A New Day

Taking a look at all of the things I've been missing

Current Daytime Skincare Routine

Hello again everyone!

I had a couple people a while back inquire about my daily routines. In the conversation, it occurred to me that this would be a great discussion for the blog. I love reading other posts about daily routines and thought I would throw mine into the mix as well. Are these my favorite products? Not necessarily… but it also allows me to maybe explain why they aren’t, right?

Step 1 – Cleanse

I tend to drift towards a gentle morning cleanser. There is no need to use a heavy duty product, since I am diligent about removing all of my makeup at the end of the day. I’ve been using the Avène Cleansing Foam Mousse for the last several months. It is incredibly gentle and really balances my skin. This leaves my skin feeling clean, but also very soft and prepped for the day. This bottle is starting to run low and I’m going to have to repurchase soon!

I also recently started using my mini Erno Lazlo Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar on my T-zone in the morning. This came in an Allure box a while back and I really doubted what this little bar could do. I’ve been using daily for a couple months and have barely made a dent. It is very heavy duty and helps unclog pores and minimize oil. While it is great for the T-zone, it is too drying for the other areas of my face.

If I’m feeling super oily, breaking out or just need a deeper cleanse, I bypass all of the above and reach for the Murad Clarifying Cleanser. I only buy the travel size bottle of this because a little goes a really long way. I use about a half of a pea sized drop in the morning or night and it is really tough on the problem without drying out my skin.

The other key piece of the cleansing routine is the EcoTools Pure Complexion Facial Sponge – it gives a light exfoliation and gives the cleansers an extra boost. I do replace this every 2-3 months, as it is a natural product. They recommend every 3, but it gets a tough to use by the end of the second month.

Once a week, I do bust out a serious exfoliator and use the Aveeno Daily Brightening Scrub. Occasionally, I will increase to twice a week, but I don’t really need to use more often. While this is one of my favorite products, I recently realized it contains synthetic microbeads. Sigh. Really, Aveeno? I don’t think that is an “active natural.” I am working to eliminate all of my products with microbeads… I refuse to just throw perfectly good products in the trash, but I will not be repurchasing.

Step 1.5 – Problem solve

I don’t know what else to call it… but this is my middle step that fixes the “you haven’t slept in a month” look. My favorite product to battle this look is the GlamGlow Bright Mud Eye Treatment. They suggest you use one pod per eye, but that is way too much mud. I actually cut the pods in half and use one pod for both eyes and that is plenty! You are supposed to tap the mud around the lower orbital bone and swipe off after 3 minutes. It does start to tingle a bit after a minute or so. I’m not sure what is in those magic little tea leaf chunks, but this stuff does wonders. I have woken up with completely black circles and after using this product, they are gone.

Step 2 – Tone

After more than 10 years of use, I still swear by the Clinique Clarifying Lotion #2. I use this in the morning and night. Yes, I’ve read the pros and cons to using a toner, but I still want that extra cleansing step to eliminate excess oil on my T-zone.

Step 3 – Prep

I am currently using two different serums. It sounds ridiculous even as I’m typing it… First, I apply the Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Repair Eye Serum under my eyes and to the outer edges to combat the crow’s feet. You only need a half a pump to produce enough product for both eyes – just a thin layer will work!

Next, I apply the other serum all over. At the moment, I’m using a VERY generous sample of the Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Youth Activating Oil. When it comes out of the bottle, it seems very oily (hence the name). However, if you apply evenly and wait 5-10 minutes to soak in, there is no oil residue. This is packed full of vitamin C and really does brighten the skin. I like this serum quite a bit!

Step 3.5 – Problem solve

Again… I don’t know what else to say. This is where I address the ridiculous hormonal acne issues when they pop up. If you read my Use It posts, you know that I went through a ton of samples of the Murad Acne Clearing Solution. It promises results in 72 hours and that is no joke. This is probably the best treatment out there. If it is a minor problem, I will use a dab of the Murad Spot Treatment.

Step 4 – Moisturize

The next step is probably the most critical – eye cream. After some searching (and failed product testing), I discovered the Philosophy Miracle Worker. I’ve been using this for over a year now (see original post) and have been very happy with the results. This high retinol cream hydrates tired, dry eyes and tightens fine lines. Depending on how bad they are, this does even battle and brighten my dark circles.

My final step is the Avène Light Hydrating Cream. I have to admit… I’m not in love with this. I’ve been using this for a few months and really liked it at first, but now is a bit frustrating. My thought is that I’m using this in the wrong season. While it is a lightweight moisturizer that absorbs quickly, it seems to be a bit heavy for the humid weather. I think I’m going to swap this out and test out something else in my collection. Also, it does not contain an SPF, which is so critical right now!

So there you have it. Let me know if you have any suggestions for an oil-free, lightweight moisturizer with SPF!

