Lip Service: Vernis À Lèvres Glossy Stain (NEW COLORS)

The already fantastic YSL Glossy Lip stain now comes in a ton of new colors… I want to say there are at least 4, although I noticed as many as 10 that I’d never seen before. Three colors rose to the top of my ‘must have’ list: #29 (Rose Forreau), #21 (Orange Fusion) and #14 (Fuchsia Dore).

 Rose Forreau is not really rose at all. It’s a distinct, true peach… even on my warm skin tone. It’s really unexpected… and I imagine a bit misnamed. Orange Fusion is deeper and ‘richer’ than it’s predecessor (#8 Orange de Chine). And Fuchsia Dore is simply fabulous. It’s a rich Fuchsia shot through with a healthy dose of gold. 

All of these colors can be worn sheer, or layered for a deep, shiny, opaque color. They are simply amazing. I absolutely love them.

You can find out more about YSL Glossy Stains HERE.

Favorite Things 2012: Flawless Beginnings

I’m a firm believer in a flawless base. I feel like no matter how skilled you are with apply eye colors, blending and drawing the most fabulous lip line on Earth… if I can ‘see’ discrepancies in your base application… the entire effect is lost.

I spend a lot of time (and money) researching the perfect bases that do more than just cover your skin. I’m particularly fond of formulas that work ‘with’ your individual skin type, draw the eye away from imperfections, and look more like ‘skin’ and less like foundation.

 PRIMERS:
I’ve not always been the biggest fan of primers, but with time… I’ve come to appreciate their value.
By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Primer tops my list because I feel like you can use it on just about everyone. The formula attracts moisture from the air and onto your skin (which even oily types need, believe it or not), and it leaves a matte finish. It smooths out the skin, and sets it up for perfect foundation application.
Laura Mercier Eye Canvas is my favorite for prepping the eyelids. Just a teeny bit works to matte out the lid, so that eyeshadow can really grab it. I have no issues with creasing (or lumpy finishes, like with some other primers) with this formula. I’ve nearly hit the bottom of my little pot… I use it so much. Soon it’ll definitely be time for a new one.
FOUNDATIONS
I’m ever on the hunt for the next greatest foundation formula. I’ve tried so many different kinds… and I have to say this next group of formulations have earned my respect. I consistently reach for them for myself and clients, more than any other.
Oily Skin: 
 Sunday Riley Liquid Light is one of those strange foundations that looks like it won’t do much, until you put it on. It goes on kind of sheer, but it reflects light (so you don’t need much at all) and kind of tricks the eye into thinking the skin is flawless.
Urban Decay NAKED Foundation has a cult following these days… and it’s really no wonder why. The formula really ‘grabs’ your skin, and it doesn’t budge until you take it off. It’s a great foundation for medium coverage for oily skin types. The ‘only’ drawback for me on this foundation is the ‘feeling.’ I sometimes feel ‘too’ dry when I wear it. But honestly, the formula is so good, that I’ve kind of gotten over it.
Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup continues to amaze me. I’ve now expanded the color range in my kit, because it works so well on so many different skin types. Pros… take note: this formula is insanely easy to blend, if you need to get a perfect shade for an ‘in between’ skin tone. My favorite thing about this foundation is that it imitates ‘skin’ so perfectly. The formula is really thin… and sets almost immediately. Oily skin types don’t need to worry about blotting much with this foundation. It’s nearly perfect. Now, if they come up with shade #9, then it truly will be perfect.
Combination/Dry Skin:
This next group of foundations I find have worked well on a wide range of skin types, but work best on combination or dry skin.
Nars Radiant Tinted Moisturizer is still about the best that I’ve ever come across. The incredible shade range just makes it all the more attractive. It’s got the feeling of a tinted moisturizer but the coverage of a foundation. And it wears beautifully, especially on drier skin types.
YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat quickly rose to the top of my  list for medium to buildable full coverage. This foundation is exquisite because it both covers and reflects light all at once. And it feels wonderful on the skin. It’s truly luxury in a bottle
Not to be outdone, Dolce & Gabanna The Foundation is also really luxurious. This formula is more of a full coverage foundation. The creamy consistency works very well on dry skin types. I’ve even had clients tell me that it feels like I’m ‘nourishing’ their skin with a heavy cream. It sets beautifully and really makes the skin glow.

