Saturday, August 1, 2009

Where There's Smoke...

While I was at Sephora yesterday, I picked up some new items that are out on the market. I am wearing all 3 of my new purchases here in the pic.
In this face of the day, I am wearing:

YSL Matt Touch Primer (which I have reviewed previously)

YSL Perfect Touch Foundation in #5
This is one of my holy grail foundations. It is on the expensive side (retail of $55USD for 1.3 ounces), but well worth it, in my opinion. I have purchased it 3 times already. I initially purchased it in the #4, which I found was a tad too pink and pale for me. I think if you're like NW20 in MAC, then #4 would work perfectly. For me, the #5 (light beige) works well, but I have also been able to use #6 (golden beige) when I have had a bit more sun exposure. This is available in a total of 14 colors, and those with very pale skin will be able to easily find a match.

One of the things that I appreciate most about this is the built-in brush. I know some people have had issues with it, but I find that if I squeeze a bit of the foundation on the back of my hand, and then dab the brush into the foundation and apply that way, it works really well. That way, you can control how much goes onto the face. The brush is wide, but flat, so you can turn it sideways to really get into the inner corners of the eyes or the sides of the nose. As for sanitary concerns, I usually wipe off the brush after each application, and then wash it once every two weeks. I've not had any problems that way.

As for the finish, it is a demi-matte... so not fully matte, but definitely not dewy or anything. If you're familiar with Touche Eclat, and the gentle light diffusing qualities of it, this foundation is meant to emulate it. There are no weird shimmers, but it has pigments that work to give you radiance. YSL calls it "baby skin" complex, and I have to agree that my skin looks flawless with this. The coverage is medium without being heavy. It will minimize any discolorations, scars, or undereye circles, but will not completely cover them, so you will still need concealer.

This does not have SPF that I'm aware of, though it does claim to give UVB filters, which I'm not sure how to validate, since I do not see key sunblock ingredients.

Perfect Touch would work well for those with normal to dry or normal to oily skintypes. If you're super oily, this won't control your oil. Also, for those who are sensitive to fragrance, this does have a very light, cucumber-y scent, but it does fade soon after application. It has never bothered my skin. This is a definite repurchase for me!

YSL Touche Eclat in #2, Luminous Ivory
Where do I start with this product? I have been using it for years and years, even when I couldn't afford it, and I just simply adore it. This is super pricey, currently at $40USD (it's increased about $1 each year since I've started using it!) for a 0.1 ounce click pen.

Through the years, many imitation products have come out from competitors, but I don't think there is anything that could supplant Touche Eclat's place in my makeup bag, and that is saying a lot. When it initially came out, it was only available in one color, #1, which had a pink undertone (meant to counteract dark blue undereye shadows), but it is now available in 4 colors to complement a wider array of skintones.

This is not meant as a high-coverage concealer. Even compared to my other holy grail product, Dior Skinflash (which I've reviewed earlier), it has far less coverage. Rather, it brightens and subtley highlights under the eyes, around the bow of the lips, on the bridge of the nose, etc. It really helps me to look like I got 8 hours of sleep (which I sure didn't in this picture!) and works so well in conjunction with the Perfect Touch foundation.

When used every day, I can stretch this out to about 6 months of use, which is not bad. Like the Dior Skinflash, however, the container is elegant, but is opaque, so you can't exactly tell when you're going to run out. That is the only con. Aside from that, I adore it!

Mally Beauty Shimmer Shape and Glow in In the Pink, Lighter
This was one of the first products that Mally Roncal introduced with the launch of her makeup line. It features a light tan contouring powder, a peachy-beige shimmer powder, and a light pink blush with some shimmer to it. This kit is available in 5 different shade variations which you can purchase based on your skintone and if you're looking for a pink or peach blush. It retails for $40USD, and you can purchase it on the Mally Beauty website or QVC.

Though the idea behind this kit is good, I don't think the actual quality of product is that great. I find the powders sort of hard and not that pigmented. I have to really rub my brush in to pick up enough to get it to show up on my face. But, aside from that, it does a decent job of helping to define the cheekbones, and it's convenient to have these items all in one compact.

MAC Shadestick in Beige-ing
I like these shadesticks to use as shadow bases. It really helps the shadow to adhere, and also brings out the pigment and adds longevity to the wearing time of the shadow.

