Friday, 1 August 2014

Givenchy Extravagancia Fall/Winter 2014 Collection

I recently picked up two items from Givenchy's Fall 2014 Collection: a Le Rouge Intense in 315 Framboise Velours and the Blush Mémoire de Forme Pop Up Jelly Blush in Rose Extravagant. All of the Givenchy Fall Collection, including these two items, are limited edition--so get thee to ordering, if you're interested. I purchased mine through Sephora. Barney's also carries Givenchy Beauty, but none of the fall collection is available on their website at the moment.

Wearing 315 Framboise Velours
Given my well-documented love of the Le Rouge lipsticks, I knew I was going to pick up one of the two shades released for fall. I decided on Framboise Velours because I have a deep love for any and all raspberry shades! I'm quite glad I chose Framboise Velours, because the other new shade (207 Rose Plumetis) is apparently very similar to 105 Brun Vintage, which thanks to this post by the beautiful Izzie (in which she is wearing Brun Vintage) is next on my 'to-buy' list.

Givenchy Le Rouge Intense in 315 Framboise Velours
As I have come to expect of Givenchy, the pigmentation and packaging of Framboise Velours is stunning. The formula itself is by far the creamiest of the four Le Rouges I own (I have two from the standard Le Rouge line and two from the Le Rouge Intense line). It verges on almost being too creamy in the sense that it is more difficult than I would like to get a precise line with this lipstick. Considering it is such a deep shade, a precise lip line is vital and I believe I am going to have to find a lip liner to make this bad boy more wearable.

L to R: Givenchy Framboise Velours, Bite Beauty Framboise
I am happy to find a lip liner to make this work as this shade is gorgeous! I've swatched it above next to the Bite Beauty Matte Crème Lip Crayon in Framboise, which I recently reviewed here. The Givenchy is a deeper shade with a stronger purple undertone, but unlike many deep berries (which I find can drain the color out of the face) this has enough pink in it to keep it bright and wearable. I haven't tried it blotted down as a stain yet, but I imagine it would be excellent worn that way, as well!

The second product I picked up from the Givenchy Fall Collection is the exhaustingly long-named Blush Memoire de Forme Pop Up Jelly Blush in the shade Rose Extravagant. At the moment this is the only shade available in this formula, but perhaps Givenchy will release more in the future! A huge part of the reason that I wanted this blush was the texture. Based on promo pictures, I assumed the Pop Up Jelly Blush would be quite similar to the Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelées, which I talked about here. But rather than being firm and truly jelly-like as the Josie Maran Gelées are, the Pop Up Jelly Blush seems to be closer to a gel/mousse hybrid. It is much more liquidy and is soft to the touch. You could easily get away with using your fingers to apply the Givenchy blush, but I've been using my trusty stippling blush.
Givenchy Blush Memoire de Forme Pop Up Jelly Blush in Rose Extravagant: swatched heavily on the left, blended out on the right
A little goes a long way with this blush, which I learned the hard way when I first applied it. I ended up with enough blush to cover my entire face, rather than just my cheeks. The blush has good pigmentation, but the formula is semi-sheer. I am a bit surprised that this was released as part of a fall collection, as the color and formula scream spring/summer to me, rather than fall/winter. It has a light floral fragrance, but I honestly didn't even notice this the first few times I wore the blush. It was only once I read that it had a fragrance and deliberately sniffed the pot that I noticed the scent. If scented products are an absolute deal breaker for you, this is not for you. But it's not overpowering at all, so those who can handle subtle scents might quite enjoy this.

There is no shimmer or glitter in this blush at all, but the sheer formulation allows your skin's natural radiance to come through. I quite like the fresh and natural look that this blush gives, but for me it isn't an absolute 'must have'. The color and texture aren't hugely unique, so you may already have something similar in your collection. But Givenchy devotees such as myself may want to grab it, especially as it is limited edition.

