Formula X The Sea Glass Polish in Whirlpool is Stunning and I’m in Love

IMG_0623
Wearing Formula X Whirlpool (picture taken after wearing this polish for three days, you see any chips? I didn’t think so.)

 

Formula X has a collection of the sand type finish polishes (those ones that dry matte and grainy? you know what I mean?). The fun aspect of the Formula X version is that they have sparkles (which Formula X says is volcanic micro glass, very cool no?) and the finish isn’t super grainy, its more of a fine grain (nit picky I know) which I prefer.

After I saw the display for these in Sephora I actually got three (Whirlpool which you can see here, Deep End, and Starfish). The finish of these is so unique and beautiful on the nails, I am completely obsessed. Its not shockingly different since the grain/sand is fine, so I don’t feel uncomfortable wearing it at work (like I do with some glitter polishes). I also find the wear on these is impressive for a chunky-er polish, I got tip wear after a few days but I only took the polish off after five days of wear. It hadn’t come off a whole nail or clumped off in sections, it was basically still on with some more tip wear when I removed it (one of my nails was chipping, but thats because I forgot I was wearing a gorgeous nail polish and bit it, so completely my fault there).

IMG_0406
Whirlpool in Different Lighting

Whirlpool comes off as a grey-blue on my skin, but depending on your skin tone it can come off as more purple. I really love that its a beautiful soft grey, I don’t know why, but I just love the color. The colors in this collection range from a nice nude (Seashell) all the way to a fun and bright teal (Marine, and yes I am eyeing this one next). I swear I’m going to end up with all of these. I love em. The great finish, colors, and wear time is just a winning combination for me. I like polishes that are a bit different, but working in a more serious/professional environment makes it difficult, the finish on these adds that something extra without going over the top.

You can get Formula X Sea Glass polishes at Sephora and online for $12.50.

The rundown: A+

 

Make Up For Ever Ink Liner is My New Liquid Liner Love

IMG_0606
Make Up For Ever Ink Liner

I am a daily liquid liner user, and while I have been writing this blog I have been a devoted user of pen liners (everything from Revlon Colorstay Liquid Liner to Kat Von D Trooper) but I actually learned how to do my liquid liner using these ink well/pot style liners. Lately, I have been getting sick of how quickly pen liners can dry out and how they can (not always do, to be clear) lack pigment. I found myself unhappy with the liquid liners I had open and so (of course) I made a trip to Sephora and got the Make Up For Ever Ink Liner.

IMG_0644
Make Up For Ever Ink Liner Swatched on my NC/NW20 Skin

 

The Make Up For Ever Ink Liner is a ink well/pot style liquid liner with a long, fine tip which makes it easy to use. The tip is also in that sweet spot where its flexible enough to hug the lash line and stiff enough to get a good flick (its very tricky to do both well, let me tell you). The pigment is rich, depositing ultra black matte liner. I also love how this formula is more liquidy (thats a word, right?) than a pen liner, so there is more play and manipulation (if you don’t do liquid liner daily you might not enjoy this feature).

IMG_0097
Wearing Make Up For Ever Ink Liner

You do have to dip the nib back into the pot between doing each eye (at least) but I find that pen liners can dry out and then I need to draw on the back of my hand to get it going again, so its not really all that cumbersome (in retrospect). I love the matte finish, I have always preferred the matte black set that gels set to while most liquid liners dry more glossy, but gel liners are kind of a mess (for me, but this is very personal) and I prefer liquids (easier to work with for me).

This liner really covers all the bases for me, it lasts all day too (note that I am not prone to smudging with my eye makeup). It is a bit hard to get off (this stuff literally gets all over my face when I take it off, some of the places I find it honestly astound me, it gets everywhere!) but I just use plenty of makeup remover and it eventually comes off.

You can get this liner at Make Up For Ever stores, online and at Sephora for $23.

The rundown: A+

Completely random aside, I have been obsessed with these two videos (one which is quite nerdy, and two which is quite catchy). I know they are relatively popular, so you may have heard of them already, but I just wanted to share. I know they are quite silly, but I just love them. Let me know if you like them, and I hope you don’t mind this little aside.

 

Skincare Update – Trentinoin Cream

IMG_8195
the helper

I added a prescription strength topical vitamin A cream to my nighttime skin care routine about a month and a half  ago, see the introduction post here.