Products mentioned in this post:

Avène Cleansing Foam Mousse ($20 for 5.29oz)

Erno Lazlo Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar ($45 for 5.3oz)

Murad Clarifying Cleanser ($28 for 6.7oz)

EcoTools Pure Complexion Facial Sponge ($5.99-$7)

Aveeno Daily Brightening Scrub ($6 for 5oz)

GlamGlow Bright Mud Eye Treatment ($69 for 12 cells – total 24 individual pods)

Clinique Clarifying Lotion #2 ($23 for 13.5oz)

Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Repair Eye Serum ($83 for 0.5oz)

Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Youth Activating Oil ($45 for 1oz)

Murad Acne Clearing Solution ($42 for 1.7oz)

Murad Spot Treatment ($18 for 0.5oz)

Philosophy Miracle Worker ($68 for 0.5oz)

Avène Light Hydrating Cream ($30 for 1.35oz)

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Weekly favorites – part 26

It seems as though we are going on day 45 straight of rain. I’m contemplating building an ark. My dogs just give me sad eyes when I tell them it is time to go out… they’re so miserable and expect me to somehow stop the rain. Sorry guys…

My remedy for trying to battle the grey, dreary skies is color. Lots and lots of COLOR! I have been trying to incorporate something fun every day either on my eyes, lips or cheeks.

My absolute favorite discovery is the Becca Beach Tint Shimmer Souffle in Watermelon/Moonstone. I picked this up at Ulta as part of the summer color kit (or something like that). I tried this out a while back and was not impressed… it turns out the sample on display had dried out and did not apply evenly. The product in this jar, however, is so soft and creamy and goes on like a dream. The texture is so soft that I actually have to hold myself back from applying too much! This shade is a blend of coral red and pale gold – it is marbled in the pan, but blends very easy and does not streak. And it smells like.. papaya? Whatever it is, I want to eat it. This is not limited edition, however is really hard to find in stock. This is the smaller version, but the full size is available at Ulta or Sephora for $27 (0.20oz).

Top: indoors no flash; bottom: outdoor indirect sunlight

My next favorite pops of color have been peach and coral – who isn’t in love with these shades right now? I have been playing around with a couple cheek colors, including the Benefit Majorette cream blush ($28 for 0.24oz) and the MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Fairly Precious, a limited edition shade from the Magnetic Nudes collection. I’ve talked about Majorette a couple of times before, so I will try not to repeat myself, but this is just a wonderfully subtle, peachy-coral shade. It is buildable so looks great on any skin tone, including my NW10 coloring. Since the MAC color is no longer available, I won’t go into too much detail… it is a beautiful, sheer peach that can be worn alone or as a highlighter. Visit Temptalia’s site for a few dupes!

In addition to the cheek shades, I’ve been enjoying a few gorgeous lip shades:

  • Benefit Ultra Plush Lip Gloss in Coralista  ($16 for 0.5oz) – it looks pretty vibrant in the tube but applies very sheer and gives a subtle coral tint
  • Stila Lip Glaze in Mango Berry ($22 for 0.08oz) – I love this color, but I despise this packaging. When I opened this, I was so excited… but then immediately realized why I haven’t purchased a Stila gloss in years. This twist up tube is ridiculous. Thank goodness for what is inside! This is a bit more pink than some of the other shades and it is a semi-sheer gloss. It has a very long wear time and is probably my favorite formula of the bunch!
  • Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Nectar ($25 for 0.15oz) is a more peachy shade with a very thick consistency. This is more of a liquid lipstick than a gloss. This is heavily pigmented gloss – while the other two could be worn over another shade, this can easily stand alone.
  • and when I’m feeling a bit bold, the Tom Ford Lip Color in True Coral (full size $50). This is definitely more of a pink-coral and what I really picture when someone mentions coral. Hmmm.. hence the name…

You might notice that most of these are the smaller versions. I’ve been hoarding these shades for a while because I wasn’t sure if they were colors I could really pull off. So I decided to pull them all out of the bottomless lipstick drawer and give them a chance. I’m so glad that I did. Most of my makeup is fairly neutral, with a bit of fun eye color. This was an easy way to give my usual look a bit of an on-trend change and shrug off the cloudy days.

Left: indoors no flash; right: outdoors indirect light. Top to bottom: Benefit Coralista, Stila Mango Berry, Laura Mercier Nectar, Tom Ford True Coral.

What has been brightening up your cloudy days? Share below!

 

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June Le Métier de Beauté VIP Vault

Here we are, friends. The next to last month of the Le Métier de Beauté VIP Vault. I’m really sad to be so close to the end.

As usual, I am behind in getting this post up… so this lovely box has been sitting on my dining room table for a month. That also might say something about the amount of products I have lying around…

The June shipment had one, very fantastic item – the new Instant Line Perfecting Serum, a exclusive preview for VIP members. Oh my goodness. Folks, LMdB skincare is ridiculously good. The downside? It’s ridiculously expensive.