The beautiful and all-around amazing Louise at Lilting Grace has reviewed the Givenchy Harmonie Extravagancia Lip and Eye Palette that was released as part of the fall collection. Head over there to see her review and the gorgeous look she created with it (along with her other kick ass posts!)

The Le Rouge Intense Lipstick in Framboise Velours is available for $36 at Sephora. The Blush Memoire de Forme Pop Up Jelly Blush is available for $37, also at Sephora.

Do you think you'll be picking up anything from the Givenchy Fall Collection? Which fall collections are you waiting for?

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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

YSL Fétiche Couture Palette

YSL Fétiche Couture Palette
If you are a YSL addict like myself there is no doubt that you have seen the absolutely stunning palette that is part of the Fall 2014 Cuirs Fétiches (Leather Fetish.....ooooh, saucy!) Collection. This palette offers five shades in the revamped style YSL released earlier this year. Unlike the other palettes, however, the packaging on this one comes with some gorgeous leather detailing. 

I knew I already liked the formula of these shadows (I reviewed the Couture Palettes in 03 Afrique and 09 Love here), but the shades in Fétiche are a bit outside of my neutral comfort zone, so I initially held off on buying this one. I had an appointment with YSL Artistic Director of Makeup, Dell Ashley, and I wanted to get his opinion on this palette and see how he would apply it on me. By the date of my appointment with him in mid-July, Fétiche had already sold out at my local store, but he scrounged up a tester that he used on me (I instagrammed a not-so-great photo of the look he did on me). As soon as I saw the look he did with Fétiche, I knew I didn't want to live with the regret of not getting this limited edition palette. So, I promptly ordered it and am so glad that I did!

The combination of blue, brown, and bronze in this palette makes it absolutely unique in my collection. Those of you that may have tried the other new YSL palettes and were disappointed in their pigmentation might want to give this a try, as I found all five of the shades more pigmented than either Afrique or Love. Three of the shades do have glitter (the top left, top right, and center shades), while the bottom left is matte and the bottom right seems to have a satin finish.

So far, I've been using the brown and bronze shades on the lid, with the blue and navy shades as liners (the blue shade on the bottom right is stunning, by the way!) Eventually I hope to work up the courage/skill to use the blues as lid colors. You could use the shades in this palette to create a look appropriate for daytime, but I think it is best suited for a more dramatic evening look--especially when used over a dark base, like the MAC Paintpot in Quite Natural.

I am truly loving this palette at the moment. It is making me look forward to cool autumn weather, colorful leaves, and hot drinks! But what I possibly love even more than the Fétiche Palette itself is another product from the Cuirs Fétiches collection: the Babydoll Eyeliner in 18 Bleu Patine.

I am normally not a liquid eyeliner fan, but Bleu Patine is the most stunning color I've ever encountered. It complements Fétiche so wonderfully and the brush makes application so easy. It is a longer and much thinner than many other liquid eyeliner brushes. This allows me to create a very thin line, which is essential given my limited lid space. And the length of the brush makes a cat eye flick with little to no effort (trust me, when it comes to liquid liner I'm quite inept, so anything that does require effort or skill is a no go).

The YSL Babydoll Eyeliner in 18 Bleu Patine at the top.
In my opinion, both the Fétiche palette and Bleu Patine eyeliner are worth picking up. They stand out amongst the sea of neutral products that I own, without being garish or requiring too much bravery to wear. Both Fétiche and Bleu Patine are currently available at Nordstrom, who are also offering a YSL Gift with Purchase (a rarity, indeed) during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, which continues until August 4th or until supplies run out.

Have you tried either of these yet? What other fall collections are you excited for?

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Monday, 28 July 2014

Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush in Cherub

Wearing Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush in Cherub
If memory serves, the first time I heard of the Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush was in a Pixiwoo tutorial. Although intrigued by the idea of this liquid blush, I held off on purchasing one. Then, sometime last year, Amelia Liana made a video about them with Daniel Sandler himself. This brought the Watercolour Blushes back to my attention, but it wasn't until Essiebutton recently spoke of her love of them that I knew I needed to finally try this unique product.

