12/21/14

Dior Diorific Vernis 762 Shock

Dior Diorific Vernis 762 Shock
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12/19/14

Concealer Testing

Any and all types of foundation products are always at the top of my "must-try" list. I absolutely love complexion products and feel they can make or break a look. I've recently been testing out a few different concealers and found three that I really enjoyed and wanted to share with all of you. Before these, I was really enjoying this one from Benefit as well as this cult classic from NARS, but after trying these three different formulas, I quickly added them to my routine.
1. By Terry Densiliss Concealer (bottom swatch) - By Terry's entire Densiliss line is absolutely magnificent (this blush in Platonic Blonde is everything) so I already had high hopes for this concealer. And it was every bit the luxurious and decadent concealer I expected. Out of all three, this is by far the creamiest and smoothest to apply. The formula does not settle into fine lines and wears beautifully whether my skin is dry or oily that day. The color (Fresh Fair) is the closest to my skin tone and in a pinch this can be used as a touch up for areas of redness or discoloration. It has a matte finish but surprisingly disappears immediately into the skin and is virtually undetectable. A definite splurge, but as is with most her products - worth every penny. Available at Space NK and Barneys.

2. Eve Lom Light Illusion Concealer (middle swatch) - This concealer works more as a brightener for me and is perfect for those days when I don't want a ton of coverage but still need some lightness under the eyes. The formula is lightweight and has a pink undertone (my shade is Alabaster 1) so it does a great job for me of color correcting my dark circles without giving me that reverse raccoon look (when the concealer is too light - yuck). Because I loved the formula so much, I've begun using it highlight around different parts of my face and I think it gives a beautiful effect while adding some depth. I add it to my cheekbones, brow bones and around my lips to help them look a bit fuller. It's a great alternative to powder highlighters which can often add too much sparkle. This adds the brightness without any of the shimmer. Available at Space NK.

3. Chantecaille Le Camouflage Stylo (top swatch) - This concealer (my shade is #1) seems to be a mix of the other two - in the sense that it has a creamy formula that does a great job at covering while the light-reflecting pigments help to brighten any dark areas. Because of the skincare properties of this concealing pen, I reach for this when I have had a particularly restless night and my eyes are extremely dark , dehydrated and/or puffy. I see a marked difference almost immediately and it really soothes the under eye area and smooths it out. I've also begun carrying it with me during the day because I like the way it layers over my makeup, and find it never gets cakey and is perfect for touch ups. It's like my emergency fix-it tool. And we all need one of those, right? Available at Space NK, Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom and Saks.
*pr samples included

What is your current favorite concealer right now? Leave me a comment below!


12/18/14

A Few Of My Favorite Beauty Places In NYC

Not only am I a skincare and makeup lover, I am a total beauty services junkie as well. No surprise there, I bet. I love getting manicures, pedicures, blow-outs, facials, massages - basically anything beauty related. So I figured I would do a round up of some of the places I visit frequently and even some I have recently discovered that blew me away. If you love to pamper yourself, this is the post to bookmark! 

Facials

1. Mario Badescu Skin Care Salon - Not only am I a huge fan of their products (seriously, read my reviews here), I LOVE their spa as well. The prices are super affordable and the treatments are some of the best around. The standard facial is $65 and then you can add on a ton of different treatments and masks to customize it for your skin. And then of course when you leave, you will have to stop by the store on your way out and stock up on all your favorite products (I highly recommend this cleanser, this serum and this SPF).

2. Ling New York Spa - Have an extra special event coming up? A wedding, performance, baby shower, reunion perhaps? Well, this is the place to come and totally splurge on a facial to get your skin in perfect shape. I recently visited the spa to experience the Energy Lift facial and walked out of the there with a (practically) new face. My skin was flawless. Often I can experience some peeling or redness after facial (especially those with extractions) and always need to give myself a day or two for my skin to calm down and begin that post-facial glowing, but not this time. I  put makeup the very next morning and my skin was radiant and about as perfect as I had ever seen it. There are a ton of services to get but she is known especially for her Energy Lift treatments, both face and body, which uses her Energy Life machine to help help smooth and firm the face and body and infuse 'chi' energy into the body. Not an exaggeration, I would probably rate this facial in the top 3 treatments I've ever had. Yup. THAT good.

