FOTD: Soft Pink

So after a couple of meetings and a NAP (whew I so believe in naps. Ya’ll don’t even know), I felt fresh enough to go minimal on the makeup. I pulled out my beloved La Mer Reparative Skin Tint,  because my skin was acting like it got some rest and could deal with the sheer coverage. Just a light dusting of Innisfree No Sebum loose powder on top and that was about it for the base. That blush is Armani #6 (which I haven’t used in forever. I have no idea why because its really good).

The brow situation gets handled tonight with the facial, so Anastasia Brow Definer is holding those unruly things in place for the moment. The eyes are the lightest colors from Becca’s Ombre Rouge Palette: flesh-toned beige, light pink, and medium brown. I just mushed them all together so there’s no real definition to show you with the eyes. I just wanted everything super soft. I tightlined with Tom Ford Metallic Mink (likely my most used eye pencil) and finished with Chantecaille Faux Cils Longest Lash Mascara (which I would LOVE if it didn’t dry out 10 seconds after you buy it).

For the lips I dusted off Charlotte Tilbury’s Stoned Rose, which still is my favorite of all her pink/rose colors.

I’m not even doing anything significant enough today to warrant this makeup. Let me go wash it off and get my skin ready for Jennifer to fix it with a facial. She will cuss me out if I show up looking wrecked after all the work she did out the gate. She really taught me the value of ‘balanced’ skin, even in my oily state. Since I started seeing her my skin is just that… balanced. Not oily. Not dry. Just calm and easy. I want to keep it that way forever and ever… amen. 🙂

 

All the stuff… and a Bronzed FOTD

Hey!

All work and no play man… ALL WORK AND NO PLAY. I’m scheduling some time off because I’ve been doing the MOST. I’ve been teaching more yoga than practicing, and giving just a bit too much of myself. Between Habibi drop offs and pick ups and meetings and what not, I have to remind myself to breathe. I actually yelled when I found out I had to squeeze in a meeting today.

Not so yogi.

So yeah.

In the middle of all the business crap, I go back to my first love (creating) whenever I can. I am not a fan of bath bombs as they stand on the market today, so I’ve been experimenting with packing more into the standard formula to really give you a bathing spirit bath bombsexperience worthy of Habibi. A few hits and a WHOLE LOT OF MISSES later, I pulled together a recipe that will both hold that fizz that everyone likes, but also take care of your skin. One of these babies will basically make you feel like you’re bathing in silk.

My raggedy friends keep coming on social media talking about “Look! Orange Cheesecake!” SMH. While they do look DELICIOUS, they will not taste like orange cheesecake if you decide to take a bite. And I am not responsible if you decide to take that challenge. Just saying.

So that’s that. My current packaging is OOOOOOKAY. Not amazing like I really want, so I’m working on that. My other issue with bath bombs is that they’re generally unsanitary with the way they’re currently sold. If you’re a fan of the biggest bath bomb maker in the country, then you know that all kinds of random mofos have had their hands on your bath bomb before you actually purchase it and drop it in your tub. And then you’re soaking in all the cooties in the universe… NO MA’AM! Can’t do it. So while I love all the little boxes and what not that are floating around right now, I’m all for upping the ante. Who has time to be mediocre?

I’m also working on the most amazing bath soak you have ever used in your life! I used it last night… MAMA! Limited though. Look for it around Mother’s Day. Ain’t no way in the world I’m mass producing that stuff. It is literally that precious. Gonna be so AWESOME though! It might come out again around Holiday ’16…

See what I mean? All the stuff.

Meanwhile, I did a bronze thing with a lot of matte in between. Some people can do the full ‘glow’ look, but on me it is always more GREASE than GLOW. So there’s a whole lot of FOTD BronzeInnisfree powder between the brows, under the eyes, and on the chin. I dug out the Guerlain Africa Rhythm Bronzer (which is a true bronze, my goodness) and used it as a blush/contour, and eyeshadow through the crease. Tom Ford’s Metallic Mink Pencil is on my waterline, and Kat Von D Tattoo Liner is on my lashline. Chantecaille Faux Cils Mascara and Anastasia Brow Definer round out the whole eye thing. The Burberry White Highligher (that thing is magic) is on the high points of my face and on my lids. That’s Marc Jacobs lipstick in Mahogany on my lips, covered in Anastasia Lip Gloss in Gilded. The base is a mix of that Natasha Denona Glow Foundation madness (which is so much more grease than glow. I’m just saying) and NARS Velvet Skin Tint (what? I’m being open. Hush).

