Luxebeaute's Blog

June 30, 2016

ABH Modern Renaissance Eye Shadow Palette Review

Filed under: Cosmetics — luxebeaute @ 10:06 pm

Believe it or not, this is my first Anastasia Beverly Hills palette purchase. I know, I know, these have been all the rage since ABH first began cranking them out. Thing is, color and formulations (upon the good old fashioned swatch test) just never really made me swoon. Well, until this gem of a products release!

This palette is chalk full of striking warm toned and berry shades. These all apply like a dream and are easy to blend. These shadows are incredibly silky as well as opaque, This palette is a complete collection in terms of various finishes, and the inclusion of transition, brow bone, highlighting, and inner corner shade options.

Shades:  Tempera (beige with an ultra-matte finish), Golden Ochre (earthy yellow with an ultra-matte finish), Vermeer (iridescent shell with a metallic finish), Buon Fresco (antique lavender with an ultra-matte finish), Antique Bronze (metallic sable with a satin finish), Love Letter (raspberry with an ultra-matte finish), Cyprus Umber (dark coffee with an ultra-matte finish), Raw Sienna (neutral amber with an ultra-matte finish), Burnt Orange deep orange with an ultra-matte finish), Primavera (shimmery gold with an ultra-matte finish), Red Ochre (sienna with an ultra-matte finish), Venetian Red (crimson with an ultra-matte finish), Warm Taupe (earthy gray with an ultra-matte finish), Realgar (brick with an ultra-matte finish).

I find myself reaching for this palette near daily. The only con I have is that this formula is so buttery soft that I do get quite a bit of fallout, but hey, I can live with that.

This palette is said to be Limited Edition, although demand might change this. It can be purchased at Sephora and the ABH website for $42.00

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May 18, 2016

Artisan Beauty Product Review: Amrita Aromatics

Filed under: Cosmetics,Cult Beaute: Artisan Product Reviews — luxebeaute @ 7:58 pm

Yet again I was lucky enough to receive a lovely package for review from Amrita Aromatics (Northampton, MA.), an amazing artisan Indie Company which specializes in unique fragrance, facial product, and lip treatment creations.

Company Description: Amrita Aromatics & Apothecary is a small artisan line of pure botanical creations by perfumer and herbalist Ananda Wilson. Each item is carefully crafted completely by hand with a deep investment of creativity, inspiration, love, time, and over 20 years of skill and practice. Every product is all natural, utilizing synergies of wildcrafted botanicals, handmade extracts and preparations, carefully sourced pure essential oils, absolutes, attars, and exquisite rare aromatics. Many hours of inspiration and critical thinking is given to each creation. I am continually inspired by nature, trees, water, art, rhythms, dance, music, myth, and life phases. Working with plant aromatics is my devotion and specialty; with a knack and nose for blending unique and highly praised, sacred, therapeutic perfume blends – both perfectly simple and evocative ones as well as deeply complex, sophisticated, and rich compositions. They are designed to elicit pleasure medicine, amplify intentions, catalyze sensory bliss, self care ritual, emotional support and seduction, and to ignite your imagination with a powerful terrain of scent imagery and narrative.

Review:
If you love facial oils or are looking for a miracle in a bottle, look no further than the potions created by Amrita Aromatics. As someone who suffers from extremely dry skin, trust me when I state my opinion here is no exaggeration. I tend to rotate between Isis Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil ($125.00, 1 oz), Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Overnight Detox Oil ($52.00, 1 oz.), Life-Flo Pure Rosehip Oil ($6.00, 1 oz.), and Acure Certified Organic Pure Argan Oil ($11.00, 1 oz). I use these products nightly, every night, without fail and they are wonderful products with amazing results – yet somehow Amrita Aromatics has managed to magically create some sort of amazing mystical blend which knocks the above oils out of the winning circle. Amrita Aromatics carries 3 staple facial beauty oil Elixirs: Precious (Argan, Turkish Rose, and Red Tea), Aromatic (White Sage and Blue Chamomile), and Neroli (Green Tea). While these may sound like somewhat simple recipes, they are actually complex blends which include skin loving botanicals and additional oils. These absorb beautifully into the skin and leave no residue or excess oil to lay atop the skin; it is as if your face is drinking this oil down to its deepest layer. After using these, I awoke to glowing and baby soft skin and I didn’t even bother to put any foundation or powder on. While I would be hard pressed to say one is better than another my skin seems to favor Precious, which is specifically made for skin toning and anti-aging ($36.00, 1 oz.). For those who prefer a lighter oil or are normal or oily skin types, Aromatic will work wonderfully for you.

