Sunday, December 4, 2011

November Jewelmint: Bow Tie Bracelet

I was super excited today to find in my mailbox something I had been waiting for since last Friday- my very first Jewelmint purchase! I have been a member for a couple of months already but I never purchased anything because honestly, I never saw anything I liked. Then two weeks ago I saw the demure little bow-tie bracelet in HollyAnnAeree's November jewelry haul video and I knew that it would become my first Jewelmint purchase.
Each piece comes packaged in a pastel mint-green box with black accents. The box opens and closes with a magnetic closure. Inside, there is a notecard from the founders, Kate Bosworth and Cher Coulter, explaining the jewelry piece and ideas on how to wear it. The piece itself comes in a black velvety drawstring pouch with a silver Jewelmint tag on it.
The bow tie bracelet is a dainty gold-plated crystal-studded beauty that reminds me a little of something Kate Spade would make. I noticed that not all the crystals are perfectly in place (at least that's the way mine is) but I don't mind since I think that it gives the bracelet a more approachable look- if that makes any sense.

Technically the bracelet can go up to one third length of my forearm but its structure allows it to stay closer to the wrist area if you want- one of the many reasons I love this piece. Another reason would be its versatility. It has a more classic look when worn alone; stacked with other bracelets it looks more casual. Either way it maintains its feminine delicacy and... is just so darn pretty! 
Keep in mind that when you sign up for Jewelmint and purchase your first piece you will be charged a membership fee (price of one jewelry piece) each month after that unless you skip a month (meaning you will have to manually click skip on the website before the 5th of the month if you decide not to purchase anything that month.)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Haul: Sephora F&F/ VIB Sale

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend! We were excited to host our very first Thanksgiving this year and am happy to report that it ended up being a delightful night with some close friends and one very delicious turkey.

As pertaining to the haul, let me just say, the initial Sephora F&F sale didn't go so smoothly for me. Apparently, my order included an out of stock item and the entire order was cancelled. I was not a happy camper. Luckily, the VIB sale was around the corner and I could take advantage of it to pick up these beauties.
Click for a larger image
1. Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Blissful: The photo makes it look a bit more intense than it actually is- it's supposed to be more of a peachy coral. A little goes a long way with this blush so a light hand is recommended. It turns red on my cheeks (more than I would like) so I may actually opt to return this or exchange it for a more flattering shade.

2. Dior Hydra Life Skin Energizer Pro-Youth Hydrating Serum: something to get me through the dry winter months. It's a light, watery (as opposed to some more creamy-type serums) formula that the skin seems to drink up. Friends have been recommending the Dior Capture Totale One Essential a lot lately so that's on my list to try next.

3. Fresh Soy Face Cleanser: my favorite cleanser of all time. It removes my makeup in one step (like Purity Made Simple by Philosophy) but also leaves my skin feeling hydrated after wash. If you buy in store- look for the bundle pack with a deluxe sample of the Soy Face Cream attached, which is what I got.

4. YSL Touche Eclat in #1 Luminous Radiance: I've tried more concealers than I'd like to admit but my search for the perfect concealer/ highlighter ends with the Touche Eclat. It's a potent formula that brightens up my eye area like no one's business yet feels lightweight on my skin. It doesn't crease into fine lines or look caked on. It even looks natural over makeup should you want to touch up throughout the day. I could have gone with #2 Luminous Ivory since that's the one for fair to light complexions with yellow undertones but the pink in the #1 seemed to give my face a more livelier look (I had tried some samples beforehand) so I went with the #1 and am happy with my choice.

