Sunday, April 22, 2012

Smashbox 15-Hour Cream Shadow and Maybelline Color Tattoo Comparison


Hi everyone -- I hope you are enjoying the last few hours of your weekend! My weekend always seem to go by so quickly whereas my workdays seem to drag on for an eternity. I constantly feel as if I need just one more day to get things done around the house... c'est la vie! 

Yesterday I picked up a few more shades of Smashbox's new Limitless 15 Hour Wear Cream Shadows. (The first shade I purchased was Riches, swatched here.) These are great to use alone for quick all-over color, or as a base for other shadows. Upon trying these in store the first thing that struck me is how similar they are to Maybelline's Color Tattoo shadows. The packaging is a tad larger, but you probably won't even notice the difference. These shadows both have a comfortable texture that is not overly drying on the lids, yet sets to a long-lasting finish. Although the formulation seems to be very similar, because I have dry skin, I prefer the Smashbox texture as it is slightly smoother going on. One thing to note, some of the lighter Smashbox shades seemed to start out just a bit sheer so you may need to layer on more product to intensify the color. There are currently twelve shades to choose from on Smashbox.com, and I've also spotted these at Nordstrom and Sephora. 
  • Smashbox Limitless: claims to be 15-hour wear, 0.17 oz product weight, $19 
  • Maybelline Color Tattoo: claims to be 24-hour wear,  0.14 oz product weight, $6 (more or less)


  • Riches is a shimmery light sunny gold 
  • Topaz is a softly shimmery sandy beige 
  • Gemstone is a muted, dirty plum with silvery shimmer 
  • Icon is a rich, deep warm brown with shimmer



Below are some comparisons with similar Color Tattoo shades: 


Riches is a pretty, daffodil yellow-gold with shimmer. In comparison, Bold Gold is slightly darker and more honey toned, almost an antique gold. If you are a fan of golds it would be worth having both of these since they are quite different. 

Left to right: Riches and Bold Gold



Gemstone is a dirty silvered brownish-plum, that could perhaps be considered a variation of taupe. Pomegranate Punk, on the other hand, is definitely not a taupe. As you can see below, it is darker, and has more red tones than Gemstone. Again, these are different enough to own both if you have a penchant for these types of shades. I would say Gemstone may be more versatile, though, being the more neutral of the two. 

Left to right: Gemstone and Pomegranate Punk


Topaz is a beautiful shimmery sand color. It is not really in the same category as Bad to the Bronze as it is so much lighter, but I thought I would show you how the two look side by side to give you an idea of how different they really are. These are not complex shades, but they are both lovely, basic neutrals. Based on swatches alone, I think that I prefer Topaz just because I always love this kind of pale, shimmery beige tone. 

Left to right: Topaz and Bad to the Bronze





More swatches in different lighting below:

Photo above taken in indoor lighting

On the left: Smashbox's Riches, Topaz, Gemstone, Icon  
On the right: Maybelline's Bold Gold, Bad to the Bronze, Pomegranate Punk

Photo above taken with flash


Thank you for visiting! 


Monday, April 16, 2012

Laura Mercier Belle Nouveau Collection - Selected Items



Today I have for you a few items I chose from Laura Mercier's spring collection, Belle Nouveau. I purchased the Nude Pink Créme Lip Print, Lavender Cloud Nail Lacquer, and Orange Tulip Lip Glacé. Below is a full list of all of the items in this collection:   

  • Lip Glacés ($20): Camellia, Lotus Blossom, and Orange Tulip 
  • Créme Lip Print ($20): Nude BeigeNude Coral, and Nude Pink 
  • Sheer Créme Eye Shadows ($22): Mauve Pastel, Grey Pastel, and Aqua Pastel
  • Nail Lacquer ($18): Lavender Cloud 
  • Sheer Créme Colour ($22): Copper Glow Veil 
  • Body Bronzing Makeup ($38)
  • Caviar Eye Stick Colour ($24): Turquoise 
  • Long Lash Mascara ($24 ): Bleu 

For more comprehensive reviews and photos of this collection visit:
    

Nude Pink is a bright, light peachy-pink that is perfect for the spring and summer months. I took the photo above in sunlight and the color came out a little off, but if you scroll down to the lip swatches below you will see that it is more pink rather than coral when applied.



