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LORAC holiday

Sneak Peek: LORAC Holiday The Royal Collection 2014

You guys, do I have another lovely holiday collection to share a sneak peek of with you. This time, the LORAC Holiday The Royal Collection. While I wasn’t lucky enough to get my grubby little fingers on the Mega PRO palette, I was lucky enough to test out The Royal Lip Lustre Crème Collection (Ulta exclusive), The Royal PRO Eye Collection (Ulta exclusive) and the Champagne Dreams Eye Shadow Palette (Cyber Monday Ulta.com exclusive).

I haven’t given all of these products a test run just yet, but I wanted to share my photos with you ASAP. I have worn a couple of the lip glosses and boy do they gloss. They have great color payoff and lasting power. I’ll update you with some makeup look and swatches in a bit. In the meantime …

lorac holiday

lorac holiday

lorac holiday

lorac holiday

lorac holiday

lorac holiday

lorac holiday

lorac holiday

lorac holiday

lorac holiday

lorac holiday

lorac holiday

lorac holiday

lorac holiday

lorac holiday

lorac holiday

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go play with some makeup!

What do you think of the LORAC Holiday The Royal collection?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

lorac porefessional foundation

LORAC Porefection Foundation Review

I was recently given the chance by the lovely people over at LORAC to test out their Porefection Foundation. I had only ever used their eyeshadows before, so I was excited to branch out and try a new product.

This foundation is oil, paraben and fragrance free. Plus it contains SPF 20. All pluses in my book. Since I’m a ghost, I tested out the color “Fair.” Without fail, I’m always the lightest color. Self awareness is key.

lorac porefessional foundation
LORAC Porefessional Foundation

I was very pleased with the pigmentation, the coverage and the lasting power of the foundation. However, this formulation doesn’t work great with my skin. I have fairly “normal” skin, but it tends to be a bit more dry than oily, especially in a few patches – between my eyes and near my nose and chin. In these areas, my skin rejects the foundation a bit, making it look a bit cakey and flakey. I think this would work better for people whose skin tends to be a bit more oily than dry.

lorac porefessional foundation
Foundation on (your) left, bare face on (your) right

And while it wasn’t the perfect match for my skin type (like I said, it was still a great match for my color), I’d recommend you at least give it a try. If it jives with your skin type, this has the potential to be a staple foundation in your makeup bag. You can read more about the foundation and purchase it online here.

What do you think of LORAC products? Have you given this foundation a try?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

Best Bronzers for Spring/Summer 2013

Anne shares her picks for the best bronzers for spring/summer 2013, and shows how not all bronzers are created equal. While some products mentioned in this article were sent for review purposes, all opinions are Anne’s own.

best bronzers
The best bronzers of the moment!

I have to say, nothing makes me happier than playing around with different powder bronzers. There’s just something about sweeping on a bronze glow that can transform your look in an instant that gets me all giddy.

But despite what you might think, not all bronzers are created equal. Some add depth and contour to your face, some mimic a dewy, shimmery sheen, and others create warmth that looks truly sun-kissed. And most importantly, each one has a different color variation of “bronze.”

After testing and trying tons of powdered bronzers in the past couple of months, I’ve narrowed down my favorites of the moment, which I’m deeming the best bronzers for spring/summer 2013.

Lorac TANtalizer

The Lorac TANtalizer line includes two powder bronzers with very different uses.

Products from the Lorac TANtalizer line.
Products from the Lorac TANtalizer line.

The TANtalizer Baked Bronzer, which my sister got me for Christmas, has a coppery hue with lots of shimmer and is great for adding warmth to the apples of your cheeks.  It’s more on the “orange-ish” side of tan, so I use this more as a blush than all over my face, since it wouldn’t blend in well with my olive skin; it’s more of a beautiful accent color.

My favorite bronzer of all time (my go-to daily bronzer) is the Lorac TANtalizer Highlighter & Matte Bronzer Duo. I bought this a couple of months ago after deciding a wanted a completely matte bronzer that looked more brown.

Left: Lorac TANtalizer Highlighter & Matte Bronzer Duo. Right: Lorac TANtalizer Baked Bronzer
Lower Left:  Lorac TANtalizer Highlighter & Matte Bronzer Duo.  Upper Right:  Lorac TANtalizer Baked Bronzer

This bronzer is so versatile that I use it everywhere from the hollows of my cheekbones and the sides of my nose to contour my face as well as lightly dusted all over to add a tan boost. It is very pigmented, so you only need to sweep a little on your brush to go a long way. The highlighter on the other side of the compact is a great added bonus!

