My Favorite Look This Week #7

I love me a brown smokey eye, but throw in a touch of bronze? Even better. Technically, this was my favorite look of last week, but who's keeping track, right?
A lot of you seemed to like the super simple smokey eye I wore in my Clinique Black Honey All About Eyes post (I did too!), but I wanted something with a bit more dimension on this particular day; in other words, a smokey eye that utilized more than one shadow. 

For this look, I used Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze all over my lids as a base with the orangey-gold Clinique All About Shadow in At Dusk (a don't call me jesse-inspired purchase) layered on top. I used Clinique's Black Honey from the same eyeshadow line to deepen the outer v and crease, and I blended everything out with Burberry Almond. I'll admit, when you look at Bad to the Bronze, At Dusk and Black Honey in their respective pans, the three don't seem like they would ever go together, but once layered and blended over the eye, bronze perfection ensues. For the perfect bronzey-brown liner to smoke up my lash line, I used Urban Decay 24/7 liner in West from the Black Market set.

For my base, I wore Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation in 52 and applied Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer in SX05 in areas where I needed more coverage (I've kinda re-fallen in love with this). I sculpted my cheekbones a bit with NYX Taupe blush (perfect contour shade for lighter skin tones) with Rouge Bunny Rouge blush in Delicata added in for just a touch of color on my cheeks.

Lastly, on my lips, I wore my newest love - Chanel Rouge Coco Lipstick in Cheri. Swoooooon!


theBalm Cindy-Lou Manizer

theBalm Cindy-Lou Manizer was a somewhat out of character purchase for me. Firstly, I'm not very familiar with theBalm products (not personally a fan of their cutesy packaging); secondly, between the few highlighters I already have and love, there's not much desire left on my part to branch out and try any new ones. With that said, I will preface this post with this: Cindy-Lou Manizer is beautiful.
theBalm Cindy-Lou Manizer is shimmery, peachy-pink 3-in-1 higlighter/blush/eyeshadow. (I know how overused the phrase "peachy-pink" is, by the way, but in this case, it really is the most apt shade description.) Unfortunately, I was unable to capture the true gorgeousness of this powder on camera. In person, the shimmer is so multi-dimensional, and there is a slight lavender shift that can be detected in the sunlight that is so unique and absolutely stunning. The powder itself is smooth, buttery and finely-milled without being powdery. It's incredibly blendable and sits beautifully on the skin.

Unblended swatch (left) and blended out

For skin tones NC20 and lighter, Cindy-Lou Manizer will likely function more as a blush 
than a highlighter. This is how I most like to wear it as well. It provides a subtle peachy-pink glow with shimmer that catches the light beautifully without emphasizing pores. NC30 skin tones and darker will likely enjoy using Cindy-Lou Manizer more for highlighting, although I sometimes use it for this purpose, too, simply by applying it with a stippling brush for just a light dusting without too much pigment. Ladies in the NC25 range will probably sit right on the fence in terms of whether Cindy-Lou Manizer will function better as a blush or highlight on their skin tone.

Wearing Cindy-Lou Manizer as my blush

Although I purchased Cindy-Lou Manizer with the intention of acquiring a pink-toned highlighter that would be unique to my collection, I ended up with an absolutely stunning blush instead...and I'm totally okay with that! Personally, the subtle lavender shift that my camera refuses to capture is my favorite thing about this blush. It sets it apart from a sea of peachy-pinks. Shimmer fiends - you need this.

theBalm Cindy-Lou Manizer is available from their website for $24.


5, 10, 20 Minutes

We've all been faced with those mornings - you swear your alarm never went off (it most definitely did), and what follows is always a mystery, because you wake up eventually and look at your clock with a look that flashes from bewilderment to SH*T! (What do you mean I'm supposed to be out the door in 10 minutes? I haven't even brushed my teeth yet!) These are the edited down products I use when I'm in a rush with only 5 minutes to spare (if I'm lucky), as well as the products I tack on when I have extra time - also known as my 5, 10 and 20 minute routines.