Orange Tulip is a pale, semi-sheer orange cream shade. Actually, I would say it is more of a light peach than orange. It works nicely on top the Nude Pink Lip Print.  




The matte finish of the Lip Print tends to emphasize the lines and dryness of my waaay-past-30-years-old lips (older girls, represent!), but I did really like the feel of the product. It's lightweight and reminds me somewhat of the NARS Velvet Matte pencils, but this seems more creamy and blendable. It starts out sheer but can be layered for an opaque look. I detected a very faint, pleasant scent (so faint you may not even notice it). I'm not loving the way it's packaged in a pan. I admit I am lazy and prefer lip color that can be applied directly from a stick or tube. But this packaging will definitely be a plus for anyone who already owns a Laura Mercier Custom Compact, as the product can be popped out and placed in your existing palette. 

Below you can see how this shade looks with Orange Tulip layered on top: 
   

   

Lavender Cloud is a beautiful, pale pastel violet. It leans a little blue on my skin tone. The formula is thick and covers well in two coats. I didn't have any issues with streaking but it seemed to set pretty quickly so I had to work fast. I've only worn it for one day so far, so can't speak about its longevity, but so far, so good! Below it is compared to a few similar colors:

in bright sunlight 

Essie's To Buy Or Not To Buy looks very similar in the photo taken in sunlight above, but it is not identical, as it has noticeably more pink in it. The photo below, taken indoors, may give you a better idea of the subtle difference between these two shades. 

Butter London's Muggins and Zoya's Megan are also close, but they have more gray tones. These two are both lovely soft, muted shades well-suited to fall and winter, whereas I consider Lavender Cloud to be just a bit more cheerful and springy. It is hands down my favorite among all of these shades. I remember painting my bedroom a similar shade when I was a teenager!

in low indoor lighting 

one more view in sunlight


Will you be picking up anything from Laura Mercier's Belle Nouveau collection? 

~ Thank you for visiting ~

Monday, April 9, 2012

My Latest Loves

I haven't been posting monthly favorites, simply because I'm not as disciplined or good at time management as I'd like to be, but I do always enjoy seeing other bloggers' and YouTube guru's favorites. I thought I would try to begin posting on a fairly regular basis some of the things I'm liking lately. These won't necessarily be new products, and just to keep it interesting they won't always be beauty related!


Fresh Citron de Vigne 
I purchased this gift set at Sephora right before Christmas and got a really great deal, so I gave one to my mom and kept one for myself. Whenever she wears it I always notice how nice it smells. I finally started using mine over the weekend.  According to Fresh, "The sun-drenched days, earthy vines, and sparkling wines of France’s Champagne region were the inspiration for the notes in this intoxicating, effervescent scent." It's a light and fresh citrus scent that's not too sweet. It reminds me a bit of jasmine tea with lemon, and it's an ideal scent for the warm spring and summer months. 



Lancome Precision Cheek Brush #7 
I purchased this rather pricey blush brush ($45) from Nordstrom a few weeks ago solely for the purpose of qualifying for a free gift! But, hey, who couldn't use a new blush brush, right? (Or at least that's what I like to tell myself to justify overspending! ha). I don't own any dense, flat-top blush brushes like this so didn't know what to expect, but had read some good reviews of this one. I'm happy to say this is a very nice brush. I like that, because of the shape and length of the bristles, it gives a really precise application to just the apples of the cheeks, or cheekbones if you prefer, without distributing any color elsewhere on the face. The bristles are dense and soft and it picks up just the right amount of product. No regrets! 



Sephora Instant Nail Polish Remover 
I used this while testing polishes in the Sephora store a couple of months ago and loved the way it removed the polish so quickly. I use this mostly for those times when I've tested different colors on one or two fingers and want to take it off before I go out, or when I'm just in a big hurry. For other polish removal jobs I often use the inexpensive pure acetone from the drugstore.  

