Madame LA LA Self-Tanner Review

banner  (image via SuperDrug.)

The smell! That delicious coconut fragrance I can smell on my skin at the moment as my self-tanner dries. Yes, you heard right. I am enjoying the smell of my self-tanner. It’s almost like an oxymoron to say that a self-tanner smells so good! The two usually don’t go together. Usually you loathe the smell of the DHA in your self-tanner! Not with this new line of tanner that was sent to me a few days ago!

I’ve seen the Madame LA LA logo a few times at the Pro Makeup Artist shops where I purchase products for my makeup kit, but for some reason associated it with stage makeup. No clue why. It was by accident that I clicked on it one day and it led me this newcomer in the arena of self-tanners. Be a huge self-tanning junky, I started researching and decided to take the plunge and try it. Problem was they were sold out in the stores they were carried in and couldn’t find them anywhere. I contacted the company (Hey Daniel!) and told him I’d absolutely love to try out some of their products and he immediately sent me over their full line. I am not being paid to write this review by the way. If it was horrible, I would simply refuse to write a review but, it’s so good that I couldn’t wait to write one!

IMG_1304pictured here are the regular and Light version. I only use the regular.

Madame LA LA hails from the U.K., where some of the best self-tanners are produced and conjured up. St. Tropez and Vita Liberata are just a few to name that have their roots across the pond. Let me tell you this, those Britain’s sure know how to make a self-tanner. Must be from the lack of sun they get in their beautiful country! Madame LA LA was no exception and has completely knocked out my other self-tanners to the back of my beauty closet. This is by far, the best self-tanner I have tried.

From the company:

“Madame LA LA Tan provides an instant LA glow that develops into an even deep golden colour in 3 hours. The lightweight tinted mousse is a quick-dry DD Tan perfector (Dynamic do-all) infused with hydrating skincare benefits; Coco Water, Aloe, Green Tea and Vitamin E, plus built-in skin finishing perfectors. Innovative colour customising technology ensures your tan looks natural whilst adapting to your individual skin tone. Madame LA LA tan will las for 10 days as if you have spent 2 weeks on Malibu Beach!”

It has the typical mousse pump packaging, but thats probably the only similarity it has to other self-tanners. For one it smells absolutely delicious! It really does! I can’t smell a hint of DHA on me. I smell like a Coconut Ice Cream Bar! It’s nothing overpowering though. The formula glides on so smooth! It’s like lotion in a mousse form. I’m still baffled at how well it spreads! When it dries it’s not at all tacky. I know, too good to be true you’re thinking! I’m thinking the same, but it’s just that good! While it sits on my skin it keeps it fully hydrated as well. I usually have dry skin so suffered for years when self-tanning as it formed cracks and patches on me. Not with Madame LA LA.

The color is a beautiful brown color. Not a hint of orange, jaundice yellow or pasty pink to it. Just plain brown. Like a real tan you’d get from Mallorca or like Madame LA LA likes to say, Malibu. Fade wise, I will admit that although it fades by far the best than any other tanner I have used, it slightly faded unevenly around my elbow. I don’t blame the product thought because my skin is really dry in that area and every tanner does this.

Theres a few things I dislike about Madame LA LA as a whole. One of them being that it’s extremely hard to get a hold of. It was sold out on their website and when I purchased my own bottle at a Professional Beauty Store, the mousse came out blue. It was probably not stored correctly or was probably expired by the time they sold it. I also wish they would make a good mitt with it. Every self-tanning line makes a mitt. If Madame LA LA is capable of making a fabulous self-tanner, I can imagine how good their mitt will be!

For those who get tired of my rambling, heres the quick version of my review. Super blendable, smells delicious, beautiful brown color and almost patch free application. I know I sound like an infomercial the whole review through but I am just so excited to finally find a self-tanner that actually does what it says!

