Saturday

Face Atelier Swatches & Review - Zero Minus, #2 Ivory, #4 Sand, #6 Honey, Ultra Sheer Pearl, Ultra Sheer Peach

Product provided by PR/brand for review.

I was recently given the opportunity by Face Atelier to sample some of their foundations and face products. For those that aren't familiar with Face Atelier, they are a Canadian cosmetic company that specializes in silicone-based foundations and other products. They offer both standard size and pro size bottles of their foundations and Ultra Sheers, which I think is fabulous if you want to or need to conserve space in your kit or personal collection.

Before I get into it, I want to let you know that Face Atelier actually sells samples of just about all of their products on their site! This is a fabulous way to try them yourself and I love that they do this. Simply go to the product pages of the items you want to try and click on the "buy sample" buttons under the descriptions. I found that usually the sample buttons are only featured on the standard product pages not the pro product pages, but since the only difference is the packaging, you can order the same colors regardless of whether you intend to buy standard or pro sizes down the road. Such a fabulous option!


These are the 6 products I'll be reviewing today. I'll describe what Zero Minus, Ultra Sheer Opal, and Ultra Sheer Peach can be used for below.

Here's a closer shot of the 2 Ultra Sheers I'm reviewing. 

Face Atelier Foundation Swatches

These swatches were done int he same order the jars were placed in above. These were done on the underside of my arm as it tends to be the fairest part of my arm and it makes it easiest to swatch colors a bit more accurately. 

I found it difficult to capture Ultra Sheer Pearl in group shots, but you can see it a bit better here. It's essentially a translucent (but mostly sheer) base with a gorgeous subtle pink luster. Ultra Sheer Peach is a peachy-gold luster.



Face Atelier Foundation Review

Shades

I found the shade range to be yellow-leanin, which was mentioned to me when I was speaking with Face Atelier. Keep in mind, Face Atelier shades can be mixed to color-match your complexion or your clients' complexions. I chose shades #2 Ivory, #4 Sand, and #6 Honey. #2 Ivory was definitely not quite as light as I would have expected given the name "ivory", but it is a fairly light shade. With the addition of Zero Minus, I think it could potentially work well for fairer complexions, though #1 Porcelain would probably be most appropriate for those that are super fair (and even then you may want to mix in some Zero Minus depending on exactly how fair you are). 

Application

This applied well, but as it's a medium- to full-coverage foundation you need to make sure you apply evenly and blend well as it won't be quite as forgiving as a liquid foundation with less coverage. That being said, I had no issues applying and blending this into my face. The consistency is typical of most liquid foundations. It's not super thick nor super thin. 

Finish

This has a dewy finish when dry. It's not incredibly shiny, but it is definitely dewy. If you like that kind of finish (I tend to when it's not super hot out) then you'll love Face Atelier's natural finish. If you prefer a more matte finish, you'll want to mattify it.


Wear

I found this wore very well and as Face Atelier states you don't have to wear a primer with it, I didn't! I did find that it oxidized a tiny bit on the driest part of my nose (which is not something I've ever been able to completely avoid with any foundation to my recollection no matter what I do ahead of time), but not super noticeably compared to other foundations I've used. It was really only noticeable up super close and since most people won't be 2 inches from your face, I think it's safe to say it will go completely unnoticed if you have this issue. Keep in mind, this is a consistent trouble spot for me, so for someone that doesn't have dryness on their nose, this may not be a problem at all. This did not irritate my sensitive skin and it did provide very good coverage. I did get the teeniest bit of creasing under my eyes before the foundation set (I have a crease under each eye so this is something that always happens for me), but I quickly patted it down and it stayed uncreased after setting. 

People often ask if I can feel whatever foundation I'm reviewing at the time on my face. The answer for me is almost always yes because I have sensitive skin, but the question really should be whether or not it is heavy or uncomfortable feeling. Face Atelier foundation was not heavy on my face by any means, nor did it feeling dehydrating or tight. For a medium- to full-coverage foundation, I was surprised by how incredibly comfortable it was to wear--even for picky me!

Standard Size vs. Pro Size Pumps

I'm sure many of you are curious as to how the standard and pro size pumps differ. The standard size pumps hold 1 oz/30 ml and cost $48 retail ($1.60 per ml), while the pro size pumps hold .68 oz/20 ml and cost $34 ($1.7 per ml). As you can see, the cost of the product is actually $.10 more per ml for the pro bottle than the standard. I'm not sure how I feel about this only because if you're a pro you're typically buying more than 1 shade, but for the convenience, perhaps it's worth the slightly elevated price. The pro pumps are lightweight and supposed to be unbreakable. They are also slim tube-style pumps as opposed to the more typical foundation bottle of the standard pumps.  

My Thoughts

I am really impressed by this formula! I'm going to get into it further below, but I am definitely feeling good about these foundations.

All Face Atelier Foundation can be seen HERE


Face Atelier Zero Minus Review 

What's it for?

The first question on most people's minds is probably--what is Zero Minus for? It's actually a somewhat versatile white liquid product with the same consistency as the Face Atelier foundations. Here are the 2 most common uses I've found:

  • The first use would be mixing it with foundations to lighten them without muddying them. Whether you have difficulty finding your perfect color-match or you're assembling your kit, this is definitely a great addition. Face Atelier also offers Zero Plus (brown), Zero Plus Plus (super deep brown-almost-black), and Heat (a reddish-color that adds warmth to shades). This is great for those that tend to get some color in the summer, then lighten in the winter. I'd love to try the other 3 shade adjusters and will be sure to review them if I do.

  • The second use would be using Zero Minus to highlight and then using the deeper shades (either Zero Plus or Zero Plus Plus) to contour. If I get my hands on Zero Plus and Zero Plus Plus I'll be sure to review them for highlighting and contouring specifically!

