Sunday, July 29, 2012

Pampering with Hadali, Alaska Glacial Mud Co. & Sara Happ

This weekend I went swimming, and though of course I wore sunscreen, tonight I decided to be proactive and heal my skin with a pampering session.

While bathing, I exfoliated with Hadali Detoxifying Body Scrub, which uses organic cane sugar and cashew nut oil to leave my skin soft and velvety.

Once I got out of the shower, I treated myself to a Glacial Facial Masque by Alaska Glacial Mud Company. This mineral-rich glacial clay detoxifies and exfoliates to reveal a firm and glowing face.

While I was waiting for the mask to dry, I multitasked by renewing my lips with Sara Happ Brown Sugar Lip Scrub. I like to also do smell therapy by opening the jar and inhaling deeply.

Finally, I covered my entire body in Hadali Body Moisturizing Milk. The scent of tropical nuts and vanilla is just heavenly.

This is the first time I tried both Hadali and Alaska Glacial Mud Company, and the results are impressive. Soon I will do a more in-depth review on each of the above products. Now I'm ready to go to bed and face the new week.

How do you pamper yourself? What are your favorite natural products for decadent luxury?


Thursday, July 26, 2012

TATCHA Luminous Dewy Skin Mist

In TATCHA I trust. Since my introduction to the skincare line four months ago, I'm still following the four-step regimen morning and night with spectacular results. So when CEO Victoria Tsai announced we also needed her new TATCHA Luminous Dewy Skin Mist, I listened to her.

"A silky liquid moisturizer of squalane, red algae and our HADASEI-3 bioactive complex can be misted onto the face for a boost of soothing hydration. The result is dewy, luminous, replenished-looking skin anytime, anywhere."

Initially, I was dubious because I had viewed hydrating mists as an affectation of socialites. TATCHA takes offense, though, if you call their Dewy Skin Mist a hydrating mist. Instead, it should be thought of as a liquid moisturizer.

The online FAQ for the product explains, "Hydrating mists are usually a mixture of fragrance, water and alcohol. They feel cool and smell great when you spray them but the skin is actually drier in moments as the water and alcohol evaporate from the skin. Unlike conventional hydrating mists, TATCHA's LUMINOUS Dewy Skin Mist is a liquid moisturizer. Its delicate emulsion of liquid silk, red algae, camellia oil, and potent moisturizing actives keep skin dewy and hydrated anytime, anywhere."

Is there really a distinction? I'm here to tell you yes.

Appearances first: the bottle is sleek and sexy, and fits into my hand comfortably. I feel refreshed already just looking at the pale ombre blue shell. The bottle arrives sealed with TATCHA's signature geometric sticker ribbon; breaking such a beautiful seal is both thrilling and saddening.

My first trial came late last Friday afternoon, after a week-long graduate class which forced me to spend all day in a stiflingly hot classroom with a barely functioning AC window unit. My skin felt stressed and parched. My TATCHA order had just arrived, and I immediately tried out the Dewy Skin Mist. After priming the pump several times, I held the nozzle about ten inches from my face, closed my eyes, and sprayed once. A delicate mist kissed my face. It felt refreshing and soothing, but hardly impressive or necessary. I then went about my business around the house. After twenty minutes, I lifted one finger to stroke my cheek.

The softness of my skin was extraordinary. The skin on my face had achieved unparalleled softness, smoothness, and even springiness. I assure you this is not hyperbole. Forget a baby's bottom, my skin felt better. I looked in the mirror, and the appearance of my face had also improved: slightly dewy and subtly radiant, neither matte nor shiny.

In the following days, I continued to test out the Dewy Skin Mist under various circumstances. I sprayed it on immediately after applying my day moisturizer (Omorovicza Complexion Perfector BB SPF 20) in the morning, and it infused my skin with extra moisture. After a particularly brutal Barre Fitness class at Ananda Shala, I went home and rinsed my sweaty face with water; I then sprayed the Dewy Skin Mist directly onto my bare skin, and it functioned as well as moisturizer. Now I've fallen into a routine of keeping the bottle around and spraying my face once or twice a day whenever I find that my skin is feeling dry or stressed. Directions recommend 2-3 pumps, but I find that one is perfectly adequate for my combination skin with oily T-zone.