I believe that most (if not all) of us are in the position where we are unable to swatch these blushes in person before deciding on a shade. I had a feeling that the best-selling shade Cherub, a soft pink, would be a good place to start. But I follow Daniel Sandler on Twitter and I've noticed that he seems incredibly engaged with his makeup-loving audience, so I decided to get his opinion directly. Sure enough, he suggested Cherub, which is the shade I gladly purchased! 

This single drop of Cherub will be more than enough to cover both cheeks
Daniel Sandler's Watercolour Blushes are available through a number of online retailers, including ASOS, FeelUnique, LookFantastic, or directly from I ended up ordering mine from LookFantastic, as they were running a 15% off promotion and offer free worldwide delivery. As these retailers are UK-based, shipping takes a bit longer than US-based retailers, but trust me: it's worth the wait. 

The Watercolour Blushes cost £15.50 each, which (depending on the exchange rate and/or the website from which you purchase) is anywhere between $25-$30. This is an absolute bargain considering the high quality of these blushes and the amount of product you get. Each bottle contains 15 mL of product, but you need only one drop (literally just one drop) for both cheeks. I can foresee each of these lasting a long, long time. 
Cherub blended out
To apply these, give the bottle a thorough shaking to make sure the product is mixed. Squeeze out a single drop onto the back of your hand and then use either your finger or a brush to apply the product. I ended up using my Real Techniques Stippling Brush (my preferred method for applying all liquid, cream, or gel blushes). But Daniel Sandler also sells a brush exclusively for this purpose. When I order my next Watercolour Blush, I might invest in this brush as well, as it seems quite unique!

Cherub was exceptionally easy to apply and blend into my skin. I recently posted about the By Terry Cheek to Cheek, another liquid blush formula. The Daniel Sandler, quite frankly, blows the By Terry out of the water. Not only is it less expensive, it has a much more extensive shade range and is much easier to apply. The By Terry is incredibly viscous, whereas the Daniel Sandler (whilst still very much a liquid) is a touch thicker, making it easier to dab on without it running everywhere.

Wearing Cherub on the Cheeks, Bite Beauty Matte Crème Lip Crayon in Sucré on the Lips, and the TooFaced Chocolate Bar Palette with Chanel Illusion d'Ombre in New Moon on the Eyes
For those who fear that liquid or cream products will smudge their foundation or concealer underneath, Cherub did neither. In fact, it blended into the skin beautifully. Another common fear about non-powder blushes is that they will sink into fine lines and pores. My experience with Cherub has been quite the opposite--instead of highlighting the large pores on my cheeks (not to mention the slight scaring I have from some recent outbreaks on my cheeks), it did a great job masking them. This is a product that achieves the often elusive goal of making skin look luminous and radiant without making the face look like a giant disco ball with glitter or shimmer. 

Cherub also did a good job of lasting all day long on my cheeks, which is an impressive feat given my oily skin and the humidity outside. I do not say this lightly, but I genuinely think Cherub might be my favorite blush of all time. It's truly that good. My only dilemma now is which shade to order next!

Have you tried the Watercolour Blushes by Daniel Sandler? What is your favorite shade?

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Sunday, 27 July 2014

Skincare Saviors: My Favorite Masks!

I'm a big fan of facemasks--a bit of a junky, if you will. And while skincare is incredibly individualized, I thought I would share with you my current favorites in case you are on the hunt for a new mask. Keep in mind that my skin is not at all sensitive, but it is very oily and I'm quite prone to clogged pores and congestion. I also sometimes have trouble with hormonal acne around my chin--and recently on my cheeks, as well. 

There are really two categories of face masks that I look for: those that will give a deep clean and those that are exfoliating. The desire for deep cleaning is pretty self-explanatory, but I find that exfoliating masks (and exfoliating skin-care in general) offer two benefits: many of them have anti-aging properties and they also remove the dead skin that triggers a lot of my clogged pores. 