Chicago: An Emerging Fashion Capital

22u4oj770k4efv5n(Barneys New York, Chicago)

It was a beautiful August day in Chicago and I had just arrived to start an internship. It was my first time ever visiting Chicago. Chicago had never really crossed my mind as a city to visit let alone eventually move to! I didn’t know anything about Chicago and quite frankly wasn’t enthusiastic about being in a city I deemed boring. I surely didn’t know what a fashionable city it was. To my surprise I was walking down Oak Street (The Rodeo Drive of Chicago) with a fellow co-worker and saw a Christian Louboutin shop next to a Tom Ford boutique. I was in shock to say the least. Who knew Chicago was fabulous enough to have its own Christian Louboutin shop right next to Tom Ford and Dolce & Gabbana? Not even tax-free New Jersey had one!

Don’t sleep on Jersey though. I might be biased but New Jersey is a very fashionable state full of designer shops. It’s one of the highest grossing retail areas in the country! We have many high end designer shops like Chanel, Versace, Hermes, Fendi, Dior, Jimmy Choo and a handful of others. This is mainly due to the fact that there is no sales tax on clothing and shoes in New Jersey. This can save you lots of money, upwards of $100 and more. Which is the reason why I always have my shoes and clothing delivered to my home in New Jersey and pick them up on one of my frequent trips back home. On the weekends you see a sea of New York License Plates fill up the parking lots of Short Hills Mall and Garden State Plaza (the two uber upscale malls in New Jersey). Fun Fact: New Jersey is known as the mall capital of the country.

AR-304129995.jpg(Oak Street’s Major Attraction)

This was back in 2014 and I didn’t know at the time that Chicago was having a resurgence of high-end designer shops popping up everywhere, especially in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood which houses million dollar homes, the original Playboy Mansion and Oak Street. The Louboutin, Tom Ford and Dolce & Gabbana had recently been opened. A few years earlier Barney’s New York moved into a brand new 6 floor building across from its former location which now is occupied by Hermes. Chicago must have a thing for moving stores across the street. Jimmy Choo recently moved its former location from 114 E Oak Street to a bigger, two floor shop at 63 E. Oak St. Oak Street is the place to be but may be having some competition soon. Agent Provocateur, Carolina Herrera, Escada, Giorgio Armani, Harry Winston, Lanvin, La Perla, Prada and a handful of other stores call Oak Street home.

Many designers are opening up shop in Chicago which says a lot about Chicaversace-chicago-1.jpggo’s love for designer fashions, but not just on Oak Street anymore. Versace just opened a gorgeous boutique on Rush Street with Dior slated to move in next door sometime this year
according to the Chicago Tribune. Theres recently been whispers that Valentino is looking into retail space in Chicago’s Gold Coast nieghborhood. Could it be where Jimmy Choo used to be? Or maybe on the up and coming Rush St which,already houses Saint Laurent,Marc Jacobs and Intermix. I’m hoping and praying for Roberto Cavalli and Manolo Blahnik store to land here soon.

Stores that already existed in Chicago are keeping an eye on the competition and have gotten face lifts. Gucci’s Chicago flagship store recently expanded its 900 N. Michigan Avenue store to 10,000 sqft with the addition of a new floor and a typical in your face Gucci exterior (think big gold and shiny letters). Across the street at Louis Vuitton, a sales associate told me they are planning on revamping their flagship as well. I’m glad because it’s in serious need of revamping. So is the Chanel store just a block north. Neiman Marcus started a major remodel in 2012 with it’s cosmetics area (my favorite, of course) even having it’s own launch party. You can watch that here on Candidly CandaceNordstrom also remodeled it’s cosmetics department which has a Tom Ford and Charlotte Tilbury counter which are rare to find. It already houses a Louboutin in-store boutique, Prada boutique and Louis Vuitton.

It’s safe to conclude the fashion scene in Chicago is getting bigger by the moment. With luxury Chicago magazines like Michigan Avenue, Modern Luxury’s CS Magazine and Splash all covering Chicago’s fashionable residents, it’s hard not to notice. Seems like daily theres an event for an opening of a new boutique. Seems like the Second City likes to keep its love for designer goods and vibrant fashion scene a hidden gem located in the Mid-West since nobody really attaches the word fashionable to Chicago which is still known around the country as The Windy City.