Ease of Use for Mixing

I did find Zero Minus very easy to work with for mixing to lighten shades. I actually did not match any of the colors I had for review perfectly, so I mixed in Zero Plus with #6 Honey and #4 Sand and matched it that way. If you're new to mixing foundations then add 1 or 2 drops at a time and then mix and compare over and over until you get the right shade. Keep in mind, many foundations dry a bit lighter than they look wet, so I find it easiest to play around with the foundations I use first so that I know what to expect, making it easier to color-match for myself and others later. 

Standard Size vs. Pro Size Pumps

The standard size pumps hold 1 oz/30 ml and cost $48 retail ($1.60 per ml), while the pro size pumps hold .68 oz/20 ml and cost $34 ($1.7 per ml). As you can see, the cost of the product is actually $.10 more per ml for the pro bottle than the standard. The pro pumps are lightweight and supposed to be unbreakable. They are also slim tube-style pumps as opposed to the more typical foundation bottle of the standard pumps. 

My Opinion

I really like Zero Minus and have actually recently purchased a pro-sized bottle of it. I'm sure if I get the chance to try Zero Plus and Zero Plus Plus that those will also become a permanent part of my personal collection and kit as well.

All Face Atelier Foundation can be seen HERE


Face Atelier Ultra Sheer Review

What are they for?

As with Zero Plus, I'm sure the Ultra Sheers are a bit of a mystery as well. These are versatile luster-filled liquids that can be used multiple ways. Here are 2 of the most common uses I've found and tried:

  • The first use would be adding them into your foundation to impart a subtle luster, giving the wearer a teeny bit of a glow. I added a bit of Ultra Sheer Peach to my mixed foundation and didn't find it gave me a synthetic sheen, just a life-like complexion. Granted I only used a drop or two, it's easy to adjust them to get the kind of finished look you want to accomplish.
  • The second use would be using them as highlighters over your foundation. I actually used Ultra Sheer Opal as a subtle highlighter on my cheek bones, cupid's bow, and around the perimeter of my mouth. It is incredibly subtle and not at all hyper-shimmery--which I love! It's far more subtle than comparable liquid highlighters I've tried such as Benefit High Beam or (discontinued) Moon Beam. 

Standard Size vs. Pro Size Pumps

The standard size pumps hold 1 oz/30 ml and cost $48 retail ($1.60 per ml), while the pro size pumps hold .68 oz/20 ml and cost $34 ($1.7 per ml). As you can see, the cost of the product is actually $.10 more per ml for the pro bottle than the standard. They are also slim tube-style pumps as opposed to the more typical foundation bottle of the standard pumps. 


My Opinion

I think that the 2 Ultra Sheers I tried were fabulous. I love how customizable it makes any foundation and I did find using them both to mix and to highlight to be super lovely and simple. I'm eager to try Bronze and Champagne (the other 2 Ultra Sheer shades) as well!

All Face Atelier Ultra Sheers can be seen HERE


Of course I couldn't go without showing you how lovely Face Atelier photographed! As usual with foundation review pics, this is not photoshopped, just cropped and watermarked. I left my makeup super simple so you could really see the foundation all over my face. I'm only wearing liner, Too Faced Better than False Lashes, blush, and a little contour. I actually didn't fill my brows (which I normally always do) because I wanted as natural of a look as possible so focus wasn't taken from the foundation. 

You can see in this picture how easily I was able to color-match to my unusual complexion by mixing #6 Honey and #4 Sand with a couple drops of Zero Plus and a drop or two of Ultra Sheer Peach. This really does provide amazing coverage and a picture-perfect finish!

My Final Thoughts

I am very impressed with all of the products I tried by Face Atelier and have been on the hunt for a long time for new liquid foundations to add to my kit--I think these just may be a new addition! I'm really impressed by the coverage these provide, given how light-weight the formula feels compared to other full-coverage foundations I've tried. These photograph extremely well, which to me is very important, and look lovely in person, too. I found it easy to color-match to my complexion and absolutely loved playing around with Zero Minus and both Ultra Sheers. I'm still not sure what I think about the slight price difference per volume between the standard and pro pumps, but given how much more slender the pro pumps are I'd probably still recommend those for pros. If you intend to make Face Atelier your personal daily foundation of choice, you're probably better off with the standard size bottle because you'll likely go through it faster and need more volume anyway.  

All in all, I would recommend this to anyone looking for nice coverage liquid foundations for themselves or for their kits. It's really quite impressive and I'm glad Face Atelier gave me the chance to give everything a whirl. I look forward to trying other Face Atelier products in the future!

Where to Buy

These can all be purchased through Face Atelier's site HERE

What do you think? Will you be giving Face Atelier a try?


Note: These products were provided by PR/the brand for review. All opinions above are my own based on my personal experience and have not been influenced by PR/the brand. 

Friday

Crown Brush on Hautelook Today! Reasonably Priced Starter-Brushes & Palettes

Note: This post contains affiliate links.


In the past I have tried out Crown Brush brushes. While they weren't bad, they weren't pro-quality (in my opinion), but I often recommend them to people who are just starting out and looking for cheaper sets. The Italian Badger and Synthetic ranges often get the best ratings from what I've seen and experienced. I haven't tried the palettes, but have heard others like them for personal use.

 If you'd like to give Crown Brush a try, Hautelook has a bunch of stuff on sale today! Check it out on Hautelook HERE.

If you grab anything I'd love to hear what you nab!

Tuesday

Sigma's Foundation Brush Finder

Note: This post contains affiliate links.

Sigma just released this helpful finder to assist makeup brush users in finding the right foundation brush based on the products they use. This is not a review of the brushes, but I thought some of you might find it helpful if you're considering purchasing a Sigma brush for your foundation routine. If you choose to purchase or peruse the brushes you can do so on their site HERE


Monday

RiRi Hearts MAC Lipstick Swatches: RiRi Woo, RiRi Boy and Heaux swatches

I am currently de-stashing and selling the back-ups I purchased of each of these shades (they haven't even been unboxed yet) here.

