Sunday, April 12, 2015

A Note About My Absence

My apologies for the radio silence. Due to some personal matters, I'm forced to take a temporary hiatus from blogging. It's unfortunate that it happened right as I was getting back in the swing of things, but as ever I am grateful for your patience and understanding and hope you will read Messy Wands again when I return.

An important note: I received an email today notifying me that the Tatcha Kyoto Red Silk Lipstick (review) is finally in stock. I know for a fact that only a very limited quantity was made, so if you think you want it, don't hesitate!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Have A Perfect Hair Day with Living Proof


Seeing beauty products day in, day out (literally. My day job is firmly ensconced in the beauty industry), it all becomes a blur, so it's only when I settled down to write my review of the Living Proof Perfect Hair Day products that I noticed the "hair feels cleaner, longer" claim on the shampoo. In this day and age of hyperbole marketing, a brand's description of a product (24 hour moisture! 10 hour shine!) is akin to web banner ads – something savvy consumers have trained themselves to ignore – which is why I'm pleasantly astonished to report that the PhD Shampoo actually lives up to those four little words.

Rewind to my moment of revelation: five days post-shampoo+conditioner, I was mulling over whether I needed to wash my hair that day, and decided not to. As for the PhD Conditioner's claim to "improve hair over time," all I can say is my hair never looked better than in my two most recent photo shoots (you can see more pictures in my recent posts on Clinique's new blushes and Rouge Bunny Rouge's new sheer lipsticks).


Applying the PhD 5-in-1 Styling Treatment on damp hair and blow drying normally gives me sleek, straight, shiny Jennifer Aniston hair (sorry, couldn't resist). Unfortunately, in keeping with the tradition of yearning for what we don't have, I don't like wearing my hair completely straight, so the Styling Treatment is not my cup of tea.

All Living Proof products are sulfate-free (yay for chemically treated hair), silicone-free, and oil-free. The Living Proof Perfect Hair Day collection retails for $10-28 and is available for sale at Sephora and Ulta.


Products Used:
Shu Uemura Mechanical Brow Pencil
Guerlain Météorites Baby Glow in Medium 03
Clé de Peau Concealer in Ocher
Sisley Phyto 4 Ombres Eyeshadow Quartet in Dream
THREE Flash Performance Eyeliner Pencil 08
Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara
Clinique Sculptionary Cheek Contouring Palette in Defining Nectars
Sisley Phyto-Lip Twist Tinted Lip Balm in Candy

Full disclosure: This entry contains sample product(s) sent by the brand for editorial consideration. This entry also contains affiliate links.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Rouge Bunny Rouge Succulence of Dew Sheer Lipsticks


Sorry, I couldn't resist

I didn't know something was missing in my makeup drawer stash mountain until it magically showed up in the mail. I thought many of the lipsticks I owned were already pushing the limits of innovation, especially in terms of their amazing formulas (comfort, texture etc.). After all, I'm so picky with my lip products that I refuse to wear anything that's heavy, uncomfortable, or unnecessarily sheer (unless it explicitly functions as such, like tinted balms), yet I still own more lipstick than I can ever wear in my lifetime.

This is until I received the newly reformulated Rouge Bunny Rouge Succulence of Dew Sheer Lipstick, which completely changed my thinking of how good a lipstick could be. I'm actually thrown off by the naming, because as the images below show, these "sheer" lipsticks can be extremely pigmented. The formula is super moist but not in any danger of slipping and sliding all over your lips. No feathering, no scent, no heavy feeling. They're a downright pleasure to have on.

My only criticism is that the packaging picks up fingerprints like its life depended on it, but this should only matter to people who have to photograph it.

Jasmine-Weighted Air

Murmurings

Musings

Relish of Heaven

Perfume of His Gaze

Of the above, I was most intrigued by Perfume of His Gaze. The official brand description calls it a cool-toned rose taupe, which I never would have imagined as a lip color until I put it on. I think this could be the modern update of the 90s brown lipstick!

Rouge Bunny Rouge Succulence of Dew Sheer Lipsticks retail for $29 and are internationally available at rougebunnyrouge.com.