Buxom Hot Escapes Bronzer

I was fortunate enough to test out two amazing new bronzers sent by Buxom that are sold exclusively at Sephora and Sephora.com.

buxom hot escapes bronzer

The Buxom Hot Escapes Bronzer comes in two shades: Tahiti (a cooler, golden bronze), and Maldives (a tawny, rosy bronze).

Left:  Maldives. Right:
Left: Maldives. Right: Tahiti.

Both shades are infused with minuscule flecks of shimmer, so they add a nice glow, but they definitely don’t overdose on the sparkles like some bronzers do.

Left: Maldives; Right: Tahiti
Left: Maldives; Right: Tahiti

I have to say that the one thing that makes these bronzers REALLY stand out is the subtle coconut scent! It’s like imagining you’re on a tropical island every time you open the compact. Sold!

bareMinerals

One of the classic bareMinerals products is All-Over Face Color in Warmth, which I’ve been buying my mom and sister for years as gifts since they use both use it every day without fail (but the sample shown in these pics was sent for review). If you buff this loose powder on your face all over, it will give you a nice all-around matte glow.

bareMinerals READY Bronzer in The High Dive and All-Over Face Color in Warmth
bareMinerals READY Bronzer in The High Dive and All-Over Face Color in Warmth

If you’re looking for a pressed powder bronzer that is more travel-friendly, bareMinerals has a READY Bronzer in The High Dive. This is incredibly pigmented, and it’s also matte, though I think it’s a tad more golden brown than Warmth, which has a more tawny hue to it.

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Please ignore my goosebumps. Left:  bareMinerals Warmth;  Right: bareMinerals READY Bronzer in The High Dive

This is another fantastic everyday bronzer that can work great as a contour since you have a lot of control on swiping it on the brush.

So there you have it — my picks for the best bronzers for spring/summer 2013. Do you agree? What are your favorites?

Photos:  Anne Houseman/beautyXposé

2011 Summer Makeup: LORAC TANtalEYES Palette

Over the last couple of days, summer has been taunting us in D.C. with a sneak preview of balmy, sunny weather. And while we’re still technically in the midst of spring, it’s never too early to get a jump start on summer with some sizzling makeup.

Take LORAC’s Summer 2011 TANTalize Me collection for example. Packed with bold bronzers, sultry self-tanners, shimmering baked eye shadows and a sparkling lip gloss, LORAC knows how to warm you up even if it’s chilly where you live.

The limited edition TANtalEYES Palette by LORAC

As part of  the collection, LORAC is offering a limited edition TANtalEYES Palette ($36), which features a Baked Eye Shadow quad and a travel size TANtalizer Body Bronzing Luminizer.  Trust me — if you only get one makeup set this summer — this is it. You can’t go wrong for the cost, since you’ll have everything you need for bronzed look in one compact kit.

LORAC TANtalizer is a body bronzing liquid with a warm gold shimmer that looks positively radiant. Depending on how much you apply and the type of lighting, it can be uber shimmery with a lot of sparkle and shine, or it can just show a hint of glow.

LORAC TANtalizer applies liquid shimmer anywhere you want a bronze boost!

To tone it down for day, I mixed a dab of TANtalizer with my regular moisturizer (Estee Lauder Day Wear) and applied it all over my face, neck and decollete to give a healthy-looking bronze boost. But if I want to really stand out at an evening event, I’ll slather it on as-is so I have a nice glow. Also, this can be a great liquid blush since it has such a nice copper tint. On days where I wanted to look more “earthy” than “pinky,” I’ve rubbed some TANtalizer from the apples to along my cheekbone, and voila — instant natural-looking glow.

LORAC paired four baked eye shadows alongside the mini tube of bronzer to complement your new glow.

Baked Eye Shadows in the LORAC TANtalEYEs collection

Richly nestled in a gilded case, the four shadows (my interpretations: moss green, champagne/white, rustic eggplant and copper), can be applied dry or wet for a boost in pigment. Unlike some bad eye shadow palettes, these colors stay true to the way they look in the box when you apply them and don’t rub off.  All four of them contain minuscule shimmer particles, which reflects light to appear warm and glowing.

Here’s one look I created using all four:

A warm summer look using the LORAC TANtalEYES palette
LORAC TANtalEYES eye shadows and 3D Multiplex Lashes Mascara

I used the champagne/white as a highlighter up by the brow bone and in the inner corners of my eyes. I swept the copper color all over the lid, and layered the rustic eggplant over it on the outer half of the lid. From there, I applied in the moss green into the crease and made sure to blend, blend, blend to avoid harsh color block lines. I finished off the look with a layer of 3D Multiplex Lashes mascara and used the rustic eggplant shadow to subtly line my lower lashes.