 

Throwback Thursday #OOTD

In honor of Throw-Back Thursday, I’ve opened the vault and pulled out a photo of one of my favorite outfits ever! This outfit from September 2015 brings back such amazing memories. It was a day I got to experience the Puerto Rican side of my family by visiting the Humboldt Park district in Chicago for a charity even with my mother. I learned so much and had a great day bonding with my mom!12308216_532863296879724_5382073955362756142_o

Dress: When I first saw this paisley print Trina Turk dress on the hanger at Nordstrom, I wasn’t to keen on it. But, the sales associate just raved how beautiful it looked on. So, I gave in and tried it on. It was a bit too loose and had not shape so I asked her to bring me any belt just to see how it would look and I fell in love! One of my favorite tricks for any ill fitting dress or top is to belt it. It not only gives it shape but can transform the dress completely. It went from Hippie-Chic to Sexy-Chic.

Belt: I felt pretty fancy this day, so I decided to use a Hermes skinny belt to add shape and a pop of luxury to this seemingly casual dress. It changed the look completely! This isn’t the same belt the sales associate gave me. I had asked for any skinny belt she could find. She found a PVC neon orange belt which was hideous but it gave me the mental idea of how it would look with one of my own belts. At first I was going to go with a brown belt I had from H&M but after looking at my accessories I decided with the gold Hermes belt.

Shoes: These are my favorite boots ever! I live for an Over The Knee Boot! Problem is, they are so hard to find! They either aren’t tall enough, slouch down or baggy looking. These have been a closet staple for a while and I take very good care of them since they are my favorite boots ever for the Fall. They make any outfit sexy! These are from Jimmy Choo and I believe they are the Tamba or Toni style. I’ve had them for a couple years so not sure if they still make this style but they have a beautiful similar boot called Giselle which I need to pick up since Giselle is my name after-all!

Bag: Saint Laurent or YSL Y Clutch at the time of purchase. I still hate that they changed the name. YSL sounds so much better and the Y is so chic. Not sure if this clutch is still available but it has held up well for the 5 or so years I’ve had her. Very good quality!

Jewelry: You can’t see it too well but I am wearing a beautiful gold evil eye necklace that was given to me by my mother. The big hoop earrings are pretty much a staple in my wardrobe. I don’t care what anyone says about hoops being tacky. I love them and the bigger the better!

What do you think? How would you have styled this dress differently? 

Products That Don’t Live Up To Their Hype & Ones to Purchase Instead

It seems that every year the same products win the same awards. That’s totally fine with me if they deserve it. Problem is, most of the time they don’t. For example, Maybelline’s horrible pink and green packaged mascara. You know which one I’m talking about. The one that every make-up artist just raves about and every magazine gives their “Best Mascara Award” to. I’m going to let you in on a little secret, that mascara sucks! It’s the worst mascara I’ve ever tried! I rather take a spooley brush and rub tar on my lashes than use that mascara. I must give some serious props to Maybelline’s PR team because they really built hype around that mascara thats been untouched since 1983.

Any who, enough ranting. Let’s get to the “Buy This, Not That” portion of the post.

1). Throw Touche Eclat Out. Purchase Dior SkinFlash.

Oh, Touche Eclat. Wait, let me type it the fancy way… Touché Eclat. Why does everyone seem to believe that this will make you look well rested and brighten your face. The packaging is uber cute but the product isn’t. It makes your eyes look more hollow, gives you no “radiance” or “glow” and is drying on many users. Plus, since it’s uber cute, it’s uber expensive.

I’m not a huge fan of Dior but their rival product, SkinFlash does the job that Touche Eclat claims to do. It even has more coverage. Not that the Touche Eclat is meant to be a concealer but, who doesn’t want the added benefit? It illuminates the eye area, it’s moisturizing and a few buck cheaper. What is that you say? How is a few bucks going to make a difference? Well my friend, it also has more product. Touche Eclat contains 0.1 oz of product. Yup, Zero Point ONE. While my friend SkinFlash contains 0.5 oz.