The rest are samples I got during the online order. So that was my haul. I hope you enjoyed!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Swatch: Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Candy Apple

As promised- photos and a swatch of the Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Candy Apple! 
I loved Sweet Tart so much that I had to pick up another one of the Lip Butters. I've never been one for bold red lips but I've always wanted to try it so this time I went for the warm toned red in Candy Apple. There's another red in the line if you're interested- Cherry Tart- which I think would be better suited for cool-tone complexions.
Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Sweet Tart and Candy Apple
The color of the packaging matches the shade of the lip butters. 
Candy Apple has the same smooth texture that I've reviewed Sweet Tart as having. The shade looks intense in the tube and in the swatch but you'd be surprised at how wearable it really is. It reminds me of Snow White and even though my skin isn't as fair, the contrast makes my skin look brighter and cleaner. I think I could create a great look for fall and/or a festive look for the holidays with this gorgeous yet approachable red.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Swatch: NEW! Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Sweet Tart

Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Sweet Tart on Right
Maybelline ColorSensational PopStick in Citrus Slice on Left for Comparison Only
I think there should be a warning on all things hot pink. Something along the lines of "Caution: May cause racing heartbeat, impaired judgment and/or impulse purchases."  

But the new Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Sweet Tart is so much more than just a hot pink beauty. It's  a magical combination of lipstick, lip gloss and lip balm and the way it applies reminds me of the smooth application of the Dior Addict Lipsticks. I love these!!- and for someone who rarely wears lipsticks that's saying a lot :)
The top is clear so you can take a look at the actual color- big improvement from the original Colorburst lipstick packaging which doesn't have this nifty little window. The packaging also corresponds with the shade so each shade has a different color tube. Sweet Tart is a nice fruit punch type pink color (no shimmer) that is surprisingly wearable- and it's one of those colors that brightens up your face giving you a youthful look. The Lip Butters have a subtle sweet scent- barely noticeable unless you're really trying to sniff it out.
I picked out a couple I thought would compare for the swatch shot but they ended up being all very different. As you can see the Fresh Lip Treatment (one of my favorites) is more sheer and glossy- you can't really build the color up on this- it's meant to give your lips more of a slight tint rather than a full-on lipstick look. The Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm is sheer but less glossy. I actually dislike this formula as it dries out my lips even though it's a lip balm. The Colorburst Lip Butter is not as glossy as the Fresh Lip Treatment but has more of a smooth texture (something between the Dior Addict Lipsticks and the buttery YSL Rouge Voluptes) and can be sheerly applied or built up for bolder look. I also like the fact that my lips don't feel like they have lipstick on. I love these!

* Purchased at Bed, Bath & Beyond. A shout out to BentleyBlonde who gave us the heads up to be on the lookout for these!

** Update: Just picked up the Lip Butter in Candy Apple too so I'll be doing a swatch and review of that soon :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Review: The Body Shop: Tea Tree Skin Clearing Toner, Facial Wash

I've never had much luck with skincare products from The Body Shop so I was wary about these but I have been having some skin trouble lately (not acne) and I read that tea tree oil was a good remedy. I took advantage of a recent sale and ordered the Tea Tree Skin Essentials kit (comes with four travel-size tea tree items) online.

I've been using the toner and the facial wash on and off for a a couple of weeks and here are my thoughts on them!

First of all, I liked the toner but not as an everyday all-over-the-face type toner since it wasn't as refreshing as I expected it to be (especially with the minty scent it has!) I should've kept in mind that this is a tea tree "oil" product- meaning that it will leave a (very) slight oiliness to your skin. It didn't break me out or anything- this line is actually meant for blemished skin- but I prefer a more clean-feeling toner. I did, however, find that it was a nice toner to apply around my nose area right after I've used a Biore nose strip and my skin feels a little raw. The Tea Tree Skin Clearing Toner soothes my skin without clogging my pores.

Second, I absolutely love the facial wash! I actually think I'm washing my face more often because I love it so much- the best part is the cooling sensation. I use this in the morning when I wake up or in the shower (the steam enhances the cooling sensation), and at the end of the day after I've removed my makeup (note, this is not a makeup remover). For some reason it takes a lot of washes to remove the soapy feeling but for me it's so worth it. I feel my skin has benefited more from the wash than the toner.

So those are my thoughts on The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil Skin Clearing Toner and Facial Wash. Hope you enjoyed and/or helped some of you on your shopping decisions ; )
The set that I got: comes with actual tea tree oil and lotion as well.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Korean Haul: Ohui, The Face Shop, Hanyul by AmorePacific

Hi there beautiful ladies. I have a Korean skincare haul! I didn't get a chance to visit Seoul this year as I do almost every year but I received a couple of goodies from friends and family, plus I picked up a couple of things at The Face Shop in NJ on our way back to DC from Manhattan. All up and down the East Coast baby, that's how I roll. 

