Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Little Back-to-School Ulta Haul-cito!

Today just so happened to be my first day back at work for the 2013-14 school year (teachers only - kids come next week) AND an Ulta recently opened right around the corner from the high school where I work AND I just got my yearly 20% off Ulta coupon in the mail. How beautiful is that?  (the Ulta parts...not the school year part, sillies) So, after hearing the painful sound of my alarm so early this morning, enduring a long first day of meetings, and leaving school without unpacking a single thing nor giving one darn thought as to curriculum/lesson plans/what the heck I'm going to do with 150-ish 9th graders the first week of school, it was time for some beauty haulin'.  (I'll think about school stuff tomorrow)

Here's what I picked up:

  - OPI's nailpolish in California Raspberry - a rich, raspberry pink with just a little bit of shimmer.  Can't wait to use this for my next mani/pedi.

 - NYX's Butter Gloss in Maple Blondie - I have read about these on beauty blogs and seen all of the YouTube beauty gurus rave about them, so I had to try one.  Now I see what all of the buzz is about - these are YUMMY!  It has a nice, smooth texture that is pigmented and non-sticky.  Other than Revlon's Super Lustrous lipglosses (the old formula), these are probably the nicest drugstore glosses I've ever worn.  Here's a swatch of Maple Blonde plus a pic of my first "test drive" of this gloss:

NYX Butter Gloss in Maple Blondie
Love this color!  Such a beautiful, semi-sheer, nude-pink.  

 And...the big bad mama jama of my haul...even though I'm probably one of the last people on the planet to buy this...The Urban Decay Naked II Palette!

The cooler, taupe-y colors of this palette appealed to me more than the warmer tones Naked I palette, plus I felt like there were more colors in here that were NOT duplicates of colors I already have in my eyeshadow collection.  Here are some closer shots of each color:

(l to r) - Foxy, Half Baked, Bootycall, Chopper
Tease, Snakebite, Suspect, Pistol
Verve, YDK, Busted, Blackout

Even though 5:00 a.m. tomorrow is going to come very soon, I am already ridiculously excited about doing my makeup in the morning! 

Do you have the Naked II Palette in your collection?  What are some of your favorite looks to create with it? 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Chanel's CC Cream...Will You Accept This Rose?

About a month ago, those of you who follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram saw my post about Chanel's new CC Cream, which I was raving about after only a couple of days of use.  I decided to be fair, though, and put this new lover of mine to the test for a month or so, just to SURE that this was true makeup love.  Well, folks, IT IS.  This will be no fly-by-night, fickle, fast-and-furious cosmetics fling for me.  Chanel's CC Cream has stolen my beauty heart, so much so that I even bought my mom a tube and have been giving out samples of it to my friends as well.  If I was The Bachelorette and this product was one of my bachelors, I'd be meeting this CC Cream's parents for sure and whisking it off to exotic islands for romantic dates: 

Unless you have been under a beauty rock, you have probably already heard of both BB ("beauty" or "blemish" balm) and CC ("color correcting") creams, which first became popular in Asia but have now bombarded the shelves of U.S. drugstore skincare aisles and department store cosmetics departments.  I found this great article on Fashionista, a beauty and fashion website, that explains the differences between the two in more detail, but they both are basically hybrids between tinted moisturizers and liquid foundations.  They are formulated to function as your moisturizer, sunscreen, treatment product, and in some cases, color corrector, in one.  It can be a bit overwhelming to try to research all of them, but my advice is to find a store who will let you try a sample (Nordstrom is great with providing skincare samples), which is what I did with this Chanel CC Cream before I bought it. 

Let's take a look at how Chanel's CC Cream, which comes in only one color (let's keep our fingers crossed for Chanel to release more, though!), worked on my skin.  For reference, I normally wear a combination of NW20 & NW25 in MAC foundations, Shade 118 in Makeup Forever's HD foundation, and Natural Beige in Revlon's Colorstay Foundation. 

First, here I am with NADA...eek!  (OK, I did fill in my eyebrows.   You don't want to see me without them, trust me.)

Next, here is the amount of Chanel CC Cream that I have been using each day...

After putting just this little amount on the back of my hand, I take my finger and put 5 or 6 dots of it on my face - forehead, nose, chin, cheeks.  Then, I use my fingers to gently spread it evenly over my face, just like I would a moisturizer.  It has a nice, thick consistency, but I have found that it dries pretty quickly, too, so I try to work fast.  Here I am with just the CC cream applied (no powder, concealer, etc.):

I absolutely LOVE the finish of this CC Cream.  I feel like it evens out my skin tone, gives a little bit of coverage, and still lets my actual skin "show through," unlike some traditional liquid foundations.

Here's me with the rest of my "face of the day,":

A quick rundown of the other products I used to create this look, in addition to the Chanel CC Cream:

 - MAC's Prolongwear concealer in NW20&NW25 under eyes (I mix the two shades)
 - Wet 'n Wild's Coverall Pressed Powder in Light/Medium
 - Benefit's Coralista blush
 - Wet 'n Wild's Brule eyeshadow single (browbone and inner corner)
 - MAC's Sable eyeshadow (lid and blended a little bit into the crease)
 - Clinique's Cream Shaper for eyes (eyeliner) in Chocolate Lustre
 - Benefit's They're Real mascara
 - MAC's Mineralize Rich Lipstick in Elegant Accent (these are fairly new at MAC and I love, love, love their texture and color payoff)
 - Milani's Color Statement lip liner in Haute Pink
 - MAC's Plushglass lipgloss in Big Kiss

A word of caution...even though BB and CC creams do contain SPF, I would not advise using one to replace your regular moisturizer with sunscreen, simply because most of us would never apply as much of this product (or any foundation or tinted moisturizer with SPF) as we would our normal SPF.  I still use my regular daytime moisturizer underneath this, and the two together still feel lightweight and comfortable on my skin.  Also, I have worn this CC cream with primer underneath and setting spray on top, and it definitely extends its wear throughout the day.  However, even without these two extra products, I find that this cream does withstand a hot, humid, Atlanta summer day fairly well. 

Chanel's CC Cream retails for $55, but a little definitely goes a long way.  This was actually my FIRST experiment with BB or CC creams, but so far this product has proven to be an excellent investment that I plan on remaining "faithful" to. 

What BB or CC creams have you tried?  I would love to hear your experiences!