Sunday, December 22, 2013

Five Festive Reds for Nails

Nothing beats a great, classic red creme for nails during the holidays. But I also like to switch it up with a little shimmer and sparkle. Here are five variations of red in my collection that I thought looked especially bright and festive. What are some of your favorite shades to wear at this time of year?   
Zoya: Kimmy

Zoya's Kimmy is a metallic orangey-red with golden shimmer. This one is definitely the most fun and sparkly of the bunch--a perfect party red!

Rescue Beauty Lounge: Chinoise

Chinoise is a beautiful, bright true-red creme with the great RBL formula. Unfortunately, I just realized this one is no longer in production, but perhaps Ji will bring it back in the future! A similar option is Butter London's Pillar Box Red.
OPI: The Spy Who Loved Me

OPI's The Spy Who Loved Me is another red with golden shimmer. It is darker, less warm-toned and more subdued in comparison to Zoya's Kimmy, but is just as lovely.

Christian Dior: Marilyn

Dior's Marilyn is a limited-edition shade from holiday 2012 and is among my all-time favorite reds. It is a rich, medium neutral red with a creme-jelly formula.
Orly: Red Carpet

Orly's Red Carpet is a vibrant, cherry red with a jelly formula and contains tiny flecks of glitter that provide a lovely glimmer when well-lit. This shade is a lighter, brighter alternative to another of my favorite sparkly reds, China Glaze's Ruby Pumps.

Left to right: Zoya Kimmy, RBL Chinoise, OPI The Spy Who Loved Me, Dior Marilyn, Orly Red Carpet 

Wearing Orly's Red Carpet 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Happy Holidays!

This time of year can get very hectic as the obligations and things-to-do begin to pile up. Where I live the stores are so crowded by this time and the amount of traffic is the worst of the year. People seem to lose their ability to drive as their attention span shrinks in their rush to get from one place to another. But for every negative there is a positive--so I focus on my favorite parts of the season: the beautiful decorations and fun new merchandise in stores, special events and plays, the city all decked out, Christmas trees in windows and magical light displays, and good food shared with friends, family and coworkers. 

Miracle Mile, Coral Gables 

Coral Gables City Hall

Miracle Theatre, Coral Gables

The Village of Merrick Park

A Florida Christmas! 

The Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables

Taken at The Pet's Trust Animals Christmas at the Biltmore

Below is a look at some of my own Christmas decorations. I decided to go colorful this year! I found these glass bird ornaments on clearance at Neiman Marcus the day after Christmas last year. They are made in Poland and I thought they were so pretty. They've been stashed away for a year and now I finally have the chance to use them on my mini-tree! I think I'll go back to a full tree next year--this small one is cute but just doesn't have the same presence.


I picked up these pet stockings on a whim last week. I think they add a more festive look to the area and I already found some treats to go inside for Miss Kitty and our family pup, Kipper. 

I hung this colorful ornament wreath from Target on my bedroom door 

Inside my bedroom I have colorful glass candle holders with different patterns 

A big thanks to all of you for the support and kind comments, and for continuing to visit my blog throughout the years. I hope you have a great holiday and wish you happiness, health and prosperity in 2014!


Sunday, December 15, 2013

L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow Spring 2014: Gilded Envy

L'Oréal has introduced six new shades to the Infallible range for Spring 2014: #755 Gilded Envy, #756 Always Pearly Pink, #757 Silver Sky, #758 Purple Priority, #759 Burst Into Bloom, and #750 Timeless Blue Spark (visit Musings of a Muse for photos and swatches of all six shades). I was excited to see the collection at my local CVS store this weekend and wanted to do a quick comparison of Gilded Envy with a Lancome shade I purchased last year, Electrifying Sparkle. As far as I can tell, it's a dead-on dupe. I'm not sure whether I should be frustrated that L'Oréal allows identical shades to be sold in both their high and low-end brands, or if I should be thankful that what was previously a $24.50 Lancome product is now more affordable to all at the L'Oréal price point of around $8. Still, I can't help but wish they would have tweaked the color a bit and introduced a never-seen-before shade, rather than simply repackaging and renaming an existing shade. It is a great color though: a silvered mossy green with micro-sparkles that works beautifully for a quick and easy, dramatic smoky-eye look. 

