Monday, January 16, 2012

Lips I'm Loving

Two things:  first, apologies for the recent blogging hiatus!  It was one of those unintentional no-I-don't-feel-like-writing-today-let's-see-what's-on-TV weeks.  Second: I am absolutely in love with two new-to-me lipsticks and need to explain why they are awesome and deserve a place on your "to purchase" list.

First is Bobbi Brown's Treatment Lip Shine in Moonlight Rose.  This is a moisturizing product (containing, among other things, cocoa and shea butter) that also delivers a beautiful my-lips-but-better effect.  It comes in a surprisingly small, thin tube, which I love since it's easy to slip into a pocket or small purse.


Initially I wasn't a huge fan of this lipstick.  There was a strange, faint smell after application I didn't care for, but I kept using it because the color was so, so gorgeous.  I later determined that the smell was probably from the shea butter (a scent I've never cared for) and after 10 or so uses it appears to have faded considerably.

So what made me a convert?  Well, the color helped.  Midnight Rose is a soft, dusky, rosy brown that perfectly compliments a neutral look.  I most often wear it with Tarte's Exposed blush and an eye from the Naked 1 palette.  Rather than being a boring neutral, though, Moonlight Rose has just a touch of shimmer, making it a more interesting and deeper shade than one would think on first glance.  It also does EXACTLY what it claims in the moisturizing department, and I absolutely love how soft and supple it makes my lips feel.  It does fade unevenly (not a huge problem since it's such a muted shade) after 3-4 hours of wear, which takes points away from its overall awesomeness, but the moisturizing effects last much longer than the color.


The second lipstick I'm loving is Buxom's Big and Healthy Lip Tarnish in Scandal.  This is one of my rare in-store Sephora purchases, and was a total impulse buy.  I was actually planning to get a Benefit lipstick that day, but since the spring line hadn't arrived yet, I started to peruse the Buxom display.  This gloss/stain/plumper pencil caught my eye, and a swatch of the lovely color on my hand compelled me to plunk down my $18.  It was a good decision.


Lip Tarnish is a sharpenable pencil (and includes a sharpener in the cap, which is a huge plus in my book since I never carry lone sharpeners in my travel makeup bag) that, like the Lip Shine above, does what it says it will.  It glides on fairly easily (there's not a lot of slip in the product, so expect a bit of tugging) and then stays there until the cows come home.  The "gloss" shine lasts at least 2-3 hours without feeling overly tacky.  Like all other Buxom lip products I've tried, this one plumps with a gentle tingling sensation that isn't uncomfortable in the way so many lip plumpers can be, and it leaves behind a very pleasant minty scent. As a color, Scandal is a warm mauve that pairs well with my pinkier blushes (Buxom's Hervanna in particular). 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Bargain fragrance sets? Sign me up!

I don't typically feel comfortable writing about perfume because I have no idea how to describe a fragrance beyond whatever is printed on the packaging and "it smells pretty." I do love fragrance, though, and my favorite perfume purchase of the holiday season is easily the Sephora-exclusive Love Yourself sampler set from Tocca.


For $18 you get seven .05 oz spritzers of Tocca perfumes packaged in a very nice cardboard box that closes securely to prevent breakage if dropped. The scents included are: Cleopatra, Bianca, Stella, Florence, Brigette, Giulietta, and Colette. Unless you're bathing in the stuff, I'd guess each spritzer could be used for at least two weeks straight, which is more than enough time to try it out and decide if you'd like to indulge in a full-sized bottle ($68 at Sephora).

There's really a fragrance or five in this set for every preference, and I know my only challenge when they're gone is going to be deciding which bottle to purchase first. Bianca is my current favorite, though my preference seems to change based on which scent I'm wearing at the time.

This is a limited edition set, so if you've ever been tempted to give Tocca a try now is the time to do it!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The MAC Skunk Brush--My New BFF

It is a truth universally acknowledged that when C receives any amount of money as a gift she will inevitably wind up spending it on makeup. Ergo, when my mother-in-law sent me some cash for Christmas, my first instinct was to rush to the local Sephora (inside JC Penny, but beggars can't be choosers) to indulge myself.

As fate would have it, however, there wasn't a parking space to be seen in the vicinity of Penny's, so I had to park on the other side of the mall and enter through Dillard's. Now, we don't have many good department stores in my small city, but Dillard's has an excellent selection of makeup counters that are run by incredibly nice people. I refuse to go anywhere near the counters at Macy's unless I'm desperate because the sales associates know far less about their products than even I do (and I'm hardly an expert) but I've learned some really valuable things from my friends at Dillard's. So it is hardly a surprise that I...lingered there for awhile. Naturally, I found more than a few things to spend my Christmas money on (Chanel's spring collection is calling my name seductively) but the item I wound up purchasing came as a total and very welcome surprise.

I'd been looking for a good new foundation brush for awhile, and when I stopped by the MAC counter the associate suggested that I try the 227. It's their "large" skunk brush (the 228 is the "small") and at first glance didn't look like quite what I had imagined when I asked about applying liquid foundation. It works like a dream, though, and creates a beautiful glowing finish that is frankly astonishing. I swear it even makes my pores look noticeably smaller.

I actually like this brush so much that I bought a second one today to use on my finishing powder.  I'll report back soon on how well it works for me in that respect.