Anyways, without further ado, here are my faves:

REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask: I've spoken of my love for this mask before (at last count, it has made it into three of my monthly favorites lists and in one other 'best of' skincare post!), but I had to include it as any list without this would feel incomplete. Using acids to exfoliate the skin, I find that this helps improve the texture and tone of my skin without feeling overly harsh. It looks and smells like marmalade, and it doesn't burn or have a harsh tingling effect like some others can do. My favorite thing to do is apply this and leave it on for around 30 minutes and then follow up with a deep cleansing mask. I feel that using this to get rid of the dead skin first allows other masks to work more effectively. Available at Sephora for $55. 

Aesop Parsley Seed Mask: This is a clay-based mask meant to smooth and refresh skin, particularly skin that is sensitive or dry. Even though my skin is neither of those things, this mask is a real workhorse. It goes on in a thin layer and is almost skin-colored. It gets a little tight as it dries, but it isn't majorly painful or uncomfortable. As you can see by the picture, this has been a well-loved and much-used mask. I bought it at the same time as the Aesop Chamomile Anti-Blemish mask, but I actually find that this does more to soothe any current outbreaks (and prevent future ones). I probably have 1 or 2 more uses of this mask. Once it is done, I will definitely be repurchasing it, along with some other products from the Aesop Parsley Seed Line. Available at Barney's for $39. 

Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask: Omorovicza is a luxury brand from Hungary that has begun to gain popularity in Europe and the U.S. It is fairly on the pricey side, but if you are savvy in your online shopping, you can often save a bit on items from this brand. For example, the Deep Cleansing Mask is $120 for 50mL at Sephora. But earlier this year, offered a set that contained the Deep Cleansing Mask and the Thermal Cleansing Balm (both 50mL) for around £68 (which is roughly around $115 depending on the exchange rate). So, I got these two products, which would have cost $225 at Sephora for around $115. I realize that is still pricey, but my point is that if you shop around and wait for sales, these can be much more affordable. Anyways, on to the mask itself: this is a mud and clay mask that draws out impurities. You only need a tiny amount each time, so the pot will last you for ages. It feels divine on the skin--cooling and soothing. I swear that it even helps hydrate my skin while I have it on! To me, this is everything that the Glamglow Supermud Mask wants to be. Without fail, I can see a noticeable difference in the clarity of my skin after I use it. Available at Cult Beauty for £57 (around $95).

Olé Henriksen Lemon Strip Flash Peel: This mask is like a much amplified version of the REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask mentioned above. It uses glycolic and lactic acids to resurface the skin and has algae extract to soothe and nourish the skin. The algae is necessary because this mask definitely tingles when you apply it. Since I have quite robust skin, I don't find this particularly troubling, but if you are more sensitive you might want to do a patch test or work on building up your tolerance. I use this rather than the REN when my skin is in bad shape and I always make sure to use a soothing and reparative serum afterwords. It really works on my skin, though, which is worth a little discomfort. One thing to note is that this comes with a brush to apply it, but I highly, highly recommend you skip using this brush as it is the most scratchy and uncomfortable thing in history. You're better off using your fingers or an old paddle foundation brush. Available at Dermstore for $48.

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask: This mask is a cult favorite amongst beauty bloggers, and for good reason. It is cheap and effective, without being too harsh. I prefer the Omorovicza and the Aesop masks to this one, but for a great budget alternative that will really draw out impurities from your skin, this is a great one! Available at Sephora for $17.

Some honorable mentions go out to the Boscia Luminizing Black Mask and the Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask. Both of these are fairly new additions for me, so I didn't feel I could include them here as I want to test them out a few more times. But initial impressions for both have been positive!

What are your favorite face masks? I'm always on the hunt for new ones, so let me know below!

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