Sunday, April 13, 2014


For most people, warmer weather means ponytails and halter tops. Though I make use of both when sunshine graces local sidewalks, springtime means principally one thing: new makeup! This year, in particular, has yielded an unusual number of impressive Spring/Summer collections from some of the most buzzed-about names in beauty. Here, you'll find a baker's dozen of beauty bits that have made my lust list. I've included brief descriptions as to why you might want to have each thing knocking around in your makeup bag--simply click on the names to purchase whatever you feel you can't live without. Enjoy!

Spring Wish List 2014

1 // Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Color in 40 La Sensuelle, $35
Chanel's lip offerings consistently deliver, but they don't appeal to everyone. For example, I find their Glossimers too sticky, and some of their lipstick formulas too firm in the bullet. This formula has me smitten, and the color is right up my alley. I love it as much as I hate using that expression.

2 // Kat Von D Monarch Eyeshadow Palette, $46
I've heard many good things about Kat Von D palettes, but I've never owned or properly tested any of them, despite the surrounding hype. Since getting sucked into the beauty blogosphere, however, it was only natural for me to get a little giddy upon the very recent release of this beauty (that orange!). I love the packaging, which is a huge plus in my book. If you're at all interested, be sure to check out Monarch's sister palette, Chrysalis, a more colorful variation on the same theme (in all honesty, I like both equally). You can find swatches here. Note: this palette--along with all other Kat Von D products--is a Sephora exclusive.

3 // Ole Henriksen Blue/Black Berry Enzyme Mask, $34
I have yet to try an Ole product that doesn't both perform and smell delicious, which is a good sign if I ever saw (smelled?) one. My favorite of the things I've tried is probably the walnut exfoliating scrub, but I can see my face getting on famously with this enzyme-packed gel mask. The best part? It was formulated for sensitive skin! This is definitely a mask skincare enthusiasts can get excited about.

4 // Yves Saint Laurent Gloss Volupté in 202 Rose Jersey, $32
I really didn't want to like these. The price tag, paired with my crippling phobia of gloss stickiness, gave me courage that I'd be able to resist the allure of the release of YSL's new fleet of glosses, a 27-strong range in three finishes: Pure (shimmer-free), Golden (gold shimmer) and Iridescent (iridescent pearl shimmer). Unfortunately for me, these glosses are quite possibly the most luxurious I've come across; what's more, they feel almost silken on the lips. If it helps, they smell strongly of Starbursts candy. For some, that might be a dealbreaker, but as for me, my lip lust only gets stronger. This color, especially, has me starry-eyed, and I'm not the only one: it's sold out or backordered everywhere I look!

5 // Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Descanso, $25
I've been able to resist the temptation of Nars' famed lip pencils thus far only by merit of their need for a sharpener--Tarte's pencils are great and, being retractable, no product goes to waste. Still, I've got my eye on one of the satin finish offerings from their latest collaboration with Nordstrom, the Final Cut collection. Descanso looks like a creamy, dreamy pinky-coral nude, and all the beauty bloggers I trust who've reviewed it agree. It's a Nordstrom exclusive, but I'm not sure that'll be enough to keep me away for much longer.

6 // Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette, $49
This one shouldn't come as a surprise. Self-taught beauty bloggers and professional makeup artists alike are huge fans of this palette, and I can see why. To be honest, I would have purchased it already if it weren't for the fact that it's so incredibly similar to a palette I already own, the Lorac PRO. Though, to be fair, I have friends who've made a convincing case for owning both. The formula, shades and arrangement all get high marks in the blogosphere, but Too Faced gets my seal of approval for incorporating the intoxicating cocoa powder used in my favorite bronzer, their Milk Chocolate Soleil. You can find comparison reviews of the two palettes on YouTube, here and here.

7 // By Terry Ombre Blackstar "Color-Fix" Cream Eyeshadow in 14 Blue Obsession, $43
I'm sure some of you think I'm crazy for even entertaining the idea of spending more than forty dollars on a single eyeshadow, but this is a wish list, and luxury beauty products are bound to be on it. Now, I'll be the first to admit that more expensive doesn't necessarily mean better quality--and not just in beauty products, either. By Terry, however, is a different story. Every item practically comes with a satisfaction guarantee simply based on the caliber of ingredients used and, in some cases, the research conducted in search of the technology used in the product. Here, we have a waterproof, extremely comfortable shadow stick that redefines cream eyeshadow. I'd likely do a number of unspeakable things to get my hands on this navy shade.

8 // Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler, $20
Here's another item that shouldn't come as a surprise to those at all versed in the cosmetic world: the Shu curler.If it's good enough for Lisa Eldridge, it's certainly good enough for me. Plus, I've read a sickening number of ode-like reviews insisting that, yes, it really is that good. Currently, I'm using a Sephora Collection curler in a cheerful metallic green, a sturdy stand-in until the fateful day I bite the bullet and purchase one of these iconic curlers for myself.

9 // Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder in Candlelight, $44
An industry standby, Kevyn Aucoin's powder highlight is a favorite of many, most notably including beauty blog Temptalia's Christine. As a total highlighter newb, I opted for Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector first, a liquid highlighter known as another long-time favorite of the untouchable Ms. Eldridge. Though a bottle of that offers you a ton of great product for three dollars less, those who prefer powders swear by this one, and I'm getting increasingly curious.

