Monday, September 15, 2014

Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide...Swatches, Review and Beauty Look!

Above: An array of Laura Mercier for a flawless face.
I have used Laura Mercier products for years.  From Secret Camouflage (nothing conceals blemishes better) to her Creme Smooth lipstick in 60's Pink (reviewed HERE), her cosmetics are tasteful, classic and endlessly wearable.  Although the color in the Laura Mercier line is gorgeous, the brand is perhaps most synonymous with the concept of the flawless face.  With base products ranging from sheer tinted moisturizer to finely-milled mineral powder (and everything in-between), the flawless face now has a new Laura Mercier option...the Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide, a revolutionary oil-free formula that feels extraordinarily light while still providing magnificent coverage.

Kindly scroll on for more details, swatches, a Laura Mercier-centric beauty look and the Bottom Line...

Above: Laura Mercier flawless face options, including award-winning primer and tinted moisturizer.
Initially, I was able to visit with Laura Mercier Specialist, Erika Poblano, who candidly shared the flawless face philosophy with me.  I couldn't wait to swatch the freshly-released Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide, which comes in an impressive spectrum of 24 shades!  

Above: Laura Mercier Makeup Artist Erika Poblano and Beauty Professor.
The Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide is brilliant.  The liquid formula feels like water and glides on the skin effortlessly, leaving an incredibly natural veil of buildable, medium to full coverage in its wake.  I find that only a few drops are necessary to cover my entire face and, should more coverage be necessary, another drop or two can be buffed on without looking the slightest bit cakey.  

This formula has a satin matte finish that doesn't oxidize; it is friendly to sensitive skin (like mine!) and has particularly significant lasting power.  Although it feels quite "thin" and liquid in texture, once it sets (in approximately 30 seconds or so), it doesn't slide, budge, pool or transfer...marvelous!

Above: The ingredients for MY flawless face...Laura Mercier Radiance Foundation Primer + Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide in Dusk.  
Here are the official details, courtesy of Laura Mercier:

smooth finish flawless fluide

A long-wear, oil-free foundation that magically blurs the line between real skin and makeup. Shake & tap to activate!
PRODUCT TECHNOLOGY: This revolutionary bi-phase, two part formula is designed to deliver the most natural looking colour and lightweight coverage. Colour true pigments rest at the bottom of the package while reflective waters (Hydro-Brilliant Technology) float to the top. Vigorously shaking the package before each use ensures the pigments blend with the reflective waters to create fresh colour every time.
To activate: with each use shake vigorously for a minimum of 10 seconds andtap several times at the end of the package by the shade label.
To apply: dispense onto back of your hand and apply to clean skin with Laura’s Foundation Sponge or fingertips. For best results, use with your preferred Laura Mercier Foundation Primer.

WHAT TO EXPECT: Once you shake and tap to activate the formula, gently release the cap. You may experience a surge of product when dispensed. This is normal for a bi-phased formula. If the formula appears separated, it has not been shaken long enough. Just put the cap back on and shake more vigorously.
Above: Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide shade chart. 
I was able to swatch 11 shades of the Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide--representative of neutral, warm and cool undertones--in the 24 color spectrum and am thrilled to present them to you in various lighting situations.  

Shade descriptions (per my experience) are as follows:

Above: Swatches of the neutral shades in direct sunlight.

  • Vanille: Very light beige for fair skin with neutral undertones (@N/NC 15)
  • Honey: Light beige for light-medium skin with neutral to warm undertones (@N/NC 25)
  • Linen: Light beige for light skin with netural undertones (@N 23)
  • Buff: Light beige for light-medium skin with neutral undertones (@N 25-27)
  • Praline: Medium/medium-dark beige for medium skin with neutral undertones (@N 35-37)
  • Pecan: Medium-deep beige for deep skin with neutral to warm undertone (@N/NW 40-45)
Above: Swatches of the neutral shades in outdoor shade.
Above: Swatches of select warm shades in direct sunlight.
  • Ivory: Very light beige for fair skin with warm undertones (@NC 10-15)
  • Dusk: Medium beige for medium skin with warm undertones (@NC 27) **My current match! 
  • Chai: Medium-deep beige for medium-deep skin with warm undertones (@NC 35)

Above: Swatches of select warm shades in outdoor shade.
Above: Swatches of select cool shades in direct sunlight.
  • Ecru: Light beige for light skin with rosy undertones (@NW 20)
  • Chestnut: Deepest for rich ebony skin with cool, rosy undertones (@NW 60)

Above: Swatches of select cool shades in outdoor shade.
Above: Products for my Laura Mercier beauty look.
Laura Mercier products utilized for the beauty look below include:

Above: A closeup of the Creme Smooth Lip Color in Coral Creme...stunning, no?
Above: Swatches of all Laura Mercier products used to create the beauty look...this image was taken in direct sunlight.
Above: Creme Coral + Bare Baby.
Below: The following images reflect the Laura Mercier-centric beauty look I created by ulitizing the product list above...