Beige-ing is one of my staples, and is a light beige with golden undertones and shimmer. It works well one anyone with golden undertones, I think, because it kind of just blends into the skin. My only complaint with the Shadesticks is that they are sort of hard, and you have to soften them by warming in your hand in order to get them to apply to the lid.

Dior JazzClub - Total Eyelook Makeup Clutch
This was one of my purchases from yesterday's Sephora haul, and I love it! It is a limited-edition item introduced for Fall. I think it's perfect for travelling, because it contains everything you need for the perfect eye (except for mascara!), and when you're done with the products inside, you can actually pop out the compact and use the container as a wallet or mirror.

For $60USD, you get:

1. Black Cream Eyeliner -- this goes on very smoothly, and is quite long-lasting on the eyes. It dries to a powder effect, which means no smudges or racoon effect!

2. Taupe Brow Powder -- this works really well for me now that my hair is lighter, but I could see it working for anyone with blonde to medium brown hair.

3. Matte Dark Brown Eyeshadow -- great for lining, but also really good for defining the crease or creating that "V" in the outer corner. (I used in the outer corners here.)

4. Shimmery Khaki Eyeshadow -- this has olivey undertones, but is not green. I imagine it would really look hot on someone with green or hazel eyes, but it plays up my boring brown eyes, too. (I used it in the crease here.)

5. Shimmery Silvery-Taupe Eyeshadow -- if you like cool-toned taupes, then this would be a staple for you. It's neutral enough to wear to work, but the sparkles make it really special. (I used it on the lid here.)

6. Ultra-shimmery White Eyeshadow -- sounds scary, but on the browbones, or even patted over-top on the sockets of the eyelid, it really helps make the eyes pop. Also, this one has a creamy texture, which makes it unique from regular eyeshadows. (I used it on browbones and inner corners here.)

Also, I must note that this palette comes with a dual-ended sponge-tip applicator, as well as a dual-ended brush that has a slant tip (for eyeliner application or for use on the brows) and a smudgey brush tip.

Givenchy Phenomen'Eyes Effet Extension Mascara in #1 Extension Black
I'm a huge fan of the original Phenomen'Eyes mascara (which I will review under separate cover so I can go more into detail about application techniques, comparisons, etc.) -- so I just had to try this new version, since I am a mascara junkie. I was happy to find it at Sephora yesterday, for the lovely price of $28USD. Expensive for a mascara, but still cheaper than the Lauder Turbolash that I like.

This has the unique round ball brush which looks like a medieval torture instrument. Once you can get past the unconventional look, you'll find that the shape of the brush is actually quite useful. It can reach into the very inner and outer corners of the top and bottom lashes.

But, does it do its job? It does lengthen quite nicely, and also adds some volume, which I appreciate. It dries more quickly than its original sister, so if you want to add more than one coat, you have to do it back to back. It also fans out the lashes and makes them look fluttery. My only complaint with this version is that it does not curl as well as the original... which means that after I apply, I have to use my index finger to gently push up my lashes to create a curve. But, because the mascara formulation is so awesome (flexible polymer) - the curl holds - hooray!

No weird scent, no flaking, and the black is a deep, dark black. Just lovely!

Givenchy Gloss Interdit Ultra-Shiny Color Plumping Effect in #2 Impertinent Nude
Another Sephora purchase from yesterday. I wasn't looking for another lipgloss, but the display just looked so pretty, with every color in stock... and there is quite a color range! Fifteen (15) in total, ranging from pale to bright to dark. I didn't have time to play with all of the testers, but #2 caught my eye the most, since I love nude-pink lips.

This is a light, neutral pink with gorgeous pearl, glitter, and multi-dimensional shimmers. It reminds me a bit of Chanel's glossimer in Jaipur, but I actually like this Givenchy gloss a bit better.

It's pricey, at $24.50 for 0.21 ounce. The applicator is a stiff brush, which helps give precision (and hopefully, the firmness of the brush will keep it from splaying.) The scent is very special and pleasant, sort of fruity yet floral. Apparently, it is quite a special fragrance. If you are sensitive to scents, it does fade after an hour or so.

And yes, I did say after an hour or so... this gloss is super long-lasting, even though it is not at all tacky or sticky. I would say it lasts for a good 4 hours, even if you drink water. It does fade a bit and become less glossy, but it stays! So pretty!

As for the "plumping" effect, there is no tingling or burning, so if you're looking for something like Duwop Lip Venom, this isn't it. The plumping is more of a visual effect, because of the multi-faceted pigments. Very nice, and I must go check out more!!

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