Monday, September 29, 2014

Recent Favorites: September 2014

My makeup collection has seen an influx of new goodies but I've been trying to get back into using forgotten favorites instead. This month I've cemented my love for a few products I've neglected in the past and found new ways to use things I didn't love at first sight previously.

I briefly mentioned the Laura Geller Spackle Under Make-Up Primer in my Six Product Face post and I truly have been using this primer every time I wear makeup as it helps my foundation and concealer stay on. It doesn't feel greasy or pore-clogging which is a huge plus and a little goes a long way. I used to not like using primers because they felt like an extra step with no noticeable results but when I forgot to use this one day, I could definitely see a difference by the end of the day.

To set my makeup I've been relying on the Ben Nye Luxury Powder in Banana. The best thing about this powder is that it never looks cakey or overdone. It blurs out my pores and keeps my face mattified for several hours. If you're looking for a budget powder, this is a great one.

Onto the more exciting color makeup.... I've been layering two nude peach blushes to get a subtle hint of pink on my pale cheeks. I dug out Becca's Beach Tint in Fig and I love how easy it is to apply. The color is subtle and sheers out a lot so you can't really go wrong. I apply a thin layer of Fig on the general area of my cheek and to highlight and further define the color, I brush some of the Hard Candy Blush Crush Baked Blush in Pin Up onto the upper portion of my cheekbones. I never really used this blush even though I've had it for years because it just appeared too shimmery to be a blush and too pink to be a highlighter. This combination of the cream base and using only a bit of the shimmery blush is a beaute though. 

For the eyes I've been quite lazy and just donning a bit of brown pencil liner. I usually do a more dramatic wing but the past few days I've wanted to keep it minimal. The Make Up Store Eyeliner in Chocolate Cheesecake is a beautiful brown liner with a hint of micro shimmer. The formula is ultra smooth and glides onto the lashline with no problems. 

On my lips I've discovered a wearable baby pink lip combo that doesn't look too awkward on my yellow skin. First I apply a thin layer of the Clé de Peau Beauté Enriched Lip Luminizer in 224* all over my lips. This lipstick is quite sheer but the very pale color washes me out and makes me look ill. That's why I have to top it with a brighter shade like the Dior Addict Lipstick in Dior Kiss. Together these two lipsticks give me a subtle pink hue and feel ultra comfortable on my lips.

What have you been loving this past month? Any rediscovered products or new purchases?

* The Clé de Peau Beauté lipstick was provided for free by PR for consideration. All thoughts are my own and 100% honest.

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Start of My Jouer Palette (With Swatches!)

I'm always drawn to beauty palettes because they are often an amazing value and so convenient when you need to have everything in one handy case. The downside to palettes is when some shades are gorgeous but others are repeats in your collection or just plain... blah. This is why the Jouer interlocking compacts are genius and a godsend for people who can be a bit picky. 

I've had the Jouer Lipgloss in Birchbox Pink for over two years now but I've never had any other compacts to attach it to. Recently I was given their Powder Eyeshadow in Caramel and the Powder Blush in Peach Bouquet* to finally expand my little palette. As you can see from the photo above, the compacts can click together side by side or back to back. The interlocking mechanism is easy to use and pretty sturdy so you don't have to worry about anything breaking off. However, the one caveat I found is that if you have two mini squares clicked onto the back of a longer compact, you cannot open both of the small squares at the same time because there isn't enough room for the lids. 

Here is what the products look like separately in case you want to only bring one piece with you on the go. The little ridges on the sides of the compacts aren't too obtrusive or unappealing. The dark brown plastic casing feels substantial and is a nice contrast to the usual black casing. 

The texture of Jouer powder makeup is very smooth and soft. The colors are perfect for those who like subtle makeup and great for ladies (or gentlemen) who work in conservative environments. The pigmentation is certainly on par but you won't get the extra buttery goodness that you might find with Urban Decay or Nars. Jouer powders blend easily, almost a tad too easily, so use a light hand when sheering out color. I really love the color of Peach Bouquet and think it's the perfect everyday color for most light to tan skintones. Caramel swatched a lot more gold than I thought it would because it seemed more like a mid tone brown in the pan. The fine shimmer in this shadow makes the eyelids glow and I love this all over the lid for a quick look. The color does translate a bit warm so it can look almost orange in a not-so-flattering way but I can easily counteract that by adding in a cool matte brown to the outer corners of my eyes.

I have been wanting to try Jouer's products for several years now and their formulas do not disappoint. I love the build-your-own concept and look forward to adding maybe a matte eyeshadow and cream tint and highlight to my palette. I also briefly met Christina Zilber, the founder of Jouer, at a Birchbox event and she was really sweet as well. Bonus points for down to earth founders! Have you tried any Jouer products? What are your favorite makeup palette brands?

*The blush and eyeshadow were given to me as gratis for my work at Birchbox. I bought the lipgloss two years ago with Birchbox points I had accumulated from my subscription that I paid for myself. All opinions are 100% my own honest thoughts. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Classic Yet Modern Dress for Fall

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have already seen the newest addition to my fall wardrobe, a beautiful teal dress that I'm already thinking about wearing to a few upcoming events. I was contacted by eShakti to review one of their pieces so I chose something I could wear to work or for a night out. The dress I chose was the Mesh Inserts Poplin Dress* which they also have in a beautiful eggplant color.

