Sephora Beauty Insider Birthday Gift from Make Up For Ever

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My birthday was earlier this month and I stopped into Sephora to do some shopping and picked up my Beauty Insider Birthday Gift from Make Up For Ever.  It is a mini lipstick and mascara set.


The lipstick is the Rouge Artist Natural.  It is a beautiful formula.  It is a creamy with a translucent soft,shiny finish.  This one is a MLBB (my lips but better) shade.  It doesnt specify which shade it is but from comparing the different shade options online it looks like it is N9 Copper Pink.  I think it is a huge hit, perfect for keeping in your pocket or handbag to touch up with throughout the day.

The mascara is the Smoky Extravagant version that has the teardrop shaped brush.  It is a precision mascara that claims to add curl, length, and volume.  It is said to be long-lashing and clump-free.  Using 4D technology, an exclusive microdefining wax complex envelopes the lash surface in ultrablack pigments for far-away impact and up-close precision.  I have used it a couple times and while I think it is good, I wasn’t completely blown away.

I bet you can’t wait for your birthday to get here so you can pick up your sweet gift.  If you can’t wait feel free to use my links to the full-sized product(s).
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Laura Mercier Spring Renaissance Collection: Creme Cheek Colour in Sunrise and Creme Smooth Lip Colour in Palm Beach

Press Sample

Spring makeup releases are my favorites.  It is a wake up from the toned down deeper shades of Fall and Winter.  It says, “HELLO, I am bright and happy and ready to take on the world!”  Laura Mercier’s Spring Renaissance Collection is all about color and the shades I have for you are on the tangerine-pink side of the color palete.

The Creme Cheek Colour in Sunrise ($24) is a gorgeous “clean orange”.  To me it is a peachy orange.  Perfect to mimic that freshly-kissed-by-the-sun glow your cheeks get in the spring!  It is a long-lasting, natural cheek colour formulated to provide translucent, buildable coverage for a soft, velvety finish.  The consistency is creamy, but thin which is how it delivers the beautiful, buildable pigmentation that makes it special!

The Creme Smooth Lip Colour in Palm Beach ($27) is the PERFECT color for spring.  It is a tangerine pink and I love it.  This is my very favorite item from the entire collection.  It is a luxurious lipstick that gives lips the ultimate in colour, texture, and finish. In one smoothing swipe, the crème formula envelops lips in rich colour with a semi-lustrous finish.  It is comfortable on the lip as well as leaving a beautiful glossy, color-rich finish!

In the photo below the blush is on the left and the lipstick is on the right.  It is simply amazing!  I will be featuring these in a look coming very soon!

Get on over and take a look at the entire Spring Renaissance Collection from Laura Mercier.  There is lots of color to be seen.  It includes a little something for everyone!  Judging the entire collection on the two products I have for you, it is fabulous!

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*The products mentioned in this post were provided for editorial consideration.  All opinions are my own, all links for your convenience!

Merle Norman Creamy Liqcolor in Marmalade

Merle Norman Cream Lipcolor is one of my favorite formulations of lipstick.  They have a nice luxurious feel.  It is nice and moisturizing while also providing opaque smooth color.  
The one I am showing you today is in the shade Marmalade.  It is a pretty peachy-coral shade.  It isn’t electric like some peachy-coral summer-in-a-tube lipsticks, it is beautiful, creamy version.
“Supremely cushiony, this moisturizing formula imparts luxurious color in one creamy stroke!” -Merle Norman

This lipstick is so opaque.  One swipe will literally be all you need!  I would describe the finish of this lipstick as a creamy matte (non-shimmer) with a luminous finish.  It is one of those beautiful lipsticks that is completely comfortable on the lips and looks great without a gloss.  It makes wearing a beautiful lipcolor effortless.

Marmalade is on the warmer side.  I do feel like it is suitable for warm or cool skin tones but if you are on the extreme-cool-tone side then this may be difficult for you to pull off.  I am a neutral skin tone (equal parts of pink and yellow) and I am in love with it.  Since the day this lipstick touched my lips for the first time I have been wearing it non-stop.

