6/30/15

Review: Stila Summer 2015 Collection

Stila 2015 summer collection

While I will forever be #teamneutrals in both my makeup and fashion preferences, I can't help but be drawn to the vibrant colors that are found in summer beauty collections (and clothing - I love a good print!). Stila's newest summer collection is not for the faint of heart, but after playing with it all, I was happy to see that there is a little bit of something for everyone.
Stila aqua glow blush swatches on fair skin
Stila aqua glow blush swatches on fair skin

1. Aqua Glow Watercolor Blush - The swatches may look beautiful in the pictures, but to truly appreciate the beauty of this product you have to physically touch it. It's a mix between a gel and a liquid that applies a sheer wash to the skin or can be built up to give a bolder color payoff. There is a little bouncy netting in the actual pot that helps to keep the product from spilling out everywhere and I find that dipping a sponge, brush or fingers into it once gives enough for a single application. The colors wear all day and disappear into the skin completely giving that nice "flushed from within" look that everyone craves in the summer. And the pigmentation and shade range is perfect for any and every skin tone.
Stila bronzer for fair skin

Stila Aqua glow primer review
2. All Day Bronzer for Face and Body - There are three shades to this bronzer formulation though I found the light was perfect for me. It is matte with a hint of radiance and applies evenly to the skin. It is not as finely milled as other formulas I have used, but it was the color that won me over with this bronzer. The shade is a yellow-brown which doesn't sound appealing but when on the skin makes my complexion look bright and healthy.

3. Aqua Glow Perfecting Primer - If there is ever a time that you want to put a cooling primer on the face, it is summer. This Aqua primer stick has a gel texture that immediately feels cool on the skin and helps to give a nice burst of hydration. I didn't find that this kept me very matte unfortunately, but for those with dehydrated or drier skin types, this is absolutely the most refreshing product to apply under makeup in the morning. Makeup applied beautifully on top and it made my skin look fresh and smooth. In fact, I don't see this being only a summertime priming option. This would be perfect for the harsh winters up here in NYC when skin needs the most moisture to deal with the frigid temps. Ok, let's not even talk about it - I shiver just thinking about it.
Stila liquid lipstick swatches
4. Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick - If you have never had the pleasure of owning a Stila Liquid Lipstick, please do me a favor and pick one up immediately. Start with Fiery or Beso for the most perfect red.  You won't be disappointed. They are a liquid lipstick formula with a matte finish and last ALL. DAY. LONG. You will most certainly need a cleansing oil to get these off but surprisingly they stay comfortable on the lips despite their intense staying power. There are a few new shade extensions for summer and they are bold, bold, BOLD. The hot pinks in Bella and Amalfi were naturally my favorites, while the vibrant purple shade called Como is definitely for those that prefer a lip color that makes a statement. It's a bit too out of the box for me, but I can't deny that it feels like velvet on the lips. 
*pr samples included

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6/26/15

New In And Loving: Tom Ford, Drybar, Charlotte Tilbury and Clarins

Some of my posts have a theme, and some are just a random assortment of products that I'm loving. This one falls in the latter category and mixes hair, makeup and skincare all in one post. Here are a few products I've been testing that warranted a review on the blog:

1. Drybar Texas Tea Volumizing Shampoo and Happy Hour Weightless Conditioner - I don't tend to test out too many hair products because I like to stick with what works for me, but I have heard so many great things about the Drybar line that I was intrigued. The volumizing shampoo is lightweight and gives my hair a good 'oomph' at the roots - but the main selling point was the fact that it didn't tangle my hair in the shower. Many shampoos work great but because my hair is naturally curl, they will cause it to become a tangled mess while washing it. The weightless conditioner made my hair feel smooth and silky, but I made the mistake of using too much at first and my hair was a greasy mess. The key is to use just a small amount on the ends of the hair to get the best results.
2. Charlotte Tilbury Skin Perfecting Micro-Powder - I am already in love with a ton of Charlotte Tilbury products (this palette in sophisticate, this concealer, this mascara), so I had a feeling this powder would perform as well. And it did. It is so finely milled that it feels like nothing to the touch, but gently creates an airbrushed finish to the skin without making it look flat or dull. It manages to give a velvety yet radiant finish to the skin (sounds like an oxymoron but it really does!), while keeping shine away for most of the day.
3. Tom Ford Blush in Frantic Pink - So much attention is always placed on the new color collections that classic staples from each makeup line go unnoticed. I recently had a gift card to spend and instead of splurging on a new item, I decided to go for a product that has been on my radar for a while. This is my first Tom Ford blush and it certainly won't be my last. Unfortunately the lighting really washed out the color because it is definitely more vibrant than it shows below. It is the most perfect punchy pink on the cheeks. Completely summer approved but still a blush that can carry you into fall and winter. And it manages to straddle the pink/peach divide quite well so it will work with just about any eye shadow look - gray, brown, green or plum.
4. Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate - Initially what drew me to this eye cream was that it can be used for the entire eye area, even the lid. The texture is a rich cream which can be hit or miss with me. Sometimes rich textures can cause milia under my eyes, but thankfully that was not the case with this one. It instantly nourished and hydrated the area making me look more awake and refreshed. I particularly like to use this in the morning because I find that it helps to smooth the under eye area quickly and even has a slight depuffing effect for me. And after a sleepless night (I struggle with those often, ugh), it helps to pull my under eye area together quickly so I can get out the door.
*pr samples included

