Sunday, January 31, 2010

Valentine's Day Makeup

For the past week or so, I have been pondering what my makeup will look like for Cupid's Day. I know, I know. I agree it is a bit of a manufactured holiday. Hallmark thrives on pink and red candy-colored hearts and semi-cheesy phrases of "I Love You" and "Soulmate" written across endless cardboard cards. I for one used to loathe Valentine's day. I detested it. But that was before I met the boyfriend and discovered that maybe I actually like candy-colored hearts and semi-cheesy phrases. I really do. The fact that we celebrate our anniversary on V-Day also helps. We can't exactly remember if Feb. 14th is actually our anniversary, but we did meet on a blind date around that time. I was a scared 18 year old, he was an experienced older man of about 21 ;) Then we broke up, then we got back together a couple of long, painful years later. And once we ran back to each other, we knew it was for good this time. This year marks our four years back together, and I couldn't be happier. So anyway, now that I have officially bored everyone with my sappy little tale, I just wanted to share a couple of makeup looks that I found on-line and am contemplating wearing for the love day. One is classic and beautiful, the other is more fun and girly.

Penelope Cruz wearing neutral eyes and the classic red lip.



The latest ad for Smashbox Cosmetics. She has purple liner, pink cheeks, and pink lips.


I really love them both. I'll probably end up doing Penelope's look because it will better suit the Rodarte dress I am planning on wearing. ( I hope the boy doesn't read this!) But even if I do, I am going to wear the Smashbox look sometime soon! It looks great for Spring.
What makeup look are you doing for Valentines? Happy Sunday ♥

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My MAC Pinky-Nude Obsession

In case you girls haven't noticed, I like pinky-nude lipstick...a lot! While going through my collection today, I realized that not only do I have a lot of lippies that are variations of the same color, but I also have a lot of MAC lipsticks. I can't really explain my little obsession, nor can I completely justify it either. I just love them! I think the main reason is that I love nudes, but I need some pink in order to avoid looking washed out or chalky. I'm secretly envious of all the girls out there who can pull off a truly pale lip. Kim Kardashian immediately comes to mind. With her beautiful tan skin and dark features, she can do a nude lip like no other! I personally am a bit on the lighter side of the complexion spectrum, especially during the winter months (Is it Summer yet?) A pinky-nude is a perfect solution to my problem. A bit pink, a bit nude. Extremely wearable. It looks great with smokey eyes, or with more natural looks. In a word, Perfection.

~With Flash~ Left to Right: Way to Love, Plink!, Blankety, Nude Rose, Myself, Semi-Annual, Bare.


~Without Flash~


Swatches, same order as above from left to right. Sorry about the lighting, this is with flash.


~Without Flash~



See, they all look sort of similar. But different enough I guess =)

Monday, January 25, 2010

I want color!

For the Golden Globes last weekend, I posted a couple pictures of actresses that looked lovely. Well, this past Saturday night were the SAG Awards, and I couldn't help but take note of all the beautiful, bright colors that swayed down the red carpet. This got me thinking that I need more vibrant pieces in my closet, things that will transition my neutral wardrobe right into Spring. I want gorgeous, saturated, notice-me color in the upcoming months. I'm not normally comfortable with notice-me anything, but maybe it's time that changed ;)


Diane Kruger in mustard yellow Jason Wu.



Anna Kendrick in fabulous fuschia. I'm not sure who the designer is...



My personal fave: Lea Michele in Catherine Malandrino. ~sigh~


Aren't these dresses to die for? And it's all about the dramatic color. I don't think these would be as note-worthy in black. But mustard? Fuschia? Emerald? Candy colored confections dancing around in my head. I can't wait for Spring and warmer weather! Bring it on.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

MUFE Mat Velvet +



I just wanted to do a quick review of the Makeup Forever Mat Velvet + Foundation that I purchased a couple of weeks ago. A few people wanted me to try it out and report back on whether it really is a good  foundation or not. At $34 U.S. dollars, it is definitely the most expensive foundation I have ever owned. It is also my first (but not my last!) product from MUFE. I actually don't even know what color I have it in, because there is no label on the bottle! Wait a second, so I'll have to get color matched all over again? I'll have to put that in my "Cons" section. I just noticed that! I believe I am either a 30 or 35, but the best way to choose your shade is to have one of the MUA's test a few colors on your jawline. I find the salespeople at Sephora to be really helpful, so don't ever be hesitant to ask for assistance.