10 // By Terry Cellularose Blush Glacé in 1 Rose Melba, $58
If I ever have a moment of weakness long enough to purchase this, it will have been the most I've ever spent on a blush, but with good reason. I've swatched all three colors in By Terry's cream blush range, and this is the shade I liked most. The blush smells faintly of roses, something I actually quite like, but the formula is what makes the product really shine. On the skin, the Blush Glacés look like the natural, youthful flush that every blusher promises to give, minus the disappointment. As I mentioned earlier, if you can stomach the price tag, By Terry delivers. For those of you looking for a slightly more budget friendly option, Hourglass' Ambient Lighting Blushes are my current formula of choice. You can read my review of Dim Infusion here (more reviews coming soon!)

11 // Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly, $29
I could go on and on about the good things I've heard about this concealer, but you'd probably be better off just Googling it yourself. My most notable enablers probably came in the form of Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup and Amelia from Liana Beauty, both from across the pond. Nars promises a radiant, lit-from-within glow without sacrificing any coverage. I was particularly struck by the lightest shade in the lineup, Chantilly, if only because it actually looks like it has the makings of a shade match for my ghostly skin. If you're interested, don't hesitate: Nordstrom is offering 10% off, which we all know won't last forever!

12 // Tom Ford Beauty Lip Color and Lip Color Shines, $48-49
No wish list would feel complete without something from Tom Ford's hideously expensive and heart-wrenchingly gorgeous line of beauty products, and this list is no exception. I'd love to try both the sheerer, more forgiving Lip Color Shines and the opaque Lip Colors, both of which can be purchased in a variety of equally dazzling colors. The one pictured above is of the former variety, in the shade Chastity, but I'm more inclined towards the Lip Colors in Pink Dusk, Indian Rose and Casablanca, at the moment.

13 // Fig + Yarrow Cardamom + Coffee Body Scrub, $48
As a nod to the ever-expanding realm of indie cosmetics and skincare, I've chosen to finish off this list with a promising scrub from a lesser-known brand, Fig + Yarrow. I heard of this scrub from Estée over at Essie Button, and after sizing up the packaging and ingredients for myself, I'm pretty much sold. As for the price, I'm comforted by the fact that Estée was initially scared off by it, too, until she tried it for herself and decided she needed this scrub in her life. Sooner or later, I'll probably convince myself that I need it in mine, too.

Well, that's all for my Spring wish list! I hope you liked it. This is a new feature here on the blog, so if you'd like to see more content like this, please give me a yell in the comments down below. If you're interested in an all-natural and/or indie brand-focused wish list, I can do that, too. We aim to please! 'Til next time,

Katy xx

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Givenchy Ombre Couture Cream Eyeshadow

Hello, everyone! Long time no see! I know, I know, it's all my fault. I've been busy, I've been neglectful. But here I am, alive and, allow me to rephrase. And, well, here I am, alive. Haha! Anyhow, bad jokes aside, I've swatched the new Givenchy shadows to make it up to you.

These guys are a new cream shadow offering from the brand we grew to know and love following their release of that "weird ball thingy" mascara that really put them on the makeup map. There are nine waterproof, long-wearing (Givenchy claims 16 hours, but can't personally attest to this) highly pigmented shades in the current lineup, and one'll set you back $23, a pleasant surprise when you consider Givenchy's competitors (Dior's Fusion Monos cost $30 each, while Chanel's Illusions d'Ombres come in at $36). On Sephora's website, the shadows are also suggested for use as all over bases--for me, MAC's Paint Pots came to mind, as these come in similar packaging. So, without further ado, let's get swatchin'!
The Shades
1 Top Coat Blanc Satin a "top coat" shade intended for use as a highlighter or in conjunction with another shade
2 Beige Mousseline a beige I would classify as a pastel camel color, if that exists
3 Rose Dentelle a dusty rose shade, the most wearable in my opinion of the nine on offer
4 Bleu Sole a rich, indigo-leaning navy, tied for my favorite with Brun Cachemire
5 Taupe Velours a minky taupe, more grey than brown, which was kind of a disappointment
6 Kaki Brocart an army green, I knew this would be a hit and its the only shade currently sold out at Sephora!
7 Gris Organza a deep charcoal, I can see smokey eye lovers reaching for this one a lot
8 Prune Taffetas a lovely violet, still muted enough that it wouldn't overpower a look
9 Brun Cachemire a gorgeous chocolate, perfect for those who can't get enough browns
And another shot of the swatches, this time with flash:
Personally, none of these shades jumped out at me enough to merit purchasing them, but if you feel the need to build your color (or cream shadow) wardrobe, I can see any one of these making a lovely addition. As I mentioned earlier, I didn't get to properly test the wear of the shadows, but they were creamy and applied smoothly to the back of my hand. As you can see, they are certainly pigmented; my only gripe is that they're not entirely consistent throughout the range or even a swipe of the shadow (though I'm sure that could be remedied with a more careful application.) The price point, in my opinion, leaves enough wiggle room for appeal to those who are wary of spending $36 on a shadow single (though I do love the Chanel option.) If you fancy seeing for yourself, you can purchase Givenchy's Ombre Couture Cream Eyeshadows at Sephora, and anywhere Givenchy cosmetics are sold.

If you've sampled these already, please let me know what you think of them, down below!
Katy xx