CONCEALER 
This is one of those handy little things that you should consider, even if you think you don’t need to. Concealer is not just for those with dark undereye circles, or blemishes. It can add light to specific areas of the face, and make you look like you’re naturally radiant. I’ve been using concealer for years, long before someone might think that I actually ‘needed’ to. It just helps to really bring a look together.
Armani Maestro Eraser, much like the makeup, has just blown me away. The formulation is very thin, and needs to be ‘patted’ on. The colors are a little scary… they seem to run from light to white. But it turns out that you can actually use them on a wide range of skin tones. A little goes an extremely long way, and it just adds light wherever you put it, without looking like you’ve done anything at all
Chanel Eclat Lumiere is one of those ‘go to’ products because it’s incredibly easy to use. Like the Armani formulation, a little goes a very long way. You can even carry this little gem with you for quick brightening ‘touch ups’ if you’re taking your makeup from day to night. I’ve found it to be rather indispensable. In fact, I’m on my second pen.
CORRECTOR
 
Anyone who’s been reading my blog for a while, knows by I swear by the Bobbi Brown Corrector. Not much has changed. It’s still the most user friendly, most effective color corrector I’ve ever used. You don’t have to be a pro or have some special skill to use it, and a little bit simply tricks the eye into thinking that the blemish you’re covering doesn’t actually exist. This stuff is priceless.
POWDER
I go around and around and AROUND about powder. Sometimes, formulas that I think are great end up being not so great over time. They react wrong with certain foundation formulas, or give me that dreaded ‘flashback’ which translates into good old fashioned ashy on my warm skin tone. But one powder has consistently delivered: 
Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder is head and shoulders above the competition. It sets my makeup perfectly. The color in #02 is a bit yellow, which is perfect for my skin tone. There is no flashback, and a little goes a long way. My only complaint is that I wish it came in a bigger jar. Other than that, it’s perfect.
That’s it! Those are my top choices for getting a truly flawless finish. Ciao for now!

Lip Service: YSL Rouge Pur Couture (The Mats)

The coming season calls for a strong lip. Just in time YSL has released a little collection of Matte(?) lipsticks. I add the question mark because they don’t really seem matte to me at all. They are saturated with color, but the finish for me is more of a rich creme, not a matte.

Naturally, I ended up with the lipstick in Orange Imagine:

This lipstick is highly saturated with color. I absolutely LOVE this formula. It’s silky and non drying.

See? Not matte. But still quite lovely. These retail for about $32 a pop. You can find out more about YSL Rouge Pur Couture Lipsticks HERE.

Flawless Beginnings: YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation

Oooooooh.

YSL is ushering in the coming Autmun/Winter season with a foundation that will give its more expensive counterparts a serious run for their money. YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation boasts a luxurious feel and finish, and stands alone as the seasons best full coverage formula.
I’m not kidding about the coverage.
This bottle is allegedly one ounce. I swear I don’t know how these companies measure their foundations, because that bottle looks like it holds a lot more than an ounce of foundation. I have the color in Beige 70, but I suspect this has a lot to do with  my Summer tan. By winter, I will likely be Beige d’Or 60. I’ll have to test it to be sure.
But that brings me to the other thing that makes this foundation stand out: the color selection. There is a Beige Series, a Beige Rose Series, and a Beige d’ Or series (gold). LOVE that. There are two shades darker than Beige 60… and a whole slew of shades lighter than this. It looks like YSL really invested in working to cover the color spectrum.
One pump dispenses a LOT of product. You can easily cover the entire face (with maybe some left over) on one pump.
It spreads thick and creamy, like DiorSkin NUDE or Guerlain Paurue Aqua
I had way too much product here. Just that one pump was too much for my little swatch area.
But look what happens when I fully blend it out (I ended up covering my entire forearm to disperse the product). The coverage is FULL. And I was worried that such full coverage would mean a heavy ‘feeling’ on the face, but that’s not the case. It blends out, dries down to a demi matte finish, and sets beautifully. If you’re going to use this during the summer, you might want to keep it for nighttime makeup. It’s totally full. But it’s going to work WONDERFULLY for the Autumn and Winter months.
I’m going to test/swatch Beige d’ Or 60 and see if that’s a better match for my ever changing skin tone. If not, this will definitely work.
You can find out more about YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation HERE.
*pr sample

FOTD: MUFE Aqua Shadow (Grey)

For my first practical go with the MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Shadow Pencils, I chose the matte grey color. I layered it with a shimmer cream to see if there would be any break in the formula. There wasn’t. I applied this makeup at 8:00 in the morning, and didn’t take it off until 7:30 in the evening. It held all day with no creasing, no fading, and no need for touch ups.