5, 10, 20 minute routines

5 min - Back to Basics. When I'm working against the clock (most days), my routine consists of only the basics. For me, that includes concealer (I use one on blemishes and redness and another for under-eyes), some sort of blush, mascara and eyebrow product. My lips are often left bare with only clear lip balm (Anthony Logistics pictured above); I have an array of lip products to choose from in my handbag when I have time later on. Certainly, there are days when I skip makeup altogether, but if I've decided to make an effort beauty-wise, this is considered my bare minimum. It's just enough to make me look put together and takes only about 5 minutes from start to finish.
5 minute routine
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard
Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer in Light-Medium
Benefit Rockateur Blush
Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara
Shu Uemura Hard Formula Brow Pencil in Stone Grey

10 min - Subtle Definition. If I have a few extra minutes and my routine has room to encompass a couple more products, in addition to the aforementioned ones, I incorporate in what I consider my 'nice-to-haves,' meaning products just a step below daily must-haves. A foundation to even out my complexion, bronzer for warmth and definition, a fantastic all-over lid color and a touch of liner, all topped off with a goes-with-everything lip.
10 minute add-ons
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 3.5 
Chanel Les Beiges in 30
Burberry Eyeshadow in Pale Barley
Sephora Contour Eye Pencil in Flirting Game
YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in #9 Nude in Private

20 min - Precision and Finishing Touches. For me, 20 minutes is considered my maximum. It's more than enough time for me to relax and complete any look without having to cut out steps. Still utilizing all of the products mentioned in my 5 and 10 minute routines, given the time, I like to add on a cheek highlight, define my eyes in the way of darkening up the crease and outer v, and finish off the look with clean, winged liner.
20 minute add-ons
Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder in Candlelight
Physicians Formula 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner and Serum
Burberry Eyeshadows in Midnight Brown (left) and Almond

How do you adjust your routine when you have 5, 10 or 20 minutes to get ready?

The Monday Post #8

Monday is by far the gloomiest day of the week for me, followed by Sunday simply because it precedes Monday. Hopefully, The Monday Post will give you some beauty inspiration and help you get through the week! 
Favorite beauty read/viewing: It's been eons since I last tried a Chanel Rouge Coco lipstick, and I've yet to grace my lips with a Rouge Coco Shine, but this post on BellaChique has me seriously rethinking my ways. Cheri Rouge Coco, in particular, is calling my name.

Beauty goal: After having a big clear-out in the form of a blog sale (there are still plenty of great products left, if you're interested! LINK), moving forward, before making a beauty purchase, I'm going to make a conscious effort to decide if I truly think I will use it often enough to justify the purchase. As I scoured my collection for products to put in the sale, I recall thinking more times than I'd like to admit, "Why did I buy this?" (probably because of the hype), and "I forgot I even had this" (suggesting I probably didn't like it that much if I didn't even miss it). My goal is really just to be more particular about which products I spend my money on and realize that I shouldn't buy everything just because it's pretty!

Product Rediscovery: Thanks to my beautiful cousin in the UK, my face has finally been reunited with my favorite drugstore foundation - Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum. You may recall my review of this gem way back in the day, but as I grew paler and paler and shade 53 matched me less and less, I eventually stopped using it altogether. A few almost moments on Asos (thanks to my indecisive ways), and before I knew it, Healthy Mix Serum was no longer available in the US. My newest shade is 52, and not only is it a great match, but the beautiful, dewy, medium coverage reminded me on first application why I loved it so much in the first place.

Beauty lust: Lord knows I don't need another serum or oil in my life, but after reading Lilly's post on Genuine Glow about the benefits of Argan oil, I'm dying to get my hands on the Kahina Argan Oil. And it doesn't help that I've recently developed an addiction to perusing  the Eco Diva Beauty site. The Kahina oil is available there, as are a million other products I "need."

Most looking forward to: This whole week, actually! I'll be getting a couple cheeky beauty orders in this week (hey, I did just get rid of a bunch of stuff, right?), and the boy flies in for a visit on Thursday :)

Hope you all have a great week!


