Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Packing List: Travel Beauty and Skincare Mainstays

I've been traveling a great deal the past few months and, despite this frequency, packing is admittedly not my strong point.  That being said, I have found that there is a selection of skincare and beauty products that has consistently made it into my toiletries bag--regardless of where I am traveling to--and I am excited to share the list in this story.  I've also included three key style looks that took me through my most recent trip to San Francisco (initially discussed HERE).  

Kindly scroll on for more details, swatches and images of the products in action as well as the Bottom Line...

Skincare + Haircare.
  • Liftlab Purify + Clarify (not pictured but reviewed HERE): I've been using this cleanser for nearly three years and am still smitten with its creamy lather and light exfoliating power.  It removes every last trace of even the most pernicious makeup and when left one for a minute or two, the formula transforms into a detoxifying mask for even deeper cleansing.  
  • *SK-II Facial Treatment Essence (not pictured but reviewed HERE): I have gone through bottles of this cult favorite and am consistently impressed with how it smooths, brightens and clarifies my skin.  It effortlessly and effectively integrates into an existing skincare routine and is my absolutely favorite from the SK-II line.  
  • *Mila Moursi pH Balancing Toner  (reviewed HERE): One spritz virtually "re-sets" my sensitive skin, encouraging balance and making it more receptive to the skincare that follows. 
  • *Mila Moursi Double Action Serum (reviewed HERE): I never want to be without this anti-aging serum; without fail, it brightens, lifts and refines my skin overnight.  As soon as I press "publish" on this post, I'll be applying two pumps and hopping into bed ; ) 
  • *Sisley-Paris Double Tenseur (reviewed HERE): I love how this clear primer tightens and firms skin while masterfully extending the wear of my foundation. 
  • *Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge #2  (not pictured but reviewed HERE): Always in my routine, this lightly tinted moisturizer, illuminator and SPF is one my skin daily. No matter what.
  • *La Prairie Skin Caviar Eye Lift  (reviewed HERE): This is the eye cream I recommend on a weekly basis to anyone who asks; my mom and I both adore it for its ability to fight under eye darkness, moisturize the delicate orbital area and contribute to a more lifted appearance overall. 
  • *ViaBuff: Tiny but mighty, this modern take on the loofah boasts a vast surface area for heightened efficacy and it's machine washable to keep bacteria at bay. My skin looks smoother and brighter with every use.
  • *Le Metier de Beaute Vital ET Recovery Boost Body (reviewed HERE): My post-shower ritual, this potent cream fights environmental damage while imparting restorative moisture and balance to my skin.  One application and my skin literally glows!
  • *Miracle Body Transformer Tinted Beauty Balm (reviewed HERE): One pump on my legs adds moisture, evenness, radiance and SPF; it's a perfect trifecta for shorts and skirts moments. 
  • *Hampton Sun Sunless Tanning Mist (reviewed HERE): Even though the temperatures have dropped, I still keep a bottle of this sunless tanner at arm's reach as it always makes my limbs look better; additionally, the quick-drying, sheer formula is mistake-proof and application can be layered for a deeper glow.
  • *Illumai Travel Haircare Set (brand reviewed HERE): One of the most unique haircare lines I've tried to date, this clever set features travels sizes of the Illumai best sellers. The science behind this line is fascinating; the formulas only have 7 ingredients and the innovative combination synergistically cleanses hair and restores shine without stripping. My hair feels stronger and looks glossier each time I integrate Illumai into my haircare rotation.
  • *Pulleez Hair Tie (also available at Pulleez): These hair ties have a novel pulley system that adds decorative flair while staying in place (no slippage whatsoever!).  I love the gold and black version for a classic take on a basic ponytail. 
  • Byredo Mojave Ghost Hair Perfume (reviewed HERE): I am over the moon for Mojave Ghost and the fact that I can capture its essence and channel it into my hair (albeit, with a lighter silage) makes me infinitely happy.  Apropos as a touch up before heading out for the evening, it is more subtle than traditional fragrance but every bit as alluring.
  • *This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray: Sometimes it's difficult to drift off to sleep in a new environment but one spritz of this pillow spray and I am catching zzz's like crazy.  The all natural aromatherapy action is effective at encouraging a restful sleep without the side effects of a traditional sleeping aid. 