2). Throw La Mer’s Cult Moisturizer Out. Buy Keihl’s Ultra Facial Cream.

I’ll admit that I jumped on the “La Mer is the best cream ever, it was made by a Scientist accidentally and is totally worth the price and I see such a difference” bandwagon about two times in my life. In reality it’s an over-priced moisturizer with a 1980’s logo full of Mineral Oil. If you don’t know, Mineral Oil is horrible for your skin. It blocks your pores and is found in like Gold Bond Foot Cream. You want Gold Bond Foot Cream on your face?

Instead buy Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream. Their whole Ultra Facial Line is pretty fantastic actually. I’ve been using this cream for years. Now, it doesn’t have any anti-aging benefits (neither does La Mer) but that’s what your serum is for! This is a simple moisturizer that will do it’s job for around $27. La Mer starts at $170. I won’t totally hate on La Mer though because it does work on some people so get a sample and try it out. In my opinion though, the Kiehl’s works better for your face and wallet.

3). Skip M.A.C. Brushes. Purchase Trish McEvoy Brushes. 

Let me just say that I do like M.A.C. brushes, especially their eye brushes. I use them daily.  But if you’re going to invest in brushes, go to the pro. Who is this Queen you ask? Trish McEvoy. I never was interested in her brand. It didn’t scream out to me and seemed very “bleh”. For years I heard how Trish McEvoy was the one who actually “invented” (I don’t believe that for one minute, she just made them popular) make-up brushes. Legend has it (yup, legend because it’s just talk and no proof) that she would custom make her brushes for her clients since make-up brushes weren’t popular way back when in her glory days.

Ok let me stop hating on Trish. I love her brushes. Once I bought a brush set, I was sold. Yes, they’re pricey but they are worth it! Plus, they are all travel sized. Not travel sized like M.A.C.’s where you get subpar quality. They’re travel sized and very good quality. Perfect handle length (who needs a foot long brush handle?) that fits in your make-up bag. Her brushes are so soft and fluffy. I’d advise to stick around and wait for when they are sold in a set like pictured above. It’s a great deal and happens a lot. Oh, and guess what? Just because they’re sold in a set, doesn’t mean they are subpar quality. Looking at you M.A.C.!

4). Skip L’Oreal Elnett. Purchase Oribe Superfine Strong Hold. 

If you really love Elnett so much might as well just buy Aquanet for a fraction of the cost. It literally gives you helmet hair. I think what appeals to consumers so much about this product is its beautiful vintage packaging and the fact the Kardashians did major photo ops with this hair spray. Pretty sure they were paid for it.

Instead try Oribe’s Superfine Strong Hold. Yes, it’s more expensive but Oribe is top notch quality. This hairspray will give you the hold you need without the crunch of Elnett.

5). Toss Lancome Genifique Serum. Purchase Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair. 

Why are so many people obsessed with this serum. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Your skins worst enemy is alcohol. It legit erodes your skins barrier. Lancome’s Genifique is full of alcohol. For a serum you want something hydrating so it can seal in the vitamins and anti-oxidants it provides.

Here’s were my favorite product of all time comes in. Estee Lauder’s Advanced night Repair Serum. Instead of being full of skin drying Alcohol, this contains Hyaluronic Acid which holds in moisture. Moisture is key when you want your skin to regenerate. It’s also chock full of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants that will be sealed in by a layer of moisture. Just trust me on this one and go buy it.

What Products Do You Think Are Over-Hyped? Comment below or Tweet me @LuxeBeau! 

 

The Beauty Blender Pro Line Is Expanding!

 

beautyblender-pro-pacI live in Chicago but was born and raised in North Jersey and New York City. Not sure if you know this but, New Yorker’s have a thing for black. Does the phrase “all black everything” ring a bell? It’s always chic, slimming and sexy. Well let’s just say the Beauty Blender Pro Line is getting sexier! Way sexier!

