beauty

Rest in Peace, Brandon Truaxe

A few days ago, the founder of The Ordinary, Brandon Truaxe, passed away. Truaxe’s brand is brilliant: it finally brought professional grade skin care to the masses at affordable prices. The Ordinary’s powerful, effective serums and solutions have been a staple in my routine for quite some time.

Truaxe experienced a tumultuous year, and was eventually ousted from the company that he started. Aside from the controversy surrounding his company, I suspect that he was deeply troubled and experiencing many personal struggles as well. I hope that he is able to finally rest in peace.

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(Photo courtesy of DetailOrientedBeauty.com)

beauty · luxury

Review: Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation

Happy Friday, friends! We’ve made it through the week and now we have a reward of Saturday and Sunday ahead. It’s been a while since I’ve done a beauty review, so I was excited to prepare this one for you. I think it’s about time, don’t you?

Though I love luxury beauty products, I can’t believe that I’ve never tried Lancome. I’ve had a few perfume samples before, but never have I tried the company’s cosmetics.  I was excited to finally try the Teint Idole Ultra Wear foundation when I got a sample over the summer in a Sephora order.

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Initially, I was concerned about the shade. I received shade 500, which I suspect it would be a little too light for me. Based on the beauty vloggers I’ve seen on YouTube, I suspected that I probably wore a 510 or 520. But 500 was the closest shade to my complexion, so I decided to try it. I got it when I still had a bit of my summer tan, so I figured it might be a little too light. To my surprise, it was a perfect match then, and still a pretty great match now.

Both sides of my face with the foundation applied

You can see for yourself how flattering the finish is. I love this foundation. It felt light on the face and, while I use a primer underneath it, I didn’t use powder over it, so I got to see just how the foundation performed without any products topping it. I got a little oily throughout the day, but that’s fairly standard for me with any foundation. I didn’t feel that this formulation made my skin any  oilier than normal. just a dad was enough to give me a good medium coverage. I experimented with it on a different day and I found that it’s very buildable: this coverage could easily go from medium to full without weighing the face down. I don’t have many facial lines, but I also found that this foundation doesn’t exaggerate the lines that I have. Win!

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My adorable foundation sample

I’m so excited to have another  foundation in my arsenal! This foundaton performs just as well as I would expect it to, since it retails for $47. I’m going to experiment with a few other shades in the Teint Idole Ultra Wear line just to see if there’s a better match than this one, but if I can’t find anything that matches more perfectly, this will be just fine. I love it and can’t wait to try more!

That’s it for this week.  I’ll be back Monday with more posts for you. Take care, and enjoy your weekend!

beauty · style

8 Easy Ways to Look Luxurious

Happy Tuesday, folks! Despite some unseasonably warm weather yesterday, I’m still fully aware that winter is upon us and we’d do well to not let our beauty routines lapse. Sometimes, a little warm weather will make us less diligent when it comes to our cold-weather routines – don’t fall for the trap! After all, we only get one body: we have to take care of ourselves.

Along with caring for our bodies internally (diet, exercise, caring for our mental, spiritual and emotional health), we must care for them externally, too. And after we care for our external selves, we may find that basic care just isn’t enough to put a little pep in our steps. Let’s face it: usually, the basics aren’t enough to make us feel luxurious. It doesn’t matter if your face cream costs hundreds of dollars or if you’re using SPF2000: basic care isn’t always enough to make you “sparkle”.

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However, enhancing your sparkle is easy! Here are 8 simple ways you can look more luxurious on a daily basis. Keep up with these, and you’ll be glistening effortlessly in no time!

