Thursday, July 24, 2014

Simple Beauty Saviors: Hello Sailor + Alterna Caviar CC Cream Leave-In Hair Perfector

lipstick queen hello sailor
Above: Blue lipstick?  Lipstick Queen's Hello Sailor is brimming with blackberry goodness.
I have been intrigued by the notion of Lipstick Queen's cult classic, Hello Sailor, for quite awhile now.  Available at Space NK, Nordstrom, Barney's NY and B-Glowing, this translucent, indigo blue lipstick may seem daunting on the tube, but instead of creating an intense, gothic look, Hello Sailor goes on essentially clear, and then morphs into a naturally gorgeous, shiny blackberry shade. Couple this beauty alchemy with intense hydration and a lovely, lasting finish and this lip color is the perfect option for immediately moisturized, aubergine-tinted lips! 

Kindly scroll on for more details, swatches and images of both Hello Sailor and my new haircare discovery, Alterna Caviar CC Cream Leave-In Hair Perfector as well as the Bottom Line...

lipstick queen hello sailor
Above: The Hello Sailor formula is so hydrating that it can be worn as a balm!
Here are the official details, courtesy of Lipstick Queen: 

"We’ve seen the trend for blackberry lips but I have a whole new take on this - a super sheer, silky-feeling navy that gives lips a deep berry tint. Turn nautical into ‘naughty cool’ with this new lip phenomenon!" Poppy
Turn the blackberry lip trend on its head with this ultra-modern, navy blue sheer lipstick. In a nod to the nautical, Hello Sailor tints lips in a cool, berry tone with a hint of deep sapphire. The sheer blue pigment is suspended in a super-moisturising Vitamin E treatment. Can be worn alone as a nourishing lip stain or teamed with its Berry sisters in Saint or Sinner, adding a topaz glint to your berry lips.
**Turns a sheer plum on the lips
**Pure Vitamin E keeps lips ultra-moisturized
**Teeth appear whiter due to blue tones
lipstick queen hello sailor
Above: A closeup of Hello Sailor...this is truly a unique product in my extensive lip collection.
Above: In this initial swatch, the color hasn't yet developed to its final blackberry tone.
In my experience, Hello Sailor turns the most quintessential shade of blackberry mere seconds upon application.  Feeling more like a treatment than a lipstick, the silky formula adds instant moisture to my lips and watching the color develop is a boatload (pun intended) of fun!  Two coats and my beauty look appears low-maintenance yet utterly complete; as an unapologetic nude lip color lover, I never thought I would enjoy a deeper shade of plummy berry so much.  

Above: Loving Hello Sailor.
lipstick queen hello sailor swatches
Above: An early swatch of Hello Sailor in direct sunlight.
Unlike other "self-adapting" lip colors, Hello Sailor never degrades to a bright pink (this has happened to me countless times with similar formulas) truly maintains its stunning aubergine hue over the duration of wear.  Speaking of wear time, I get 3-4 hours of subtle color and shine before feeling the need to touch it up.  Even then, the reapplication process is devilishly amusing as onlookers marvel at this seemingly bold blue lip color choice ; )  All in all, Hello Sailor will be a summer staple due to its ease of application (no mirror required!), lush hydration and brilliantly flattering shade!

lipstick queen hello sailor
Above: Two coats of Hello Sailor alone on the lips, after the color has developed! 
Onto the hair...

Above: My last step...Alternal Caviar CC Cream Leave-In Hair Perfector instantly detangles, smooths and protects my hair until my next washing. 
As an avid hair-washer, my mane is exposed to a variety of haircare options...from lather-free shampoos to deep conditioning masks, my shower shelves are overflowing with options.  One product that is entirely unique in my menagerie, however, is the Alterna Caviar CC Cream 10-in-1 Complete Correction Leave-In Hair Perfector.  Although one may immediately associate "CC" solely with complexion products that are lightweight and effective, this miracle potion expertly smooths, tames and beautifies the hair with equal finesse.  

