Sunday, October 19, 2014

NARS Audacious Lipstick "Julie" Casual Look of the Day

Hi everyone! I wanted to share a quick look from last week, in which I used NARS' new Audacious lipstick shade Julie ($32) for the first time. I had been on the hunt for this particular shade a few weeks ago, as it was for a long time out of stock at NARS' website and was also unavailable at my usual NARS source, Nordstrom. But I was eventually able to find it at Barney's. However, if you are interested in this shade, it is currently available at

Of all the shades in the Audacious range Julie is so far my favorite because as much as I would like to, I am unable to pull off cool-toned, mauve or vampy shades very well. (The only other shade I purchased is Raquel, which is cooler toned and slightly lighter.) Julie is a medium-light peachy-coral without any shimmer. It is too colorful to be considered a nude on my skintone, but still manages to be the type of shade that will complement rather than compete with a stronger eye look. 

NARS Audacious Lipstick - Julie

Other products used: 

MAC French Cuff, Carbon, Soft Brown, and Twinks, Lorac Front of the Line Pro liner and MAC Power Surge Eye Kohl

Illamasqua Velvet Blusher - Flirtatious

Left to right: MAC Carbon, French Cuff, Twinks, Soft BrownPower Surge Eye Kohl, Lorac Front of the Line Pro in Black, Illamasqua Flirtatious, and NARS Julie

I'm afraid you can't really see this subtle eye look very well in photographs, but I was really more intent on showing you how Julie looks in action. I hope this is helpful to anyone who may be considering this shade. I really love the new packaging, lasting power, creamy texture, and opacity of the NARS Audacious Lipstick formula and recommend that everyone give at least one shade a try! 

By the way, I am also loving Illamasqua's Flirtatious cream blush. The texture and performance reminds me a bit of Chanel's cream blushes. It blends out to a lovely, velvety finish and is long lasting. I sure miss having easy access to the Illamasqua brand, which was phased out of my local Sephora earlier this year. I had to order this shade to be delivered to the U.S. from across the pond! 

Thank you for visiting, and have a great week! xo

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Halloween Nail Polish Picks - 2014 Edition

Miss Kitty the Pumpkin Queen

It's time once again for my annual Halloween polish post. I've always been a fan of Halloween--it's such a fun holiday and the perfect excuse to get creative and try on a new persona for a night.

Below are thirteen nail colors--some old and some new, some high-end and some drugstore--that I thought would complement a number of Halloween costumes. My favorites are OPI's amazing silver chrome, Push and Shove (photos do not do it justice--it is literally like wearing liquid metal on the nails) and OPI's red glitter in a black base, Today I Accomplished Zero--ideal for any vampire or similar spooky character.

I also like Sally Hansen's Pumpkin Queen--a traditional Halloween orange with a nice formula at a very affordable price. And, of course, no Halloween polish post would be complete without a purple or two. I am in love with Nails Inc's new Nail Kale formula and wide, tapered brush. Their vibrant purple shade, Gloucester Walk, might just be my new favorite purple!

  1. NARS - Night Breed 
  2. Sally Hansen - Scaredy Matte 
  3. OPI - Today I Accomplished Zero 
  4. Milani - Silver Dazzle 
  5. OPI - Push and Shove 
  6. Deborah Lippmann - Let's Go Crazy 
  7. Zoya - Suri 
  8. Nails Inc - Gloucester Walk 
  9. Julep - Jane
  10. Sally Hansen - Pumpkin Queen 
  11. MAC - Mean & Green 
  12. SephoraX - Radioactive
  13. OPI - Green on the Runway

Top Row: NARS Night Breed, Sally Hansen Scaredy Matte, OPI Today I Accomplished Zero, Milani Silver Dazzle, OPI Push and Shove

Middle Row: Lippmann Let's Go Crazy, Zoya Suri, Nails Inc Gloucester Walk, Julep Jane

Bottom Row: Sally Hansen Pumpkin Queen, MAC Mean & Green, SephoraX Radioactive, OPI Green on the Runway 

