Monday, March 24, 2014

The Blemish Buster

It's not often that you come across a product that changes your life. It's even less often that someone like me, with skin more sensitive than Ryan Gosling and more temperamental than a terrible two year-old, finds such a product. Well, let me tell you a little somethin' somethin' about Acne Treatment Nighttime from Malin + Goetz.

At bedtime, simply dip a Q-tip all the way to the bottom of the little jar, tap off the excess alcohol, and dab sparingly on your "problem areas" (I hate that expression.) Basically, cover up anything you don't like the looks of with this stuff. In the morning, run excitedly to the mirror (okay, that part is optional) and wash off the cream, which should have since dried to a powdery consistency that may have even flaked off in the night. Et voilà! Whatever the offense(s), you should see enough improvement to lift your spirits and face the day.

The best part? Well, truly, there are three. For starters, this stuff doesn't hurt--it doesn't make sensitive skin retreat into itself like a tortoise, or flake off in scales like a crocodile's. That's because this relies on sulfur rather than something harsher, like the salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide found in many drugstore zit zappers. Now, even though sulfur is more gentle, boy, does it work. That brings me to the second "best" bit: if your pimple sense is tingling, you can slap on a dot or two of this stuff as a preventative measure. I'm speaking from experience here.

Finally, though half an ounce of the stuff will set you back $22, one jar should keep your blemishes at bay for a good six months--at least, that's how long my first one lasted me, and my second. The one pictured above is my third repurchase. Should I start naming them?

You can find Acne Treatment Nighttime wherever Malin + Goetz is sold, including in their adorable shops all around the world. I purchase mine from Space.NK. It's worth noting that I haven't tried a Malin + Goetz product that I haven't liked, and I love their minimalist-but-colorful packaging. Almost everything smells yummy, too--definitely check out Dark Rum range!

Katy xx

Monday, March 10, 2014

NEW IN // Bobbi Brown Art Sticks

Finally! A chubby pencil to fill the void. Not only does Bobbi Brown's newest lip offering provide a bold answer to the hoards of chubby sticks cropping up on the market, but also a tip of the hat to gals who love lipstick. Count me in!

Bobbi Brown's Art Sticks are masterful multitaskers, not unlike the makeup artist who created them. They're waxy enough to act as useful lipliners, unlike some others I've tried, while still being moisturizing enough to wear comfortably all over the lips. Make no mistake--these guys don't budge. Transfer a bit, maybe, but your lips will be embraced in a semi-matte, satiny finish in your choice of eight shades until you decide to call it a night. I liken the look to Chanel's Rouge Allure Velvets or to Givenchy's Le Rouge Sensuously Mattes (my review on the latter here).

As I mentioned, Bobbi launched this lovely new product in eight shades, all of which I swatched in-store so you don't have to.
And with flash, so you get a sense of how they photograph:
Of course, such beautiful, wearable and on-trend shades are always ready for their close=up!
I immediately gravitated towards Dusty Pink, an unsurprising move considering that pinky nudes are a go-to for my everyday lip look. It is a fabulous, understated everyday pink that would make a lovely MLBB for some people. For my über-pale complexion, Dusty Pink's somewhere between an MLBB and a work-appropriate pink. A bit more dramatic than a true neutral, but not "electric" like its sister shade, Electric Pink. As you might be able to tell from the close-up, the pigmentation is stellar across the board, with one unfortunate exception: Cherrywood. The swatch you see above is after three or four determined passes, as opposed to the breezy swatch-and-go nature of the other shades. I was disappointed, as, I could see Cherrywood having great potential for darker skin tones or porcelain-skinned gals going for a Lorde-y look. Maybe it was just one bad egg...with the track record of the other shades, I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt!
Here's the best part: even though the pencil's not retractable like Tarte's and Revlon's offerings, a handy, sturdy sharpener designed especially for the Art Sticks comes with each pencil. No obnoxious "sharpener sold separately" gimmick. Thank goodness!

I have to say, as someone who lines her lips for almost every lipstick application, I am incredibly impressed with this recent release. So impressed, in fact, that I had to run out and buy Electric Pink the day after I purchased Dusty Pink! I've still got my eye on a few others, and I can see these becoming a pretty big hit, so grab 'em while they're hot (and in stock!) I purchased both of mine from Bloomingdale's, but you can also find the Art Sticks online and in stores at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Bobbi Brown (of course) and now--just in time for Chic Week--Sephora, too!

Katy xx

Monday, March 3, 2014

THE REVIEW // Kevyn Aucoin The Essential Mascara

For some of you lucky ducklings, mascara is an option. For most of us, it's an essential.

I have searched far and wide, from this Sephora to that one, in every drugstore and at just about every beauty counter at Neiman's, Bloomies and Saks for the mascara. Well, I'll be damned if it weren't sitting right in front of me the whole time.

Since its release, I have been wedded to Make Up For Ever's Smoky Extravagant mascara. I liken it to their famed Smoky Lash with a little extra somethin' somethin', just a bit more oomph. When I found a few drugstore mascaras that gave me similar results without the $24 price tag, you can imagine my excitement (a drugstore mascara roundup in the works, I promise!) Alas, curses thanks to Kevyn Aucoin, I've fallen back into the expensive mascara rabbit hole.

Now, if you are still reading this, I applaud you. Many were likely scared off at the sight of the first photo, revealing the price of this little beauty: $32. Thirty-two dollars. For mascara. I know. Who did Kevyn, may he rest in beauty, think he is, Tom Ford? More importantly, who does Tom Ford think he is? (More on that later...)
Well, I am here to give my (very reluctant) verdict on this wallet assassin: it's worth it. And as much as it's a whatever-rhymes-with-witch to get off, it's heaven to wear, and easy to apply. The tube is weighty in my hand, a tell-tale sign of a luxurious product, and it sports the classic gradient effect for which the brand is known. The wand is slightly curved--think Dolce & Gabbana Passion Eyes, Maybelline The Falsies Flared or even a more relaxed version of Dior Iconic Overcurl)--and long enough to give each little lash a coat of inky goodness in just one sweep. Two coats offer unbelievable length, luscious volume and a pitch black hue to even the lightest-lashed gals.
As I noted earlier, this stuff is not fun to remove--I don't usually like oil-based eye makeup removers, but I think that this "essential" addition to your stash (if you love mascara, like me) necessitates something like Lancômes Bi-Facil offering. Still, it makes my lashes look so fabulous--even sans eyelash curler--that I think it merits the extra attention. So yeah, my Smoky Extravagant will have to take the backseat for now. There's a new curl in town.

Katy xx

P.S. I appreciate your patience as I churn out new posts for the blog. I don't want to sacrifice quality for quantity, or even consistency, but I do blog as my schedule permits. Recent changes in my personal life and a heavy workload at school haven't lent themselves to a reliable posting schedule, but please know that I am doing my best. Thank you for your support!