Review: Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask, Original & Champagne

I remember when the original Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask came out...there was quite a buzz and it seemed everyone was buying it and loving it. And for as often as I fall for the hype, there are a few times where I specifically don't want to try something because of the hype. This was one of the times where I wasn't interested. Also, I felt inundated with lip balms at the time and had no desire to fill the stash with yet another thing that would sit around only partially used.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago...I saw Liz @ Beauty Reductionista Pin the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask in Champagne. What what what???!!! Champagne!!! Stop the bus. I googled and didn't see any reviews, only press releases - so I promptly ordered thinking ok, if the original was SO good, then this one has got to be just as good. Plus, since it has a little color I can totally justify the purchase since it's not 100% just a lip balm. Right?!

***All items purchased by me. Affiliate links included.***

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask in Champagne (L) & the original (R)

Apologies for the non-pristine tube of the Champagne's been getting a ton of use! Plus, I ended up ordering the original since I've been loving it so much and wanted to go ahead and review both since they are mostly the same. Oh, and both tubes are the newly designed ones that aren't metal. I'm not sure if they are 100% plastic though, as they do keep their squeezed shape somewhat (or if I bend the flat end) instead of going back to the original tube shape. Maybe the new tube is some sort of composite?? Whatever the case it's absolutely better than having a metal tube! 

First the Champagne color, which I did show in my First Impressions post...

It's a tiny bit thicker than the original, so if that one is too thick for you then be forewarned. I find this amazingly hydrating, healing, non-sticky and stays put overnight until I wipe it off. As an example of the healing...I had an unfortunate waxing incident that resulted in a small strip of my lip being removed. Ouch. I had ben using Aquaphor for a couple of days an didn't see much healing going on, other than the area being kept moist for nature to do its thing. Then the Champagne arrived and I immediately slathered it on my lips. In 2 days my lip was completely healed. 

This leaves my lips with long lasting hydration, so much that even if it gets wiped off my lips still feel comfortable and protected. Reminds me of those thick and protective hand creams that still remain even through hand washing. This also makes a very good prep for lipsticks. 

Soooo...I was curious if it would help with dry spots on my face, if it worked so well on my lips?? Yes. Yes, it does. This will only work if you sleep on your back, or aren't going anywhere during the day and can stand a blob of balm on your face ha ha! I applied a thicker layer to a couple of smaller dry patches on my face...left it on overnight...and the next morning I definitely noticed a difference. Not as dry, not as flakey and helped somewhat with a little scaliness I've been experiencing. Not a complete cure, but I'll take what help I can get! 

As for color, on a white background this is more a pinky, golden champagne. Once on my lips I see more of the gold because the pink tends to blend in with my lips. It's not a gold shimmer fest or anything...In some light it's hard to tell I have anything on...otherwise it enhances my natural lip color. Did I mention this tastes good? Well, it does! And I have to say I think I've found something I love even more than the La Mer Lip Balm :-)  New HG alert!

How does the original Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask stack up?? 

Love it just as much!! I ordered the original because I didn't like having little pinky/champagne spots on my face when I went to bed. Plus I do appreciate that it's not quite as thick. Otherwise, I really find no difference in performance or effectiveness, and am very happy to have both in my arsenal! 

The main difference I can tell from the ingredient lists (besides color) is that the Champagne one has shea butter. Maybe that's why it's a little thicker?? 

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask swatches in Champagne (bottom) & the original (top)

Pictures taken in daylight. Here you can see the original (top) leaves no color. Champagne(bottom), on the other hand, is different depending on the light. 

I'm very happy and excited for my wallet to have found a new HG lip balm LOL!! Have you tried either of these yet? What's your current favorite and/or HG lip balm? 

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask in Champagne, $26/.52oz @ Sephora

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask (original), $26/.52oz @ Sephora

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Swatched: Tom Ford Lip Color In Reckless & Slander

I browse through the new beauty arrivals section on the Nordstrom app on an almost daily basis, sometimes multiple times a day. Sad? I like to call it excited LOL! day I was browsing and BAM I see 2 Tom Ford lipsticks that say the forever alluring, Nordstrom Exclusive. Yes, please...especially since I've been looking for red!! 

