Nov 24, 2015

My Favorite Bold Lips To Add Some Wow To Your Holidays

I’ll be honest; during the holiday season I’m usually a hot mess.  My birthday kicks starts the season, followed closely by Thanksgiving (some years my birthday falls on Thanksgiving but I’m too selfish to celebrate them on the same day), and then I’m a disaster through the whirlwind that is all of December.  Fortunately for me, my messy locks are now trendy, but my generally slovenly nature is not cute for any activities that don’t take place on my couch.  My secret weapon to get out of my apartment or my office, and to a place where I have to look respectable, is always a bold lip.  No matter what a mess you are in life, a bold lip makes you look like you’re doing it all on purpose.  What is more chic than a red lip?  What looks more rock n roll than a vibrant purple?  If you see me this holiday, you can guarantee that I’ll look at least half-human, but you can rest assured that the only effort I’ve probably put into my look has to do with my lip color. 
For the office:
My office is not as “buttoned up” as some are, but I feel like Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Mercy looks just as good with a sensible Hilary pantsuit as it does with a nice blouse and a pair of jeans.  The color is unique, because I feel like you rarely see a deep wine shade with the metallic feel that this has.     
See also: this lipstick randomly makes me feel like an Olsen twin, and I dig it.   
For parties:
Before you start thinking I’m a cool person that parties a lot, let me explain to you that my favorite “party” is on my couch with my dog and a brick of cheese.  But in the event that I venture out of my apartment, which is an unfortunate necessity during holiday season, Urban Decay Matte Revolution Lipstick in Matte After Dark is one of my favorite lippies. 
For when I’m trying to make an impression:
Nothing makes a lasting impact the way a bold red does.  NOTHING, I TELL YOU.  It took me a long time to find my perfect reds, but now I have a serious arsenal of them.  It was hard to choose which one to use here, between my 3 favorites.  Illamasqua’s Box was created by one of my favorite makeup artists, Alex Box, and I’ve gone through so many tubes, it’s hard to keep track.  Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Icon is truly incredible, but I’ll save a space for her moisturizing cousin below.  So I’ve decided to share a new favorite red: Terrybly Velvet Rouge in My Red.  I know I just talked about it in my GwenStefani tutorial on XoVain recently, but this new red has me feeling all the feelings.  It goes on glossy, but it’s sort of matte.  It feels soft on the lips, not dry like other mattes can.  It’s long-lasting and has plant extracts in it to keep the lips hydrated.  I don’t know what sorcery they used to create this unicorn of a lip color, but I really don’t mind if Black Magic is involved.  It’s worth it.  The only con is the price, because, while it’s worth the splurge, I will certainly be buying this for as long as they keep it on the shelves.            
For when my lips feel like garbage:
Listen, winter in NYC has never been kind to the lips.  And for someone who relishes in a long-wearing bold lip, sometimes my kisser needs more than a little TLC.  As I mentioned above, Hourglass Opaque Rougein Icon is one of the 3 best reds I know about on this Earth, but they also make this incredibly luxurious No 28 Lip Treatment Oil that I use to resuscitate my lips during the winter.  It’s a clear formula with 28 essential oils, vitamins, and botanicals to nourish the lips.  Now they’ve read my thoughts and combined the two into a No 28 Treatment Oil in the red shade: Icon.  It’s exactly the same hydrating formula, they just had the good sense to add it in a red shade.  The result is a sheer, glossy, hydrating red that even people who are a little frightened of red can appreciate.      

Beauty By Benz Approved: La Roche-Posay PigmentClar For Eyes

La Roche-Posay has already clinched their title as my go-to brand for when I have any sort of breakouts or sensitivity, mostly thanks to the magic potion that is Effaclar Duo.  But their new eye product, PigmentClar for Eyes, is really catapulting them into first place on the list of "brands I trust".  I used to get puffy eyes, but never the dreaded dark circles.  Well, kids, on the eve of my 36th birthday I now have both the puff and the darkness under there.  It's not something that makes me psyched, but LRP has given us options.  First off, they've addressed that there isn't just one type of darkness under the eyes.  There's blue-toned undereye circles, which can be genetic, fatique-related, or, shocker, age-related.  Then there's brown-toned undereye discoloration, which can also be genetic or age-related, but also can be caused by my beloved sun, and chronic rubbing of the eye area.  I have more of the latter version, but it can be hard to tell which type you have, so why not use an under eye cream that targets both issues?  This formula contains light-reflecting pigments that neutralize the colors you don't want to show underneath, but that's just the temporary solution.  It also contains caffeine to promote decongestion in that area, and an ingredient called phe-resorcinol that targets melanin production in the skin.  Basically, that ingredient treats sun-damage, which is something we all have, no matter how good we are about using sun protection.  There's nothing we can do about our genetics, but here's certainly ways to help reverse sun damage, and it's important to do in the often-neglected under eye area.  Also, the cooling metal applicator doesn't hurt when it comes to puffy eyes.  It's great in the morning when you first wake up, but I like to use it in the middle of the day as well for a little cool-down/perk-up effect.  Pair with an afternoon cup of coffee and you've never felt better.
Love the cooling metal applicator 

