Sunday, June 24, 2012

L'Oreal Colour Riche Balm: A Review

Being told I had 30 minutes to wait before my prescription was ready for pickup didn’t phase me in the slightest. After all, CVS is like a beauty playground for people like myself.

This sunny weather has me looking for SPF lip products that aren’t completely sheer, yet easy to throw into my bag and reapply on the go. I picked up the L’Oreal Colour Riche Balm (SPF 15) in the baby pink shade Pink Satin.

Low and behold what falls into my lap at work but another one of the Colour Riche Balms! Purging for the beauty department at work benefits all, and I took home the Caring Coral shade to try out.

L’Oreal claims these are ultra-hydrating for EIGHT hours! I don’t really know if such a product exists, and needless to say these don’t hydrate for eight hours. They do, however, hydrate very well and impart a nice sheen to the lips. I didn’t notice before swatching, but there are micro micro sparkles in the balm that are not noticeable on the lips.

Caring Coral (left) and Pink Satin (right) in natural light

The color payoff is very minimal, so don’t be frightened by or expect the dark colors of the balm. This is in no way a lipstick. 
When applied to my lips these two colors were nearly identical due to the natural color of my lips. The wear time is around 1.5 -2 hours depending on your daily activities. I don’t mind reapplying because there is no mirror necessary and I can apply this on the go.

Verdict: Ultimately, this product fulfilled exactly what I was looking for. A smidgen more pigmentation would have been nice, but then again maybe I’m just a lipstick die-hard that needs to accept this balm for what it is. I highly recommend this product to anyone and everyone. It’s very versatile, hydrating, and has SPF 15 protection!

Plus, the packaging screams high-end. I’m in love.

L’Oreal’s Colour Riche Balm can be found at drugstores, online, or at Ulta. The retail price is set for $7.99 but can be a few dollars cheaper in other areas of the US.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Met Ball brings the Vamp

I wasn’t blown away by a lot of the dresses at the Met Ball last night, but I was in LOVE with the presence of vampy lips in May! Camilla Belle and Kate Bosworth demonstrated how to tailor this trend to their skin tone.

Both women were flawless with their pristine skin and defined brows. Bosworth chose a deep burgundy matte lipstick that popped against her fair skin and Belle opted for chocolate plum to complement her tanned complexion.

I just can’t get enough of this trend for fall and winter! The trick to pulling off such a bold lip is the appearance of minimal makeup. It’s important to give your skin the illusion of flawlessness with concealer and/or foundation. Instead of strong blush, try for a slight contour with a neutral blush shade such as the universal NARS Douceur (ed note: apparently this shade was actually used on Kate!). To emulate these looks, lightly dust your cheekbones with highlighter. A swipe of mascara and you’re set!

Eva Chen, Beauty Director from Teen Vogue (@evachen212 – she is the BEST beauty person to follow on Twitter/Instagram/Tumblr), broke the news that the lipstick Bosworth wore is a NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Volga. Stay tuned to for a complete breakdown of that look.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush: A Review

Every time I see a Dream Bouncy Blush by Maybelline I just want to poke it and watch it bounce back. The consistency and texture of this blush are fascinating. Wanting to test out the bounce, I recently picked up color 30 Candy Coral. This shade a far departure from my delicate pink blushes I love so much, chock full of corally-red pigmentation. I was ready to embrace the change.

If you poke too hard it won't bounce back. Oops.

I applied this blush with my fingers and achieved a nice satin finish. The consistency of the blush is best described as Maybelline states, "feels lightweight like a powder, yet melts into the skin like a cream".

1 swipe, 2 swipes

I went to class, happy as could be, sporting my new blush; only to witness that by 3 hours later the blush had completely disappeared. There was not a trace of that vibrant coral blush on any part of my face. I was simply shocked at the disappearing act. I have bought plenty of high and low-end blushes before, and nothing has ever compared to this. 

I gave the blush another go-around, this time using my beauty blender for application. The finish was once again satin, and once again the blush had vanished off my face in record time.

Verdict: Save your money, y’all. The concept is great as is the foam-like consistency, but it has absolutely no staying power despite the initial strong pigmentation. I noticed it was completely gone after 3 hours and I can only image it was at least halfway gone after an hour. I don’t have time to apply blush every hour and I assume you don’t either.

Maybelline’s Dream Bouncy Blush retails for $7.99 and is available at drugstores, mass retailers, and online.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

LUSH Buffy Body Butter: A Review

LUSH is one of my favorite places to go when I’m in the mood to impulse buy. I recently wandered in the LUSH store at Union Square after class one day looking for something new. Spring has arrived in NYC and the lure of a new exfoliator was too tempting. It is about that time for legs to come out of hibernation and expose themselves in flouncy dresses and frilly shorts.

