Staying Colorful in August – Monthly Beauty Favorites

august favesnars3Let me preface this post by reminding everyone that it’s still technically summer.  While we’ll have enough time to enjoy pumpkin spiced lattes and cozy knits, there is still the smallest linger of warm weather and sunshine.  And because of this observation, I’ve chosen to continue to embrace bright colors and floral scents.  Each more vibrant than the other, the August Monthly Favorites were daily staple products that worked for during the work week and for night-out happy hours.

Nars Amour Blush is like every other iconic Nars blush. Soft, pigmented, and shimmery, Nars Amour adds a bit of peachy love (eh!) to your cheeks.

Makeup For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara (which is a Sephora Birthday Gift freebie) creates voluminous, lengthy lashes without the dreaded spidery look.  I love the Smoky Extravagant Mascara because, despite the heat and humidity of DC, the mascara did not smudge or flake (and it’s not even waterproof which is another plus).

Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb perfume is a mini perfume bottle from a Sephora kit. Easy to carry and completely adorable, this particular product remains sealed and does not open accidentally (which is a big deal when placed in my black-hole of a purse). Flowerbomb stays true to its name with a lovely combination of jasmine, rose, orchid, and freesia scents.

Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair with Broad Spectrum SPF 30 is an absolute favorite of mine (and you’ll see it featured over and over).  The Rapid Tone repair is perfect for all types of skin (this moisturizer doesn’t break out or create dry flakes) and contains a good amount of SPF.  The Rapid Tone Repair is lightweight and absorbs easily which are ideal attributes for hot days.

Remember how I said I was going to embrace color? Well, Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Beauty Lipstick Duo delivered just the right amount of bright, happy shades. Bite Beauty Palomino is a neon fuchsia, and Bite Beauty Violet is vibrant purple that is perfect for lip staining. Created with natural and food-grade ingredients, Bite Beauty lip products are a girl’s best friend (my Bite Beauty collection is growing, so I’m a full convert).

My parting advice to you is to savor the remaining days of warm weather – embrace bright colors and floral scents to add a bit of sunshine to the every day.

Stay Pretty, Miranda M.

Form Over Substance – Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Multi Colour Review

chanelpowder21 chanel21 chanelpowderdetail1It’s not often that strongly dislike a product, because I do my research beforehand, but when I do, I do. The Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Multi Colour powder (no. 1) is nothing but form over substances.  Beautiful pan shades, glorious packaging, sleek presentation and no substance to the actual product.  Released alongside the Chanel Les Beiges powder collection, the Limited Edition Multi Colour powder is promoted as a multi-stripe palette that acts as a highlighter, sculpting powder, bronzer and blush.  The Health Glow Multi Colour does all that with an alleged “sheer, natural finish and broad spectrum sun protection.”

Let me break down the uses of the Chanel Healthy Glow Multi Colour and my issues with the product (and why I returned the item back to the store).

In option one, I could swirl all the shades together to create the supposedly perfect, blurring multi-use powder.  I picked the Healthy Glow No. 1 which is better suited for fair skin as the middle powder was not as dark as Healthy glow No. 2. When I mixed all shades together and applied to my face, I became a hot mess of “how not to apply makeup.”  The highlighter translated to glitter sparkles and the blush and powder mixed to become an Oompa Loompa orange.  I then tried using as a bronzer on my temples and ended up with two round circles of a muddy brick-stone color (not the look I was going for).

Chanel, you can’t have blush mixed with a dark powder, and instruct the customer to apply all over the face (that’s how “oh, honey, no” comments happen).

In option two, I could try each of the shades individually.  Well, good luck with that because the stripes are about one milliliter and even the provided brush picks up at least two shades at the same time.  If I wanted the highlighter only, the brush would pick the darker powder thus negating the point of a highlighter. If I wanted to then just use the blush, the color was not pigmented or Chanel soft, and I ended up with tiny chalky lines on my cheeks.

I don’t understand this product, and I don’t understand how it could work for anyone.  I adore Chanel products because of the attention of detail that goes into each item, but the Chanel Les Beiges Health Glow Multi Colour was nothing but a pretty compact (at a $65 cost, nonetheless). I did not include a Healthy Glow Multi Colour swatch because none of the individual shades showed due to the poor pigmentation or showed as orange because the blush overpowered the rest of the shades.

On a positive note, Chanel delivers the perfect pink lipstick, the most colorful blushes, and the prettiest perfumes.

If you have tried the Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Multi Colour powder, let me know of your experience in the comments below – was this a miss or a hit for you?

Stay Pretty, Miranda M.