Products Used:
Shu Uemura Mechanical Brow Pencil
Guerlain Météorites Baby Glow in Clair 02
Clé de Peau Concealer in Ocher
Chantecaille Iridescent Eye Shade in Rose Gold
Rouge Bunny Rouge Long Lasting Eye Shadow in Eclipse Eagle
Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara
Three Flash Performance Eyeliner Pencil 08
Guerlain Météorites Perles De Blush
Ellis Faas Glow Up
Rouge Bunny Rouge Succulence of Dew Sheer Lipsticks

Full disclosure: This entry contains sample product(s) sent by the brand for editorial consideration. This entry also contains affiliate links.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Clinique Sculptionary Cheek Contouring Palettes


The new Clinique Sculptionary Cheek Contouring Palettes remind me of paint by number kits. While it's not an exact science, the three-step approach does simplify the process of contouring your cheeks: darkest shade below your cheekbones, medium shade on the apples of your cheeks, and lightest shade above the cheekbones blending into the apples.


This is where I mean when I say "below the cheekbone"

Below will largely be #picspam because there's not much differentiation between the three palettes in terms of texture and formula. Defining Nectars is peachier than the other two, whereas I can barely detect a difference between Defining Roses and Defining Berries on my skin. I think Defining Roses is just slightly muted.

They're perhaps not as finely milled as some other blushes I own, but they're $10-20 cheaper and still do a fine job, in addition to the added benefit of reminding you that a little contrast in dark and light goes a long way.

Sculptionary Cheek Contouring Palette in Defining Nectars


Sculptionary Cheek Contouring Palette in Defining Berries


Sculptionary Cheek Contouring Palette in Defining Roses


Pro tip: cheekbones are more prominent when you you look like a deer in headlights.

Clinique Sculptionary Cheek Contouring Palettes retail for $21 and are available at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Clinique.com (which also stocks two online exclusives)./


Products Used:
Shu Uemura Mechanical Brow Pencil
Guerlain Météorites Baby Glow in Medium 03
Clé de Peau Concealer in Ocher
Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara
Sisley Phyto 4 Ombres Eyeshadow Quartet in Dream
Look 1 -
Clinique Sculptionary Cheek Contouring Palette in Defining Nectars, Sisley Phyto-Lip Twist Tinted Lip Balm in Candy
Look 2 -
Clinique Sculptionary Cheek Contouring Palette in Defining Berries, Sisley Phyto-Lip Twist Tinted Lip Balm in Chestnut
Look 3 -
Clinique Sculptionary Cheek Contouring Palette in Defining Roses, Sisley Phyto-Lip Twist Tinted Lip Balm in Coral

Full disclosure: This entry contains sample product(s) sent by the brand for editorial consideration. This entry also contains affiliate links.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour and Highlight


The subject line of the email pitch for Clinique's new contouring collection was "Hello Cheekbones!" It's like they knew exactly how to tug at my heartstrings. I don't have any problems in this particular area (the older I get, the more prominent my cheekbones become), but for some reason I still like products that create the illusion of angles on the face. Anyone should be able to look like Tom Hiddleston, I say!


Today's post is about the Sculpting Contour and Highlight Chubby Sticks. Pretty straightforward: one darker shade to create the illusion of shadow and one lighter shade to create the illusion of light (for the uninitiated, here's a contouring tutorial I wrote three years ago). I draw lines with the darker shade on the bottom of my cheekbones, on the sides of my nose, under my jaw line, by my temples, then blend furiously – the key is to make the color look like a natural part of your skin. I run the lighter shade down my nose bridge to the tip of my nose, above my cheekbones, under and over the arch of my eyebrows, on my cupid's bow, and my chin. Again, blend it out. Considering that a contoured look is supposed to be undetectable, it sure takes a lot of work.



Though these two Clinique offerings happen to work for my skin tone, it's clear that it's made for a very specific customer (fair, neutral/warm-toned skin). While I absolutely love the Chubby Stick range and think they're a godsend when it comes to applying makeup on-the-go, these are not meant for beginners. Contouring requires specific placement, and you get less control when using fingers versus a brush. The formula, though, is what you'd expect: smooth and easy to blend out. I'm keeping these in my portable makeup bag for the days I'd like to look extra sharp.

Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour and Highlight retail for $21 each and is available at Sephora and Clinique.com.


Products Used:
Shu Uemura Mechanical Brow Pencil
Guerlain Météorites Baby Glow in Medium 03
Clé de Peau Concealer in Ocher
Jane Iredale Getaway Eye Shadow Kit
Jane Iredale Jelly Jar Gel Eyeliner in Espresso
Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara
Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour
Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight
Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain in Forever Peach

Full disclosure: This entry contains sample product(s) sent by the brand for editorial consideration. This entry also contains affiliate links.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Diptyque Wick Trimmer


Of all the extravagances that I indulge in, I consider my purchase of a $38 wick trimmer from Diptyque the only one that's truly outrageous. It's not just so much about the price (there are many on sale on Amazon for a fraction) but that I bought something for the sole use of trimming wicks, to make sure that when I snip the wick off it won't fall into my candle and accidentally dirty the wax. If this is not bourgeois, I don't know what is.