***All items purchased by me. Affiliate Links included.***


I don't think I could get them into my cart fast enough - they instantly had me at 'Exclusive'. I assumed they were new, but later learned they were originally from the Fall 2012 Collection, both Limited Edition at the time. Whoops. If I had known that I would've googled swatches and not ordered both...because after looking at swatches one of the colors was clearly warmer than I wanted. Lesson learned, Google everything!!

Regardless, I still tried both colors when they arrived :-) 

Tom Ford Lip Color in Slander (L) & Reckless (R)

Tom Ford Lip Color in Slander & Reckless, $50 @ Nordstrom

I tried one color a long time ago, but didn't like how it looked at all so I didn't really get a chance to test out the formula before returning it. I have 2 of the Spring 2014 lipsticks, but I don't think they are the same as his regular lipstick line. Way long way of saying I don't feel like I've had a proper introduction to a real live Tom Ford lipstick! 

Tom Ford Lip Color in Slander (Top) & Reckless (Bottom)

I found both of these colors to be very smooth and pigmented. If I had the super power ability to apply my lipstick perfectly, then I would only need one get that much color! I didn't find these drying, nor did I find them particularly moisturizing. But they were very comfortable to wear throughout the day. I did need to touchup once during the day after eating, but I'd say that's pretty normal. But they both wore off evenly, so if you didn't want to go through the whole reapplication process they leave pretty stains to top off with balm or gloss. 

Tom Ford Lip Color in Slander (Top) & Reckless (Bottom)

In the tube, Slander and Reckless are both gorgeous colors. Reckless can look a little more brick red depending on the light. Slander is definitely the cooler of the 2, with almost a slight pink tone (again, depending on the light). 

Tom Ford Lip Color in Reckless (L) & Slander (R)

I was surprised to see these had shimmer. Yes, shimmer. But not the multi-color frosty kind of's a red shimmer that keeps these shades from being a flat matte. 

Tom Ford Lip Color in Reckless & Slander - daylight

Reckless and Slander in daylight. 

Tom Ford Lip Color in Reckless & Slander - daylight

Reckless and Slander in daylight. Side view to show the shimmer. This picture is the closest to how these appeared on my lips.

Tom Ford Lip Color in Reckless & Slander - indoor light

For some reason all of my shade pictures looked strange, even taken on different days. Here was the most color accurate I could get that was not in the sunlight. This was taken in indirect window light. 

Reckless was a no go from the beginning, though I did give it a chance. It was just too warm for what I wanted, but absolutely a beautiful otherwise! Slander was the one I was most excited about, but something about that shimmer didn't sit right with me. Not sure...something about the way it looked and reflected light reminded me of fish scales. Sorry! That sounds really weird but was the first thing that popped into my mind! 'Tis a shame because I loved the color otherwise. But yeah, absolutely could not get fish scales out of my head once it was there! 

Unfortunately these are going back, but after testing out the formula I'm now very much interested in trying other colors! How about you - do you have Reckless or Slander? 

Tom Ford Lip Color in Reckless & Slander, $50 @ Nordstrom

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I Caved

This post is to celebrate all those times we fall into an irrational purchase for the pure beauty of it. Because...this happened...

***Item purchased by me. Affiliate link included.***

Chanel Dentelle Precieuse Illuminating Face Powder

I think the first time I saw promo pics for this Chanel beauty of a highlighter/powder thingy was on British Beauty Blogger back in March. I was so bummed to read it was only going to be available in France and the UK. I obsessed for a few weeks trying to figure out how I might be able to obtain one - Ebay??? After awhile I forgot about it. Until I read it was going to be a Nordstrom Exclusive for the Anniversary Sale. Helloooooooo!!! Obsession re-ignited!!!

Tell you what though...I was really good and actually swatched this in store before purchasing. I know. GASP. I was afraid it was going to be a little too bronzy, but the gorgeous swatch session proved otherwise. Of course, I have yet to wear this because I can't bear to lose the lace pattern. And I can assure you it will go away - I went in the morning on the first day of the pre-sale and it was already well worn and it looked like any other compact except around the outer edges. I swatches...maybe someday. For now I wanted to share my excitement and Rocky moment for having (finally!!!) been able to purchase this!!! Yaaaaay!!!