Forgive the hormonal mishaps randomly sprinkled on my skin. I’m getting a facial tomorrow.

 

FOTD: Rock Steady

I haven’t gotten around to these lipsticks… shame! I honestly thought I was going to love Firebird the most in the Urban Decay X Gwen Stefani Collection. But Rock Steady has my heart. The deep red is SO flattering, my goodness. And it wears like a champ. The pencil all over is basically a matte lipstick. The lipstick itself is more of a satin, but it binds to your  lips like a matte. Just stunning.

firebird and rock steady

Firebird pencil and lipstick is on the left, and Rock Steady is on the right.

I am convinced this will be used more than my other reds. I love the idea of a red lipstick, but I honestly don’t wear them as much as I’d like. Kept the rest of the face super simple with Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation, Smashbox(?) Heartbreaker Blush, Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, and Volume de Chanel Mascara.

Leave my brows alone (they grow long so fast). I’m getting them dealt with in a few days.

FOTD: Oh Charlotte!

In anticipation of Charlotte Tilbury’s US launch of the Magic Foundation, I decided to try out some of my favorite products. I’m hoping the US version closer matches the claims for this foundation. As of now it is a solid medium coverage that cannot be layered to full, does not adequately cover blemishes or discolorations, and fades on my oily skin after 4 hours. What I love about it is the way it bonds to the skin on application, and the absolutely flawless color match to my skin tone (I have #9). I just want it to layer to full coverage and I want it to last. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

I used the Magic Foundation on my hormonal skin (Boo!) and set it with Charlotte’s pressed powder (don’t recommend). I used my ever favorite First Love Blush and highlighted with the ‘glow’ portion of the Filmstar Bronze and Glow. I also used the Bronze and Glow on my eyes, with the Glow portion on my lids and the Bronze portion in the crease. I don’t own any Charlotte Tilbury Eyeshadows. I’ve never thought they were worth the hype or the price. Tom Ford does it better in better packaging and bigger pots to boot. That goes for the powder and the cream colors.

The felt tip pen is on my lashline in a modified Feline Flick, and the whole thing is finished with Charlotte’s 5-Star Mascara. I ran the Brow Lift in Cara (named for Delevigne) through those brows, which are in need of a refresh. On the lips… K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Hepburn Honey (top 5 favorite nude) on the outer edges, with Confession in the middle. I finished the lips with Charlotte’s Lip Gloss in Bardot Beige.

Charlotte still reigns supreme in some things, like First Love and Hepburn Honey. And The Retoucher in all of its EPIC EPICNESS. I am nearly at pan on the blush. No joke. Same for Filmstar Bronze & Glow. And because of the amazing learning curve with skin shades and new products… Miss Tilbury will always be one of my favorite makeup Rock Stars.

 

FOTD: Tatcha Sunrise Plum Blossom

It’s always refreshing to wade through the piles of new makeup releases for Spring and Summer and come across an absolute gem.

Tatcha has long set itself apart with quiet elegance, promising to share with us the secret of the Geisha that we too may blossom into beauty perfection. The company’s latest offering is a limited edition lipstick in the color Plum Blossom. It’s a gorgeous soft pink that will pull more plum or purple on fair skins. On me, it’s a perfect medium pink. It has 23 karat gold in it, but there is no sheen of gold to speak of so I’m guessing it’s something incorporated into the formula that’s not meant to show up after the fact.

You cannot imagine how exquisite this packaging is. The bullet has substantial weight to it. It feels nearly ceramic in weight and finish. The embossing on the cover and logo are tatcha sunriseboth bold and delicate at the same time. I am over the moon about the packaging, and the color itself just adds to my affection for this lipstick.