I picked up a body butter in Buffy, one of their top selling products. Buffy (known as “The Backside Slayer”) is a solid square of cocoa butter, shea butter, ground rice, almonds, and aduki beans. It claims to be an intensive exfoliator as well as a moisturizer – touting no need for a post-shower moisturizer. For someone with notoriously dry skin, I was ready to take on the challenge.

7 oz Buffy Body Butter

The body butter does not take the place of soap, acting more as a treatment. After using your regular soap, massage Buffy on wet skin, concentrating on extras that need extra care. Use your hands to continue to massage the bits and pieces of the bar left on your skin. Pat your skin dry; make sure not to rub with a towel and rub off the leftover moisturizer.

I have fairly sensitive skin and I found Buffy to be the most abrasive exfoliator I have used. After my shower I found a few red marks left on my legs, though they faded within 30 minutes. Amazingly enough, I did not have to use an additional moisturizer after my shower. Buffy left a rich, moisturizing layer on my skin that kept me comfortable all day.

I see Buffy as a vital product in the cooler months, but I worry that in warmer climates the moisturizing layer may be too heavy. It is a bit greasy, and it takes hours to sink in completely. However, because of this, it makes an excellent moisturizer.

I have used this bar twice and I noticed the shea and cocoa butters are depleted more quickly than the exfoliators. This may result in the bar becoming more harsh of an exfoliator as I reach the end. It has been suggested to cut Buffy into smaller pieces in order to prevent this.

7 oz bar after two uses

Verdict: This product is in fact a true multi-tasker, fulfilling its claims to both exfoliate and deeply moisturize. I do not have to use a moisturizer after my shower, which is efficient for those strapped for time. It is perfect for cooler months, yet I fear it may be too heavy for warmer climates. I may repurchase Buffy in the winter months, but when I finish my current bar I will not immediately repurchase.

The product comes in two sizes: 3.3 oz and 7.0 oz at $11.95 and $22.95, respectively. It may not be the cheapest Lush product, but it delivers on its claims. Trust me, there won't be a flake of dry skin left on your body.  

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Burberry Lip Glow in No. 14, Nude Rose: A Review

Love the Nova check detailing

After a particularly bad day during the midterm onslaught, I went to Saks Fifth Avenue and wandered over the Burberry Beauty counter. I lived in Waco when the line was released so I was so excited to FINALLY be able to go to a counter. I am an emotional beauty buyer, I admit, and I knew I wanted a pink lipstick to lift my spirits.

However, since it WAS a particularly bad day I decided to buy a lip gloss as well.  This review is for that gloss, and I will post about the lipstick soon.

I’m not a lip gloss kind of girl and it has been quite some time since I purchased a lip gloss (think Spring 2011). I’m happy to say that this lip gloss formula was worth breaking my no-buy streak.

The gloss is a “Lip Glow” in the color “Nude Rose”, a shade featured in the Spring/Summer 2012 collection. The salesperson told me it was packed with Vitamin E and has moisturizing properties, and it actually is! I normally take the salespeople’s speech with a grain of salt because I know they’re trying to move product, but I have to say I am pleasantly surprised.

Swatch, Blended out

The gloss is not sticky or tacky in the slightest. It glides on with the doe-foot applicator, contains no glitter chunks or sparkles, and feels comfortable and moisturizing on your lips with no mask-like sticky effect. It lasted for a full four hours during a busy day at work and through a cup of tea. The gloss faded naturally and I was not left with that dreaded ring around my lips.

Now for the bad news: there is little color payoff; it’s nearly transparent. I would not suggest this particular shade if you are looking to transform your lip color.

Bare Lips
Lip Glow in Nude Rose

However, there are many other color offerings within this line that are much more pigmented. This gloss works well as a layering product to enhance lipsticks or as a natural gloss to wear daily.

Verdict: I love this gloss, and I’m not a gloss girl. However, I would not repurchase this particular color if I ran out due to the transparency of the gloss coupled with the high price. I can pretty much achieve the same effect with my beloved Aquaphor. Though if I were ever in the market for a lip gloss I would check out the other color offerings of the Lip Glow due to the amazing formula.

 Do I regret this purchase? No.
 The packaging is gorgeous and I love applying it. I’m a girl, y’all.

Burberry "Lip Glow" is retails for $27 and is available at Nordstroms(.com as well) for those who don't live near a Burberry Beauty Counter.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I've been absent due to juggling midterms AND working.. and now it is finally my Spring Break! My family is visiting, I am going to visit a friend later this weekend, AND I am still squeezing in two days of work this week.

Point is, I won't be posting until my life has settled back to a "normal" busy.

BUT trust me.. after midterms I did some emotional beauty shopping so I will have reviews ready to go next week.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer: A Review

It seems as if most girls are on a hunt for that perfect product. You know, the one that actually does everything it claims to, the Holy Grail (HG). Look no further than Nars' new Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 / PA +++. I've been repurchasing the same tinted moisturizer (Smashbox Sheer Focus) for over a year and a half now, and in the beauty world that means we were pretty much married. That is... until I purchased Nars' new tinted moisturizer (TM for short) on February 1st.