Clockwise: L'Oreal Golden Sage, Lancome Electrifying Sparkle, Lancome Gilded Envy, MAC Smoke & Diamonds 

Left to right: L'Oreal Golden Sage, L'Oreal Gilded Envy, Lancome Electrifying Sparkle, and MAC Smoke & Diamonds

Below is a quick look I wore earlier today, using just Gilded Envy all over the lid and blended up into the crease, with black liquid liner and a dark charcoal-gray liner on the lower waterline. I found that when using this shade, application with fingertips gives better pigmentation and reduces sparkle fallout. I like to blend out the edges with a brush afterward. 

Thanks for stopping by! 

Friday, December 13, 2013

What I'm Loving Lately

Well, it's been over a month since I've posted. I hadn't planned to be away for so long, but my mom became very sick unexpectedly and it has been a difficult time. After taking care of all the things that needed to be done every day while trying not to neglect my full-time job, I found that I did not have any energy left for anything else. Thankfully, things seem to be looking up at the moment, and as the year winds down, I can look forward to having a nice, long break to relax over the holidays! With today's post I wanted to catch up with you all and share a few of the things I've been enjoying lately.    

First up are earrings that were originally intended to be a Christmas gift for my boss's mother, but after looking at them a few times I fell in love with the beautiful, sparkly teal green stones and decided I must get her something else and keep these for myself! (This is the sort of thing that happens when a magpie like myself attempts to buy Christmas presents for others.) I like that these can be dressed up or down and because of their relatively small size they will work well at the office. 

Carolee Regal Reflections oval drop earrings 

At this time of year I always like to have a few holiday scented candles on hand. My favorites right now are NEST's Holiday and Birchwood Pine scents. I won't be enjoying the scent of a real pine Christmas tree in my home this year, but these are the next best thing! The gold votive on the right is a Slatkin & Co. candle I purchased over a year ago and has a scent very similar to NEST's Holiday candle. 
Left to right: NEST Birchwood Pine and Slatkin & Co. Holiday

Earlier this week I received the special edition Guy Bourdin blush in Day Dream, purchased during NARS' friends and family sale. It is such a pretty shade of pink that really brightens the face. I had planned to skip this shade, thinking I did not need yet another peachy-pink blush, but after reading a few glowing reviews and factoring in the twenty percent discount, I could not resist it, and I'm glad to to say that I have no regrets! It is a perfect, effortless and flattering pink that I foresee becoming a daily go-to shade.

NARS Blush - Day Dream

YSL's Pure Chromatics eye palettes have been on the market for over a year, but for some reason they did not really catch my attention until recently. For my first purchase, I chose #20, which I consider to be a "safe" neutral palette containing two beautiful shimmery golds, a brown, and a champagne. Next, I was tempted by last year's colorful holiday palette Arctic Night, which is still available directly from YSL. Blues have always been out of my comfort zone but, after seeing the two gorgeous looks created with this palette by Raeview and Perilously Pale, I was sold! My third (and final) Pure Chromatics purchase was this year's lovely holiday palette, Avenue Marceau, from the Parisian Nite collection. I have a weakness for golds and purples, so this one was a must-have for me! 

YSL Pure Chromatics Palettes left to right:
Avenue Marceau (holiday 2013),  Palette #20, and Arctic Night  (holiday 2012)

A fragrance favorite at the moment is Kiehl's Nashi Blossom & Pink Grapefruit ($40, 1 fl. oz.). A while ago, while shopping in Nordstrom, I noticed an intriguing, warm and sweet scent in the air and knew I had to track down the source. After some inquiries, I was told that one of the sales associates had just applied Nashi Blossom & Pink Grapefruit so off I went to give it a try and ended up going home with a small bottle. It is made up of notes of pear, grapefruit, ginger, soy milk, and white musk. I think what I like most about it must be the warm "soy milk" and musk notes--they linger on the skin once the top notes of citrus and floral dry down.

Kiehl's Nashi Blossom & Pink Grapefruit

I hope you enjoyed this look at a few of the things I'm enjoying at the moment. Thank you for visiting and I hope that you are enjoying your winter and the holiday season, and keeping warm wherever you are in the world! I will be back soon to share with you a few photos of my holiday decorations.