Here’s the scoop:

Upon applying the Instant Line Perfecting Serum, you will feel the heat activated serum begin to tighten and firm the skin, visibly smoothing the skin right in front of your eyes.

HOW TO USE

Apply prior to moisturizer, morning and/or evening.

Use gentle massage motions, working under and around the eyes and eyelids to start.

Great to use for filling fine lines and wrinkles to smooth the lip and perioral area.”

The lovely ladies at Makeup Talk suggested linking to the Dermstore website for the full details:

What it is:
A heat-activated serum that fights new and existing lines and wrinkles.

What it’s used for:
Within seconds of applying Le Metier de Beaute Instant Line Perfecting Serum, you’ll feel a warming sensation and feel your skin lifting and tightening. Here’s how it works: darutoside heals damaged, dry and irritated cells to keep your skin healthy and glowing. Rhizobian gum tightens and tones to minimize the depth of lines and wrinkles while caffeine evens your skin tone by stimulating circulation to reduce puffiness and redness.

Hyaluronic acid ensures proper moisture retention to keep your skin plump, supple and soft while antioxidants and vitamin E repel free radicals and environmental pollutants. Citric acid sheds dead cells and naturally adjusts your pH level to keep your complexion perfectly balanced throughout the day.

Ingredients:

Tocopheryl Phosphate, Caffeine, Darutoside, Hydrolyzed Rhizobian Gum, Butylene Glycol, Hyaluronic Acid, Silanetriol, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Sorbic Acid, Capryly Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol.

Suggested use:

Ideal for these Concerns: Aging Skin

Ideal for these Skin Types: Mature Skin, All Skin Types, Aging Skin, Loss of Firmness, Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Ingredient: Vitamin E, Antioxidants, Alpha Hydroxy Acids, Hyaluronic Acid
Skin Care: Treatments Serums
Application Area: Face
Treatments & Serums: Face Serum
Preferences: Fragrance-Free, Paraben-Free
Gender: Unisex
Dermstore states that this item will be coming soon and a listed price of $150 (1.7oz). We received a 1oz product that would probably be priced around $90-100.
This is definitely one of the higher valued items received in the last year. Wow! I’m currently finishing up a couple serums and will add this to the rotation very soon!

Previous months:

– August – After Dark Total Kaleidoscope valued at $95

– September – Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complexe valued at $175

– October – Goldfinger Kaleidoscope Palette valued at $95

– November – Lip liner set valued at $135.50

– December – two limited edition VIP eye shadows valued at $60

– January – blush and kabuki brush valued at $115

– February – The Romeo and Juliet, Blushing Bronzed Duet valued at $65

– March – Glow Your Own Way lip gloss duo valued at $68

– April – VIP eye shadow and old nail polish valued at $60

– May – Galore Six Fashion Palette value unknown

Total VIP program value to date: $958.50

What is the LMdB VIP Vault?

“It is Here the 2014 VIP Program! Consider yourself a VIP.

Become a member of the LMdB Beauty Vault VIP Program. Gift it to yourself or gift it to a friend. We promise: you won’t be disappointed. Liberate your inner Beauté and share the discovery of something beautiful every month.

How it works:

For a one-time fee of $348 ($29 dollars a month, for 12 months), become a Beauty Vault VIP. At the beginning of each month, our Le Métier de Beauté experts will send you a carefully curated full-sized product or assortment of products shipped right to your door. As an added bonus, Vault VIP Subscription shipping is free. All you have to do is sign up and anticipate 12 exciting months of LMdB surprises. Savor the perks of insider access, and start discovering beauty with us.

  • One full-sized item or an assortment of items shipped to you at the beginning of every month
  • Curated mix of our favorite Color, Skincare, Pre-release Sneak Peaks, Lab Previews, and Vault Exclusives
  • Shipping is free
  • Share your feedback, we want to get to know you better”

Have you tried this VIP item yet? What are your thoughts?

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Use It – June 2015

Happy July, everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend! I celebrated our independence by eating for 3 days straight. It was amazing. I’m treating myself to an extra couple days off since I haven’t taken vacation time in 6 months. I think I’m overdue. You may notice an unusually high number of posts the next couple days as I spend a few hours catching up!

If you follow me on Instagram (@lvp8779), you know that I’m participating in the #sampledout challenge. While there is no way I will be sample free by 2016, I hope to make a significant dent. After several months of posting the reviews of samples on here, that unless they are a deluxe sample, the review will exist on Instagram. So be sure to check it out! Also you can see all of the photos of my wonderful dogs… you know you want to.

In keeping with the last several months, everything is broken down into one of the following categories: skincare, makeup, body, hair and lifestyle.