The entire look

The result has me ready to hit the beach (just as soon as the water warms up, that is)!

In addition to the travel size (45 mL) of TANtalizer found in the TANtalEYES Palette, LORAC also sells a full-size bottle (5 FL. OZ.) for $32.  Also be sure to check out their other summer products for other ways to get your glow on.

Want Radiant Skin? See Kelly’s Face of the Day (FOTD)

I’m exhausted, overwhelmed and lackluster, thanks to the rush of the holidays and well, life. I decided for my last day at work (for the year!), I wanted to look holiday ready and radiant, even if I didn’t feel it. I was really pleased with the results. So pleased, it actually lifted my spirits!

Indoor light.
Indoor light.

Outdoor light.
Outdoor light.

FACE:
Maybelline Fit Foundation – The lightest Ivory shade made
Benefit -High Beam above my cheek bones
LORAC – Perfectly Lit in Luminous
Laura Geller- Banish and Brighten Concealer (my favorite!)

EYES:

Urban Decay Primer Potion
BE Gold Medal High Shine Shadow
MAC Shroom Eye Shadow
Benefit Magic Ink Eye liner
Anastastia Brow Powder in Strawburn
Urban Decay Lash Primer
Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara

LIPS:
BE Natural Lip Gloss in Sprinkles

I bought everything listed with the exception of the Laura Geller Concealer, which was sent for review. I’ve been using it every day since!

Photos: Kelly Gould/Gouldylox Reviews

Got $100? Get a Monster Makeup Haul at Sephora!

After Anne’s mom Connie recieved a $100 Sephora gift card for her birthday (courtesy of her loving daughter, of course), she turned sephora gift cardthe Sephora maven herself — blogger Kelly Gould of Gouldylox Reviews. Since Sephora is Kelly’s second home, she was the perfect person to help Connie spend her newly-acquired beauty bucks.

If you haven’t noticed, I really like makeup. And while every day I see and learn something new, I have a pretty good sense of what is out there and what might work for people looking for a specific product. When Anne  asked me to help her mom Connie spend $100 at Sephora, I was thrilled to oblige. Anne shared a few of her mother’s likes and dislikes, as well as what kind of makeup user she is. I know she likes things nice and neutral, wears her makeup in classic styles and is a Bare Escentuals fan (like myself). I was told she is perfectly happy with her skincare and is looking for makeup only. With summer right around the corner, and so many wonderful things to chose from, I had to wheedle down my list several times to keep it around $100.

With thousands of things to pick from, I focused on products that would be a great choice for the upcoming months. That means easy looks that protect your skin and are simple enough to wear out to dinner, shopping or on vacation.

My first choice is Sephora Tinted Moisturizer ($21) – It’s oil-free, packed with cell communicating peptides and provides SPF 20 UVA/UVB protection. Tinted moisturizers are great for summer because they don’t feel as heavy on the skin as other foundations, take moments to apply and don’t give you an overly made up look. I tried this in the store and was really pleased with how dewy and beautiful the coverage was. It reminded me of other much more expensive tinted moisturizers.

sephora tinted moisturizer

Clinique Color Surge Butter Shine Lipstick ($14) has been my go-to lip color this Spring. The texture of this gloss is amazing. It fills out fine lines and makes lips look luscious. For Connie, I would chose Adore You. However, I also love Baby Baby and Poppy Love. The only downside is it doesn’t have an SPF, so if you are wearing this outside for longer periods of time, be sure to wear a lip balm with an SPF of at least 15.

clinique lipstick

For a long wearing, beautiful blush, I suggested Makeup Forever HD Microfinish Cream Blush ($25). These blushes are my new favorite cream blush. The colors are buildable, natural and give skin a healthy glow. You can’t go wrong with any of them, but for Connie, I like #7 in One Too Many. It’s a peachy beige that looks great on everyone. While purchasing the brush MUFE suggests for this blush is a nice treat, I have no problems applying this with my fingertips (or my stippling brush).

