Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Pureology Pure Volume Extra Care Shampoo

Pureology's new Pure Volume Extra Care Shampoo ($27; ulta.com) is a sulfate-free shampoo for extra sensitized, fine, color treated/damaged hair. Its a concentrated, thick shampoo, so a little bit goes a really long way with this one. *Press Sample

Its quite a gentle formula that din't leave my scalp itchy or sensitive. I have fine hair that gets extremely frizzy with humidity and my scalp gets very oily by the second day, so ultra creamy shampoos need extra care and weekly detoxes to avoid product build up on my hair type. I do find this to be very rich with a good deal of lather for a sulfate-free formula. I skip using a conditioner when I use this - the formula is rich enough to leave my hair tangle free & volumized and rinses out clean. It is amazing at smoothing out hair texture and adding a little bit of bounce and body. The scent is a tad strong - sort of a woody, incense-like scent, but most of it is gone once the shampoo washes out. If you do have limp, fine hair, color treated hair or hair that is dry and damaged from heat styling, do give this a try - its very nourishing and helps you style without the need for too much product afterwards. My only gripe is that, like all moisturizing shampoos, this one too can build up over a few washes, so be sure to use a clarifying shampoo once a week.

Have yu tried the  Pureology Pure Volume Extra Care Shampoo?

Radiant Orchid Beauty Picks

Some easy to wear, "Radiant Orchid" beauty picks I love. Last year's Emerald Green wasn't the most wearable for me, but I quite like most forms of Radiant Orchid. I don't care for color of the year concepts so much, I wear what I like, but Radiant Orchid is definitely a color I love since it comes in so many wearable forms from subtle washes of purple to full on, bold violets. And like always, my picks lean more on the wearable side and these are some easy ways to wear Radiant Orchid if you like the color!


BITE Beauty Lush Fruit Lip Gloss in Strangefruit - Its a gorgeous purple pink that can be sheered out for a lovely wash of color. Great for medium/dark skin tones.

Shiseido Lacquer Rouge in Diva - Leans more on the pink side, but a fabulous shade for spring and summer!

BUXOM Full Bodied Lipstick in Swinger - Swinger is a mauvy purple, gorgeous on its own and great when layered under a sheer gloss!

Maybelline Color Whisper in Mad for Magenta - More of a purple pink than Magenta, I must say. Also one of the more pigmented colors from the Color Whisper Range

BITE Beauty Pastille Matte Crème Lipstick in Pastille Lavender - I don't think this is available any longer, it was a limited edition color that came out last spring, but if BITE does the Pastille Matte colors again, do keep an eye out for Pastille Lavender - one of my favorite shades!

For the Eyes, I usually opt for darker plums and purples, which don't necessarily fall into the Radiant Orchid category, but these are some lighter, sheer washes I really like.

Elizabeth Arden True Color Eye shadow in Golden Orchid - Its a purple/gold duo chrome that is sheer, but very very beautiful when used all over the lid.

Laura Mercier's Caviar Stick Eye color in Orchid  - While not the most flattering color by itself on me, it works great as a base - love the formula of these Caviar Sticks and if you are much lighter than I am, Orchid Haze is lovely to wear on its own too! *I've named it incorrectly as Orchid Haze in the below swatch pic, its Orchid!!

MAC Plum Dressing Eye Shadow - Plum Dressing is a must have eye shadow from MAC for any purple lover. Its an effortless color that you can swipe and go!

For the Nails, I've come to realize I don't own so many purple polishes, although I absolutely love the color. These are a couple I've been loving lately. ZOYA nail polishes in Odette, a perfect, soft Orchid and Mason for a brighter pop of color with loads of shimmer!

L-R : Mason, Odette (which is a lot more murkier and mauvy in person)

I'm looking forward to trying out more of this color, come 2014 and most importantly check out a few blushes in this spectrum as everything I have is either coral, pink or peach! Do you have any Radiant Orchid Favorites?

*Some products mentioned in this post are press samples.

Monday, December 30, 2013

BITE Beauty Whipped Cherry Lip Scrub

BITE Beauty's Whipped Cherry Lip Scrub ($18; sephora.com) is a light textured, creamy exfoliant that helps condition and moisturize lips. Its not a sugar scrub - the creamy base contains natural rice bran that helps exfoliate and smoothen skin texture. *Press Sample

A little bit goes a long way with Bite's Whipped Cherry Lip Scrub. The creaminess is great on my dry lips and the slightly smaller exfoliating beads are quite gentle. I would recommend using this at night though since its something you don't completely wash off. Just scrub a little on dry lips, use a wash cloth to wipe away any excess. I like using a washcloth because it gets rid of what the scrub can't. The cherry scent is quite strong, but not at all artificial or syrup-y. The scrub also leaves behind a light veil of moisture which is great if you don't want to use a lip balm. Bite also recommends using this around the lip area and it feels wonderful, moisturizing and really gentle without the grittiness from harsher exfoliants.

