First Look: Burberry Fresh Glow Foundation

Is this new? I think it’s new. I’m honestly too lazy to find out, because it’s totally new to ME. The last Burberry product I got was the Cashmere, and since abandoning full coverage and matte finish foundations, it barely gets any love.

But I hauled my tail all the way out to Topanga Mall to see about the Fresh Glow Foundation because I didn’t want to buy it sight unseen. Y’all remember what happened with me and the Cashmere blend in Almond, which had me running around looking like a damn pumpkin. The next shade up, Camel really looked too light. But it applies and merges beautifully.

Not one to assume that Burberry is going to keep the same undertones in this foundation, I decided to put my hands on it in person. Sure enough, the Almond looked perfect initially and Camel looked WAY too light. I swatched them both… waited for someone to help me… waited some more… and finally started making eye contact. Every damn salesperson around me seemed to be occupied with the most high maintenance people… OMG. Just asking asinine questions and sucking all the air out of the entire department. I honestly felt bad for the sales people. Tough job. I could never do it.

So I got tired of waiting and went into the stock drawers to fetch the foundation myself and BAM! Like magic, this tiny person with every single Burberry product on her face at the same time appeared before me.

Mofos love to show up like magic when they think you’re gonna steal something.

Anyway, she’s super helpful and trying to sell me on the A/W collection (which I’m not interested in), and then informs me that she’s just an MUA for the brand and can’t actually ring me up. Fine. I head over to Armani, pick up the primer (which I’m still on the fence about) and have THAT PERSON ring me up. Now to be fair, Burberry at Nordstrom in Topanga is ALWAYS raggedy. Always. Ever since my girl Alise left, these fools have never had a steady person in that area who specializes in the brand. There’s always some poor soul from Dior or Chanel fumbling their way through explanations, and they never know where to find stuff. That’s how I  knew where to find the foundation… because I’ve starred in this D-list movie before.

To the foundation itself… it’s good. It’s sheer to slightly medium coverage, and it’s demi-glow. Not full on at all, but I’m okay with that because I don’t want to look like an oil slick. It binds to the skin and sets beautifully. It’s what I wanted the MUFE water foundation to be before it curdled on my skin and literally slid off. I hate that stuff.

Camel starts out too light, but adjusts in about five minutes and merges in with my skin tone. I like it a lot. I do NOT recommend this for anyone who’s looking for coverage. This acts as a CC cream that I can tell and does more to blur the skin than actually cover it up. It’s honestly what I’m looking for in a foundation so it works gorgeously for me. I kept the rest of the face simple with Charlotte Tilbury Pressed Powder in #2 (bane of my damn existence. I can’t believe I caved and bought another one), Victoria Beckham Bronzer and Modern Mercury Highlighter (as blush and highlighter) and then the same two items on my eyes. I know! My GOD I love that collection. I’m considering a backup of Bitter Clove (don’t judge!), which is under my lash line. I smudged a teeny bit of kohl into my lash line and finished with, you guessed it, Armani Black Ecstasy mascara.

Lips are Chantecaille Mirage.

So I’m loving this foundation for regular use. It sets beautifully, feels comfortable, and doesn’t fade like Tilbury’s Magic Foundation did. Keeper.

Peonies for a Cause

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Habibi is rolling out a promotion to raise awareness (and money) in the fight against Breast Cancer. Yes this is a promotional post. NO you do not have to participate in it. Just let me do my thing and do some good and maybe (even by reading this) we inspire each other to make this world a better place to live in.

I, both personally and through Habibi, have been an avid supporter of the Foundation for Living Beauty for 15 years. The organization works to uplift and support both fighters and survivors of breast cancer. I met the founder, Amie, on a fluke: we have a mutual friend who had to cancel our plans one night to work with the foundation, and I curiously tagged along to see what was what. Amie’s foundation was born of necessity, in support of a family member who developed breast cancer.