Ok, a couple more Chanel pics :-)

Chanel Dentelle Precieuse Illuminating Face Powder

Chanel Dentelle Precieuse Illuminating Face Powder

For more pictures, reviews and beautiful comparison swatches, please see The Beauty Look Book and Sara @ Color Me Loud

This is still available for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, HERE. And if you happen to use Ebates, Nordstrom is 10% right now :-)

Have you caved on any pretties lately that you've been obsessing over??!

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Beauty Thoughts II

First round of Beauty Thoughts can be found HERE. If you thought I was done spilling, guess again ha ha! Here's Round II...

1. I'm finally admitting that the thrill of the makeup chase is more exciting to me than actually using it. 

Bronzer Bunny and I have talked about this quite a bit, where we wonder why we buy so much makeup when we hardly wear it. I'm not sure when she realized it, but I remember texting with her not too long ago and she flat out said she liked buying makeup more than wearing it. At some point she said I was the same way, but I didn't put much thought into it until recently. And most notably the last few days. Not that we don't like wearing makeup - we love it!!! But we aren't wear-a-full-face-of-makeup-everyday kind of girls. I think we are good if we manage a few days a week. And even then it's probably not a full face. 

Anyway, she's totally right. I love reading reviews, watching videos about the products whether it's in a review, favorites, empties, disappointing products or whatever type of video. I love googling swatches and comparing them to each other and wondering which is closest to how a product might appear on my face. Sometimes I can't sleep because I'm thinking about how I could otherwise be reading more reviews or talking to other people about the products. Or I could be on Instagram looking at all the pictures from people who already have them. And there's the constant obsessing about how it'll fit into my current collection or not - oh, and will I like it more than that other thing? Oh, I going to need to purge again to make room or is there place for all of it?? See, it's a whole thing. A process!!

If something is LIMITED EDITION, I love the thrill of wondering if I need (and by need I mean want it enough) or not...oh, and then commiserating with fellow beauty lovers over the gorgeousness of said LIMITED EDITION product and whether or not they are going to get it. If I finally decide to get said LE product, then the chase is pretty thrilling and rather heart-pounding especially if I've been to several stores or sites and it's been sold out. Oh. My. God. And then there's the ultimate prize...I finally find the beautiful unicorn and it's mine...aaaaaall mine. I can pet it and marvel at it and bask in the magic and pretty, pretty colors and utterly amazing packaging.

Oh, and then there are the Gift With Purchase purchases. Sucker. I'm a total sucker. Throw in a cute little bag I'll never use and I'm totally hooked. Then I'm obsessing about what I don't need trying to justify the GWP. Such magic in those letters. G.W.P. Free shipping with that? Yes, please. Coupon for a future purchase, hell yeah. Chance I won't use most of the samples in the GWP - cloudy with a 90% chance they will end up in the giveaway pile. But it's FREEEEEEEEE!!! Get it??? I'm totally buying something I wasn't even thinking about before and not really even sure I want it now, but hello I'm getting something FREEEEEEE!!! 

And then I can imagine all the ways I'll wear all these things. Oh, it'll work this way and that! I was totally missing that color! Oh, I absolutely needed another taupe-leaning-mauve-leaning-brown-leaning-grey because guess what it actually ends up leaning oh-so-slightly-purpley-plum-charcoaly and is totally different than the one that ends up leaning charcoaly-plum with a hint of blue shimmer and the other one is matte so I totally needed THIS one!!! And anyway, so-and-so has it and I saw her swatches and they are GORG and she wears it with those 2 other things I already have so it's like it was tailor-made for my collection. 

Yep, that's me.

2. I REALLY, really, really dislike the brush on Chanel polishes. 

I realize something like this is completely personal preference, but seriously I can't do it anymore. And when I say I can't do it anymore, I mean I'll resist and resist until that one totally unicorn tear of a color comes along that is irresistible. And it's OOS everywhere. And it's is LE. Whoops, and there I've gone back on my word.