The shade is so universal that you know they put thought into it before release (Guerlain are you paying attention?). When you unveil a limited edition lipstick, it’s probably a good idea to make sure as many people are attracted to it as possible. I cannot count the amount of companies that crap out a random pink, slap it in pretty packaging, and hope that you’re so attracted to the ‘limited’ nature of the product that you don’t notice that the shade itself looks like vomit. This shade is so flattering and effortless that it’s practically idiot proof for me. I’m talking toss on in the back of the car, no mirror, in the dark kind of idiot proof. And because the color isn’t overwhelming, it’s easy to build a face around it. You can go bold or soft… this lipstick doesn’t care. It’ll just adapt to whatever you’re down for, and wear beautifully with no complaints.

I am sprung. This might be my staple for the season… and maybe beyond. I just need to put it in a little velvet pouch to carry around ’cause I’m not messing up that bullet. It’s literally too gorgeous to even think about damaging in any way. I haven’t been this respectful to a makeup item since… well…

I can’t even remember.

About Swiss Cheese, Value, Opportunity and Breathing

Enjoy this random FOTD while I go on about something that’s been bugging me lately. Hubby and I are in the process of upgrading the web-series that he co-created, wrote, fotd random 2directed and helped produce. I, along with a host of other talented humans, also pitched in to produce (read: pay money and generally support). I broke out some makeup brushes, rolled up my sleeves and dug in. So the project is close to all of us.

For years I’ve worked with an influential client with makeup, but I’ve never breathed a word about the series or even Habibi, because I find it unethical to exploit opportunities and take advantage of people’s time. It’s taken me a while to find a balance with it, and understand that there is no shame in marketing yourself, and testing waters with people who might be able to help… without exploiting that relationship. In fact, when my client found out that I’d been holding back, she lectured me to that effect. So I listened.

Last year, an opportunity presented itself and I took it. I set up a meeting with a couple of high-powered individuals at their request, and set things in motion on our end with presentation. It took a month for the first response… with promises of a meeting the following month. Then it took another month after the first meeting was cancelled (at the last second), to schedule a second meeting. The second meeting was also cancelled, with a vague promise of maybe a thing (code for ‘nothing’) following month or so, and then THAT thing was further modified. And so it goes… right into 2016.

And now we come to the Swiss Cheese part of our story.

When I was 3 years old, I decided that I HATED Swiss cheese. The fact that I remember this decision so clearly is a trip. I didn’t like the way it looked (like some half done swiss cheesediseased grossness), I didn’t like the way it smelled, and I didn’t like the way it tasted. My mother tried every which way to get me to like it, but it never took. Years later, I decided that my 3 year old self was probably a little quick to rush to judgement, so I tried Swiss Cheese again. Still gross. Years later, I tried it again. Still gross.

Here’s the thing: I’m not an industry person. Never been a fan. I don’t particularly understand it or care for it. But I’m married to an industry person, so I stand beside him with pom poms and yell GO TEAM! whenever the occasion calls for it.  What I’ve come to recognize is that a lot of people who work in the industry do not possess more intelligence or better instincts than the creators they make money off of. They just have more power. And sometimes they (and the many people who speak for them… which is an entirely different conversation) use that power to discourage and dismiss. It’s gross. Like Swiss Cheese.

And just like Swiss Cheese… every few moons I dip my baby toe in the industry waters because you know, second/third/fourth/fifth chances and all that… and NOPE. Still gross.

Now Hubby is taking this a lot better than I am. But he’s the industry person so he gets it. He says he kind of saw it as a practice run anyway. He went into it with more knowledge and experience than me, so he’s cool. But I’m all up in my feelings like Kanye ’cause this is some of the messiest mess… and it’s just so unnecessary. One of my friends always says NO ONE IS EVER THAT BUSY. And she’s right. We spend time, effort, and money on the things that are important to us. Period.

So I’m working on breathing, and putting my energy into things that better serve me. Like taking that very expensive Habibi gift that I had made for these eternally postponed meetings (which was part of some advice offered by an equally powerful industry individual), and sending it to someone else. The products are fresh and carry an expiration date, and they don’t have time to be waiting on anyone to get it together. So it was as much as an emotional decision as a practical one.