Overall, if you are looking for a natural, gentle exfoliant, this is a good one to try. If you do have extremely chapped lips though, you might want something a little more heavy duty. I can't speak for the brightening aspect of it as I've been using it only for a short while now, but I'll definitely update this space if I do!

Have you tried BITE Beauty's Whipped Cherry Lip Scrub?

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Dior Gel Top Coat

Dior's Gel Coat ($24; shop.nordstrom.com) is a top coat that finishes and seals any nail polish with the look of a gel-manicure. I've been using this as my top coat with most polishes for quite sometime now and think its definitely one of the nicest top coats I've tried in a while.

Dior Gel Coat Review, Photos & Swatches

Dior Gel Top Coat

Dior's Gel Top Coat has a little more of a thicker texture compared to most top coats I'm used to - never tried the uber popular Seche Vite, so my experience is based on thinner top coats like Zoya's Armor. For something slightly thick, it definitely is quite easy to work with and also dries faster than I expected it to. The brush is slightly wide and covers my smaller nails in just one stroke - I'm not the biggest fan of wide brushes, but Dior's version works well with the thicker texture of the top coat, since lesser strokes equals a smoother, even finish.

Dior Gel Coat Brush

Dior Gel Coat Ingredients

Dior Gel Coat

Some manicures with Dior Gel Coat as a top coat.

The overall finish is very glossy, super smooth and evens out any bumps the polish may have created. I do get a day or two more of wear time with this top coat on, but no polish lasts more than 4-5 days on me, so I'm not the best person to test out one week or ten days of wear time. I've tried this with quite a lot of polishes and when applied in a hurry, it does cause a little bit of shrinkage. Nothing major, but I can definitely see a bit of product pooling the next day, so be sure to apply it in one smooth stroke as opposed to multiple strokes. Overall, I definitely love it and will most likely repurchase. It is pricey for a topcoat, but definitely worth it if you like a glossy, shiny finish to your polish.

Have you tried Dior's Gel Top Coat?

Friday, December 27, 2013

Guerlain Meteorites Perles in #3 Medium (Reformulated Version, New Packaging) | Guerlain Meteorites Blossom Spring 2014 Collection

Guerlain 'Meteorites' Pearls ($60; shop.nordstrom.com) gets a re-formulation and a new packaging as part of Guerlain's new Meteorites Blossom Spring 2014 Collection. They have been re-formulated to a softer finish that also includes the brand's exclusive "stardust technology" that helps diffuse light and impart a soft, healthy glow. 

Guerlain Météorites Perles Powder For The Face in Medium 03 Guerlain Spring 2014

Guerlain Météorites Perles Powder For The Face in Medium 03 Guerlain Spring 2014

Guerlain Météorites Perles Powder For The Face in Medium 03

These newer Meteorites come in three shades - I see three shades are available online now at Nordstrom and Sephora, but when I made a phone order, the SA told me there were four shades. I picked up Medium #3 which is similar to #2 Teint Beige of the older formulation. The packaging is gorgeous and these meteorites balls come housed inside an aluminium jar with a sponge included. I wouldn't recommend the sponge for anything except to stop the balls from falling/breaking inside the packaging, especially while traveling. In spite of the sponge, a few of the balls on the bottom of the container came broken. Never mind though, since its still very much usable for the most part and I can see myself using it for a really long time. 

Guerlain Météorites Perles Powder For The Face in Medium 03 Review, Photos & Swatches

On to the product itself, Medium #3 is a mix of beige, yellow, pink and purple with a slight iridescent sheen. Since its a finishing powder and not a setting powder, there's hardly any coverage. I do see very finely scattered shimmer which is only visible really up-close, but the finish is luminous with a soft focus glow. I use a Hakuhodo K002 Powder brush to pick up product and just lightly dust it all over my face and absolutely love how well the brush works with the texture of this product. I don't have the older version to compare, but the newer version is definitely easy to work with with no unnecessary shine or glitter (absolutely no disco ball effect here), but be sure to go light handed, especially if you fall into the medium/dark skin category, since it can look a tad ashy. The finish is quite matte initially, but as the day goes by, it turns into more of a satin finish. Unlike the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders, this one does have a soft radiance and adds a little something to my face, brightening it in a very subtle way. The only thing I'm not too fond of is the slightly strong signature Guerlain scent - I don't mind a light fragrance, but this one does take quite a while to dissipate. With its slightly high price tag, I won't say the Meteorites Perles are a must have for anyone, but they're a nice little product to have that photographs really well and adds a luxurious finishing touch to your makeup look!

