Saturday, June 23, 2012

Laura Mercier Pink Tourmaline Mosaic Shimmer Bloc & Pink Quartz Lip Colour from the Summer Jewels Collection

One of two recent additions to Laura Mercier's lineup of Shimmer Blocs is Pink Tourmaline Mosaic ($38) from the Summer Jewels collection (the second, not featured here, is Starlet Mosaic from the Cinema Noir collection). The four shades included in Pink Tourmaline Mosaic are a warm iridescent pink, a pink-beige shimmer (along the lines of Stila's Kitten or Urban Decay's Sin), a pale opalescent pink, and a frosty white. When blended together the resulting shade is an icy pink. Each of these shades can of course also be worn individually. I recently tried a few of the shades as eye shadow and was pleased with the effect. 

For anyone who may not be familiar with this product, the Shimmer Bloc is a baked powder that appears to have a somewhat rough texture in the pan, but applies smoothly enough to the skin and blends in nicely with very little fallout. (For those who are trying to avoid paraben preservatives, Shimmer Bloc's do currently list Methylparaben and Propylparaben as ingredients. There is still much controversy and a lack of consensus in the research surrounding this topic. Personally, I will choose paraben-free if the product is of good quality, but I do still use my older products that contain parabens. In this case, I purchased this online and didn't check the ingredient list.) 

Pink Tourmaline Mosaic is quite shimmery but the pigment is also somewhat sheer which helps to prevent it from becoming overly frosty. I have worn this during the day and to the office and found that the level of shimmer was not inappropriate. One thing to note is that Pink Tourmaline's pale tones limit it to being strictly a highlighter, unlike previous Shimmer Blocs such as Orchid Mosaic or Peach Mosaic, which are dark enough to also serve as blush (albeit a very shimmery blush). Even when using the darkest pink shade alone on my cheeks it does not provide much color, but perhaps the very fairest may have better luck!

Rose Quartz is a pretty, light baby-pink with a creamy, hydrating texture. Once applied on the lips, it is a pale milky nude-pink on me rather than the peachy-melon color that it appears to be in the tube--for this reason I suggest trying it on in person if you can. It's lighter than what I normally wear, but I have been enjoying wearing it mixed with darker lipsticks as it has a flattering brightness to it that adds something special, and looks particularly nice underneath a plummy-rose or berry. On its own, it is the type of shade that works to keep the focus on your eyes when wearing a darker or smoky look. If you are a fan of a soft, pale pink lip you may want to give this one a look! (I first learned about Rose Quartz from the lovely Jess of Don't Call Me Jessie blog and you can see this shade featured in her video on YouTube. Thank you Jess!) 


Another view in sunlight 

Shown above in low indoor lighting

Below is the shade that results when all four colors are blended together. This is swatched fairly heavily to demonstrate the color, but keep in mind it can be applied lightly for a much less frosty look. 

Rose Quartz Lip Colour

Rose Quartz Lip Colour swatched

Below are some comparisons to prior Shimmer Blocs. As you can see Pink Tourmaline Mosaic is by far the lightest among these. If you prefer cool, pale-pink highlight shades such as Benefit's High Beam, you will probably like the tone of Pink Tourmaline Mosaic
Shown above in sunlight 

Shown above in flash lighting 

I hope this has been helpful to anyone who may be considering purchasing these items, and I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend!

~ Thanks for visiting ~ 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Nature Photography: Trees, Plants, Birds & Critters

I thought I'd share some photos I've taken in my neighborhood over the last couple of weeks. This large flowering "golden shower tree" (Cassia fistula) is located on some empty land nearby. I had noticed some cardinals in the area and spent a little time early one Sunday morning trying to get a photograph of one. They seem to be awfully wary of people and don't hang around any particular area for long, but I managed to get a few shots, although not as close-up as I would have liked. While I was waiting patiently for the cardinals I found a few other things to take photos of, namely butterflies, dragonflies and lizards!

The Cassia fistula tree is the national tree of Thailand, and according to Wikipedia its yellow blossoms symbolize Thai royalty. It is native to southern Asia, but I've seen quite a few of these trees scattered throughout Miami. At this time of year they are all in bloom and are a lovely sight. 

Above and below is a young female Northern Cardinal. I noticed her eating the yellow petals from the tree.


Another young cardinal above. Isn't it cute? As it grows into adulthood its crest will turn red at the top and its bill will become orange instead of the dark color you see here. 

This lizard has quite an interesting pattern, not typical of the ones I usually see 'round here. 

A stray cat wandered over and scared off the birds, oh well...

The red flowers above are from a wild vine called the "Rangoon Creeper." It is native to Asia, but is also found in other parts of the world. I've seen it in many areas in Miami and it has lovely red and white blooms, but if left to its own devices it can sometimes take over other plants and hedges. 

Mini-dinosaur ;)
 a.k.a. the Brown Anole (a common type of lizard)

These pretty yellow blossoms cascade downward like a golden waterfall.
Here is a male cardinal I followed around with my camera for a bit. I love his vibrant color and crest.

"Maybe if I hide behind this palm frond she won't see me"


Above and below is an example of an older female whose bill has already turned orange. Her coloring may not be as eye-catching as the male, nevertheless I think she is beautiful!

All of the Royal Poinciana (Delonix regia) trees in the city are in bloom and looking gorgeous. Interesting fact (which I just learned): this type of tree originally came from Madagascar. However, they have been widely introduced into tropical and subtropical areas. I have one in my back yard and they are very common in South Florida. I love the coral color of the blossoms. The flowers are shaped a bit like an orchid.


Some more photos taken on a morning walk around the neighborhood...

~ Thanks for visiting. Have a great week! ~