TATCHA claims that the magic ingredient in their Dewy Skin Mist is a special red algae blend from the waters around the island of Okinawa. The actual ingredient list looks intimidating, but once again I have come to trust TATCHA.

Do you need this? Yes. Don't think of TATCHA Luminous Dewy Skin Mist as a hydrating mist. Think of it as a supercharger to bring your face to heights never before imagined.

The Dewy Skin Mist is part of TATCHA's new Water Collection, which includes the Luminous Deep Hydration Lifting Mask. $95 for four masks is just too rich for me, though if you sign up for their e-newsletter, you can sweeten the pot a bit by adding a complimentary Moisture Rich Silk Cream Deluxe Sample with the code HYDRATION by July 31.

TATCHA Luminous Dewy Skin Mist costs a manageable $48 and can be found online at Barneys and TATCHA.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani Sheers, Skin Lacquers in Pink 503 and 505

The star player in the Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani Sheers, Skin Lacquers Collection is the formula itself.

503 (Blush) and 505 (Dewy)

Creamy and smooth, these sheer lipsticks are so emollient that they go on like a rich lip balm. They add a dewy veil of color to your lips, and the colors themselves are subtle but stunning. From the Pink range, I ordered 503 (Blush) and 505 (Dewy).

503 Blush is hardly flashy, but it manages to be a showstopper. The color in the tube is a gorgeous mauve-rosewood, and on the lips it translates into a heavenly mauve-pink. This is the perfect shade for adding just a bit of color and depth to my lips.

As for 505 Dewy, it is just a pure, soft, pretty pink.

Because these are sheers, the difference in colors can be quite subdued. I was able to build up the color by swiping several times. 503 Blush is exquisite and does suit me better than 505 Dewy, but there's something sweet and baby-faced about the latter that I love.

Both sheers lasted easily for hours, and even after eating my lips felt moisturized. Armani Beauty brags of the formula: "The innovative Color-Fil moisture technology contains an outstanding moistcapt agent that is able to retain twice its volume in water and that forms an imperceptible film, rich, non-sticky texture." I believe it now.

This was my first encounter with Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani Sheers, and I can say it is among the best lipstick formulations I have ever encountered. 503 Blush and 505 Dewy are two ethereal shades I will treasure.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Chanel 68 Troublant Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss

Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss 68 Troublant practically takes pictures of itself. A new release for Fall 2012, this gloss is a lovely plum-rose brown with a refined shimmer.

As soon as I saw Troublant on Messy Wands earlier this week, I fell in love and promptly ordered mine from Saks ($32). This elegant gloss indeed is perfect for autumn, though it pulls far more brown on me than it does on Xiao, even when I stand under a brighter and bluer light source. I'm still happy with the color, as it is extremely flattering paired with green-hazel eyes. There is just enough mauve in the shade to make it interesting yet sophisticated.

The consistency is slightly sticky, and you can see from the close-up that it's a bit transparent. Application with the doe foot is a breeze. The gloss lasts for hours on my lips, with the color remaining true throughout.

Chanel's Fall 2012 makeup offerings are all about basic classics, and Troublant Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss fits the plum-brown niche perfectly. It is one gloss that makes sense for autumn.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Coming Soon: Zebra Print Kabuki Brush by Chantecaille

Might this just be the most chic makeup brush ever? It's a kabuki brush in a zebra print, you guys.

From Chantecaille, this new African-inspired kabuki brush is made of ultra-soft goat hair in a firm, dome shape and costs $69. But I couldn't care less about the details. Zebra print. Currently it's available (only during their one-week fall preview) for preorder on Saks, and it should ship by the end of July.

This brush made me wonder if Chantecaille is coming out with a whole African theme for Fall 2012, which would be delightful. A little research indeed turned up on Chic Profile a sneak peek at the L'Elephant Palette, a quartet of rich earthy colors. I'm looking forward to the rest of Chantecaille's interpretation this fall.

Update: There's a (blurry!) photo of Olivia Chantecaille's face for Fall 2012. Love the deep browns and strong features.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Givenchy Fall 2012 Couture

Forget Chanel's New Vintage, Givenchy is where the haute couture is at.