Merle Norman Creamy Lipcolor in Marmalade is part of their Summer 2013 collection.  It is a permanent shade, so if you happen to fall in love with it you can repurchase it over and over again.  It retails for $15 and can be found at a Merle Norman boutique near you.  If you aren’t sure where one is located, visit the Studio Finder on merlenorman.com.  
*The product mentioned in this post was provided for editorial consideration and/or an honest review.  All opinions are my own.  Links are for your convenience. 

L’Oreal Colour Caresse Gloss Stain

Lip products aren’t usually the items I hoard, but recently there have been so many absolutely great high end dupes FLOODING the drugstores.  I am not a fan of spending a ton of money on high end lip products so when there are dupes I will almost always spring for them.  L’Oreal Colour Caresse Gloss Stains are said to be dupes for the YSL Glossy Stains.  I have none of the YSLs but I am loving the L’Oreal glosses.  

The packaging is okay: gold in shade and very lightweight.  I do like that you can see the color through the clear section of the tube.  It makes it easy to find which one (if you own several–like a good makeup hoarder should) you are looking for easily.  The close up tight, which is always a relief.  I really dislike flimsy packaging that doesn’t close securely.  

The shape of the doe-foot applicator is almost exact to the YSL Glossy Stains–very thin when turned sidewys and wide and arrow shaped with turned face on.  It has a slight bend and I feel that it really hugs the lips perfectly.  
The texture of the gloss is very thin and lightweight.  The color is very build-able.  The high-gloss shine doesn’t go away when the product dries down, it stays looking very hydrated and fresh.  It lasts a super long time.  I was wearing them for a couple of hours and then went to dinner.  By the end of dinner my color had finally faded, but that is a lot of action it stood up to.  

Lilac Ever After is a lovely pinky nude.  I don’t really understand why the name of this is Lilac Ever After because I see only a very slight lilac tint but it is mostly a nude-pink.

This one is the most sheer of all the colors I chose.  It looks the most like a gloss of them all.  The color is pretty and it is a nice daytime option because while it adds a touch of color it isn’t overpowering.  

Infinite Fuchsia is a pretty, bold option.  I can’t decide if I want to call it fuchsia or berry.  Either way it is beautiful.  My favorite color of the three I purchased.  

Please excuse the blotchy swatches.  It looks much better on the lips than this picture shows.  I literally slapped it on and snapped a picture.  

Endless Red is very pretty.  I was excited to try this because I have been dying to own a glossy red that doesn’t transfer easily (my husband has been too)!

This red has an orange tint but the plummy tones in my lips make it look more neutral.  

The swatches below, in order are: Lilac Ever After, Infinite Fuchsia, and Endless Red.  

I snapped pictures of the display case.  I want to share the full display so you know what you may be looking for.  
There are lots of colors to choose from.  

I want to mention that these lip products have several different names.  I believe in Europe they are being called Shine Caresse and in the States they are being called Colour Caresse.  I have seen other names too but these seem to be the two most popular names.
I give the L’Oreal Colour Caresse Gloss Stains 5 out of 5 stars.  The formula and texture is magnificent and I wouldn’t be surprised if I decided to buy several more… like all of them.  
Have you tried these yet?  Are you looking for them currently?  Which colors interest you the most?  Let me know in the comments below!  

REVIEW: Dior 500 Point Perk at Sephora

I mentioned last week that Sephora has a 500 Point Perk available right now from Dior.  I have become a huge fan of the brand over the last year and could not pass this up.  I am excited to give you a look at the goodies.  

On the back of the box there is detailed ingredient information on each individual item.

I know I take a lot of pictures that are probably unnecessary but I want you to see how I experienced the unboxing.  I enjoy seeing how things are packaged and the care that went into it.

There are two fragrances, a lipstick and a charm bracelet.  All the beauty goodies are minis.

The charm bracelet is cute, but to be completely honest–I will likely never even use it.  The colors of the ribbons are pretty I just don’t really see it fitting into my regular jewelry collection.  If the same star charm would have been on a silver chain I would totally sport it.

The lipstick is in 578 Diorkiss which is a sheer dark pink.  It looks darker in the tube than it is on the lips.  This size is perfect for slipping in a clutch on a fun night out.

