Subtle Contouring with the Laura Mercier Flawless Contouring Palette

Facial Contouring has gained epic popularity thanks to the likes of Kim Kardashian and the social media platform, Instagram. When done correctly, contouring can give your face dimension, by strategically slimming certain areas of your face creating a shadow. In turn, brightening other areas of your face by adding a highlight. Depending on your face shape, application methods can vary, so do consider this when applying your contour and highlight.

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Laura Mercier has recently released their Flawless Contouring Palette, exclusive to Sephora. The palette features three cream contour shades and two cream highlights, suitable for a wide range of complexions. Included is the palette, is a step-by-step visual guide to show proper placement of product.

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The Flawless Contouring Palette brilliantly creates a discreet contour and highlight effect, with an exquisite creamy formula. These silky creams blend to perfection and build with ease, taking contouring to a foolproof level. This selection of creamy shades allow for the most natural effect, by flawlessly blending into the skin.

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Contour #1 is a perfect taupe shade for my skin tone, along with highlight #1. The first highlight shade is a bit on the yellow side and might not be the best option for paler complexions. The highlights both offer a soft shimmer, that flatters and doesn’t sparkle. I also find myself reaching for the second highlight shade and applying it as an eyeshadow.

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In my contour application, I applied contour shade #1 to the hollows of my cheeks, sides of my nose and the tip (to shorten and slim). To the top of forehead and sides, and to the under part of my jaw line (to make it more pronounced). I applied highlight shade #1 to cheekbones and down the length of my nose, coming up short of the contour. For the most precise application of the contour, I like to use a small domed shadow brush that isn’t too soft, like this one. For blending, I used the Real Techniques Flat Contour Brush from the Bold Metals Collection.

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 The finished look after blush is applied.

The Laura Mercier Flawless Contouring Palette brilliantly highlights and contours with an exquisite creamy formula. This palette is perfect for both contouring pro’s and newbies alike.

Laura Mercier Flawless Contouring Palette $50

available at Sephora.com

Valentine’s Day Beauty

The concept of Valentine’s Day and the history of such a holiday is logically a bit silly to me. Love and romance should certainly be exercised on the regular and not on a day when the price of a rose is double. Now, with that being said I must admit that I cannot help but be swept up in the idea of a little added tlc. I might put a little more time into my routine, have a go at cooking dinner, or leave a silly little note for my loved one.

Now that I have affirmed just how crazy I am about Valentines Day, I share with you some suggestions for making your day just a little more special. Don’t forget to show yourself some love with a little extra pampering.

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the mood:

  • Lingerie can definitely be a bit intimidating. A one-piece romper or teddy is one of the most flattering pieces to most body types. This one from the gorgeous line Zinke can be doubled as a cami under a blazer.
  • I’m a big believer in the benefits of aromatherapy. Enhance romantic moments with Essence of Vali’s Passion mist. Or try an oral Flower Elixer from Lotus Wei in Infinite Love.
  • Leave your loved one some sweet notes with a red hear-shaped Post-it.

the beauty:

  • Make your skin incredibly smooth with a good scrub. Try this rose scented one from Ren. Get rid of dry skin on your lips and make them kissably soft with Fresh’s Sugar Lip Polish.
  • Everyone looks better with a tan. It will also help boost your confidence and make you feel sexier. I absolutely love Tarte’s Brazziliance Self-tanner. Also add a head-to-toe gleam with shimmering dry oil like this one from Nuxe.
  • Keep you beauty simple with a natural and glowing cream blush. This one from RMS doubles as a lip color and will last. Add some highlight to your brow bones, cheekbones, and to the bow of your lip. I love this super natural looking one from W3LL People.
  • Keep hair soft and touchable. Add waves to with a curling wand and add some volume with Oribe Texturizing Spray.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

A Makeup Look using the Lorac PRO Palette *Gilded*

I reviewed the Lorac PRO palette yesterday. As promised, here is a look that I have created using some of the shades. Let me say that I achieved this look with great ease. The performance of these shadows is exceptional, requiring only a small amount of blending. My look will hopefully show just how pigmented these shadows are or provide some inspiration.

