Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sunday Riley Counter Visit Round II

This week, I went back to the Sunday Riley counter at Barneys in Beverly Hills to pick up Good Genes after being very impressed with the effects of the sample packets I had been using for the past couple of weeks. I also bought a SR lip color (initially swatched here) in Mona Lisa which is delightful to wear.

In-depth reviews of both Good Genes and Mona Lisa as well as Juno and Cashmere SPF 30 are right around the corner, along with some backstage tips (the Sunday Riley line was recently used in the Helmut Lang and Victoria Beckham runway shows...) procured from SR Training and Event National Manager Valerie Plotnikova, who fortuitously happened to be at the counter when I arrived.

Above (L-R): Valerie Plotnikova, National Manager of Training and Events for Sunday Riley, the Beauty Professor and Merrady Wickes, Sunday Riley Specialist, Barneys Beverly Hills

Monday, March 26, 2012

Meet the Quincy Vida

I have mentioned my brother's eponymous line, Seth Wegter Bags, in past posts...he recently created a ravishing new bag called the Quincy Vida (shown above). This quintessentially-sized completely hand crafted purse features a generous six inch bottom which allows the wearer to comfortably fit essentials while still having a streamlined handbag experience. Named after our family iguana, the Quincy Vida is a perfect choice for spring and summer will house your belongings without weighing you down.

Sunday Riley Creme Radiance Breathable Ageless Foundation Swatches

Foundation is one of the most difficult items to procure online...finding the right shade is essential, and we all know how inaccurate website swatches can be. To help you with your quest, behold the true life swatches of the Sunday Riley Creme Radiance Breathable Ageless Foundation, which retails for $58.00 at Barneys. While I haven't used this foundation regularly enough to weigh in with a thorough review, the generous sample I received allows me to attest to the fact it is medium coverage with a natural finish and skincare benefits.

Like her pressed powders, the foundation comes in two undertone families: warm, indicated by a "W" and cool, signaled by a "C."

The six shades in each undertone family are evenly graduated, enabling a match for most women!

As seen above and below in artificial and natural light, the WARM range is as follows:

1. 100 W is an ivory for very fair skin tones with yellow undertones (equivalent to a MAC NC 15 or lighter)

2. 110 W is a fair to light beige with yellow undertones (equivalent to a MAC NC 15-20)

3. 120 W is a light beige with yellow undertones (this is the shade to which I was matched...equivalent to a MAC NC 20-25)

4. 130 W is a medium beige with yellow undertones (equivalent to a MAC NC 30 or so)

5. 140 W is a big jump from the 130 W. This is definitely for golden tan skin (equivalent to a MAC NC 40-45)

6. 150 W is for dark golden tan skin (equivalent to a MAC NC 50 or so)


As seen above and below in artificial and natural light, the COOL range is as follows:

1. 100 C is a very fair alabaster shade (equivalent to a much lighter version of MAC NW 15)

2. 110 C is a neutral fair beige (equivalent to a MAC NW 15-20)

3. 120 C is a light beige with neutral undertones (equivalent to a MAC NW 20-25)

4. 130 C is a neutral medium beige (equivalent to a MAC NW 30)

5. 140 C is, like its warm counterpart, a big jump from the 130 C. It is a deep beige with neutral to rosy undertones (equivalent to a MAC NW 40 or so)

6. 150 C is a deep tan beige with a chocolate tone (equivalent to a MAC NW 50 plus)

I didn't end up swatching the Liquid Light Breathable Perfecting Foundation because, while lovely, it is much sheerer than the Creme Radiance and wouldn't visually translate as effectively online.

If you are looking for a medium coverage cream foundation with skincare benefits, then the SR Creme Radiance Breathable Ageless Foundation is a viable option with a respectable array of shades!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Riley Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer

If there is a single product in the Sunday Riley line that seems to be unilaterally garnering hype, it is the Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer. Retailing for $48, this oil-free primer boasts the ability to let your skin stay ventilated while simultaneously providing a smoothing effect that evens out skin tone and works alone or under makeup.

sunday riley primer swatches
Above: Sunday Riley Primer in artificial light

Because it is sheerly tinted, this primer comes in three shades: light, medium and dark.

1. Light is suitable for those with fair alabaster and ivory skin tones

2. Medium is suitable for those with light to medium skin tones

3. Dark is suitable for those with tan to dark skin tones

sunday riley primer swatches
Above: Sunday Riley Primer in natural light

I currently use the "Medium" and find that its sheer texture blends into my skin tone and seems to completely disappear. All that is left is smooth, balanced, and glowing even-toned skin that is more than ready for foundation application.