As many of you know, I recently received my order from the RiRi Hearts MAC collection. You can see my original post HERE.

I wavered on whether or not to swatch these as the collection is limited edition and selling out, but since 2 of the 3 lipsticks are available as of the time I wrote this post I thought it might be helpful to any of you still debating whether or not you need these colors.

RiRi Hearts MAC RiRi Woo Lipstick Swatch

MAC RiRi Woo Swatch
MAC RiRi Woo

Color

RiRi Woo is a medium-deep red that actually skewed a bit warm on my lips rather than blue-toned. It has to be the combo of my natural lip color and the lipstick because I believe it's supposed to be cool-toned. I tend not to swatch lipsticks with liner underneath them to show you how they look solo on my lips. I do, however, always recommend using lip liner with lip products! 

Formula

The formula is actually pretty nice for a matte. I swatched all of these on freshly moisturized and exfoliated lips (which is always best, especially with mattes), but it is a tiny bit drying--which is to be expected with a matte. The formula is very light feeling, which is nice, and it's sufficiently pigmented and opaque once applied. 

My Thoughts

This is a nice matte red, but it's not far off from MAC Ruby Woo (which is the original color Rihanna worked with and altered to get this shade), so if you need this color and it sells out I'd recommend checking out Ruby Woo in-store or purchasing it online if you feel confident it's what you want. I am a fan of matte red lippies, so I'm sure I'll wear this in the future.


RiRi Hearts MAC RiRi Boy Lipstick Swatch

MAC RiRi Boy Swatch
MAC RiRi Boy

Color

On my lips this was a medium-toned lavender.

Formula

This formula is very similar to RiRi Woo--light-weight, a tad drying, and pigmented. This took a little bit more product to reach opacity, but I tend to do multiple thin coats to build up the color and allow it to face a bit more gradually.

My Thoughts

This is a nice color and different from some of the other lavenders we've seen so far because of its matte finish. I also think that because it's matte, it is a tad more subdued (without a super vibrant liner underneath it) and may be more wearable for those that want to wear lavender, but are a bit intimidated by the color. 


RiRi Hearts MAC Heaux Lipstick Swatch


MAC Heaux Swatch
MAC Heaux 

Color

Heaux is a medium-deep berry matte. It is definitely not close in tone to RiRi Woo for anyone wondering. 

Formula

This formula is very similar to RiRi Woo--light-weight, a tad drying, and pigmented. 

My Thoughts

I think this is a very complementary shade, especially for Fall. I'm not sure I'll wear it too much this summer as I prefer lighter/brighter shades (and of course my all-time favorite matte reds), but I can definitely see myself pulling this out around September.


Final Thoughts

I think these are all nice shades and as I'm a fan of matte lipsticks, I do like the finishes. If you're a huge Rihanna fan I would recommend considering purchasing them. If you're a fan of matte lipsticks and don't have anything similar you may also want to purchase them. While I do like the colors I'm still not sure they're must-haves for their shades alone given all of the difficulty we all had ordering them. I've heard they're back-ordered until July, so that's also something to keep in mind. I guess I'm just not sure what I think given all the factors! Do I like the colors? Yes! Do I like the formula? Yes, it's pretty decent for matte lipstick. Is it worth waiting until July for them? That's something you're going to have to determine for yourself base don how badly you want them :) I do recommend making a decision quickly as last I saw Heaux was listed as sold out.

What do you think? Will you be purchasing any of these? 

Saturday

Facial Piercings & Makeup Application - Do you remove or leave in?

Happy Saturday!

As many of you have probably noticed, I have my nose pierced. I've actually had it for 14 years now (ah! so old!) and I love it. I had it done while nose rings weren't insanely popular--in fact none of my friends or anyone around me had one at the time--and it's truly become a part of my face.

Here's a lovely picture pointing out my nose ring for those of you that have never noticed it. Of course genius me chose a pic in which it's not as obvious because of lighting and the fact that the diamond in the surgical steel setting is somewhat subtle, but it's there! It's been more noticeable in other pics (such as my blog header above).

When I do certain things like nose pore strips, facials, etc. I tend to take it out so that I can actually get my whole nose since it can get in the way a bit. However, one thing I always debate over is whether or not I should take it out prior to applying my makeup. I usually leave it in because I don't want to buff makeup into the small hole it leaves behind when removed--which results in me having to clean any foundation or powder that gets on it with a q-tip. Which of course leaves me thinking yet again ... should I have taken it out?

For those of you with facial piercings and a serious love of cosmetics, what do you do? Do you take it out? Do you leave it in? Share!

I'm always curious to see what other people do in out-of-the-norm situations such as this and I don't believe I've ever been involved in a chat surrounding this topic!

Just a quick update! I posted this question in a few makeup-focused groups on FB and the consensus so far has been that we all leave them in and then clean if necessary!

Friday

Mac Cosmetics RiRi Hearts Mac Hit My Mailbox Today!

I talked at length about my torn feelings regarding the RiRi Hearts Mac collection that recently launched, which you can read HERE.

Well, I decided to try ordering and after having my original order cancelled I nearly gave up, but then a friend got her order to go through so I thought--what the heck? And gave it a shot. I actually got my order to go through after a lot of waiting and ironically it shipped fairly fast, arriving today!

Here's a quick snapshot I shared on instagram: 


I'm not sure whether or not I'm going to do swatches of this collection--though you know how much I love to swatch lipsticks. I bought it for my personal collection and not with the specific intention to swatch, especially because they're so limited (though oddly still on sale though back-ordered on Mac's site).

Did you purchase from the recent RiRi Hearts launch? I feel like everyone was swelling bullets that day thinking, "What the heck am I thinking putting myself through this?!"

Do you have a MAC RiRi Hearts ordering horror story? Share it below! Please refrain from going nuts on the whole situation though--keep it light ;)

Makeup Quirks: Who Makes You Go That Extra Makeup Mile?