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The eyes:

  • With a MAC 217 I applied taupe all over the lid, into the crease, and outwards. With a smaller brush I brought the same shadow onto the outer third of my lower lash line.
  • Using a denser brush for heavier application, I picked up gold and patted onto the entire lid and slightly into crease.
  • With the same MAC 217 as before, I blended the gold well over the lid, into the crease, and outwards. With I smaller brush I brought the gold underneath as well.
  • I then took cream and applied it to my brow bone using a clean MAC 217.
  • With the same brush I applied nude on the inner corners of eyes, bringing it underneath onto my lower lash line and blended it into the gold shade.
  • For a liner I used Bobbi Brown Long-wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink and applied it using a MAC 209.
  • To finish it off, I curled my lashes and applied L’oreal Voluminous Waterproof Mascara.

lorac-pro-palette-look-2Also used:

YSL Teint Radiance Foudation in #7, It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye in light/medium, NYX Taupe Blush as contour, Burberry Sheer Glow Blush in Peony, YSL Rouge Volupte #1, W3LL People Universalist 2 on center of bottom lip and cupid’s bow

Will you be picking up the Lorac Pro Palette?

Smashbox Photo Op Eye Enhancing Palette for Blue Eyes

Smashbox Photo Op Eye Enhancing Palette in Blue Eyes contains a selection of six shades handpicked by the ‘pros’ to enhance your eye color. “specifically chosen to enhance blue eyes, this assortment of shadows delivers smoky and sultry looks. It comes with a double-ended brush and step-by-step instructions for effortless application.”

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The Smashbox Photo Op Eye Enhancing palette is a sleek 5×3 inches. A mirror under the top lid is a big one and fabulously functional. Perfect for travel, the selection of shades can be combined for a variety of looks. On the bottom of the palette you will find details on how to create two looks. The first look featured uses the top row of shades (the soft trio), the second look features the three bottom shades (the Smokey Trio). I quite like the suggested looks and am wearing ‘the smokey trio’ in this post. All shades of course can be worn however way you may choose to apply them.

With eye color that ranges from green to blue to grey, I picked up the  Blue Eye Palette for the combination of beautiful shades on not to enhance my own eye color. However, the colors featured are technically correct for enhancing a blue eye color and will do just that.

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The shadows in the Smashbox Photo Op Eye Palette are among the softest that I’ve tried. They are buttery smooth and incredibly easy to blend. The two matte shades, Custard and Sable, are the softest of the bunch and impart  somewhat of a powdery finish. With these shadows being so soft I do feel they lack a bit in intensity, nonetheless this is a gorgeous palette. Before applying, I do suggest you tap off any excess shadow from your palette to avoid any fallout.  

The six shades of warm browns and peaches work well together to provide a variety of looks. Cream works perfectly as a highlight and Pewter is an unexpected shade that I am glad was included. I am partial to each shade and I don’t find myself wanting to swap one out for another. The shimmering shades worked beautifully when applied wet and I love to do so with Shell and Pewter. The result is more intense and gives the illusion of being wet.

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  left to right

Cream – ivory cream shimmer

Shell – peach champagne shimmer

Pewter – gray silver shimmer

Custard – matte peach

Sable – matte warm brown

Mocha – chocolate-brown sheen

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 (wearing the ‘Smokey Trio’ in the suggested application)

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also wearing – YSL Tient Radiance Foundation in #7, Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer in light/medium, MAC Blush in Harmony, Revlon Just Bitten Lip balm/stain in Charm

 

RMS “un” cover-up as a foundation

RMS “un” cover-up is an all natural and organic concealer. I wrote about it previously as a cover-up. The “un” cover-up was created to be used an all-over face foundation as well. I created this additional post to show you how I use this product as a foundation and to show you the results that you can expect.