Base + Face. 
// BASE + FACE //
  • *Surratt Beauty Surreal Real Skin Foundation Wand #9 (reviewed HERE): Foundation that consistently looks like really good skin?  Yes, please! This formula can be applied sheerly and built up to medium-full coverage while still appearing nearly invisible on one's visage.  In a vast range of shades (swatched HERE), you are sure to find a perfect match. 
  • *Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation/Concealer in Natural (reviewed HERE): One of my new favorite foundations of the year (sharing that spot with the Surratt above), this full coverage formula offers intense pigmentation and a truly waterproof finish that performs masterfully in heat, humidity and even rain.  I have swatches of every shade HERE.
  • *Tom Ford Shimmer Shot in Spin Spin Sugar (reviewed HERE): I enjoy mixing a pump of this gorgeous golden champagne highlighter into the TF foundation for a glowing natural satin finish that radiates skin without looking shimmery.  The combination keeps the complexion fresh for hours on end. 
  • La Mer Concealer in Medium (reviewed HERE): This pale beige (quite light for a "medium" shade in my opinion, is a perfect companion for my under eye region, brightening darkness while cancelling out discoloration. 
  • *BlendSmart Foundation Brush: I've been experimenting with this intriguing brush for the past couple of months and am impressed by how well it seamlessly blends foundation (even full coverage formulas) into the skin.  The genius spinning head takes all of the work out of the buffing and blending process...I love the age of automation, don't you?
Swatches in direct sunlight. 
// CHEEKS //
  • By Terry Sun Designer #2 (reviewed HERE): The satisfying, serious "hitting of pan" illustrated in the picture above is a testament to how much I adore this bronzer, blush and highlighter palette.  I use the true light brown shades as a contour/bronzer and the blush side for a quick pink cheek.  I recently purchased a backup, which I'll be using soon!
  • *Surratt Beauty Artistique Blushes in Barbe A Papa, Cherubique + Coupe de Geie (reviewed HERE): This trio of luminous cheek shades are distinctly beautiful blush and highlighter options; silky and gossamer in nature, they make the cheek look "lit from within."
  • *Surratt Beauty Artistique Highlighting Brush: Insanely soft, this luxurious brush works well to blend my cheek shades and, consequently, is always in my makeup bag.
Swatches in direct sunlight. 
The full face. 
For the eyes. 
// EYES //
  • Tom Ford Eye Shadow Duo in Golden Peach (reviewed HERE): Without question, my most prized eyeshadow (I have two on backup), this cream and powder duo never ceases to impress me.  It brightens the eye with a flattering veil of peachy pink golden goodness and I get asked about it at least once daily when I choose to wear it (which is quite often).  I implore you to try this while you still can.
  • *Touch in Sol Metallist in Margaret (reviewed HERE): Perhaps my favorite shade in the 5-color lineup, this warm copper pairing imparts immense foil and sparkle results without being over the top...I'll be wearing it to a Christmas party this weekend. 
  • *MustaeV Eyeshadow in Julep (reviewed HERE): This pink-meets-rust shade works well to punctuate an otherwise neutral eye; the finely milled formula resists creasing and has magnificent color payoff. 
  • *Tom Ford Fiber Brow in Taupe (reviewed HERE): Still my brow go-to on the daily, this brilliant formula adds color, volume, polish and hold to brows and stays put for hours. 
  • *Rodial Liquid Eyeliner (reviewed HERE): I use this fine-tipped liner, which doesn't smear or migrate, to deepen my upper water line, which makes eyes pop without obvious lines. 
  • *L'Oreal Voluminous Feline Noir Mascara: This ultra-black mascara extends lashes and imparts immense volume; I love it's affordability and results!
Swatches in direct sunlight. 
Tom Ford Golden Peach on the is my unequivocal favorite for a full, crease-free eye in seconds. Armani Ecstasy Lacquer #507 on the lips. 
For the lips. 
// LIPS //

--Shop the Skincare and Beauty--

The view from our window at the Fairmont San Francisco.