A college friend of mine that I rarely get to see because she moved out of state about 7 years ago is visiting today! I often find that some of the most random things motivate me to take a few extra minutes on my makeup--one of them being certain friends. It's not that they'll judge me or say something if I'm not wearing a full face, but I really do like to look my best for my friends.

I've been thinking about what other random situations motivate me to take a few more minutes on my makeup and here are some of the ones I find most quirky:


  • Going to buy makeup at a specialty store such as MAC or even Sephora or Ultra
  • Getting my hair done
  • Going into Boston or any other big city nearby (aside from the one I live in)
Why do I ccompulsively do this? Does it bother me that I do this? Not really lol. It's actually nothing new and perhaps there are some psychological motives deep down aside from the obvious desire to look nice ... but what can you do? 

What about you? Are there any out-of-the-norm situations that make you go the extra mile with your makeup routine aside from the obvious ones like a date or special event? I am dying to know!

Hopefully this post isn't a total mess because I'm blogging from my DROID while my laptop is on the fritz and getting fixed!

Here is a quick snap of the fotd I shared on instagram earlier. Allergies are killing me, but hopefully my allergy meds kick in soon and I feel human again! I'm testing out a new daily primer by Chella today along with the original formula Skindinavia setting spray I recently bought (I love the bridal formula already) so I'll report back on my experience with both soon!

Thursday

Whish Body on Sale on Hautelook Today!

Note: This post includes affiliate links.

I have been a long-time fan of Whish Body products. They're luxurious, smell gorgeous, and abstain from using quite a few ingredients I tend to avoid. I just realized a limited number of products are actually available on Huatelook.com for seriously amazing prices right now! Everything is to die for from the lotions to the serums to the shave creams--ugh! So good!

I highly recommend heading over and checking out the sale because things were getting low and 1 product had sold out when I was on earlier!

Head over to Hautelook HERE.

Monday

Sigma New Release - Performance Eye Brushes Now Sold Individually

This post contains affiliate links


Remember when Sigma released that eye-specific brush collection meant for more detailed, pin-point application of eye products? Well, they are now available for individual purchase! While the price per brush is certainly better if you buy as a kit, for those that only need a couple of these it's much more convenient not to have to buy the entire kit.

Of all these brushes the ones I'm most interested in are the crease brush, blending brush, tightliner, and waterline. But, if I'm going to purchase 4 brushes for $40 it's almost worth getting the set for $61 and having the other brushes as backups (assuming I like them).

What do you think? Will you be purchasing any of these Performance Eye Brushes from Sigma?

Don't Be Fooled by Your Complexion, the Sun is Not Your Friend (personal post)

I have always had a medium complexion and when I was younger, I was actually even darker because I allowed myself more sun exposure. In fact, I would easily get quite a few shades darker with just a few days of exposure. I have only burnt once in my life (literally) and I took advantage of the fact that my skin tanned and held a tan well--I liked the way I looked better overall, too. Keep in mind, I had grown up being educated to a degree about sun exposure so I always wore sunscreen on my face and sometimes on the rest of my body when not intentionally tanning. I really thought that because I didn't burn that it couldn't be as dangerous for me to tan as someone lighter and more apt to burn. After all, I have no known history of skin cancer in my family and my Dad and his family are from Hawaii where they get plenty of sun. And I protected my skin to some degree so that evened things out, right?

Well, it has been a gradual and eventually rough realization since my early 20's that the sun is not and will never be my friend. I admit that when I was younger I laid out and tanned in beds/booths for several years--predominantly between 16 and 20. By the time I hit 21 I realized that bombarding my skin with that much exposure was NOT a good idea. So I stopped and hoped that it wouldn't come and bite me in the behind later.

Late in 2012, I noticed a really odd mole pop up on my left arm. It wasn't initially super strange looking, just a teeny dark mole that was slightly raised (just about all of mine are flat ... and I am covered with them) and no bigger than the tip of a sharpened pencil. As weeks went by I noticed it start to morph, changing shape and color. I had grown up with an awareness of this type of thing and called a dermatologist immediately and was scheduled months out. It is very hard up here to see an in-demand dermatologist quickly for the first time unless you have something extremely bizarre going on and apparently a morphing mole isn't one of them. I waited it out through the fall and winter and finally had my appointment in early 2013. I watched as my mole continued to change a bit, growing more and more thankful for that upcoming appointment. It grew larger and then almost shattered--literally it looked like it shattered and split apart into these tiny segments.

If you've never had a dermatology appointment to have your skin checked for moles and abnormalities of this nature, it can be a bit daunting. You go over your entire sun history and have to strip down and they check the entire surface of your skin--literally. Apparently all of my other moles seemed fine, but the one I was concerned about my dermatologist was also concerned with. We talked about skin cancer and the need for a biopsy in my case to rule this out as it was definitely suspicious. We scheduled the biopsy and I remember thinking--what are the freaking odds? Of course I wondered if all my stupidity when I was younger had led to something unpleasant now.

My biopsy date arrived and I went in. I had a complete biopsy of the mole. In some cases they will only take part if they feel the risks are low or depending on the dermatologist. I had the entire mole, plus a circumference around it removed. My dermatologist was someone I had researched prior to seeing. His bedside manner is amazing and I'm thankful he was the one to do all of this for me. I waited for days for the results and finally got the call and was told to come in. Pathology stated my mole was "extremely abnormal". The doctor said they basically rate them on a scale and mine was essentially as abnormal as they get. It was determined it was most probably a Dysplastic Nevus (atypical but non-cancerous mole) of a specific variety ... which of course I'm blanking on at the moment. I was told to come back in 2 months to have the area in which I'd had the biopsy done re-checked. If anything changed in that area (for example, the mole started growing back) I was to come in immediately. I went back in today to have it checked and pathology had basically decided that despite the fact that I had, had the entire mole removed, it might be a good option to have a bigger area of the skin on my arm removed as sometimes it can appear that the entire mole has been removed when some of it still exists. My dermatologist went over several options with me as there is a risk with the type of atyipcal mole I have that it could in fact be cancerous after all or can become cancerous though it looks benign at the moment. One option would be having a larger area of my arm removed.

