Swatched: NARS Audacious Lipstick In Liv & Vivien

After I paired down my lipgloss stash, I found myself in weird predicament...I was suddenly lemming lipSTICKS. Not gloss, but regular ol' lipsticks! Maybe it was the approaching Fall weather, or perhaps just looking for a change from the usual?? Whatever it was, the NARS Audacious Lipstick line launched at the perfect time because I was ready! 

I ended up purchasing 2 colors, Liv & Vivien. Liv looked like it might be a lipstick version of the Train Bleu Velvet Matte pencil color that I love (they even both had the exact same color description), and Vivien just looked pretty! 

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

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Liv (top) & Vivien (bottom)

I really like the packaging on these. They have the same magnetic type bullets as Burberry lipsticks, and have a similar weighty feel - definitely not the normal plastic of their previous lipstick lines. They are also easier to wipe down! 

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Liv (top) & Vivien (bottom)

This pictue taken with inside lower light is much more color accurate than the first one. 

As far as formula and texture, I'm very happy with these lipsticks!! It's pretty short n' sweet...but these are pigmented, very smooth and are slightly creamy without being too emollient. They leave a good stain, so sometimes during midday I'll switch to just lip balm and still end up with a nice color because of what's left behind. These are comfortable and not drying, but don't expect them to be super moisturizing. They also have a nice, non-matte finish that isn't shiny. 

My only gripe is that NARS claims these don't bleed. Maybe on some people they don't, but they bled on me within a couple of hours. Evidently they didn't have a good enough cross section of wear testers. Not a big deal at all because that's an easy fix with a lip pencil, but please don't claim something if it isn't true! 

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Liv & Vivien

Outside sunlight. 

This pic turned out much warmer than the colors actually appear on my lips, but it gives a nice image of the finish. And you can also see, there really isn't much difference with 1 swipe or 3. 

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Liv & Vivien

Outside shade.

This is very close to how these appear on my lips. Vivien is still warmer than I had anticipated, but it's still a nice color that I've worn enough to make a dent in the tube :-)  Liv is one of those super vamp colors I love - I don't wear them often, but when I'm in the mood this color is what I want! Curious if Liv is indeed a dupe for Train Bleu??

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Liv and NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Train Bleu

Outside sunlight.

Sooooo, soooo close yet not quite. Once applied I really can't tell the difference except in some lighting conditions...even then it's difficult to tell and I think I only notice because I've been searching for a Train Bleu lipstick dupe since I tried the pencil last year. I'd say Train Bleu has a touch more of that eggplant-y coolness to it. 

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Liv and NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Train Bleu

Outside shade.

At first I thought Liv was an exact match for Train Bleu, but after a few times I realized it wasn't exact. NARS has another similar color called Ingrid, which I'm thinking about getting - you know...curiosity and all to see if it's even close or an exact match??? 

Overall, I'm very happy with these lipsticks and would love to own more colors in the future :-)  These are $32/.14oz and can be found at Nordstrom,  narscosmetics.com and Sephora

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Beauty Thoughts IV: Beauty Obsessed Or Just Obsessed?!

A strange thing happened in September...I took an unexpected blogging break, hardly did anything on social media...and guess what?? As of now I don't have any beauty items that I'm dying to have. Sure there are things that look interesting here and there, but there's nothing that I absolutely neeeeeeed. You know, that type of neeeeeeed that keeps you googling swatches and reviews looking for any shred of validation of said need. I don't have any of those!!!

WHAT WHAT WHAT happened?!!! 

Here's the story...

Back in September, Mr. G and I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to place preorders for the iPhone 6 Plus when it first became available to do so. There were kinks with the whole process, and I ended up really frustrated and kind of outta my mind. You'd think I'd get over it because it's just a phone, right? LOL I wish! That's like saying Guerlain Wulong was just a powder. 

I spent the next couple of weeks scouring the iPhone forums in hopes to commiserate with other people that had similar experiences. I found a particular forum where people were talking about all that, plus everything pertaining to both new iPhone models. Wow. I never knew such a thing existed...it's like MakeupAlley...but for tech!! I would get all crazy eyed and check the forum constantly, even downloading the app. 

So as obsessed as I became with this forum, I found myself getting less and less interested in beauty. Weird. Nothing grabbed my attention. No beauty releases shouted YOU NEEEEEEEED ME COME FIND ME AT ALL COSTS!!! Nope. None of that. I suddenly had no lemmings. Like, zero. 