So the first things I got from The Face Shop are some of their sheet masks. I got Nutri-life E, walnut & pine nut, rice and aloe masks. They were priced at $1.50-2.00 each. I've used these before but it's been a while so I don't remember whether I liked them or not. But whatever the case may be at least I had fun picking them out ; )
I also picked up the Herb Day Lip & Eye Make-up Remover sheets. These were $5.00 for 30 sheets- pretty good deal in my humble opinion. I use Lancome Bi-facil to remove my waterproof eye makeup but sometimes I get lazy and want something super simple to remove my eye makeup so I thought I would give these a whirl. I've already tried a couple of sheets and although it isn't perfect- it still removes my waterproof eyeliner/mascara better than my regular makeup remover wipe (currently using the Biore one) so I definitely see myself repurchasing. I consider this a find!

The powder you see with ECHO's stamped on it is actually chestnut powder which you can mix with yogurt, egg yolk, or water to create your own at-home spa mask treatment. This is one of my absolute favorite products in the whole wide world but unfortunately I can't find it anywhere in the states. I used to buy a couple packets when in Korea and bring them back with me but I had run out of the last stash I had towed back with me. I let out a little yelp when I saw this at The Face Shop.

A little side note, The Face Shop is a drugstore-level Korean cosmetics brand. I know of only three locations currently in the US, one each in Manhattan, Flushing and NJ.

Next up, my mom sent me some stuff from a line called Hanyul (by AmorePacific) through my dad who was in town from Seoul last week. Apparently this is a line that is focused on using 100% Korean-grown traditional herbs (normally used in Eastern medicine) to create products that are less abrasive to the skin. My mom sent me two packs of sheet masks and a massaging pack, all of which are housed in some beautiful packaging.
Last but not least, a good friend was sweet enough to bring me a Ohui sunscreen compact (Sun Science Powder Sunblock Natural Skin SPF 50) from her visit to Seoul last month. I've been taking horse-riding lessons in the sun as of late and this was just the thing I needed- a compact that would allow me to reapply sunscreen without messing up my makeup.
I've already used it (hence the slightly faded sun print) and I like it a lot. It works not only as a sunscreen but a brightening and mattifying powder with a good amount of pigmentation. It doesn't make my skin look cakey but the powder is super fair so keep that in mind if you have a darker skintone. It works nicely on my average fair skin.

So that's everything! I understand that these are not readily available products for everyone but I've recently seen some sites that sell Ohui, The Face Shop and Hanyul so I thought I would introduce these haul items as a reference to those of you who are interested in trying out some new Asian cosmetics. I hope you enjoyed :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Nordstrom Anniversary Exclusive: Le Metier de Beaute Rock 'n' Romance Nail Lacquer Set

Needless to say I have been bad blogger. I've had the photos in this post ready to be edited since last month and here I am finally getting to it. 
This beautiful set from Nordstrom was my introductory product to Le Metier- and I have to say it has been a very satisfactory one! The set comes with four sophisticated shades ranging from crimson red (which actually swatches to an almost black on the nails) to a midnight navy. The mini-sized bottles come with smaller brushes for application but the formula is smooth and nice so there is no noticeable difficulty in applying.
Heat of the Night as mentioned above applies as a much darker color than the crimson in the bottle. It has a slight shimmer to it. The hubster commented that "the crimson that comes out in the light makes it classy even though it's almost black." Okay- he didn't use that exact phrase but I saw it in his eyes when he said "I like it."

True Romance is a beautiful nude with a slight metallic finish. It creates a polished sophisticated look, perfect for the workplace. (The Beauty Look Book has already done a great coverage on True Romance.) I haven't had Chrome Passion or Midnight Rendezvous on my nails yet but both look promising from the swatches.
Overall happy with my purchase, I'm see more Le Metier in my future! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Nordstrom Anniversary Exclusive: Clarins FEED 15 Pouch

One of the first things that I knew I would get from Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale was the Clarins FEED 15 Pouch, purchase of which would provide 15 meals to school children through the United Nations World Food Programme. It was a meaningful collaboration and I was happy to support it!