Since that time, Habibi has contributed to the Foundation either through product or monetary donation, or in-person support. It’s grown from the occasional party to raise awareness, to regularly scheduled retreats and workshops for fighters, survivors and care-givers. It’s been a joy to watch this organization grow and do so much good for so many people. I was a casual observer and regular contributor until a few months ago when I was driving home in this oppressive heat, and my mentor called and told me to pull over.

She has cancer in the lymph nodes under her arms, and in her breast tissue.

I immediately reached out to the foundation to try and get her some help and support, and offered to pay for whatever it would take to help her participate in the workshops and retreats. They informed me that the services are FREE for their Living Beauties and that all she needed to do was sign up. Seriously? While this makes total sense, you’d be surprised at the amount of non-profits that require participants to contribute money in some way. This blew me away and made me so happy.

So this year I’m upping the ante.

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To bring focus to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Habibi has rolled out ‘Peony Petals.’ It’s a small collection designed specifically to raise money for the Foundation for Living Beauty. 50% of every sale goes to the foundation. The other half simply covers the cost of making the product. So Habibi won’t make a dime… just like the foundation doesn’t profit off of Living Beauties. I chose Peonies because when we worked together at the network, she would bring fragrant bouquets of peonies to sit at her desk and bring a little joy to our work space. I developed a love for the flowers because of her, and now keep them in my home because they look and smell amazing.

Personal affectation is a funny thing; often we care about a thing MORE when it directly affects us. I am just as guilty as the next person. I was a marginal contributor until my friend was affected… but I honestly feel like it’s always better late than never. This cause is close to  my heart, and I give in reflection of that. I also teach my mentor yoga and  breath technique, because it helps lower her stress levels and (according to her doctor) prevents her from exacerbating tumor growth as they work to treat her.

This is not a pitch for you to buy. This is a cathartic attempt to share something on my heart, and display my commitment to the cure in a very public way.

I Love You All.

Namaste.

 

Lip Service: Chanel Lip Ink in #154 (Experimente)

Chanel wants all of you to know that they are NOT playing around this season! The new Lip Inks are what happens when you don’t rush out like an asshole to be first to release a liquid lipstick, and use hype and controversy to sell your inconsistent and overall shoddy product (you know who you are).

Armani kind of threw down the gauntlet many moons ago with their Velvet Maestro. They weren’t that good. Since then formulations have definitely gotten better from the company (even though they’re still not as good as Hourglass… but better than YSL. Let’s face it, everything’s better than YSL in the liquid lipstick department). Meanwhile, a crap load of indie companies sprang up and formulas ranged from sometimes great (depending on the batch), to good, to “if you don’t sit your trifling ass down right now”… and hordes of beauty fanatics snapped them up in hopes of finding the holy grail of matte liquid lipsticks that didn’t dry out your lips or take a chisel to get off the edges (even as the center wore away and got crusty on re-application).

Meanwhile Chanel was laying back in the cut watching everyone behave like a bunch of asshats, and perfecting a formula that would shut it all down. You know the testers were like “No. Send it back.” And the bean counters were all “But…. but everyone, like EVERYONE has a liquid lipstick…” And the testers were like: SEND.IT.BACK.

Now, Autumn 2016… arguably way behind the 8-ball… Chanel came out with the new Lip Inks. Now, to be honest, I haven’t been right with them since they discontinued those epic Lacquers (HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO LIVE WITHOUT DRAGON? HOW SWAY?), so I came to this collection with a firm side eye. I ended up with two (150 and 154) and road tested the former. Now, I’m up to 154 (Experimente) and OH.MY.GAWD.

When I tell you that this is the perfect warmed red… Y’ALL LISTEN. And it goes on like a dream, wears like a creamy lipstick in terms of comfort, and won’t come off until I sic Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil on it (which will take off Beauty Bakerie… and trust and believe that lip glue needs a damn chisel). This is so good. I’m mad that I love it so much. Now I want more colors. Dammit. Most of the colors are soooo bright (Chanel remains clueless with seasonal colors. Lookin’ like a Summer selection for A/W. SMH) but I’m totally open to seeing what’s what.