Even now, except for a curling wand (and I don't think that really counts) there's nothing I can't wait to have. There are items that I would like to have, but nothing that I can't talk myself out of. Conversations in my head have been going something like this...

Chanel Sweet Star polish: Heeeeeeey, lady...look at meeeeee...I'm so DAMN preeeetty!!!

Me: Oh, sh*t...you are a pretty little number. But swatches seem to be all over the place. What color are you really???

Chanel Sweet Star: Ummm, hello...does it matter...I'm Chanel and I'm LE and helloooooo!!! I'm Chanel and everyone else wants me why are we even having this conversation???

Me: Yeah, you're right. Belly's pics are AWFULLY NICE.

Chanel Sweet Star: Told you. So why haven't you called any stores yet? 

Me: I dunno. I want you. But eh, the last polish I obsessed about I've only worn twice. Do I really need you that much??

Chanel Sweet Star: Seriously. Chica. Get a grip. Buy me now. 

Me: I'm not your chica. 

Chanel Sweet Star: UGH.

Me: Exactly.

Chanel Sweet Star: You're getting on my nerves. Did you not see that last IG pic??? 

Me: Yes. *sigh* I still am not sure.

Chanel Sweet Star: I'm dedicating this video to you...

Normal me would've purchased Sweet Star already, no questions asked! But the me now...I edited down a Sephora Friends and Family cart to only ONE item...the curling wand I've wanted for awhile! From a 7 item cart down to 1. I can't believe it. Everything else in the cart I could justify not needing at all, or waiting until later to buy with a gift card. Who am I?? 

And the curling wand I feel like is a need right now. I've been itching for one for a long time, confirmed by my stylist (Love you, Michelle!!!) that it would help achieve the look I want when my hair is air dried. Because I'm trying to take an extended break from my blow dryer.

I guess it should be noted that some of my attention was also diverted into shoring up my Fall wardrobe. My Husband and I are going to Washington, DC for our anniversary this year and I was looking for a few new things to wear. Banana Republic has been having some crazy sales lately - 30-40% off - and it was fate that I managed to find items I really loved! 

Aaaaaaaall this to say...

I've been wondering lately if I'm particularly beauty obsessed, or if I have an obsessive personality? My interests seemed so easily swayed when the new iPhone came out. And when I really think about it I'm like that with pretty much anything. If I'm reading a good book I'll spend several nights in a row reading until I can't keep my eyes open any longer and I'm finished. Netflix - hello binge watching things like Ugly Betty and Stargate Atlantis, where I'll watch season after season with barely any sleep. A video game - you couldn't talk to me when I got my Nintendo DS and was nonstop playing a castaway Sims game. Field Runners on my phone - same thing- couldn't talk to me for weeks. And when I get in my organizing moods, I'm completely zoned. 

Speaking of gaming...I recently beat my high score on Bejeweled Diamond Mine LOL! It was an exciting moment...

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Don't get me wrong. I do love my beauty products!! But I do wonder how much of that is fueled with being beauty obsessed, or if I'm just obsessed in general???? What do you think? Are you the same way?

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Sunscreen Reviews: Vichy Capital Soleil Mattifying Face Fluid Dry Touch SPF50 & Replenix Ultra Sheer Sunscreen SPF50+

I told you some of my sunscreen woes in the post, Do We Need Sunscreen?? In short, finding a suitable sunscreen has been a very bumpy road!! I know many of you can relate to finding a sunscreen that doesn't cause clogs/irritation and also wears well under makeup. Sigh.

Anyway!! I'm very happy to report that I finally have found a sunscreen option that I'm loving!! Woooo!!! Seriously...it's about darn time! In this post I'll tell you about 2 sunscreen options, the one that I'm loving and the other one that was nice but not quite right...

***All items purchased by me. 

Vichy Capital Soleil Mattifying Face Fluid Dry Touch SPF50 (European version) & Replenix Ultra Sheer Sunscreen SPF50+. Magazine is Net-A-Porter Fall 2014.

Totally wish I was in that picture right now...soaking up the warm sun :-)  But...whether you are lucky enough to be in a beautiful place like the picture or are in the midst of Fall...anytime is a good time to think about sunscreen. So onto the reviews! 