The pouch contains three Clarins products; a Moisture-Rich Body Lotion (3.5 oz), Hand and Nail Treatment Cream (1.7 oz), and a Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in shade 01 (a light pink) and retails for 30USD. I love Clarins skincare but I haven't had a chance to try these body products yet so this will be my humble intro to the body lotion and hand cream. 
The quality of the canvas pouch itself is rather a nice surprise as it stands its own. Both the stitching and the zipper is sturdy and reliable unlike many run of the mill makeup pouches that accompany beauty purchases. It has the stenciled "FEED" on one side and "15" on the other accented with red. The FEED Projects website has a similar pouch for 25USD- which provides 10 meals. (pouch only no Clarins products)
Right now at Nordstrom, you can also choose a gift with purchase (there are four options) when you purchase two Clarins products. Normally, you have to purchase at least one skincare product to receive the GWP but the sales associate at my Clarins counter was nice enough to include the gift with my purchase of two FEED pouches which are technically, body care products.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Haul: Lancome Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate + Deluxe Samples + Swatches

A couple of weeks ago, I took advantage of the great Lancome sample deal up on the Lancome-USA site. I bought one thing, the Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate 0.67oz and ended up with 10 hot samples!
1. Teint Miracle (foundation) sample card
2. Creme Radiance clarifying cream-to-foam cleanser
3. Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate 0.25oz
4. Absolue Premium replenishing cream with SPF 15
5. Renergie volumetric lifting and reshaping cream with SPF 15
6. High Resolution Eye anti-wrinkle eye cream
7. Le Crayon Kohl in Raisin Noir
8. Color Design Sensational Effects Quad
9. Juicy Tubes Moulin Rose
10. Juicy Tubes Rose Quartz

Here is a size comparison between the 0.25oz, 0.67oz and 1oz bottles. There is also a 1.7oz size not shown here. I absolutely love this serum and am already onto my fourth bottle. I used other serums in between as I like to change up my skin care routine, but I find myself recommending this first to anyone who asks me about a good serum. It's light yet very effective and I can actually feel my skin "drinking up" the hydration. (One should note, however, that all skin types are different and what works for me may not work for everyone :)
Also, be sure to register with if you plan to order from them since you can choose a deluxe sample with your purchase if you do. That's how I received Rose Quartz :)  
Voila, swatches. Rose Quartz is a sheer and shimmery terra cotta type shade (but it looks berry-ish in some lights) and smells like candy- although I can't really pinpoint what candy... Moulin Rose is a non-shimmery barbie pink, also sheer but still very pretty. This one smells like roses. Coral Rush is one I got with a previous purchase but I included it for comparison purposes: this one is a golden coral (golden because it has dense gold micro-shimmer in it) and smells like watermelons! yum....

Hope everyone is holding up in the intense summer heat we've been getting this week (or is it just the DC heat that's gone crazy?)! Also, is everyone excited about Nordstrom's 15 Year Anniversary Sale as I am? There's only a couple of things I have my heart set on (the Clarins Feed 15 Pouch- such a great cause- and the Jo Malone trio) so I don't know why I'm so excited but... I am... haha

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Swatch-aroo: Chantecaille Lip Glosses & Guerlain Rouge Automatique Les Oranges

For some reason I always thought I didn't have a Chantecaille counter near me until there I was innocently strolling along through my go-to Nordstrom when lo and behold, a beautiful Chantecaille counter with semi-new testers out looking up at me like "You're late." What?! Why haven't I seen this before? More importantly, why did I never think of looking it up?
Click for a larger image.
I did a couple of swatches to share with you my joy in my new discovery :) Guava and Dragonfruit are shades from the Lip Gloss line (the ones in the silvery mini compacts with mirrors) and Sweet, Folly, and Flirt are shades of Brilliant Glosses. I was impressed with how light the lip glosses felt on the back of my hand and how natural they looked on my lips. The brushes on the Brilliant Glosses were super-soft. These retail for 28.00USD- not a bargain but pretty decent considering the price range of Chantecaille's skincare or her eyeshadow quads.

