Tuesday, March 18, 2014

My Week in Tom Ford...

Hi Everyone!

As some of you may know, I recently celebrated my 26th (eep!) birthday.  I was blessed to get some really fantastic gifts, including a brand new iPad from my husband!  My brother (who has some very nice taste) surprised me with this box of Tom Ford lipsticks.




Very high-end, luxury makeup is a territory I tend to avoid.  I try to avoid falling in love with a product that I can't afford to replace.  As it is, I cringe every time I have to re-purchase a new tube of Cle de Peau concealer, and it's the best stuff I've ever used, at any price point.

So, to say I've never owned Tom Ford makeup is an understatement.  Hell, I've never swatched or even looked at Tom Ford makeup, in person at least.  My first thoughts when opening the gift were, "OMG…PRETTY…LOOK AT ALL THE PRETTIES," and then, "I hope I hate this stuff.  I'll never be able to afford to buy it myself."

But alas, there they were.  And there I was.  And I figured I'd make the swatching/testing of these lippies a slow and thorough process.  I was not going to swatch $48 lipstick on my hands.  No, siree, Bob.

So I spent most of last week testing out one lipstick per day.

The white lipstick is Tom Ford "Incorrigible".  The lipstick to its left is True Coral.  The lipstick behind it is Violet Fatale.  The lipstick to its right is Indian Rose.
Day 1: Indian Rose


Ah, Indian Rose.  What can I say about this color?  It's a gorgeous medium rosy pink, with some very mild yellow undertones.  It's sort of a YLBB (your lips but better) look, but for a YLBB color, it still manages to read:  "I'm wearing lipstick."  This is one of the more moisturizing colors of the bunch, and I'd say I got about 3.5-4 hours of lasting power out of Indian Rose.  It has a pleasant vanilla scent and doesn't slide around much on the lips.

Day 2:  Violet Fatale

Violet Fatale is by far my favorite lipstick of the bunch.  Violet Fatale has the same vanilla scent as Indian Rose.  The lipstick looks very purple in the tube, but as you can see, it's a much more wearable color on the lips.  It isn't as moisturizing, so a quick coat of lip balm underneath will help it feel more comfortable on the lips.  My favorite thing about this lipstick, aside from the bold and unique shade, is the longevity you get from it.  This lipstick stayed on my lips (as pictured above) for roughly 6 hours, including after eating and drinking.  Once the lipstick wore off, a gorgeous stain was left on my lips that lasted the rest of the day.

Day 3:  True Coral


True coral is a gorgeous, very warm toned coral lipstick.  The formula is similar to that of Violet Fatale, in that it's a good idea to put on a clear balm before applying the lipstick.  The staying power of this one was around 4 hours, which is slightly above average.

Day 4:  Incorrigible


Incorrigible is a super bright medium fuchsia pink.  If you look REALLY carefully at it on the lips, you can see tiny little bits of gold glitter in there, but you really have to look very closely.  It's a sort of fun, slutty pink, but I really enjoy it.  As for the formula, it has a lasting power of around 4 hours, but once it leaves the lips, it leaves a subtle stain, in which the gold glitter is more noticeable.

Overall thoughts:
All of these lipsticks are beautiful.  The colors are amazing, and the packaging is really unparalleled.  Each lipstick has a pleasant vanilla scent to it.  And each lipstick is highly pigmented.  You'll get the full color from the lipstick in one or two swipes across your lips.  You don't need to waste product to build up coverage with these…and really, thank God for that.  Each swipe probably costs you $5.  (I'm kidding, of course.  But only sort of.)

If you're in the market for super high end lipsticks, or just had an uber shitty week and want to treat yourself, these are worth considering.  I would absolutely consider repurchasing the Indian Rose and the Violet Fatale.  If pushed to pick just one, I'd definitely choose the Violet Fatale because of the amazing formula and the unique color.



Tell me, what high end products have you been enjoying?

Toodles!

Cathy

Monday, January 27, 2014

January 2014 Favorites (And an epic fail!)

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all had a lovely start to 2014.  My January has been pretty busy, but has been great overall.  Except for this cold weather.  Seriously, Mother Nature, you and I are no longer friends.  The fact that Chicago has been regularly colder than Siberia lately is just not ok.  *Insert pouty face*

Anyway, now that the month is winding down, and we're almost in February(!), I wanted to share with you some things I've been LOVING this month!

1.  CoverGirl Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Foundation (My shade is 842.)

So, I'm really shocked that I love this foundation…because truth be told, I'm generally not a huge fan of CoverGirl products.  But man, do I LOVE this foundation.  Basically, I ran out of my Makeup Forever HD foundation, and wanted to try something new from the drugstore.  I picked up this beauty because of its cult following.  And it did not disappoint.  This foundation gives medium to full coverage, with a more matte finish.  It has the most unbelievable lasting power.  Seriously, if I don't take this foundation off with makeup remover, it doesn't come off.  It looks just as good at 5pm as it did at 7am.  It's cheap (around $10 or so)….AND it has a pump, which is AWESOME.  This is my new Holy Grail foundation.