I am a lip balm addict. So much so that I embarrassingly admit that my night stand holds lip treatments ranging anywhere from good ole fashioned $1.00 Chapstick to $75.00 Sisley Paris and all in between. So when I opened my package from Amrita Aromatics to find Cocoa Rose lip balm I was “woo hoo-ing” on the inside (hey, I was at work so I couldn’t perform the dance of joy which usually ensues when I package of goodies arrives!). Cocoa Rose is made of deeply moisturizing butters and oils, and is an excellent blend of Cocoa and rose which leaves a unique combination of scents to linger. Ordinarily I am not a fan of chocolate type products nor would floral on my lips appeal to me – however, there is just something about this combo that works. When I use this scented lippie, I feel like Victorian royalty. After using Cocoa Rose for a week straight, I can honestly say it is a much better workhorse than my two faves: Natura Biss Recovery and Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Balm – Which came as a VERY pleasant surprise to both me personally and my wallet. Cocoa Rose is indeed heavily scented and therefore won’t appeal to those who are smell sensitive. Yet the end results (IE dry lip solution) were so great I suggest trying out one of their other lip treatments. Amrita Aromatics carries Cocoa Rose ($9.95 ea.), Absinthe Vanilla ($12.00), and The Kissy Fit Set ($22.00) which includes Crushed Rubies Lip & Cheek Glow (Vedic Spice), Smoked Coffee Kiss (Lapsang Souchong Tea & Coffee), and Jasmine Cooling Lip Tingle. Amrita Aromatics also offers membership for their perfume club, which often gives special discounts on limited addition releases.

I have nothing put positives to say about Amrita Aromatics. This is an up and coming artisan beauty brand in which blows many high end skin care lines away. I highly recommend you give them a try.

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Photography by Ananda Wilson, Marlaina Donato, all rights reserved. Photos used with permission. 

                          

April 2, 2016

Très Chic Fashionistas: Luxe Blog Salutes Bianca Jagger

Oh Bianca, Bianca, Bianca! I am giddy just writing this. Jaggers twin, Halston’s muse, night life’s “it girl”, socialite AND human rights warrior.

While there are many women whose styles I respect, I like to keep the VIP Diva room in my mind down to Queen Coco, Marlene Dietrich, Catherine Deneuve, Joan Crawford, Rita Mareno, Dita Von Teese and Madam Bianca. While I am tempted to add Jane Russell, Elizabeth Taylor, Donatella, Tura Satana and Joan Collins in there, I am trying to avoid cat fights within the delicate walls of my hypothalamus. … Again for the record, no I am not a gay male. But I digress…

Here’s the interesting thing about the 1970’s- when I think of fashion icons of this decade, Other than Jerry Hall Bianca, nothing but men come to mind. Bowie for his crisp Berlin/Heroes look, Halston and YSL for their designs. So in a sense, perhaps Bianca just THAT much of a fashion guru, being that she kicked Le Smoking into high gear with edgy classic femininity. It would have been so easy fto have done it all wrong Annie Hall, in the decade of sequins and polyester, wouldn’t it?  Other than Dietrich, no one has ever rocked the menswear look like Mizz B. And quite frankly, no one since has either.

When you mix beauty, exotica, style, aloofness, mystery and brains, you get one hellofa devaliocious icon.

Bianca Pérez-Mora Macias Jagger: Luxe Blog solutes (and worships) you.

February 29, 2016

Colourpop Ultra Satin Lips Review

Filed under: Cosmetics — luxebeaute @ 9:36 pm

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Hallelujah! I am like a kid in a candy store when it comes to CP’s new lip line launch – which is a major surprise for me considering how disappointed I was with their Ultra Matte line. But this one… can I get an Amen along with my animated proclamations  of Hallelujah?

