Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Recent H&M Finds

I've been scouring H&M this week and came out with 3 cute new things. They're all relatively new and should still be in store if you are interested:



Despite the wrinkles - it's my big turnoff about H&M, everything seems to look like it came out of a hole - this sleeveless blouse caught my eye because of the pretty lace detailing at the collar. Has a large pocket and it isn't too sheer. Me likey!

Next up I got some jewels - this ring was the only one on the shelf and in a size small, which wouldn't fit any of my fingers except above the knuckle of my middle finger which I though looked pretty interesting and cool.


Finally I satisfied my cravings for skulls (I was eyeing this Tom Binns bracelet but not really loving the price) so when I saw this little 3 ring set I picked it up - they look nice on their own or all stacked together on the index finger like some sort of badass cocktail ring... which probably make my finger green by the end of the day but I don't mind haha :)


Have you had any fun and affordable finds recently?

I'm always on the hunt for something new and interesting, and if it doesn't break the budget it's that much better!

Hope you're having a great week.

xox

Sandra

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Red Lip (with Revlon)

I've been slowly getting more into bright lips recently. I'm slowly abandoning the pastures of neutral pinks and beiges for the more daring bright pinks and reds so I was thrilled when this week's video theme was to create a look featuring a red lip.


The lipstick, Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in #725 "Love That Red", is absolutely gorgeous and a joy to apply. I love the brightness and slight sheen of it.



In the video I show a more polished way to wear it paired with the Revlon ColorStay Lipliner in "Red". The lipliner is more of a classic red shade so it tones down the brightness of the lipstick a bit and makes it into a more demure red lip. I love to wear the lipstick with or without liner though. I am wearing it alone, just dabbed with my fingers as a stain, in this outfit of the day video from last month. 

Next is the rising star of the show - the Revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer. The one I have is in shade 001. Shade 002 is the Color Correcting Primer that I featured in a previous post and is a lightly pink-toned primer that corrects sallowness in the face.


The Revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer is slightly more rigid in texture, if that makes any sense. It feels less fluffy and whipped when it comes out of the tube and you only need a small amount to smooth over the entire face. It's on par with many other high end primers I have tried (NARS, MAC or Smashbox) and it doesn't feel greasy on the skin. A little goes a long way - if you apply too much of it, you might notice that it starts peeling off if you use too much. 

leave it to my DSLR camera to uncover arm hairs I never knew I had
smooth and perfected!
One pump is usually enough to cover my entire T-zone and cheek areas. It definitely helps with the longevity of makeup (I still get oil breakthroughs but not as badly and the oil diffuses nicely) and pores are minimized. Definitely check it out next time you're in the market for a new primer. It's slightly better suited for oily skins than the coloured version, although that one does brighten up the face on those sallow days.

Last but not least - what completes any look: nail polish! In the video I am wearing a new shade of Revlon ColorStay Nail Enamel called "Bold Sangria". I know we are supposed to be rocking pastels and neons this spring and summer, but I still get in the mood for a dark vampy "wine-stained" purple.

opaque coverage in one coat
I have 10 of these nail enamels to give away, generously sponsored by Revlon, so if you are interested and would like to enter the draw, do so with your name and e-mail address below and in about a week I will randomly choose 10 winners, contact you and mail out your prizes!

Hope you enjoyed this look and happy Friday :)

Click here for more beauty tips!

xox

Sandra

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

NARS Tinted Moisturizer - Review and Application

I've been using this product regularly for about a month now, and I have received so many questions about it since it's quite new to the market. I wanted to properly try it out for an extended period of time before I give it a review and here we are!



My shade: Alaska (Light2)
SPF: 30 PA+++

What NARS claims: "Infused with lush, naturally derived ingredients, this lightweight tinted moisturizer immediately helps thirsty skin feel hydrated. It has been proven to help reduce the appearance of discoloration and dark spots caused by hyper pigmentation for a clearer and brighter complexion in just four weeks. Oil-free and luxurious, it obscures the appearance of lines, wrinkles, pores and other imperfections. SPF 30/ PA+++ adds a translucent veil of protection. "

Did I like it? Yes.
Would I stay loyal and repurchase once I use it up? Probably not.

Here's the thing... while it does live up to its claims to be lightweight and to immediately help thirsty skin feel hydrated (I do have combination/oily skin and I found this to be hydrating enough to use during the day without any additional moisturizer underneath) it did not do anything to help reduce the appearance of discolouration or hyper pigmentation. I did use it on a daily basis for just over 4 weeks. It costs $49 in Canada, $42 in the USA.