That exercise helped me open a window to a new opportunity. One of the people who got a gift is now interested in carrying Habibi in her highly influential place of business. YIPPEE! So that’s my focus of late, as we continue this asinine orbit around an industry that works very hard to determine your value and control your shine. What I know is that you can’t control the actions of others, you can only control your REACTION to them. Sometimes I forget it, and this was a fantastic reminder to stay on my mat, breathe, and clear the pathway for new and better things. The action stands as it is; my reaction is to put energy into people and things who acknowledge… not try to determine… my value.

Namaste.

Swatches/FOTD: Tom Ford Disco Dust

Just when I declared Honeymoon the top pick for Tom Ford’s Spring/Summer 2016 releases… Disco Dust rises gorgeously into first place. It’s been a while since I’ve reached for hyper-visual pigments and shadows, and Disco Dust likely speaks to my current love of boosted neutrals. So… yeah.

disco dust 1

disco dust 2

disco dust 3

disco dust 4

disco dust

I absolutely love this quad. I think it might be more like the old formula, with the one flash shade (silver) that is best used with fingers and pressed into skin. The blending power is… everything. But the shades make a point of standing out on their own. Even that second shade (the neutral shimmer) is like “You can’t take my shine!” I see you.

The rest of the face is simple (as always). The NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint is growing on me. Well, it helps that my skin is doing better. When I was dealing with scarring and madness it was NOT my friend. MAC Peaches Blush (still the best peach blush I’ve ever used), and Dose of Colors Matte Lip Color in Brick, and Dose of Colors Lip Gloss in Bellini.

Chantecaille SPRING 2016: Magnolia Palette & Earth Pencil

Chantecaille is all subtle for Spring (as if they’re outlandish any other time… NOT). The new Magnolia Palette is nothing that you haven’t seen before. All the colors are dupeable, but there is the lovely addition of a portion of sales going to a good cause. Chantecaille ever reels us in with this, even as the colors blend together for a seamless glow… with no real separation or personality of their own.

Such as it is.

True to Chantecaille, the packaging of the palette is absolutely gorgeous. The top of the case is decorated with a lifted plate featuring a magnolia blossom. Inside, the colors read as two shimmers (grey and eggshell), one cheek color (coral), and one matte (dark brown).

These are swatched with fingers. One swipe.

magnolia palette 1

They all look very strong on their own, but applied with a brush, they diffuse very quickly. If you’re not into subtle looks, this palette is a definite pass. I think the best one from Chantecaille is still Sea Turtles (I bought a backup when that one came out), followed by Horses, and Elephants… and maybe Sharks. The rest I can take or leave.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The pencil in Earth, also new for Spring, is just amazing. Yes, it’s a brown pencil. But between the cooler tone (I hate warm browns that pull red on me), and the gel formula that literally glides like silk, and the immediate setting power (remove with makeup remover. Trust me)… I am in LOVE. I think I need a backup.

I’m all Chantecaille all the time. Foundation is Future Skin in Banana (I forgot how much I loved this foundation!), with a light dusting of loose power in Shadow. I skipped the blush and just used a teeny bit of the lightest color in the Magnolia Palette as a highlight, and buffed the brown all the way out as a contour. I also used the brown under the lashline.

I used just the eggshell and the grey color on the eyes (inner and outer lid respectively), and the Earth pencil on the waterline. It requires immediate sharpening from eye to eye and it sets almost immediately, so going slow and building up is recommended. Faux Cils Mascara to finish and Hydra Chic Lipstick in Water Lily round out the look

 

FOTD: Matte Neutral

I put this look together and decided that it looked very… dated. Like 90’s dated. fotd matte neutralRemember when we were rocking all those neutral colors and doing monochrome ochre and what not? No? Okay, maybe that was just me.

Anyway, since rehabbing my skin I’ve been pressing a zinc based sunscreen into my skin before buffing my foundation over it. Zinc is normally my enemy, what with the white cast and all. But Jennifer taught me to ‘press’ the sunscreen in, instead of rubbing it (which brings up the white cast), and it has worked wonders. She also taught me to put just a light dusting of Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder over my bare skin before stepping out the door makeup free. Because I’m so oily, all that oil acts as a ‘magnet’ and attracts everything under the sun. Then I end up with dirt and oil and BAM! Pimple.