The Ultra Satin line is nothing short of brilliant, and the formulation is a dream. Pigmentation is outstanding and the color selection is perfection.These are extremely comfortable and not drying in any way, nor have I encountered any patchiness or feathering. These go on creamy and somewhat mousey – application feel is similar to the Stila Stay all Day formula.

Not quite a stay all day formulation, however, I personally categorize this line as a liquid lipstick in the similar vein of Ofra and Nyx as far as texture, feel, and basic wear time goes. It dries down matte but not too much, and provided I am not eating anything oily, these last on my lips aprx 4-5 hours. The launch includes 16 shades, although CP is sure to add more as time goes on. Did I happen to mention these are $6.00?

 

February 10, 2016

Review: Estee Lauder Nutritious Line

Filed under: Uncategorized — luxebeaute @ 8:57 am

As most LuxeBeaute readers already know, I am kind of/sort of ride or die for many Lauder products. However, as of late (the past few yrs) I have strayed away from many EL labeled or EL parent company products and gone on to find skin refuge via Lauder’s “children”for my skincare needs  – i.e. Clinique’s Turnaround line and Bobbi Brown serums and lotions being more favorable or beneficial in my mind. Now this may be because I am still bitter that Fruition was discontinued, or it may be due to my disappointment in the claims (and performance promises) put forth re the Idealist line. Whatever the reason, I severed my relationship with Lauder for a minute until we could work out our differences. Enter the Nutritious line! Oh Lauder, the OG of skincare and performance, how you have redeemed yourself. I am so sorry I cheated on you there for a quick minute – but I am back now…

Nutritious Vitality8 Vitality 2-in-1 Foaming Cleanser  ($30.00)  While usually I wouldn’t praise a cleanser at this price point as anything other than unnecessary, I am all about this one. It is foaming and creamy yet surprisingly gentle, and the ingredients are stellar. This also serves as a moisturizing mask which is kind of awesome and fun. Is it a necessity in the line? Meh, no, it’s kind of a luxury. You can use a $5 buck cleanser and then utilize the other products in this line and there will be no notable difference. But if you want to treat yourself, this is the product to utilize, as it’s a lovely and luxuriously feeling addition.

Nutritious Vitality8 Night Radiance Energy Lotion ($55.00)  This is the most useless and unnecessary product in the line, and I came close to dropping tears of emo sadness due to it. This is chalk full of crappy ingredients which will absolutely not do a thing to help dry skin. Or for that matter, any type of skin. If it does anything it may aggravate, as the alcohol content is incredibly off putting. Boo!

Nutritious Vitality8 Night Radiance Overnight Detox Concentrate ($80.00)   I apply this over EL Night Repair and I just love what this does for my skin. It works its voodoo magic overnight to exfoliate dead and dry skin, leaving me radiant and smooth the following morning. It is also quite hydrating and leaves the skin incredibly soft, silky, and smooth. It’s gentle yet incredibly effective. My skin is dry as the Sahara bug this lil’ miracle worker somehow manages to balance as well as sloth off dead skin. Ingredients are on point and the addition of pomegranate really kicks this formulation up a notch or 10. As the New York Dolls say, I am in L-O-V-E, Love.

Nutritious Vitality8 Night Radiance Moisture Creme ($62.00)  Wow, just wow. This is an ultra rich, insanely moisturizing formulation which will cure all of the woes any dry skin’d guy or doll has. Again we have the addition of pomegranate which is a major antioxidant and skin problem solver to help out dry skin or anti aging concerns. Caveat this is a HEAVY cream, not a lotion. Man-o-man does this make my skin feel soft as a newborns derrière though!

Clearly I am a fan of this line, and would recommend it to anyone age 30 and up. For what it does (cell turnover and exfoliation, misturization) I feel its well worth the money.

 

January 8, 2016

Très Chic Fashionistas: Luxe Blog Salutes Dita Von Teese… Again!

My lord! Does this woman ever even have a hair out of place? She’s running errands and looking so fabbo, a second Luxe Blog salute was in order.