Above: An impressive list of the 10 different ways Alterna Caviar CC Cream Leave-In Hair Perfector improves the hair.
I love that this leave-in formula is applied after washing one's hair...this allows me to use my shampoo and conditioner of choice without having to spend extra time in the shower for an additional treatment.  Two pumps on my wet hair makes it easier to brush out, which ultimately expedites drying time, yielding soft, shiny, manageable hair that also is infused with UV protection.  The texture of the serum is extremely light and easily absorbed into the hair shaft; I am so impressed with how well this formula performs and know this will be in my toiletries bag for all future's one product that truly has it all! 
Above: This serum comes with a secure pump dispenser top for maximum control.
Below:  The following images showcase the noteworthy abilities of the Alterna CC Cream Leave-In Hair Protector...prior to application, I let my hair air dry, so the smoothness is due to the product, not any form of heat treatment (e.g., blowdrying or a straightener)! 

Other products worn in these images include:  

--Shop the Post--

Bottom Line: Sometimes, a couple of simple products can make a massive difference!  The sheer yet transformative powers of Hello Sailor and the protective and restorative properties of the Alterna Caviar CC Cream Leave-In Hair Perfector ensure both smooth lips and hair for hours on end.  Both are key components in my easy summertime routine.

What are some of YOUR current beauty saviors?

More on the blog soon, including a full review of the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Killer Cheekbones compact (currently discussed HERE) including contour comparison swatches and a skincare update!

Hope your weekend is off to a lovely start...xx,

--The Beauty Professor

** PR sample  provided for review (the rest bought by me)  however, as always, all of my opinions are expressly and unequivocally my own.  
 © 2012-14 Beautyprofessor® All Rights Reserved. Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author's written permission.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Lipstick in Envious...Making All the Other Reds Jealous

Above: Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Lipstick in Envious.
Red lips...they make an undeniable statement; classic, polished and sophisticated, a crimson pout immediately communicates confidence and offsets the need for a "full face" of makeup.   I recently had the chance to try the Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Lipstick in Envious, which is, in my opinion, the most quintessential true red I've experienced to date.  

Kindly scroll on for details, swatches and images of Envious on the lips as well as the Bottom Line...

Above: Envious is a true neutral red...classically flattering to most skin tones. 
I adore the Pure Color Envy Lipstick formula...I initially purchased the shade Desirable (swatched and reviewed HERE), a gorgeous pinky nude, and was taken by the pigment-rich, smooth application and intense hydration.  The Color Envy formulation is brilliant; silky, moisturizing and drenched with vibrancy and the carmine Envious has a cream finish that reaches full opacity with a single swipe. 

Above: The Pure Color Envy formula has a beautiful cream finish.
The wear time on this formula is equally impressive.  Upon application, I get four to five hours of comfortable wear without the need for touch ups.  Once its potency fades a bit (and it wears away evenly, I might add), I am still left with a cherry stain reminiscent of its initial flush.  Despite it's highly pigmented nature, my kisser stays hydrated over the duration of light of my propensity towards dry lips, this is no small feat!

Above: Envious glides on smoothly and drenches the skin with creamy pigment in a single pass.
Above: A swatch of Envious in direct sunlight.
Above: Once coat of Envious on the lips.
Below: Images of Envious in various lighting situations...I am also wearing:
Above: In outdoor sunlight.
Above: In outdoor shade. 
Above: With a flash.
Above: Shade without a flash.
--Shop the Post--

Bottom Line: If you are on the hunt for a fierce, visage-altering red, then look no further;  Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Lipstick in Envious is the unequivocal solution.  With all attention on the lips, the rest of the makeup look can be pared down to the bare minimum...time saving and magnifique!

Have you tried the Pure Color Envy formula yet? What is YOUR favorite red lip color?

I hope your week is going well...much more soon!


--The Beauty Professor

** PR sample  provided for review (the rest bought by me)  however, as always, all of my opinions are expressly and unequivocally my own.  
 © 2012-14 Beautyprofessor® All Rights Reserved. Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author's written permission.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + a Class By Itself

la prairie skin caviar foundation
Above (L-R): Creme Peche, Creme Blush and Beige.
In my quest to find the most exquisite of foundations, I recently had the chance to try the illustrious La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation SPF 15 (available at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale's, Sak's and Selfridges).  Previous mentions and usage of the formula (HERE and HERE) have sparked great interest and I am excited to present my cumulative thoughts on this luxurious foundation after working with it for the past month.  

