Monday, September 8, 2014

Unexpected Beauty Deals

Image via Gilt

I used to think of sites like Hautelook and Gilt as a nuisance (too zealous with the email newsletters), but since stumbling across the now-ended Tatcha sale on Gilt City, I now peruse the site in hopes that similar treasure can be found. Lo and behold, I found two beauty deals to be had! First is a $30 off $80 credit to BobbiBrown.com, whose shimmer bricks remain one of my favorite illuminating products.

Image via Gilt

Who can resist this bombshell of an image (from the Clarins Fall 2014 Ladylike collection)? Those eyes! The perfectly sculpted cheeks! The cozy knit! Clarins is offering a $30 savings for purchases over $75 at ClarinsUSA.com. I say get whatever you need to get to recreate the look above, because swoon.

I also liked reading this piece about beauty ideals written by Liu Wen, published on Vogue.com. It was really great that Estee Lauder named Liu Wen as their global spokesmodel. They effectively expanded what it means to be "normally beautiful" to the public consciousness.

Have you seen or read anything interesting lately? Do share!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

It takes a village...

... or what feels like every single product I own to heal a sunburn. Woe the hidden curse of great, warm weather. (Before you admonish, yes I was wearing sunscreen. No idea how I was only burned on my forehead and not everywhere else.)

I have never been sunburned till one month ago, when the flaky, peeling skin on my forehead gave me the biggest scare of my life. Understandably, I became frantic when something's wrong with my skin, so imagine what I was like when my skin ended up having problems for one whole month. To add fuel to fire, my cheeks suddenly started sprouting little red spots (I suspect it was another reaction to being under the sun).

I could have gone to a dermatologist, but I'm a crazy beauty blogger at heart, and I wanted to test everything in the market before throwing in the towel. Amazingly, my experiment worked. My face is almost completely back to normal now after using only products you can buy in a store. It's still drier than before (my face is no longer an oil slick, shocking!), but I'll take it for now.

Daytime Care

L'Occitane Immortelle Divine Oil (launching September 2014) – This is a new product in the Immortelle range. Made from the fragrant Immortelle flowers (I smelled the actual flower during the PR event and wish I could make tea out of it), this oil absorbs quickly into the skin to provide an instant moisture boost. I had this on my office desk and applied it liberally onto my forehead to combat the peeling.

Korres Yoghurt Cooling Gel – When I asked for help on Twitter, three separate people suggested this to me for sunburn relief. On application, my skin sighed in relief. It's like I placed a cool cucumber on my forehead. Because sunburned skin requires more TLC, I actually brought my bottle wherever I went and applied it every hour or so (layering it over the L'Occitane oil) the first few days to stave off the return of peeling skin.

Aloe Vera Gel – My intern at work was shocked to find that I didn't have any aloe vera gel at home, which considering its superior moisturizing properties should really be the first defense for sunburned skin. This was also one of the things I layered on my forehead.

Nighttime Treatment

Tatcha Indigo Soothing Renewal Treatment – When all my efforts managed to alleviate but not cure the problem, a friend of mine suggested using an anti-inflammatory cream. I was excited to tackle my skin issues from a different angle, and also because it meant finally testing this Tatcha cream. I applied it on my forehead and on the little bumps on my cheeks and the symptoms lessened considerably in a couple of days. Note: you should only use this cream at night as the high concentration of Indigo extract leaves a blue tinge on your skin (don't worry, it'll wash off both your face and your pillowcase).

Tatcha Deep Hydration Revitalizing Eye Mask & Lifting Face Mask (not pictured) – No re-hydration effort would be complete without a mask, and Tatcha's are hands down, the best. I've always wished the effects of the mask could be permanent, because my skin is never better than after 15 minutes with a Tatcha mask.

La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Cream (not pictured) – I used the heaviest cream in my arsenal to rebuild my skin's moisture barrier. Normally, this would be saved for winter but it worked fabulously in this case to return my skin to normal. Very, very decadent.

Tatcha Revitalizing Eye Cream (not pictured) – Similar in concept to the La Prairie cream, I used the Tatcha eye cream to soothe the spots on my cheeks, to great results.

What products do you use to combat sunburned skin?