The area of my arm they would have to take would be several inches long and about an inch wide in a slender football shape. We're not talking a small area, just to be clear. He said the choice to have this larger area removed was a toss-up more or less. I could have it removed for nothing and end up with a large area to have heal and a pretty gnarly scar or I could choose not to have it done and potentially never have an issue with that site--or there was the off chance a bit of the mole was still in that area and could be or become cancerous. I thought it over and decided I'd wait until my next appointment in 6 months and if they didn't feel I still needed it (due to no changes on my arm) I wouldn't have it done. My dermatologist felt that was a good plan and again told me to come in immediately if anything changed on the site where I had my initial biopsy done.

On the drive home from this appointment I started to wonder if I'd made this choice based on vanity. Sure, I'd contemplated healing time and what a freaking pain it was just to have had the smaller site on my arm heal over weeks ... but had I really made the choice not to have this larger area removed because I didn't want a giant scar across my arm? I still don't know and I don't know if later I'll regret this or not. I tend to hyper-analyze and I'm sure this will be on my mind for some time. Perhaps I won't regret it, perhaps I will. Either way, I've been told to stay out of the sun and wear a high SPF daily--both of which I plan to continue doing. I'll also have to go in every 6-12 months (assuming nothing happens with the site on my arm) for the rest of my life to get checked.

I guess ... I want to share my story because it's so easy to forget how dangerous the sun can be. Especially if you're in the medium to dark range complexion-wise. I have fair friends that are very sun-careless as well. The risks of skin cancer naturally increase with your exposure. Throw in genetics and whatnot and you have to ask yourself, is it really worth it? Let's say nothing changes and I simply have to keep getting checked and never go through another biopsy or anything worse. I would have to say a resounding "no". Being tan was not worth the worry I'm experiencing now, whether or not anything more comes of it. I have never been careless about my kids' exposure on the other hand--they are always slathered with a good physical barrier sunscreen. And I've actually been told to keep my younger (extremely fair) son out of the sun as much as physically possible in addition to super high SPF on both kids.

Do I think everyone is going to get skin cancer just because they get some sun exposure? Obviously not. I do think there are known risks and it's good to be aware of them before making a choice regarding your own sun habits. Whether or not you choose to risk it is entirely up to you. My experience has obviously influenced my opinion. The one thing I will recommend for all of my readers is that you check yourselves for moles and keep track of ones you have no matter what your complexion or sun exposure is. Skin cancer is no joke. Even if you choose to tan or lay out or simply forego sunscreen on a daily basis--check yourself!

If anything looks off or if anything changes, make an appointment with a good dermatologist IMMEDIATELY.

Here is a link by the American Cancer Society regarding what to look for when checking yourself (which you should do once per month).

If anyone would like to share their story below please feel free to do so. I think it's much more effective when someone you "know" has had an experience with this type of thing. It makes it more of a reality.

I hope my story helps bring some awareness and I'll update things again should they change or after my next appointment for those interested.

Thanks for reading :)

Thursday

Inquiring Minds Need to Know: No More Sephora by OPI?



I heard a bit of buzz via several social networks that Sephora and OPI would no longer be collaborating and putting out Sephora by OPI and that was why everything was severely discounted. I personally like to check facts for myself, so I called Sephora and was told it is in fact being discontinued and that as of right now they have no info (in customer service) on whether or not they will partner with anyone else in the future.

Kind of crazy! Admittedly I've never been a huge fan, but they've always been there so for some reason ... I'm still surprised!

So, if you like Sephora by OPI now is your chance to stock up before it's gone for good (super discounted).

What do you think about this?

Check out what's on sale HERE.

Fantastic Favs: Sugarpill

Note: There are affiliate links below.

Is it no secret I'm a huge Sugarpill fan! I remember when I made my first purchase back in 2011 I had heard such amazing things and when I finally got my hands on my first items (a palette) I was in cosmetic-heaven! Since then I have continued to be impressed by the products Sugarpill has put out and am waiting anxious for some of the upcoming products I've seen sneak peeked through blogs at trade shows. I have bought everything from the lashes to loose chromalusts to pressed shadows. So far nothing has let me down and the customer service has been fantastic.

I've recently been itching to add to my chromalust collection. I can't seem to find my Goldilux anywhere (I'm sure it'll turn up eventually but I'd like to have it now and since it's super gorgeous I won't mind having a backup) and somehow I've never purchased Tiara and Stella, so I think that will be my next purchase.

Have you tried sugarpill? What's on your wishlist and what are your favorite products you've tried so far?

I'd say my all-time favorites have been Lumi followed by all of the other chromalusts I own (how fun is absinthe?) and the rainbow individual lashes--so fun! The pressed shadows are fabulous as well and bulletproof is one of my favorite black pressed shadows.

Sugarpill can be purchased through the site HERE (affil).

butter LONDON Friends & Family Sale 30% Off!

Wednesday

Dying to Nab: Sephora Disney Ariel Mirror Compact

I have been waiting for a Disney mirror compact to be released since I missed the Cinderella one (still kicking myself over that one) and opted not to get Jasmine's. When I heard Ariel was the next Sephora-Disney collab collection it instantly brought me back! How many of us born in the early 80's saw that in theater and spent far too many hours singing her songs? I really thought I was meant to be the voice of a Disney princess one day back then ... secretly I still do ;) Fabulous aspiration, I know.

The one item I really feel I must have from the Ariel collection is the mirror compact. I love it and I want it. Period. Am I too old? Can you ever really be too old to relive your childhood through something beauty-related? Who knows and at this point I have to say I really have stopped psychoanalyzing my choice to purchase it (if I can get my hands on it).