I LOVE this color. Such a good red. Such a wearable red. Such a great formula that I don’t have to worry about looking a hot mess 6 hours into wear. Plus it LOOKS like a regular lipstick in that it doesn’t dry your lips out trying to be the most matte ever and won’t make your lips flaky.

Kudos Chanel. Y’all did the damn thing. I might just forgive you for Dragon…

No.

Nevermind.

You will never be forgiven until you bring it back.

In the original formula.

Do it.

Lip Service: Charlotte Tilbury- THE QUEEN

So this frantic (as is Charlotte’s way) email arrives in my inbox like BUY THE QUEEN NOW! So I give in to the shenanigans and a massive box with a little tube of lipstick arrives a day later.

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This color is SO DAMN BRIGHT. Not in an awesome strawberry pink flattering-on-everyone bright. More like an “I did my makeup in a dimly lit club bathroom” bright, and then shocked everyone when the lights came up. The shade looks cheap and tawdry on me, which is not saying much for the British monarch that it’s named after. Poor Elizabeth. Charlotte is basically celebrating that heinous color named something awful like Flamingo Passion or some crap, that your grandmother has insisted on wearing since Estee Lauder first created it in 1912. Uncute.

I had to alter it with Hollywood Honey lip liner to make it look presentable on my face. It works with a good warm reddish brown. But alone it just looks like I put on my makeup in the dark and picked up the wrong shade by accident. Chanel’s 2016 interpretation of this color (Luxuriant) is a MUCH better bet in terms of pigment and overall flattery. If you’re up to choose, pick that one instead.

Chanel Lips A/W 2016

I’ve been road testing a few of Chanel’s new Lippies for Fall, and so far so good. I skipped over the lipsticks … and not just because they are oddly bright for this season. Because… no. They don’t look impressive and swatched patchy on me. So, pass.

But the new Lip Inks are interesting. They’re meant to answer the rash of matte liquid lipsticks that have all but saturated the market. The formula is thinner (think YSL) and they can kind of be patted on to stain, or layered for a full opaque effect. The color selection leaves a bit to be desired; it consists of brights and reds with different undertones (pink, yellow, and brown). That’s about it. The standouts to me were 150 lip-ink(Luxuriant) and 154 (Experimente).

I also picked up the latest offering in the Rouge Double Intensity line: 102 (Milky Blueberry). I was honestly kind of skittish about the Lip Ink colors, and the blueberry is much closer to a berry look that would be perfect for the season.

All of the formulas are noteworthy. They look scary to apply (the pigment factor is pretty high) but they really aren’t. I’d recommend a steady hand and a light touch to start. I had no problem putting on the colors without the help of a brush or a lip liner.

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As you can see, Luxuriant is a strong strawberry pink on me. Some people were describing it as plum, but that’s not a reality on my warm skin tone. Milky blueberry is much more of a cool plum on me, and Experiemente is my perfect shade of brick red.

I haven’t tried Experiemente in practical application, but I’m over the moon at the results from Milky Blueberry and Luxuriant:

The colors wear absolutely gorgeous, and they LAST. I ate and drank all day in Milky Blueberry and aside from a little wear in  the center, it held strong. Same for Luxuriant. So far I’m a happy camper. I don’t care for the rest of Chanel’s seasonal offerings; honestly these were the standouts for me.

Estee Lauder + Victoria Beckham: The Second

The lippies came! While I do love everything, I see (now) that layering them all together can be a bit much.

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Lip liner is on the left, then lipstick, then lipgloss.