My current beauty situation at work: PigmentClar Eyes, Effaclar Duo, and Nutritic Lips 

Nov 16, 2015

Kat Von D Studded Obsession: Studded Kiss Collector's Edition Set

Ok I know this is a real splurge, but I'm completely and utterly in love with this gift set Kat Von D Studded Kiss lip collection from Sephora.  This is one of those things where you might think of buying it and splitting it up as gifts, but when you get it home you won't want to part with a single one.  It's 20 full size lip colors, some you know and love already, some new.  They range from conservative to crazy, and from matte to metallic.  All of the shades are surprisingly wearable, even if they don't look that way in the tube, and the formula has a nice, creamy texture.  And they're long-wearing!            

Comes in a collector's box with notes from Kat on her inspiration behind the names of each color
The Daring Nudes
From left to right: La Femme, Magick, Noble, Lovecraft, and Cathedral
I think nudes are very tough, but these are shades I'd actually wear.  I like to stick to the mauve-y family, so I love Magick and Lovecraft.  Cathedral, though too dark to be considered a nude on me, is such a pretty, bronzey mauve, that I think just about anybody can pull off.  

The Fierce Fuschias 
From left to right: Backstage Bambi, Sexer, L.U.V., Wonderchilde, and Coven

These purples are almost too much for my heart to handle.  My ticker is going to burst out of my chest!  Wonderchilde is my favorite, because it has a subtle lilac metallic shimmer to it, but Coven gets bonus points simply for its name.  

The Eternal Reds
From front to back: Underage Red, Adora, Bachelorette, A-Go-Go, and Countess

In a world with plenty of red shades to choose from, this mix is refreshingly different.  Underage Red is a matte, fire engine red.  Adora is probably my favorite of the mix, reminding me of a ruby red slipper.  But really, which of these reds is NOT good?  Even the orange-red (A-Go-Go) is pretty, and I'm usually not the biggest fan of oranges.    

The Rebellious Bolds
From left to right: Plan 9, NaYeon, Piaf, Mercy, and Hellbent
Ok, so maybe you're not wearing the green (Plan 9) and grey/black (NaYeon) shades every day... but I was actually shocked to see the color of Piaf and Mercy out of the tube.  They are ridiculously pretty, with flecks of a metallic-y lilac shimmer in both.  The result is unexpectedly sultry.  

Nov 10, 2015

New Facial Oils I Can't Get Enough Of

There's just about nothing I love more than a good facial oil.  Recently I've decided to cut back on my oil usage ever-so-slightly because I was probably over-doing it, and I'm really into gel-cream moisturizers at the moment.  That being said, I'll never EVER quit using face oils completely.  I use them almost every night and a lot on the weekends, and will certainly be using them in the harsh winter months.  Since I'm cutting back on my face oil use, I'm on the hunt for perfection.  I've recently discovered these 2 face oils and am completely and utterly obsessed.

Herbivore Lapis Oil Balancing Facial Oil 
The reason I've cut back on my face oils during the day is because I've been over-doing it and looking like an oil slick during the day, so I was excited to see an "oil balancing" face oil.  Basically, you get all the magic and moisture of a facial oil, but without it clogging your pores.  It's basically perfect.  Vegan.  Alcohol-free.  All natural ingredients.  And, unlike any facial oil I've ever used, it counteracts redness because of blue ingredients like Blue Tansy, Blue Yarrow, and Blue Chamomile.  It also contains Jojoba oil, Vitamin E, Coconut, and Kukui Oil.  Weirdly, you would think this would be a strong-smelling oil but it hardly gives off a smell at all, which I love.  Sebum is balanced, skin is calmed, and skin is hydrated.  I'm definitely in love and need to try more of their products.        