The Current Edit

While I was home in California for two months and using and re-using the same stash of beauty products I packed with me, I found myself in two minds. On the one hand, there were certain products I absolutely loved and continued to happily use, while others, I quickly became bored with and wished I had brought with me more options. Since coming back to Oregon, the products on my current rotation contain a mix of those travel companions and those I just recently reunited with.
Eyeshadow was one area where my interest in the products I brought with me quickly fizzled out. Don't get me wrong - I still love them, but I often found myself wishing I had packed a few others too. I basically looked like the heart-eyed emoji when I saw my NARS And God Created the Woman palette again after two, long months. Kalahari (top far right) is such a gorgeous all of the lid color; definitely one of my favorites. Must never leave home without it again.

For lips, I've been loving the rosy neutral look lately, and both Dior Addict Extreme in Cherie Bow and Maybelline Color Whisper in Made-It Mauve fit that bill to a T, with the latter being a slightly plummier version of the former. For cheeks, MAC Blushcreme in Ladyblush has been supplying my drab, winter complexion with the perfect punch of lively pink. And the long-lasting, dewy finish? Can't say I hate it. Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder in Candlelight has also been on heavy rotation in the past two months or so, as I've completely rediscovered my infatuation with highlighters.

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk (I wear shade 3.5) has been my new base love as of late. I could just go on about the 378,760+ reasons why, but I think this post pretty much sums it up - glow without the shine, coverage without the cake. You get the idea. My favorite way to apply it? Stamped on, then blended in, with a dampened Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge.

Lastly, skincare favorites include Osmia Organics Active Gel Toner and African Botanics Marula Intense Skin Repair Body Balm. The former soothes my skin while offering up a hefty dose of extra hydration under my moisturizer or night cream, and the latter is a godsend for dry, irritated, wind-chapped skin. I use it in place of my eye cream almost nightly.

Now, if I could just figure out a way to take all of my makeup and skincare with me when I travel next...


Clark's Botanicals Cellular Lifting Moisture Mist

After my rather disappointing experience with La Roche-Posay Serozinc, I began to think I'd never jump on the facial mist bandwagon. But, as any seasoned beauty addict would know, never say never. I've incorporated a new mist into the routine for the past few months, and it's good.
Clark's Botanicals Cellular Lifting Moisture Mist is a product I haven't heard anyone talk about before, which seemed odd to me considering how many facial mist fans there are roaming the blogosphere. Unlike other mists I've tried that more or less resembled overpriced, glorified water in a spray bottle, Cellular Lifting Moisture Mist actually has ingredients meant to serve a purpose (and no, alcohol is not one of them): 

:: Swiss Apple Stem Cells are meant to combat signs of aging
:: Enteromorpha Compressa Extract and Caesalpinia Spinosa Gum aid in the production of collagen and reduce inflammation
:: Porio Cocos Polysaccharide plumps the skin
:: Saccharide Isomerate is responsible for increasing skin's water-holding capacity
:: Algae Extract Pullulan has a firming effect
:: Hypericum Perforatum Extract boasts soothing and anti-bacterial properties

I'll admit, those ingredient names can sound a bit foreign, but what really matters is, does the mist actually do anything beyond simply wetting your skin? In short, yes. After my nighttime cleansing and toning routine, I spray a few spritzes of Cellular Lifting Moisture Mist directly to my face (definitely keeping my eyes tightly closed!) or apply it using a cotton pad. I prefer the former, as I find I can feel more of the product's effects that way. There is a moderately strong and refreshing tingle that can be felt for about a minute after application, and once dry, my skin feels soothed, firm and tightened (but never dry or stripped). Especially during these colder months, the mist has been a welcome member of my skincare routine, as it does just that little bit more to help with my skin's ability to retain moisture, something I've never experienced with other facial mists. 

It can't be all butterflies and rainbows though, right? The one and only downfall of Cellular Lifting Moisture Mist is the spray bottle the product is housed in. Each pump delivers a fairly concentrated spray, instead of an even mist of product, meaning multiple sprays are needed to cover a surface area (for this reason, some may opt for the cotton pad route). You can't win 'em all, I guess. Nevertheless, Clark's Botanicals Cellular Lifting Moisture Mist has restored my faith in facial mists. They can actually do something.

Clark's Botanicals Cellular Lifting Moisture Mist is available from their website for $28 (30 mL) or $45 (100 mL).


Huge Blog Sale

My blog sale is now live! Click here or the link at the top of the page to be directed to the sale. Happy shopping!