Now if only the rest of us could look this perfect when picking up some groceries!!

December 31, 2015

VIB ROUGE: Luxe Beaute Splurges & Reviews

Filed under: Uncategorized — luxebeaute @ 7:45 am

Isephora was surprised by the amount of emails I received from my Luxies wondering if I had any grandiose plans to do an end of the year “best product” post. While I have done best of reviews throughout the years, they are always very specific: Best hair products for curls, best lotions for dry skin, etc. I dunno what my deal is exactly, but I kind of have an aversion toward categorizing say a best blush or best lippie – I suppose that’s because what is HG status for one is not that for another, or perhaps I may adore a mauve-ish color blush while others can’t stand anything but brighter pink tones. So yeah, it never really crossed my mind to do a year roundup for 2015. BUT this did give me an idea to post on my VIB purchases and give my thoughts on the products I purchased. Since I want a lil’ kookoo re the spending this time around  and also purchased a lot of newer products, I definitely thought it would be a good idea to give my two cents on them. Given that I wanted to be fair and precise, I used these products for a month prior to this write-up.

 

Hair Products:
Klorane Mask with Mango Butter (24)
Klorane Conditioner with Papyrus Milk ($16)
My thoughts: If you have dry, damaged, thick, curly, course or frizz prone hair, I say run out IMMEDIATELY and pick up the mango mask. This product defined my curls like never before, I have nothing but praise for it. I also feel its priced right considering its kind of a miracle worker and also not an everyday product, so it will last a while. As for the Papyrus conditioner… nopes. Way overpriced for what it does – worked about as good as any $5 buck drugstore conditioner but not as good as a $10+ one.

Bath products:
KorresVanilla Freesia Lychee Shower Gel ($18.50)
FreshCocoa Body Exfoliant ($45.00)
L’Occitane Cleansing And Softening Shower Oil With Almond Oil ($41.00)
My thoughts: Let me preface yet again that I have VERY dry skin. That said, the Korres was a total waste of money; it smells great but the scent doesn’t stay and it really dried my skin further and didn’t feel like it was very cleansing either. As for the Fresh body exfoliant, this smells delishious and exfoliates well, but I do believe its gimicky and overpriced for what it is. I could very easily find a cocoa scrub from another place/brand/health food store that does the same at a fraction of the price. As for the L’Occitane cleanser, holy moly! New HG status alert! Not only does this smell devine, it moisturizes like nobody’s biz! I will never be without this cleanser!

Body Lotions, Creams, and Oils:
L’OccitaneAlmond Smoothing and Beautifying Supple Skin Oil ($46.00)
L’OccitaneAlmond Smoothing and Beautifying Milk Concentrate $50.00)
EmbryolisseLait-Crème Concentré ($28)
My Thoughts: The L’Occitane milk concentrate (read: body cream) is the standout here; this is a godsend for dry skin. This is prob. the best body lotion I have ever tried, and trust me I have tried them all. Sadly the body oil was just kind of there – it softens sure and smells nice, but it doesn’t soak in as well (or fast) as it should. This certainly will not be replacing my Nuxe oils. I had heard a lotta hype re the Embryolisse and figured it was time to give it a whirl. I can’t say its a bad product, however, I can’t HG status it either. While this is a really nice, thick moisturizer, I am not so sure its worthy of its price; while I can see how it would make a nice facial cream if you are really dry, there are a lot of others wheich are just as comparable. I felt this was Nivea in a fancier tube TBH.

Sunscreens:
Radical SkincareSkin Perfecting Screen SPF 30 ($55)
Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 Protect + Perfect ($36)
My Thoughts: No need for me to lie here – I pay crazy amounts for sunscreen. And I rotate them constantly. I had heard great things about the JM sunscreen and decided to give it a try. While I think its a good sunscreen, I find its nothing to really write home about – it works wonderfully with no makeup or just powder, but doesn’t perform so well under foundation (makes it separate a bit). On the flip side I LOVE the Radical Skincare sunscreen, which I find also works as a primer in the sense that it doesn’t interfere with foundation performance. Will either of these pricy products go on to replace my supergoop? Doubtful. But I certainly cannot give either a negative review, as they really are great products.

