Haul: Nars Spring 2014

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Today I bring you just a little haul from the new Nars Spring 2014 Collection. The collection as a whole is packed with bright and beautiful colors, a purple lipgloss, turquoise eye shadows, and a bright neon orange lip pencil. I only chose a couple items I felt I could easily incorporate into my makeup routine. The Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Timanfaya is described as a Mandarin Red, which I have to disagree since it leans much more orange and I see no semblance of red.


I also grabbed the Nars Eyeshadow Duo in Kauai which has a beautiful bright cool-toned gold and a rich purple, perfect for brown eyes. The gold is definitely a color I would wear over the entire lid on a regular basis. When I do stray from my neutrals, 90% of the time I grab a purple, thus justifying my purchase of this lovely little duo. My initial impressions are positive! The lip pencil is creamy and pigmented and consistent in quality with my other Nars Satin Lip Pencils (aka amazing) and the eyeshadows are buttery and pigmented.




I have already recorded a video of the look I created with both the Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Timanfaya and the gold from the Nars duo in Kauai; so look out for that video. Hope you enjoyed this mini haul as a predecessor/teaser for my video!

Love,
Claire

2013 Favorites: Makeup & Nails

Thursday, January 30, 2014

2013 was a year that I discovered so many amazing products I know will be in my arsenal for years to come. This includes Burberry Cosmetics, a brand I got my paws into at the beginning of the year and immediately became obsessed. At the end of 2013, Marc Jacobs (specifically their blushes) really stood out to me and will certainly be a line that I'll be diving further into over 2014.Even though the video doesn't contain in depth reviews on these much loved products, it is a great way to get an understanding of who I am as a makeup junkie :)


Products Mentioned:

Foundations/BB Creams
Laura Mercier Artist Palette (limited edition)
MAC Turquatic


Hope you enjoyed!
Love,
Claire

Review: Boscia Bright White Mask

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Another day, another face mask review. Today's mask is a little bit different from ones before as it is a "peeling" mask. The Boscia Bright White Mask has been coined as a "Biore pore-strip for your entire face". The white tacky substance is meant to be thickly spread over your skin and as the mask dries it is supposedly pulling the impurities (aka blackheads) to the surface. Subsequently, when you peel it off, it will physically remove those blackheads from the surface of your skin. 


The first thing I noticed when squeezing the product onto my fingers was the overwhelming plastic smell. It makes you really feel like your slapping chemicals on your face, rather than a calming and relaxing treatment (which is how I typically enjoy my masking time). Also, the key with this product is to put A LOT on. On the edges of my face, where the product thinned, it was extremely difficult to remove and I ultimately had to whip out a warm, wet washcloth to scrub it away. If you do lay it on in a thick layer, the mask will indeed peel off in large pieces (I got it off in two sheets). 


Upon removal of the mask, I definitely noticed a difference in the texture and brightness of my skin, but there was just something about the whole process that made me not want to buy the full size product. I received this deluxe sample with a Sephora order and was able to get two uses out of it, so I feel like I got a good feel for the product. Unfortunately, the smell of curing plastic laminate combined with the fact that I felt like I was ripping off the first layer of my skin has resulted in a disappointing review of the Boscia Bright White Mask. I definitely recommend, without a doubt, to stay far away from this product if you dry and sensitive skin. Hope the review was helpful!

Love,
Claire

Review: Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs & Rosewater

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sometimes I surprise myself when it comes to writing product reviews. Many times I think to first review products that are relatively new to me and ignore the products that, for lack of a better word, are "holy grail". However, one of my goals for 2014, at least when it comes to my blog and YouTube channel, is to bring richer content to my readers/viewers. One way that I interpret that is more reviews and mention of my tried and true products. Hence, I bring you today the Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater.  