2.  Nest Dahlia & Vines Perfume


I got a sample of this perfume with a recent order from Sephora.  And this stuff smells SO good that I had to buy the full size bottle.  It is very floral smelling (mostly like roses), but still feels young and sexy.  One of my top 3 favorite perfumes of all time.

3.  YSL Volupte Sheer Candy Lipstick/ YSL Rouge Volupte Shine Lipstick

Where do I start?  These lipsticks are so amazing.  They apply smoothly to the lips, have an amazing fruity smell, give a sheer hint of color, last a fair amount of time, and leave your lips moist long after the color has worn off.  For a more sheer look, go with the Sheer Candy Lipstick.  For a touch more color, go with the Rouge Volupte Shine Lipstick (the packaging is the same, but the tube is gold.)  The colors I have indulged in are Tasty Raspberry and Coral Intuitive.  Just hold your breath when you get to the cash register.  These beauties will run you ($32-$34).

4.  Garnier Moisture Rescue Gel Cream for Dry Skin


I have never used as much lotion and moisturizer in my life as I have this winter living in Chicago.  Holy cow.  I normally have BONE DRY skin, but with subzero temperatures and wind chill that makes moving to the North Pole seem appealing, my skin has been off the charts dry.  My skin has been peeling and cracking.  So I moisturize every single day, usually several times a day.  This Garnier moisturizer has been a life saver.  It doesn't irritate my skin, smells nice, doesn't feel greasy, and is cheap (under $8).  You really can't go wrong.

5.  Victoria's Secret Angel Sports Bra


I hate sports bras.  They smoosh you down, then smoosh you together so that you become the world's first perfectly flat chested person with insane cleavage.  That all changed when I discovered this beauty at the Victoria's Secret Semi Annual sale.  This sports bra is AMAZING.  It has cups, underwire, and TONS of support.  It is lined, but NOT padded, despite what it says on the website.  It supports you, helps you not look like a 12 year old boy in a bra, and doesn't give you unnecessary padding, which only leads to the dreaded four boob look.  On top of that, it's comfortable and comes in a variety of fun colors.  I got the grey and a coral one myself.  They can be purchased here.
---


Annnnnd…the fail.

Burt's Bees Facial Cleansing Towlettes - Cucumber & Sage (For Normal to Dry Skin)



I ran out of my Say Yes To… facial cleansing towlettes, so it was time to run to Walgreen's and buy some new ones.  I was going to grab another Say Yes To… package, but decided to give these a try, since I love Burt's Bees products, and they were on sale.  Big mistake.

These towlettes smell fine, and don't overly dry your skin.  But oh MAN, they irritate my skin.  Like, make it BURN.  And I do NOT normally have sensitive skin.  When I tried to remove my eye makeup with them, the burning sensation was so severe, I actually flushed out my eyes with water (like they teach you to do in high school chemistry class.)  It was awful.  I'll never buy them again!


Tell me, what have YOU been loving this month?

Xoxo,

Cathy

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

An Easy & Sexy New Year's Eve Makeup Look!

Hi Everyone!

Happy New Year's Eve!  I thought I'd post this to give you all some inspiration for an easy, sexy New Year's Eve makeup look.  So, here's the completed look!




How to get this look:

Step 1:  Brighten under eyes with a concealer.  Dab a bit under your eyes, to the lash line, and blend with your finger.  (I used the Benefit Erase Paste.)

Step 2:  Apply your favorite foundation with a Beauty Blender, making sure to blend down into your neck.  (I used Makeup Forever HD.)

Step 3:  Apply additional concealer under eyes as needed, or to any blemishes.  Blend with Beauty Blender.  (I used the Cle de Peau Concealer in Ochre.)

Step 4:  Using a fluffy brush, apply a setting powder all over your face to set the foundation and concealer.  (I used Rimmel Stay Matte in Translucent.)

Step 5:  Apply bronzer lightly to your temples and around your jaw line using a fluffy brush.  (I used Nars Laguna)

Step 6:  Apply a peachy pink blush to the apples of your cheeks.  (I used Nars Orgasm, but the Elf blush in Tickled Pink will work just as well.)

Step 7:  Fill in your eyebrows, using feathery light strokes, and blend with a spooly brush.  (I used the Anastasia Brow Wiz.)

Step 8:  Apply eyeshadow primer using your finger.  (I used Urban Decay Primer Potion in Original)

Step  9:  Apply a silver cream-based shadow all over your lid and up to the crease, leaving about 1/4 of your innermost lid bare.  (I used L'Oreal 24 hour Infallible Eye Shadow in Primped & Precious.)