Here is a pic I recently saw on crashbeauty.com of the compact. It's actually the only solo pic I've seen of the compact so far!

So cute and in my favorite colors! I really do think I have to have it.

It's so pretty! I'm predicting it launches while I'm driving to/from therapy or school for my little ones and I entirely miss it (that's what happened with Cinderella) ... perhaps I'll get lucky. Fingers crossed!

What do you think of the upcoming Airel collection? I know the large palette already launched. I wasn't aware it was launching before the rest of the collection, but there you have it. I wish I had a friend that worked at Sephora! That would be so convenient right about now.

By the way, I did try to get the official launch date out of Sephora customer service, but as of right now they "don't have the official launch date". They did confirm it will launch both online and in-store, but I had heard it will be months apart. *sigh*

Monday

Skindinavia Setting Spray Bridal Formula #FOTD

I chose this finish in particular because I love when skin looks alive and this one in particular was supposed to impart a fully made up face with a nice "real skin" glow. There is an original formula and oil-control formula as well.


I recently attended a graduation ceremony for 2 of my brothers and thought it might be the perfect opportunity to test out the Skindinavia Bridal setting spray I purchased for my kit not long ago. I knew it would be hot, humid, emotional (tears!) and just incredibly ideal for giving this wonder product a whirl! I'd heard such great things (and watched GossMakeupArtist's lovely vid on it HERE which really spurred me to purchase - check him out he's a favorite of mine), but as you all know, I'm incredibly picky and have to test things for myself before forming a final opinion.

This is a completely untouched photo so you can see the finish it left my skin with in sunlight.

My Thoughts

The setting spray did a fabulous job of leaving my fully made up face  looking natural and "alive". I personally don't like a totally matte finish because it tends to look a little fake or flat to me. This formula not only gave my skin a hint of life-like glow, but it resulted in very minimal fading after hours of heat and humidity. I posted a picture on instagram on my way to the ceremony and 7 hours later after everything had ended. I have to say, I'm impressed! 

I'll be testing it out a few more events before I'm completely sold, but so far it's been great! Skindinavia offers several formulas, including one that will help mattify your face for those with oily skin. You can view them at skindinavia.com

Here's a list of the product I used to create this look:

  • Algenist Pore Correcting Anti-Aging Primer
  • MAKE Colour Soft Focus liquid foundation (Cool #2)
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush (Tipsy)
  • Contouring with matte bronzer 
  • Inglot shadows (I can provide the list of the ones I used on request)
  • TheBalm Nude'Tude palette 
  • Mirenesse Inside Out Kohl 27hr liner (Osiris)
  • Revlon Grow Luscious mascara (Blackest Black waterproof)
  • Fauxx Lash in Colette
  • MAKE Colour lipstick (Scarlet)
  • MAC pro longwear lip liner (More to Love)
  • MAKE Colour Face Gloss
  • Brow Pencil (have to look up which I used)

Friday

Sarah Jessica Parker's Upcoming Shoe and Bag Line ... My thoughts!

While the article this was posted with by the NYPost wasn't extremely nice, I think the photo is great! This must be post-mole removal.


For those of you that haven't heard, the lovely Sarah Jessica Parker (a favorite of mine since her early days in side ponies in Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and Footloose), but my love for her was reaffired when she played one of my all-time favorite tv-characters--Carrie Bradshaw. She had a fun personality, loved shoes, bags, cosmetics ... and wrote?! I was sold!

It seems only natural that SJP would have her own shoe line. I mean ... why has this not happened earlier?

While I'm insanely excited to see what she comes out with, I was a little sad to see the price range. I understand they want to appeal to high-end clientele and teaming up with the CEO of Manolo Blahnik would almost have to mean a higher price tag, but what about those of us that can't indulge in $200-$300 shoes at the drop of a hat? Couldn't they put out a few for under $100? I'm still hoping they somehow do down the line. Under $100 and I'd be sold! Perhaps we'll see them trickle down into Nordstrom-owned Hautelook at some point--I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for sure!

Either way, they will be available exclusively at Nordstrom and you can learn more about it in USA's piece HERE.

What do you think? Will you be snatching up a pair?

Thursday

Face Atelier on Hautelook! If you only get 1 thing...

I just noticed that Face Atelier is on Hautelook! If you're not familiar they have a fairly wide range of foundations and they offer a "pro" version which essentially comes in a slightly smaller, more easily transported pump.

While you may be on the hunt for a new foundation and decide this is a good opportunity to try one out for $20 or so, I also recommend trying out the Ultra Foundation Por - Zero Minus. This is not meant to be used on its own, but rather to lighten existing foundations! This is great if you're the type that can rarely find the perfect shade--I'm with you on that!

This is supposed to lighten without altering the tone. Super handy!

If you'd rather try your hand at one of the shades they offer without mixing, you may be able to find a good match from those being offered by Hautelook.

You can find Zero Minus along with regular foundation shades as well as darkeners (same concept as Zero Minus, but darkens rather than lightens) on Hautelook HERE (referral link) under the beauty section.

Are you planning to purchase? Let me know if you buy! I just grabbed Zero Minus for my kit ;)

Random Confession: Nutella


You're probably thinking ... Nutella? Why Nutella? Isn't his blog about beauty and makeup artistry, not general babble?

Why yes, yes it is ... normally. But today I want to talk about one of my biggest weaknesses. Chocolate. And more specifically--Nutella.

It is SO GOOD! But while it's so good (especially on a piece of gluten-free toast or ... dare I admit it ... straight off the spoon!), it is not good for my nearly-30 mommy body. I've got to learn to stay away from this deliciousness! I'm normally good about it, but lately it's been calling my name and calling it loud!

So what about you? What is one of your biggest food weaknesses?

Wednesday

Recap: Youngblood Liquid Mineral Foundation Review

Note: I used this foundation in a prior look I posted, but was asked to do a full review on it. You can see the original look below.