  1. Groomed brows – I selected this as the top item because it’s so easy to neglect our brows in favor of other body parts. However, well-groomed brows create a gorgeous frame for your eyes, and can instantly make your whole face look more polished and refined. Groom your brows to instantly see a more luxurious you.
  2. Moisturized skin – Dry skin will never be luxurious. Using a good moisturizer that leaves your skin soft, supple and non-greasy instantly enhances your look. Walking the fine line between glowing and greasy is tough, so you may have to sample a few different formulations to find a good one. It’s worth the effort, so start looking now so that you can be well on your way to a more luxurious appearance.
  3. Freshly manicured/painted nails (on hands and feet) – Polished, cared-for nails and feet make a world of difference when it comes to cultivating a luxurious look. Nails that are even, polish that has no chips, lumps or gashes, and cuticles that are trimmed and moisturized quickly give hands and feet the appearance of luxury. This takes a bit more time than some of the other luxurious enhancements mentioned, but it’s worth the investment.
  4. Clothing made from all natural fibers – This can be challenging, since we live in a world full of polyester, spandex and other unnatural fibers. Natural fibers require more maintenance but look infinitely more luxurious. All within reason, though – everyone must consider their personal budget and level of investment when deciding what kind of fibers to purchase. However, cotton is inexpensive and feels great next to the skin, and more expensive fabrics (like leathers, silks and cashmere) can be purchased at a discount if you are a wise shopper. For a truly luxurious look, keep in mind your personal ethics (leather isn’t for everyone!) while shopping for all natural fibers for your wardrobe.
  5. Red lipstick – Perfectly applied red lipstick can immediately make a face look more luxurious and polished. Red lipstick in the perfect shade for your undertones and complexion is a powerful tool to make any ensemble look more glamorous. Red lipsticks are available at all price points, so this luxe accessory is truly available to anyone!
  6. Whitened teeth – A bright, white smile can do wonders for enhancing your overall appeal. And, whitened teeth are very luxurious looking. Whitening formulas can be as simple as baking soda mixed with hydrogen peroxide, or as elaborate as a few rounds at the dentist’s office. Whatever it takes, make sure to remove as many surface stains as you can from your teeth, so that you can have your brightest smile.
  7. Large sunglasses – Give a nod to Jackie O, one of the most elegant women ever, by throwing on a large pair of sunglasses. Sunglasses are practical – who ?doesn’t want to protect their precious eyesight from the suns’s harmful rays – and mysterious. They shield your eyes in the most stylish way. The right sunglasses add a level of polish to any look. Try on a few pair and see for yourself!
  8. Gloves – An oft-forgotten accessory, gloves are another one that is truly practical and still adds a stylish, luxurious touch. Most people won’t reach for their gloves until the cold months, but lightweight cotton gloves are great for protecting hands from the sun when you’re out and about during the warmer seasons.

Can you think of anything else that makes you look or feel luxurious? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

beauty

Beauty Review: Harvey Prince Hello Perfume

A couple of months ago, I saw a promo on Instagram for Harvey Prince Organics perfumes. After following the page, I received a message inviting me to get a perfume for free, with the only out of pocket cost being shipping and handling. Being a perfume lover, I couldn’t resist: I got a bottle. Behold!

The perfume arrived in a sleek black box with salmon pink writing. I wasn’t sure which rollerball scent I would receive (either it wasn’t explicitly confirmed by the company or I wasn’t paying attention) but the one that arrived was “Hello“.

The rollerball has a good amount of product for the price, and the small size is perfect for tossing in a purse or gym bag. The scent is fresh and has a slight sweetness to it. According to the Harvey Prince website, “Hello” has a lot of citrus top notes (Meyer lemon, white grapefruit and satsuma mandarin) layered over heady floral midnotes (summer forsynthia, pink plumeria and wild verbena). It dries down to a sweet, warm fragrance in the base notes (Tahitian vanilla and musk).

I initially enjoyed “Hello” when I applied it. I like citrus notes so the clean smell was an immediate hit with me. However, as it dried down, I liked it less and less. It turns out it didn’t agree with my personal chemistry and it started to smell kind of rank on me. I think it may have been a bit too floral and sweet for my tastes. In short, this smells delicious in the bottle, and probably amazing on someone else, but for me? I can’t do it. I plan to pass it along to someone who may like it better, because I’d hate for a good product to go to waste.

To it’s credit, Harvey Prince specializes in organic products. So for those that are looking for a perfume that is cruelty free, vegan and safe for pregnant women, this company is worth checking out. The prices are also very reasonable, so feel free to give them a gander if you’re curious.

That’s it for today’s review! I’ll talk to you all tomorrow.

beauty

More Reviews A’Comin’!

Happy Saturday, friends! I hope that wherever you are, you’re enjoying better weather than I am. This rain and cold in Virginia have me frowning, but I’m trying to look on the bright side. I have lunch AND dinner plans today, so I’ll be out in the yucky weather and making the most of it. Rain can’t slow me down!

I have so many products that I still have to review. I bought a lot of new beauty products over the summer and I’m (finally) making my way through them. So look out for those reviews over the next week or so.

