil provides essential fatty acids known to rebuild and repair skin, and a high dose of pure Vitamin C, which gives the appearance of brighter skin; promotes active skin recovery and rejuvenation and maximum hydration.

I was really excited to try this concealer, which comes in five shades. I choose the shade, Light, which works well with my skin tone. This shade leans a little to the pinker side which is perfect for concealing under eye circles.  It comes in a tube which allows you to dispense whatever amount of product you need, but honestly you don’t need much.  A little goes a long way, it’s nice and pigmented, and it stays put while giving perfect coverage.  This concealer is quite dense but yet when it’s applied it feels so lightweight.  It’s very creamy, goes on easily and blends nicely. I get natural coverage with this concealer and it has never looked too cakey.  So if you are in the market for a new concealer, especially for you’re under eyes, go check out this one. Available now at

Friday, June 8, 2012

MAC Hey Sailor Pro Longwear Bronzer in Nude on Board

The last product that I picked up from the MAC Hey, Sailor! collection is Pro Longwear Bronzing Powder in Nude on Board ($28).  MAC describes the new Pro Longwear Bronzer formula as “Combining comfort, flawless sheer-low transparent coverage and long wear; this is bronze with a fully dimensional yet natural finish.” Both shades of Pro Longwear Bronzer are limited edition. 
Nude on Board is described as bronzy, yellow tone on the MAC website.  When swatched on my skin (NC15/20) it is a soft medium tan with a very subtle sheen.  It gives warmth to my skin without looking too orange or overly bronze.  This shade is perfect for light to medium skin tones.  The formula is soft and smooth to the touch, not chalky or dry.  I find that this bronzer is more pigmented than other MAC bronzers that I own.  Even though it is richly pigmented, it can be applied lightly for a soft glow or heavier for a contoured bronze look. I did find that this formula is in fact quite long wearing.  I normally have to touch up my face mid-day but when I used this bronzer, I felt the color last much longer.  I am excited about using this product more over the next couple of weeks when the weather warms up to really test its staying power. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

MAC Hey, Sailor Blush in Launch Away!

Another item I picked up from MAC’s Hey, Sailor Collection is the powder blush in Launch Away!  It is described as a “true peach” with a satin finish.  In the pot it looks like a light peach but when I swatched, it turned surprisingly pink on my skin.  I was actually pleased with the pinker color because I was afraid that the light peach my get washed out with my skin tone. 
The powder has a soft feel and applies smoothly. The color builds up easily and gave my cheeks a sweet pink flush.  I really like MAC blushes with the satin finish; they always apply with great color payoff and have just a subtle sheen to them.  I am not a fan of shimmer blush, so this formula and finish is right up my alley.  I own quite a few MAC blushes and most are the satin finish.  Overall, this is a great color for summer to add a subtle pop of pink to the cheeks.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Burberry Sheer Summer Glow Natural Highlighting Palette

I caved and decided to purchase the Sheer Summer Glow Natural Highlighting Compact ($50) from Burberry Beauty from the limited edition Iconic Nudes collection. This effortless all-in-one compact is a combination of two bronze shades, a light pink and a pearly highlighter. All of the shades have a soft luminous sheen to them.
Blended together, this highlighting powder adds natural glow and definition to the face. It can be applied in so many ways; all colors mixed together for an all over glow or using the bronzer shades as a bronzing contour color and then highlight using the pink and pearl shades.  I have also been using the pink and pearl to highlight my brow bone. This is an absolutely gorgeous palette and I am so glad that I decided to get it because I believe it has sold out! One other thing I love about this palette is the soft scent of roses it has. 
Good swatches were a little hard to get since this palette isn't super duper pigmented.  The deepest bronzing shade is the easiest to see since it is the most pigmented of the four.  The pink and pearl shades blend in with my skin, so they are faint to see but in person they are beautiful colors.  The pink almost has a tinged of gold in it that is so pretty.

Monday, June 4, 2012

MAC Hey, Sailor Suntints

I only picked up a few items from the newly released Summer collection from MAC Cosmetics entitled Hey, Sailor. I wasn’t super impressed with this collection but I did want to get a few things, mainly because the packaging is too cute! I picked up two of the three Limited Edition Suntints Liquid Lip Balm ($16) that was released with this collection, Abalone and Au Rose.

 Abalone in the tube is a see-through hot pink with no shimmer. It has cool undertones and just barely gives my already pigmented lips a slight tint. Au Rose is a medium pink with subtle gold shimmer. It is much more pigmented that Abalone but still pretty sheer. I prefer this shade or Abalone just because it adds a touch more color to the lips and brightens them up a bit more.
Left: Abalone Right: Au Rose
This formula does add a lot of shine to the lips and I didn’t find the balm to be overly sticky. I think that it moisturizes pretty well and lasts a decent amount of time on the lips. They do contain an SPF 20 which is nice to have in a balm for the summer. Overall this is a nice product to take to the pool or beach to protect and hydrate your lips and get a touch of color.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Le Métier de Beauté Crème Fresh Tints for Lips and Cheeks in Ginger Lily

Le Métier de Beauté Ginger Lily Crème Fresh Tint ($28) is a creamy peach with a hint of pink, almost a salmon pink. Le Métier de Beauté describes the formula as “a luxuriously hydrating formula that instantly imparts a radiant glow to the lips or cheeks.” It can be used on bare skin or over makeup and claims to be water-resistant.
On the cheeks, it gives a natural glow that’s dewy not shiny or greasy. The color is very subtle and looks extremely natural on my skin tone. I usually apply cream products with a stippling or small foundation brush first and then blend with out with my fingers. Ginger Lily has a cream finish, so no shimmer here, which is how I like my cream products. I find that shimmery creams can make my skin look overly shiny and almost oilier looking. When applied to the lips, this product adds subtle warm sheen with semi-opaque color. This product is very soft and creamy so I found it easy to apply and blend to both cheeks and lips. The wear time on cheeks is pretty good but on the lips, I found that it fades pretty quickly. Overall, I am pretty pleased with this product and can't wait to try other colors in the range.