(I sometimes struggle with a secret shame of wanting nice things. I blame my mother.)

Don't get me wrong. I love having things like these, and one day hope to have a nice house with solid furniture filled with clean Diptyque candles and art and fresh flowers in elaborate vases. But for now, living in my temporary rental apartment in New York, where I remain permanently in flux, this luxe wick trimmer is kind of out of place.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Guerlain Météorites Baby Glow


When I went to Sephora to claim my birthday gift last week, I wandered over to the Guerlain counter to poke at the new spring offerings. Tracy posted a rave review about the Météorites Baby Glow that had me intrigued. Like her, I don't like the feeling of foundation on my skin anymore, and while I don't need anything on a day-to-day basis, I like pairing red lipstick with a porcelain complexion (clearly something I neglected to do in my last post).

Fortunately, I was sent a tube for review quite soon after my visit, because if you are looking for a virtually undetectable (in look and feel) light to medium coverage foundation, this is perhaps your new Holy Grail.


no makeup apart from shaded-in eyebrows


with Baby Glow applied. Ohmygod my winter lips x_x

In the picture above, I am wearing Clair 02, which is a tad too light for me. While I've been increasingly in favor of using my fingers to apply base products, for some reason Baby Glow looks better when I apply it with a sponge or buff it out with a brush. It contains the same technology as the mythical météorites pearls, which tackles discoloration and unevenness of skintone, and features the faint Guerlain-y scent that dissipates upon application. I can barely feel Baby Glow's presence on my skin, which is why it's hard to believe my eyes when I look in the mirror.


with full makeup

I'm glad that Guerlain included Baby Glow in its permanent collection, because I haven't encountered a similar product (basically, bb cream/tinted moisturizer) that works as well as it does. Guerlain Météorites Baby Glow retails for $54 and is available at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Sephora (though oddly not online).


Products Used:
Shu Uemura Mechanical Brow Pencil
Guerlain Météorites Baby Glow in Clair 02
Clé de Peau Concealer in Ocher
Chantecaille Iridescent Eye Shade in Rose Gold
Rouge Bunny Rouge Long Lasting Eye Shadow in Eclipse Eagle
Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara
Three Flash Performance Eyeliner Pencil 08
Guerlain Météorites Perles De Blush
Ellis Faas Glow Up
Rouge Bunny Rouge Succulence of Dew Sheer Lipstick in Murmurings

Full disclosure: This entry contains sample product(s) sent by the brand for editorial consideration. This entry also contains affiliate links.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

L'Occitane Immortelle 28 Day Divine Renewal Program

Considering how long this post is supposed to be, I belatedly realized that I should have taken a lot more pictures of the actual product. Well, fair warning before you proceed: you'll just have to be okay with a wall of descriptive text.

Let's begin my review of the brand new L'Occitane Immortelle 28 Day Divine Renewal Program with this picture of myself sans makeup (except for shaded-in eyebrows, because that is my hamartia). Little pimply spots aside, I think my skin is as good as it can ever get. I took this photo two days after strictly adhering to the program for 28 days.


The Immortelle 28 Day Divine Renewal Program is meant for use during the nighttime, so I stuck to my regular ritual in the morning (mostly Tatcha) and tried my best to only use the included oils at night. Even though the pamphlet said the oil could be used alone or under your regular moisturizer, I embarked on this experiment determined to only use the oils, to experience an unadulterated effect.

The program is split into four weeks, each week containing seven vials of oil for each night's use. The oil is housed in a detachable packet (not only useful for differentiation but also for travel). To open, you snap the top of the packet to reveal a little spout, then squeeze the oil out onto your palm. This has a bit of a learning curve, because the first few times I pressed too hard and some of the precious oil squirted onto my apartment floor. That said, I do like the way this is packaged, since it ensures that we use the exact recommended amount of product each day. After all, a pea or dime-sized amount is a subjective description.