Above: A Laura Mercier flawless face from dawn 'till dusk.

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Bottom Line: The Laura Mercier line is classically beautiful; from its vibrant color collection to one of the most comprehensive spectrum of base options ever to be housed within a single brand, the flawless face is achievable for every woman.  I am duly impressed by the texture, finish, performance and wear of the Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide and would love to hear your thoughts on this formidable formula!

I hope your week is off to a lovely start...xx and much more soon,

--The Beauty Professor

**Post sponsored by Laura Mercier,  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, September 14, 2014

Charlotte Tilbury Haul Part I: Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder, Penelope Pink + Seduction and Portobello Girl Glosses!

Above: Fast becoming a current favorite, the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Skin Perfecting Micro Powder comes in a gorgeous rose gold compact.  **Mosaic Mirror by Dawn Mendelson Designs
A couple of weeks ago, I placed my first Charlotte Tilbury order once the line debuted in the US.  It has since arrived (have I mentioned how insanely quick the Net-A-Porter shipping is?) and I am excited to share images of my spoils, which include powder, lipstick and lipgloss!

Kindly scroll on for images, details, swatches and the Bottom Line...

As soon as I read the description (see details below), I knew that the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Skin Perfecting Micro-Powder was a "must try" product for me.  My affinity for base products is no secret and heat and humidity of late August and early September completely justified this experimental purchase.  I am happy to report that I have absolutely no regrets!  This unscented, ultra silky formula combats shine like a dream but it still has soft, satin finish that isn't "powdery." I have been coupling it with my Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation (featured in my Bulletproof Foundation Routine video) and am stunned by how well it keeps my base in place for well over nine hours, even in extreme heat and humidity! 

Above: The full ingredients list.
  • Official details, courtesy of Net-A-Porter: 

    If you struggle with an oily T-zone, or simply want a flawless 'retouched' look, Charlotte Tilbury's skin-perfecting powder is a must-have. "Like the most finely-milled cashmere", this soft formula blurs imperfections and fine lines without ever creating a cakey texture. Dust a little over your forehead and nose to transform a shiny complexion.
    • Perfect for medium skin tones
    • Apply over any lipstick for a matte finish
    • Infused with hydrating Rose Wax and Almond Oil for a creamy, non-talcy texture

Also available at Nordstrom and Selfridges, the slender powder compact does not come with a puff or brush, so I have been using my retractable Chanel Kabuki to buff it on directly following foundation application and later on in the day for a single touch up.  My skin looks fresh and balanced and the formula in no way has irritated my sensitive skin.  Although it also comes in Light and Dark, the Medium shade is a wonderful neutral beige, perfect for light to medium skin tones and I find that even though this powder is sheer, it blurs pores and imperfections and also evens my skintone in an invisible fashion...absolutely marvelous!
Above: Ultra finely milled, this powder instantly melds with the skin while removing unwanted shine and refining the complexion. 
Above: A heavy swatch of Medium in direct sunlight.
Above: The Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Fallen From The Lipstick Tree lip color comes in a signature rose gold metal case.
Next up, the Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Fallen From The Lipstick Tree lip color in Penelope Pink (also available at Nordstrom and Selfridges).  I initially vaccilated between Nude Kate and this particular shade but I am so glad this won out.  The formula is smooth, pigmented, hydrating and very comfortable to wear.  I get 3-4 hours of lasting power without feeling the need to touch up and the ingredients seem to agree with my perennially dry lips.  In fact, I am quite impressed by how moisturized they feel, even after hours of wear!  
Above: The full ingredients list.
Above: The soon-to-be-iconic Charlotte Tilbury lip color tube.
  • Official details, courtesy of Net-A-Porter:

    A flawless shade of nude-pink, Charlotte Tilbury's Penelope Pink lipstick will flatter every skin tone. Made in Italy, the velvety formula is enriched with soothing Lipstick Tree extract to nourish while it colors. Wear this subtle shade every day.
Above: Charlotte Tilbury Penelope Pink, resplendent in the sunshine.
To be frank, Penelope Pink is not very pink at all.  I would deem it a creamy nude beige (no shimmer!) with peachy undertones.  It is pale enough for a nude effect but not so light as to wash out the face...overall, it is utterly stunning!  

Above: A swatch of Penelope Pink in direct sunlight.
Above: Charlotte Tilbury lip color in Penelope Pink.
Above: Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustre lip gloss in Seduction and Portobello Girl.
Finally, the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustre Luxe-Colour-Lasting Lip Lacquer in Seduction and Portobello Girl (also available at Nordstrom and Selfridges) are apropos choices for those who love nude and pink!  The gloss formula is plush, pigmented and delightfully non-sticky; it has a subtle candy scent, no discernable taste and decent lasting power.  

Seduction is a marvelous nude beige with pink undertones.  It is creamy and opaquely pigmented and has a "liquid lip color" effect when worn alone while increasing the nude lip impact when coupled with Penelope Pink.  