I hope you are inspired to get creative with color this Halloween. Wishing you all a safe and fun holiday. Enjoy! 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

MAC Brooke Shields Collection: Gravitas Eyeshadow Palette and Nail Polishes in Dignity and Pricey

I haven't been following MAC's new releases as closely as I used to and sometimes only learn of new collections when I receive MAC's marketing email in my inbox but, sadly, by that time most of the in-demand items are long gone--as was the case with the Brooke Shields Gravitas 15-pan eye shadow palette. I didn't give it much more thought until Saturday morning as I was walking through Macy's and was drawn to the MAC counter to take a look at the collection. As luck would have it, the sales associate said there was one palette left. But, I asked myself, did I need another eye shadow palette--especially one that has a few shades that I already own? Well...the rational half of my brain said, "Not really." But the more dominant, fun-loving half of my brain said, "Heck yeah, you do--and why not throw in a couple of nail polishes while you're at it!"

MAC Brooke Shields Gravitas Eye Shadow x 15 Palette

Top Row: 

Pretty (Satin)
Soft Brown (Matte)
Expensive Pink (Veluxe Pearl)
Clove (Satin)
Satin Taupe (Frost)

Middle Row: 

Canter (Frost)
Luscious (Frost)
Antiqued (Veluxe Pearl)
Psyche (Frost)
Carbon (Matte)

Bottom Row: 

Shroom (Satin)
Persuade (Matte)
Plummed (Veluxe Pearl)
Lofty (Satin)
Pepper (Velvet)

Left to right: Pretty, Canter, Shroom, Soft Brown, Luscious, Persuade, Expensive Pink, Antiqued, Plummed, Clove, Psyche, Lofty, Satin Taupe, Carbon, Pepper

Left to right: Pretty, Canter, Shroom, Soft Brown, Luscious, Persuade, Expensive Pink, Antiqued, Plummed, Clove, Psyche, Lofty, Satin Taupe, Carbon, Pepper

I am really looking forward to using this palette on a daily basis. It has a nice ratio of neutrals and more colorful shades, along with mattes and shimmers. I do wish there would have been a different shade in place of Carbon, as I already own two of them. A matte black is always helpful and I can understand why they would include it, but Carbon is notoriously over-used in MAC palettes. Perhaps it is time for this shade to either retire or be reborn in a new formulation. What do you think? 

The Gravitas palette is a great value for anyone who doesn't already own the permanent shades included here, which are: ShroomSoft Brown, Expensive Pink, Antiqued, Satin Taupe, and Carbon. I'm sorry I don't have better swatches for you, but do visit Temptalia for a closer look at the individual shades and a more comprehensive review of the palette. It is currently sold out on MAC's website but may still be available at your local counter, although there seems to be a limited supply, unfortunately. If you're not able to get your hands on it, there are also two Veluxe Pearlfusion eye shadow palettes: "Mortal" and "Trusted Instinct" ($44), which are both currently still available on MAC's website and Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy's, and Dillards.    

There are two limited-edition nail polishes in this collection: Dignity--a pretty and ladylike salmon cream, and Pricey--a glossy, dark warm red, described by MAC as "burgundy." They contain 0.34 oz, which is the same amount of product in MAC's standard polishes, but these cost $5 more ($17 versus $12). The bottles are of the "ice cube" shape, similar to those used by Estee Lauder, and the gray-toned brush handles are adorned with Brooks Shields' signature in vibrant orange. The formula of Dignity is quite nice and opaque. These polishes are described by MAC as having a new high gloss formula with a "no streak/no chip finish." When applying Pricey I had some difficulty getting even coverage around the cuticles due to the somewhat narrow brush--but that may have been my own fault--I am not an expert at applying such dark shades. Pricey, although not a unique color, is really gorgeous. I can never get enough of this type of deep red.  

Dignity Nail Lacquer

Pricey Nail Lacquer

Have a lovely week!