Spring Blushing with Clinique Cheek Pop Blush in Plum Pop

When I first saw the promo pictures of Clinique's new Cheek Pop Blushes, I nearly died of cuteness overload. The simple clear compact, the daisy imprint, the four spring-ready shades....you get the drift. It had my name written all over it. When I finally ventured to a Clinique counter to take a glimpse, I decided against going home with either of my obvious favorites (Peach Pop and Ginger Pop) and instead, nabbed the perfect shade to help me transition my blush wardrobe into spring - Plum Pop.
Clinique Cheek Pop Blush in Plum Pop is a bright medium pink with lilac undertones. It has slightly sheerer pigmentation that can be very easily built up, making it effortless to control the degree of intensity when applied. Unlike more highly pigmented blushes (think NARS) that require careful application with the right brush, Plum Pop looks phenomenal even with a slapdash application, and the color can be intensified without ever looking powdery, heavy or built up. Three layers melt into the skin just as invisibly as one layer.

Plum Pop has a satin finish that provides the skin with just a touch of glow without being overtly shimmery. One thing that really surprised me was how beautifully it sits on the skin. Despite my fear of Plum Pop clashing with my warm complexion, I find the cool undertones to be incredibly fresh and brightening, which I attribute in part to its slightly sheer, never chalky finish. The blush's only downfall is that because it has a somewhat harder texture, I can already tell that those with oilier skin may experience issues with their brushes (especially dense ones) depositing oil onto the blush and hardening the surface.

Wearing Plum Pop

Although I'm sure most people will rush to their nearest counter for Peach Pop (and I don't blame them - it's peachy-coral perfection), Plum Pop is my personal pick from the bunch. Why? It's made me a firm believer in the cool pink flush once again. Spring, here I come.

Clinique Cheek Pop Blush in Plum Pop is available from Nordstrom for $21.


The Best Under-Eye Concealer: Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer

You can pretty much tell by the state of my Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer tube that I used the heck out of it before realizing I've never reviewed it, which is a shame because it's my absolute favorite under-eye concealer.
Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer claims to be full coverage, creaseless, waterproof and long-wearing. I have the shade Light-MediumI was initially surprised by its incredibly thick, slightly tacky consistency, but I quickly realized that this texture is what helps the concealer to adhere and wear so well on the skin. 

In order for the concealer to spread and blend flawlessly, warming the product up with your fingers is a necessary step, which is why I find application with fingers better than that with a brush, which can often leave the concealer looking streaky. I squeeze out the tiniest amount of product onto my ring finger (a little truly goes a long way!), tap it between my two ring fingers and apply it to my under-eye area with a gentle patting motion. The coverage is impeccable.

Although Maracuja Creaseless Concealer is incredibly moisturizing due to the inclusion of Maracuja oil, I find that prepping the skin with a hydrating eye cream (or moisturizer if applying it to the face) is ideal because the thick texture means that the concealer carries the potential to cling to drier areas. The finish is healthy and dewy, which is perfect for brightening up and enhancing the overall appearance of the under-eye area.

Before (top) and after
In the photo above, I applied Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer in Light-Medium only to my under-eye and inner corner areas. I did not apply any concealer to my lids, and I also am not wearing any foundation because I wanted to show the coverage the concealer carries on its own.

For me, Maracuja Creaseless Concealer ticks all the boxes for a perfect under-eye concealer. It's full-coverage, creaseless and long-wearing, exactly as it boasts, and its dewy finish leaves me with a hydrated and healthy-looking under-eye area that is never cakey. Just between me and you, it's so good that I already have a back-up at the ready.

Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer is available from Sephora for $24.

Getting loveswept with philosophy

I've said it before and I'll say it again - more times than not, I'm useless at describing scents. I couldn't detect all the various notes of a scent if my life depended on it, but what I do know with 100% certainty is what I like and what I don't like, as well as what works with my body chemistry rather than against it. 
philosophy loveswept is the newest fragrance launch from the brand most notably known to me for making some of the most delectable smelling 3-in-1 shampoo, shower gel & bubble baths ever. I've taken a whiff of some of their other spray fragrances in the past, and while they smelled nice, they just didn't work on me. loveswept, however, smells like it was made for me.

loveswept is described by philosophy as - "A vibrant, feminine, romantic and youthful fragrance. By definition, loveswept is about energy and emotion, following your heart and seeing where that can take you and that is the sentiment that philosophy seeks to achieve." 