Full disclosure: This entry contains sample products sent by the brand for editorial consideration. This entry also contains affiliate links.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Beauty PSA: Tatcha on Gilt City


I know I probably talk about Tatcha way too much (I swear I really do use other products! There's a Shiseido serum I would like you to meet...), but I feel like I'd be remiss if I didn't share the ~40% off Tatcha deal I found on Gilt City. I am very tempted to get the $90 credit to splurge on a 10 pack of Revitalizing Eye Masks (reviewed here).

In other news, after two amazing years of staying at my Hell's Kitchen apartment, it's finally time to move on. My next apartment will be in a quiet neighborhood located in the Upper West Side. It's going to take some time for me to set up a new photography space (fingers crossed for everything to go well) so you may see more Instagram-style photos in the meantime. My apologies in advance!

Also, if you haven't already signed up, today is the last day to participate in the Tatcha x Messy Wands giveaway. Don't miss out on your chance to win a generous-sized Radiant Deep Brightening Serum, or at the very least, receive an exclusive promotional offer when the giveaway ends. All good things, my friend.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Guerlain KissKiss Shaping Cream Lip Color in 325 Rouge Kiss


My dear friend and beauty editor extraordinaire Phillip Picardi (and literally the prettiest man I know) hosted a Guerlain event at Bergdorf Goodman yesterday, which was a perfect excuse for me to pop by and play with the new Guerlain KissKiss Shaping Cream Lip Colors.


Featured here is 325 Rouge Kiss, a coral red that surprisingly works on me (they usually pull too warm). The formula is slightly heavier and more emollient than the Rouge Automatique, and is definitely a lipstick you can "feel." It can be applied as a light stain or layered on for a full-coverage finish, as shown above. I've only had this for a day, but it's making a fantastic first impression.


While getting rid of stuff for my impending move (50% of my nail collection, tragically given away!), I stumbled across the dusky blue Rescue Beauty Lounge Forgotten Road and rushed to put it on. Have I told you how much I love in-between colors? My favorite ones make you just a little unsure what tone it is. Forgotten Road straddles blue and gray and looks like either depending on the light. How exciting!

Also, I have three new additions to my dainty ring collection! Accompanying the Catbird stalwarts are an Erica Weiner Infinity Ring and two pieces by Guenevere Rodriguez, all Brooklyn-based jewelers. If you are fortunate enough to live in Manhattan, Guenevere has a stall on weekends on Prince St between Mott & Mulberry. Prices at that location are significantly less than on the website.

Guerlain KissKiss Shaping Cream Lip Colors retail for $37 and are currently only available online at saks.com. I received mine as an event gift at Bergdorf Goodman.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

TATCHA x Messy Wands Giveaway


The lovely people at TATCHA have generously provided a special sampling opportunity for Messy Wands readers! They're giving away travel-sized samples of the Radiant Deep Brightening Serum to 50 lucky winners. All you have to do is sign up here by August 23, 2014.

If you weren't one of the 50, do not fret! Everyone who signs up will receive an exclusive email promotional offer when the giveaway ends, which is a pretty sweet consolation prize.

I first reviewed this serum two years ago in my first ever post on TATCHA. While I still believe that the effects of serums are difficult to measure and nothing can replace eating and living healthy, I do think the Deep Brightening Serum is a bottle of particular magic. Throughout the years, I've seen the proof that it lightens acne scars and combats hyperpigmentation, and whenever my skin flares up due to product testing (occupational hazard), this serum calms the skin down and heals the ill effects within a couple of days, without fail.

I've never been without this serum on my vanity since I first had it, and I never want to be. It's my skincare anchor, if you will. I took five months to finish the full-sized serum with daily use, so this travel-sized version should easily last over a month. I urge everyone to give it a try!

Click here to enter the TATCHA Deep Brightening Serum giveaway!

*The giveaway ends on August 23, 2014. Valid for US residents only.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray


If there was a beauty product that deserved its cult status, Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray would be at the top of the list. It's so good that it supposedly sells out during New York Fashion Week. I should know, since I have three bottles stocked up for fear of ever going without.

As a dark-haired girl, I could never successfully use dry shampoo. There weren't many great dry shampoos out there, and even those that were touted as the best left my hair with white residue and a distinct feeling of product overload. When I had long hair, I frequently used the Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray to muss up my hair. It was the only hairspray I didn't hate because it smelled glorious and didn't leave my hair crunchy.

The equally amazing smelling Dry Texturizing Spray is one of the other reasons I am able to last 3-4 days between washes. While not strictly a dry shampoo (I don't think it absorbs oil), it creates volume in the limpest of locks.