The two fragrances are from the Dior Addict line and they are Eau Fraiche and Eau Sensuelle.
Eau Fraiche is described as:
“Dior Addict Eau Fraîche begins with a sparkling, alluring burst of fresh femininity. Crisp, clean notes of bergamot, grapefruit, and orange mingle with fresh, floral notes and ripe fruits, soothed with warm sandalwood and white musk. 

Notes:
Bergamot, Grapefruit, Orange, Freesia, Lily of the Valley, Lotus Flower, Pineapple, Watermelon, Grenadine, Sandalwood, White Musk. 
Style:
Flirty. Optimistic. Surprising.”

VERDICT:
It is definitely a more citrus-fruity floral.  I am not a fan of this scent but my husband said he really liked it.  I didn’t identify with it even though I really enjoy sandalwood and white musk which are the base notes.  The combination overall didn’t really impress me.

Eau Sensuelle is described as:
“Confident and sweet, she lives life fully and loves intensely. Addict Eau Sensuelle opens with an addictive bouquet of precious flowers. Sparkling rose, vibrant jasmine, lilac, and white musk evoke a natural, floral freshness that is both delicate and radiant. 

Notes:
Jasmine, Lilac, Rose, White Musk. 
Style:
Confident. Sweet. Intense.”

VERDICT:
I completely enjoy this scent.  It is a deep floral and the name is PERFECT!  It is the best description that I could give, very sensual.  My husband LOVES this one.  And actually a few different men I work with stopped me to ask me what fragrance I was wearing on Friday.  No doubt, it was this.

I hope you like my summary/review of this 500 Point Perk.  This is the first one I have actually cashed in on. Every other time I am interested they are sold out before I know about them.  I pounced on this one immediately to ensure I would get it. 
What is your favorite beauty item by Dior?  Have you cashed in points for a 500 Point Perk?  Let me know in the comments below!

Taupe-Tastic Tuesday: Maybelline Tenacious Taupe

This is one Taupe-tastic Tuesday that almost never happened!  :)  I had all sorts of crazy events come up today that kept putting me off editing these pictures to get them up to you! 
So… this week’s taupe isn’t an eyeshadow… First one!!!  Today I want to talk about the new Limited Edition Maybelline Color Sensational lipstick for Mercedez Benz Fashion Week 2012 in Tenacious Taupe!

This is my first venture into taupe lipsticks…  Well, maybe not.  I am a big nude lip fan!  Not zombie nude lips but definitely a neutral lighter brown/rosy type of nude and that is what this lipstick color is… 

These come in the regular Maybelline Color Sensational packaging, and I believe that the brown-y nude colors even have this burgundy type of lid.  

The swatches below shows that it is a rosy type of tan/brown.  In the swatch it looks like it is very reminiscent of the 90s brown lipstick look but on the lips it translates into a lighter shade.  

You can even see here that it actually looks lighter when the flash is on it. 

Here is the lip swatch!  :)  I cannot tell you how much I love this shade.  It actually really looks a lot like the MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 lipgloss.  I have that and wear it pretty often and this is similar for sure.  The lip swatch below was taken in direct sunlight with no flash.

Fall is coming in a hurry and I tend to switch to more nude-toned lips during that season because I tend to play up the eyes a bit more dramatically with jewel tones and deeper neutrals.  
This lipstick retails from anywhere from $4-10 depending on where you buy it.  It is currently out in stores but it is limited edition so if you are intersted I would pick it up in a hurry!  What taupe are you wearing today?  Do you own any nude/taupe lipsticks?  Let me know in the comments below!  

Illamasqua Lipstick Swatches

I have never owned a single item from Illamasqua but a sweet friend of mine, LeeLeeBell, from MakeupAlley LOVES their lipstick line.  She recently posted the swatches of her favorites so I wanted to share them with you.  
Information from the brand:
“Let your lips speak volumes with this color-intense lipstick. Indulge in this highly pigmented formula that’s available in a choice of flawless finishes from matte to glossy. Illamasqua Lipstick glides on smoothly for the perfect pout that stays put all night.”

