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!

luxury · travel

Fine Jewelry at Freeman’s

Freeman’s Auction has done it again. You may recall that I attended my first Freeman’s Auction a few months ago, when I saw a brooch that I wanted to add to my collection. I got a catalog from them a few days ago, letting me know about an upcoming fine jewelry auction.

Guys, I’m thinking about making the trip.

I generally avoid going anywhere north of Washington, DC from the months of November to April (I hate the cold) but I may put my usual protocol aside to do this trip. Besides, I loved the Philadelphia Museum of Art and a return trip would be awesome.

As far as the auction goes, I liked a few pieces in the catalog but I wasn’t struck by any lot in particular. However, I was much more impressed when I checked out the full list of jewelry on the Freeman’s website. My favorite is this wheat stalk brooch. It’s 18 karat gold, simple but unique. How many wheat brooches have you seen recently? Exactly. I’m sure there are only, like, 2 of them in existence. And I’d love to own this one.

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This gold pillbox is also going to be auctioned by Freeman’s and it’s so beautiful and vintage: I can’t stand it! It’s also 18 karat gold and has a Greek key-like pattern on the outer edge, and concentric circles on the top. No one has elegant holders for their pills anymore: how lovely is this?

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The Freeman’s Fine Jewelry Auction will be held on November 6, 2018 in Philadelphia, PA at 12PM EST. I may be there, so if you decide to make the trip, make sure that you say hello if you see me!

beauty · luxury

Review: Clinique Chubby Stick Lip Balm

Happy Hump Day! We’re going to get over this week’s hump with a beauty review. I received the Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Woppin’ Watermelon last month. It was one of the items available in Sephora’s Play box from several months ago (I’m not subscribed to Play but I’ve purchase a couple of the excess Play boxes directly from the Sephora website).

This product is described as a “treat” that offers lips “mouthwatering moisture and a hint of soft shine”. The color – Woppin’ Watermelon – is a translucent bubblegum pink. It applied smoothly and indeed felt very moisturizing on my lips. Despite being a much brighter pink than I normally wear, the sheerness of the product meant that I could easily wear it alone or paired with a liner or lipstick.

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Swatch of Woppin’ Watermelon

I paired it with my trusty, cheap, dark brown lip liner and I loved the subtle way that the liner “toned down” the pink. However, I’ll likely wear this product alone, too. It looks soft and pretty: it looks great for work or play. This was in one of the summer Play boxes, which makes sense to me: the formula, packaging, and color all work well for the warm months and days at the beach.

Left – no liner; Right – with liner

Now, here’s the thing: this chubby stick retails for $18.50. My Sephora Play box was only $10, so I got a great value with my purchase. But, I can’t comfortably state that the product is worth the price. The product has barely any color and I feel that the moisturizing properties could easily be found in drugstore products that will deposit equally sheer color. If you can get this during any sales, then go for it. If not, I recommend that you pass.

That’s my brief review of the Clinique Chubby Stick Lip Balm. Have you all tried it? If so, what did you think? Let me know in the comments below!

 

beauty · luxury

New Fenty Beauty Products – Worth a Sephora Trip

Happy Monday, friends! I’m planning a trip to Sephora but I decided to look on their website to get an idea of what goodies I need to check out in person. I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw the Fenty Beauty Diamond Bomb All Over Diamond Veil and the Diamond Milk Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer.

The products are GORGEOUS and I already know that I want them. However, I need to see them in person because super-shimmers aren’t always kind on my complexion. But I’m hopeful: keep your fingers crossed for me, because these are so pretty and I would hate to pass them up because they don’t flatter me.