The scent of the oil remains the same throughout the four weeks. If you've ever had the pleasure of sniffing the Divine Oil, this is basically a concentrated version. The pamphlet includes specific instructions on how to apply to oil, but each day's routine begins with warming up the oil between your palms and holding it up to your face and breathing in thrice. This part of the program is what I miss the most, as the Immortelle scent works wonders in soothing and calming me down after a long day.

Week 1 - Gentle Exfoliation
I felt the most obvious and immediate effects of the oil in Week 1. Before I started on the first vial, I had flaky, gritty skin on my chin (it literally felt like sandpaper). Within first application, I noticed that it felt smoother, and by day 3 it was completely gone. My skin was completely smooth!

Week 2 - Hydration and Nutrition
We enter hazy territory in the following weeks, because the effects that the program purports to deliver are less clear (how am I supposed to know if my skin feels more nutritious and balanced?). Sadly, my gritty chin resurfaced at the start of Week 2, and a giant pimple formed on Day 3. I also suffered an allergic reaction to a pimple-curing product I used. I do not think the program caused any of these symptoms, but it's worth noting that while it didn't make my skin worse, it was not necessarily the antidote to irritated skin either. Now, I know Week 2 sounded bad, but apart from those few problem spots the rest of my skin basically still looked like the photo above.

Week 3 - Balance
Week 3 was when I realized that I should heed L'Occitane's advice and use the program as a supplement to my regular nighttime routine rather than treat it as a be-all and end-all to skincare. The oil alone simply was not enough to combat the harsh reality that is winter in the Northeast. I experienced surface dehydration throughout the end of Week 2 and Week 3, which was remedied by layering a moisturizer over the oil.

Week 4 - Renewal
I felt both relief and sadness at the end of the program. On one hand, I like trying new things on my face (a fundamental beauty blogger requirement) and had to put off testing a whole bunch of products because I committed to 28 days of using just one oil; on the other hand, I've grown to enjoy the routine of pouring the oil into my hands and smelling it before I apply it to my face. Whatever skin woes I experienced in Week 2 and 3 (more likely caused by hormones and weather rather than this program), by the end of Week 4 I had even, glowing skin.


At $130, this is much more affordable than other four-week programs I know (Guerlain's The Cure Treatment is a whopping $1,550). I've never tried the latter, but I cannot imagine that its effects can be so drastic that it warrants the price point. The L'Occitane program is much more palatable to the bank account, and is a nice supplement to your regular skincare routine with subtle results. I think it will most benefit those who find it hard to stick to a dedicated regimen.

The L'Occitane Immortelle 28 Day Divine Renewal Program is available beginning February 18 (my birthday!). In celebration, I am giving it away to one lucky winner. Please enter the sweepstakes through the Rafflecopter widget below and I will pick a winner one week from now!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Full disclosure: This entry contains sample product(s) sent by the brand for editorial consideration. This entry also contains affiliate links.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Tatcha Kyoto Red Silk Lipstick


I remember hearing whisperings of this since May last year, when Chloë Sevigny hit the Met Gala red carpet with a custom shade of bright red on her lips. It was made by Tatcha, Style.com reported, but only two were in existence. Since then, I've harbored hope that Tatcha would produce more of this brilliant lipstick. With Vicky's tendency toward perfection, I envisioned that the makeup she created would equal or rival those from my favorite Japanese brands.


That day came. The Tatcha Kyoto Red Silk Lipstick is a piece of art. The black and gold custom tube is hefty and substantial. I love that it opens and closes with a satisfying click, and only if you align the logos correctly. The tip of the bullet calls to mind the facets of a diamond, and after almost a month of wearing it, I can personally attest that it allows for a very precise application.


As you know, I have tested many lipsticks in my life. This one makes me, someone who has more reds than any other lip color I own, want to buy back ups for my back up. It's smooth and creamy and moisturizing and incredibly pigmented and lightweight and scentless and just gorgeous. The only other formula I love as much is the Creamy Glow Lipstick from Suqqu, but they erroneously and devastatingly discontinued most of the lineup a couple years ago. The lipstick is capable of lasting all day, with minimal touch-up required only after meals.


My father once told me that people who wear red are more confident because it's such a strong color. While I think my father had his own biased reasons for his belief (his wardrobe consists of red shirts in various shades), I don't think he's altogether wrong. Since most of my clothes are in monochromatic hues of black, blue, and gray, I like that through a little thing like lipstick, I am able to inject bright and dazzling color, maybe also a little strength, in my life.