SKINCARE

Algenist Renewing Eye Balm – Algenist is an intriguing brand – one of the leading “biotech’ brands out there. Their products are derived from a specific type of algae and then something, something science… The company is very ethically responsible with regard to production and sustainability. I’ve only tried a couple Algenist products and would like to explore the brand a bit more. This was a nice eye cream – I used it primarily at night and woke looking refreshed and never puffy. This did not do anything specifically for my awful dark circles, so I probably would not purchase. However, I would definitely be open to trying another eye product from this brand. Available at Ulta for $65 (0.5oz).

Dr. Brandt Pores No More Pore Refiner – this was the sample that would never die. Just when I thought there just couldn’t be any left, there would be 2 more days… This is a mattifying primer that could be used under or over makeup. I tried it both ways and really only found this to be effective for about 3-4 hours. After that, I was very shiny and my pores were very visible. I would definitely not purchase. Available at Ulta and Sephora for $15 for travel size (0.5oz).

Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm – this is so ridiculously good, but painfully expensive. I started using this a few months ago when it was freezing and a regular evening cleanser was stripping some of the moisture from my skin. A small amount lifted and removed makeup and dirt. I would follow with my regular cleanser and instead of feeling dry, my skin felt soft and incredibly clean. I will definitely repurchase in the fall/winter, as this is a bit much for the summer months. Available at Sephora and Neiman Marcus for $32 for 0.5oz or $110 for 1.7oz.

Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Cream – if you have read my blog for a while, you know I love the Rose Stem Cell Gel Mask. So when I spotted this at Sephora, I had to test it out. And friends, I was definitely not disappointed! This is incredibly moisturizing without being oily and has that amazing rose scent. Once I get through a few products in my stash, I will consider purchasing. Available at Sephora for $75 (1.7oz).

MAKEUP

MAC Dazzleglass in Moth to Flame – this particular tube was part of a holiday set a couple years back. I was so happy to discover that this was part of the permanent collection. This is a great neutral gloss with a hint of shimmer. Many of the Dazzleglass shades have an odd, chunky glitter formula that is a bit of a turn off, but this is the outlier. I often wear this with the Bite BB for Lips in Tawny, which gets lots of compliments. I have already repurchased this and it’s Back 2 MAC for this gal! Available at all MAC counters and stand alone stores for $20 (0.06oz).

BODY

Olay Quench Ultra Moisture Body Lotion – I have gone through so many of these. This is such a great lotion for any season and it is a staple in my routine. I will repurchase this as long as Olay makes it! Available at Target, drugstores, Amazon, etc. for $7-10 (11.8oz)

TOSS

Aloxxi Dry Shampoo with Color Protection – I tried and tried to use this. Ugh. The performance was consistent in that it would only ever work for a few hours before my hair would look greasier than before I used it. I could shake the can for 5 min and have it mix perfectly or not at all. I could spray on my hair and it could take one minute or 10 minutes to try. Sometimes it wouldn’t be visible and other times I couldn’t get it to blend in. There was no logic behind this and I give up.

Julep Nail Color in Mariska – this was fine when I opened it and then became oddly clumpy. I tossed it in a drawer last season and forgot about that little detail. I was less than pleased to realize I did that when I went to apply it the other day. I have never had a nail polish clump quite like this… weird.

Oscar Blandi Pronto Invisible – originally discussed here. I also give up on this.. it just doesn’t work for me. Unlike the Aloxxi, it consistently applies poorly and underperforms throughout the day.

 

That’s it, everyone! What did you use up or toss out this month? Any favorites? Share below!

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Weekly Favorites – part 25

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Today is a somewhat productive blog/social media day. After some crazy weeks and work-filled weekends, I finally declared this weekend as mine. I’ve been enjoying a super trashy book, I slept in until 10 and caught up on some cleaning. Its been pretty fantastic.

I’ve been really enjoying products that have a soft glow. I hate looking shiny, so am constantly using blotting papers and powder, but also realize that its impossible to achieve my dream matte look during summer. Adding some shimmer to my routine has helped me to embrace the humidity a bit. The real challenge has been finding products that aren’t just giant chunks of glitter – there is a time and place for that and it is not at work. ;)

Secret Kiss Face Fit Strobe Cream – I received this a while back from Memebox in a K-beauty makeup box. I’ve been setting it aside for the right opportunity to start working it in to my daily routine. It states that you can use it all over as a corrector, but that is a bit much for my pale skin. I’m afraid I would look like a Cullen in the sun. I’ve been applying after my foundation on my cheekbones, orbital bone, nose and cupid’s bow. Even after applying a setting powder on top, it gives just enough glow. Fair warning, a little goes a long way! I will be using this tube FOREVER! Available through Amazon for $11 for 30ml.

Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner in Mint Julep – ok, so it isn’t shiny, but it is waterproof and just plain fun. I love the formula and lasting power of the Smudge Sticks – they are so creamy and easy to apply. Now I know not everyone agrees with my assessment. The Smudge Sticks come in a huge range of colors (20-30) and are a really easy way to add a bit of unexpected color. I used this yesterday with a couple of the lightest shades in my Naked3 palette and loaded up the top lashes with a couple coats of the Lancome Hypnose Star in Noir Midnight. It lasted allll day – 15 hours later was struggling to remove with my eye makeup remover. You can find these liners at Ulta and Sephora for $20.

Guerlain Terracotta Summer Collection Summer Shadow in White Sandthis was one of my purchases during my recent Guerlain introduction. I’ve been using it pretty regularly and love to build it up and pair with a simple black or navy liner. The formula dries quickly and lasts all day with no creasing. It claims to be waterproof, and I’m not going to disagree. Available at Saks – $32 for .25oz.

Top to bottom: Strobe Cream, Mint Julep and White Sand Left: indoor lighting Right: direct sunlight

That’s it for this week! I’m off to enjoy some sun between the rain!
What were some of your favorites this week?

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Weekly Favorites – part 24

So I’ve had this draft in my head for a week… having the time to sit down and type it all out is a completely different story!

Here we are with another week of favorites. And interesting favorites they are… Until a couple years ago, I was pretty loyal to just a couple brands. If you opened my makeup drawer, you would typically find a lot of MAC, Bobbi Brown and a few odds and ends tucked away also. If you look at the same drawer today, you will see there is either no loyalty, or loyalty to many brands (not sure how much I want to admit my makeup addiction there)… I think the other side of this is that some of the drugstore brands have really stepped up their game and have been responsive to what buyers really want. We want quality pigmentation, the ability to conceal and correct and a wide range of colors. It is not uncommon to see someone use NYX and Dior in the same look and have amazing results from both.

This week’s favorites are just that – a combination of high and low end. There is no rhyme or reason, but man, they are damn good:

Burberry Natural Sheer Lip Mist in Blueberry No. 206 – I’m a sucker for good packaging… and wow, does Burberry have some gorgeous packaging. Sleek lines, magnetic closures and that iconic print. Of course this magpie couldn’t resist. I tried a few shades and realized I was drifting to my standard nude/brown/pink shades and begged the specialist to pull me out of a color rut. She showed me this gorgeous, sheer color that actually was the color of crushed blueberries. After sweeping it on and being intoxicated by the amazing rose scent, I was sold (I also caved and returned later to get an eyeshadow quad – oops). This has been one of my go-to colors the last couple weeks. I love how easy this is to apply and that it is a hydrating lipstick. It easily wears for 3-4 hours before needing touched up. Let me be clear that I am always eating or drinking, so my wear time is probably less than a normal person. Available at select Nordstrom and Saks for $33 (0.12oz).


Maybelline Master Conceal in 10 Fair – I managed to forget to pack any of my concealers for a recent work trip (including the Laura Mercier Face Book I purchased just for travel…) and had to run out and pick up something to hide my awful dark circles. I spent 20 minutes debating on what to get and decided to give this one a shot. This concealer is amazing. I was in and out of the car, sun and humidity all day and this did not budge. Zero creasing and didn’t need touched up. I was so blown away. I’ve also used it a couple times since and am really happy with the performance. Available pretty much anywhere you can buy makeup… $8.99 for about 0.4oz.

What are your current favorites? Have you tried either of these products?

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Use It – May 2015

Happy June everyone!

May was such an interesting month – it was hot, it rained, it was cold, it rained and then got super hot. Oh, and it rained… Isn’t that supposed to happen in April? And flowers in May? Whatever… my flowers are clearly not making an appearance until mid-June.

If you follow me on Instagram (@lvp8779), you know that I’m participating in the #sampledout challenge. While there is no way I will be sample free by 2016, I hope to make a significant dent. This is my declaration before you read through this post and ask “why so many samples?” I’m tracking on Instagram, but reviewing here. I feel like I can give a more thorough review and list the prices and where to find, should you care to track it down.

In keeping with the last several months, everything is broken down into one of the following categories: skincare, makeup, body, hair and lifestyle.

SKINCARE

EcoTools Pure Complexion Facial Sponge – I go through so many of these.. The recommendation is to change every 3 months, but can only go 1-2 before being kind of gross (in my opinion). This can be found at Ulta for $5.99 – keep an eye out for the buy 1, get 50% off deals!

La Fresh Travel-lite Makeup Remover Wipe – this one is a favorite – it removes makeup so well and is incredibly gentle. I snag these at Holiday Inns every time I stay and always try to grab extras. These are available on the Birchbox website for $1.99 for a 3-pack.

