FALL 2014: TARTE RAINFOREST AFTER DARK.

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DSC_0316Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the star of the Fall/Winter Beauty Collections. Leave it to Tarte to bring out the most gorgeous collection season after season. Remember the Aqualilies collection for Spring/Summer 2012? Love. Whether it’s bringing a bit of seaside flair to the range or, in this case, releasing a set of brand-new products straight from the Amazon, Tarte’s got it going on. Meet the Rainforest After Dark collection*. Things are getting sultry-sexy for fall with smokey shades and jewel-toned purples, and Tarte’s collection for the season is the perfect addition to makeup wardrobes everywhere. I recently got the chance to test out the new collection and I have to say, she’s a beaut. Included are a host of new additions to the range, including a pore-refining primer to go along with the Smooth Operator powders which are oh-so-lovely. The star of the show? That. Palette. Need I say more? At $38, it’s pretty much glorious- think bronzer, smokey eyeshadows, and a subtle highlighter all centered around a stunning new shade of their uber-famous Amazonian Clay Blushes. Unleashed is a matte nude rose shade. Playing the role of bronzer we’ve got the shade Park Avenue Princess, a lighter brown shade that’s cool enough to use as a contour on lighter skins and would suit light-medium skintones. Finally, the eyeshadows, shades Bare to Explore (pinky beige), Make a Mauve (plummy mauve), Plum Away with Me (shimmering deep plum), and Up to No Gold (a brightened gold), Tan-gled Up in You (nude tan), and Don’t Turn a-Brown (deepened cool brown) make for the perfect glamorous smokey eye for fall that doesn’t go too heavy. The formula on these is amazing: buttery smooth and foolproof to apply with zero fallout. The shade range is slightly unexpected; I wouldn’t pick a yellow gold with a deep plum for an eye look but surprisingly enough, they somehow work beautifully, blending like a dream. They’re all decidedly neutral and go on a bit deeper than they look in the pan, so pigmentation here isn’t an issue.  The verdict? If you have to pick one item from the collection, let it be this.

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The collection also includes a Be Charmed limited edition eyelash curler*($19) with a removable snake charm that’s too cute to be real. I was surprised at how well this curled my lashes; being a firm believer in the Shu Uemuras, this one rivals the best curlers in town. The shape here is key: It’s quite rounded and results in a full-on lash look that’s more exaggerated towards the middle of the eye, making eyes look bigger and rounder. Love. With the new collection comes new Colored Clay products, including an eye primer($21) and undereye corrector*($24) (stay tuned for a full review later this week). The new Colored Clay Tinted Brow Gel*($21) is damn good stuff- not too wet, with a tiny brush that makes application easy and quick and eliminating extra faff. The one product I fell head over heels in love with from the range? The Timeless Smoothing Primer*($39). I haven’t found many pore-refining primers I’ve loved, having passed over Benefit’s Porefessional along with the Smashbox versions, but this offering from Tarte is definitely something to write home about. It blurs imperfections with ease and keeps oil at bay all day while not giving that drying, almost powdery feeling to the skin most primers leave behind. Color me obsessed.

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One of the standout products from the collection was definitely the Amazonian Clay Dual Liner in Bronze/Black* ($28). These are some of the creamiest eyeliners I’ve ever used, and the formula is an obvious winner here. Easy to apply without dragging on the eyelid, these set completely and don’t budge all day. I tested these out as eyeliners, eyeshadows, and eyeshadow primers, and they worked equally well as each. My favorite? The bronze shade blended out as a smokey eye or a base for other shadows. Even on my uber-oily eyelids, no extra primer needed here as these don’t crease at all, even in 95 degree florida weather.

DSC_0255Tarte also includes a new shade of the LipSurgence lipgloss*($19) in the color Envy, a glowing deep rose. While the color is nice, the formula on these isn’t my favorite; they’re quite tacky and feel heavy on the lips, more like a thick sticky consistency than being overly wet and gloopy. To their credit, these do stick around quite a bit longer than your average gloss and feel lightly moisturizing, but it didn’t seem to meld well with my lips throughout the day and was a little uncomfortable to wear. The applicator on this is nice, curving just so to fit the contour of the lips and dipping inward the to apply the perfect amount of product without having to go back into the tube. If you don’t mind that tacky feeling, you might want to look into this as a longer-lasting alternative to your usual lipgloss, but it wasn’t my favorite piece in the collection.

Last up, Tarte’s bringing out their answer to lash fibers for fall with their Best in Faux Lash Extending Fibers*($19) set. There’s a 3-step process involved with this: 1)PREP with mascara: Prime upper lashes with the included lights, camera, lashes™ 4-in-1 mascara. 2)EXTEND with fibers: Using a gentle patting motion, apply fibers onto top of upper lashes starting at the middle and working outwards towards the tip. 3)SET with mascara: Apply a final coat of mascara to lock in the fibers and a dramatic, bombshell stare. The fibers are made of nylon and are meant to build onto your natural lashes instead of having to apply full-strip or individual falsies. Both the idea and the performance on the fibers is outstanding: think lashes with extra kick and volume that look intense and fluttery but still natural. I’m not the biggest fan of the Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara purely because I have stick-straight Asian eyelashes that don’t hold a curl with anything other than waterproof mascara, so I would personally go for the waterproof version, Lights, Camera, Splashes (which is dynamite for lashes that don’t usually hold a curl), but if you have normal lashes, you’re set with the regular version, which looks stunning paired with the Lash Extending Fibers. Either way, the fibers don’t weigh down lashes and cause them to fall throughout the day, even on my (unstable, problematic, etc… need i go on?) eyelash hairs. Love.