Vichy Capital Soleil Mattifying Face Fluid Dry Touch SPF50 (European version)

Vichy Capital Soleil Mattifying Face Fluid Dry Touch SPF50 (European version)

It's important to note, this is the European version. There is a US version, but I don't know how that one compares. Unfortunately this one isn't so easy to get hold of. If you know someone in Europe who can get it for you that's perfect, otherwise I found it on Amazon from THIS seller. From what I can tell the seller does get their product from Europe, but my package actually shipped from Florida. Total shipping time was 6 days from date of order, so that's not bad! Google will provide you with other sellers, but this was my first time purchasing so I'm not sure about any other sellers. I paid $26.99 + $2.99 shipping for a 50ml tube, which I'm sure you can find it cheaper but I was impatient and am comfortable buying from Amazon. If anyone knows of a reputable seller that has it for less, please let me know! 

You'll see quite a few sample packets in the picture above! Super big THANK YOU to the lovely  Daria @ Wade Ashore who was so kind and sent a veritable smorgasbord of sunscreen samples!! She said this particular Vichy sunscreen doesn't clog or irritate her skin, so I was really excited to try it. And I liked it so much that I purchased a full sized tube before the samples ran out! You can also find Daria on Twitter @delight00 and Instagram @wadeashore :-) 

This has a mix of physical and chemical sunscreens - titanium dioxide and Mexoryl-based chemical sunscreen to provide both UVA/UVB protection. The picture below shows the ingredients, and for some of you that might be concerned it does list both regular and nano titanium dioxide. Whether or not you are ok with nanoparticles in your sunscreen is for you to decide :-)  And for those of you who may not know and are curious...the quick n' dirty version is that there is some concern that nanoparticles could be absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream, causing who knows what to happen in our bodies.

After an amount of Googling, I was unable to find a UVA/PPD rating for this sunscreen, but in general European sunscreens (and ones from Vichy, LRP, Avene, Bioderma specifically) tend to have higher PPD ratings than those in the US. So while I don't know the specific rating, I'm guessing I'm still getting a good amount of protection from UVA rays (the rays that cause more aging). If there's anyone out there that is more knowledgable and would like to chime in, please do!! 

Bottom line: I'm very happy to have found this Vichy sunscreen! I can go a good week of solid use before I start seeing teeny tiny clogs on my nose, but after a couple of days off they go away. In order to combat this I've been using this mainly on work days. Other than that, I find no irritation or ill effects. I mentioned this to Daria, and she said her derm recommended trying the SPF30 version if the SPF50 was clogging, so I'll probably try that after I finish this tube. 

For those that are oily, you will probably be fine using this alone or with a light serum underneath. If you are dry, I've found it works very well over my regular skincare routine...on my slightly oily nose and chin I usually don't use anything underneath, but on occasion will use my African Botanics Pure Marula Oil (blotted down). What I really, really love is that while it at first applies as a white cream, it leaves no actual white cast. I can also apply makeup right after application with no problems - usually there's an amount of dry down time but not with this. The finish is definitely matte, and I've found I have to use a little more liquid foundation than normal. I don't feel like this keeps me matte, but it also doesn't make me more oily! 

This does have a thicker cream consistency, so if you like something more lotion-like you might try the milk version. Scroll to the bottom to see a consistency comparison between the 2 sunscreens I'm reviewing. 

Ok, so there are a couple of nitpicky things about this sunscreen, but overall I'm very happy and am so relieved to have found something that works!! I feel like this gives me a good base to work from, and I'll be protected while looking for something HG...you know...that perpetual search ha ha!! 

Ingredients for Vichy Capital Soleil Mattifying Face Fluid Dry Touch SPF50 (European version):

Ingredients: Vichy Capital Soleil Mattifying Face Fluid Dry Touch SPF50 (euro version)

Replenix Ultra Sheer Sunscreen SPF50+

Replenix Ultra Sheer Sunscreen SPF50+ , $30/2oz @ dermstore.com, skincarerx.com. Both sites constantly have sales, so be on the lookout! 

This is a chemical based sunscreen (octinoxate 7.5%, octisalate 5%, oxybenzone 5%, avobenzone 3%) with a super runny, liquid consistency...scroll to the bottom for a pic. You do have to shake this up really well before use - it's got shaker balls inside that you'll hear bouncing around. For that reason I don't like that you can't decant into a smaller bottle, but not a deal breaker since the bottle is small enough to fit into TSA carry-on guidelines.  