3. The Peel Bar by Beauty Rx - As soon as I heard the name of this spa, I knew it was for me. A place that specifically does peels? Yes please! Founded by the renowned Dr. Neal Schultz, known for his "lunchtime" glycolic peels he would give his clients, this offers a similar service in a salon setting. It's a 10 minute application that gives you a fresh glowing glycolic peel that's effective enough to give you a deep exfoliation, but gentle enough that you can go about the rest  of your day. Like put your makeup on right after and go back to work as if nothing ever happened kind of gentle. It's truly remarkable. Typically peels can sting, tingle and burn, leaving the skin red, peeling and irritated, but this formula created by Dr. Schultz is a 40% (that is SERIOUS) glycolic solution designed to give you a dermatologist's office-level peel but without any of the negative side effects. And I am here to say - it delivers on every promise. I barely felt it when on my skin, and after a few minutes, my skin looked amazing, radiant, glowing and surprisingly not red or irritated. I waited until the next morning to see if there was any subsequent peeling or red skin, and there was absolutely nothing. My skin looked perfect. And for $39, this is by far one of THE most affordable yet effective skin treatments I've ever had. Your skin needs this - like yesterday. Book an appt here.

Nails 

4. Paintbox - I was never a nail art fan because I couldn't find a place that offered options a bit more understated and chic for my daily life. That was until I discovered Paintbox. Their curated designs change each season and can appeal to those who want a more minimal design as well as those who want a bit of a bolder option. And since they only do manicures, you know they have really perfected their craft well. After you are done, be sure to take a mani-selfie with their wall cam that allows you to email the pic to your phone so you can upload to Instagram. A beauty place that encourages social sharing is EXACTLY my kind of place. 

5. Sweet Lily Natural Nail Spa - Is it possible to still remain in the city yet escape the hustle and bustle? In this nail spa - yes, that is completely possible. This cozy, warm and inviting nail spa is exactly the kind of place you can come to decompress and pamper yourself without even knowing you are in the city. The all white decor mixed with chic rustic accents makes this place a little haven away from the chaos, and the fact that the pedicure chairs are over-sized sofa chairs with your own personal wash bin to soak your feet is just the icing on the cake. I highly recommend trying the Lavender Oat Milk Pedicure for the ultimate in decadence for your feet. I visited the spa on a particularly stressful day made worse by horrible rain and cold temps, and I was a grumpy mcgrumperson when I arrived. I am not kidding you when I say that the whole atmosphere of the spa coupled with the super relaxing pedicure treatment made me feel like a new woman. And we all need that every once in a while, right?

Hair

6. John Barrett Salon's Braid Bar - When I first heard about a braid bar, I thought it was the cutest and most brilliant idea. Not everyone wants a standard blowout, or even updo for events, and braids can be the perfect way to do something different. I recently went to get a braid before going out to dinner and thankfully it was raining. I say thankfully because while all the other women in the place were freaking out about their newly coiffed blow-outs, I was so happy that my fabulous 'do would hold up perfectly in the weather. And it did. The stylist wrapped the braids down both sides of my head and ending up securing it in a knot at the base of my neck. I have now found my new solution for when the weather will not tolerate a blow-out. Yay! 
7. DryBar - For the times when the weather is cooperating, I still love Dry Bar as the place to go to get the best blow outs. They are still my favorite place to get that bombshell bouncy hair that you can only get at the salon. In under an hour, I can get there, get my blow out and get back to my apartment to get ready without having to fuss over my hair. It's one less thing I have to worry about when trying to pull myself together for a special event.