Ricardo Tisci always stamps his creations with a tough aura that is instantly sexy and at the same time untouchable. The sleek, yet intricate clothes form a skintight shield on the body. The Givenchy woman wears armor that is a fusion of eclectic influences and a futuristic outlook.

I especially love the tribal splicings in this Fall 2012 Couture collection: it's like the Maori and the Vikings came together and had a baby, in the moody colors of the earth.

Aside: How refreshing is it not to see a single conventionally white face in the bunch? The fashion industry tends to keep models of color on the periphery, so I appreciate this collection also for going in the opposite direction. Now if only it would grow into a general trend.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Of a Kind Sale, and Riding Clutch by Fleabags

I love shopping online, and Of a Kind makes it a true pleasure. To celebrate Independence Day, they're offering 25% off all editions through 7/8 with the coupon code JULY4THEWIN. I featured this site a year ago, and since then they've only been cranking out more goodness.

My most recent acquisition has been the Riding Clutch by Fleabags.

Made in the USA from canvas and vegetable-tanned leather that is supposed to patina with time, this slim, casual clutch fits an iPad (or a few reading and writing materials) perfectly. I've fallen in love with the idea of a blank canvas of a bag that goes perfectly with denim.

Every Of a Kind package is a tactile and aesthetic experience. Enclosed with each item is an autographed luggage tag specifying edition information and number.

My favorite part about Of a Kind, however, is their "Meet the Designer" bios and "Behind the Scenes" features that give us an intimate view of the person and process behind the item. Even better, Of a Kind has become a gateway allowing me to follow new designers that I probably wouldn't have been exposed to otherwise. For instance, I now am dreaming of Fleabags' The Original Flea: White.

I've already taken advantage of the sale to order two pieces of jewelry, one delicate and one tough:

Ero Ring by Silva/Bradshaw

Mercury Collar by LESS

What would you choose? Which editions on the site catch your eye? Share what you think of the concept behind Of a Kind.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Chanel Bombay Express Routes des Indes de Chanel & Brume D'Or

Chanel does color and texture so, so well. Bombay Express, the summer capsule makeup collection inspired by India, is no exception. I have Routes des Indes de Chanel Illuminating Powder with Shimmer and Joues Contraste Powder Blush in Brume D'Or to show you today.

Now, you know Routes des Indes de Chanel ($80) is shimmery. It says so right in the description: "This precious golden powder highlighter highlights cheekbones and eyelids with an iridescent touch." But I don't care how many shimmery gold highlighters you may have seen in your life; nothing prepares you for the soaring sweep of pure translucent yellow gold that serenades your eyes when you open the lid.

The embossed motif, based on the brocade pattern from an India-inspired collection by Gabrielle Chanel in the 1960s, is dazzling in its intricate artistry. The shimmer factor is so high that the surface appears glossy. The powder itself picks up and applies like a dream: a single sweep of the included sculpting brush (thoughtfully angled for more precise application and housed in its own separate miniature velvet pouch) lays down an even trail of sparkling lights. On the skin, the powder is a perfect balance between yellow and white that makes it very flattering. This highlighter is unquestionably dramatic, but never tacky. This is Chanel, after all.

Brume D'Or Joues Contraste ($43) is is the perfect earthy counterpoint to the golden dream above. The blush actually turned out to be less brown than I expected. It's a warm, grounded brown-rose that I can wear along my cheekbones as a dual-purpose blush and contourer. This blush shade could have been inspired by red clay under a hot sun, save for the fact that it contains a very slight shimmer that prevents it from being entirely heavy.

I swatched Brume D'Or heavily so that none of my skin tone would show through. Below it is Routes des Indes de Chanel, of which I applied only two layers so that you could get a fair idea of how it would actually work as a highlighter. Best Things in Beauty has an incredible swatch of it layered heavily.

Isn't the highlighter divine? You can see how it turns my skin the color of white gold. And below is how the two look in the shade.

These two Chanel Bombay Express items are completely luxurious jewels. I always get excited over non-pink blushes, and the highlighter is a rush of gold and light that gives your cortex a jolt. Fundamentally, makeup is meant to delight the eye. Routes des Indes de Chanel Illuminating Powder and Brume D'Or Joues Contraste both accomplish this effortlessly.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...