If you still haven’t hopped on the Beauty Blender bandwagon, don’t be all uncool as Luann De Lessepes would say. It’s the perfect product to to blend that foundation out. But, this post isn’t about that so if you are unfamiliar with it, exit out and go do some research loser!

All jokes aside, this is a beauty junkie’s must have! I always had this theory that the black Beauty Blender worked way better than its sorority sister (the pink one, ew). I have no clue why! Maybe the dye adds some special powers? I don’t know and don’t care as long as it keeps my foundation flawless. Seems as though Rea Ann Silva (the creator of the iconic sponge) has caught on to how sexy the Pro Line is and is creating a whole bunch of new (well, not new just not pink) line of products that are black!

The Beauty Blender Pro Line will include several of your favorite Beauty Blender products, but better (since it’s black, duh!). The Blotterazzi, Line Designer and Micro Mini will all be launched in black this Summer! Though it’s already for sale at Nigel Beauty Emporium and Naimes. Ontop of that, there will be a value “Pro Pac” that includes 10 full size Beauty Blender Pro’s for the steal of $125.00! If you were to purchase them individually it would come out to $200.00! That’s a savings of $75.00! If you are like me and toss your Beauty Blender away because you’re too lazy to wash them,this will definitely be a huge benefit to your wallet!

-By the way. Am I the only one who feels the Beauty Blender Pro is superior to the other Beauty Blender colors? Comment below or tweet me so I don’t feel dumb about this whole theory! Oh, and don’t get me started on the Purple and Red ones!

Images courtesy of Nigel Beauty Emporium

Rent The Runway:A Real Life Mean Girls?

0819_rent-runway-fleiss-hyman_1024x576.jpgThe Jennifers Image via Forbes

I want to start off firstly by saying I have had first hand access with this company a while a go when I was called in to interview with them. This is purely my experience and opinion, as well as what I have heard allegedly (had to put that key word in there just incase they try to come after me and my future children) goes on within the company.

I’ve been hearing a lot about the Unlimited program and decided I would take it for a test drive so I can write about it. This is a two part post and mainly I will talk about my experience with the company as a whole in the first segment. I was not to keen on the program and certainly wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t for my blog. Not because I think I am too good to wear clothes that were used, but because of the things I have heard, the selection of clothing and the same article of clothing is worn by like hundreds of others. Let’s backtrack a bit, so you can get an idea of this company and what I have experienced. Again, this is in no way bashing the company or anyone involved with it. It is solely my experience and opinion!Rent-the-Runway.pngQueen Hymen

A while back I was called in to interview with the company while I was living in New York City. Upon walking in I was met with several other ladies, both young and old. We were immediately told that they were going to take photos of us for an “ID”. In my opinion it was more to do with our age, looks and style. But, I’m not complaining too much about that since we all know the fashion industry is all about looks and we were applying for a job in styling. After the photos were given to someone behind a desk and reviewed (they were Polaroids), the young lady came out and immediately dismissed all but one of the more mature candidates. I was in shock because some of the women that were “let go” were very fashionable, good looking and had way more experience and education than I did at the time. All I had was an internship since I was fresh out of college.

After the ladies were ushered out without even getting a chance to be interviewed or to sell themselves to the company, the rest of the group went into a conference room where we viewed a Power Point slide show about the company. This included slides like what the company stood for, it’s history and questions for all of us to answer. We were surrounded by several workers on laptops jotting down every move and statement we made. Some of the questions were ridiculous! One of them was something along the lines of “What is your favorite thing about Jennifer?” and “Why do you think she is such a fashionable business woman?”. Seriously. The Jennifer’s (Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss are the founders of Rent The Runway) seemed to have this better than you attitude. It was very The Devil Wears Prada. Other questions were routine questions you would get at any job interview like “Why do you want to work for the company?” and “When was the company founded?”.

articleLarge.jpgThe Jennifers Feeling Fabulous In Their Dry Cleaning Warehouse. Werk It Girl!