Brows

8. Shobha Threading - One of the most important things you can do for your face is get a good brow shaping. It can change the entire look and shape of your face. I've been going to the Shobha salon off and on for almost 15 years! I began visiting her salon when it was just a one chair operation inside a hair salon in Soho. Fast forward more than a decade later and she has multiple locations throughout NYC and D.C., and yet the quality is still the same as it was 15 years ago. Her brow stylists are all expertly skilled and your brows will also look amazing after visiting here. I do threading but I believe they do sugaring as another option. Even if you just go here once or twice to get a good shape and try to maintain it, it is worth every penny.

What are some of your favorite beauty places in NYC? Let me know below in the comments.

Have you entered my $75 Sephora gift card giveaway?!!! Enter here.

12/16/14

4 Red Lipsticks I'm Loving Right Now

Though I love the look of a neutral lip, I actually find red lips to be much easier to wear. And I will tell you why. With a nude lip, I often need to create a stronger eye, cheek and brow look to balance it, while a red (or bold) lip can be worn with lashes, a dash of bronzer and a quick grooming of the brows for a finished look. Here are 4 lipsticks that I recently discovered that I've been wearing a lot lately (and it doesn't hurt that it's the holiday season so I have an extra excuse to sport a red lip all the time).
1. MAKE Cosmetics in Maraschino Cherry - I am new to the MAKE cosmetics brand, but when they sent over some products for me to try, I zeroed in on this red lip immediately. It's a comfortable satin formula that doesn't wear too shiny or too matte and is a nice change from my regular orange-reds that I usually gravitate towards. Though the bullet is a different shape than I am used to, I found it incredibly easy to apply (even more so than the regular shaped bullets) and that's half the battle with a red lip, amiright??
2. Gucci Lipstick in Iconic Red - This color is not for the faint of heart - I should warn you now. This is one of the boldest and most vibrant reds I have ever worn and I simply adore it. In fact, it actually ranks in my top 5 favorite reds at this point. That is how much it has impressed me and I've only had it for a few weeks. The color was designed to be the exact match for the red in the iconic Gucci green and red stripe, and it looks flawless on. The formula is a fuller coverage and surprisingly is so comfortable on the lips. I was not impressed with the Gucci lipsticks when first swatching them at the store and felt they wouldn't be worth the investment. After caving and buying just this one and then wearing it over the past month, I can say without a doubt I was 100% wrong. This texture is one of the best I've ever tried and I only wish all of my lipsticks could feel this way on my lips.
3. Lipstick Queen Silver Screen Lipstick in Have Paris - This is a much more sheer formula but can easily be built up to give a full coverage as seen above. The formula is very soft and feels almost like a balm when it first applies. It has a slightly shiny finish so I find it doesn't wear as long as some of my other formulas, but it's a better option for days that I don't want such an intense and bold look. We all have those days, right?

4. Kevyn Aucoin Lipstick in Eliarice - I am a bit disappointed in the way the swatches came out for this color because the camera is skewing it to be a bit more blue. The truth is that when I first saw this shade, it looked like a brown red with a hint of blah orange. I was not excited in the least since I always like the "wow" factor of vibrant shades. Sadly I waited a week before trying this out and wasted 7 days of my life not enjoying this color! It is AH-MAY-ZING. Wearable, not obnoxious, so comfortable on the lips and easy to pair with a stronger eye without competing or creating a look that screams "she is wearing too much makeup". I don't know where this color has been my whole life, but I feel like a better human being now that I have found it.
*pr samples included

Have you entered my $75 Sephora gift card giveaway?!!! Enter here.
What are some of your go-to red lipsticks now? Let me know below in the comments!


12/15/14

Video: My Everyday Makeup Look

I finally uploaded a makeup tutorial! Well, not exactly a tutorial, but more of a video of me applying my makeup. LOL This is a look I do regularly and is perfect for every day. Enjoy and don't forget to subscribe!

Have you entered my $75 Sephora gift card giveaway?!!! Enter here.

Here are the products I used in my video:

Smashbox CC Cream 

12/14/14

YSL La Laque Couture Beige Leger

YSL La Laque Couture in Beige Leger

Have you entered my $75 Sephora gift card giveaway?!!! Enter here.

Shop more nude nail shades

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