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?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Chanel Eastern Light


White polish came back in vogue in a huge way when Chanel Eastern Light was first released (Hong Kong collection last year). The white polish, which was once associated with Wite-Out and forbidden, hastily splattered on nails in high school (I wasn't allowed to wear polish to school), suddenly became the shade du jour. I'm always skeptical when this happens. Why does it only become cool when Chanel chooses to pick up a trend?

(I mean, I know why. But I'm not happy about how perceived prestige causes us to so easily change our minds.)

But I did swoon over Eastern Light. I remember ordering it as soon as it was available on chanel.com last year, and barely agonizing over the fact that I paid $27 for white polish (though why should we be any less picky about white than say, red?). As white polishes go, this one is decidedly less streaky than most – with two thick coats or three thin coats to achieve opacity. The trick is to not apply too much pressure during application, otherwise you'll get a shadowy spot on the base of your nails.

Chanel Eastern Light is currently a repromote in the Reflets D'Été de Chanel Summer Collection, so for those who missed out the first time, here's your chance! Available for $27 at Nordstrom.


also good on toes!

Products Used:
Shu Uemura Retractable Eyebrow Pencil in Seal Brown
Suqqu Balancing Eyebrow Palette 01 Moss Green
Le Metiér de Beauté Peau Vierge Correcteur Concealer Shade 1
NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base
THREE Flash Performance Eyeliner Pencil 08
Addiction Sandbar Eyeshadow
Lancome Star Bronzer Palette in Bronze Essence
Chanel Joues Contraste Rose Initiale
Clé de Peau Beauté Luminizing Face Enhancer in Delicate Pink
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Never Say Never

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Big Claims, Big Hair – Alterna Bamboo 48-Hour Sustainable Volume Spray


As one who dabbles in marketing speak (limited quantities left! 24 hours only!) in my other life, I tend to mistrust the labels I see on the boxes and bottles of my products. It continuously astonishes me that beauty companies can make virtually any claim on their products and get little to no consequence for fibbing.

So when a product comes along that does what it claims to do, I regard it first with happy disbelief then with unsustainable glee. Alterna Bamboo 48-Hour Sustainable Volume Spray has big claims – 2 day plumping to 105% of your original hair volume, "hair is left visibly thickened and noticeably more voluminous with healthy shine" – and you know what, it's true.

First, a little about my hair routine. After a lifetime of shampooing+conditioning my hair daily, I've finally managed to cut it down to twice a week (on Wednesdays and Sundays, specifically). The reason I chose to do so was a little bit of buying into the no-poo method and a little bit of making my products last longer. Overall, I can say my hair is now healthier; I can actually go three days before it starts looking like an oily mess (it used to take less than 24 hours). It also takes me three times longer to finish up my hair stuff, which is great on the wallet.

I have stick straight fine hair, but lots of it, which weighs it down. I've used volumizing shampoo and conditioner ever since I was allowed to pick my own products, and while I've found a few that works marvelously (Shu Uemura Muroto Volume line, Kiehl's Rice and Wheat line), I have always wanted an extra product for boost. I wanted it to be weightless and most importantly, have no external effect on my hair (like scrunchiness and residue) other than plumping it.

And here it is.

The product comes in the form of a hair mist (not a cream! non-aerosol!). Three spritzes all over my head while my hair is still damp, then blow dry with my trusty Sultra dryer. The result is soft hair with incredible volume that lasts through the next day.

Alterna Bamboo 48-Hour Sustainable Volume Spray is sold in two sizes, 4.2 oz for $25 and .85 oz for $10 at Sephora.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tatcha Water Collection: Luminous Deep Hydration Firming Serum + Revitalizing Eye Mask


As a beauty blogger (who also has a day job in beauty), I've had the incredible fortune of being exposed to many brands – I affectionately/despairingly call my office desk a magpie's nest, and more often than not, apologize for the beauty products littered on my apartment floor when visitors take a peek. With such product overload, there are few brands that I am absolutely loyal to. There's a constant need to try new things and form opinions. Occupational hazard, I joke.

If there is one brand I return to over and over again, it's Tatcha. Since my first post on their Beauty Ritual in October 2012, my love for them has only deepened. Very rarely do you find a fledgling brand (it's only ~4 years old) that maintains such integrity and dedication to detail, from marketing to customer service to the products they sell. It's funny to reread my old Tatcha posts and see that I offered suggestions, like hoping they'd create an eye cream, and know my wishful thinking did come true in a few months. For the curious: According to posts on their social media, they're working on sunscreen (!) and lipstick (!!).

This summer, Tatcha introduced two new items to their Water Collection, adding the Luminous Deep Hydration Firming Serum and Revitalizing Eye Mask to its already impressive roster (comprising of the Dewy Skin Mist and Lifting Mask).

While the Radiant Deep Brightening Serum works as a radiance serum that combats hyperpigmentation and discoloration, the Luminous Deep Hydration Firming Serum ($90 for 30ml/1 fl oz.) is purely for hydration. According to the Tatcha blog, Vicky was inspired to create this serum after makeup artist Daniel Martin told her that he loved using the Deep Hydration Lifting Mask on models' faces before painting them, but needed something that worked quicker. Vicky essentially bottled the deeply hydrating spa-in-a-sheet mask and created this serum.