Serums & Primers:
HourglassVeil Mineral Primer ($18)
Hourglass N22 Primer Serum ($22)
Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Supplement ($78)
BURBERRY Fresh Glow – Luminous Fluid Base ($48)
My Thoughts: I had heard (and viewed on YT) so many amazing things in regards to Hourglass primers that I had to give them a whirl. Gotta say, I was not disappointed. The mineral veil is amazing under makeup, provides a smooth canvas, and gives a flawless finish. The N22 is a powerhouse (22 different oils!) which works wonderfully as a night serum or during the day when one’s skin is extremely dry, but not so impressive as a makeup base simply because it takes a while to soak in. Burberry Fresh Glow is… a new Holy Grail for me! It left my skin beautifully hydrated and Dewey, which I desperately desired prior to this discovery. The Bobbi Brown serum knocked my sox off! Its chalk full of amazing antioxidants and works as a major skin retexturizer overnight. And after a month’s use (aprx), my skin is brighter and firmer.

BB/CC Cream & Foundation:
Urban DecayNaked Beauty Balm Broad Spectrum SPF 20 ($34)
Burberry Fresh Glow BB Cream SPF 20 ($44)
Urban DecayNaked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup ($40)
COVER FX Custom Cover Drops ($44)
Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Foundation Powder ($47)
My Thoughts: The UDBB was so terrible I took it back for a return immediately, just on GP – I was offended Sephora even had the gull to sell this to people. Seriously! I couldn’t stand this; no coverage at all and not impressive on any other level. The Burberry BB Cream is excellent – my skin just loves this stuff. It goes on smooth and thick and feels amazing on my skin. Caveat that the coverage is minimal, however, when I add on a light coverage foundation powder I get not only great coverage but also no cakey look – which iw a godsend for us dry skin gals who ordinarily cannot do powdered foundation without a sh@tpile of fix+. And speaking of, I am pretty impressed with the Laura Mercier Powder Foundation as well, which I have been wearing as my daily foundation. Although I am still on the fence over UD foundation, I am not fueled by anger over this product in the same way I was the BB cream. Even so, I am pretty sure I will be returning this one as well; it is far from flawless and is slightly cakey. It’s certainly not a “naked” look, as it’s pretty obvious one is wearing foundation and it tends to emphasize dry patches big-time. Nope, I am not a fan. At the opposite end of the spectrum, CFX cover drops are fantastic! Whether I mix this with serum, oil, sunscreen, or moisturizer, this stuff goes on flawlessly and covers like a dream.

Lipstick:
YSL Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick 13 Le Orange ($37)
NARS Heat Wave ($28)
Nars Audacious Lipstick, Charlotte ($32)
My Thoughts: Heatwave is a staple for me – I have probably gone through 3 or 4 of these since the color was released way back when and since my supply was running low I grabbed another. For those unfamiliar, this shade is a beautiful and bold in your face red orange matte formulation. I had been wanting to try the YSL lippie in Le Orange for a pretty long time so I took this opportunity to go for it – basically it’s the uber glossy version of Heatwave; to be completely honest they are both pretty much the same color but with completely different finishes. I adore Le Orange in color and formulation; however, it’s got a strong perfume scent to it that kind of gets on my nerves. Nars Charlotte is a beautiful wine berry color in semi gloss formula and I am in LOVE with this shade!

 

November 18, 2015

TBR: MAC & Dita Von Teese

Filed under: Cosmetics,Vintage and retro — luxebeaute @ 1:53 am

“Inspired by the launch of Dita Von Teese’s new book, Your Beauty Mark, her vivid red lipstick is the signature shade for the seductive spirit. Available exclusively online in select markets December 2015.”

 

MAC-Cosmetics-Dita-Von-Teese-lipstick-holiday-2015

TBR Dec 8 2015 Online exclusive

Mac & DVT have teamedup yet again to bring us a lovely product – this time a limited ed. lippie in a vibrant tomato red matte, aptly and simply named Von Teese. I would say this shade is more of a classic red with a modern twist to it; its bright and not deep, and there is somthing both modern and retro about it.

