FOTD: PHAME Expo 2013

The first PHAME (Professional Hair and Makeup Expo) got underway today. Now that IMATS has morphed into… well… something else, this pro-invite event lured several hundred makeup adventure seekers to Pasadena to see what’s what.

Now, it’s 100+ degrees these days (no… really), so I was not interested in wearing anything that would crease, run or otherwise make me look like a melted ice cream cone. So I kept it clean:

Elizabeth Arden Smoky Powder Pencil in Black (waterline/lashline)

May Favorites (2013)

This month, the list is ‘stripped down’ to the basics that I feel I must have — to function in truly flawless fashion.

Salux Cleansing Cloth.
Okay, I know that this is a regular staple in China and Japan, but I’m just discovering it and I LOVE IT! My baby sister insisted that I must get this cloth, and she was so right. I can’t live without it now. It exfoliates so beautifully, that it preps my skin to completely absorb the next treatment. I especially love using it before a Habibi Body Scrub. My skin is like SILK afterwards. Totally inexpensive, and totally worth it.

Asheida Face Sponge.
I absolutely love this sponge for removing makeup. I use it in two steps: first to take off the initial layer of makeup, and second to cleanse. I find it less messy than  my Clarisonic (which I still use religiously every night before bed) and easier to clean when removing makeup. It’s a fabulous little addition to my makeup removing routine.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil.
This is  my new ‘go to’ for removing makeup… especially  heavier foundations. The oil interacts with the oils in my skin (and the makeup) to cancel the latter out, and my makeup just slides off! I love it. Right now it’s on sale – so now is one of the best times to try it out!

Sunday Riley Start Over.
I’ve been using this eye treatment religiously since discovering it last year. It is fantastic for targeting any puffiness or darkness around the eyes. Continued use has left my eyes brighter and ‘puff free.’  It’s not the most moisturizing formula on the planet, so I think it’s better suited to oilier skins like mine.

Hourglass Lip Treatment Oil.
I really didn’t expect to rely on this formula the way I’ve come to. It’s really wonderful. I love the idea of a ‘serum’ for the lips, and I love the way it perfectly preps my lips for lipstick application, without the ‘slick’ of a traditional lip balm. I’ll definitely be keeping this one in heavy rotation.


Tom Ford Shade + Illuminate.
This rather pricey, but fantastic addition to my ‘skin kit’ is a must have if you can swing it. The double contour/highlight cream formula imitates ‘skin’ in a way that leaves the skin dewy, but not greasy or glittery. Perfect for both a ‘no makeup’ makeup… or a full on  makeup. A complete review is coming.

MAC Riri Woo Lipstick.
Say what? I went from being skeptical about this lipstick to hopping on board as a full on fan. Wow, I love it. I really do. The matte formula is friendly enough to wear without any other real embellishment on the face, which is rare for this kind of finish. It will totally pull your face together with just a bit of mascara and a groomed brow. But it also works incredibly well as part of a full dramatic look. MAC did extremely well with this lipstick, and they deserve major kudos.

Diptyque Eau Moheli Perfume.
I think I may have found my ‘summer staple’ fragrance. Eau Moheli uses an insane amount of ylang ylang to set the base note for this unusual floral. This fragrance plays so well with others, it’s amazing. I’ve been layering it like crazy with other scents (even traditionally masculine fragrances), to see what I can come up with. Right now, my absolute favorite combination is Eau Moheli, layered over Habibi Body Balm in Pink Grapefruit. Every time I wear it, someone asks me what I’m wearing. It’s that amazing.

That’s it! Those are my faves for the month of May. Ciao for now!

*this post contains affiliate links

Dry Skin Solution: Hourglass Serum No. 28

I have several clients who have the driest skin on earth, and I’ve noticed that as I get… ahem… older, my skin tends to get a little flaky around the nose and mouth. Most of the time I can treat it before bed with a strong face oil. But under makeup during the day, it just looks awful.

Enter Hourglass Serum No. 28

I was digging around Space NK last month and started playing with the formula. It goes on like a serum that’s too thick to actually penetrate, but eventually blends out to create a non-oily moisturizing veil that’s perfect as a primer or foundation base. I’ve even mixed a bit in with foundation to give it a moisturizing boost on the days when I need it most.

Last week, Sherry (also of Space NK) introduced me to the ‘Lip Treatment Oil’ — which is basically the same formula, with a little more grab for the lip area.

I use both of them well in advance of using any makeup (on myself or clients) to give it time to sink in. Since I’m pretty oily on the regular, this is a great step for me for nighttime makeup (which seems to dry the heck out of my skin).