In addition to firming and plumping effects, this serum contains crushed 23-karat gold that brightens the skin ever so slightly. The soothing scent features hints of green tea.

The Luminous Deep Hydration Revitalizing Eye Mask ($12 per sheet/$95 for 10 sheets) is essentially a concentrated version of the Lifting Mask, temporarily banishing signs of fatigue from the eye area by giving it a firming hydration boost. I wore it while writing this post, and within the 15 minutes of application, noticed a marked improvement in the skin around my eyes. I looked as if I'd slept undisturbed for 12 hours. Loathe to waste the extra serum (and because my mouth area sorely needed help), I stuck these to the sides of my mouth and enjoyed the same benefits.

It is a shame that the effects of masks are ephemeral, because my post-mask skin looked radiant, happy, and healthy. I highly recommend use before important events. When I get married, I'm going to make sure I have a stash of these in stock.

Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydration Firming Serum and Revitalizing Eye Mask are available for purchase online at tatcha.com.

P.S. Tatcha just launched an amazing gift with purchase offer! For every $75 purchase on tatcha.com, you'll get a complimentary "Summer Essentials" kit that contains the Dewy Skin Mist, Original Aburatorigami Blotting Papers (super essential), and Deep Hydration face and eye masks. Use code SUMMERFUN14 at checkout to redeem. Offer is valid till July 3, or while supplies last.

Full disclosure: This entry contains sample products sent by PR or the manufacturer for editorial consideration.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Ilia Beauty Tinted Lip Conditioner in Jump


Apparently, my summer is all about lips. Ilia Beauty Tinted Lip Conditioner in Jump is another good one for the sweaty season. The formula is lightweight and balm-like, with build-able pigment. If you apply just one layer, it provides a slight tint on your lips. Since I'm obviously a "go big or go home" person when it comes to lips (see past example), I applied Jump 3-4 times to get my lips to the true-to-bullet magenta hue in the picture above. It's always nice to know that you have the option for color!


For those who are unfamiliar with Ilia Beauty, it's frequently mentioned alongside other green beauty brands, such as RMS Beauty, Kjaer Weis, Kahina Giving Beauty, and Tata Harper. I was first introduced to it when I interned at Lifestyle Mirror. My beauty editor loved green products and tried to incorporate them in every story he could. MVPs of the brand include Polka Dots & Moonbeams Illuminator and the Multi-Stick, while I'm personally intrigued by the Lipstick Crayons. I guess I have a thing for crayon-style lip products.



Just so you know – even though I piled the color on my lips, the lipstick never felt heavy or like it was swimming around. Fantastic for summer, really.

Ilia Beauty Tinted Lip Conditioner in Jump retails for $26 at spiritbeautylounge.com.

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

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

Friday, June 20, 2014

Summer Makeup, Day and Night

addiction vamp lipstick

While I have tanned considerably in the past few weeks, it seems Blogger is determined to make me look even more like a bronze statue. For some reason, when I upload these pictures, the overall tone becomes considerably yellow. This disturbs me as someone who has always aspired to have fair skin, but more importantly, it's getting in my way of blogging. /waves fist at Blogger

Here in New York, we've been having a great prelude to summer – the weather has been temperate and spring showers relatively rare – and I've already settled into the look I'll be wearing for most of the next three months. It basically consists of Jeremy Renner's Guide to Makeup:

... because I now require 2-3 blotting papers every session to soak up the oil on my face. Anything else will simply not do. So! I concentrate the color on my cheeks and lips and call it a day.

sisley phyto lip twist #4 pinky

For daytime, I like to use bright colors to distract people from the fact that I didn't bother with anything else. I'm kidding! Didn't we wait all year to actually be encouraged to wear obnoxiously bright colors? A recent find is the Sisley Phyto-Lip Twist, which is a tinted balm; a super-charged Clinique Chubby Stick, if you will. As much as I absolutely disagree with the price ($50!), these sticks are in a league of its own. It feels like a balm, is pigmented like a lipstick, but has the shine of a gloss. It has a twist-up mechanism so you won't have to sharpen and waste, which is really a necessity at this price point. I hate to say it, but it's the best I've tried within the lip crayon category.


For night, I like the idea of vamping it up (who am I kidding? I always like the idea of vamping it up). Below, a sweep of Burberry Earthy creates a subtle contour to complement the dark lip, courtesy of Addiction Vamp.


For brows, I have gotten into the habit of penciling them in then going over them with brow powder. I tightline my eyes to give my lashes more definition, then finish with a coat of mascara.

As a conscious reaction to my earlier post about skin, I eschewed foundation for this post. I concealed under my eyes and highlighted under my brow bones, around the inner corners of my eyes, above my cheekbones, and above my cupid's bow. Man, after writing that out, I realized that a "natural glow" takes a lot of work!


Products Used:
Le Metiér de Beauté Peau Vierge Correcteur Concealer Shade 1
Shu Uemura Retractable Eyebrow Pencil in Seal Brown
Suqqu Balancing Eyebrow Palette 01 Moss Green
THREE Flash Performance Eyeliner Pencil 05
Sisley So Intense Mascara in Deep Black
Clé de Peau Beauté Luminizing Face Enhancer in Delicate Pink
Day Makeup: Burberry Tangerine Blush + Sisley Phyto-Lip Twist #4 Pinky
Night Makeup: Burberry Earthy Blush + Addiction Vamp Lipstick

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