Next, some Guerlain Rouge Automatique swatches. I only swatched the four Les Oranges 140, 141, 142, 143. My favorite was 141 Quand Vient l'Ete which was a lighter coral pink and 143 Nahema, a more vibrant coral pink. These applied so buttery smooth on the back of my hand. I didn't try them on my lips so I can't vouch for how smooth they translate to the lips but I'm thinking they're probably pretty nice on the lips too.

So that's that! Any special plans for the Fourth of July weekend? I plan to spend it in the nation's capital with friends and watch some fireworks! Hope everyone has fun!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Haul: Benefit: cha cha tint & b.right! skincare

I just got back from my mailbox and discovered my benefit haul had been delivered! It took a while to get here- but I'm just happy that it found me safe and sound, albeit slightly squashed.  

I open up the slightly squashed box and there's fab Gabbi looking back at me (or so I think- I can't tell exactly under her chic vintage sunglasses) and pretty coral on white tissue paper wrapped around my goodies. 
Inside were: A summer 2011 benefit catalog, a sample of Girl meets Pearl, a sample of Pore.fessional and the two things I had purchased:
1. the b.right! radiant skincare 6 piece intro kit
2. cha cha tint (benefit's new mango tinted lip cheek stain)
ah! I'm super excited to try everything!
From what I've seen this particular 6 piece b.right! intro kit is only available which is why I ordered directly from them rather than from Sephora which I normally would have done. This kit comes in a convenient travel-size plastic pouch and contains 6 of the total 8 total b.right! skincare products currently available. (It doesn't have the mist and the makeup remover.) They're a little smaller than I anticipated but I appreciate how benefit didn't skimp on the packaging and kept them looking like perfect miniatures of the full-sized products (just minus the cork material). I've always been rather fond of benefit skincare products (eyecon, firmology, dear john etc.) even though they get less attention than their makeup counterparts (coralista, hoola, benetint etc.) so I'm super excited to try these out!

Next up: the much awaited cha-cha tint! Youngest sister to passionate Benetint and sweet PosieTint, cha-cha is sweet and passionate! Here are some swatches of cha-cha with PosieTint. The photo seems to have intensified cha-cha a bit more than the color in actuality- it's a bit softer in real life. I love that it doesn't have any shimmer and that it has the more milky consistency of PosieTint rather than the watery formula of Benetint. I'm confident cha-cha will help me glide through the heat and sweat of summer with perfectly tinted coral lips! 

Friday, May 13, 2011

NOTD: Pink French Tip with Orly, Zoya & Essie

Orly Sheer Peche as base color
Zoya Happi as French tip
Essie No Chips Ahead as top coat

I wanted something clean and simple but also a little girly this week :) So I decided to do a pink French tip. It maintains the classic look of a white French tip but with a youthful twist.

Orly Sheer Peche goes on pretty sheer on the nails. If not for the slight softening of the nail color I would say it was pretty much clear. It's my go-to nail color for when I don't want any color on my nails but still want them to look neat and smoothed out.

Zoya Happi is a vibrant pink with gold iridescent duo-chrome type shimmers. I have had this on my nails full-on a couple of times but I think I like it better as a French tip. It looks more refined that way.

Essie top coat I just picked up recently during a Target run because my Seche Vite was drying up on me and I wanted to try something new. It's a very watery formula but I think I like it. I can't vouch for it's non-chipping qualities as this is the first time I've actually had it on.

So that's that! Let me know what nail polish you have on and/or any plans you may have for the weekend! I'm craving me some Peking duck @ Peking Gourmet Inn (those of you in the DC area know what I'm talking about!) so I've made reservations. Also, Bridesmaids is in theaters now so that's on my list as well. Have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bath & Body Works PocketBacs: Horoscopes

It seems like every other day Bath & Body Works spawns out a new collection of their antibacterial PocketBacs. They're cute and smell delightful but usually, I'm not a sucker for them.