The main reason why I chose to buy this foundation in the first place was TiffanyD from YouTube. She did a review of it on her channel and I was convinced that it would work for me as well. I had been using Clinique's Perfectly Real Makeup for years, but because I've had issues with breakouts lately, I wanted a foundation that provided more coverage. Mat Velvet + is a medium to full coverage liquid. I was afraid that it would be too much, and that I was going to end up looking like a mannequin. However, I use my Sonia Kashuk blending sponge to apply a tiny dot on each of my cheeks, my chin, and an even smaller drop to my forehead. It covers beautifully girls! I have a few left over acne spots on my chin, and this conceals them quite well. I don't feel like it gives an unnatural appearance at all. Because it is oil-free, I have no worries that it will cause more acne flare-ups either. It is a matte foundation that still lets your own skin come through. My combination skin still needs a little bit of blotting after a few hours, but I don't look greasy with this stuff, even after wearing it all day long. So here's a quick wrap-up of my overall thoughts and impressions:

~PROS~
* It covers skin tone discolorations and imperfections brilliantly.
* Although it can be full-coverage, it is also very buildable and natural looking. Full to medium coverage doesn't mean you have to look like a mask! A very small amount of this product is needed.
* Great for combo-oily skin. Not sure about dry skin though. I've read some reviews on MakeupAlley from people with dry skin who do not like this product because it makes the dryness more pronounced. I cannot of course attest to that because my face is anything but dry normally!
* Oil-free, won't clog pores, water resistant.
* Wide color selection, including people with yellow undertones, pink undertones, beige...etc.
* As far as I have been able to see, it lasts all day. I'm talking at least a good eight to ten hours.

~CONS~
* The price. I was lucky that I had a gift card. It's a shame too, because now I am always going to want this over anything else, even more than my beloved Clinique.
* The amount of product you get (1.01 Fl. Oz.) is a bit small. But as I said before, you don't need a lot.
* The fact that the actual bottle isn't labeled with your particular shade number! Am I missing something?
* I've noticed it can be a little hard to blend at times. You have to work it into the skin.

~OVERALL~
I love this! I give it a solid A for performance, coverage, lasting power, color selection, and for keeping my skin matte, but not overly so.

I hope this review was helpful! Remember, this is just my opinion and experience with this product. If you have any more questions or comments, let me know.
♥ Noelle

Monday, January 18, 2010

Spotlight on the Golden Globes

I unfortunately did not get to watch the 2010 Golden Globe Awards last night. No, I was too busy watching the San Diego Chargers get creamed by the New York Jets. Being that I live very close to San Diego, I was crushed ;(. However, the heavy beer drinking that followed the game helped a bit. I woke up early this morning and logged onto EOnline to catch up on the latest fashions that graced the red carpet. I must say, overall, I was not really impressed. In my opinion, many of today's brightest actresses looked a bit blah. Maybe it was the rain? There were only two that caught my eye, and I just wanted to share them with you in case you didn't get to see them last night.

Drew Barrymore looked divine once again. Here she is wearing Atelier Versace. Champagne silk never looked better.



Jennifer Aniston in Valentino. Yes, she normally wears black. But a thigh-high slit showing off those glowing gams? Anything but boring! I think she knows herself, and she wears what works for her body.


What starlets caught your attention from this years Globes? Here's hoping that the Oscars are more exciting!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Not everything is black and white...

But my latest fashion picks are. I just wanted to share a few things that I have purchased recently. I haven't posted a fashion haul in a long time so I thought I would do a tiny one today. I am really loving all of the things I picked out. Yes, they are black...and white...and gray...with a little splash of tan ;) I don't know why I gravitate towards neutrals this time of year, but I can't help myself. Don't get me wrong, I love color! I swear I do! But there is something so appealing about buying pieces that will work with the things I already own in my closet. Neutrals are great because you can incorporate them with anything. Mix a little this with a little that, pair this new jacket with an old tank, belt this dress over a cardigan I've had for months, and Viola! Adding some basic neutrals can really create endless possibilities. And they don't have to be boring either. I like to play with color, print, and texture when it comes to shoes and accessories. Or, as Rachel Zoe likes to call them, EXCESSories. Oh, how I ♥ you Rachel.


Long tank from Nordstrom. I just love the print. It is a bit sheer so a cami underneath is a must.




This cardigan is from a store called Cutesygirl. I think they have a website as well. I like the herringbone -type detail and the 3 quarter sleeves. Looks great with dark jeans and really high heels.







This dress is so pretty! The top half is a bit blousy because I am lacking in that department ;) But I plan on wearing this with a cardigan and a wide belt, so I think it should work out just fine. I really love the lacy pattern on it, smaller at the top and then gradually getting larger towards the bottom. And the neckline is trimmed in black chiffon. The Go International line is a great way to get designer pieces for a fraction of the price. I can't wait to see what designer Target will feature next!



This is my favorite purchase and this picture does NOT do it justice. I have been lusting after a tweed/boucle jacket for months now. I even blogged about it a couple months ago. Well, this one from Arden B took my breath away when I tried it on. I had that tingly feeling just holding it at the register! Problem? Yeah, I know.


