Saturday, November 10, 2012

What I Bought from the Sephora VIB Sale


1. Becca Luminous Skin Colour in Camel - I had heard a lot of raves about the Becca line and so I was excited to try out a couple of their products. I wore it for the first time today and it has very sheer coverage, about the equivalent of a pigmented tinted moisturizer. As you can see in the picture  my freckles still show through with this product. (Tinted moisturizers with similar levels of pigmentation are the Laura Mercier Oil-Free and the Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer.) I really like that this has SPF 25 (and its by Australian SPF standards which, as I understand, are more stringent that US standards). The Becca brand have their own 3 step foundation/complexion system of which this product is the first step. In their system, you could follow you would use their foundation stick to add more coverage and then finish with a powder. The foundation stick is not available on the Sephora website but I may consider getting the foundation stick in the future if I fall in love with Becca. (You can find their full range of products at The color I bought, Camel, seems to be a great match with my skintone which is yellow toned and approx C2/NC20-25 in MAC foundations. 

Swatches of Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal 

2. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal
I researched this product A LOT before putting this in my cart. I looked
through a lot of blogs and searched YouTube for swatches and reviews. Most of the reviews were for the color, Pearl, which is white and cool toned. I wasn't interested in Pearl as I already own the Nars Copacabana Multiple and find that warm toned products are more flattering and natural on me.  The reviews (regardless of color) were almost unanimous in their love of the product, with raves about its quality and effect. I've swatched this product on my arm and tried it on my face today. (I'm wearing it in the above photo. The photo doesn't at all capture the 'glow' that this product gives!) On the face, it gives a beautiful pearlescent glow. It's not the most "natural" glow in my opinion, another girl would almost certainly know that you're getting artificial help in the glow department. Having said that it's definitely not a disco ball glow either- it is  lovely. What I didn't read in the reviews is that is has millions of teeny micro shimmers. You don't see it on your face as you only need to use a tiny amount but after the swatching that I did on my arm, I noticed that is certain angles my skin was ..glimmering? Think Edward's skin reveal scene in the first Twilight movie. Like millions of tiny diamonds on skin. Apart from the price ($41 for 1.7ounce), the biggest con I've found with this is how hard it is to get the right amount of product from  the pump. It is too easy to pump out way to much product. I'm planning a future post talking about my favorite highlighters and I already suspect this will be in the top 5.   :)

3.  Caudalie Cleansing Water and Lip Conditioner - I've absolutely loved the two Caudalie products that I've tried, the Divine Oil and Beauty Elixir, so I was jumped at the opportunity try more items. I'm looking forward to comparing the Caudalie Cleansing Water to the La Roche-Posay Micellar Water that I'm currently using. 

4. Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer and Primed & Poreless Primer Bronze Tint
I'd heard great things about this bronzer so I bought this deluxe sample duo for $12. The bronzer does have this artificial chocolate scent. The scent is not noticeable once on the face. I've never been that into food-scented products (excluding citrus and fruit scents) so I'm not excited about the scent. I have not tried the primer at all and was actually surprised that it was a bronze tint one. I basically bought this sample pack for the bronzer and didn't pay attention to the primer when I was purchasing this. I will give it a go! I actually just bought a primer from Clarins (the Clarins Instant Smooth Self Tanning Primer) that doubles as a sunless-tanner so I already have another product I can compare it to. 

5. Nars blush in Luster - This is a product that I've owned previously but ended up swapping away as I just didn't find myself reaching for it. I bought this again as it is frequently compared to the Nars Madly blush, which I am currently loving. I adore peach/apricot blushes so I thought I'd give this little beauty another try. I wore it this afternoon and was pleased with the result. (I'm wearing it in the above photo.)

Nars Luster is on the left. Nars Madly on the right.