This foundation is the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation. Now before you get excited, know that this foundation tends to fade on me after about 4 hours. BUT with the use of the zinc sunscreen … which acts as a really powerful primer… the Magic Foundation has actually  been staying on my oily skin. It doesn’t matter how many times you layer this foundation, it is a solid medium coverage, despite full coverage claims. I have scarring from the acid and I have to go back over those areas with a strong cover-up to make my skin uniform. But it does stick to the skin nicely, and my match (9) is exquisitely complementary. The color selection in this foundation is fabulous.

I did set the foundation with Innisfree, and put Guerlain Peach Party Blush on my cheeks and the ashy (matte) highlighter that Chanel came out with a few years ago (we were all so pissed when we found out the shimmer was actually just an overlay. Who does that? Rude). It actually worked for this look because it highlighted without shimmer.

The eyes are strictly Viseart Neutral Mattes palette (which I don’t use nearly enough to justify the price). Medium Peach on the lids and Dark Peach (under waterline) and Cool Brown in the crease. Bone on the browbone and inner corners of the eye. Anastasia Dark Brown Brow Definer in the brows and Kat Von D Tattoo Eyeliner (still my ever favorite) on the lashline. Tom Ford Metallic Mink pencil on the waterline and Chantecaille Faux Cils Mascara.

Lips are a combination of Louboutin Lipstick in Zoulou (still my favorite of the bunch) and Dose of Colors Matte Liquid Lipstick in Cork.

Cocoa Smoke & a lesson about skincare

This lovely fotd, created with little to no imagination, comes with a story. I did this look IMG_8890(1)with neutral tones because I wanted to see how my skin would act in a nearly naked sense (despite the darker eyes) after a recent skin mishap.

On Thursday, I began what is to become a regular checkup with Jennifer. She performed a soothing facial on my skin, closed one of my acid wounds (we’ve already discussed this), and left me with strict instructions on simplifying my skin care. She also gave me a suggested cleanser (PCA), exfoliating pads with glycolic acid and retinol (Karla, these had retinol in them!), and a simple moisturizer (SkinScript). I am always happy to try new things (ya’ll remember when I lost my mind with Korean skin care) so I set Habibi aside and got to the business of doing this new stuff.

On Saturday, I took one yoga class and taught three others. By Saturday night my skinheat looked like I’d been through a rash factory. I had tiny red bumps that spread from my nose outward onto the rest of my face. It progressed very quickly and by Sunday morning I was itching so bad that I wanted to rip my face off.

First I was curious. I’ve never had a reaction like this before and it couldn’t have possibly been from the heat. I have have been taking and eventually teaching yoga in heat for 3 years, and this has never happened. But when the itch kicked in I got really frustrated. So I gathered up the stuff she’d given me, shot her a text, and turned to what I know.

I washed with Oatmeal & Peppermint Cleanser, followed with Seven Veils Exfoliating Mask heat 1(left on for 15 minutes), and finished with Oatmeal & Peppermint Moisturizer and 2 drops of Seven Veils Luxury Serum. Then I went to bed. The next morning I got a text from Jennifer and sent her my picture.  That’s natural light (window), no flash. All the redness was gone and the bumps were reduced by half. By Monday night, all of the bumps were gone and there was no redness at all.  I put on a mask again before bed last night, and this morning my skin is perfectly clear.

A colleague used to often preach that ‘you can’t know everything’ and I agree with that for the most part. But one thing I do know is my skin. I know how to care for it, I know how to rehab it, and even though I tend to lose my mind from time to time (70% glycolic acid… you know), I can usually find my way back.

Jennifer would like to see my products in person today, so I’m bringing her my stuff for a little show and tell. Estheticians have professional access to a ton of product, so skepticism is natural when it comes to personal skin care and habits. Especially when you come up against someone like me who makes her own skincare. Here’s hoping she gains a little insight about my personal skin, and my personal remedies.