Guerlain Météorites Perles Powder For The Face in Medium 03 Review, Photos & Swatches

 Guerlain Météorites Perles Powder For The Face in Medium 03
 Guerlain Météorites Perles Powder For The Face in Medium 03 Reformulated

 Guerlain Météorites Perles Powder For The Face in Medium 03 Ingredients

 Guerlain Météorites Perles Powder For The Face in Medium 03 Swatch

Wearing the Guerlain 'Meteorites' Perles in #3 Medium over Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation #55, Bobbi Brown Peach Corrector under the eyes and Clinique Airbrush Concealer in Medium under eye area and spots. 

Have you tried the Guerlain 'Meteorites' Pearls Finishing Powder?

Monday, December 23, 2013

WEI Holiday Collection

WEI Beauty's Holiday Collection ($25 ; weibeauty.com; us.spacenk.com) features four of the brands treatment pads for face, eyes and decolletage in single use packs, beautifully packaged in a holiday gift box. The kit features 2 Tibetian Chrysanthemum Eye Treatment Pads, 1 Gingko Leaf Repairing Face Treatment Pad, 1 Dragon Blood Eye Lifting Pad and 1 Gingko Leaf Repairing Decolletage Treatment Pad. *Press Sample

I've tried all of these except the Gingko Leaf Repairing Decolletage Treatment Pad which I'll review, when I get a chance to test out. Everything is wrapped individually and the set is great to travel with since all of them are single use. The Gingko Leaf Repairing Face Treatment Pad is a saturated pad soaked in a serum that hydrates and refreshes. The mask as such is quite big for my face, but I absolutely love it as a refreshing treat. If you do love sheet masks, this is a great one to try, especially if your skin is on the drier side. The serum is quite sticky though, but just a little bit of massaging here and there and it completely soaks in. 

The Tibetian Chrysanthemum Eye Treatment Pads are thin pads that are very, very saturated and help refresh and nourish the eye area. It does smell a lot like the Dragon Blood Eye Lifting Pads though and is pretty easy to use - just place them, eyes closed, leave on for about ten minutes and massage the excess serum onto skin. I can't speak for any reduction in dark circles or fine lines after just one use, but I like how fresh it leaves my whole under eye area feeling. The Dragon Blood Eye Lifting Pads work like a sheet mask, but for your eyes (read full review here). Overall, Wei's Holiday Collection is a great kit for anyone who wants to try out some of their sheet masks at a fabulous price. It makes for a fantastic gift for any skincare lover and is a nice treat for yourself!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

ZOYA Nail Polish in Odette | ZOYA Naturel Spring 2014 Collection

Odette is one of three darker shades part of Zoya's Naturel collection for Spring 2014. Zoya describes Odette as a Sultry Maroon Creme - it does look a lot more purple on my fingertips and the gorgeous creme formula is opaque in just one coat. I added two coats here, topped with Dior's Gel Top Coat, but you can easily get away with one coat, sans any top coat. *Press Sample

ZOYA Naturel Collection Nail Polish in Odette Review, Photos & Swatches

Although part of a Spring collection, Odette is a gorgeous fall color too. Since its an opaque polish, it is quite thick, but still easy to work with. Another one of those very wearable, chic shades that would flatter quite a few skin tones. If you do like purples, plums and are looking for a softer, subtler version of Pantone's Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid for your nails, Odette is a great polish to try!

ZOYA Naturel Collection Nail Polish in Odette Review, Photos & Swatches

ZOYA Naturel Collection Nail Polish in Odette Ingredients

Available now online at zoya.com.

Price : $9 each

Zoya Nail Polishes are 5-free (Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Toluene, DBP and Camphor).

What are your thoughts on Odette?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Burberry Beauty Light Glow Natural Blush in Blossom Blush No.05

'Blossom Blush' ($42; shop.nordstrom.com) is a soft, pinky coral and one of the most beautiful shades from Burberry's Light Glow Natural Blush range. The color is something that would work on any skintone and adds a subtle flush of color without any sort of chunky shimmer/glitter.

Blossom does have a small amount of very finely milled shimmer mixed into the base, but it doesn't show up on my cheeks or enhance any of my large pores. It does have a smooth, luxurious texture and a beautiful satin finish with a soft sheen. The color goes on much less pigmented than it looks in the pan, blends and diffuses beautifully even on my dry skin. The lasting power is great, with very minimal fading by the end of the day. I do have quite a few similar blushes in my stash that come quite close to Blossom, so there's a comparison below. It is most similar to Tarte's Blissful, but unique enough compared to other peachy pinks. It also has the strong floral scent that most Burberry products have, the only not so good thing here. Overall, its a great blush for just about any time of the year and adds the prettiest, natural looking pink flush!

Have you tried Burberry's Light Glow Natural Blush in Blossom Blush?