Portobello Girl is a light baby pink with delicate shimmer; it has a sheerer finish than Seduction but still lends a tender pale candy pink tone to the lips.  It brings out the latent rosy tones in Penelope Pink when worn in tandem with this creamy nude lipstick.
Above: Seduction and Portobello Girl...a pale pink and nude lover's dream!
Official details, courtesy of Net-A-Porter:

    • "With Lip Lustre, everyone gets to join the Perfect Lip Club!" says makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury of her long-lasting color-rich formula. We love this ‘Seduction’ shade - it's a sophisticated muted rose that suits any skin tone. Apply it over lip liner or lipstick for a younger-looking, fuller pout.
      • Enriched with Lotus Flower extract to protect, hydrate and soothe
      • Designed to be worn with K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipstick in Penelope Pink and Lip Cheat Liner in Pillow Talk

    Amplify your pout with Charlotte Tilbury's plumping lip gloss. This glossy formula has a high-shine finish that stays in place for up to six hours. We think this classic pale-pink 'Portobello Girl' shade is especially flattering on porcelain and fair skin tones.
    • Enriched with Lotus Flower extract to protect, hydrate and soothe
    • Designed to be worn with K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipstick in Coachella Coral and Lip Cheat Liner in Pink Venus
Above: The full ingredients list.
Above: Seduction has a creamy, opaque rosy nude effect that is pigmented enough to completely cover one's natural lip tone.
Above: Portobello Girl is a light baby pink with subtle shimmer.  It is sheerer than Seduction but equally lovely. 
Above: Swatches of my Charlotte Tilbury lip picks in direct sunlight with a flash. 
Above: Swatches of my Charlotte Tilbury lip picks in direct sunlight with no flash.
Above: Wearing Charlotte Tilbury Powder in Medium and lipstick in Penelope Pink.
Above: Wearing Charlotte Tilbury Powder in Medium and lip gloss in Portobello Girl (at the end of a long, hot day).
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Bottom Line: I hope you enjoyed this image heavy post and are inspired by the beauty that is the Charlotte Tilbury line (available at Net-A-Porter, Nordstrom and Selfridges)!  I have more products on deck (the Color Chameleon eyeshadows) and even more on their way (Blush! Foundation! Magic Cream!), slated for detailed reviews as soon as they are properly swatched, photographed and tested.  Can't wait!

Up next, an overview of the Neiman Marcus Project Beauty event (including a rundown on what I picked up).  It was so wonderful to meet up with dear friend and blogger extraordinare Sabrina of The Beauty Look Book and to cross paths with lovely BP reader Karen M. at the soon! I'll also be sharing a review (with a copious amount of swatches) of the new Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide Foundation! Have you yet tried it?

Have a beautiful Sunday...xx,

--The Beauty Professor

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

Friday, September 12, 2014

12 End of Summer Empties...Good to the Last Drop!

Above: My 12 End of Summer Empties...well-worn and well-loved.
I devote a great deal of time attempting to take aesthetically pleasing pictures of skincare and beauty products.  I have learned, however, that it is nearly impossible to capture the loveliness of an empty (hence the creative filter on these particular images); it is its very nature (well worn and well loved) that makes it less than pleasing on the eyes.  So be it! Empties in my life are few and far between; this is likely due to the sheer volume of beauty and skincare products and I am vested to test on a regular basis.  Even still, there are those items that so magnificently resonate with one's personal routine that they demand daily use until the every last drop has been extracted. Tried, tested and are my empties!

Kindly scroll on for a list of all 12 empties, links to their respective reviews on Beauty Professor (which, of course, speak for themselves) and the Bottom Line...

Above: Makeup empties, their visages worn from a daily tumble in my makeup bag.

1. Jouer Cream Eyeshadow in Chiffon (just finished compact #2...reviewed HERE)
2. Tom Ford lipgloss in Naked (just finished tube #2...reviewed HERE)
3. By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Bronze Moon (just finished shadow #3...reviewed HERE)

Above: I managed to extract every last drop of these brilliant moisturizers.
Body Care:

Above: Daily skincare with a host of benefits...I have now started fresh bottles of each! 

Above: Behold...the Quincy!
On an unrelated note, I wanted to briefly introduce you to my latest Seth Wegter bag (procured at his show last weekend)...the Quincy.  This black on black on black wonder is structured enough to feel dressy, earthy enough to translate to casual and sized perfectly to hold all of my day to day essentials.  With two handles (for easy forearm carrying) and a crossbody strap, it's chic versatility incarnate!
It's finally Friday...Jethro and I hope you have a marvelous weekend! 

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Bottom Line: There is something so fundamentally satisfying about completely finishing a product!  I hope you enjoyed this empties rundown and wish you a lovely and relaxing weekend.  

What have YOU used to the last drop as of late?

If you are a Southern CA local, perhaps we'll cross paths at the Neiman Marcus Project Beauty at Fashion Island on Saturday?! 

xx and much more soon,

--The Beauty Professor

**Some PR samples  provided for review (the majority 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.