Step 10:  Apply a deep taupe/mauve shadow exactly over the silver cream shadow you just applied.  (I used the Urban Decay eyeshadow in Darkside, which is found in the Naked 3 Palette.)



Step 11:  Apply a metallic taupe shimmer shadow on the inner 1/4 of your eye, which should be naked.  Overlap your last shadow and blend it in.  (I used the UD N3 shade Mugshot.)

Step 12:  Using a medium pinky-brown matte shadow, blend out any harsh lines of your existing shadows into the upper crease of your eye.  (I used the UD N3 shade Nooner.)

Step 13:  Using a pale neutral pink satin shadow, highlight under your brows and in the innermost corner of the eye.  (I used the UD N3 shade Strange.)

Step 14:  Use the Darkside side on a small flat brush, and apply lightly to your lower lash line. 

Step 15:  Apply a black liquid liner as close to your lash line as possible, and wing out the ends slightly.  (I used the L'Oreal Lineur Intense in Carbon Black.)

Step 16:  Tightline your lashes and waterline.  (I used the Marc Jacobs eyeliner in Black.)

Step 17:  Apply mascara generously.  (I used the Lancome Hypnose Mascara.)

Step 18:  Apply a pale pink lipstick.  (I used the YSL Volupte Sheer Candy Lipstick in #12 Tasty Raspberry.)



Step 19:  Spritz face with makeup setting spray.  (I used Urban Decay All Nigher Spray.)

Step 20:  Marvel at your beauty.

Hope you all have a lovely New Year's Eve!

Xoxo,

Cathy

Sunday, December 29, 2013

My Favorites of 2013!

Hi Everyone!

I hope you all enjoyed the holidays.  Jeremy and I had a great time in Boston for Christmas!  It was a really relaxing, low-key holiday...the best kind.

I can't believe this year is ending, and I truthfully can't say I'm sad to see it go.  2013 was rough.  On to a bigger and better year!

That being said, I did want to discuss some of my favorite/most used products of 2013.  I'll go by category, and let you know what I've been loving.  With all that extra Christmas money most of us have, you never know, this may even turn into a shopping list for some of you.

Foundation:
High End:  Makeup Forever HD
Drug Store:  L'Oreal True Match Lumi
Drug Store Honorable Mention:  Revlon ColorStay Whipped.  I prefer the L'Oreal because the packaging is less clunky, has a pump, and the coverage is just slightly better.

Blush:
Elf Blush in Tickled Pink.  It's $3 and I like it just as much as Nars Orgasm, which is nearly ten times the price.
Honorable Mention:  Bobbi Brown Blush in Nectar.

Concealer - Undereye
Benefit Erase Paste

Concealer - All over
Cle de Peau Concealer
Honorable Mention:  Mac Studio Fix Concealer.  For serious blemishes, I usually use the Mac, but the Mac concealer is a bit thick/heavy for undereye areas, where you can use Cle de Peau for undereyes.    

Powder:
Rimmel Stay Matte.  The one I use is translucent. 

Bronzer:
Tarte Bronzer in Park Ave. Princes

Eyeshadow Primer:
Urban Decay Primer Potion in Original

Eyeshadow - Drugstore
Tie between:
Wet n Wild 8 pan palette in Comfort Zone
Wet n Wild eyeshadow trio in Walking on Eggshells

Eyeshadow - High End
Urban Decay Naked Palette
Honorable Mention:  Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette.  LOVE this palette.  It's getting OM simply because there are fewer shadows to love than the UDNP.
Note:  I was REALLY tempted to put the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette, but I've only been using it for a month or so, so I thought it wasn't an accurate representation of the year of 2013.

Eyeliner:
L'Oreal Lineur Intense in Carbon Black
Note:  I've been using lots of other liners for tightlining, waterline...but I haven't been loving any lately.  I'm in the market for a new liner.  Recommendations anyone?

Mascara - High End:
YSL Babydoll Lashes
Honorable Mention:  Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara

Mascara - DrugStore:
L'Oreal Voluminous Full Definition Mascara

Lip Balm:
Tie Between:
Nivea A Kiss of... (My favorites are A Kiss of Smoothness and A Kiss of Olive Oil & Lemon)
EOS Lip Balm Stick in Vanilla Bean
Honorable Mention:  EOS Lip Sphere in Sweet Mint

Tinted Lip Balm:
L'Oreal Color Riche Balm (My favorite color is probably the Rose Elixr)

Lipstick:
High End:  Nars Lipstick in Dolce Vita
DrugStore:  Revlon Lip Butter  (My favorites are Berry Smoothie and Raspberry Pie)

Lip Gloss:
Nars Lip Gloss in Chihuahua

Brown Pencil:
 Anastasia Brow Wiz

Beauty Tool:
Beauty Blender

Body Wash: 
Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash

Hand Cream: 
Soap & Glory Hand Food

Nail Polish:
Essie Mademoiselle

Perfume:
Marc Jacobs Dot/Daisy/Honey (Three Way Tie)
Honorable Mention:  Disney by Sephora Ariel Kiss the Girl Perfume



So tell me...what have you been loving in 2013?