Only a limited number of these lipsticks were made! The pre-order for the Kyoto Red Silk Lipstick will begin any day now, but the best way to ensure you'll be the first to know is by signing up for their mailing list. (Update: Here's the direct link to the pre-order!)

Products Used:
Shu Uemura Mechanical Brow Pencil
Shu Uemura Pressed Eye Shadow Refill M 864
Clé de Peau Concealer in Ocher
Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara
Three Flash Performance Eyeliner Pencil 07
Guerlain Météorites Perles De Blush
Ellis Faas Glow Up
Tatcha Kyoto Red Red Lipstick

Full disclosure: This entry contains sample product(s) sent by the brand for editorial consideration. This entry also contains affiliate links.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Re-Introduction


HELLO. This post is less informative and more celebratory – I finally managed to find a limited window of time where enough sunlight filters into my apartment and allows me to take photos worthy of the blog. I haven't been in front of the camera in such a long time, so I've forgotten many of its caveats (foundation, or at least a dusting of Guerlain météorites, is a must for better-looking skin).

That said, we've never shied away from the ugly here at Messy Wands. Try though I might – exfoliating, then layering face mist, serum, oil and cream – I haven't been able to fully rectify my dry skin woes and parts of my face remain scaly. The only respite I've had was when I used the Tatcha Deep Hydration Lifting Mask (review here), but the beauty and curse of a mask is that it's super effective only for a day.

Perhaps because of all that, I've been favoring the neutral, contoured look. It has just enough color so I'll look polished but not so much that I'll draw attention to problem areas. Here, I'm glad I'm finally able to show you a clearer picture of the recently reviewed Guerlain Météorites Perles De Blush and Ellis Faas Glow Up in action.


Products Used:
Shu Uemura Mechanical Brow Pencil
Shu Uemura Pressed Eye Shadow Refill M 864
Clé de Peau Concealer in Ocher
Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara
Three Flash Performance Eyeliner Pencil 07
Guerlain Météorites Perles De Blush
Ellis Faas Glow Up
Shiseido Lacquer Gloss in VI708 Phantom

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Unwash Bio-Cleansing Conditioner Review

Six months ago, I blogged about being able to go three days between hair washes. My number now hovers around the 3-4 day range (though I used to have to at least wet my hair every other day, and now I can go all three days without it touching water), and even though I'm sure I can surpass it, I'm happy with the way things are – I like my hot showers, thank you very much.

Since then, I knew that the "conventional" wisdom of shampooing every day was probably concocted by a marketing professional. In fact, there is more evidence that the contrary (less shampooing) is better for our hair health. Unfortunately, most of us have been indoctrinated on that misbelief since a young age, and our scalps have adapted to that routine, producing more oil than is necessary. It is a vicious cycle that requires tenacity to break. I had to endure weeks of absolutely disgusting hair when I began extending my washes.

Ever since trying the Unwash Bio-Cleansing Conditioner, I'm quite convinced that even the concept of shampoo is redundant. When using a shampoo and conditioner duo, we are essentially stripping our hair of everything (both good and bad stuff) when using the former, only to rehydrate it with the latter. It becomes more ridiculous the more you think about it.

So, think of this formula – I hesitate to call it two-in-one, because it makes me think of hotel products that dry and tangle my hair like no other, and because we should begin to disassociate hair washing with a two-step process – as a one stop shop for your hair. The instructions are straightforward: in the shower, massage a sizable amount of product into scalp and comb through ends of hair. Rinse.

What you get is surprise, because you really don't need shampoo to have clean hair. In fact, the best part of the process is my hair never gets tangled. The conditioner also smells wonderful and you emerge from the shower with soft, volumized hair. I haven't experienced a routine-changing product in a long time, and this completely blew my existing regimen out of the water (ha!).

You have to admire a company that has enough integrity to post their products' entire ingredient list on their website. For now, you can only purchase Unwash products at specific salons (the company encourages you to nominate your local salon if you would like easier access) but I'm hoping they'll consider an online store presence soon.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Ullu Snapon iPhone Case


As iPhone users go, I'm one of the purists. I much prefer going caseless to retain the integrity of the design, and since I'm quite careful with my belongings, I'm not too worried about damage to my phone. That said, I do want my phone to last over two years before having to shell out for another, and a little voice in my head tells me that's not possible unless I cover it up.

The challenge then was to find something that's functional yet aesthetically pleasing. What always surprises me is how incredibly challenging that is (think shopping for heels. Ugh). Existing iPhone cases either look clunky (Otterbox being the perennial favorite) or basic (the $5 variety on Amazon), so I was glad when I finally found something I liked – believe me, it was a journey.