~Thanks for reading~

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Tale of Two Hair Savers


By now, I'm sure everyone knows that I'm no hair genius. In fact, I really have a love/hate relationship with my brown locks. At times, I am tempted to chop it all off and just start fresh but I know I would instantly regret that decision. I just wish it didn't have a mind of its own! During the colder months, my hair gets extremely dry and static-prone. However, my roots are also oily so I don't feel comfortable going more than a couple days without washing it. I know all the hair gurus out there claim that you should only wash your hair two to three times per week, but that just sounds impossible for someone like myself who has a lot of hair, albeit thin. If I went more than a couple days without shampoo, I would look like a giant grease ball. So I continue to wash and condition the hell out of it in hopes that after a good blow-out, my hair will actually obey me. Two products that have really been making a difference for me are Moroccan Oil and the Kerastase Oleo-Relax serum. While my hair is still damp, I mix a dime-sized amount of each into my palms, rub my hands together to warm the mixture up, and then I apply it to the ends of my hair before blow drying. These products are amazing. I bought the Moroccan Oil about a month ago after my hairstylist begged me for months to give it a try. The only reason why I ever held off was the price tag - $39. A little steep in my book. I'm in trouble now! I love it so much that I can't imagine not having a bottle on hand. It smells like the tropics, coconutty and delicious ♥ And a small amount is all you need. The Kerastase was actually a gift from my boyfriend's sister who happens to be a hair stylist. She uses it in her salon and swears by it. Again, I never purchased any Kerestase products because they are quite expensive, but I know the Oleo-Relax serum will last me a long time as well. If it works for Jennifer Aniston, it works for me! Using these two products together has really tamed my frizziness, and my hair looks and feels softer and shinier than ever. Yes, these hair savers aren't cheap, but I could honestly throw out all of my other hair products and just live with these two. I would rather invest in a handful of things that really do the trick than buy a bunch of products that may be less expensive, but don't work that well for me. I guess that's how I'll justify it from now on ;)
Has anyone tried these?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Kirkland Signature Brushes and Update

This is a review (more like a rave!) of the Kirkland brush set I received for Christmas. I got a few requests to do this, and I apologize for the late post. This set can still be found at your local Costco to my knowledge. Because this was a gift, I do not know the actual price, but I was told it's around twenty dollars which is amazing! Here is a reminder of what the entire set looks like:




It comes with eight full sized brushes, a black quilted brush roll, an eyelash curler, and a mini four piece brush set with a tiny roll to travel with, or in my case, to keep in my purse!

I've decided to share with you girls my favorite brushes from the collection: Sorry for the appearance, they are a bit dirty at the moment from using them this morning!



The HUGE fluffy powder brush is so soft! All of these brushes are super soft, much softer than any of my EcoTools, Essence of Beauty, and even my MAC brushes! The powder brush is perfect for applying...well, powder of course! I use it to set my makeup. I could touch it to my face all day long, it feels so nice and soothing! The flat top brush is great for contouring and applying bronzer. The flat eyeshadow brush reminds me very much of MAC's 239 brush, which I have always wanted to own. Not so after this kit! Similarly, the crease brush is THE PERFECT crease brush for my small lid space. I find a lot of crease brushes to be too fluffy, but the one here is small enough to be precise. It fits right into the creases of my eyes. Lastly, the double ended angled brush with spoolie works for taming my brows, as well as applying gel eyeliner.


Now on to the brushes I don't care for:


The angled brush is just a bit strange. It is very flat. I guess I could use it to apply a powder highlight to my cheekbones, but I never find myself reaching for this brush. It feels kind of flimsy to me. The sponge tip applicator is a waste in my opinion. I would have much rather prefered an actual smudger brush, like MAC's 219 instead. The sponge tip is a total filler item in this (almost) perfect set.


I also want to mention the brush bag and the mini set of baby brushes. The bag is really nice, and I am currently using it to store old brushes that I have no use for at the moment. Brushes of all sizes fit nicely into it. This will come in handy when I travel. The mini brushes I keep in my makeup bag are sort of flimsy, but they are perfect for mid-day touch ups .




 ~Pros~
* Great value for everything you get. Just one MAC brush costs more than twenty dollars, and in this kit you get eight!
* The quality of the brushes is amazing. They are so soft and well-made! I have not noticed any shedding whatsoever with any of them. I want to mention that these are synthetic. They are not skunk brushes. The tips of them are just dyed white.
* The handles are sturdy and the black makes them look very chic.

~Cons~
* I just don't particularly care for the two brushes that I mentioned. But...that is my only con!

~Overall~
If you are in the market for affordable, yet well-made brushes, then definitely go to your nearest Costco and at least check them out! I reach for these now more than any of my other brushes, and I am so happy with them.


