January Beauty Favorites 2013!

I talk about my January Beauty Favorites in this YouTube video.

Giorgio Armani products mentioned (click here for swatches):
- Giorgio Armani Coral Bliss Face and Eye Palette
- Giorgio Armani Rose Bliss Face and Eye Palette
- Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani Lipstick in #101
- Giorgio Armani Face Fabric Foundation in 3.5

January Favorites:
- Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer
- Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick - click here for swatches
- YSL Creme de Blush in 9 Baby Doll (Spring 2013) - click here for swatches
- Tom Ford Cheek Color in 01 Love Lust - click here for swatches
- Tom Ford Lip Color in 19 Aphrodisiac - click here for swatches
- Chanel Rouge Allure in 112 Fantasque (Spring 2013) - click here for swatches
- Guerlain Rouge Automatique in 600 Ballade (Spring 2013) - click here for swatches
- Tom Ford Eye Color Quad in 02 Emerald Lust - click here for swatches
- Guerlain Ecrin 4 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette 501 Attrape-Coeur (Spring 2013)
- Chanel Quadra Eye Shadow in 39 Raffinement (Spring 2013) - click here for swatches

Skincare Favorite
- Sisley-Paris Gentle Facial Buffing Creme - http://tinyurl.com/avndsr7

What I'm Wearing:
- NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base
- Giorgio Armani Coral Bliss Face and Eye Palette
- Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink
- Chanel Crayon Sourcils Sculpting Eyebrow Pencil in Noir Cendre

- Giorgio Armani Face Fabric Foundation in 3.5
- Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick in 04 Bisque
- Guerlain 'Meteorites' Illuminating & Mattifying Pressed Powder in 02 Teint Beige
- YSL Creme de Blush in 9 Baby Doll
- Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate 01 Intensity One
- Guerlain 'Terracotta - Four Seasons' Bronzer in 02 Brunettes

- Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani Lipstick in #101

- YSL Nail Lacquer in 34 Jade Imperial (Spring 2013)
- YSL Nail Lacquer in 35 Bronze Pyrite (Spring 2013)
- Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

**Disclaimer: I purchased all items with my own money. All opinions are my own and not sponsored.

Giorgio Armani Spring 2013 Collection

I'm excited to share the items I picked up from the Giorgio Armani Spring 2013 Collection. I know it's technically still Winter, but I love the Spring pops of color - and blues seems to be all the rage on the Spring 2013 Ready To Wear Runway looks. I'm still new to the Giorgio Armani Beauty range, but I'm loving it so far! I picked up both of the Face and Eye Palettes and one of their lipsticks.

- Giorgio Armani Coral Bliss Face and Eye Palette
- Giorgio Armani Rose Bliss Face and Eye Palette
- Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani Lipstick in #101

First, a note about the packaging. Normally, the packaging is in black, like the lipstick below, but the Spring 2013 collection Face and Eye Palettes are in white. The shape is interestingly uneven, but not the best for fitting into your makeup storage :P.

Now, for some swatches! As usual, I photograph in both indoor day lighting (to help show what it might look like when wearing it indoors) and flash lighting (to help show what it would look like in flash photography and to see the finishes better - e.g., matte vs. satin or shimmer finishes).

(Indoor Day Lighting)

(Flash Lighting)

(Indoor Day Lighting)

(Flash Lighting)

(Indoor Day Lighting)

(Flash Lighting)

A quick look at the lipstick, which reminds me of the Burberry Lip Mist for two reasons: 1) the magnetic closure of the lipstick, and 2) the sheer and moisture-rich formula.

Both the Burberry Lip Mist and Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani lipsticks have a magnetic closure.

You can see that the Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani lipstick is also sheer, like the Burberry Lip Mist  but it's even lighter in shade and maybe too light for my pigmented lips. The Burberry lip mist in Field Rose is my "my lips but better" shade. 

Finally, I wanted to share the sample of the Giorgio Armani Face Fabric Foundation in 3.5. I absolutely LOVE it so far. It's on the sheer side, and the silicon in it makes it apply very smoothly and comfortably. I will probably purchase the full product when I run out of the sample.

**Disclaimer: I purchased all items with my own money. All opinions are my own and not sponsored.

Urban Decay Naked Basics

I know I'm late to the game buying the UD Naked Basics palette, but I already own the Naked and Naked 2 Palettes. Even though I love matte shades, and I was always hoping Urban decay would add more matte shades to their Naked palettes, I would always rather spend the money on something else. Well, I finally gave in and bought the UD Naked Basics palette ... and I almost hate to say that I LOVE it (more than the Naked and Naked 2 palettes)!

UD Naked (Top), UD Naked 2 (Middle), UD Naked Basics palette (Bottom)

I like the Naked and Naked 2 palettes, but to be extremely honest, I gravitate more to my high end palettes. Understandably, if you can only afford one palette, the Naked or Naked 2 palette is a fantastic choice ... BUT, how many of us have more eyeshadows than we can count? So, I tend to pick my high end palettes. For example, my Dior Night Golds and Fairy Golds palettes (from the Holiday Grand Bal Collection 2012) remind me of edited versions of the Naked and Naked 2 palettes. Dior Night Golds is a warmer palette like the Naked palette, and Dior Fairy Golds is a cooler palette like the Naked 2 palette. By no means do I think they're exact dupes, but they are similar enough color tones to achieve similar eye looks without having to be exact colors.