Overall, the fall collection is definitely one you’ll want to have a look at while it’s out; with shades that transition beautifully from fall to winter and are sure to be well-loved through the Spring/Summer seasons, the entire range is a keeper (though I’d prioritize on getting my hands on that palette if I were you).

Will you be picking up anything from the collection?

 

(* denotes press sample)

IF YOU BUY ONE THING THIS MONTH…

DSC_0001…Let it be Mio’s Liquid Yoga*. If you read the online magazine Nouvelle Daily, then you’ve probably heard talk about this gorgeous soak bouncing around the blogosphere. I received a bottle to test out from Mio Skincare and needless to say, I was not disappointed. To compensate for my lack of exercise since I stopped dancing (as well as my habit of loading up on carbs), I’ve been biking on the daily to try and burn off some calories. Word to the wise: out of shape bodies aren’t too keen on sudden exercise. Had I realized this ahead of time I probably would have managed to avoid the end-of-the-week muscle aches, but then, I probably wouldn’t have been able to experience Liquid Yoga’s wonders to the fullest extent. You win some you lose some. By this point, you’re probably wondering about what exactly Liquid Yoga is. The brand says it’s formulated to: Relax and calm your busy mind; ease hard-working muscles and restore your body with our perfect milky-moisturising blend of essential oils, mineral salts and therapeutic herbs. In a nutshell, it’s a silky bath soak meant to ease muscle aches and help you unwind. So how well did it help out those biking aches and pains? I kid you not, they were gone after a single use. A warm soak with a dollop of this stuff is positively therapeutic; not only were my small aches gone but I the gorgeous sent did wonders to help me relax and sleep soundly. The best part? No lotion needed après soak, Liquid Yoga turns the water into the most gorgeous shade of mint that’s silky and moisturizing, so we get to skip the extra step after a dip in the tub. Even if you don’t exercise at all, I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good at-home spa day: it’s easy to use-just shake and pour as the tub fills, is delicately scented with essential oils like lavender and chamomile to help you relax and sleep easy, and is the perfect quick fix to unwind at the end of a hectic day/week. One quick warning from the brand before I sign off: Liquid Yoga may cause relaxation and happiness. What’s not to love? 

Will you be picking up some Liquid Yoga?

THE FALL LINER FAVORITE.

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DSC_0045Everybody say it with me, I can’t believe it’s already September.  Let the record state, I’ve got that summertime sadness. That being said, I do love the introduction of green and burgundy shades that come popping up for autumn, so I wanted to share one of my favorite pre-fall looks with you that’s super easy to slap on in the morning and pull of without much faff at all. The centerpiece of the look (shown here on my lovely cousin Calie) is a smudged-in stripe of forest green liner in the form of Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Liner in the shade Mars. This one was limited edition with their Ocho Loco 2 set (review here), but the color Mildew from the permanent collection is really similar. Underneath we stuck with cream shadows: Estée Lauder’s Stay-On Shadow Paint in the color Chained along with the Rimmel Scandaleyes Shadow stick in the shade Bad Girl Bronze blended along the lashline and then-you guessed it-blend blend blend with a MAC 217. After adding the liner, I used a pencil brush to work it into the lashline so the green was quite subtle and very-lived in; think a vibrant yet effortless, slept-in look (I’m really selling this look here-I promise, it made sense in my head). Finally, I highlighted the browbone with theBalm’s Mary-Lou Manizer and curled her lashes, topping it all of with a light layer of mascara Maybelline’s The Rocket mascara. And there we have it-the easiest autumn eye ever-simples.

Do you ever wear colored eyeliner? Let me know some of your favorites in the comments below!

 

AN ODE TO NARS SHEER GLOW.

DSC_0326Can we skip the part about how late I am to the party on this one? I know, I know, everyone and their mother is in love with this stuff and you know what? I am too.  Rewind a couple of weeks and you’ll see me at my local Nars counter (finally) getting color matched and picking up a sample. Rarely do I encounter love at first sight with beauty products but ladies and gents, I think I’ve found the one. The shade Cadiz was perfection, coverage was on point… Not to toot my own horn, but it was one of those ‘my skin has never looked so good’ moments that never, ever happens to me. After strolling through a few more counters at Saks I went to get color matched for YSL’s Touche Eclat just to see how the two compared and I had to stop the woman from applying the product on my face before wiping off Sheer Glow from underneath because she didn’t realize I was wearing any foundation the product blends so well. Fast forward slightly and I’m still in love with the stuff even a week after, and so the trouble begins. I’ll spare you my desperate journey for Sheer Glow, but I basically bought Sheer Matte instead on accident and then ended up buying (and loving) both. Review to come on the latter, but I digress. I. Love. This. Stuff. With just a single pump it’s incredibly smoothing and perfecting on the skin, making pores disappear without having to layer on product. If you’re in need of extra blemish cover it can be layered easily with absolutely zero cake factor added. Lasting power is also ridiculously good on this one; foundation especially seems to disappear on my skin like nobody’s business but somehow this withstands even the über humid Florida heat waves, so massive props to Nars for engineering that kind of wizardry. I know I keep harping on about the shades, but as someone with very in-between-undertones and darker skin I find it insanely hard to find a base that’s the perfect match. Nars have got it going on with their massive range of shades from almost paper white to deep tawny, so if you have trouble like me finding the perfect match this may just be the answer to your prayers. I know it’s called Sheer Glow, but it’s not the dewiest of foundations on the market, something I find to be right up my street. It’s more of a satin-y finish that let’s your natural sheen-iness peek through: basically, it looks like skin, no matter how much you layer on. (I told you it’s magic.) I find that on my dry-combination skin and an oily t-zone I don’t need to powder this one down, though adding a touch to set everything does help prolong staying power throughout the day. Let’s just say this: I’ve found the Holy Grail.

Have you ever tried Nars Sheer Glow Foundation?