The beauty behind eShakti is that they offer customization for the style and fit of each piece. They do not stock sizes and actually make every piece as the orders roll in. You can enter your measurements for the perfect fit or simply choose your regular size (XS to 6X). I couldn't find a tape measure in my apartment so I just went for my usual size small. The dress fits true to size on me and it surprisingly hugs the contours of my body very well. This particular cut is very flattering for those with very straight, flat bodies like mine!

You can also customize the length of your dress (mini to ankle length) and whether or not you want pockets. I went with the mini length and I love having pockets so that was a nice feature. When I first took this dress out of the packaging, I thought the length was a bit long for a mini but I realized it's due to the cut out mesh feature that makes this seem much longer. I personally really love the mesh detail because it takes a very classic silhouette and gives it an edge.

In terms of the construction of the dress, the proportions are great but the material itself could be higher quality considering this retails for $69.95. There is a side zipper to help with getting the dress on and off but even with the dress unzipped, it was a tight squeeze to get this piece on.... I swear I heard a slight rip when I put the dress on for the first time and had a mini panic attack. I think the prices on the website are definitely on the higher side but they frequently have promotions and discounts that even out the price.

I was pleasantly surprised by my eShakti order and would recommend the site if you have trouble finding clothes that fit your individual body type. They have a wide variety of styles and I think the ones they seem to do best are the vintage-looking ones akin to something from the 1960s.

If you're interested in ordering something from the site, you can use the code 'ANGELICBB' for 10% off your total. The coupon expires October 22, 2014 and can be combined with any other offer on the site (unless explicitly stated on the other promotion). The coupon code is not valid on clearance or sale, gift cards and overstock categories.

*I was provided this piece for free by eShakti for review purposes. All opinions stated are my own honest views. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Mini "Essential" Sephora Haul

Do you ever buy beauty products and get more excited about the free samples than the actual things you bought? This is one of those hauls.

I'm running low on the MUFE setting spray which I like but don't love. The MUFE nozzle doesn't dispense as fine a mist as the Urban Decay spray. Sephora is stocking the Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray Duo Pack which only costs $39 when one bottle goes for $30 normally. In my excitement I somehow thought that the duo consisted of one of the De-Slick Spray and the other being the All Nighter Spray. I really enjoyed the De-Slick mini so I'm hoping I like the All Nighter just as much since I now have two whopping bottles of it.

I was also running out of bar soap so I picked up the Fresh Sugar Lychee Soap which I had smelled in the store and really enjoyed but never tried. Each bar is pretty pricey but the size is quite big so it will last awhile. If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you'll probably know that I love a good hunk of lathery soap rather than a simple body wash.

I used the promotion code FIGHTACNE (which is still active) to pick two deluxe samples out of a few good skincare items. I settled on the new Bare Minerals Blemish Ready Acne-Clearing Foundation and the Kate Somerville HydraClear Hydrating Acne Gel. Both are great travel sizes that I'll probably bring on my next overnight trip. The Bare Minerals sample looks small but I had a sample in the same size of their matte foundation a long time ago and it lasted many uses.

For my three free packet samples I chose the Kate Somerville Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment which I've had before and like to have on hand for overnight trips. I also picked the Josie Maran Argan Infinity Lip and Cheek Creamy Oil in Limitless Pink because it's an interesting product concept but one I definitely want to try on my face before buying. I had heard good things about the Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black Fragrance so that was my final sample choice.

Do you love samples as much as I do? What fun things have you hauled recently?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Face Shop's Volcanic Clay Blackhead Charcoal Nose Strips

Not everyone will agree but I think doing a peel off nose strip helps remove build up and cleans the grease and dirt that regular washing and exfoliating doesn't get rid of. The ones I'm using at the moment are particularly good and they are Volcanic Clay Blackhead Charcoal Nose Strips from The Face Shop. 

The black strips are great because you can see the gunk so much better than when you use a white strip. You use these the same way you would any other typical peel off strip: dappen the face, apply the dry strip to the nose and press to secure. I like to do this right out of a shower because the steam opens the pores and helps the strip grab onto more clumps of sebum. It takes about ten minutes for the mask to dry fully and harden which is when you know to rip it off. 

I use a strip generally once every two weeks as it takes a few weeks for my nose pores to get clogged and especially enlarged. Using the strips too often might irritate the skin as well. I like strips with a good amount of grip and it personally does not hurt. I know some people have more sensitive skins and noses so it's all personal preference.

Here is a picture of a strip post application. You can see it pulled out some rather giant bits of build up. After removing the mask, I rinse my face with warm water because there tends to be some leftover glue from the strip. Then I'll spritz my face with some toner to seal my pores. 

I can't remember exactly how much these strips cost but I'm pretty sure the box was under $10 for seven strips. I purchased these at a local The Face Shop store but I'm sure you can find these online if you don't have access to this brand. What do you think of peel off nose masks? How do you remove blackheads, whiteheads and other build up from that area?