I've been looking for the perfect foundations to add to my kit for a while now and Youngblood happened to be one of the companies on my "to try" list. I'd heard amazing things prior to testing out this foundation--great ingredients, great performance, blends well into complexions, etc. I always test foundations on myself and friends/family when possible because I like to see how they wear, feel, and blend first-hand. Since I have such an uncommon skin tone that is very hard to match, I feel as though it's almost the ultimate challenge when looking for good products.

Color Matching to Skin Tone


I received some small samples to try out the mineral liquid foundation line in a few shades (fair and medium shades) and found that both medium shades could blend into my complexion with ease, but between Golden Tan and Sun Kissed I found Golden Tan was a slight better fit for summer. In all fairness I really could wear either. I have a medium olive complexion with yellow in my skin and cool to neutral undertones. I'm not quite sure how they do it, but Youngblood's mineral liquid foundations are possibly some of the most complementary to existing skin tones I've ever seen. Typically with foundation I often see some variance between my color and the shade (even when I mix), but for some reason these melted directly into my skin and matched perfectly. I thought it might be a fluke so my sister tried a fair shade (she's much lighter than I am) and the same could be said for use on her skin. For whatever reason, these complement the skin tones they correspond to so incredibly well.

Coverage


I applied this fairly liberally to my face and got medium coverage. On my sisters skin it was applied with a light hand and provided sheer coverage (you can attain sheer/light coverage with a medium to heavy foundation depending on how you apply it!). I would recommend using a finishing powder if you have oily skin or if you prefer to have a more matte finish. I did use a primer underneath (Algenist Pore Correcting Anti-Aging Primer, which I previous reviewed HERE).

Consistency

These have a typical liquid foundation consistency to me. They're not insanely watery and not super thick either. They blended easily into the skin using a foundation brush.

Wear

This wore pretty well for me. I wore this for an event during which we were in insane heat and humidity (close to 90 degrees with nearly 100% humidity) and my face didn't melt off. I have dry skin most of the time so I chose not to use a finishing powder to see how it did, but given how hot it was I would in the future when not testing it to prevent any shine. I did notice a tiny bit of oxidation on some of the dry skin in the underside of my nose and by the end of the day there was some creasing around the crease of my nose/face, but this is something that should be able to be avoided with a little extra care and some products during application. All in all I was very happy with its wear and it didn't upset my super sensitive skin--huge plus!

Photogenic Factor

This foundation photographs like a dream! Literally airbrush-esque! I am still reeling over how well this photographed. To me this would make an excellent foundation if you're doing bridal or even possibly editorial work--as well as daily wear of course!

Final Thoughts

I'm pretty impressed with this and while it will require a little extra care for those with really dry or really oily skin, I don't find that to be much different from other high-end foundations I like. And the finish, especially in photographs as well as in person, is phenomenally impressive. I also think it happens to blend very well into a variety of skin tones (fair to medium at least). I highly recommend checking it out. Youngblood does say it is best for those with dry skin or mature skin, but can work fine for those with oily skin if you finish it with a complementary loose mineral foundation powder or finishing powder. 

This photograph has NOT been photoshopped (only cropped and watermarked) and was taken after over 3 hours of extreme heat and humidity! You can view the original post I did on this look HERE.

What do you think? Will you be giving Youngblood Liquid Mineral Foundation a try?
I'm going to test the Natural Mineral Foundation, Hi-Definition Hydrating Mineral Perfecting loose setting powder as well as the Mineral Radiance Creme Powder foundation in the future. I've heard good things about all of them and want to see how they compare. I'm going to try/review the primer as well as I've tried quite a few primers, but like what I've heard about this one.

Tuesday

Update MAC RiRi Hearts Summer Collection - And my thoughts on it...

6/5/2013 Update 4pm: Apparently MAC tweeted that the RiRi Hearts MAC collection will be released June 18th in the U.S. and June 20th Internationally. Let's hope that launch date sticks!

6/5/2013 Update 1pm: I've heard rumors that MAC RiRi Hearts MAC has been postponed. The online chat customer service said they have no info when I reached out this morning. The phone customer service woman I spoke with confirmed they just received notification today that it would be postponed and they have no official launch date, but it might still launch in June. It sounds as though it will launch to everyone (pros and general public) at the same time so it should be quite a zoo when it finally releases... Ay yi yi...

Before I get into this post, I know you all want to see pics of what's launching on the 6th or possibly 7th of this month, so here we go...

These pics were posted online on ultimate-rihanna.hollywood.com.






To my knowledge the collection consists of:
Riri Loves MAC Summer Powder Blush Duo – New & Limited Edition 
  • Hibiscus Kiss
Riri Loves MAC Summer Lipstick – New & Limited Edition 
  • RiRi Woo – matte cool red (Retro Matte)
  • Riri Boy – matte cool lilac (Retro Matte)
  • Heaux – matte cool magenta (Retro Matte)
Riri Loves MAC Summer Lustre Drops – Limited Edition 
  • Barbados Girl - light golden bronze shimmer

Initial Impression

Looking at this collection my initial response is that it's a decent mini-collection. No eye products, but the lip products alone will create such a crazy stir. And let's be serious, lipsticks are hugely in-trend this summer. I like what I've read about the colors (RiRi Woo was previously released and appears here again). I think that like the initial RiRi Woo release, these will literally FLY "off the shelves" (these are online-only btw). I'd expect website difficulty and frustration at best if the initial release is any indication. If I had to make any predictions it would be that the 3 lipsticks sell out almost immediately, followed very closely by the powder compact and then lustre drops. There are currently 2 permanent shades of lustre drops available, but it seems as though Barbados Girl is a more of a golden bronze than the darker (permanent) lustre shade Sun Rush, which is described as a peachy bronze with pearl shimmer. I haven't personally used either of the lustre drops as the finish has made me hesitate, but lately I've been eyeing them. 

Will you be buying from MAC RiRi Hearts Summer Collection? What are you most looking forward to?