Kindly scroll  on for a wealth of details, swatches, images of the foundation on my face as well as the Bottom Line...

la prairie skin caviar foundation
Above: Infused with actual Caviar-extract, this is an utterly luxurious foundation + concealer formula.
Preliminarily, many of my readers who knew I was engaging in trial with this formula asked me if it was worth it, likely because this foundation resides at a higher price point than most.  That being said, I am happy to confirm that it is indeed a worthy investment.  For those that are taken back at the thought of a $200 foundation, I think it is imperative to note that, for the price, one is receiving both foundation (with significant skincare benefits) AND a perfectly matched, ultra-pigmented concealer.  When one takes into account the cost of both product in the high-end beauty sector, the price seems more reasonable, no?

Above and below...the full ingredients list.  Over my month of trial, my extremely sensitive skin hasn't had any adverse reactions to this formula!

My observations on the formula are as follows:

APPLICATION: I prefer to apply this with a dampened Beauty Blender directly following an application of Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge #2.  If I know I am going to be outdoors in intense sun, then I will also add a spray of  the Goldfaden MD Sun Visor SPF 30 for added protection.

COVERAGE: This foundation has lovely medium to full coverage upon initial application.  There is no need to build it up, but I did a second application over a dark spot and found that it layered without caking or looking unnatural.  Those seeking authentic medium to full coverage that banishes imperfections flawlessly while still looking natural will love this.  

TEXTURE and FINISH: The texture of the foundation is plush and creamy.  It is emollient enough to smooth over the skin (even independent of primer...I tried this once) and blends into the canvas while reducing the appearance of pores and dark spots.  Although it feels "substantial," it isn't heavy and my skin feels very comfortable over the duration of wear.  I would deem this a satin-matte finish.  There is no obvious shimmer, but somehow, the creamy texture imparts the look of naturally radiant and healthy skin.  Even though there is SPF 15, I haven't noticed any flashback in photos.

The concealer texture is quite creamy and thick and ever so could almost come across as having a bit of "tack," but I think that is what makes it so stalwart in the under eye region.  I just use my Jenny Patinkin Domed Multi-Blender Brush for a completely seamless application.

LASTING POWER: I get 6-7 hours of wear time without need for touch ups.  Often, I don't even set this with powder (the initial finish is just so lovely on its own) and will use just a touch of Surratt Diaphane Powder, Eve Lom Sheer Radiance Powder or Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge Powder as a mid-day reinforcement.  With hours of extended wear, my skin does not get slippery or shiny, rather, the glow merely increases; by the end of the day, my skin still feels comfortable and like it is able to breathe  Although this isn't entirely transfer-proof (most foundations are not),  I do find that it basically stays in place without pooling, migrating or streaking.  

OVERALL: I am entirely impressed with this foundation.  As aforementioned, the concealer is creamy and extremely concentrated...a pin head amount covers dark circles and discoloration and, as long as I don't apply too much, there is no creasing!  The foundation is equally effective.  A nickel-sized amount is all that is necessary to fully perfect the canvas and my skin is left even, smooth, balanced and radiant.  This foundation has received glowing reviews for years and my experience with it fully confirms the validity of this praise.  It's magnificent!

I find that it:
  • Has a slight bit more coverage than the Eve Lom Radiance Lift Foundation (reviewed HERE)
  • Has equal coverage to and a slightly more dewy finish than the By Terry Densiliss Foundation (reviewed HERE)
  • Has less coverage and less glow than the Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation (reviewed HERE)
  • Has equal coverage to and a slightly more dewy finish than the Suqqu Frame Fix Foundation (reviewed HERE)
  • Has less coverage and slightly more dewiness than the By Terry Cover Expert Foundation (reviewed HERE)
  • Has more coverage and less dewiness than the La Prairie Anti-Aging Hydra Tint (reviewed HERE)
  • Has less coverage and more dewiness than the Hourglass Immaculate Foundation (reviewed HERE)
  • Has a plusher texture and slightly more coverage and dewiness than the Mally Ultimate Performance Liquid Foundation (reviewed HERE)

la prairie skin caviar foundation
Above (from L-R): Creme Peche, Creme Blush and Beige...the built-in, corresponding concealer on the top of the frosted glass jar is a packaging innovation. 
Here are the official details, courtesy of La Prairie; I love the ingredients explanation...

The ultimate self-indulgence, Skin Caviar Concealer • Foundation SPF 15 boldly approaches makeup on a dazzling level customary to La Prairie. The skincare scientists at La Prairie enlisted the renowned benefits and groundbreaking techniques exclusive to the Skin Caviar Collection to create a beautiful and beneficial cosmetic treatment to reveal a younger, fresher and flawless face.