The glass bottle is simplistic yet stunning. The artwork looks like watercolor, and the overall effect exudes an airy, dreamy, romantic quality. It's a bottle that will bring a smile to my face when I see it sitting atop my vanity every morning.

No matter how hard I try to branch out, for as long as I've been wearing perfume, I've been drawn towards strong florals. They just make me feel like me. loveswept boasts the following fragrance notes: "fresh bergamot and citrus capture the spark of new love; soft florals of pink jasminelotus blossom and purple passion fruit bloom with romance and passion; warm musk and creamy amber leave an impression of love ever after." After the initial spritz, loveswept's citrus top note is fresh and invigorating, while the floral dry down is warm and empowering, yet still feminine and romantic. And although it's an eau de toilette spray, I continue to detect the beautiful scent softly radiating in the air around me for an impressive 5 to 6 hours.

Although to many, the idea of loveswept makes them think of romance or falling deeply in love, lately, it's made me think of someone different. I lost the person I loved the most in the whole world recently, and his ashes were scattered at sea, just as he had always wished for. The vast blue sea literally swept him away from me. I took this photo that day and despite the circumstances, I don't see it as a somber photo, but rather, it gives me a sense of closure and peace and reminds me of the power of everlasting love. For me, it perfectly encapsulates the sentiment behind loveswept. 

To celebrate the launch of loveswept, philosophy is holding a 'Spread the Love' sweepstakes, courtesy of Jetsetter.

:: One grand prize winner will win a romantic getaway for two to Paris, including a 4-night stay at the Sofitel Paris Arc de Triomphe, two airline tickets, airport transfers to and from the hotel and $1000 to spend. (Seriously, are you kidding me? This is an amazing prize. I can't enter myself, but I would absolutely love it if one of my readers won!)
:: Ten runners up will receive a loveswept spray fragrance and 4 award-winning philosophy favorites. 
:: Twenty lucky winners will receive a loveswept body lotion.

To enter this incredible sweepstakes, follow this link to 'like' philosophy on Facebook and follow the directions from there. Best of luck!

philosophy loveswept is available from their website for $16 (0.5 oz) and $46 (2 oz).

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by philosophy through their partnership with POPSUGAR. I am a POPSUGAR Select Beauty Blogger, and while I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about philosophy, all opinions are my own and based solely on my own experience with the product.


Brown Smokey Eyes with Clinique Black Honey

I was getting tired of the same old looks I'd been creating with my LORAC PRO Palette and Laura Mercier Artist Palette lately, so I decided on a daytime, brown smokey eye today using a much loved eyeshadow I have yet to speak about on the ol' blog. I'd never been bothered to try Clinique eyeshadows before, but after I heard they reformulated the All About Shadow line and included a red-brown shade, I felt it was the perfect opportunity to dip my toes in.
Other products in this look:
Chanel Les Beiges in 30
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Dim Infusion
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 3.5
NYX Butter Gloss in Creme Brulee
Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder in Candlelight
Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in West
Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara

Clinique All About Shadow in Black Honey is a shimmery red-toned brown. It's incredibly smooth, pigmented, easy to blend and long-wearing. Admittedly, red-browns are among my favorite eyeshadow shades, especially on my warm complexion, and Black Honey is no exception. At at a cool $15, it doesn't exactly break the bank either.
Today, I'm wearing Clinique Black Honey all over my lid up to the crease with a touch of LORAC Taupe (from the PRO Palette) to transition it out. I also have a bit of Black Honey smudged into my lower lash line. After adding some Urban Decay West on my top lash line and waterline, this super simple brown smokey eye was complete.

When creating a smokey eye using predominantly one eyeshadow, it's important that the shadow you choose is good enough to stand on its own, and Black Honey certainly is. Its red undertones make it stand out, even against brown eyes, and its shimmer gives it just the right amount of dimension and visual interest to keep it from appearing flat. Pair this stunning shade with Clinique's new and fantastic formula and I think it's pretty clear why Black Honey is a current favorite!

Clinique All About Shadow in Black Honey is available from Sephora for $15.

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