Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Woman In Black...NARS Sarah Moon Nail Polish


For whatever reason, Japan only offered two of the three polish shades from the Sarah Moon Collection: Never Tamed & La Dame En Noir. Given my attraction to deep, vampy shades, I picked up La Dame En Noir. However, the other two shades are still available online in the states. So, I may get them in the near future.


La Dame En Noir is a rich, dark claret with a glossy crelly; yet, it leans more on the creme side. finish. The polish's formula is so thin and watery, I thought I forgot to shake the bottle when I first applied it. I didn't have any difficulty applying the polish, but there was some unevenness. La Dame En Noir required four coats to correct any patchiness and get the depths of richness I wanted, which looks stunning.

In my case, the more the coats, the quicker to chip. And, that was my concern with La Dame En Noir, but it wore for 4 day before getting my first chip.

Although there is nothing unique about the shade of Nars' La Dame En Noir, I'm happy to add this nail polish as another notch in my vamp collection belt.

Monday, March 13, 2017

This Addiction Is Serious...Dior Addict Eau de Parfum



I'm going to be retiring this blue bottled beauty soon. But, before I do, let me introduce my all-time favorite signature scent for winter: Dior's Dior Addict Eau de Parfum.

In telling the little tale of how I discovered the Dior Addict Eau de Parfum, I'm about to date myself... big-time!

Yup, I still have a bottle of Urban Decay's Sin.

Way back in 2004, my friend Maria worked for Urban Decay. During one of our hangouts, she gave me several products from the brand, including a handful of their Sin oil perfumes. Does anyone out there remember these roll-on perfumes?

Anyhow, I was mad about the sultry spicy scent. I don't recall the year (I wanna say, 2006), but when I went to repurchase the oil, it had been discontinued; thus, causing me to have a "what the @#$%" moment.

With bottle in tow, I hit the fragrance counters, desperate to find Sin's replacement. Eureka! Behold Dior's Dior Addict Eau de Parfum; it smelled exactly like the Urban Decay Sin Oil Perfume. But, I'm pretty sure, Sin was a Dior Addict knock off.


The Eau de Parfum opens with the top note of Orange Blossom, heart note of Jasmine Sambac Absolute, and a base note of Bourbon Vanilla.

Dior Addict is a dark, seductive, intoxicating, warm, spicy fragrance. When I wear this parfum, I imagine I'm some femme fatale in a film noir. This Eau de Parfum has gone through three different reformulations, with minor differences between them. I have the bottles from the first and second formulation back in the states. But, I'd say this third version is a tinge less spicy then the original; nevertheless still as spellbinding. I get so many compliments from my colleagues and clients, even my students comment on how good I smell. A while ago, Aki was standing next to me while I cooking, and as we were talking, he randomly said, "you smell good."


I used to purchase the 50ml bottle(13,500 yen), but given I change my perfumes seasonally, I started buying the 30ml (9,180 yen). Even since the beginning of winter (December 21st), I've used it every day, and I'm 1/3 of the way through the bottle.

To demonstrate the longevity of Dior Addict, I spray the left and right side of my decollete before leaving my apartment in the morning (no later then 6:30am). The Eau de Parfum last, without fading, until my evening shower, which is around 11:00pm. That's almost seventeen hours!

If you're looking for a enticing, smoldering fragrance with some mystery, I highly recommend Dior Addict Eau de Parfum.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

When Chocolate Meets Strawberries


Lunasol's January 27th,  limited edition, Valentine Collection was a mini magical release; perfect for its intended holiday, perfect for spring as well as fall.

Included in the collection was the Duo de Chocolat Eyes, in EX04 Chocolat Fraise, and the Melty Chocolat Lips, in EX04 Chocolat Fraise.

I own all three of the Melty Chocolat Lips, and two of the three Duo de Chocolat Eyes from Lunasol's fall 2015 collection. Now, I wish I had purchased the other Duo de Chocolat Eyes because having an uneven number of these is causing my OCD to flare up.


The small brown box has a decent sized mirror, and an attached elastic band, that wraps around opposing corners, to secure the palette. I love how the packaging resembles a chocolate box.

Both products have a delicate, sweet cocoa fragrance. However, the duo seems to be losing its scent.


The EX04 Chocolat Fraise duo comes with a deep, rosy-brown with a smidgen of mauve matte, and a warm, yellow-based, rosy-pink semi-iridescent shimmer. Upon swatching, and during application, I was very impressed with the pigmentation of the two, especially the semi-iridescent shadow. If you're familiar with Japanese shimmer shadows, you know shimmer shadows can be glitter bombs in disguise. Buttery and silky smooth, both eye shadows apply, and blend out, extraordinarily well without any patchiness; they also wear flawlessly throughout the day.