I've been wearing that TM every day since, and I am simply blown away by its accomplishments. Laura Mercier has long been revered as possessing the most coverage of the TM's, but I have to say this new offering from Nars blows Laura Mercier out of the water. Sorry, girl.

I was initially attracted to the product due to its high 30 SPF protection and PA +++ rating, providing a full-spectrum coverage of both UVA and UVB rays. I am pale as can be, and with a redhead father the sun can be my worst enemy. Plus, who really wants to deal with premature aging?

I was pleasantly surprised by several factors of this TM:

1) The scent – No traces of chemical sunscreen here. The TM smells so fresh thanks to its inclusion of naturally-derived fragrances from Peony, Violet and RoseWater

2) The coverage- This TM provides the most coverage of any TM I’ve ever tried, including Laura Mercier. It nearly completely covers up my spots of hyper-pigmentation, which is amazing. Most TM's I’ve tried merely cast a slight shadow over the spots. With a quick dab of concealer I’m ready to go. No more layering and layering thanks to this guy.

3) The finish – I am queen of the combination skin category, and this TM neither accentuates dry spots nor creates an oil slick in certain areas of my face. I highly recommend applying this with your fingers, as I believe it imparts the most natural and flattering finish. It feels very lightweight on your skin and has a pleasant dewey, NOT shiny, finish. I do not set it with powder and it lasts all day. I’m in fact surprised at how much my washcloth picks up by the end of the day.

I wear the lightest shade (also called Light 1) Finland. It appears much darker in the tube than it does once blended into your skin so I’d suggest trying to get a sample if you’re an in-between shade.

It is oil-free and has not caused any problems with my skin. The TM also claims to help fade hyper-pigmentation, and after 4 weeks of use my hyper-pigmentation seems to be fading, but then again, I’m currently using additional products for that issue so I can’t exclusively credit it to this TM.

I find this TM to be similar to the “BB Creams” that are out today thanks to the lofty claims, more coverage, and high SPF values. I’ve tried Dr. Jart’s two BB creams as well as Clinique’s and once again I think this TM out-performs all three.

TM in natural light
 Slight sheen on cheek is partly from Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Rose

The TM is 1.9 OZ ($42), comes in 9 shades, and while it was once a Nordstroms and Boutique exclusive, the TM hit shelves at Sephora today!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Laura Mercier Sheer Lip Colour in Kissed Lips: A Review

I don't know about you guys, but I am itching for it to be Spring already! I've about had enough of my all-black NYC ensembles and tights. In an effort to brighten up things a bit, I stopped by Saks Fifth Avenue after work and picked up this limited edition lipstick called Kissed Lips from Laura Mercier's new Spring 2012 Lingerie Collection.

Kissed Lips is a "Sheer Lip Colour" lipstick described as a "fresh coral-pink"; and I have to agree. It leans more pink on my fair skin, making it more wearable for me than a true coral.

From left to right: 2 swatches, 1 swatch

It has a slightly glossy finish, making it extremely wearable and flattering. The one setback, however, is its ability to accentuate flaws in your lips - primarily dryness. You can see how the lipstick has adhered to a few of my dry spots in the picture. It's a little high maintenance in this winter weather as you need to make sure your lips are exfoliated and moisturized, but come Spring/Summer when the weather is nice and my skin isn't nearly falling off I think this lipstick will be a mainstay in my rotation.

Result of two swipes

Overall, the lipstick felt comfortable on my lips, wore nicely, and truly was a flattering shade on my pale skin. For someone who struggles to find a coral-ish lipstick that doesn't clash with my skin tone, this lipstick undoubtably is a gem and will be a quick and easy way to brighten up my look come Spring.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Estee Lauder for Mad Men!

photo from

I don't know what I'm more excited about: Mad Men returning after its extended absence, or the Estee Lauder Mad Men Collection. Thankfully I don't have to choose. In fact, I'll take both please.

Taking its cue from the rouged cheeks and bold lips of Betty Draper and my personal favorite, Joan Holloway, Estee Lauder is featuring both a vintage-inspired Cherry-red lipstick and a Pinky-Rose Cream Rouge blush.

The lipstick, appropriately called "Cherry", will be available in a creamy satin finish, and the Cream Rouge, "Evening Rose", will impart a dewey glow to your cheeks. Both items are housed in impeccable gold, vintage-style casings and come in delicate brocade-influenced boxes.

Don't let the vintage appearance fool you, the prices for these gems are very 2012. The lipstick is $25 while the cream rouge rings in at $40. The collection is available for pre-order now and will be available at and Bloomingdales on March 18th.