But today I am. Their new Horoscope PocketBacs not only leaves your hands virtually germ-free but also comes in 12 sets of individualized characteristics based on your horoscope. Are you an Aquarius? According to Bath & Body Works you may be stubborn but you're also loyal, original and independent. A Scorpio? You're driven, passionate, and resourceful (but may have jealousy issues?)
As a June baby, I am the quintessential Gemini. Mine reads "savvy, imaginative, chatterbox, inventive." I like. I know it's not exactly the equivalent of a therapy session but it gives me a mini ego boost and a smile : ) I also love the lime-green on purple packaging. Actually, I loved the color combinations on all of them. Each one was cute and vibrant. The scent for Gemini is named Citrus Citrus but I get more of a strong berry scent with a hint of lemon.
I'm not sure if these are still in stores but as of today, they are still available

Friday, May 6, 2011

iMomoko Haul: My Beauty Diary Earl Grey Tea & Macaron, Chocolate Truffle, Lily sheet masks, Face Q sheet masks

Did I tell you- I have a macaron addiction? It's true. One can be addicted to macarons. It's amazing how those petite pastel colored French pastries with it's gooey heavenly center can make you love life all over again and more. So when I saw the new My Beauty Diary special edition sheet masks, I let out a Major little-girl shriek.
Seriously, how adorable are these Earl Grey Tea & Macaron masks?! I also happen to love earl grey tea so I couldn't have dreamt up a more perfect combination. According to the description, these masks contain "essence from earl grey tea and extracts from macarons." But what are... extracts from macarons? hm...
I can't read Chinese but the pictures seem to promise some serious hydration action when using the mask :)
Speaking of adorable, I also picked up the Face Q Peony, Snow Lotus & Sake Yeast whitening mask. iMomoko just recently started carrying Face Q (same company as My Beauty Diary.) Packaging-wise they are a little bit bigger than the My Beauty Diary masks. I didn't know it when I was ordering, but these are one of those masks that go all around your chin and have 'earholes' (note picture on box or check out smerfettte's YouTube video) for convenience and more firming action :) I used one yesterday and I was thoroughly pleased!
I have a strong feeling that that little girl with the sheep horns is trying to tell me something.
Another thing I really love about these masks is that they have the manufacture date and expiration date printed on the boxes and on each separate mask. It's always a good idea to be informed about the products you use on your face and I appreciate it when the companies make it easier for you.

To go back to the first photo, I also picked up the special edition French White Lily sheet masks and the Chocolate Truffle masks. I haven't opened those two yet but both seem promising. The Lily mask is part the Blooming of Beauty collection and is supposed to help brighten up your skintone.

The Chocolate Truffle masks are described as containing cacao & coffee extracts which nourishes and repairs the skin. It also contains lemon, orange, and mikan extracts which mildly removes old skin cells, leaving a fine skin texture with a smooth finish.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A First Look: The Glossimers of Chanel Summer 2011

I was in NY two weekends ago and much to my delight, found the Chanel Summer 2011 out and about early at the Chanel boutique. The bronzers and the eyeshadows did not interest me (sorry.. this means I did not swatch them) but I kinda have to say: I am quite smitten with the Glossimer colors in this collection!
Pink Peony, Pensee, Aurore
Especially Pensee, a beautiful coral and Aurore, a light peachy pink with iridescent shimmer are must-haves. I was surprised that I loved Aurore so much since I'm not easily swayed by pale pinks but it was stunning the way this shade changed color depending on the angle. It's so unique (even if it doesn't seem like it at first sight) and pretty.
I hadn't realized I had taken such a shoddy swatch photo..! Oh well.. That's Pink Peony, Pensee and Aurore from top to bottom.

So that's that. Do you plan to pick up anything from the collection?

I picked up just the le vernis in Morning Rose (a beautiful candy pink with quiet gold shimmers) on this particular trip but I think I may go back for the Glossimers. I wanted to love Mimosa (the much-talked-about Yellow one) but after swatching it I decided to pass.