The finish of if is nice and natural. Not too matte, not too glowy, I guess I can say it's a satin finish.
It does apply a bit streaky with the fingers (needs some work to blend) but I like using it with a Sigma F80 brush and I find that I get the best results that way.


blended
Coverage: Light. I don't have a lot of tinted moisturizer experience (the only two that I had used previously were Dior HydraLife and Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint), but in terms of coverage the NARS Pure Radiance Tinted Moisturizer is on par with others. Doesn't offer any more or less coverage, although it is easier to work with than the Liz Earle and doesn't quite set as quickly as the Dior.

evens out the skin tone but still shows through some imperfections
The scent is very faint... slightly "lemony" and pleasant.

Lasting power - average. It doesn't matter if I powder or what I powder with, oils do break through within an hour and while they do diffuse nicely and create a radiant glow, by the end of the day there just isn't any coverage left, it would literally come off my face as I blotted any excess oils... so, not transfer-resistant at all. The NARS artist recommended that I use their NARS primer for oily skin (the one that is also supposed to reduce pores) - he gave me a sample of it and I used it with the tinted moisturizer but it didn't make any difference. 

If you have normal/dry skin or a slightly oily T-zone, you might be a bit more over the moon about this than I am. Like I said, I do like it and I think it's a nice product. It hasn't broken me out and I do enjoy using it throughout the day, especially due to its good SPF. Maybe if it lived up to its claims of helping improve skin tone over time, I would be more thrilled. 

I am going to continue using it and will definitely let you know if I see any improvements over a longer period of time. I haven't had any breakouts in a while so the marks that you see left behind in photos are relatively old so I can keep a good eye on them and see if they go down (I haven't changed anything in my skincare routine since I started using this, just so I can test out those claims).

OK, enough blabbing. I hope you found this review useful, and I do recommend you check it out and at least try it on/get a sample since as we all know, what works for me might not always work for you.
If your skin is oily, this won't impress you because of its poor staying power and diminishing coverage. It also does oxidize a slight bit on the skin after a few hours.


In conclusion, it is a good product and I don't regret buying it. If you're in the market for a new tinted moisturizer like I was, give it a shot. Just don't run out to get it (especially if you have like 3 other TMs on rotation) because it's not really that different from other TMs on the market... ya know what I mean?

Hope your week is going well and don't forget to check out my YouTube channel for a video that I did showing how I apply this product and a simple daytime look to go along with it.

xo

Sandra

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye

Oh, the dreaded under-eye area...

I was using my La Roche Posay Hydraphase eye gel morning and night and while that delivered the perfect amount of moisture to my under-eye area (and diminished those pesky fine lines of dehydration), I was still having troubles with dark circles and puffiness.
So off I went on the hunt for something new... and stopped at the Kiehl's counter. I was in the US at the time so I found Kiehl's at Saks Fifth Avenue. Other department stores like Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus carry the range as well. Holt Renfrew in Canada also carries it. Or, if all else fails - the Kiehl's website is available for all your shopping needs and they have great service to Canada. My friend orders from them all the time and she was the one who pushed me to try something from their range.

I had heard rumblings about the eye cream with Avocado by Kiehl's, which many people love, but I hate greasy-feeling eye creams and after reading a few reviews I just knew it wouldn't work for me. 
So, I chose the Midnight Recovery Eye - a treatment loaded with botanical extracts and all that good stuff that is to be used nightly and promises to help fight dark circles and puffiness. Exactly what I had been looking for.



I like the way Kiehl's packages their stuff - classic and to the point, no crazy bells and whistles. I also love the scent of this product, it's very soft and herbal. The texture of Midnight Recovery Eye is great, it's a light cream that sinks in immediately upon application leaving no greasy residue whatsoever. It just feels like the ingredients get in there and started working. It also works well layered with my La Roche Posay Hydraphase if I'm in need of an extra moisture boost.

When I wake up in the morning my eye area just looks and feels nicely refreshed. Puffiness is kept at bay. I don't think there is any one magical product out there that will completely diminish darkness under the eyes (a lot of under-eye darkness is hereditary and there's not much you san do about that), but it is nice when you buy a skincare product that doesn't disappoint. 

Do I wake up in the morning looking like I just dropped out of a fairytale? No. But my under-eye area does look and feel a whole lot better since using this product.

So, if you are looking for something new to use overnight under the eyes give Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye a shot. If you have a super dry under-eye area you might want to either layer this with a more intense hydrating cream or look for something else because you might not like the texture of this. I love it though!

Current routine is using this nightly (sometimes with La Roche Posay Hydraphase on top if I need more hydration) and in the morning I use La Roche Posay Hydraphase by itself.

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye retails for $36 US ($38 CAN).

Hope you're having a great end to your week. I am done exams this week so I'll be back full force soon :)


Thursday, April 12, 2012

This Jacket...

Just a warning that this is the dullest, most pointless blog post ever...

However, today as I was doing my daily dose of online "window-shopping" I came across this glorious little thing and I just had to share it with you all.


The price is slightly depressing, however the piece is badass. 
Brand is called By Zoe, a French brand I am unfamiliar with.
I am never usually attracted to anything denim except for bottoms, but the way the denim is mixed with the tweed in this jacket just makes my heart sing.