What I love about this primer, besides its healthy ingredients, including peptides and sodium hyaluronate which enhance skin's texture and moisture, is the fact that it isn't chalky or overly slick and doesn't contain sunscreen. Don't get me wrong, I definitely use sunscreen daily (currently using the lovely SR soon) but don't necessarily want it in every product that I apply on my face.

Overall, this is a fantastic addition to my daily routine...believe the hype, for it indeed is true.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sunday Riley Blush Swatches and Blushing Close Up

Onward to the Sunday Riley blush swatches...there has been a lot of buzz about these cheek colors, particularly the shade "Blushing" which is sold out on earlier this week.

The blushes, which retail for $30, come in a basic color-range palette, but what makes the very special is how finely milled they are. One swipe, and your cheek is met with a luminous flush that is not the slightest bit powdery. Barney's in Beverly Hills had just received a shipment of the coveted "Blushing" shade and I promptly procured it for personal use.

On to the swatches...

The blushes come in six colors range in intensity from the perfect natural pink (Blushing), to a deep plummy berry (Dimples) with some fabulous options in between.

1. Blushing is shockingly pale in the pan and even to swatch, I thought it might be too light to show up (at first glance, it looks similar to Benefit's Dandelion or Giorgio Armani's Translumience from Spring 2011). However, once it has a chance to warm up on your skin, the most quintessential pinky rose appears, taking on a very natural life of its own. So happy I bought this...I can wear it alone or over bronzer on the apples of my cheeks and it is as if a moderate workout or brisk walk in cool air has touched my cheeks and made them glow--except I've only had to exert a very little amount of energy.

2. Honest is a nude/brown based warm blush with slight shimmer and a light wash of color.

3. Honeymoon Night is a deeper rose flush.

4. Intimate is a shimmery coral, similar to Nars Orgasm, but in my opinion, much more wearable. Because it is so finely milled, the shimmer is more glowy than it is frosty.

5. Rush is a darker rose/coral hybrid with no visible shimmer--this particular tester had taken some abuse and wasn't yielding the pigment I needed for a proper swatch. I suspect that a fresh one would yield a much deeper tone than you see on my arm.

6. Dimples is a dark plummy berry, suitable for darker skin tones or a more dramatic evening look.

Below: Sunday Riley Blush swatches in natural light

Once I brought my Blushing home, I took some photos so you could see the lovely case and soft sheath within which the blush is contained.

As mentioned before, the blush looks very light and soft in the pan, but it goes on with such a radiance and healthy flush, one can only try it to believe its magic.

I am delighted with these blushes, especially the one I own, and cannot wait to try Intimate for summer.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday Riley Powder Swatches

My Sunday Riley swatching frenzy continues with an overview of the Soft Focus Finishing Pressed Powder, available at Barneys for $40. I initially ordered this online sight unseen (the lack of blog-generated swatches for this particular was troubling) and settled on the 105 W, which appeared to be a light powder with yellow undertones. Upon receipt of my order and much to my surprise, the 105 W (there are three powders each for warm and cool skin tones) is quite light, almost white in tone, and definitely too pale for my NC 20-NC 25ish skin.

This mistake prompted me to peruse the powder in person and I am glad I did! I discovered that I am much better suited to the 125 W, a light shade with yellow undertones that I think will work even into summer.

Evident in the image above:

1. 105 W is a very light shade (suitable for very fair, alabaster skin or an extremely light dusting on everyone else)

2. 125 W (my shade) is lovely and yellow-based for light skins--this does not oxidize!

3. 145 W is a huge leap from the 125 W (something between 125 and 145 would be excellent for many women, I would presume)--this is great for those with deep golden-based tans.

4. 105 C is a very light shade with pink undertones.

5. 125 C is the lateral sister of 125 W with just a bit more pinky-beige undertone.

6. 145 C is a true beige tan for those with darker beige-based tans.

**I think that the 145 W and C would make fantastic bronzers and want to play around with this prospect in the future!

Super finely milled and nestled in the same lucite-like square and sturdy compact as the Prismasilk eye shadows and the SR blushes (both to be reviewed soon), this powder purports to act as a "second skin" upon application, blurring imperfections and providing a matte finish while still maintaining radiance. This behavior sounds too good to be true, but I am happy to report that this unscented paraben free multi-tasker actually does manage to do all it promises.

While this power does not provide as much coverage as the Koh Gen Do Triple Lightening Powder (one of my be reviewed soon), which also pulls off the feat of making one's face simultaneously matte and radiant, its ability to smooth and refine without the dreaded powdery finish is remarkable. I prefer to apply a light veil of this over my By Terry Cover Expert foundation (reviewed here) with a powder brush rather than the sponge included in the compact...I find that if I use the sponge for a touch up and I am in a hurry, I can accidentally apply too much because it is so finely milled. I stay matte for hours and notice a lovely gleam in the sunlight that is neither shimmery or frosty...just radiant.