Comparing Nars Luster to Nars Madly... Madly is more neutral. It leans more pinky/rose brown. Luster is warm toned and apricot/peachy toned. Both have very finely milled shimmer. I think Nars Madly goes with any look and therefore more versatile. I think both would look great with tan, and warm toned skin. I'm not sure whether Luster would work for cool toned gals or gals with a lot pink in their skin tone. 

What should I post on next???

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Empties! Products I've used up #1

I've been working (hard!) at trying to use up some products this month. Mostly to make way for other things! 

1. Olay Total Effects Moisturizer - this is the third bottle of this I've used up (over the years, not consecutively). This is one of those staples that I can always go back to knowing that I really like it. In the last 3 months, I've been using this moisturizer in conjuction with my Philosophy Turbo Booster C powder and its been working a treat. I do believe that powder just gives a lovely glowy boost to my skin. I just don't like the messy mixing in process. 

2. Eos lipbalm in Tangerine - I was attracted to this due to its cute egg-like packaging and I really like the scent of this Tangerine one. (There are other scents: sweet mint, strawberry sorbet, summer fruit, lemon drops SPF15, honeysuckle honeydew.) The eos website says that the tangerine flavor/scent is "medicated" making it more soothing and has anti-bacterial properties. I used this every night before going to sleep for about 4 months and personally didn't see any significant difference in the condition or hydration of my lips.

3. Soap and Glory Face Soap Vitamin C Facial Wash - Admittedly this was an impulse purchase. I was swayed by the cute product colors (it's a minty green with pink scrub beads) and the magical words they used on the packaging, namely "brightening" and "vitamin C". After discovering my love for Philosophy's Turbo Booster C powder suddenly everything vitamin C related seemed enticing. (I also purchased the Aveeno Positively Ageless Resurfacing Scrub with Vitamin C for this same reason.) And as someone who loves glowy skin, anything that says "brightening" is pretty much in my want list. Anyway, getting back to this's ..okay. My face felt cleansed (slightly dry) after use. It didn't completely remove my eye makeup. Needless to say, I won't be making this impulse purchase again. 

4. Clinique Take the Day Off  makeup remover -this product is technically meant for eyes and lips. I only ever used it for eyes. When I first started with this product I found it overwhelmingly oily and I didn't like the greasy sensation it left around the skin around my eyes. In time I got used to that, but it is still not my favorite. I have replaced it with a cheaper dupe from Neutrogena which is similar, but not as greasy. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Morning Skincare Routine

My morning skincare routine is pretty basic.

1. Cleanser: Every morning I use a cleanser to clear away the oils that have built up overnight. During summer, I liked using Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser rinsed with cold water. Now that cooler weather is with us and my skin feels a little drier, I prefer to use the La Roche Posay Physiological Micellar Solution. I like this as it is rinse free; you just put it on a cotton ball and you're good to go. 

2. Toner: this is a step I usually don't bother with in the mornings. On the odd ocasion that I take the time, I have used either the Nuxe Gentle Toning Lotion with Rose Petals (which smells as pretty as it sounds!) or the Caudalie Beauty Elixir. 

3. Moisturizer: I recently got the Peter Roth Thomas Max Sheer All Day Defense from Sephora as the 100 point free gift. I have been using this lately,but not with much joy. This doesn't seem that sheer on me; it leave someone of a "glowy" film on my skin. I'm definitely not enjoying the experience with this moisturizer / sunscreen. I really want to try the Elizabeth Arden Prevage(R) Triple Defense Shield Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50 as I've heard rave reviews for it from one of my favorite YT beauty gurus, Fleur de Force.
When I know I'm not going to be leaving the house, I like to use the Boscia Vital Daily Moisturizer. 

4. Eyes - I'm currently using a deluxe sample size of Bobbi Brown's Extra Eye Repair Cream. This eye cream is extremely thick, and while I love it for winter; I think it would be too much for the summer months (and possibly for those with oily skin). I got this deluxe sample as part of a gift with purchase from This little 7ml pottle was filled to the brim, and I consider this a very generous sample.  As I only need to do one swipe with each eye of this, I can see this lasting me the remainder of the cool months. 

