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?

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.

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