The face serum comes in a standard pump. But the Lip Treatment Oil has the funkiest applicator… I use it by pumping out a small amount and wiping the tip with a lip brush…

 Both of the serums look and behave the same. I’ve noticed that for the face serum, a little bit goes a very long way (I use about half a pump for an entire face). It takes one full pump of lip serum to really cover an area well. The key to both of these formulas is to wait it out, while they work. The face serum goes on ‘wet’ — but blends out beautifully. And the lip oil goes on thick, but then sort of ‘liquifies’ and sinks into the lips.

The formula takes some getting used to, but once you figure it out it’s really excellent. If you’ve got (or work on) dry skin, this stuff is worth looking into. You can find out more about Hourglass Serum No. 28  HERE.

*this post contains affiliate links

FOTD: NORDSTROM Trend Event – Spring/Summer 2013

I went to the Nordstrom Trend Event this morning… and I needed to look the part. Hundreds of women descended on Topanga Mall today (from away as New York) to attend this event. So I dug out my Burberry Foundation and went to work:

Burberry Sheer Foundation in Trench #10
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger
Burberry Fresh Glow (mixed)
LORAC Pro Cheek Color in Petal Pink
By Terry Loose Powder Apricot Sable
Armani Eyes To Kill Silk Eyeshadow in Obsidian Grey (#21)
Chanel Illusion d’Ombre in Illusoire (blended through crease)
Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Pencil in Zero (lashline & waterline)
Volume de Chanel Masacara
Hourglass Lip Gloss in Opium

Product Review: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders

This is one of those lovely instances when it helps to get as much information about a product as possible, before jumping out there and reviewing it.

I took my time before putting this review up, because after the rash of reviews on Radiant Light (many of which were critical)… I decided to ask some questions.

So I cozied up to an Hourglass rep, and asked her what the heck the deal was… and why so many fair-skinned lovelies were having a hard time with the Radiant Light version of the powders?

Her answer: That powder is not for them.


Hourglass released a total of six shades of their Ambient Light powder. It turns out… certain shades are for certain skin types… and only TWO  of the shades are meant to be an all over powder. There are two semi-mattes… the rest are full on shimmer. Those two ‘mattes’ are adjusted for yellow and pink undertones, accordingly.

For my (yellow) undertones… the shimmer and matte powders are Radiant Light and Diffused Light. Now, I can wear the other colors in accordance with blushes or highlights… but these two powders are meant to compliment my particular skin tone… in the most natural ‘lighted’ way possible.

Swatched side by side, you can see how one adds just a hint of radiant ‘color’ while the other adds a hint of radiant ‘light.’

To the horrified bloggers who slapped Radiant Light all over their fair skins… only to find that they looked like a bronze disco-ball… Hourglass probably owes you an explanation, and an apology. They should have been as generous with detailed information as they were with free product. Radiant Light is the ‘most’ pigmented of the bunch, and is meant for the most pigmented skin tones among us. You guys may find solace in the Ethereal Light (which looks amazing on fair skins), and Dim Light. I found that Mood Light (the pink) looks awesome on a wide range of skin tones as well.

These are amazing powders. They work extremely well when used according to skin tones and individual needs. Maybe it would behoove Hourglass to include a little information card with them. Just saying.

You can find out more about Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders HERE.

*pr sample

FOTD: Burberry Test Drive

I tried the Burberry Foundation and Fresh Glow (mixed together as suggested by SA), and it turned out beautifully. The Fresh Glow adds just that.. a ‘glow’ without looking glittery or overly highlighted. It doesn’t pull pink or yellow/gold… the result is very neutral.

Burberry Fresh Glow
Burberry Sheer Foundation in #10
NARS Radiant Concealer in Ginger
Chanel Sculpting Veil in Notorious
Chanel Blush in Frivole
Hourglass Ambient Light Powder in Radiant Light (highlight)
MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Cream in #10 (outer lids)
Stila Eyeshadow in Oasis (all over lids)
NARS Eyeshadow in Mekong (outer crease/under waterline)
Guerlain Retractable Pencil in Gold (waterline)
Guerlain Maxi Lash Mascara
Hourglass Femme Rouge Lipstick in Muse
MAC Lip Gelee in Goldensoft

Lip Service: Hourglass Femme Rouge Lipstick in Muse

You guys know how much I love Hourglass… especially the lipsticks. I love the Old Hollywood look and feel of the product. The company has really spared no detail, from the logo etched into the case, to the cut of the lipstick bullet itself.

Recently I picked up the Femme Rouge Lipstick in Muse:

It’s a lovely coral color that will pull more pink on warmer skin tones. Despite the opaque appearance, it’s goes on semi-opaque and can be easily sheered with a lip gloss or even a lip balm.

I wore it for a recent night out with a little bit of MAC Goldensoft over it to warm the color up a bit:

Hourglass Lipstick is sold at Space NK.

*This post contains affiliate links