In other random news, I got a few requests in my last haul to post swatches of my new lipsticks as well as the Sephora by OPI nail polish in Nonfat Soy Half Caff.
Here are the lippies:
                                                                                

                              
  Left to Right: Make Me Pink, Pink Please (Maybelline) and Myself (MAC)


And here is a NOTD featuring the polish. I must say, I am not thrilled with the color. I thought it looked much more beautiful in the bottle. On my nails, it just looks a bit orange. Plus, I needed three coats just to get any semblance of actual color. I might return it, since Sephora is so lenient on their return policy. What do you girls think? Be honest!

 



Wow, that was a long post! I hope my review was helpful. If you guys have any further questions, please feel free to ask! And let me know what you think about the polish!
♥ Noelle




Thursday, January 7, 2010

~New Makeup~

Hey Girls, I just wanted to do a quick post featuring some new makeup I bought recently. I went to CVS, MAC, and Sephora. The best part is I used gift cards at the MAC counter and Sephora, and CVS was having  a buy one get one 50% off on Maybelline products. I am so excited to use my new finds. If a product doesn't meet my expectations, or if a product exceeds them, I will let you know!


All of my goodies ;)




Maybelline Color Sensational Lippies: Make Me Pink (Left) and Pink Please (Right)





From MAC's New Collection "All Ages, All Races, All Sexes." Beauty Powder Blush in Personal Style and Lustre L/S in Myself. Love these natural, go-with-everything neutrals! I am wearing the l/s right now and it is my new favorite aside from Way To Love and Nude Rose ♥





From Sephora: NARS Albatross Highlighter (a cult fave), MUFE Mat Velvet + Foundation in 30, and another (yes, another) Sephora by O.P.I. polish in Nonfat Soy Half Caff ( perfect nude-pink).



So that's my haul. I never, ever buy this much at once but then again, that's the beauty of gift cards. I am really hoping that the MUFE foundation works for me. I have heard really good things about it and the girl who helped me at Sephora said it's good for combo/oily skin like mine. We shall see! If you guys have used it, please let me know what your thoughts are. If you want any reviews or swatches, also feel free to ask!
♥ Noelle

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

♥ Awards ♥



Gosh, I have been so busy the past few weeks that I haven't quite had time to thank three lovely bloggers who have nominated me for their awards. I apologize that this is so late girls! But thank you so much for including me amongst your winners. It is always a heart-felt honor.


1. The first comes from Cynthia: Thank you so much!





2. The second award comes from Natalie. I believe I have received this before, but am unsure if I am allowed to accept another one. Any thoughts girls? It is still appreciated anyway!





3. Lastly (whew!), the third comes from Kate Gene. I love reading her blog!



Again, if you don't already follow these three beautiful bloggers, definitely check them out. You will love reading their posts as much I do, I'm sure. I'm supposed to nominate more blogs for these three awards, but I want to award all of my new readers instead. You know who you are!
♥ Noelle

Monday, January 4, 2010

Rachel Zoe's Style Book

One of the best gifts I received this past Christmas came from my future brother-in-law (it's only a matter of time ♥). A Barnes & Noble gift card and a nerdy girl like myself is good to go! So of course, a few days after Christmas I made a beeline for the fashion and beauty books. Nothing was really catching my eye until, lo and behold, I saw Rachel Zoe's Style A to Zoe. Now, I don't know about you, but I am seriously envious of the famous Hollywood stylista to the stars. With clients like Eva Mendes, Anne Hathaway, and Kate Beckinsale, Rachel Zoe is at the forefront of all that is glamourous. I have watched her show on Bravo from episode one, and I even have all of this past season on my DVR so that when I'm lacking inspiration I can quickly be guided back to fashion fantasy-land. Her book is absolutely a must. The gorgeous photography on its glossy pages is reason enough to run to Barnes & Noble. Her tips on putting yourself together for every occasion and event in your life is equally insightful. I dunno guys, maybe I'm just a big fashion dork. Maybe I'm just a hopeless dreamer. Maybe I want to own a closet full of stunners that I "just die" over! I read it in one night and am still skimming the pages just like I do with an old magazine that I can't put down. I keep searching for a paragraph, a single word that I might have hastily skipped over. But I can't. Nope, I've read all of it, cover to cover. It's that good.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Victoria's Secret Semi-Annual Sale


My first post of 2010! I hope you all had a wonderful New Years! I just want to remind everyone that the Victoria's Secret Semi-Annual Sale officially kicks off in stores today. I believe the sale has been online for about a week, but it wasn't going on in stores until today. I personally am very excited to purchase some "sexy little things" for myself...and for the boyfriend too I guess ;) Here are my picks:



The 100-Way Bra: A bra for every outfit because the straps are interchangeable as well as removable.




How pretty is this little number? Hmmm, note to self: Do more squats!


 
One of my favorite perfumes. Ever.






Any of the cotton VS PINK panties, 5 for $25. I really like this yellow pair. "She wore an itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini panties."


Happy Shopping!