Of course, I’ll be checking out some of the other Fenty Beauty products that I haven’t seen in person yet, like the Moroccan Spice Eyeshadow Palette. Let’s face it – Fenty Beauty can get all of my coins! Here’s a review of the Diamond Bomb and Diamond Milk products from one of favorite Youtubers, MsRoshPosh. I’m also including a review from Scarce Beauty, who I recently discovered on YouTube and I’m enjoying her reviews.

beauty · luxury

Beauty Review: BITE Champagne Discovery Set

Happy Thursday, darlings! I’m relaxing before a hectic week and I figured I’d tell you about a product that I’ve been reaching for – consistently – over the past few days. I purchased the BITE Champagne Discovery Set a few weeks ago. I’d sampled the BITE Multistick in Cashew a while ago, so I knew that I loved the shade. However, this set seemed like a good way to get a lot of bang for my buck.

The set contains, as mentioned before, the Multistick in Cashew but also has a Lip Pencil in shade 036 and a lip gloss in Champagne. The Multistick and lip pencil are both listed as being “matte rose taupe”, while the gloss is a “metallic champagne with nude and gold”.

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Lip gloss, lip liner, and multistick

Swatch (from top to bottom: Champagne Pearl lip gloss, Multistick in Cashew, 036 lip liner), with and without flash

I tried different combinations of the multistick, gloss, and liner on my lips, but I had to add my trusted dark brown liner because, to be frank, I looked like a caricature without it. There’s something about lighter-toned lipsticks that just isn’t flattering on me. However, when blended with a deep-colored liner, the colors immediately become more wearable.

Lips filled with BITE’s 036 lip liner (no other product)

Multistick in Cashew layered over 036 liner

Multistick, lip liner, and a generous application of dark brown liner blended in (from local beauty supply store)

Same as above, but Champagne Pearl gloss in the center of the lips

Anyway, back to the products. The multistick isn’t exclusively for lips: it can be used as eyeshadow or blush. So, I applied it from lash to brow, blended lightly, threw on some gel eyeliner and mascara, and took a pic. I like it better as an eyeshadow, though it’s a nice nude (when paired with a lip liner).

Multistick as eyeshadow

The lip liner is a nice mid-toned neutral, and, to its credit, it’s a cool nude, which can be difficult to find. I love the texture and how perfectly it matches the multistick. The liner would be great for “lightening up” some of my deeper toned lip looks and making them more suitable for day wear.

The Champagne Pearl gloss smells minty and has a nice taste. The shade is very close to Extraordinary Smile, a liquid lippie that I purchased from Glow by Melodye a while back. You can see the review on Extraordinary Smile here, but I took a side-by-side pic. Champagne Pearl is a tad lighter, and has a smoother texture than Extraordinary Smile, but the lighter hue means that it will need (you guessed it) a dark liner to be more wearable. Even then, it’s giving me early 2000s vibes, so it’s a bit dated for my taste, though kind of cute in its own way. This gloss is very golden – like, really, really golden – and very shiny. This is definitely one that is more suited to evenings out on the town.

Champagne Pearl with dark brown lip liner

For comparison: Champagne Pearl by BITE on top, Extraordinary Smile by Glow by Melodye on the bottom (with flash and without flash)

So, all in all, this was a pretty versatile set. With a couple more products thrown into the mix, the colors are all extremely wearable and can easily go from day to night. I don’t think I’d purchase the set again, but I look forward to using these products and trying some more from BITE Beauty in the future.

luxury · style

My Fantasy Fall Fashion Wish List

Happy Wednesday, beloveds! I’m back into the swing of things at work and daydreaming about my next holiday!

Yes, I’m longing for another day off but I’m also daydreaming about what kind of fashions I’m enjoying this upcoming fall and winter. Despite the fact that I dread the cooler months, I do like most of the fashions that the chillier weather makes possible, like gorgeous coats, snuggly sweaters and stylish boots.

I started compiling a mini-wish list for the fall, and I’m looking squarely at the Duchess of Sussex herself, Meghan Markle, for fall fashion inspiration. We have different body types (she appears to be a Natural, while I’m a Soft Classic, per the Kibbe typing system) but we both favor clean lines and exquisite construction.