Note: I'm going to go into my personal opinions below on a few things (particularly domestic abuse), so if it doesn't interest you or you tend to be insensitive or judgmental in general or in regards to domestic abuse it's probably best not to continue. Any rude or out of line comments will be deleted as this is a sensitive area for many--myself included.

Will I purchase during this release?

I didn't create a post on why I didn't purchase during the first release when it launched. Why? ... Many reasons I suppose. My opinions were very personal and some people wouldn't understand simply because my backgrounds and theirs may differ. I don't want to get on a soap box or make it sounds as though there's something wrong with you if they chose to support the initial launch. Everyone has their own opinions and I firmly believe each individual should simply make thoughtful decisions that they can live with and leave it at that. But if you follow my blog you're probably interested in learning why I didn't leap at the chance to purchase the first launch of RiRi Woo or even talk about it--especially since I'm such a makeup hoarder. 

For me, as someone that grew up in a house with an incredible amount of domestic abuse, I get very uncomfortable making decisions that in any way could potentially show I might be indifferent to or in support of someone remaining in a domestic abuse situation or returning to an abusive partner. Again, this is my perspective based on my background. I've also, sadly, had friends in abusive relationships and I found that the best thing I could do (for them and to minimize emotional trauma for myself because I feel SO acutely responsible for people in these situations) is to not enable, but to provide a way to get out. It's a fine line and those who haven't been in certain situations may not understand that enabling someone that is being abused to stay is just ... it's dangerous. 

Anyway, when I first learned about this collection my heart sank a little bit. When Rihanna first came out as an artist I liked her. She was different and interesting. When things went down with Chris Brown, I was so incredibly sad for her, but glad she didn't stay. I thought that was an amazing example to not only her fans (many of which are younger women), but to those that have been in or who are currently in similar situations. I remember reading an article about how she had watched her mother go through domestic abuse. It can be so hard not to repeat the cycle--either becoming an abuser or being with an abuser (which I personally have noticed seems to be the case more often with women). When they got back together ... I wasn't insanely surprised, just given the statistics, but I was incredibly sad. Sad for her, for the girls who look to her and idolize her, etc. 

Do I believe people can become reformed? Yes, I actually do, but with a lot of work, time, support, etc. Do I think that when you have a relationship that has been poisoned by domestic abuse that the relationship can refrain from heading down that road again? I've personally not seen it happen and I know that it is a common trend that, that cycle repeat itself.

Here are some statistics on women and abusive relationships I found on healingabusedwomen.com:

- Domestic Violence is a pattern of controlling behavior that men use to gain power over their partner. Controlling behavior can include; physical violence, emotional/mental abuse, and sexual abuse.
- Women are 95% of the victims of domestic violence.
-Nearly 80% of girls who have been physically abused in their intimate relationships continue to date their abuser. (Liz Claiborne Inc. study conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited; February 2005.)
- 1/3 of American women will experience domestic/dating violence in their lifetime. And 1/4 of women worldwide will also experience domestic violence.
- An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year. Some studies say the numbers are even greater – up to 5.3 million – since most assaults go unreported.
-1 in 4 teenage girls who have been in relationships reveal they have been pressured to perform oral sex or engage in intercourse. (Liz Claiborne Inc. study conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited; February 2005.)
- Only 25% of all physical assaults perpetuated by intimate partners are reported to the police.
- Females who are 20-24 years of age are at the greatest risk for intimate partner violence.
-More than 1 in 4 teenage girls in a relationship (26%) report enduring repeated verbal abuse.
(Liz Claiborne Inc. study conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited; February 2005.)
- On average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in this country every day. That’s more than 1,100 women a year.
- One half of all homeless women in the country are fleeing from domestic violence.
- Domestic/Dating violence costs the US $5.8 billion annually in health related costs, with $4.1 billion for victims needing medical and mental health services.
- As many as 324,000 women each year experience intimate partner violence during their pregnancy.
- Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States.
- Pregnant and recently pregnant women are more likely to be victims of homicide than to die of any other cause.
- Three in four women (76%) who reported they had been raped and/or physically assaulted since age 18 said that a current or former husband, cohabiting partner, or date committed the assault.
- An Estimated 683,000 women are forcibly raped each year in the United states, which equates to 1.3 women being raped every minute.
- Annually in the United States, 503,485 women and 185,496 men are stalked by an intimate partner.

So given all of this--my personal experience with domestic abuse, having close friends go through it, etc.--I couldn't bring myself to ignore my conscience and indirectly support Rihanna's choice to go back to someone that abused her by supporting her initial collaborative release with MAC. This was completely and totally a choice I made for myself. What others felt or chose to do had nothing to do with it and I didn't feel my decision should affect theirs. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and should live according to their own consciences (within reasonable boundaries of course lol).

That being said, Rihanna is no longer with Chris Brown. While she didn't (to my knowledge) make their break up about wanting to leave him because of their history, I'm glad it has (hopefully) come to an end. Hopefully this will give her a chance to grow and learn from this experience and hopefully he will do the same.

So, coming full circle the question remains ... will I be purchasing from this next launch now that Rihanna is no longer with Chris Brown? I'm still unsure. I do feel a bit more comfortable purchasing now and I do like the lippies being released ... so perhaps! I guess we'll see when they launch.

Being a victim of abuse does not mean you deserve(d) it, ask(ed) for it, etc. Don't allow yourself to think that. Everyone deserves to be safe, healthy, and happy and no one should ever feel they can control or harm their partner.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of domestic abuse I really hope you've had the opportunity to get some counseling for many reasons. You may think it hasn't affected you, but you may be surprised how quickly it can tear down little bits of you unnoticed. Or perhaps you're well aware of how damaging it can be psychologically and emotionally.

If you or someone you know IS a victim of domestic abuse please, PLEASE get help! Nobody should EVER remain with an abuser.

Here is a national hotline for abuse: 1−800−799−SAFE(7233)