Neutrogena Extra Gentle Eye Makeup Remover Pads
These plush pads are large enough that you only need one pad to remove eye makeup on both eyes. They are nice and soft, do a good job of removing mascara, are fairly inexpensive, and are easily accessible. I buy these at Target, but they are also available on Amazon.com for around $6. Each container holds about a one-month supply. 


Molton Brown's Vitalising Vitamin AB+C Bath & Shower Gel 
I received a mini size of this gel in a free gift from Saks and liked it so much I purchased a full size. All of the Molton Brown products are great, but I really love the scent of this one. It has a hint of of orange blossom, but is not overly citrusy, just fresh smelling and pleasant. 


Banana Republic Mazzy Thong Sandal 
I purchased my first pair of these in gold last year. Since then, I've added quite a few more pairs to my closet! As a South Florida resident, I live in sandals practically year-round. The Mazzy is dressier than a flip-flop but just as comfortable. I like the narrow straps, simple, classic design and padded sole. These are among my favorite go-to weekend shoes for running errands during the day, shopping, or just about any time I need to do a lot of walking. I like to wear them with a casual dress or jeans. These are $39.50 regular price, but can often be found on sale.


   


MAC Extra Dimension Eye Shadow in Modern Pewter
I'm a sucker for shades like these. I guess it all started with Lancome's Erika F a couple of years ago. MAC's Modern Pewter is a worthy addition to my ever-growing collection of platinum-olive eye shadows. This is my favorite shade from the new Extra Dimension collection.

Smashbox Limitless Cream Shadow in Riches 
Have you seen Smashbox's new cream shadows? I picked up just the gold shade, Riches. This is a medium metallic yellow gold that is not too brassy. This particular shade is quite sheer when blended out and has a fine sparkly finish, but is still daytime appropriate. It applies smoothly and sets to a long lasting finish. The texture is on par with that of Maybelline's popular Color Tattoo formula. 



Make Up Forever Rouge Artist Natural in N37
I love this sheer peachy melon shade. The formula of Rouge Artist Natural is a lot more emollient than the Rouge Artist Intense formula. The only drawback is that it is not as long lasting. N37 is a beautiful shade that's a lot easier to pull off than a vibrant coral or orange, but is still cheerful and spring appropriate. If you liked Rouge Artist Intense #38 but thought it was too bright, you may want to give N37 a try! 

From left to right: MAC Modern Pewter, Smashbox Riches, MUFE N37 and MUFE 38



Spa Ritual Nail Lacquer 
I took advantage of Sephora's VIB 15% discount and picked up some new Spa Ritual polishes. I was impressed with the formula and like the bottle design and easy-grip handle, not that I have a problem with dropping brush handles or anything, but I swear this one does seem to make application a little easier! I'm looking forward to trying more from the brand.  

Left to right: Last Tango, Provocateur, Sun Salutation, Idyllic


  • Last Tango is an intense coral, with a formula that covered really well. Great spring and summer shade! 
  • Provocateur is a sophisticated deep magenta creme.  
  • Rose-gold metallic foil Sun Salutation is a lot like Orly's shade, Rage, but even prettier! 
  • Sheer pink Idyllic is a great basic, very sheer, ballet pink. 


Left to right Satsuma Body Butter and Copacabana Illuminator

I received a sample of the Body Shop Satsuma Body Butter from Sephora recently and like the scent and texture. Satsuma is a type of orange fruit, but to my nose this also smells like grapefruit. I like that my local Sephora is now giving away samples at the register with every purchase. It's always fun to try out new things I might not have noticed otherwise!

NARS Copacabana Illuminator launched over a year ago, but I hadn't tried it until a couple of weeks ago when I received a sample from Nordstrom. I've tried a few different highlighters lately and I like this one for those days when I'm in the mood for something with a lot of impact. Many highlighters are so subtle that they almost disappear on the skin, but not this one! Since only a small amount of product is required per use, a tube of this should last for a very, very long time. The shade is a very pale, icy pink, similar to Benefit's High Beam. When you look closely you can see it has the most beautiful multicolored sparkles. 



I hope you enjoyed reading about some of my current favorite items and please let me know of any products you recommend or are enjoying now!