What LeeLeeBell says:
“They are the smoothest, most long lasting mattes I own; honestly they are the best stains too. They last as long on my lips than most stains. They combine beautifully with Revlon Lip Butters too btw, if you’re into adding some gloss to your mattes without gooping up the texture…

If I had to answer: The ones that are my least favorite of the bunch (because they are not as smooth) are Diablo and Fable. In general, the reds are my favorite. And Atomic :-D”


L-R: Diablo, Sangers, Drench (LeeLeeBell’s HG red), Maneater, Salacious, Atomic, Welt, Brink, Scandal, Fable

L-R: Diablo, Sangers, Drench (HG red), Maneater

L-R: Salacious, Atomic, Welt

L-R: Brinks, Scandal, Fable

I hope these swatches helped you chose a perfect color for yoruself.  Thanks for looking!  If you have something from the brand and love it, tell me below!  I feel like I need to pick something up!!! :)
xoxo, 
Laura

Sephora + Pantone Universe: Color of the Year 2012 Tangerine Tango

There has been a lot of buzz lately about “The Color Of the Year” and I was lucky enough to purchase this 6 piece kit with the recent Beauty Insider/VIB 15% discount sale.  I own relatively no orange shades of any form in my collection and I thought this was the best bang for my buck to try out a full face of the tropical hue.  
I have seen/heard a lot of people complaining about the excessive packaging on some of the individual products but the box that this kit came in wasn’t completely oversized like some of the individual products.  I think it was quite an appropriate amount of packaging.  Also, the detail of the packaging is perfect.  Feels nice and luxe but simple.  

The products themselves have a nice luxe feel to them as well.  I am sure that by now everyone knows about the magnetic closing devices of the products–the lipstick has a magnetic lid that clings to the base and the eyeshadow quad and blush duo have the magnetic closure very similar to Inglot packaging.  

I am going into detail on the specific items from left to right in the kit.  First up is the ‘Color of the Year Eyeliner in Tangerine Tango Twist‘.  It is a twist up eyeliner which is perfect because you don’t have to worry about sharpening it ever.  It is a fun and unexpected item in the mix, at least for me because I rarely venture outside of black eyeliner.  


Here we have the Color of the Year Eyeshadow Quad.  
This quad contains:
- Scallop Shell, Pantone #12-1010 (nude) 
- Carnelian, Pantone #16-1435 (orange) 
- Sparrow, Pantone #18-1404 (plum) 
- Pavement, Pantone #19-3900 (black glitter) 

At first glance I was thinking that this quad doesn’t really harmonize with the entire tone of the kit but after I swatched them I see how well it all works together.  My favorite color in this quad is actually quite unexpected but it is the one called Scallop Shell.  I usually am not attracted to colors that are on the whiter/brighter scale but something about this color just screams out “HEAVEN” to me.  I love it.  

The Color of the Year Prisma Chrome Blush in Apricot Brandy is very interesting.  
The Sephora site says:
“This revolutionary blush combines all the best features of baked, powder, and cream formulas, releasing perfect color and a texture that lays on cheeks like a second skin. Easily blendable and buildable without being powdery, this unique blush leaves an unbelievably polished finish. The warm shade, Apricot Brandy (PANTONE #17-1540), was inspired by the Color of the Year, Tangerine Tango, and will light up the apples of your cheeks with a spirited glow.”

I don’t consider this as much of a blush as I do a highlighter.  I was thinking that in the pan it looks awful close to the other shimmery blush or even the shimmery orange eyeshadow but once swatched it is noticeably different.  It is a nice addition to the blush duo.

The Color of the Year Blush Duo is probably one of the items I was most excited to get my hands on.  
This duo contains:
- Coral, Pantone #15-1439 (Color of the Year with gold shimmer) 
- Desert Flower, Pantone #15-1435 (light orange matte)

The Sephora site says:
“This micro-fine pressed-powder duo delivers unprecedented wear in combination with extreme comfort and color purity. The spirited color combination was inspired by the Color of the Year and each shade can be worn alone or layered for a contoured look. Light, yet creamy to the touch, this translucent powder is packed with brown seaweed extract to keep your skin soft and supple. Smooth away fine lines and blemishes with a veil of natural coverage and give cheeks a warm, energized flush. “

These colors are BREATHTAKINGLY beautiful.  I can absolutely say that these will definitely become a staple this spring and summer… and who knows, maybe into the fall.  I love that there is a matte and shimmery shade.  