The formulation of Lunasol's lipglosses are some of my favorites. I wish the brand would stop teasing  me with these limited releases,and finally make the Melty Chocolat Lips permanent, because they're stunning in, both, look and feel. EX04 Chocolat Fraise is a warm, brownish-rose. With a slightly thick consistency (without the tackiness), I love the slick application of this lipgloss. They feel extremely lush, comfortable, and hydrating. Though my lips are fairly pale, I have used the Melty Chocolat Lips on more pigmented pouts, and the opacity is enough to conceal the lips natural hue, giving a beautiful wash of color and luscious shine.


From left to right: EX04 Chocolat Fraise Duo de Chocolat Eyes, EX04 Chocolat Fraise Melty Chocolat Lips.

 This is the look I wore on Valentine's Day. 

Look Breakdown:
Face:
Victoria beckham Estee Lauder Morning Aura Illuminating Creme.
MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 in NC30.
Lunasol Coloring Creamy Cheeks in EX02 (applied as a base for the blush)
Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Exposed.
MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Definitely Defined (highlight).
Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder in 2.
Eyes:
B & C Browlash EX Water Strong W Eyebrow in Grey Brown.
Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil in NSA.
Bare Minerals Well-Rested (to set concealer).
MAC Paint Pot in Utterly Becoming (eyeshadow base).
MAC Eye Shadow in Blanc Type (on the brow bone and inner corner).
Lunasol Duo de Chocolat Eyes in EX04 Chocolat Fraise:
The warm, yellow-based, rosy-pink semi-iridescent shimmer shadow (patted on the inner three-fourths of the lid).
The deep, rosy-brown with a smidgen of mauve matte shadow (blended into the outer v, crease, and lower lashline).
Addiction Eyeliner Pencil in 09 Rabbit Hole.
Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Wonder Blacks Mascara Smudge Proof in Wonderful Blacks.
Lips:
MAC Lip Pencil in Whirl.
Lunasol Melty Chocolat Lips in EX04 Chocolat Fraise.


Look Breakdown:
Face:
Victoria beckham Estee Lauder Morning Aura Illuminating Creme.
MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 in NC30.
Lunasol Coloring Creamy Cheeks in EX02 (applied as a base for the blush)
Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Exposed.
MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Definitely Defined (highlight).
Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder in 2.
Eyes:
B & C Browlash EX Water Strong W Eyebrow in Grey Brown.
Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil in NSA.
Bare Minerals Well-Rested (to set concealer).
MAC Paint Pot in Utterly Becoming (eyeshadow base).
Lunasol Duo de Chocolat Eyes in EX04 Chocolat Fraise:
The warm, yellow-based, rosy-pink semi-iridescent shimmer shadow (in the inner corner, and lightly dusted on the brow bone).
The deep, rosy-brown with a smidgen of mauve matte shadow (all over the lid, blended into crease, and lower lashline).
MAC Eye Shadow in Swiss Chocolate (used to blend out the area between the crease and brow bone).
MAC Lip Pencil in Girlfriend (on the waterline).
Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Wonder Blacks Mascara Smudge Proof in Wonderful Blacks.
Lips:
Lunasol Melty Chocolat Lips in EX04 Chocolat Fraise.

I'm wholeheartedly enamored with this collection. I knew I would love the deep, rosy-brown matte eye shadow of EX04 Chocolat Fraise and the lipgloss (my reason for buying both items). But, I equally feel for the rosy-pink semi-iridescent shimmer. In conclusion, this was a very well edited collection. The different finishes, and shades, make an attractive pairing with one another to create several beautiful romantic looks.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

I polished In The Nude...Lauren B Nude No.5 Nail Couture


After returning from vacation, I find I need another vacation from my vacation. It's been rough getting back into the swing of things of starting my days at 5am.


The Lauren B Beauty website describes Nude No.5 as "A luminous espresso brown with a hint of mauve." Brown with a hint of mauve?! This description was the reason I purchased Nude No.5 a few years ago.

I would describe Nude No.5 as a pastel (can browns be pastel? If not, this is the first), watered-down, neutral muddy brown, with more of a gesture than hint of mauve, but only in direct sunlight.

All the Lauren B Nail Couture polishes I own are practically opaque with one coat; they apply smoothly, and evenly, with an average wear of 4 to 5 days.

Albeit, it's a beautiful brown polish, and it works well for the upcoming spring season. I wore Nude No.5 on Valentine's day, and received lots of compliments on the manicure.

What browns do you like wearing for spring? 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

No Need To Sugar Coat It...Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Top Coat


My three favorite polish top coats are: Dior Gel Coat, Butter London 'Hardwear P.D. Quick' Topcoat ( replaced by the 'Hardwear' Shine UV Topcoat, which I've yet to try), and Guerlain Le Top Coat Gel (it's revamped incarnation, and today's feature), La Petite Robe Noire Top Coat.