The older woman that was there hit every question out of the park! I was starting to think she was a decoy secretly spying on us. She knew everything! She was so fashionable, worked for DECADES as a stylist and had so much experience under her belt that I almost left the interview because compared to her I was nobody! Afterwards, all the employees took their laptops and left us alone in the room. They came back and separated us into three groups. Two groups were “safe” and advanced to the next round (I was one of these groups) and the third group just disappeared. I assume they were told they were not a fit for the company and were asked to leave. In my group was the older woman while my cousin was in the other safe group. While we were waiting for the hiring managers to come back (one of which was a girl I went to college with) I chatted a bit with the older woman. She was so sweet and gave me so much advice on how to make it in the industry. We even exchanged numbers. When the recruiters came back we took a test. Yes, a test about the company, their “Cinderella Experience” philosophy and questions on how we will handle certain situations. Half way through the test the older woman was tapped on the shoulder and never came back. I later found out that she was told she got an offer and was told they would contact her, which they never did.

I was so confident about my knowledge in the industry. Now that my so-called competition was out of the way, I knew I would shine bright. I was over qualified for the position, in my humble opinion. I knew I would get the position as I had all the qualifications they were looking for, answered all the questions right due to my late night research binge and my prior internship. After another round of questions I got pulled aside and met with one of the co-founders. Not going to mention which one, but she was the most conceited and rude person I have ever met. She even said my shoes were from last season! I couldn’t help but giggle and she said “That’s not funny, that’s sad”. At this point I was just ready to walk out but I stuck it through. After waiting a bit one of the recruiters (the girl who I went to college with) walked me out the door telling me she will get in contact with me. That they have a better position for me.

1444746849-9.gifImage via Cosmopolitan

Well, to cut the story short she called me and asked me to meet for coffee! I thought this was going to be another part of the interview but, it wasn’t. She told me I was not going to get a call back from them and said the reason she wanted to meet with me in person was to not have any traces of communication. When she said that I was like what in the world is going on here? Was I applying for the C.I.A.? It literally felt like a scene in a movie. Was the Fashion Industry really like this? In short she told me that I knew too much and the co-founders did not want “smart people who can upstage them”. Those were literally the words that came out of her mouth. She then preceded to tell me how horrible the company treated her and if I had any connections in my network that I can pass on to her. She told me how scared the co-founders were of being replaced and how anyone who didn’t compliment them or agree with their ideas, good or bad, would be treated horribly.

After that conversation, I remembered an article I came across the night before I was headed for the interview at Rent The Runway. I was researching the company like I do before any job so I can demonstrate my interest and knowledge. I came across something about the company culture but paid no mind to it at the time. When I got home I searched the company and found it. It pretty much says a lot about what I saw first hand and more. I can’t find the original article, but I found a few others that are even more recent. Here are the links, Employees Describe Company as Real Life Mean Girls,Fortune: 7 Top Executives Lost in One Year at RTR and Business Insider: “A Culture of Fear”.

6578366187_7a2f6e1b66_o.gifFor Anna I Would’ve Accepted Attitude. The Jennifer’s? No Baby Girl.

Long story short, you would think this company thought they were Vogue when in reality they are just a clothing rental company that runs the largest dry cleaning business in North America. True story. Maybe they should stick to dry cleaning. Now that you have read my experience with corporate, read about my experience as a customer here.

Are Louboutins Out Of Style? Tacky?

Louboutin-Pigalle-TS-Testimonial_2.jpg                                                      (Christian Louboutin’s Famous Pigalle)

Ah, the sexy brand that is Christian Louboutin. I remember purchasing my first pair. A beautiful pair of 120mm Pigalles, the Nude Kid Leather type to be exact. It was actually a big mistake as I found out how horrible kid leather is when it comes to wear and tear. Nonetheless, after purchasing that pair I became an addict and have bought dozens more since then. That was back in 2007. I felt uber stylish every time I wore them. You couldn’t tell me nothing. I was strutting down the street like I was JLO.