Twelve Dancing Princesses and Kitten Heels

What-Are-Kitten-Heels1The “Twelve Princesses” fairy tale story is about twelve sister princesses that go dancing every night and wear down their shoes (and the king gets mad at the cost of buying new shoes so he hires a handsome prince investigator…. as kings do, of course).  The point of that synopsis is to explain my issue with flats and heels.  I wear flats everywhere and for everything. Flats are comfortable, cute, and don’t make me walk funny after ten minutes (as heels do, of course).  Because I wear flats nonstop, the shoes wear down easily, and I find myself having to buy replacements every few months.

Enter the kitten heel. My job as an attorney requires a certain “uniform” dress code, and especially in the formal setting of a courtroom or conference, high heeled shoes tend to be more appropriate.  Between the comfort of flats and the elegance of heels, I re-discovered my love for the kitten heel.

With a tapered heel of approximately 1 to 2 inches in height, the kitten heel mimics a stiletto but wears like a flat. This type of shoe elongates the figure and gives the appearance of high heels without compromising on the comfort. I’ve been noticing more kitten heels popping up in shops like J.Crew, Nine West, and Macy’s, and decided to refresh my work shoe collection and embrace the versatility of this style (if you need more convincing, Miranda Kerr‘s fashion obsession includes these Marilyn Monroe inspired heels).

From delicate bow details to architectural cut-outs, I’ve picked a few of my favorite kitten heels below (dancing princesses approved). If you have any more kitten heel style recommendations, feel free to share with me in the comments (I’m also looking for wedding shoes kitten heels so that post is in the works!).

Stay Pretty, Miranda M.

Ipsy August Glam Bag – Review

ipsy_august3swatch_eyeshadowdr.brandt2

    The drawing on the right is by Elizabeth Peyton, an American contemporary painter whose work consists of stylized portraits of friends and celebrities and most recently still life. She explores the possibility of an entire cultural generation and culture to be contained in a historical figure and reflected in one's persona and humanity.

The drawing on the right is by Elizabeth Peyton, an American contemporary painter whose work consists of stylized portraits of friends and celebrities. She explores the possibility of an entire cultural generation to be contained in a figure and reflected in one’s persona and humanity.

In sync with the arrival of school, Ipsy’s August glam bag was appropriately called Beauty Schooled.  Ipsy included some good staple pieces for school, such as a Dr. Brandt primer, a Mongongo chapstick,  a deluxe sample of the Klorane dry shampoo, a wearable golden shimmery nude eyeshadow, and a small sample of the new Perversion mascara from Urban Decay.  This Ipsy bag was curated nicely, and I must say that I’ve enjoyed all the goodies (except the mascara, which I need to play with more).  Although this glam bag was a good compilation of items, I do want to mention that I have been slightly disappointed with Ipsy due to the recent size of the samples and the uniqueness of the products  (hence my not reviewing previous months).  I remember the glory days when Ipsy would send us several full sized items from Butter London, Zoya, Bare Minerals and more, and lets just hope those days are not over.  For $10 a month, Ipsy remains a good subscription service, and I do recommend it for those of you looking to try new products and to enlarge your makeup collection.

Klorane Dry Shampoo is a pricy shampoo, and it does perform well, but I’m not sure if I would repurchase the full size.  The white residue is a bit much, so just be careful to brush it away or blend it in once you spray it.  The scent is pleasant and not overwhelming, but I think Pssst Dry Shampoo is a cheaper, nicer alternative.

Dr. Brandt Pores No Pore pore refiner primer is a great primer, but it retails for $45 for the full size (ouch!).  Dr. Brandt Pores No More maintains my makeup for longer and does blur away  pores, leaving behind a matte finish to the skin.  Pores No More is formulated without parabens, sulfates or phthalates (good ingredients list but the product still manages to result in oily skin by the end of the day).

Jersey Shore Sun Mongongo lip balm is an antiaging, 100% organic and natural lip balm perfect for lip conditioning and moisturizing (full size costs $6).  This balm applies very light, is non-waxy, and has a yummy mandarin orange scent.

JCat Beauty Flying Solo eyeshadow in Half Naked (full size $3) is a nicely pigmented silvery peach shimmer eyeshadow (it’s perfect for giving your eyes a brighter look).  The packaging is a bit bulky and the shadow tends to fall out, but overall, Flying Solo applied easily and stayed put throughout the day.

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara (full size $22) was an exciting product to receive since it was just recently released on the market.  I need more time to write a full review, but my initial thoughts are that the Perversion mascara has a strong black pigmentation, doesn’t clump, and the wand is a classic bristle brush.  I’m all about big dramatic lashes, and I’m not yet sure if this mascara will get me there.  I’ll continue to test the Urban Decay Perversion Mascara and will provide an update!

Let me know in the comments if you’ve received any of these products in your own Ipsy Glam Bag (it’s always so much fun to compare).  Have you been satisfied with your Ipsy subscription service so far?  Because it’s been more than a year that I have been subscribing to Ipsy, I’d love recommendations on what other boxes I should try!

Stay Pretty, Mackenzie M.