Xoxo,

Cathy

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Fall Favorites!

Hi Everyone!

I really love Fall.  The weather is not too hot, or too cold.  I love watching the leaves change color, and when they fall, the little crispety crunch beneath your feet can bring a smile to anyone's day.  I love the feeling that the holidays are coming up, but you're not quite at the ZOMG WHAT AM I GOING TO GET EVERYONE stage.  It's such a great time of the year.

Now that we're towards the end of Fall, I wanted to tell you all about some things I've been loving this season.  Let's get to it!

1.  Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte

I LOVE Starbucks in general.  The food is tasty.  The drinks are amazing.  The service is, usually, great.  And I always leave feeling like I had an experience, instead of feeling like, "eh, I grabbed a coffee."  But this Fall, Starbucks has left me with THREE favorites, the first being the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

The PSL has the perfect amount of pumpkin, cinnamon, caffeine, and creamy goodness...and it's delicious hot or iced.

2.  The Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice

I loved the Caramel Apple Spice in High School, but haven't had one in such a long time.  Recently, I was craving a tasty warm beverage with no caffeine, and voila, the CAS was reintroduced to my life.  They're so tasty and are amazing for times when you're not in the mood for caffeine.


3.  The Starbucks Gingerbread Latte

Now that it's red cup season, Starbucks has released the Gingerbread Latte.  To be honest, I've never been a fan of it, but when they burst out the holiday drinks, I noticed the store sign boasted a new recipe for the GBL.  I figured it couldn't hurt to try it.  And I'm SO glad I did.  The taste is delicious, just the right amount of gingerbread and cinnamon flavor, without being overpowering.  Way to change a bad thing, Starbucks!

4.  UGG Ansley Slippers

These "slippers" are great for indoors OR outdoors, as they have the sole of a driving moccasin.  They're super comfortable and have the coziest wool lining ever.  They're great for running errands and pair the comfort of a flat with the warmth needed for the cooler weather.  Mine are pink, and I love them.


5.  Benefit Erase Paste

I have been developing a completely new foundation routine over the past few months, and the Benefit Erase Paste is KEY to combating my dark circles.  I still use my beloved Cle de Peau concealer, but now I put the Erase Paste UNDER my foundation (to brighten up the dark circles), then apply foundation, THEN use the Cle de Peau concealer to handle blemishes and getting the under-eye area to match my skin tone.  This product is a Godsend, and just a little dab will go a long way.


6.  Yves Saint Laurent Babydoll Mascara

I feel bad even sharing this product with you...because it is so overpriced.  But this mascara, oh this mascara.  I originally got this mascara as a deluxe sample size from Sephora using my VIB points.  First mistake.  And now I'm in love with a mascara that's $30 a tube.  Oops.

This mascara is lengthening AND creates unbelievable volume...a combination most mascaras fail to successfully achieve.  It's a must try.  Even if it's just once.



7.  Cozy, Knitted Cold Weather Accessories

I love gorgeous, comfortable, warm accessories to wear now that it's getting chilly.  My friend Ashley, of Great Scott Knits, knits great hats like this that I wear all the time!


8.  My Family

By "my family", I also mean the friends that have become my family.  They give me a constant source of unconditional love, guidance, support, and even some pretty good laughs.  I would not be where I am, or who I am, without them.  I know that seems like such a silly thing to put in a Fall Favorites blog post, but this Fall, and especially recently, I have been thinking about how lucky I am to have these amazing people in my life.  :)



 9.  My Husband, Jeremy 

I am incredibly blessed to have the best husband a girl could ask for.  He is the best friend, partner, and person I have ever known.  He makes me laugh.  Every.  Single.  Day.  He makes me laugh, even when I want to cry.  He listens to me.  He respects me.  He does everything he can to make sure that I am happy.

2013 has been a tough year for us, complete with a cross country move and a tough job search in Chicago for me.  Every step of the way, Jeremy supported me in every way that someone can support someone else.  Every step of the way, he came home with a smile on his face, and showered me with love and support.  No matter what happened, Jeremy always made me feel lucky to wake up next to him.  He is the best part of my day, every single day.






Sooooo, now that I've gone all mushy gushy on you, tell me.  What are your favorite things for Fall?

Xoxo,

Cathy