I have gotten ridiculous volume with this hairspray, but I'm lacking photographic evidence... I did use it while taking photos for my recent post on Ilia Jump (note, that is third day hair). The video below also exhibits the full extent of volume you can achieve with the spray, if you put your mind to it:

While not absolutely relevant, famed editorial manicurist Jin Soon Choi also created a manicure to pair with Oribe's Shine Light Reflecting Spray (another great smelling, amazing spray. Highly recommended if you want to add shine to your hair) – a testament to the amazing packaging of all Oribe products.

Oribe Shine Manicure, via oribe.com

I kind of wish she did one of the Dry Texturizing Spray, but the techniques she used for the Shine Manicure is adaptable if you want to attempt your own version. Imagine how amazing a black-and-gold fine criss-cross manicure would look!

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray is available at Bergdorf Goodman (free shipping + return!) for $42. If you travel a lot, I highly recommend splurging a little on the Black & Gold Collection, which includes a full and travel size Dry Texturizing Spray, as well as a complimentary Cote d'Azur Hair Refresher.

Products Used:
Le Metiér de Beauté Peau Vierge Correcteur Concealer Shade 1
Le Metiér de Beauté Peau Vierge Classic Flawless-Finish Liquid Foundation Shade 5
Shu Uemura Retractable Eyebrow Pencil in Seal Brown
Suqqu Balancing Eyebrow Palette 01 Moss Green
THREE Flash Performance Eyeliner Pencil 05
Le Metiér de Beauté Nouvelle Vague Kaleidoscope
Annabelle Le Big Show Mascara
Benefit Dandelion
Clé de Peau Beauté Luminizing Face Enhancer in Delicate Pink
Ilia Beauty Tinted Lip Conditioner in Jump
Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray


Monday, July 14, 2014

A Plethora of Pinks


It's funny how tastes change. A year and a half ago, I wrote this Lipstick Bandit post about fearing pink, and this summer it seems to be all I wear. Now that I know I look better in cool pinks, I'm much less inclined to dabble with coral (that color is a whole 'nother headache). The pinks shown in this post are mostly old favorites that have become staples in my lip wardrobe.

Also, the whole time I was taking pictures, this scene was running through my head:


Sherlock Season 1 Episode 1: A Study in Pink. A glorious introduction to a fantastic TV series

Cle de Peau Enriched Lip Luminizer 206 Sweet Watermelon

First, a light watermelon pink! I associate the finish that Cle de Peau Enriched Lip Luminizer 206 Sweet Watermelon ($35 for the refill, $25 for the holder) imparts with "Asian girl" lips (sorry, stereotypes) – soft and balm-like with a hint of color. It's really great for when you just want to look a little more presentable. "Naturally pretty," if you will.

Dior Addict Extreme Lipstick in 476 Plaza

Dior Addict Extreme Lipstick in 476 Plaza ($32), reviewed here, is a step up from the Cle de Peau in terms of pigment. As you can see, the texture is also balm-like and it's very easy to wear. All these lipsticks make my peeling, wrinkled lips look happy and well moisturized.

I sense a trend in my selections. What can I say? I love comfort.

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Never Say Never

And to the matte selection! Do I detect a slight hint of purple? NARS' lip pencils (Velvet Gloss, Velvet Matte, Satin) are my favorite products from the brand. From packaging to texture to color selection, I don't think you'll find too many from other brands that can rival NARS. The one pictured above is Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Never Say Never ($25), reviewed here two (!) years ago. I'm so grateful that it's part of the permanent collection.

I used a heavier hand when applying the blush, so my lips wouldn't wash out the rest of my face (balance is important!). Pictured above is Chanel Joues Contraste in Rose Initiale.

Paul & Joe Manège + Le Metiér de Beauté Clearly Brilliant Lip Gloss

While the texture of Paul & Joe Manège is perfectly fine (full coverage, balmy finish), for some reason I enjoy slicking a clear gloss over it. I also just realized that the Le Metiér de Beauté Clearly Brilliant Lip Gloss ($36) is a great alternative to purchasing more Dior Fluid Sticks. It's a jelly gloss that produces high, watery shine. It completely transforms my lips!

Manège, a limited edition shade from spring 2013, is unfortunately no longer available. The good thing is I've tried on a few magenta shades since and found possible substitutes, so if you're interested, try Paul & Joe La Vie En Rose 305 or NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Yu.

What lip shades are you loving this summer?

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