Ullu products are hand stitched and hand finished, and come in a variety of leathers and delectable hues. I was sorely tempted by the ostrich leather material but couldn't justify the spend ($225!). Instead, I opted for the Grain Leather Snapon Case in Sun Ray ($55), a bright yellow to brighten up the currently moody winter.

I knew I made the right choice when the case arrived in the mail. The grainy texture of the leather is pleasing to the touch and lends the case an air of sophistication. It is as sleek as an iPhone case can be, adding such little bulk to the phone that it only took me a day to get used to the widened grip. The case is fitted very well to the phone and is pretty hard to remove once it's on, which is a good thing in my books. One of my pet peeves with cases is flimsiness and it doesn't look like this will become loose over time.

Overall, highly recommended. Visit ullushop.com for more.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

On The Subject Of Glowing


Much hullabaloo has been made of the limited edition Guerlain Météorites Perles De Blush from the Spring 2015 collection, and why not? For those of us who are familiar with the magic of Guerlain's ethereal météorites powder (more affectionately termed, ballz), a pigmented version would only make the most ardent of blush collectors weep with joy. Which happened all over the Internet when these appeared early online and at counters.

For full transparency, I bought this because I am a longtime fan of Guerlain powders and view this as a collector's item. I think it's ridiculous that it's $53 (!!!) for a measly 0.45 oz / 12g of product, even though yes, it's super pigmented and you really don't need much at all. The fact that it's in a flimsy-ish cardboard box doesn't bother me so much because it was probably an aesthetic choice, but I agree with Liz from Beauty Reductionista that they should have added a handle to the puff to help us get it out of the way. After all, they've done it before.

All in all, I'm saying this is not a product with good value. It's not even that easy to use or travel-friendly. It's a sit at your vanity and protect from everything (liquids, drops, less gentle hands) kind of item. The blush is super pigmented, so the perfect brush to use would be something like the Suqqu Cheek Brush, since it would allow you to diffuse the color and layer as needed rather than start out as a clown. With enough swirling on the cheeks, it gives you a nice blush-from-within glow.


I am so sad that I am no longer able to recreate my old lighting setup :(

Aside: I am currently testing a new skincare regimen from L'Occitane and it has completely exceeded my expectations. In the pictures above, I only needed minimal concealer under my eyes and around my nose and mouth to even out my complexion (eyebrows are drawn in, of course). It is so good – I can't wait to share it with you when it launches officially.

I also had a little help from the new Ellis Faas Glow Up highlighter. I suspect the shade I received for review (Porcelain Glow) is a tad bit too light for me, because on perusing the site I found that Satin Glow would work better for my skin tone. Nevertheless, this highlighter is a fine piece of work. Most of the highlighters I own impart glow through noticeable shimmer, whereas Glow Up is so finely milled that I can't detect any, but retain the luminous effect when I apply it to my skin. It's perfect for those who are hesitant to pick up luminizers from the likes of Bobbi Brown and Cle de Peau for fear of it being too "glittery." In the pictures above, I applied Glow Up to the high planes of my face (along the bridge of the nose, above the cheekbones, on the brow bone, cupid's bow and chin).


Ellis Faas Glow Up is sold as a refill ($31.50) and the accompanying holder is available at an admittedly hefty $35. The holder is sturdy, houses a mirror under the cover, and is certainly necessary if you intend to include this in your travel makeup bag, but if you own Z Palettes it might make more financial sense to only purchase the refill.

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

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Fingers in the Cold


It is a happy coincidence that I took a picture of myself holding this bottle of Nails Inc Porchester Square a few months ago in my DKNY Cashmere Pop Top Gloves, because at this point of time I wouldn't be caught dead outside without those tops fully closed. Sometimes, it's hard to stomach the price of cashmere (these gloves are $95), but I've experienced enough winters that I can't deny its efficacy. That and Uniqlo Heattech are my two saving graces this frigid season.

But we were talking about protecting the fingers of those who are untenable toward the cold, so consider this a PSA to get these gloves. It keeps you warm while enabling you to show off your manicure (if you so wish) and use a smart phone with minimal exposure. I'm kind of jealous that it's now on sale at dkny.com.

As for the polish, it's now in a bigger, heavier bottle with the same ol' stuff inside. Porchester Square is a beige mauve shade that would serve as a great nude for most.

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