Anyway, I promised an update on how this has been affecting my skin and here it is. My skin is now used to me using the cream nightly in a thin later all over my face, so I don’t have any more surface dryness or peeling (which is very very nice, the peeling stopped after about 3 weeks). I find that this hasn’t stopped me from getting acne though. I tend to break out due to hormones or stress (or both) and I find that is still the case.

The big difference I have seen using a prescription vitamin A cream is that my acne doesn’t last long anymore. I used to be plagued with spots that seemed resistant to just about everything. Acne used to hang around for a week or more, now I find acne is lucky if it lasts three days. I will say, I wish Trentinoin kept my acne from showing up at all, but I do love how it helps my acne clear up more quickly.

Now that my skin is used to Trentinoin I can incorporate back into my skincare routine products I had stopped using because they were too drying. I’m back to using the Origins Clear Improvement Mask (the charcoal one) which has been my favorite mask for years, and I really missed it. Charcoal really helps to draw out impurities and when I use this mask (about once a week) I find my skin stays clearer week to week.

I will be sure to update you guys again if how this is working with my skin changes. I hope you are having a good day! Be sure to leave any skincare products you love in the comments below!

 

Kevyn Aucoin The Contour Book The Art of Sculpting and Defining has a Long Name but is Amazing

IMG_8792
Kevyn Aucoin The Contour Book The Art of Sculpting and Defining

Kevyn Aucoin has come to Sephora and with the recent makeup world’s obsession with contouring (which you may know I’m a bit sick of) Sephora came out with an exclusive contour and highlight kit of Kevyn Aucoin permanent products. I couldn’t pass it up, even if contouring isn’t part of my daily makeup routine.

Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder is famous for its grey tone that mimics real shadows on the face. I have also heard amazing things about his Celestial Powder in Candlelight, which is known for its subtle and beautiful finish (subtle is my kind of highlighter). This palette has both products as well as the Celestial Powder in Starlight and three of The Essential Eyeshadows in Brighten, Warm Brown, and Dark Brown. The kit also comes with Kevyn Aucoin’s (aka the master of contouring) placement tips for face and eyes.

IMG_8780
placement guide

 

The products and guide come in a nice sturdy black cardboard package with a large mirror, which is really nice. But the really great stuff is the powders. All are pigmented but still easy to blend. The shades are stellar, from the amazingly realistic shadow the Sculpting Powder gives to the mega-watt shine the Brightening shadow gives.

IMG_0191
swatches from the left: The Celestial Powder in Candlelight, The Sculpting Powder, Brighten, The Celestial Powder in Starlight, Dark Brown, and Warm Brown

I love both the Sculpting Powder and Candlelight for contouring and highlighting. The Sculpting Powder is grey toned, so it creates a beautiful, realistic shadow. Because its so cool toned, I only use this in very small areas of my face. Thankfully, the powder blends beautifully and lasts all day on my skin, so it can be worked to look natural. The Celestial Powder in Candlelight is beautiful, it is subtle but still has shimmer to it. I love that its not chunky, glittery, or shiny. Its a glow. The Celestial Powder in Starlight has a pink tone to it, and I personally prefer to use it as a shadow, but thats because of my skin tone, you could use this as a highlight.

The Essential Shadows are all very pigmented and blend well. I also get all day wear with a shadow primer (NARS Smudge Proof all the way). I love that you can also use Sculpt, Dark Brown, or Warm Brown in your brows. They work really well in the brows too, lasting all day and not smearing around. Brighten is super bright so I use it very sparingly (basically just in my inner corners). I love how pigmented all the powders in this kit are yet they all still blend out easily. You get pigment where you want and you can still blend out the edges to make everything seamless (best of both worlds!).

This whole kit is very well done. All the products are fabulous, the placement guide is amazing (just like Kevyn Aucoin’s work, he was an amazing makeup artist and honestly amazes me and will hopefully inspire many more makeup lovers in the future). You can get this kit exclusively at Sephora for $59 but all these products are sold separately where Kevyn Aucoin products are sold like at Beautylish and Kevyn Aucoin online.

The rundown: A+

 

 

Charlotte Tilbury Air Brush Flawless Finish Powder in 1 Fair is Perfect Skin in a Compact

IMG_8728
Charlotte Tilbury Air Brush Flawless Finish Powder in 1 Fair

I love powder. I’m not joking, I love using powder to set liquid foundation or as foundation. I’m not one of those makeup girls that isn’t into powder, I am all about powder. I use it everyday. Lots of it. I have been using the Charlotte Tilbury powder in 1 Fair (I am about an NC/NW20) since I got it to set liquid foundations and concealer.