What is the last beauty product you purchased? Any favorites that you have been loving lately?

6/24/15

Beachy Waves

Though I love my long hair, it's absolutely unmanageable come summertime. I have naturally curly hair so I always cut it every June/July to a shoulder length level which is still long enough to put in a ponytail but short enough that I don't have to feel like I am draped in a cloak of hair when it's down (does anyone else know what I mean???). So I visited my trusty stylist, Gabi for a nice summer chop and she worked in some nice beachy waves which I loved! It's another step for me in the morning after blowing out my hair, but I love the look so I may try to add in a few curls each day to recreate the style. Now onto the outfit which is absolutely one of my favorite outfits I've worn in a long time. I like the look of dressing up my shorts with a silk blouse and sandals, and I added a bold cuff for some extra "ooomph". Though full disclosure - after about 3 hours walking around in the sun, my poor wrist was sweating so I had to put the cuff away until I went back inside a restaurant to eat - it's an air conditioning-only cuff. Ha! The sandals are a recent purchase that filled a huge void in my closet. I wanted a pair of casual nude wedges that weren't sky high yet still can be dressy (I know, I'm picky). Voila! These Vince wedges fit the bill perfectly. An added bonus is that they have a rubber sole which takes the comfort level up about 10 notches. I've only had them for less than a week and worn them a total of 4 times already. Clearly I am a 5 year old when I get something new.

Shirt - Club Monaco (similar here) | Shorts - GAP (similar here and here) | Belt - Madewell | Bracelet - Giles & Brother | Shoes - Vince (budget version here and here)

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6/19/15

Glossier Face Masks

I've been having a love affair with Glossier products ever since I was introduced to them a few months ago. I wear the Perfecting Skin Tint a few times a week, keep the Soothing Face Mist with me all day and the Balm Dot Com has become a regular staple for my lips and cuticles. Two new masks were released in the collection this year and being a huge mask lover, I knew I had to try these.
Currently the range consists of two masks - the Mega Greens Galaxy Mask which is designed to detoxify the skin, and the Moisturizing Moon Mask which helps to replenish and soothe the skin. I love using them together one after the other starting with the Mega Greens Galaxy Mask followed by the Moisturizing Moon Mask. It helps address all my skin's needs at once and my skin is left looking balanced, hydrated and calm.
1. Mega Greens Galaxy Mask - When reading the description of this mask on the Glossier site, it said it was like a juice cleanse for the face. Hello?!!! Sign me up! I love a good cupcake, but I equally love a great green juice so I couldn't wait to get this on my face. It's very thick when first applied on damp skin, but the white kaolin clay in it dries down after 10+ minutes. Often with clay masks my face can feel a bit tight after which I don't enjoy, so I sat patiently waiting for that to happen with this mask. But after the standard 10 minutes, the product had dried but my skin still felt comfortable and get this.....even hydrated. I checked the ingredients online to see what is helping keep the mask so balanced and it was definitely the avocado oil and aloe. It's rare that I use a clay mask and describe my skin as feeling "refreshed" after, but that's the only way I can describe it. Clean and fresh - I wish they made this in a body mask. Can you imagine using that after a long day at work? I'm sold.
2. Moisturizing Moon Mask - After the mega greens galaxy mask left my skin feeling so fresh and clean, following it with the moon mask took the pampering experience to another level. As you can see from the picture above, the texture of the moon mask is a whipped lightweight cream that feels immediately cooling and refreshing on the skin. Though it's rich like a cream, it has the lightness of a gel which makes it great to use for any skin type. It contains sweet almond oil, squalane and hyaluronic acid so basically this is a shot of moisture for the skin. Afterwards my skin looked plump and firm and was basically the perfect canvas on which to apply makeup. Though I typically mask in the evenings before bed, I need to have those few products that I can pull out before a big event or a night out to get my skin prepped and looking its best. I shall now add these two masks to my "rescue kit" AKA the products I grab when I need my skin to perk up immediately or in preparation for a special occasion. Skincare 911. Ha!
*pr samples included

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