While indeed this is a lovely shade, I have to admit there is something… I dunno, rushed or incomplete about it? Not the shade itself I suppose, but the product line – or lack thereof. I was surprised to only see a lipstick released and not a set or any other products. I also found the plastic packaging to be quite lackluster, considering that I really thought if its only one product it would be a real deco looking show-stopper. I dunno, it may just be me but I am growing tired of some of the latest MAC collabs that seem rushed and thrown together. Not to mention I have enough limited ed. reds in the same ole’ Mac packaging. Even so, this is gonna sellout quick and its def worth picking up if you are a crazed LE collector such as I. So grab it while you can before it ends up on Ebay for 3X the original price.

TBR Dec 8th 2015 – online exclusive

 

October 15, 2015

Designer Collaborations: Balmain for H&M

Filed under: Uncategorized — luxebeaute @ 12:12 am

Balmainia appears to be in full effect as women get their CC’s prepped for this upcomming collab!

The limited release collaboration consists of over 100 items, all of which really do appear to be of high quality and intricately detailed. While H&M collabs with high end design houses are usually priced purposefully at a mid-range point, this one does happen to be on the pricier side. With good reason: there appear to be many delicately beaded and more intricate pieces in this range.

While I adore Balmain, many of the busier millitaryesque designs can quickly go awry on a shorter curvy gal like me so I have to be careful. With that in mind there are a few key pieces I am def planning on trying to get my hands on, specifically those below. This is the perfect op to grab some lovely staples, such as a couple of chic distinctly Balmain dresses, chic outerwear which carries over from season to season, and some great handbags!

Available in stores and online Nov 5th 2015

October 3, 2015

Winter Footwear Dejour

Filed under: Shoes — luxebeaute @ 3:14 am

I love the Winter months. Not because I enjoy cozying up on the couch listening to the rain whilst getting all introspective like, but for much more superficial reasons… All Summer, I look forward to first sign of gloomy whether so that I may breakout my jackets, scarves and boots! Yes, I am deep.

Though it is only Winter in theory, as Whether wise,  Californian Mother Nature is being quite schizophrenic. Even so, shoe designers in all price ranges have a lot to offer this Winter. Tall boots have been kept somewhat plain but I say go for whatever catches your eye and represents you. I like classic and chic but I also can’t resist an excellently embellished knee-high. Especially if its retro look, bright, or embroidered.

Somehow, designers have managed to keep overly embellished looks from coming off as cheap; and a surprising amount of companies that I typically brush off as for the under 30 crowd (Rock & Republic, Collin Stewart for VS, Guess) are designing chic looks which can easily be mistaken for their high end counterpart. Imagine my surprise when my eyes led my body (and wallet) toward a lovely platform whilst online shopping which looked like it could have been a pair of Valentino’s, but were actually Guess! These my dear readers, are the surprises I like- and I don’t do surprises.

If you do not own any yet,  this time to upgrade and invest in a pair of really good quality knee high or over the knee boots.  You will get a lot of bang for your buck, considering they are masters of disguises of sorts- they look equally great with knee length dresses. Ditto for the ankle boot, which seems to survive the test of time. These will both come back into play fashionwise at some point within the years to come- trust me I know, as this Winter is the PERFECT time for me to break out my Topnotch lace up boots by Charles David and my Dollhouse Ciru Studed ankle boots, and a pair of suede ankle Bandelinos (in which I have had for 10 yrs) from storage.

Don’t be afraid of these particular boot trends, embrace them!

Luxe Beaute Top Boot Picks:
Charlotte Olympia - Bonnie Suede Metallic Platform Knee Bootsnm bootChristian Louboutin - Leather Over-The-Knee Corset Boots

Rockstud Leather 95mm Knee Boot, NeroLanvin - Metallic Python & Leather Knee-High Boots
Charlotte Olympia Bonnie Platform ($1,195), Neiman Marcus Mira Studded Leather Boot ($489), Louboutin over the knees ($2, 595), Valentino Rockstud ($2,440), Lanvin Metallic Python ($1,194), Suzani chunky heel ($350).

 

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