Le Métier de Beauté Rejuvenating Anti-Aging Night Crème – this is probably the most luxe moisturizer I have ever used. I was testing out some new products through Influenster and they made me break out terribly. After using this day and night for 2 days, my face completely healed and there was no sign of a break out anywhere. This stuff is magic. It was super emollient, but not greasy and I was able to wear during the day and under makeup without becoming greasy or having a heavy feeling. I would definitely buy the full size if it wasn’t for the fact it cost $350… that is not a typo. It is available at Neiman’s or Barneys for $350 for 1oz.

Murad Acne Clearing Solution – I’ve already reviewed this like 5 times… I love this and have a couple more samples. If I ever run out, I would buy it! Available at Sephora and the Murad website for $39 for 1.7 oz.

Ole Henriksen Truth to Go Wipes – these smelled lovely, but they kind of burned my face. I have mixed feelings on face wipes and these didn’t help win me over. They did a decent job removing makeup but I could not use this on my eyes. I received this particular package forever ago in an ipsy bag and cannot seem to find them on a lot of sites… maybe others weren’t fans either? I would not purchase, but if you wish to, I did find them on Amazon for $34 for the 30-count package.

Yes to Carrots Nourishing Repairing Night Cream – this was perfect for winter. It is thick, incredibly hydrating and helps repair from the harsh, dry air. I did use this through the spring just to use it up and it was just too heavy. it worked incredibly well but I woke up feeling really greasy. I would use this again in a heartbeat – but only in the winter! Available at Ulta, Walgreens, Target and Whole Foods for $12.99 for 1.7oz.

Sheet MasksSimply When Present Perfect – this one burned last time, but wasn’t so bad this time around.. good thing because I have a couple more… $2-4 through Memebox.

MAKEUP

Benefit Roller Lash – I bought into the hype, folks. It took a bit of getting used to, but I ended up really liking this, however would probably not repurchase. I am a huge fan of They’re Real and Bad Gal and would likely reach for one of those first. I probably would have been able to keep this around a bit longer, but am currently recovering from pinkeye. Gross… everything else is salvageable, but you can’t use mascara after that. Available at Ulta and Sephora for $24.

Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara  (affiliate link) – I loved this, as I mentioned in one of my previous weekly favorites. While this was a sample size, the brush was phenomenal – it helped the formula really coat, curl and separate my lashes. I would buy the full size in a heartbeat! This is available at Nordstrom for $29.

BODY

Ban Total Refresh Cooling Body Cloths – oh these are niiiice! They were made from a really heavy duty cloth. I have no idea what the scent was supposed to be, but I didn’t find it overpowering or offensive and it didn’t linger. These were great after a long flight or workout! I would definitely repurchase. Available at Drugstore.com for $3.39 for a pack of 10.

LUSH Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter – this is the product that just would not die. I’ve been using this FOREVER. it didn’t help that it got lost under my bed I guess.. My cuticles are the worst, this didn’t really help. It did, however, work really well on my cracked, dry winter hands. I would not repurchase. Available at LUSH for $16.95 for 1.5oz. And don’t forget to save your pots – when you return 5 pots you get a free mask!

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunblock SPF45 – this is hands-down my favorite sunscreen. I typically use SPF70-100, so the 45 is a bit low… sometimes the higher the SPF, the worse the formula. This is a consistent formula and leaves my skin cool and non-greasy. I buy in bulk. Available at Walgreens, Target, Amazon, etc. for $9-11 for 5oz.

HAIR

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Floral & Fruity Blush – this little guy is adorable! I am typically a fan of the Crisp and Cool, but I might have a new favorite! I would definitely repurchase. Full size is available at Ulta or Drugstore.com for $8-10 for 6.73oz.

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Smooth Start Shampoo – part of a set with a conditioner and serum also, but of course nothing finishes at the same time… This was great – hydrating, minimized frizz and didn’t harm my color treated hair. I really love John Frieda products and I think they are completely underrated. If I was in the market for a new shampoo, I would purchase. Available at Ulta, Target, Walgreens, etc. for about $10.

Nexxus Youth Renewal Rejuvenating Elixir – this was supposed to be repairing, hydrating, etc. Whatever, I have no idea. It did absolutely nothing for my hair. I would never purchase and I’m not going to bother looking up the cost or where you can find it.

LIFESTYLE

Formula X for Sephora Base Coat – I don’t know… it’s a base coat… it was fine. I did not repurchase because it was like $10. there are perfectly good options for less.

That’s it, folks!

I hope you have a wonderful month!

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May Le Métier de Beauté VIP Vault

Hello everyone!

As usual, I’m super behind on posting my LMdB Vault shipment…

If you read last month’s post, you know I was not impressed with the past holiday cast offs. This month was so much better and something I will use over and over again. In fact, I was drooling over it months ago when it was a GWP at the $350 price point. There was a moment of insanity when I contemplated spending that much just to get the GWP… Why? Because I have a serious magpie problem.

This month we received the Galore Six Fashion Palette, an 18-pan palette full of amazing shadows originally featured here. I found a really great review of a previous limited edition pallete that is fantastic – The Ultimate Makeup did some side by side comparisons with kaleidoscopes and singles.