Rosewater in general has become a favorite ingredient for my skin over the last couple years. Not only is it perfect for redness and irritated skin, but it also is a hydrating and refreshing ingredient for dry and dehydrated skin during these cold winter months. I have found that Mario Badescu's Rosewater blend has been one of the more staple and consistent products in my ever changing skincare routine. 
As I've mentioned a few times before, I love to layer my skincare. Meaning, using multiple serums with my moisturizers to target specific skin concerns. Lately, this has included the layering of toners as well. For example, one of my concoctions begins with an exfoliating toner (like the Mario Badescu Glycolic Grapefruit Cleansing Lotion) and then the Rosewater Facial Spray is layered over it, creating the perfect balance of exfoliation and hydration. I could not be happier with my skincare routine (video coming shortly) and much of it has to do with this beautiful and inexpensive floral essence. Not only is it an integral part of my skincare routine, but it's perfect for spritzing all over my face (even over makeup) throughout the day to rehydrate after sitting in a heated office or to tend to my windburned cheeks. This delicately scented spray definitely gets my highest praises!

Hope you enjoyed!
Love, 
Claire

My Week in Instagram #14

Monday, January 27, 2014

As I return to regular blogging, I'm in dire need of catching up on my Instagram updates. Today I bring you where I left off, a girl's weekend in Seattle, more cat photos (no surprise there) and a visit from some great friends from Seattle (aka good food and great cocktails). The highlight was definitely making it to the Julep Salon in downtown Seattle.


Hope you enjoy!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram: @csr204 

Love, 
Claire

Beauty Haul #4: Korean Cosmetics

Monday, January 27, 2014

Cosmetics from all around the world have always been something that has sparked my interest. From ingredients to the way skincare is marketed and packaged in different countries is something I could spend a lifetime comparing and contrasting. When I had the opportunity during my recent trip to Hawaii to stop by two Korean beauty shops, The Face Shop and Nature Republic. Products from both brands can be found online (eBay, amazon, and other online asian cosmetic retailers), but there is something to say for seeing products in person and getting to play with the testers. The Face Shop has additional locations in Northern and Southern California, Chicago, and New York while Nature Republic seems to only be in New York and Hawaii (in terms of US locations). I have also found that the products are better priced in stores rather than online, so if  you are interested and are in the proximity, I definitely recommend stopping in (links to locations are below).


Be sure to check out the video below to see some closeups of my new goodies! Also note, I did my best to find links to the products mentioned, but many I could not find an online seller. If you are really trying to get your hands on these things, the sales associates at both locations told me many people will place phone orders (links to locations are below), which I may very well do if I fall in love with the products.

Products Mentioned:

The Face Shop:
Sake Clarifying Gel Body Scrub
Chia Seed Sebum Control Moisture Special Kit (gift with purchase)

Nature Republic:
Given By Nature Rose Hip Sheet Mask
CC Cream (sample)



Hope you enjoyed!
Love, 
Claire

Empties: December 2013

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Surprisingly enough, even with a broken wrist, my obsession with beauty products doesn't falter. Products I'm sad to see go are my MAC Cremesheen Glass in Just Superb and my sample of the Jo Malone Blackberry and Bay Body Creme. I did also include the candles I burned through this month. Hope you enjoy and be sure to watch the video below!


Products Mentioned:
Travel/Sample Sizes:
Nuxe Creme Fraiche Masque*
Bumble & Bumble Thickening Conditioner
Sachajuan Scalp Shampoo*
Sachajuan Color Save Conditioner
Tresemme Tres Two Hair Spray*
Sebastian Shaper Fierce Hair Spray
John Frieda Frizz Ease Take Charge Curl Boosting Mousse
Redken Outshine 01 Anti-Frizz Polishing Milk*
Tom Ford Violet Blonde Eau de Parfum*
Paco Rabanne Lady Million Eau de Parfum*
Thierry Mugler Alien Eau de Parfum*
Escada Cherry In The Air Eau de Parfum*
Kiehl's Nashi Blossom & Pink Grapefruit Aromatic Blend*
Marc Jacobs Genius Gel Super-Charged Foundation
Marc Jacobs Remedy Concealer Pen*
Benefit The POREfessional*
Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Foundation Primer
bareMinerals Stroke of Light Eye Brightener*
Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint*
Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer
Lancome Hypnose Star Mascara*

Candles:
White Barn Flannel (discontinued/seasonal)*

* = I would repurchase

Love,
Claire

Review: Paul & Joe Pearl Foundation Primer

Thursday, January 16, 2014

 The world of primers can many times seem overwhelming. There are so many kinds targeting different concerns; mattifying, illuminating, pore filling, long lasting, color correcting, and the list goes on. Paul & Joe's Pearl Foundation Primer is geared towards adding luminosity and reflecting light while also aiding in the longevity of your makeup. The multi-colored pearls are suspended in a gel that when applied to the skin creates a lightly tacky canvas, making foundation adhere to the skin. 