La Prairie’s Skin Caviar Concealer • Foundation SPF 15 boasts an advanced silicone and polymer technology utilizing “cross linked” chemistry to bind all treatments and pigments into a silken veil of age-altering colour to promote a smooth, radiant complexion. Encapsulated, high-powered concentrations of skin firming caviar extracts, moisturizing liposomes, UVA/UVB sunscreens, anti-oxidants, optical diffusers and long- wearing pigments help firm and lift the face, transforming its appearance, texture and overall luminescence.

Key Ingredients / Benefits:

• Essential firming properties found in Caviar Extract, Algae Extract, Seaweed Proteins, Malt Extract and La Prairie’s exclusive Cellular Complex help nourish and energize the skin and provide de-aging benefits for the overall appearance of younger, firmer skin.
• Ultraviolet absorbers plus an anti-oxidant complex containing Vitamin E help neutralize free radicals that can potentially damage the skin.

• Moisturizing properties including Glycerin, Petrolatum and Dimethicone along with essential Amino Acids are encapsulated in Liposome Delivery Systems for targeted and controlled moisturization to the upper levels of the skin.

La Prairie’s Skin Caviar Concealer • Foundation SPF 15 provides exceptional pigment technology to impart smooth and continuous coverage with extraordinary prolonged wear. Available in 12 full-coverage, luminous shades, Skin Caviar Concealer • Foundation SPF 15 is ingeniously packaged with a Caviar-rich, colour- coordinated professional concealer in the cap of each foundation jar along with a specially created nylon brush for a smooth, easy and non-irritating application.

The scientific integrity of La Prairie’s Skin Caviar Concealer • Foundation SPF 15 redefines traditional foundation with ultimate firming and de-aging benefits, therefore, surpassing ideals once set forth for the appearance of flawless, youthful skin while maintaining full coverage. As Lynne Florio, Global Brand President,

La Prairie states, “Our commitment to revolutionize skincare and treatment cosmetics continues with the launch of Skin Caviar Concealer • Foundation SPF 15, a unique dual treatment product that joins the Skin Caviar Collection to epitomize the quintessence of luxury.” 

la prairie skin caviar foundation swatches
Above: The jar has an applicator paddle to easily transfer the formula for application.  I put a dab on the back of my freshly-washed hand and then apply with a damp Beauty Blender. 
la prairie skin caviar foundation swatches

This formula comes in 12 shades (I tried three in the light-medium range):
  • Ivory
  • Soft Beige
  • Porcelaine Blush
  • Creme Peche: Light warm beige for skin in the NC 20-23 range
  • Creme Blush: Neutral light beige for skin in the N/NW/NC 25 range (not as rosy as the name implies!)
  • Beige: Neutral light-medium beige for skin in the N/NW/NC 25-27 range (this is my perfect match right now in the dead of summer!)
  • Peche
  • Sand Beige
  • Honey Beige
  • Soleil Peche
  • Golden Beige 
  • Mocha
On the skin, Creme Blush and Beige look quite similar, however, the undertones of the corresponding concealers are different; Creme Blush's concealer is neutral to pink and Beige's concealer has a yellow undertone.

la prairie skin caviar foundation swatches
Above: In direct sunlight (no flash).
la prairie skin caviar foundation swatches
Above: In outdoor shade.
la prairie skin caviar foundation swatches
Above: In mixed outdoor lighting.
Below: Images of La Prairie Skin Caviar in Beige on my skin in various lighting situations...

Above: With a flash.
Above: Without a flash.
Above: With a flash.
Above: Without a flash.
Above: With a flash.
Above: With a flash.
Above: With a flash.
Above: Without a flash.
--Shop the Post--

Bottom Line: I am truly glad that I finally tried the La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation SPF 15 (available at NordstromNeiman MarcusBloomingdale'sSak's and Selfridges).  As a foundation fanatic--who, I might add, has spent the bulk of her beauty budget on this singular product over the years--I am thoroughly pleased that this formula lives up to it's luxurious reputation.  Possessing classic, flawless coverage, a comfortable, lasting finish and skincare benefits from precious ingredients, this formula is in a class by itself and should be on the wish lists of those who pursue the best foundation options available as mightily as I do.  This will continue to be in my foundation rotation!

Have YOU tried the La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation?  Thoughts?