Apologies for the poor lighting this time – its been raining for days and have zero natural light to work with.

This is a great mix of neutrals and pops of color and I can’t wait to put this to use! the little sponge applicators will be useless so I will toss those. But those colors! Gorgeous!

Left: indoor lighting; right: indoors with flash

Left: indoor lighting; right: indoors with flash

There isn’t a value for this month’s shipment.. so I’m going to list as priceless? ;)

Previous months:

– August – After Dark Total Kaleidoscope valued at $95

– September – Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complexe valued at $175

– October – Goldfinger Kaleidoscope Palette valued at $95

– November – Lip liner set valued at $135.50

– December – two limited edition VIP eye shadows valued at $60

– January – blush and kabuki brush valued at $115

– February – The Romeo and Juliet, Blushing Bronzed Duet valued at $65

– March – Glow Your Own Way lip gloss duo valued at $68

– April – VIP eye shadow and old nail polish valued at $60

Total VIP program value to date: $868.50

What is the LMdB VIP Vault?

“It is Here the 2014 VIP Program! Consider yourself a VIP.

Become a member of the LMdB Beauty Vault VIP Program. Gift it to yourself or gift it to a friend. We promise: you won’t be disappointed. Liberate your inner Beauté and share the discovery of something beautiful every month.

How it works:

For a one-time fee of $348 ($29 dollars a month, for 12 months), become a Beauty Vault VIP. At the beginning of each month, our Le Métier de Beauté experts will send you a carefully curated full-sized product or assortment of products shipped right to your door. As an added bonus, Vault VIP Subscription shipping is free. All you have to do is sign up and anticipate 12 exciting months of LMdB surprises. Savor the perks of insider access, and start discovering beauty with us.

  • One full-sized item or an assortment of items shipped to you at the beginning of every month
  • Curated mix of our favorite Color, Skincare, Pre-release Sneak Peaks, Lab Previews, and Vault Exclusives
  • Shipping is free
  • Share your feedback, we want to get to know you better”

So I did not renew this subscription. I love it, but I have so much stuff and if I’m going to drop that much I would rather it be on specific things I want. LMdB, I love you, but the subscription isn’t happening this year.

Did you renew or subscribe for 2015-2016?

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An Afternoon with Guerlain

One of the most popular posts on this blog is from well over a year ago. It was a little story about the day I made a fantastic new friend and was introduced to Le Métier de Beauté. I haven’t really fallen that hard for a line that hard since. Well, at least until last week…

On a recent trip to Saks to look for the Tom Ford summer collection (which, for the record, my Saks does not carry…), I met Jessica, one of the reps for Guerlain. This was a line I have admired from afar, but have not tested out. I often drool over Mostly Sunny’s beautiful posts about the products, but have not actually tried anything myself.

Guerlain is so well known for their iconic fragrances (hello, Shalimar) and dates back to the late 1820s. Eventually the company moved into color cosmetics, creating the Météorites and Rouge G collections that have achieved cult status.

Jessica was joined by Anna Maria, the Beachwood Guerlain specialist, and I learned a bit about the Orchidée Impériale skincare line, which is derived from orchids. Real orchids. It smells AMAZING.

From the Guerlain website:

Orchidée Impériale, an ongoing quest for beauty. In the beginning, a rare flower that foils time – the orchid – a wonder of longevity, an incredible source of discoveries for science. Guerlain has been the expert in orchids and skin longevity for over 12 years: three orchids selected from 30,000 and a new one – the Gold Orchid – to regenerate cell life. Orchidée Impériale exceptional complete care has evolved since its creation to always offer global age-defying action with cutting-edge performance.”

We used the Orchidée Impériale Lotion and Eye and Lip Cream – my skin felt amazing. Hydrated, smooth and non-greasy.

From there, Jessica applied the Météorites Perles, a violet scented primer, which in the bottle is liquid and separated pearls. When dispensed, the pearls are crushed and mixed evenly with the clear base. This left my skin with a lovely, soft glow. After letting this set, she applied the new Météorites Baby Glow in Clair (SPF25), the lightest of the three shades. This shade matched my skin perfectly – it is a warm, pink based sheer foundation that replenishes skin, blurs imperfections and evens skin tone. All of this was topped off with the Météorites pressed powder (definitely on my wish list!)

So what exactly are Météorites?

In 1987, for the first time, a loose powder came in the form of multi-coloured pearls: Météorites. One stroke of the brush rolls these pearls to release an incredibly lightweight perfecting halo. The skin is suffused with light and glows with new radiance. A revolution in the art of make-up: finally, a loose powder that no longer flies away! Guerlain, the architect of light, reinterprets Météorites with each collection and season, giving all women access to a perfect complexion. The secret? A multi-coloured constellation that infuses the skin with ideal radiance.”