With the exception of the gloss (where there is no doubt about color), the pencil and especially the lipstick look like they pull a little in the swatches. They do NOT. This is a fullsizerender149distinct nude with yellow and brown undertones, and if you have pink undertones in your skin, you might want to be careful about rushing out to buy this. These lip products do something really interesting to my  lips: they completely remove my natural pigmentation and make my lips look nearly bare. It’s quite a gorgeous surprise and completely seals my love for this collection. The rest of this FOTD is the eye ink in Black Myrrh (LOVE), with the highlighter on the inner corners and blended through the crease. Highlighter and bronzer are also on the cheeks. I layered all three of the lip products, which I do not recommend. After this picture I ended up taking it down and just wearing the lipstick. You can wear the pencil alone or with the lipstick or gloss… but I don’t recommend doing it with the lipstick AND gloss. It’s too much. I felt like I had weights attached to my lips. And they were so packed and shiny and honestly kinda gross. But worn alone or two at a time they really make a lovely impact.

I will say that I have one major complaint with Estee Lauder: the lipstick is small. LIKE…. SMALL! I put it next to a Bite lipstick (then read the weight) and found that side by side, the VB version nearly looks like a sample. Not cool. Especially at $45. It’s rather rude to shrink the tube size and jack up the price. Just greedy and raggedy and I’m sure I’m not the only person who didn’t appreciate it.

Do better Estee. Otherwise, the collection is a hit in this camp.

Estee Lauder + Victoria Beckham: The First

WOW.

So my first impression of this collection is LOVE. Pure unadulterated love. Okay, let me clarify. I don’t like everything (I think those eye tints are a complete waste of space and the eye pencil is garbage), but most of it is fabulous. The colors are not exceptional, but the formulas are undeniably fantastic. And the packaging just seals it. If you think it reminds you of Tom Ford, you’re right. Estee Lauder owns Tom Ford Beauty, so similarities are warranted. But this is so much better, in my opinion. The reason why is the insides. The Tom Ford Night Blooming Powders (which is where the similar packaging happens) are good, but not fantastic. The highlighter is a gold highlighter. Period. And the blush is a source of frustration for anyone… including the palest of them all… trying to get it to show up on their skin. Not so for this collection. EVERYTHING shows up. The colors are dense and gorgeous, and I am here for (mostly) all of it.

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This is what showed up first. I got this collection in pieces from different places. Estee Lauder began to sell out the day after it released, and certain stores only got certain items. So these arrived from Selfridges (which is crazy because the US based stores haven’t even shipped yet!), and I couldn’t wait for the rest to arrive to start this review. So I’ll do it in pieces. I also ordered the lipstick, lip pencil, and gloss. When those get here, I’ll post them as well.

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See what I mean about density? The bronzer shows up on my skin, and is dark enough to cheat as a contour. The highlighter is DENSE. As you can see, it’s opaque and unapologetic. You have to really sheer it out to use it, so a light touch is recommended. You can easily pack it onto your eyes as a shadow, and it’ll hold with no issue. I also got the eye shadow in Bitter Clove, which looks like a lighter (with multi-color sparkles) version of Gucci’s Cocoa, which I love. My favorite is the eye ink in Black Myrrh. I know… it’s just a black shadow. But when I tell you that it’s so dense that it works gorgeously as an eyeliner with no fallout (not that I could see and I packed it with abandon)… OMG. Love. I want a backup. That’s so rude. But I do.

I happily dug into these items for an FOTD:

Bronzer as contour, highlight as  highlight, Bitter Clove on the lids and Black Myrrh everywhere else on the eyes. I really love this stuff.

Because my lip stuff hasn’t gotten here yet, I used Charlotte Tilbury’s Very Victoria with a clear gloss on top.

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Doing my very best Victoria Beckham impression

Love this collection. It’s well done, beautifully packaged, and classically impressive. It’s the difference between a pair of camouflage Louboutin booties and a classic Balmain blazer. You can tell that a lot of thought went into most of the collection (I’m not a fan of the palette because I feel like it does color for color’s sake, and I feel like the double ended eye pencil  was kind of phoned in), and Beckham has every reason to be proud of it.