Perhaps because coconut oil is the first ingredient in RMS’ “un” cover-up, it melts beautifully into the skin. It is easy to blend and provides light coverage while concealing skin-imperfections. When I use this as a foundation I don’t feel concerned for my skin. I know that while I am covering and concealing I am also providing my skin with natural and healthy nourishment. The “un” cover-up is especially wonderful for those with dry skin, I find it very moisturizing.

When using the “un” cover up as a foundation, I first mist my skin with a moisture mist, my current favorite is this one from Sanitas. However, this product will blend whether or not your skin is pre-moistened. I then place some concealer onto one area of my face at a time with my fingertips. With a lightly moistened compact foundation sponge I blend the product into my skin using a light rolling/dabbing motion. I continue this all over the rest of my face. I layer extra product, using my finger, where more coverage is needed. (this is all that I have done in the image below) You can see that the concealer provided a very natural all-over look with a radiant finish. It also concealed a small pimple I had on my cheek rather well.

To set the “un” cover-up, I used a translucent loose setting powder, like this one from Laura Mercier. I then sprayed my face again with the Sanita’s moisture spray to melt the powder and bring back the luminous finish. This product is very creamy and I find that it does not set like a liquid foundation would. I find that I have to use more powder to rid of any remaining tackiness. The only thing I disliked about this product is the weight it seemed to carry on my skin. Otherwise the end result is quite stunning. I personally opt to use this foundation on my days off to treat my skin and to give it a break.

Have you tried the “un” cover-up?

BECCA Ultimate Eye Quad in Night Star

Newly released from Becca, the Smoke & Grace Collection is inspired by understated glamour and classic elegance. Among the item’s released where four Ultimate Eye Color Quads containing four gorgeous shades in matte, demi-matte, and metallic finishes. Each palette contains “a harmonious mix of rich hues to create the perfect new smokey eye.”  One quad allows you to color, contour, and highlight eyes to create looks for both day and night.

I picked up Night Star from the Smoke & Grace collection. The palette contains a selection of cool-toned grey/greens.  The four shadows are highly pigmented and velvety smooth making application a breeze. The quality is top-notch and creating a smokey-eye has never been easier. They blend just beautifully and are easy to build. While they are soft they are not too soft, just the perfect consistency with zero fallout. The four shades worked perfectly together and the look had just the right amount of drama. I took a step out of my comfort zone by choosing this selection of hues but was completely comfortable with the result which was perfectly tasteful. I highly recommend the Eye Quads, they are absolutely stunning, a must!

The lightest shade in the Night Star palette is a white shimmering pearl, perfect for highlighting the eye. The second shade is aMetallic Celadon, the star of the palette. The third shade is an army green which contours beautifully. The last shade is a Jet Black and is perfect for lining the eye.

To create this look I started by applying the second shade all over my lid and into the crease, bringing it under and onto the lower lash line. I then took the third shade and created a v shape into my crease and on my top/outer lash line and outer lower lash line. I then lined my eyes with the fourth shade  using a damp angled liner brush. I finished by applying the first shade onto my brow bone and on the inner corner of my eyes. I am also wearing Becca’s Ultimate Color Gloss in Fallen Angel.

Becca Smoke & Grace Collection feature four Ultimate Eye Quads $40 ea.:

Astro Violet -contains Matte Black Fig, Metallic Plum, Metallic Platinum, and Matte Plum

Eclipsed – contains Metallic Silver, Metallic Champagne, Metallic Khaki, and Metallic Moss

Galactica – contains Matte Ebony, Metallic Peach, Metallic Brown, and Dark Matte Brown

You can find them here

Black on Black French Mani

I saw this manicure in a YSL campaign and knew I needed to recreate it. It is so chic and easy to do, I hope you will try it.

What I used:

  • Essie Licorice
  • Essie Matte About You
  • Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

  • First, paint your nails with Essie Licorice (or any black nail polish, this formula was fantastic) then apply Seche Vite Top Coat and allow to dry.

  • Second apply french tip nail stickers covering the tips which will remain glossy. Paint the nail underneath with Essie’s Matte About You. I find it easier to do it this way because the stickers to not stick where I have applied the glossy quick dry top coat.

  • Peel of stickers and Voila!

 

Your thoughts?