Aside from the new, chic, feminine bottle with the inverted 'heart-shaped' cap, Guerlain's La Petite Robe Noire Top Coat offers the same brilliant, "glass-like" shine and chip-resistant, protective coating of its former. The formula dries quickly, and unveils, as Guerlain describes, "a delicate floral fruity fragrance with accents of bergamot, rose and raspberry, inspired by the delicious notes of La Petite Robe Noire." Was the Le Top Coat Gel scented? I've been racking my brain trying to remember, but I can't...can someone please let me know if the Le Top Coat Gel was scented or not?


The long, flat, wide brush is fantastic; it fans out and glides over the surface smoothly, with perfect ease. I do have one grievance, and it's the distance between the brush and the bottom of the bottle. Look at all that wasted space?! Once I've exceeded the length of the bristles, I'm going to have to tilt the bottle, and contort the stubby brush to try to get the remain amount (which is substantial). Shame on you Guerlain, would it have killed you to make the handle of brush a little longer.

Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Top Coat retails for 3,240 yen.

What are some of your favorite Top Coats? 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Channeling My Chi Through My Mane


I never got around to showcasing my fall hair regime, and although there's only 18 days left, here are my staple haircare products for winter. The combined of all these products have kept my hair moisturized, shiny, frizz, and static free, as well as premium condition during the colder season.

The packaging of the Chi Farouk Royal line reminds me of giant chess pieces.

Chi Farouk Royal Treatment Super Volume Shampoo: again, since my move to Japan, this dry-haired girl has been plagued with an oily scalp. To combat this, enter in Chi's Farouk Royal Treatment Super Volume Shampoo. The shampoo lathers exceptionally well, so only a small amount is needed. After two shampoos, my scalp and hair is left feeling soft and clean, with added shine. I usually wash my hair every other day, but the extra bounce, lift, and volume the shampoo gives my hair enable me to extend the amount of days (sometimes four days) between blow outs. Also, the Farouk Royal Treatment line smells DIVINE! I can't describe it, but it's a rich, seductive, sultry, spicy, woodsy, berry fragrance that last until the next wash. 

Chi Farouk Royal Treatment Intense Moisture Conditioner: The Intense Moisture Conditioner shares the same luscious scent as the Super Volume Shampoo. As with all conditioners I use, I apply it to the mid-lengths of my hair to the ends, leaving it on for 5-10 minutes (during which time I give my best A Capella performances). Formulated with White Truffle, Pearl and Vitamin B, the Intense Moisture conditioner leaves my hair tangle-free, soft, and hydrated.


All three of these products have this masculine fragrance that I find extremely desirable.

Chi Straight Guard Smoothing Styling Cream: I apply two pumps of the Straight Guard Smoothing Styling Cream (along with the Silk Infusion Silk Reconstructing Complex) from the mid-length of my hair to the ends. Featuring an easy brush-glide formula, this conditioner allows my jumbo round brush to comb through my hair, easily, while blow drying. Afterwards, my hair is manageable, silky-smooth, frizz-free, and lustrous, without being weighed down.

Chi Silk Infusion Silk Reconstructing Complex: I like to eyeball it, and mix this with the Straight Guard Smoothing Styling Cream, to protect my hair against damage from thermal styling. The combination of these two products is golden, but even of it's own, the Silk Infusion Silk Reconstructing Complex is stellar; it smooths, nourishes, softens, tames frizzes, fly-aways as well as evil winter static. Although not prescribed, I like to apply a tiny amount to the mid-length of my hair and ends after blow-drying because I love how shiny and great it make my hair smell. 

Chi Volume Booster Liquid Bodifying Glaze: I'm not a fan of dry shampoos. Therefore, I use liquid volumizing sprays like this one to give my roots a boost on the second, third, and, sometimes, fourth day between washes. I still adore the Shiseido Professional The Hair Care Adenovital Root Spray. However, it's an industrious root lifting product, and after use, I'm not able to pass my round brush through my hair. As a result, I use it when I'm going to wash my hair the next day. On the second and/or third day, I section off the front of my hair (dry), use one spray on each side of the section, and blow dry. I really enjoy how flexible this spray is. It never gets sticky, stiff, hard, crunchy, etc. Thus, allowing for next day use with no buildup. The Volume Booster has a fantastic, lightweight formula that adds a considerable amount of lift and volume to my roots, while maintaining and possibly adding shine.

Have you used any of these products? 

All copyrights reserved by So Lonely in Gorgeous | Blog Design by Get Polished