Skyn Iceland Arctic Face Oil 
This new face oil is made up of 99.9% Camelina Oil, so this is another naturally sourced oil.  It's cold-pressed, so you get the maximum benefits of the oil, which is rich in fatty acids.  It's also derived from a plant (Camelina Sativa) that is known to be able to thrive in extreme sub-zero temperatures in the Arctic.  What this means for your skin is that it's being protected by an oil that will certainly be able to protect your skin in a harsh New York winter.
Besides the protection it gives the skin against Mother Nature, his oil also has great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but the real beauty is in the texture.  It's so lightweight and absorbs so quickly into the skin.      

Nov 9, 2015

Gwen Stefani X Urban Decay

November 22nd could end up being one of the best days of my life.  That is the day, dear friends, that the Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette comes out.  It's also perfect timing, since my birthday is November 25th and nobody can dare to tell me I can't buy another eyeshadow palette during this time period.  Also, I don't think anyone would dare tell me I can't have something that has to do with my girl crush, Gwen, and makeup.  Not anyone who wanted to remain amongst the living, that is.
Anyways, let's not get side-tracked.  Here's what we know about the palette:
-15 shades total.  12 of the shades are NEW and 3 are some of Gwen's existing must-have shades.
-The packaging is crazy cute and oh-so-stefani-esque.
-UD Founder, Wende Zomnir, and Gwen spent countless hours at Gwen's house working on the palette and talking about all things makeup-related.  (This is where I demand to know why I wasn't there).
-It's a lot of delicious neutrals, which we all know Urban Decay is the best at, but then there are some sick jewel tones thrown in there to mix things up.  WHAT IS THAT ELECTRIC BLUE?  And the gold shade next to it?  I spy 8 matte shades and 7 shimmer shades at first glance.

This guy is going to sell out fast, and it is limited edition, so make sure you get your hands on one near the 22nd of the month!  In the meantime, let's enjoy some images of Gwen at the launch party event they had in West Hollywood recently.

Oct 28, 2015

Adult Glitter Fun With Nails Inc

I love a good glitter polish just as much as the next person, but hate taking it off.  I also have a lot of concerns about child-like glitter.  I'm in my 30's and want a little sparkle, but not an obnoxious amount.  As if hearing my prayers, Nails Inc has just launched their new Snowglobe nail polish that allows you to customize your glitter level.  So simple, yet so brilliant.  The glitter settles to the bottom of the bottle, like it would in a snowglobe, and then you shake it just a little bit for a light smattering of glitter.  Or shake the sh*t out of it for max glitter impact.
In the picture above, I used 2 coats of Nail Kale in Montpelier Walk, which is a great pinkish nude shade.  Then I shook up the Snow Globe just a tad and smattered some glitter on there.  It's super subtle for people who are afraid of glitter.    

I, however, have never feared anything sparkly, so in this next picture I gave the bottle a good, healthy shake.  If you're like me, and aren't afraid of the glitter, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how easy this formula is to remove.

Oct 27, 2015

Get The Look: Ruby Rose at the 2016 MTV EMA's

Who: Ruby Rose
What: 2015 MTV EMA's
Makeup: Toby Fleischman

First, Fleischman gave Rose a flawless, demi-matte complexion using Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup.
Rose is clearly someone who has great bone structure and brows, but even those that "woke up like this" need to add dimension to what's been given to them naturally.  Fleischman added depth to the brows by using 2 shades of brow pencil; Brow Beater Brow Pencils in Taupe and in Neutral Brown.  Then, she set them with Brow Tamer Brow Gel in Neutral Brown.

On the eyes, Fleischman used 24/7 Glide On Lip Pencil in Stark Naked all over the eyelid, then topped with Moondust Eyeshadow in Space Cowboy, mixed with a little Lucas's Paw Paw Ointment for a glossy finish.
To add a subtle flush, Fleischman used Matte Revolution Lipstick in Stark Naked on the cheeks.
To finish the look, Fleischman lined the lips with the 24/7 Glide on Lip Pencil in Stark Naked, and then used the Stark Naked lipstick on top of that.
Rose switched up her lip color with each outfit change throughout the night, using Matte Revolution Lipstick in After Dark and in Bad Blood at various points in the evening.


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