As I have previously mentioned, the powder does NOT oxidize--this, in combination with its skin-like texture and added ability to provide radiance make this a rare gem indeed.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sunday Riley Lip Color Swatches

This is the first in a series of many swatch-laden Sunday Riley product reviews. When I arrived at Barney's, I was informed that the Sunday Riley lip color counter testers had just arrived; much to my chagrin, they were not available for purchase yet, however, I couldn't resist testing their color-saturated perfection on my arm. I am fairly certain that this is their Internet debut!

The lipsticks come in a golden square case (designed by the same individual who fashioned the lipsticks in Tom Ford's eponymous line) and the creamy, moisturizing coverage runs from sheer to very opaque, depending on the color (formulated in part by Stila's Jeanine Lobell).

While there seemed to be about twenty colors, I selected a diverse collection of nine to swatch.

1. Mona Lisa (#106) is a very pale, sheer nude with a peach undertone

2. Coral Reef (#102) is a medium coral with warm peachy undertones and opaque coverage

3. Trenchcoat (#107) is a medium coverage nude with pink undertones (cannot wait to own this...accidentally labeled this "trench" in the swatches)

4. Bare Honey (#104) is a medium coverage "your lips but better" neutral rose shade

5. Shakespeare (#114) is a light true 60's pink with full coverage (another one I plan to buy!)

6. Sugar Blossom (#115) is a full coverage medium pink (deeper than Shakespeare)

7. Duchess (#105) is a medium to dark pink with plum/violet undertones...very regal in person.

8. Chameleon (#100) looks black/dark brown in the tube (with very subtle green shimmer); this sounds like it could be unflattering, but when swatched, it actually translates into a sheer brown hue that is very on trend.

9. Sunday (#117) is a full coverage true red (with warm undertones). It is named after Sunday Riley and apparently is one of her favorites.

These lip colors were absolute beautiful and I cannot wait for them to become available (supposedly in the next couple of weeks) so they can go from my arm to my lips. They are a lovely addition to the growing Sunday Riley line and are sure to be another item to covet.

Above: Mona Lisa, Coral Reef, Trenchcoat, Bare Honey, Shakespeare, Sugar Blossom, Duchess, Chameleon and Sunday Lip Colors

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunday Riley Swatches to Come!!

The Sunday Riley line, available exclusively at Barney's NY, features a scientifically cutting-edge range of skin care free of harmful chemicals and additives (labeled "green technology") as well as a newly-released collection of cosmetics, the likes of which are receiving a noteworthy amount of buzz on the Internet.

In light of my keen interest in SR as well as the realization that there was very little by way of online swatches available for the cosmetics, I headed to Barney's NY in Beverly Hills to personally interface with the line. The Sunday Riley representatives, Merrady and Suzi were absolutely lovely to work with and their knowledge of the line is a true asset to the company.

The next few posts will feature an overview of some of the key cosmetic and skin care products in the Sunday Riley line, complete with product descriptions and natural light swatches. Reviews will include:

1. Soft Focus Finishing Pressed Powder $40 (reviewed here)
2. Dry Touch Creme to Powder Concealer $28 
3. Creme Radiance Ageless Breathable Foundation $58 reviewed here)
4. Prismasilk Eye Color $28 (key shades swatched here)
5. Blush $30 (reviewed here)
6. Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer $48 (reviewed here and here)
7. Juno Transformative Lipid Serum $125 (reviewed here)
8. Cashmere SPF 30 $125 (reviewed here)

Above L-R: Merrady, The Beauty Professor and Suzi at the Beverly Hills Barney's New York Sunday Riley Counter.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Edward Bess Sheer Satin Cream Compact Foundation

Above: My mom and I with the kind and generous Edward Bess!

Foundations, especially from difficult to find lines, are an all-encompassing pursuit for me. That is probably why I have not just one but TWO Edward Bess Sheer Satin Cream Compact Foundations in my possession. To be fair, I bought one in the winter months and the other in the summer. I love everything about the Edward Bess line; the colors, the simplicity, the scent and the fact that, as an LA girl, I can run into him at his counter Neiman Marcus a couple of weeks out of each month make the high-end cosmetics price worthwhile.

To date, Edward Bess only has one foundation in his is a multi-tasker! Here is the rundown:

Cost: The foundation compact is $60 and can be purchased at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman or at The compact is slim and sturdy with a useful mirror and a separate lower compartment for the sponge that is included, making it a great portable item to toss into your purse. While $60 is a lot for some to spend on foundations, it is at the same price point as D & G's foundations, Koh Gen Do's products and even Dior's Airflash, so the cost does not feel exorbitant.