The Duchess of Sussex in Black Halo and Goat Fashion (both photos from Elle Magazine)

She’s been spotted wearing several well-crafted pieces from Black Halo, Goat Fashions and Altuzarra. She always looks perfectly groomed and effortlessly stylish – the same effect that I’m going for.

From Black Halo, I’m swooning over the Mindy Sheath, the ¾ Sleeve Jackie O Dress, and the Sambora Sheath. For those that don’t know, Black Halo dresses have a wonderful liner so they are great for the cooler months. I have two Black Halo pieces but both of them are sleeveless, so I’m looking for something a little different for the fall.

The Mindy and Sambora Sheath Dresses

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The ¾ Sleeve Jackie O Dress

Another one of the Duchess’s favorites is Goat Fashions, another British brand. Duchess Meghan favored the Flavia Dress, which is just my speed: soft, feminine, and elegant. I’m also loving the Greta Blouse and Venus Dress.

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The Flavia Dress

Greta Blouse and Venus Dress

While Altuzarra makes to-die-for dresses and separates, I’m loving the coats made by the label. The Higgins Coat and the Elvin Coat both have enough tailoring in the waist to suggest an hourglass silhouette but are fully lined and perfect for chilly days. I’m leaning more toward the design of the Elvin Coat, since I fear that the pinstripe design of the Higgins Coat may be a bit too “boxy” on me, even with the cinched waist.

The Higgins Coat and the Elvin Coat

That’s my fantasy fall fashion wish list! I’ll do another post about fall accessories that I plan to incorporate into my wardrobe.

beauty · luxury

Beauty Review: Fenty Beauty Lil Mattemoiselles Lipstick

Happy Hump Day, beloveds! It’s time to review some beauty products because, let’s face it, we’re overdue!

Today, I’m reviewing the Fenty Beauty Lil Mattemoiselles Lipsticks. Now, I’ve reviewed Fenty Beauty twice before: first when reviewed the Killawatt Highlighter, then when I reviewed the Lil Match Stix Duo.

I’ve enjoyed all of the Fenty Beauty products that I’ve tried so far, so I was excited to give the Mattemoiselle lipsticks a try. I didn’t want to commit to the full-sized lippie (since I already have far too many lipsticks in my collection) so I got the Mini Mattemoiselles.

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The set includes two mini lipsticks, in the shades Spanked and Griselda. When Fenty Beauty first launched the lipstick line, I was immediately drawn to the intense eggplant-hued Griselda, while I wasn’t as excited about Spanked, described as a “dusty rose” on the Fenty Beauty website.

(L to R) Spanked and Griselda, with flash and without

Swatches – Griselda on top, Spanked on bottom (with flash and without)

However, being a curious soul, I wanted to give both lipsticks a chance. I was impressed with the pigment and the texture: these are matte but not drying. I loved how they glided on and how they didn’t leave my lips feeling dehydrated. My thoughts on the lipsticks are as follows:

  • Spanked is a great everyday shade, but it doesn’t flatter my complexion unless I wear a dark liner with it (blended well, of course). The color is a bit too warm for my taste, but it’s a very classy, elegant shade that works well for the office or casual looks.

Spanked with dark brown liner

  • Griselda is bold and attention grabbing: my kind of lippie! It’s also more neutral (equal amounts of warmth and coolness) so it flatters my complexion more. It can come across a bit harsh during the daytime, so I’d save this one for the evening.

Griselda – no liner needed

I hit pay dirt when I combined the lipsticks. I applied Griselda and blotted off most of the color in the center of my lip, leaving the heaviest concentration of product on the outer edge of my mouth. Then, I liberally applied Spanked in the center of my lips and blended outward, until Spanked faded into Griselda. It created a simply gorgeous, dimensional pout that works from day to night. Score!

Griselda and Spanked combined – my favorite!

All in all, I love these colors and I can’t wait to try more! Fenty Beauty has yet another hit. They always get it right the first time!

Have you all tried any Fenty Beauty products? Let me know in the comments below!