The Color of the Year Lipstick in Tangerine Tango Cream was one of the first things that I saw a video on YouTube about from this collection.  I suppose there was a special invitation to VIBs to order this early.  What everyone says is true… it smells good and it is a nice creamy wearable version of orange.  

The Color of the Year Lipgloss in Tangerine Tango Luminous is a nice shimmery version of the lipstick.  When swatched they actually look very similar in color, major difference being the sparkle.  This lipgloss is very creamy and wears like a liquid lipstick.

Here are the swatches outside in the sunlight.
L to R:
Eyeliner in Tangerine Tango Twist
Eyeshadows: Sparrow Pavement, Scallop Shell, Carnelian
Prisma Chrome Blush in Apricot Brandy
Blush Duo: Desert Flower and Coral 
Lipstick
Lipgloss

Here are the exact same swatches taken indoors with a flash.  

I obviously haven’t worn these items yet so my review is pending.  Let me know if you want me to update this post after I have given it a good try or do an entirely separate post on it.  Either way would be fine with me.  I had to get these swatches up for you ASAP while it is still a fresh, new kit.  :)  If you got something from the collection tell me your thoughts and also let me know if you plan on picking something up.  Do you normally wear orange or is it something new and different for you? 
xoxo,
Laura

Lipstick Shape Psychology

Hello everyone!  A long time ago I heard someone talk about the “Lipstick Shape Psychology” and I searched and searched the internet trying to find a blog post or something on it SOMEWHERE, with no luck!  This quiz tells you which personality you are based upon the shape of the bullet of the lipstick after you have used it and worn it down.  
I recently saw these images on beautypress.com and I HAD to share it with you guys.  It is so funny because it is really fairly true.  :)  If you want to have some fun and see what the your lipstick shape says about you please keep reading and post your results in the comments below.  I love things like this… it is very “Cosmo Magazine Quiz”! haha
Stick shape no 1: The daredevil

She is daring, imaginative and very sensual, a creative type with lots of spirit and a strong personality. She loves surprises and a varied life, and her lipstick looks just as adventurous. Worn down equally on both sides, it looks like the mouthpiece of a whistle. She couldn’t care less about conventions and goes her own individual way.


Stick shape no 2: The buddy

She has a carefree disposition, she is eloquent and a born diplomat. Friends often ask her for advice, because she is a good listener and always gets to the heart of things. She handles her lipstick just as straightforwardly as she goes through her life. It is worn off flat and reliably. Women do not consider her a competitor, and men do not consider her a sex object – no matter how pretty she looks. 

Stick shape no 3: The super woman

She is gentle, feminine, and has a deep need for peace and harmony. Everybody feels at ease in her company, because she is has no rough edges – she simply is a marvellous lover, an excellent cook, and a loving wife. Everything in her life proceeds in a purposeful and planned manner, because she leaves nothing to chance. Not even the shape of her used lipstick, which is also perfectly round and smooth.

Stick shape no 4: The power woman 

She is self-confident, well-balanced, conscientious, and has a love for detail. With her energy and creativity, she gets over every hurdle. She has a perfect memory, doesn’t bear grudges, and is always the centre of attention in her circle of friends. In her life, everything always goes steeply upwards, just like the shape of her lipstick. So she is not the type of woman whose place is in the kitchen – nobody can control her.


Stick shape no 5: The emotional woman 


She is sensitive, thoughtful and reserved. Her passion flourishes undetected, and in her dream world, everything is much more beautiful than in reality. She looks for understanding, friendship, and closeness, but quite often, she is disappointed. Her desire for an intimate relationship is also reflected in the firm pressure on her lipstick which shows a clear concave-hollowed tip. Big romantic words, poems and charming lyric poetry make her a passionate lover.
If you are curious which I am, I am shape number 5.  When I eventually wear down my tube of lipstick, it looks like number 5 everytime.  Please share yours below!!  If you would like, you can find me on YouTubeTwitterFacebook.  If you don’t already, follow me here.  Thank you for all of your support!