I need to get my mixed texture jacket fix soon, if you remember not too long ago I was lusting for a leather sleeved one but I managed to endure life without it (so dramatic, eh) haha...

Are there any droolworthy items that you found this week?

x

Monday, April 2, 2012

If you close your eyes, it's a beautiful world (Outfit Of The Day)

Not sure what I'm doing here, but I thought it looked cool so here I am, bobbing my head to the side and closing my eyes! It's proper spring weather here - crisp and sunny and it makes me happy!

Here is what I wore:


Makeup: 
NARS Tinted Moisturizer (I am in the shade Alaska)... I have been getting a ton of questions about it and I promise a more thorough review will come once I use it a bit more. It claims to do all these fancy skin improvements (like fading hyperpigmentation) so I've gotta see if there is any truth to that! It is nice though. I wouldn't say I'm blown away by it or anything, but it is nice. 

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage concealer (shade SC-4) on any problem areas,
Burberry Tangerine blush,
Dior Amber Diamond as a highlight.
On the eyes I used Benefit "Where There's Smoke" eyeshadow all over the lid, and "Hot Stone" by Bobbi Brown in the crease. Eyeliner was MAC Kohl Power in "Raven", mascara was Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill.
On my lips I am wearing one of my favourite lip combinations as of late - Lancome "Bronzelle" lipliner, YSL "Lingerie Pink" lipstick (that liner makes that lipstick so much better and more wearable for me), and a touch of MAC Dazzleglass in "Baby Sparks" at the centre of the lips.



Outfit:
I have to apologize in advance that I have no idea what brand my shirt is. I got it in Arizona from a small local boutique by the ASU campus, and it cost around $30. The tag of it that said the brand ripped and fell off after numerous washes. I've worn this top a lot, I love it! You can find things along the same lines (this one from ASOS is pretty cute and would fit the outfit just as well).

Jeans are my newest clothing acquisition - coated black skinny jeans by J Brand. I had patiently been waiting for them to go on sale because I refused to pay full price for them. Every time I had seen them on a casual Olivia Palermo outfit it made me want them even more (although hers are probably the full on leather ones, not the coated haha). J Brand is my favourite brand for premium denim, by far. I find that they fit me the best. It's not a bargain brand but I buy jeans once or twice a year so it ends up being worth it for me.

Finishing up with my trusty ol' DV Dolce Vita "Wink" loafers. I wasn't able to find them online anymore, they seemed to have sold out since they were one of last year's models. However I found a similar pair by Steve Madden here if you are interested. They're more studded but they look really cool in person - I tried them on not that long ago :)

I hope your week is off to a good start!

xox

Sandra

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Subtle Bronzy Look with Revlon

This month I got the exciting opportunity to create a bronzy, glowy look with the help of some Revlon products:


The new Revlon PhotoReady Color Correcting Primer made my complexion smooth and it helped foundation glide on easily (I used the Bourjois Healthy Mix in the shade 52). Also, because of its slight pink tint, it helps neutralize any sallowness.


It fills in any lines or large pores and I found that I didn't need to use as much foundation while using this (I only used about half a pump of foundation for my whole face)

before primer
after primer - nice and smooth!

The primer is definitely on par with other higher end primers I have tried and much more wallet-friendly. If you can't live without your makeup primer, I think this one is worth a try. It's lightweight, oil free, paraben free and has no fragrance, making it perfect for sensitive skins as well.

left - Revlon PhotoReady Sculpting Blush Palette in Peach (mixed together)
right - Revlon Bronzer in shade 01 Natural Bronze
On the cheeks I combined Revlon Bronzer in the shade 01 "Natural Bronze" - which is a warm brown with a satin finish, good pigmentation and easy to blend. Unfortunately mine had a little accident but it's perfect for a soft sunkissed look. I do love my matte bronzers but sometimes a bronzer with a hint of sheen really lifts the complexion and fits the "sunkissed" bill a bit more accurately!



The sculpting blush palette in "Peach" is most suitable as a highlight. All three colours in the palette have shimmer, so I found that they worked best blended together and applied as a highlight on the top of the cheekbones. The shades are quite sheer so they are best layered on top of bronzer/blush.


Finally, my favourite of the bunch - Revlon PhotoReady Concealer. I am using the shade 002 Light, which is perfect for brightening the under-eye area. Now if you have any blue/green under tones, I suggest you use a corrector underneath to neutralize those tones, then glide on this concealer to lift and brighten. It glides on smoothly, has a medium coverage and is easy to blend. I set it with my usual powder - Benefit Powderflage - and it lasts all day.



I hope you enjoyed the little demo and make sure you check out the products next time you're perusing the aisles in search for new makeup!

Also if you won last month's Revlon giveaway your prize should be on its way, I mailed everything out this week. Congratulations to the 10 lucky ladies :)

Click here for more fun beauty tips.

xo

Sandra


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