Dior Night Golds (left) and Dior Fairy Golds (right)

Top Row: UD Naked palette and Dior Night Golds palette (warmer tones)
Bottom Row: UD Naked 2 palette and Dior Fairy Golds palette (cooler tones)

Back to the Urban Decay (UD) palettes, I do prefer the Naked 2 palette to the Naked palette for three reasons: 1) better eyeshadow formula - smoother and more buttery IMO, 2) cooler tones, and 3) darker black shade. (But, Gunmetal in the Naked palette is pretty amazing!)

Now, to the UD Naked Basics palette, which beats both the Naked and Naked 2 palettes for me. Like I said, the Naked and Naked 2 palettes are nice and all, but given the choice, I'd probably hit up my Dior palettes. What I'm lacking here is neutral matte shades ... and boy does the Naked Basics palette deliver! First, let me address the obvious - it's a smaller palette. No offense to others, but I prefer actual measurements over, "hey, it fits in my hand."

You're getting exactly half the eyeshadow number and weight as the regular Naked and Naked 2 palettes, but it's more than half the price ($27 x 2 = $54 ... $4 more than the full sized $50 palettes).

I wasn't exactly prepared to be impressed by the Naked Basics palette. I mean, I already own several Urban Decay palettes, and I am already familiar with the new formula. But, wow - these mattes were sooo buttery and smooth to apply, I had to rave. So, I'm getting a smaller palette, with 5 mattes and 1 shimmer/highlight shades ... SOLD! I wish this palette came out before the Naked and Naked 2 palettes. I would have probably elected to skip those palettes and just buy the Naked Basics palette. Oh well.

(Indoor Day Lighting)

(Indoor Day Lighting)

(Flash Lighting)

So, final thoughts (from someone very late to the bandwagon)? ... GET the UD Naked Basics palette!! Even if shimmers are more your thing, mattes are always helpful transition colors. For any of you who have not yet bought any of the Naked or Naked 2 palettes, you may be in luck and just buy the Naked Basics palette  But, if you're like most of us and you have at least one of the two full sized palettes, I'd say it's still worth it for it's portable size and very ... "basic" ... shades. 

Now, I'm interested in comparing these shades with my newest Tom Ford acquisitions - Cocoa Mirage (mostly mattes) and Golden Mink (shimmers and glitter). I know it's redundant (and excessive) to buy all these neutral palettes, but I like to think it might help some of you readers out there.

**Disclaimer: I purchased all items with my own money. All opinions are my own and not sponsored.

Alex 9 Drawer Unit from IKEA

I decided to buy another Alex 9 Drawer Unit from IKEA. The one I own already holds most of my makeup collection, but I wanted a second one for free sample products (either from buying online or from Glossybox or Beauty Bar's Sample Society), skincare products, and well ... makeup spillovers from the first drawer set :). 

I know these drawers are all the rage for the beauty community, but there were two things that surprised me: 1) the price ($119) and 2) the weight (83 pounds). Now, the price isn't cheap, but I am very happy with my purchase. I would say it is a bit of an investment compared to cheaper alternatives, BUT it is cheaper than some of the heftier furniture designs I've seen. So, love it or leave it - I think it's always best to be aware of your price point/budget before heading out to IKEA. I know some people aren't lucky enough to have one close by them. I think it would be a shame to travel a far ways to IKEA with your heart set on buying these drawers, only to realize they are more expensive than you'd hoped.

Secondly, I was surprised by the weight and large box size. My husband was working, and I really wanted to get the drawers ASAP. So, by myself, I took the task on of loading the large and heavy box onto my cart and into my car :P. I'd say it's definitely possible by yourself, but if you can, I'd recommend bringing a friend who can help. I'm spoiled by my husband who can do this easily by himself, but I thought it'd be fun to film our little IKEA adventure demonstrating one and two person loading.

Here's a look at the starting point ... 

Out of the box!

And organized into pieces :).

and now the final product! 

CCO visit (again)! Bobbi Brown, MAC, and Estee Lauder (Michael Kors)

I visited my local CCO for the first time, and unlike in Miami, this CCO had only Estee Lauder products. In fact, the sales person there was confused when I said that I found Lancome and YSL at the CCO in Miami. So, although I'm sure the Miami store was called CCO, I got the impression that the "official" CCO stores were Estee Lauder. Hmm ... can anyone shed some light on this one?

Anyway, I wanted to share with you all what I purchased :). I bought three items: 1) the 2009 Bobbi Brown Beauty Kit, 2) MAC MSF (Mineralized Skin Finish) Powder in Blonde, and 3) the 2011 Estee Lauder and Michael Kors Makeup kit.

I believe this is the 2009 Bobbi Brown Chrome Beauty Kit.
CCO price $52.50 (down from the retail $115) :).



Bobbi Brown zipper detail

Top compartment
I didn't like the foam insert here, and I think it's supposed to fit the outdated eyeshadows or something?

Thankfully, the foam insert comes out. Now the top compartment is much more spacious :).

Bottom compartment
I like that there is another brush holder (seemingly for larger brushes). It also came with a Bobbi Brown pouch bag.

Just like the top compartment, you can see there is plenty of space in the bottom portion. I would like the grid compartment organizer that's in the Holiday Collection Deluxe Travel Kit, but I like each of these Bobbi Brown bags in their own right :).

Next up is MAC and their MSF in Blonde. I've never bought any of their MSF's before. So, I was curious to try one out (CCO price $22.50 - down from retail price $29.00).


(Indoor Day Lighting)
MAC MSF in Blonde (heavy swatch on left, blended out on right) 

(Flash Lighting)

And finally, I bought last year's Estee Lauder and Michael Kors collaboration makeup bag and kit.