Now, I look at Christian Louboutin’s mass popularity and am starting to reconsider if they are still that trendy shoe I once wore. Everyone and their mother’s nail technician seem to have a pair now. Has it lost its luster? Yes! Louboutin is going down the hill that Coach, Michael Kors and Kate Spade has. They aren’t coveted anymore. Everyone has a pair and it’s everywhere! I now tend to associate that beautiful red sole with people who try to hard to fit in and girls looking for a sugar daddy. It now screams “look at me, I have a pair of designer shoes on so you know I have money”. In laymen terms it’s become “hood rich”. What’s hood rich? Well, it’s when someone who has no savings or piles of debt owns many things he/she can’t afford. Louboutins have gone the way of being a status symbol but in a bad way. They are bought mostly by the people who just buy them to show off and feel better about themselves. Since the red sole in synonymous with these expensive shoes (which, compared to other designers isn’t really expensive. Starting around $675), it’s a way for people to let others know they have money, whether they have it or not. mto-shoes-banner (Jimmy Choo’s)

Other brands such as Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik and Casedei don’t have stand out logos, so they are only recognizable to someone who is very familiar with shoes. I can spot a BB heel from Manolo or a Agnes from a mile a way, though thats because I am obsessed with shoes. My prediction is that even though Christian Louboutin makes some beautiful and sexy heels, they will fade soon. The red sole that once made this brand popular will probably be what makes it tacky pretty soon.IMG_0024

(The infamous “I’m wearing Louboutins!” pose)

Do you agree? Tweet me and give me your opinions!

P.S.- I’m guilty of doing that pose a couple times too 🙁

What I’m Loving: May Edition

Image.jpg

I’m a creature of habit. I’ve been using the same foundation forever and don’t get me started on how long I’ve been using my Tom Ford lipstick in Nude Vanille! But, I also love to discover and try new items. I usually don’t veer too far away from my routine (ahem, nude lipstick) but, every month I do accumulate a lot of new items. Here are some new items that I’ve been loving so far!

The past few months I have been obsessed with Kevyn Aucoin. I actually remember when Sephora stopped carrying them years ago and almost all his items were on sale for under $10! Big mistake they made as since then the brand has risen to the top and they started carrying his items…again!

My first favorite from Kevyn Aucoin is The Celestial Bronzing Veil in Tropical Nights. I have owned and used Tropical Days almost daily for the past year and had this stored in one of my back up drawers. I was initially scared to take it out due to it being darker and cooler. I was under the misconception that this bronzer was the darker of the two (well, it sort of is but with a light hand it’s fine) and that it would look unflattering on me. Well I was wrong. I got so many compliments with this bronzer! It’s gorgeous. A must have! It’s basically a bronzer, blush and highlight all in one! Application is super silky and blends beautifully. I love to apply this with my Tom Ford Bronzing Brush.

Another favorite from Kevyn Aucoin is The Precision Brow Pencil in Brunette. After falling in love with his bronzer’s I decided to explore his brand more. Beautiful brow pencil and it lives up to its name of being precise! It replaced my Dior Universal Brow Pencil!

Lastly from Kevyn Aucoin is a sample lipliner I got from Sephora, go figure! My go to lipliner is M.A.C. Oak but Kevyn Aucoin has yet again replaced another product of mine with The Flesh Tone Lip Pencil. It’s the perfect nude lipliner that defines the lip and adds a bit of boldness.

My only other favorite this month has to be Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner in Trooper. After my holy grail liquid eyeliner from Wet’n’Wild got reformulated, I ran into a panic. I tried so many eyeliners this month that my eyes are red and irritated. Thankfully, I found this one. It goes on so smooth, it’s jetblack, long wearing and the brush tip is thin enough that I can control how thick I want my line to be. I have never been a fan of her products (for no reason at all since I have never tried any!) but will deffinitely look into her other products after the success from this one!

What are you loving this month?