We then dove into the summer collection and warmed up the look with the Terracotta Summer Collection Limited Edition: My Terracotta Hydrating Powder. However, my favorite item in the summer collection was the Terracotta Summer Collection Summer Shadow in White Sand. Paired with the Terracotta Khol Kajal and Cils d’Enfer Maxi Lash in Noir, you can create a super easy and striking eye look. We finished the look with the Rouge G de Guerlain Lipstick in Gina (20). This is the perfect daytime orange-red. And the packaging… oh, the packaging. This is gorgeous. Can I just get one in every color?

White Sand up close – love the doe-foot applicator

White Sand swatched and blended out

If you read my blog regularly, you know I didn’t leave empty handed… I picked up the Météorites Baby Glow in Clair ($54 for 1oz.), Terracotta Summer Collection Summer Shadow in White Sand ($32 for .25oz.), and the Rouge G de Guerlain Lipstick in Gina. ($53 for 0.12oz.)

Close up of the Rouge G de Guerlain Lipstick in Gina (20)

I was also very excited to find out there was also a ridiculously indulgent GWP including a generous sample of the Orchidée Impériale Cleansing Foam, Toner and eye cream, as well as a mini version of the Cils d’Enfer Maxi Lash in Noir. This is a great way to really test out the skincare and give some thorough feedback.

I wanted to properly test out the new items at home and do some monitoring throughout the day to see how they really held up:

FullSizeRender

Products used in this look: Météorites Baby Glow in Clair, MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter in Radiant Rose and Transparent Finishing Powder, Bobbi Brown Blush in Pale Pink, Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc in Pink Tourmaline Mosaic, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Sabbath and Benefit Roller Lash. I hadn’t made up my mind on a lip shade at the time of the photo. ;)

I intentionally didn’t use a primer just to see how the Baby Glow wore throughout the day on its own. At the 2 and 4 hour marks, there was no change. My skin still had a fairly matte finish and there was zero creasing on the eyes. At 6 hours, I noticed a bit of shine on my cheeks and forehead deliberately but did not touch up and the eye shadow hadn’t budged. I forgot to look in the mirror at 8 hours.. oops. I checked again before I left work and while I looked a little shiny, I still felt as though the coverage was consistent. I spent the next couple hours at a party outside sweating.. gross. I looked in the mirror in the car on the way home and at the 14 hour mark, the foundation was still holding strong with moderate shine in the T-zone and cheeks. The eye shadow, however had really faded, but had ZERO creasing! I really like this formula.

So back to my visit.. Anna Maria is just amazing and I look forward to visiting her again very soon! If you find yourself in the Cleveland area, please visit her at the Guerlain counter at Saks Beachwood. If you wish to book an appointment, call her directly at 216.292.5500 ext. 260.

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Weekly Favorites – part 23

Once again, the weeks have gotten away from me. What the heck?? Again, I won’t even apologize… it seems to be a chronic problem. I refuse to change this to a monthly favorites because it is a goal to get back on track!

As I mentioned in a previous post, May is a no-buy month for me. Believe it or not, I’ve done very well. I had a slight mishap at the Guerlain counter (stay tuned for more on that…), but in my defense, I did use some gift cards. Does that make it better? Probably not. The other “purchase” was utilizing my credits from a Pink Panel study – I got a $75 credit to use on the Patchology website and I didn’t go above $50. Someone please give me some credit for the self-control!

So what is on my favorites list right now? Here we go!

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Blushed Copper (Limited Edition) – I always feel bad posting things that are limited edition, however there are so many options in the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector line that I don’t feel THAT badly. This particular shade is an absolute beautiful warm, copper hue – it has some dark tones to it, but with the lightest hand, can be used on any skin tone. I was a little scared about using this on my NW10-15 skin and tested along with the Rose Gold, Opal and Topaz in both the Pressed and Poured formulas. Because the Copper does have a bit of the Rose Gold as well, this really warmed up my cheeks and gave a beautiful sun-kissed look. I use this as a blush and start applying from the hairline, just below the cheekbone and blending down the cheekbone and then lightly up the temple. Before making the leap on this particular shade, I would suggest going to Sephora and test out each formula to see what works best for your skin type. And remember, a little bit goes a VERY long way. Available at Sephora for $38 (0.28oz).

I could not capture the right hues in my lighting, so this photo is borrowed from Sephora.com

 – Call Your Girlfriend – if you are my friend IRL, you know that I’m obsessed with this podcast. Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman are long-distance besties and I feel like they have become my personal besties over the last few weeks. I keep trying to stalk them on Instagram and it doesn’t seem to be working… please? Besties? If you like smart, funny women with an edge, go download this from iTunes or listen online at callyourgirlfriend.com

That is it this week. I am seriously trying to get back to real weekly posts – bear with me!

Have a great week!

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