Color: The foundation comes in five colors: Light, Bare, Nude, Beige and Natural; I found #3 Nude to match my NC 20-25 skin perfectly (it is a light, yellow-based neutral) and #4 Beige (a bit deeper and more golden than Nude) worked well for my summer skin (in the NC 30-35 range). I imagine that both of these colors (singularly or mixed) would be suitable for most with light-medium skin.

Texture: The name perfectly describes the nature of this is somewhat sheer, definitely satin in finish and also in a cream makeup format. It definitely has some "slip" when applied and the coverage can be built up to one's taste. I forgo the sponge and use my Hourglass retractable foundation brush or Sephora air brush to get the most natural coverage and application.

Wear: The foundation is not purported to be long wearing, but I find that with primer (I love the Koh Gen Do Make Up Base in Yellow), I can get six to eight hours of crease-free bliss. My skin feels balanced and doesn't get oily despite the creamy texture of the product.

Scent: Like all Edward Bess products, there is a light fig scent, though it is less prominent in the foundation than in the lipsticks and bronzer (to be reviewed soon!)

Overall Grade: The EB Sheer Satin Cream Compact Foundation is in my regular foundation rotation, which, in light of the foundations I have experienced, is quite an accomplishment. While it doesn't provide as much immediate coverage as the D & G Perfect Finish and the Armani Designer Lift (also slated for eminent review...swatches above), it is quintessential for those "light makeup moments" or times when your aim is to minimize imperfections rather than to make up your whole face. In light of this product's delightful adaptability, I give it a 93% A.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

By Terry Foundation: Cover Expert

I change foundations a lot. While I used to think this fickleness was part of an eternal quest for "the one," I now realize that I really enjoy the journey associated discovering new formulas. In fact, I now have a variety of excellent bases that I keep in rotation (but there is always room for one more!).

By Terry's newest foundation installment, Cover Expert, has earned a place in my lineup since January and I can personally attest to the fact that it provides fantastic coverage, is excellent for sensitive skin, features a light texture and is infused with ingredients more akin to a skin treatment, rather than a heavy makeup.

Retailing at $65.00, this foundation is accessible at and Bloomingdale's and Barney's NY; it offers a generous 1.7 ounces (versus the usual 1 ounce quantity of most foundations) in a squeeze tube.  

I selected #7, Vanilla Beige, which the By Terry website describes as a shade to "warm up medium complexion and bring a golden touch," although, I think it is definitely suitable for light skin tones as well.

The #7 (as swatched below) is similar in depth and tone to many other foundations I've used in the past (swatched for reference HERE). While it has a slightly yellow undertone, I find it a bit more neutral than the GA Designer Lift in #5 and the Dolce and Gabbana Perfect Finish Cream Foundation in Natural Glow. I can see myself wearing this through the Spring and maybe moving to the #8 Intense Beige (to be swatched soon) by summertime.

For reference, the swatches below L-R: By Terry Cover Expert in #7 Vanilla Beige and Cle de Peau concealer in Beige (note that the concealer has more of a peachy/salmon tone whereas the foundation is more yellow-based).

The squeeze tube is fantastic to tote around in a cosmetics bag and I find the packaging to be streamlined and quite light in weight. The only caveat appears to be that some of the foundation can collect at the spout so when the lid is removed, foundation is pooling at the exit. This, however, has not led to any leakage at all, so it is more of a convenience issue rather than a messy one. Another concern for some may be the classic "By Terry Scent" associated with the product line; it is a little floral and herby but definitely dissipates within a couple minutes of application.

As previously mentioned, this foundation provides remarkable coverage without looking mask-like or unnatural; only a small, pea-sized amount is necessary to cover the entire face, and I prefer to apply with the Sephora Airbrush for seamless blending. Once applied, there is absolutely no line of demarcation and the finish is satin and skin-like rather. The lasting power is worth noting as well...I apply Cover Expert at 7 AM (and do not even need set it with powder) and it still looks fresh by 7 PM. It is not touted as a "long-lasting" foundation, but I find it to possess more endurance than other foundations with that particular distinction.

I wholeheartedly recommend this foundation option to anyone seeking coverage, skin care benefits and a natural finish.

A close up of how By Terry Cover Expert Foundation #7 looks on the whole face!  I am also wearing Guerlain Terracotta Bronzer in #1 and YSL Glossy Stain in #18 Rose Pastelle (reviewed HERE)
Above: By Terry Cover Expert #7 in direct sunlight.

Above: By Terry Cover Expert #7 on the face in outdoor lighting.