Tuesday, August 30, 2016

August Beauty Favorites

It seems like another six months have passed since I last wrote about my monthly beauty favorites. I don't know, guys, maybe my criteria for calling something a favorite are too firm, but these days I don't find myself overly excited about make-up or skincare all that often. However, I have recently been trying quite a few new things as well as been able to rummage through my existing stash as my panning projects were drawing to a close. Let's see what I came up with!
NARS Douceur Blush. I've had this in my blush drawer for a really long time, and have come rather close to decluttering it quite a few times. Why? Well, it doesn't really swatch the best. When you try it out on your hand, the formula seems sheer and very hard in the pan, quite unlike my other blush from NARS, Sin. However, when you apply this discontinued shade on your cheeks with a firmer blush brush, it's magic on fair skintones. It just looks like the perfect neutral rose to compliment just about any make-up look. I promise not to ever give you up, my sweet Douceur!

Speaking of old products from my stash... I don't even want to admit how long I've had this pot of Clinique Brush-on Cream Liner in True Black. Normally I would pitch it straight in the trash at this point but you guys, it looks pretty much exactly the same as when I bought it. It's still incredibly creamy, easy to apply, and long lasting both on the lashline and waterline. I currently don't own another black eyeliner (liquid or pencil) so I've made this one my go-to, and now I wonder why I ever strayed away from it.
You may have noticed from some brief mentions here and there, but I'm digging the warm pinky berry eyeshadow trend. I always avoided these reddish tones on my eyes in the past because they can definitely end up looking a bit rabbitty if you're not careful. But you know, some products just do the work for you - and that's the case with Chanel Illusion d'Ombre in no. 97 New Moon. I bought it back in 2014 when it was first released (see my original review here) but my understanding is that it's now become permanent. I'm usually not one for a lot of glitter on the eyes, but New Moon is so beautifully complex and subtly glistening that I always end up loving my look when I apply on the lids. Added bonus - I don't find that the glitter migrates much throughout the day.
I don't have any skincare favorites to share with you this month, but I have been using a new haircare product: the new Joico K-PAK Color Therapy Luster Lock Instant Shine & Repair Treatment* ($19.99 for 4.7 oz, available at Ulta here). Back when I used to work at a hair salon, Joico's K-PAK range was our go-to recommendation for folks with dry & damaged, chemically-processed hair. The new Luster Lock promises to give your hair vibrant shine and deep repair with the help from their Peptide Complex as well as Manketti and Argan oils. It also contains keratin (that's where the name of this range comes from), glycerin, hyaluronic acid and a whole host of silicones to seal in moisture and help with detangling the hair.
Joico suggests using it either as a pre-shampoo treatment on dry hair, or on shampooed damp hair (like a conditioner or mask). For fine hair types, they recommend applying just to the mid-lengths to ends of your hair, for thick hair, it can actually be used from roots to tips. I have been using it for the past three weeks in lieu of regular conditioner, and even though my fine hair isn't very damaged at the moment, I still think Luster Lock is one of the best conditioners/ treatments I've ever tried. The thick texture sticks to my damp hair very well but at the same time, it's easy to rinse out. After I get out of the shower, my brush simply glides through my hair without needing any additional leave-in detanglers or treatment oils, cutting down on time and products needed to style my hair. It also leaves my locks silky and shiny, and has that lovely 'salon' scent that I'll catch whiffs of throughout the day. I give it a big thumbs up.
This month I also strayed a little from my capsule collection goals when it comes to perfume and I asked my husband to pick up a new fragrance for me from the airport. I've wanted to own a Jo Malone scent for a few years now and have tried several, but overall none of them made enough of an impression to invest in a full size bottle. However, when I recently tried the Wood Sage & Sea Salt at their boutique in Grand Central, I kinda fell in love with the scent. Yes, I agree with what everyone else's been saying - Jo Malone fragrances are definitely not the most long lasting. However, do I thoroughly enjoy this marine blend of musky ambrette, sea salt, red algae, sage and graprefruit for the couple hours I'm able to smell it on myself? Absolutely.
Lastly, this is not beauty-related in any way, but I wanted to share with you the necklace I've been wearing non stop for the past few months. It's my souvenir from our trip to Iceland in June and it's from a local jewelry designer, Guðbjörg Kristín Ingvarsdótir. Her store, Aurum by Gudbjorg, has several lines of jewelry (earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings) inspired by Icelandic flora and fauna, but I picked out this dainty sterling silver wings necklace styled after swans' feathers (and indeed we saw lots of swans on our roadtrip). I don't currently see this particular necklace on their site but the Raven design (here) looks similar. The necklace obviously holds a special memory for me, but in general I was very impressed with this store's designs and I'd recommend having a look on their website if you love unique, high quality, hand crafted jewelry (they offer worldwide shipping). Also, have you ever seen a more fitting packaging design? This 'volcanic pebble' box is made out of papier-mache.
Wearing NARS Douceur on the cheeks and Chanel New Moon on the eyes.
I hope you enjoyed this quick look at my current favorites and please let me know what you've been loving in the comments!

Disclaimer: Product marked with an asterix (*) is a press sample I received from the brand's PR for review consideration. I purchased everything else myself. All links are non-affiliate. All opinions are 100% honest and unbiased, no matter if the products featured were purchased with my own monies or provided free of charge. Thank you for reading!


  1. Are you wearing the Clinique liner in that last photo? It looks so good. I wish I could get my eyeliner to look like that!

    1. Actually, no - I guess that was a bit of a blogger fail, lol. It's the Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen (eyeliner pencil) in Plum, but I probably used an angled liner brush to smudge it out into a slight cat eye shape. Karima (Shameless Fripperies) has a good tutorial on YouTube how to do that with pencil liners - I think it may be called something like 'Easy Cat Eye' or similar. Hope that helps!

  2. I love Douceur too! I didn't know it's discontinued. For berry shades on my lids, I love Chanel Ebloui. My eyes look better with darker shadows because you know, Asian puffy eyes, and Ebloui is the perfect dinner shadow! During the day, I sometimes use it as a liner and it works beautifully :-)

  3. Douceur is such an awesome colour! What a pity that we don't have NARS here.

  4. I want to get on board with wine toned eyes, I think if I load up with black lashes and liner I could make it work. That Chanel shadow is absolutely amazing on you, swoooon

  5. the products look lovely on you! and i love picking up jewelry on trips. I'm officially starting a bracelet stack, haha!