The pearls are crushed as they are pumped through the dispenser, and when finally on your skin, they have created a multi-dimensional sheen that adds the perfect glow under your foundation. It is only the slightest bit glittery and thus I wouldn't recommend this primer for mature skin, but rather if you are in your late 20's to early 40's, since larger glitter particles attract attention to fine lines and wrinkles. Also, I wouldn't recommend this primer for oily skin-types as it doesn't claim to mattify or provide any kind of oil control. 


I have really been enjoying this primer for the last few months under my Liole Triple the Solution BB Cream & my Shiseido Perfect Refining Foundation. Let's not forget how precious and adorable the packaging is. This pretty little bottle sits front and center on my vanity! Definitely check out this great primer if you are looking to add a little glow and help your foundation last all day.

Love, 
Claire

FOTD: Ox Blood Lashes

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Today's look is on a slight twist to an easy every day eye. Over the last couple months this has become my go to look when I'm in need of something flattering, fresh, and work appropriate. The star of the show is YSL's Faux Cils Mascara in No.5 Deep Burgundy. This beautiful mascara not only lengthens and thickens, but gives a slight burgundy tint to lashes. As you can see form the photos below, from certain angles, the color can be seen.


As much as I love this luxury product, the focus is on the color, which can be found on the drugstore market as well. For dark brown eyes, I truly recommend trying this slight variation out. For the rest of the face, I used one of my favorite foundations, the Liole Triple the Solution BB Cream and the Maybeline Dream Lumi Concealer in Radiant under the eyes. As always, I set my under eye concealer with Laura Mercier's Secret Brightening Powder


 I did a typical combination of neutrals on the eyes: Maybeline's Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze all as a base, Sigma Command all over the lid, Sigma Publicize on the brow bone and inner corner, and Urban Decay Tease in the crease. I also dusted a little of Sigma Surrender in the outer "V" of the eye. This little Sigma trio that you see above is a free gift with purchase that came with a brush set a couple years ago. I also lined my waterline and lower lash line with the Rimmel ScandalEyes in Brown.


After completing the eyelook, I went back to the face and set my foundation with Burberry's Sheer Powder in Porcelain No. 2, bronzed and contoured with Burberry's Warm Glow in Nude Glow No. 03, and highlighted with Dior Amber Diamond. Finally I dusted MAC's Lured to Love on the cheeks and MAC Viva Glam II on the lips.

Hope you enjoyed!
Love,
Claire

Favorites: December 2013

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Better late than never, a month of struggle to say the least. With a broken wrist and impending surgery it's been difficult to use certain products (i.e. cleansing oil) but I have found solace is trying out new products. Thus resulting in a few new favorites this month. Ones that really stood out were the L'Oreal Colour Riche Balm inTender Mauve and one of my favorite nudes, Bite Beauty Retsina. 



Review: LUSH Brazened Honey Fresh Face Mask

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Today I'm bringing you a new face mask that I have been loving from LUSH, Brazened Honey. This clay-based deep cleansing mask was perfect for my irritated and incredibly acne-ridden skin over the holidays. With all the sweets and fatty foods, my skin was reflecting all the terrible things I was putting in my body. According to the LUSH website this is an Indian Ayurvedic inspired face mask and the scent of all the spices is part of the whole experience.

I definitely recommend this mask if your skin is feeling clogged and congested. Even though Brazened Honey is geared towards oily skin, and my skin as of recently has been more on the side of combination to dry, I still loved this mask and didn't feel that it was too drying. However, if you have dry, flakey skin I do not recommend it. As you are applying the mask over your face, ground almonds physically exfoliate and while the mask dries, the kaolin clay pulls out all the impurities. 
Definitely check out Brazened Honey Fresh Face Mask if you are looking for something to combat congested skin without drying it out.
Hope you enjoyed!

Love,
Claire
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