Is Trish McEvoy’s Planner Worth It?

o.448.jpg

Trish McEvoy has always been a brand I have avoided at the cosmetic counters. Why? Well, because I never hear anyone raving about her products like they do about Chanel, Tom Ford or M.A.C. Last Christmas I was making my “wish-list” (yea, at my age I still do wish-lists) and came to the conclusion that I had all the makeup that I wanted. A huge gasp came out of my mouth and I searched vigorously through Neiman Marcus to find the product I was missing. Well, I ended up leaving with a set of brushes from Trish McEvoy. Below is a stock photo of the actual brush set I purchased. They are still available so click the link below if interested.

NMC20XV_mu.jpg

(Photo Via Neiman Marcus)

I fell in love with these small and compact brushes due to their ease of transportation. I thought it was a perfect idea for travel and after further research I saw that Trish McEvoy’s brushes where one of the first and best brushes made. I quickly started to look at her other products and fell in love with her planner. The thought of housing all my makeup needs in one little planner got me shivering. I was so excited to get my hands on it that I literally watched over a dozen HSN videos with Trish McEvoy products. Videos that were years old and products that weren’t available anymore. I did not care. I was obsessed big time! Come Christmas morning and I opened my beloved planner. Thanks Santa! I kept holding it, staring at it and refilling the pages (the palette that you buy separately to house all her products that come in pan form).

IMG_0162.PNG

(Removable mesh pouch, 2 Trish Pages and Trish Brushes)

Now that its been around 6 months, I can finally talk about the planner and products. I still love my planner and the idea but not really a over-excited fan anymore. Firstly, they are over-priced for what they are worth. All her eyeshadows, powder products and anything else she can squeeze into a pan are not only expensive but come in this cheap plastic packaging with no standard packaging to house the products in. You must buy a compact or palette to house them. An eyeshadow goes for around $18 and a palette or compact starts at $20. That adds a huge cost to eyeshadows that aren’t superior and way more expensive than brands like Bobbi Brown, M.A.C. or Lancome (if you still like Lancome, yuck!). Her foundations are horrible, bronzers/blushes are decent and her translucent powder is basically baby powder finely milled and pressed.

IMG_0160.JPG

(All Trish Eyeshadows)

The only product I truly love from her line other than her planner system is her eyeshadow base. It’s a concealer and primer for your eyes all in one! I still use the planner and palettes but I have filled them up with other products. M.A.C. eyeshadows fill one palette, M.A.C. blushes in another and a depotted Tom Ford Powder and Bronzer in the other. I also really still love her brushes and use them almost daily. Some of them I keep hidden so that when I travel, I can pop them into my planner and use them like they were brand new. The planner and brushes go together great, especially for travel.

IMG_0161.JPG

( Trish McEvoy Dual Resort Duo and M.A.C. Blush in Blushbaby)

It’s Been A While

1470366_514562408694580_6782753567424213015_n

(Photo via Soaring Badger Productions)

A lot has changed since my last post. At the time I was writing from my condo back in New Jersey. Now I am writing this post from my new apartment in Chicago, IL. Well, not so new as I have been here for the last 4 months. I was going through a Quarter Life Crisis (who am I kidding? I still am!) and decided to move to a new city to seek adventure. Ever since I did an internship in Chicago two summers ago I fell in love with the city and met many good friends, so naturally I gravitated to the “Second City”. The past few months have been fun, sad, crazy and exciting. From missing my family, being home-sick and living all alone to meeting new people, going on adventures and exploring a new city, things have been quite hectic. I even built my first piece of furniture all by myself!

Now that I am officially on my own and done with school (well, Undergrad since I’m pursuing my Masters at the moment) my life has changed. Naturally, LuxeBeau will shift along with it. Now don’t be alarmed, I still will be posting beauty, skincare and style articles but will incorporate articles about life, love, city living and what ever I have going on in my life. I’m grateful to have such sweet readers who have followed me since the beginning and I hope that does not change.

I just wanted to update you guys as I have been asked through various social media channels what was going on in my life. I just wanted to say Thank You to everyone who has reached out to me. I am back and better than ever.

xx

Gisele