MUFE

LORAC Front of the Line PRO Liquid Liner ($22) in brown. The pen applicators on these make it so easy to use, you’ll wonder why you didn’t already own it. It is the easiest liquid eye liner on the planet (along with a similar pen from Stila) and the brown color is a rich, warm brown, without glitter or sparkle. I wish they made this in colors besides Black and Brown! Be sure to pick up the PRO version of this liner. The version before the PRO is not easy to use and I think the applicator is too rough on the eyelid.

lorac liquid pen liner

BE Flawless Radiance ($18) . This all-over face color adds sheen to highlight a cheekbone. Or use it at night on your collarbone and shoulders to go totally glam. It is a must-have for any Bare Escentuals fan and works seamlessly with any foundation. Flawless Radiance is like adding a tiny layer of gossamer wherever you apply it. Add it anywhere you want to highlight your skin; it looks natural and beautiful, without a ton of chunky sparkle.

bare minerals

I didn’t quite manage to leave room for tax, but did manage to total exactly $100.00. I can’t wait to hear what she thinks of her new summer goodies. Are you looking for something new and not sure what to get? Tell me about it in the comments!

Photos: Sephora, Clinique, Make Up Forever, Lorac, Bare Escentuals

Sephora’s Latest Craveworthy Cosmetics

When blogger Kelly Gould from Gouldylox Reviews hits up a Sephora, watch out! But while she’d love to buy up the whole store, sadly, she can’t afford to do so each month. As consolation, she recently tested and swatched her way through the latest Sephora goodies, compiling a healthy wish list along the way.

I got Loxy to take me to Sephora a few days ago for a makeup fix. Between real life, a chemical facial peel and snow, I haven’t made it into the store for at least two weeks. Let’s be honest, that’s a problem. While I love to buy things to take home and try, at the moment, I am back on cosmetic shopping restriction. So here are the things that made me drool on my recent trip to Sephora.

The Urban Decay/Disney Alice in Wonderland Collection retails for $52 and looks glorious. You just have to see this in person to get the whole idea. You get 16 eye shadows, an Eye Shadow Primer Potion, two 24/7 eye pencils all in this gorgeous Book of Shadows box. It’s a great value and a serious collector’s item.

urban decay alice in wonderland

LORAC Multiplex 3D Lipgloss in Intermix or 3D. I love LORAC glosses on a good day. These new glosses have so much shine and glam packed into a lip gloss, it was really hard not to pick one up and take it home. I fell in love with two colors : 3-D and Intermix.

lorac
Shown in “Cliche”

3D is a dark taupe/fawn color with loads of glitter and pink undertones. The glitter isn’t showing up much in my picture, but trust me, it’s a must have.

kelly lorac

Intermix is peachier and sans glitter, but is one of the shiniest glosses I have come across in a bit. Love it!

kelly lorac 2

The Stila Jewel Eye Shadow Palette is also an interesting palette to consider. These shadows appear to almost be wet, and leave a glossy trace of color behind. If you like to play with different textures in your shadow, this looks like something you must get.

stila jewelstila Jewel shadow

Make no mistake, this palette is in powder form, but once on, it looks more wet, almost like a shiny, glittery cream eye shadow. I used the Black Onxy, Amethyst and Golden Topaz in the above photo. There has been very little glitter fallout on my eyes. When I looked at this shadow, the colors and texture instantly reminded me of the Bare Escentuals Extreme Eye Glimmers, but in a pressed powder form. Since it is pressed, it is a little easier to avoid getting the shiny bits on your cheeks. I put some on in the store in less than 3 minutes. While the above photo isn’t the best, you can tell how the color is sheer, yet shiny; a dry powder, but looks different. You have to check these out!

stila jewel tone kit cropped copy
I had to see how these looked swatched so I went back to the store with a better camera.

Of course, you can’t even look around Sephora without posters proclaiming Kim Kardashian’s new fragrance, aptly titled Kim Kardashian. People who are good at writing perfume descriptions will tell you that it has notes of honey, tuberose, gardenia, honeysuckle and tonka beans (whatever the hockeysticks that is). Honestly, it smelled a little like everything I like from Marc Jacobs.

kim kardashian fragrance

What I did check out quickly as I left and liked was the newest scent in the Leslie Blodgett’s Perfume Diaries collection, Santa Barbara. While I didn’t care for her first one (it was just too strong for my taste) this one is quite nice. Santa Barbara is a soft floral that light and pretty and nowhere near overpowering. I also love the adorable little pocket watch-like solid perfume that is perfect for touch-ups.

leslie blodgettpurfume diaries

Finally, I did pick up one of Bobbi Brown’s new Pot Rouges from her Cabana Corals Collection. I chose the Cabo Coral color.

Bobbi Brown Cabo swatch wrist

This color seemed to be the right mix of bright peachy pop I was looking for without being too bright. This is my first Pot Rouge from Bobbi and I love it.

What are you looking forward to? Have you picked up any of these products yet? Tell me in the comments!


Photos: Urban Decay, Lorac, Stila, Kim Kardashian, Leslie Blodgett, Kelly Gould