What's your morning routine?

Monday, October 29, 2012

What I'm Loving Right Now

Here are a few of the products that I've been loving the last couple of months...

1.  Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer - I wear this in Light2 / Alaska. I've heard that Nars amongst other brands lean yellow in terms of the tint of their face products. For me, this is a plus as I'm distinctly yellow/warm toned. The Nars Tinted Moisturizer provides light coverage and has a slight, pleasant floral scent on application. It has geared towards those with drier skins and I find this to be true in terms of its feel on application. During the cooler times of the year, it feels like I'm putting on a light moisturizer. In the summer, I find this to have a slightly greasy feel, but that's because my skin during the warmer months always feels slightly clammy. (Yuck, I know! ) This has SPF 30 which is fantastic as this means that I don't need to use a sunscreen under this. My normal/dry skin finds this enough and I don't use a moisturizer under this either. I do use a primer though. Right now I'm using MAC's Prep + Prime Skin Smoothing Balm (limited edition).

2. Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base - This is a new love for me. Some may know this product by its former name Bronze Universal. Having tested it myself, I'm not sure how universal this really is. Swatched on the back of my hand, it has a golden /orange cast. On the face, it can be subtle and realistic (depending on application). I think paler ladies would have to be very careful with this to make sure they don't end up with an orange face. I have seen some fantastic tutorials  on YouTube for paler  (and cool toned) ladies using this, namely by Essie Button. I use either Sigma F82 or a foundation brush to apply this just below my cheekbones and along the hairline, making certain that I take the color down the underside of my jaw and very lightly down my neck. This product is expensive $48 but you get a lot of product so by weight I imagine its actually more cost effective than other products. Due to the level of pigmentation, you only need a small amount for each use - I think this will last me for years...!

3. Caudalie Divine Oil - The scent of this is ...divine! I'm completely inept in describing scents so I won't even try. The Sephora description tells me it's a combination Bulgarian rose, Moroccan rose, vanilla, pink pepper, grapefruit, cedar and white musk. It feels completely luxurious and a treat when you're putting this on. When I bought this, it was only available in one size, 3.4 FL Oz / 100 ml for $48. You can now buy this at Sephora at $18 for 1 Oz. I find it takes about 8-10 spritzes of this to cover my body so I can imagine going through a 3.4 Fl oz bottle of this in about 5 months. For me, totally worth it!

4. Caudalie Beauty Elixir - I bought this as many beauty gurus from Europe were absolutely raving about it. This is a multi-use product that can basically used anytime - mostly before moisturizing, and to freshen up makeup. I personally use it when I've been out and about for a few hours and I want to freshen up my makeup. I've also used it when I've used thought my face looked a little too done and powdery. Caution - this beauty water does have a strong herbal minty scent (from essential oils, I believe). I found this scent completely offputting at first, but determined to use this, I managed to overcome the scent and now I find it quite refreshing. Invigorating, even.

5. Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Bronze Powder (limited edition)- This is part of the Elizabeth Arden Summer 2012 collection called Rose Aurora. I have this bronzer in two colors - Soft Radiance (the lightest color) and Warm Radiance (the medium color). Firstly, the packaging is absolutely gorgeous. Soft Radiance is a lovely, warm, very subtle color. Warm Radiance is its slightly darker sister. Both warm up the skin and have a subtle shimmer which is not obvious on the skin.

6. Jemma Kidd Makeup School Dewy Glow All Over Radiance Creme in Rose Gold. This is a very recent purchase for me so I've only had a chance to use this a couple of times. So far I've found this to have a finely milled texture and gives a very subtle, natural glow. This also comes in another color, Iced Gold, which would work better for cooler, paler skins.