FACE
Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer
NARS Tinted Moisturizer in Malaga
MAC Blush in Azalea Blossom
EYES
Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow Pencil in 4E (blended from lashline to crease)
Chanel Ilusion d’ Ombre in Illusiore (lids)
MAC Eyeshadow in Brule (browbone)
YSL Shocking Gel Liner in Deep Black (lashline)
Armani Eyes to Kill Stretch Mascara
LIPS
Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in La Distinguee

FOTD: Sable Emouvant

I wanted to do something ‘lighter’ with the new Chanel duo for Summer 2012… so for this look I concentrated on the ‘gold’ portion of the duo. The result was sheer and wearable… and appropriate for all of this Summer-like weather we’ve been having.

FACE
Senna Barely Base in Medium
YSL Creme Blush in Praline
EYES
Chanel Sable Emouvant Duo:
Gold Eyeshadow on lids
Brown Eyeshadow on lashline and under waterline
Chanel Eye Kohl in Brun Intense on waterline
Chanel Intimitable Mascara
LIPS
Lipstick Queen Jean Queen

In The Bag: Summer Essentials

Hey Guys,

I’ve been testing a bunch of products lately, and I’ve come across some REAL gems! I put together a collection of ‘summer essentials’ that are already getting a lot of use in my house… even though it’s not officially Summer yet:

NIA 24 Mineral Sunscreen. 
Price :$45
Place: http://www.spacenk.com

LOVE this stuff. I love that it goes on, absorbs quickly and dries matte. One of the perks is that it not only protects your skin from the sun, it also (claims to) repairs past damage. I can moisturize as normal, and pop this on before going out, and it works wonderfully.

Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream
Price: $12.50
Place: http://www.sephora.com

This is now a Kit essential. I am continually blown away by the ‘instant’ results of this formula. I can use it anywhere, on any dry spot, and it’s GONE. Just like that. Despite the medicine smell (which fades), I’ve stocked up on this cream for my kit. It’s friendly to all skin types (even my oily clients) and it works well under makeup.

Reve de Miel Lip Balm
Price: $20
Place: http://www.spacenk.com

This is another Kit essential. I love it because it has a MATTE finish. It works very well under lipstick, and it doesn’t scare off my male clients (many of whom HATE shiny lips). I can touch them up as needed, or groom them for headshots without them looking too ‘done.’ It’s on the expensive side, but a little bit goes a very long way. If you’re just looking for a regular lip balm and don’t mind the shine, I don’t recommend this. But if you want a matte finish, I’ve never found a balm better than this one for that purpose.

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer
Price: $42
Place: http://www.narscosmetics.com

This is the best moisturizer on the market right now. Period. The coverage, the finish, and the wearability is unmatched. It works well on a wide range of skin tones, and skin types. It is my ‘go to’ foundation for this summer… I have nearly every color stocked in my kit. It’s that good.

YSL Cream Liner in Deep Black
Price: $25
Place: http://www.sephora.com

This is, hands down, the best cream liner I’ve ever used. It goes on creamy, dries neutral (not matte or shiny) and STAYS PUT. You can wear it on your lashline or your waterline. I’ve used it on some of the most sensitive eyes, with no side effects. It stands up under major pressure in photoshoots, and just everyday life. I love this stuff. The performance more than justifies the price. Highly recommend.

Armani Eyes to Kill Stretch Mascara
Price: $30
Place: http://www.neimanmarcus.com

This mascara has replaced my former favorite, the original Eyes to Kill. Love it. The formula is on the dry side, so there’s less concern about it making a mess around the eyes, when you use it on shorter lashes. I’ve gone through three tubes of this mascara already, and I show no signs of slowing down. Every time I use a different mascara on any given day, I wonder why I’m not using this one. I even have a ‘travel size’ in my makeup bag (I’ve been known to do an entire makeup look and leave the house without putting on mascara). It’s worth keeping around, wherever I go.

YSL Creme Blush (Praline)
Price: $38
Place: http://www.sephora.com

This is my go-to blush this summer. The color is so flattering on a wide range of skin tones. The texture is a ‘dry’ cream, so it blends easily into a wide range of skin types. It can be used sheer, or layered for more color. I find myself reaching for it often. I prefer it in a pinch to powder blushes, because you don’t need the addition of a brush, so it’s a lot more portable in that respect. Definitely worth the purchase, at least for me. I’ve gotten quite a it of use out of it.

Sheer d’ Armani Lipstick (Coral 300)
Price: $30
Place: http://www.barneys.com

I can’t believe HOW MUCH I actually use this lipstick. This color is perfect for my warm skin tone, so it’s my favorite of the bunch. But the formula comes in a wide range of other colors as well. The texture is light and seriously moisturizing. I keep one in my makeup bag just in case I have to run out the door and have no time for anything but mascara and a little lip color.

That’s it! That’s what’s in my proverbial ‘Summer Essentials Bag.’ Ciao for now!