It's such a conundrum because I think Chanel does some beautiful and unique colors, but that brush :-(  For me, it's too long and floppy and skinny and it always messes me up somehow. And it's tough to get the right amount of polish on the brush because of the weird I completely swipe polish off the one side and then it's too long to get the right amount on the other side...and then it's this struggle to get it out of the bottle and I end up with either too much or not enough polish. Too much is a problem. Not enough is a problem. Ugh.

Notice it's the brush's fault, not remotely user error ha ha! I feel like I get a smoother application with a wider brush, oh not to mention a wider, more substantial brush (like YSL's) gets the job done more quickly. Plus I rarely have the patience for 3 coats, and for some reason that darn too-skinny-too-floppy brush just makes things uneven in the weirdest way and I often feel I should do one more coat no matter the color. But generally that's not gonna happen. I came to this conclusion tonight while trying to paint my nails with Tutti Fruitti! 

3. Painting your nails well takes practice. Lots and lots of practice.

And by painting your nails well I mean by NOT painting them to look like I'm a 2 year old who's just learning how to color. Wait. Do 2 year olds color yet??!! Seriously, I don't know. Do they???

I would see all these bloggers and pics on Instagram of ladies who had immaculately painted nails and wonder, how the heck do they get them to look like they were done at a salon??? Surely there's got to be some tool, some trick, some Tom Foolery that I don't know about yet that will give me the same results. So I started asking these ladies, how do you do it?? They all had the same answer: PRACTICE. Ex-squeeze, me?? Practice?? Um, ok, whatever. I kept asking until I was assured there is no magic trick. There is no perfect nail painting gene. Seriously, it's practice. 

Riiiight. Still not convinced, I finally hunkered down and committed to painting my nails as often as possible. First time painting post commitment and the manicure didn't turn out very well. Hmmmpf. I scoured ULTA and Sephora looking for tools that might help get that perfectly clean line around the cuticle. Guess what. They helped, but nothing actually did the work for me. But by this time I had painted my nails quite a few times within the span of a couple of weeks, and guess didn't look any better. KIDDING!!! 

I found I was getting slightly more speedy, and by that I mean I was shaving seconds off of my total manicure time. Hey, it adds up at some point! But the main thing was that my hands were less shaky and I was slowly starting to kinda get the hang of getting a clean line around my cuticles. At this point, I'm not going to be Deborah Lippmann anytime soon and I still need to keep at it. But my Physical Therapist always compliments me on how good my nails look -she even told someone the other day that my nails always look like I had them done at a salon! Helloooooo!!! Yeah, that's me!!! Progress, people...progress and PRACTICE!!! Yep, all those ladies were right! 

4. I've suddenly got a hankering for Chanel. Lots and lots of Chanel. 

Which might seem strange, given #2 above, but eh...   *shrugs shoulders*

I've always had an appreciation for Chanel beauty, but never really was that into it. There'd be products here and there that I liked and purchased, but the brand as a whole never grabbed me. Until now. And suddenly I want what seems like everything!! Except for polishes. Maybe.

For instance, I never glanced twice when the Les Beiges powders came out last year and suddenly I want to try one. I didn't give a thought to the Les Beiges Multi Colour powders, but now I want both colors. That compact - love the cream and I feel like I need one in my life! Blushes - sooooo many colors that look right up my alley! I bought items from the Fall collection and was really interested in checking them out even before they hit stores.  Not to mention a (cough) few of the new shadow quads. Oh, and the gorgeousness that is the Dentelle highlighter!! And now I can't wait to see what the next collection holds!! Help - who am I?!!!

Sooooo...written down I suppose it doesn't seem as bad as it has seemed in my head. But much of my time lately has been devoted to looking up Chanel swatches and reviews that I feel like I've got a Chanel tick or something. 'Cause I can't help it. 

LOL of course I can help it, but do you ever get like that about a brand, or perhaps a particular product where you are completely obsessed and overtaken by it??? Almost as if the obsession has a mind of its own??? It's crazy. Or I'm crazy. Or both!

5. I think that's enough for now :-) xo

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