More soon...including new product discoveries, a fresh FOTD and a killer red lipstick...xx,

--The Beauty Professor

** PR sample  provided for review (the rest bought by me),  however, as always, all of my opinions are expressly and unequivocally my own.  
 © 2012-14 Beautyprofessor® All Rights Reserved. Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author's written permission.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale...My Shopping List + Images of What I Bought!

Above: A glimpse of the Kenneth Cole Faux Fur Jacket...I cannot wait for the weather to get cool enough for me to wear this!

After posting about the early access (for account holders) to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale last week, I received many requests to show images of some of the items I purchased.  Since today marks the open access of the sale to everyone (even if you don't have a Nordstrom card), I thought I would re-share my shopping list as well as provide you with images of some of my favorite procurements.  Trust me when I say that taking the pictures of the coats was a labor of love in light of the fact that it is definitely not quite "coat weather" here in Southern CA!  

Kindly scroll on for my list and select images of the items I purchased...

CLOTHING...all options HERE

1. Equipment 'Margaux' Pinstripe Cotton Shirt...I haven't tried a cotton button down from Equipment yet, but now I shall because this classic basic is a steal.
2. Equipment 'Reese' Print Silk Shirt (images below) collection of Equipment silk shirts is heavily relied upon in my daily wardrobe.  Can't wait to integrate this very wearable plaid version, which is a gorgeous mix of black, blue and purple, into the mix.  My shorts in the subsequent images are from Top Shop and were recently purchased at Nordstrom as well!

3. Helen Berman Wool Blend Cape (images below)...I have always wanted a cape and the time has come to make that dream a reality.  I purchased the black is lightweight, the material is high-quality and the fit (XS) is amazing.  Love this! 

4. Kenneth Cole Faux Fur Jacket...the neutral cream color and swingy shape of this coat was calling my name and I answered ; )  This was difficult to track down in-store so if you find it online and like it, I suggest acting on the purchase.  It is true to size (I bought a small), super soft, very comfortable and endlessly a very chic and attractive blanket!

SHOES...full selection HERE

1. Joe's 'Abby' Cutout Leather Bootie (images below) is rare to see a unique spin on a bootie these days.  I am loving the cut out...unique, yet totally wearable.  I have already worn these a few times (with shorts, no less!) and have been stopped by different people inquiring who makes them and where they can get girl even took a picture!  They are comfortable, easy to get on and off, fit true to size (I got a 7) and I know they'll be a staple in my fall work wardrobe.

2. Frye 'Anna -- Shortie' Leather Boot...I usually get one pair of Frye's at the sale each year. This beautiful brownish pair is my choice this time around!

Now, onto the can view the full array of Nordstrom Beauty Exclusives HERE

The products I am strongly considering include...

1. Charlotte Tilbury 'Filmstar Killer Cheekbones' Set...this would be my first Charlotte Tilbury product and am so excited, especially since I do some form of contouring everyday.  It arrived yesterday, just in time for me to take preliminary images...the packaging is endlessly luxe and I am impressed with how soft the brush is.  The powders themselves are pigmented and ultra finely-milled.  Can't wait to do a full  blog post feature on this the meanwhile, my first impressions confirm that this one is a GEM!

2. Baby Quasar PLUS Light Therapy Device (Nordstrom Exclusive) be fair, I actually already own this, but I am thinking of buying one as a gift for a family member and this markdown makes it a sweet deal.
3. Burberry Beauty 'Effortless Beauty' Set...totally intrigued by this lovely collection.
4. AMOREPACIFIC 'Time Response' Collection...I've wanted to try the full size of these products for months and this sale seems to be the perfect time to invest.
5. MAC 'Look in a Box -- All About Nude' Set...can't say no to a finely-edited nude set!
6. NARS Cheek Palette...I am not usually one for palettes, but this one is so versatile...bronzing, highlighting and blush options a-plenty.
7. NARS 'Dolce Vita' Lip & Nail Set...I have loved the 'Dolce Vita' shade for years and am always attracted to it again in the fall...will get this for myself or perhaps as a gift for a friend.

--Shop the Post--

Bottom Line: I adore getting a deal on new fall merchandise and there is no better way to indulge in this luxury than with the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  I hope this overview, and my newly added personal images are useful for you as you peruse the offerings of this event.  What is catching YOUR eye?

xoxo and more soon...including a comprehensive review of the glorious La Prairie Skin Caviar Foundation!

--The Beauty Professor

 © 2012-14 Beautyprofessor® All Rights Reserved. Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author's written permission.