I wanted to try this because in addition to the SPF50, it's got Vitamins C & E, CoQ10, green tea and Resveratrol to amp up the protection with antioxidants and also help repair the skin. And I like the idea of having a very thin, liquid consistency...I feel like in theory it would work better under makeup and it also wouldn't feel like I have a ton of product on my face. 

Buuuut...in a weird way I could actually 'feel' this more on my skin than the Vichy. I think it's because it took awhile for it to dry down and the slight tackiness stayed until it was absorbed. Which by the way it never completely did, at least not while wearing my regular skincare underneath. It dried down and was absorbed within 5-10 minutes without product underneath, but then my dry areas didn't feel moisturized enough. Oily skins might have no problem with this. Makeup wore nicely over this when used alone, but layered over my regular skincare it was a little difficult to get things to apply right (I'm guessing because of it never drying down?). 

After a couple of days I start to see irritation bumps, so I haven't used this very consistently. I try to still use it every once in awhile simply to use it up, but I am unable to use this for any length of time. On days I do use this, I only top it off with concealer and powder. 

I think this could be a good sunscreen for the right skin type, but for me it's just not a good fit. I'll try my best to finish this, but it's definitely not my first choice. If it wore better under makeup I'd be likely to use it more often. 

Replenix Ultra Sheer Sunscreen SPF50+ ingredients:

Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.5%, Octisalate 5.0%, Oxybenzone 5.0%, Avobenzone 3.0%.

Inactive Ingredients: Ascorbic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Biotin, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Polyphenols, Caprylyl Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteth-20 Phosphate, Dicetyl Phosphate, Disodium EDTA, Emblica Officinalis Fruit Extract, Ethylhexyl Benzoate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycrylene, Phenoxyethanol, Phospholipids, Potassium Hydroxide, Purified Water, Resveratrol, Retinyl Palmitate, Sorbic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q-10).

See below for consistency comparison pic between the Vichy and Replenix...

Click image to enlarge. Consistency of Vichy Capital Soleil Mattifying Face Fluid Dry Touch SPF50 (European version) & Replenix Ultra Sheer Sunscreen SPF50+

Whew! Disappointed the Replenix didn't work out so much, but I'm thrilled to have found the Vichy!! How's your sunscreen hunt going...or do you already have a favorite?!!

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Empties: September 2014

September Empties!!! 

Empties: September 2014 - Tatcha One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil, Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Active Moisture Time Release Vitamin D Moisture Mist, Shiseido Facial Cotton, Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water, Klorane Dry Shampoo, OPI Expert Touch Lint Free Nail Wipes

***All items purchased by me.

Tatcha One Step One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil - Review HERE. Still the best cleansing oil I've tried. I was on a mission to try out a bunch of new cleansing oils after finishing the Tatcha, but have since decided I might be better off trying to make my own. I stumbled in the beginning and then kinda gave up...but then I tried again, and so far I'm loving what I've done! I would buy this again, but probably won't anytime soon since what I've made is cheaper and has fewer ingredients and so far is just as effective. 

Elizabeth Dehn For One Love Organics Time Release Vitamin D Moisture Mist - Review HERE. Onto my backup bottle! I'm really enjoying this, but have slowed down usage as I haven't been needing it as much as before (was using it as a serum). I'm still enjoying it as a midday refresher though :-)  

Shiseido Facial Cotton - Always a staple!!

Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water - Review HERE. Another staple! I've been using these travel bottles that come in a set as it's a little cheaper this way than a regular full size bottle. Sometimes I feel like it dries my lids out if I use it too many days/nights in a row, so I try to alternate it with cleansing oil. Still love it though and I even use it on super lazy nights in lieu of cleansing oil to remove all my makeup before using a regular cleanser. 

Klorane Dry Shampoo - Bought this as part of the Net-A-Porter Glossybox, HERE. Looove this and will keep in mind to repurchase in the future. For now though, I have mini sizes of some other dry shampoos that I'm trying out. 

OPI Expert Touch Lint Free Nail Wipes - Think this is my 2nd or 3rd box of these and I absolutely love them! They work more quickly than regular cotton pads and don't get shredded by glitter! 

Not a ton of Empties for September, but getting through that Tatcha Cleansing Oil felt like an accomplishment - that thing lasted forever! How did you do for the month?! 

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