The Charlotte Tilbury powder is matte (so if you don’t like matte this isn’t really for you). It is somehow (through magic I’m sure) hydrating, as in it doesn’t catch on dry patches (madness) and doesn’t dry out my skin over the course of a 10 hour day (insane). It adds a very small touch of coverage, but most importantly it smooths over pores and texture. When you use this powder you look airbrushed (just like the name says). This powder actually makes your skin look flawless, smoothing over pores, texture, and acne. Its pretty amazing.

I also see added foundation longevity when I use this, and it is longer than I get with other powders. This adds at least three hours to my wear, its amazing. This powder blows me away, its fantastic.

You can get this powder in three shades (light, medium, and dark) at Beautylish, Charlotte Tilbury online, and Nordstrom for $45.

The rundown: A+

 

Brush Starter Kit – Featuring Wayne Goss Brushes

IMG_0106
the lineup

Lately I have been using the same few brushes over and over for my whole makeup application. I use my fingers for all cream/liquid products (primer, foundation, and concealer) so I don’t use many brushes. I honestly can do my whole face with four brushes, and I wanted to tell you how I do it and what I suggest.

Just one face brush, I did a whole post on using one brush for all my powder face products  (blush, bronzer, powder, and highlighter). I love a goat hair brush like the Wayne Goss 12, 11, or 13. I love Wayne Goss brushes (and if you are only getting a few brushes you could spend more on them, depending on your budget) but any medium weight to dense powder bush will work for this. If you use a good brush and are conscious of how much product you are using (also apply from lighter shades to darker shades) it works great. See the original post for more detail here.

For my eyes I usually use three brushes, a flat shader, a large blending brush, and a smaller blending brush. You could really pair this down to two, skipping out on the flat shader (blending brushes are musts for me), but thats up to you. I love using the flat shader for applying color to the lid and under the brow (the Wayne Goss 17 is my favorite, its huge so it covers the lid or brow bone in one go). The large blending brush is for applying a medium color all over my crease, its a must have for me, my favorite is the Wayne Goss 03. For adding dark colors to create dimension I love using a smaller crease brush. I use this in the outer v and you could also use it under the lower lash line (if you apply shadow there). The Wayne Goss 04 is the perfect size for this on my eyes. Depending on your eye shape and size, different sized blending brushes will work, but a larger one and a smaller one are musts (for me).

With these four brushes I can do anything from daily makeup to a smokey eye. Assuming I have a good brush cleaner and some commitment, I could just have these brushes in my collection and be set. What about you? How many brushes do you use daily? Could you use four brushes for your whole face? Or is four too many?

 

Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Palette in The Uptown Girl is Chic and Feminine

IMG_8741
Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Palette in The Uptown Girl

Since I love purple tones on my eyes, The Uptown Girl ended up in my checkout cart (figures). The Uptown Girl is a lovely mix of some champagne/pink shades and muted purple/grey tones. You get three shimmery shades and one glitter shade in this quad, I enjoy the glitter shade (its fun!), but thats personal preference.

IMG_0136
The Uptown Girl Swatched on my NC/NW20 Skin

I really enjoy this palette, the colors are lovely (I love these tones on brown eyes). The formula is pigmented, blendable, without fallout, and (with a good primer) long wearing (I’m never without a eye shadow primer, no shadow can handle my lids sans primer). There is one thing about this palette I don’t love. The shades are too shimmery. For some reason, when I use all the shades in The Golden Goddess together I really loved the final look, but when I use all the shades together in The Uptown Girl, its too much shimmer. I don’t mind that too much, since this is a quad I will pair with The Sophisticate. It tones things down some, but just a heads up, you may want some mattes around with this one.

IMG_0097
Wearing The Uptown Girl Palette Except for the Pop (glitter) Shade, See That Shimmer!?

I really love the formula of these shadows, and the colors in this palette are beautiful for all eye colors. I would pair it with some mattes, but otherwise its a great palette. You can get this palette at Charlotte Tilbury online, Beautylish, and Nordstrom for $52. Do you have any recommendations for a palette you love? Or what palette you would like to see reviewed next (can be from Charlotte Tilbury or not)?

The rundown: A