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Also, I am behind on my art museum visits. Yes, I try to visit art museums no less than twice per month but it’s been MANY weeks since the last time I stopped by one. That will end this weekend – I have an exhibit that I’ve been itching to see and I want to catch it before it leaves, so a museum visit is a priority.

Finally, I was sent a great book by a publisher and I have a little more than half to read before I’m finished. Then, I have to do a bit of an experiment using what I learned in the book. That being said, that review won’t be ready for at least another 30 days or so, just because I want to make sure I take good notes and have some good information to provide to you all when I write up my review.

So that’s what you can look forward to over the weeks to come. I hope you all are enjoying your day, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow. Take care!

beauty · luxury

Beauty Review: Sephora Mud Mask Purifying and Mattifying

It’s been AGES since I did a mud mask on my face. I used to use clay- and mud-based masks regularly for my oily skin, but as my life got busier, I just didn’t have as much time to wait for a mask to dry, then all of the extra time needed to rinse it off was more than I wanted to commit to . . . So I let mud masks go.

This past week, though, I had a little extra time. AND, I had a trial size of Sephora Mud Mask Purifying and Mattifying in one of the Sephora Play boxes that I ordered. So I decided to give it a whirl. My skin isn’t as oily as it used to be when I was younger, but I figured this would still be a fun treat for my combination complexion.

So shiny, so silver: it looked more like an eyeshadow than a beauty treatment

The product is described as being made with ” with zinc, copper, and white clay”, and it’s supposed to “cleanses and purifies pores, absorbs excess sebum, and reduces the appearance of blemishes without overdrying. Skin is left clean, matte, and soft after each use.” I figured that, with all of those promises, I should give it a try.

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When first applied, it’s a dark grey hue

I applied a thin layer after washing and drying my face. The consistency of the mask was smooth overall but there were a few lumps (I’m not sure if it was just my sample or if that’s how it usually looks). The smell isn’t too strong, but definitely noticeable. I let it dry for about 15 minutes.  I then rinsed off the mask: it came off easily and quickly. In fact, this is the only mask I’ve ever used that rinsed totally clean without needing a washcloth to assist in removing the product in stubborn areas.

When dry, it’s chalky white (left to right: partially dry and fully dry)

My skin felt very clean and more matte but not stripped. My skin felt very soft but balanced. I skipped my hydrogen peroxide toner and followed the remaining steps of my skin routine.

This mask retails for $20 and I would definitely purchase it and use it again. It’s difficult to find a mask that rinses clean and doesn’t strip all of the moisture out of my skin. I also liked the smell: I couldn’t pinpoint it, but it had a very clean essence that is familiar and (fortunately) not cloying. This one gets a thumbs up from me!

beauty

Beauty Review: L’Oreal Revitalift Miracle Blur Instant Skin Smoother

Once upon a time, I was a huge fan of L’Oreal’s Revitalift Triple Power Intensive  Overnight Mask (actually, I’m still a fan, I just need to restock for the upcoming cold months). One time, when I purchased a jar of it, I got a free sample of L’Oreal’s Revitalift Miracle Blur Instant Skin Smoother. The product – a combination of a primer and “finisher” – claims to minimize skin imperfections and leave the face smooth and velvety.

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With those claims, you know I had to try it.

So I’ve been using this for over a year, but I hadn’t done a review until now. Let me tell you that I still reach for this, after all this time, because it WORKS. Now, I’m not going to claim that it will fill every line, wrinkle or pore to perfection, but it does a great job of “smoothing” the face a bit. I’ve worn it as a finisher (with no makeup on top of it) and as a primer (as a base for my foundation), and I’ve been impressed in both instances. Particularly, I like how my foundation lasts all day when I apply it as a primer.

My face after applying this primer: a soft finish but not shine-proof

Now, here’s a warning: I didn’t find that this product kept my face matte all day when used as a primer. In fact, I am invariably blotting throughout the day when I wear it under my foundation. For full disclosure, I generally don’t wear a powder over my foundation. But, since this is supposed to be a primer that leaves your skin matte, I thought that would translated into a non-shiny face after a couple of hours. I guess my skin’s oils are just too strong. On the other hand, when I wear it as a finisher, I don’t look especially shiny.

This primer is $25 on Ulta’s website. A little product goes a long way, so it may be a good value for you. However, if you’re an oily girl, you ma want to try a product that delivers more on its mattifying promises, since this one falls short. Would I use it again? Sure, but only if I got it on sale.

Enjoy your Saturday, friends! I’ll chat with you all tomorrow.