7. MAC Pro Longwear Bronzing Powder in Nude on Board. This is one of MAC's limited edition bronzers from their Hey Sailor collection. This was an impulse buy that has completely started a love/obsession of bronzers. This product made me realize how complementary golden/yellow toned items are on my skintone and made me re-think a lot of the items that I was using. As you can see, I've hit pan on this from about 3 months of almost everyday use. Thankfully, I've got several back-ups of this!

8 + 9. Revlon Lip Butters in Peach Parfait and Pink Truffle - These are both great everyday colors. Pink Truffle is gorgeous neutral pinky brown that goes with pretty much any makeup look. Peach Parfait is a pinky coral with gold glitter. I love this color as it just perks up my face. My pet peeve with Peach Parfait is the gold glitter which gives it a slightly grittier texture. This color reminds me of the famous Nars Orgasm but in a lip color.

10. Stila Lip Glaze in Kitten - I use this almost daily! As someone who dabbles regularly in buying drugstore lip colors (a hit and miss operation) this is great for warming up and giving a golden tone to any lipstick.

11 + 12. Revlon Colorburst lipgloss in Peony and Sunset Peach - These colors are sooo gorgeous. The have a good amount of pigmentation and I can imagine both of these colors being complementary on so many different types of skintones.

13. NARS Blush in Madly - This blush doesn't look like much in the pan - it's a nude with peachy tones and subtle silver shimmer. It looks fantastic with just about any look - including the bronzed look I've been loving this summer. It also works with a lot of different highlighters (important to me given my love of highlighters). I've used this blush successfully with Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight, Elizabeth Arden Rose Aurora, and Benefit One Hot Minute.

14. Philosophy Turbo Booster C powder - this is vitamin C in powder form. You add this powder to moisturizers (being careful to not mix this with retinol products) for brighter and more even toned skin. (It's also meant to protect your skin from environmental damage which is one of the causes of premature aging.) I don't know whether I'm just swallowing up the placebo effect of the hype but I honestly think this works. My skin has looked more radiant and even toned since I started using this. There are some down sides to this product, namely, its messy and can be annoying to mix with moisturizer. I use this by adding a pea sized amount of moisturizer on the back of my hand and then spooning out this powder with the mixing spoon provided with it. You get a 0.25 for $35 - pricey but you do need only a teeny tiny spoonful of this. I've had mine for about 4-5 months and still have half the bottle to go.

Let me know if you have any questions for me and share your favorite products of the moment. 

Let Me Introduce Myself...

My name is Natasha and I have been interested in beauty and skincare for the many years now. Not til recently has the thought of starting a blog ever been something I thought I would do. But as I watch more YouTube beauty gurus and start using blogs for my own purchasing research; I've come to realize how fun it could be. 

I'm going to be using this blog as a beauty diary of sorts. I'll be sharing what I'm loving right now, my skincare routine, mini reviews of the products and swatches I'm using. I'll do the occasional posts on other things I, books, cooking, and cats! 

As I've referred to above, I frequently use blogs and their swatches to research products I'm interested in purchasing. So if that's what you're looking for - here is my personal context - coloring and skin type: NC20-25, warm/yellow toned, normal skin, black hair, dark brown eyes (half Asian). 

Foundations/Tinted Moisturizers I've used: 
Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in Alaska (currently loving this!) 
Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer in Nude and Bisque

As my blog name suggested, I'm obsessed with "the glow". As I reach the big 3-0, I've come to realize that the glow doesn't just come from makeup but also from skincare. I've recently become more interested in finding what works for me in terms of skincare so I'm anticipating many future blog posts discussing this. Highlighters. I'm obsessed with highlighters. There WILL be many posts on highlighters. Also bronzers - a new fascination of mine.  

I look forward to sharing views, and new product loves with you. Also, I appreciate constructive criticism but let's keep things nice :) My posts will just be sharing my opinions, and I have not been given any money or consideration for any positive reviews. 

Til my next post... keep glowing!