Black Friday shopping day in Union Square. 
Shopping Day: Streamlined, comfortable and ready for whatever comes my way.
After the storm. 
At the base of the Golden Gate.  Vertigo!
Rainy Day Sightseeing: Wild weather and a long jaunt = leggings, sneakers and a classic camel coat.
Palace of Fine Arts.
The new Tony Bennett statue at the Fairmont San Francisco.
Evening Out: My dressiest moments and still rather casual; I've accepted that is just how my 
--Shop the Style--

With Jethro before checking out of our hotel and heading home. 
Last look. 
--Shop the Post--

Bottom Line: I hope you enjoyed this travel-centric story and would love to hear about which products caught your eye!  What are "nonnegotiable musts" in your packing list?

Good things ahead, including a fresh FOTD, holiday gift guide and a host of new product procurements...

xx and have a lovely first day of December,

--The Beauty Professor

**PR samples provided for review denoted by an asterisk (the rest purchased by me),  however, as always, all of my opinions are expressly and unequivocally my own.  © 2012-16 Beautyprofessor® All Rights Reserved. Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author's written permission.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Cyber Monday Shopping Guide + A Swatch-Heavy Overview of New Releases from Le Metier de Beaute and Natasha Denona

Cyber Monday ready! 
Cyber Monday has arrived and I, consequently, have compiled a list of current promotions and product suggestions to maximize your online energy this week! Additionally, I am excited to share an overview of makeup on current rotation as well as swatches of new product launches from a pair of my favorite brands: Le Metier de Beaute and Natasha Denona.  

Kindly scroll on for more details, swatches and images of the products in action as well as the Bottom Line...

Beauty on heavy rotation this month.
Beauty on Heavy Rotation

--Shop the Beauty on Heavy Rotation--


DEPARTMENT STORES (Beauty + Fashion)
    • Bloomingdale's (Take 25% off a host of regular and sale-priced items for a total savings of up to 60% off)
      • Nespresso Lattissima Touch Espresso Maker...if you are a coffee lover, this is incredible, if you are one who cannot get enough frothy milk on your coffee, this is a MUST.  We bought ours from Bloomies last year and use it daily...the fact that is it 44% off simply cannot be ignored.  Ours makes us ridiculously happy. 
    --Shop the Section (DEPARTMENT STORES)--

    --Shop the Section (BEAUTY)--

    • AmazonFrom 11/26-11/30 get 30 % off select clothing, shoes and accessories.
    • All Saints: From now through 12/01, get 30% off all styles with the CODE: CYBER.  I have my eye on the chic and drapeOdile Coat in black.
    •  Net-A-PorterA huge selection of sale items (up to 50% off) and a plethora of luxury gifts makes this site a super fun perusal
        • RevolveUp to 50% a wide variety of merchandise.  I have my eye on this Mock Neck Sweater...which is excellent for the cold weather to come
        • SHOPBOP: From now though 12/1, get 15% off if you spend $250, 20% off if you spend $500 and 25% off if you spend $1000 with the CODE: GOBIG16.  I am adding these Rachel Comey Mars Mules and Frame Le Mix Jeans to my shopping cart ASAP!  
        • The Real Real: Up to 70% off a plethora of luxury items, already at deep discounts with CODE: THANKFUL...I stalk the Cartier page constantly.

        --Shop the Section (FASHION)--

        Onto the new release swatches...

        Natasha Denona Star Liner in Black, Blue and Dark Violet. 
        I've been experimenting with the *Natasha Denona Star Liner for nearly two week and am absolutely smitten with the concept.  The two bottles, cleverly joined by a unifying square cap, contain rich liquid liner in a color-saturated shade and a coordinating glitter-infused hue. In my experience, the liner is completely waterproof once set (absolutely no smearing, smudging or flaking( and truly makes the eyes pop.  The glitter top coat is a festive spin on a traditional winged eye and, although reflective, is still demure enough to be worn in the day without crossing a dramatic line.  I have been reaching for Dark Violet constantly and am also loving the classic appeal of black.  I look forward to working with the Blue shade in the days to come and will feature an full (closed) eye look soon! 

        • Black: Inky caviar and glittering black and silver
        • Blue: Deep indigo and glittering duo chrome blue
        • Dark Violet: Darkest purple and glittering lilac duo chrome

        Official details, courtesy of Sephora:

        What it is: 
        A long-lasting, two-step liquid eyeliner with a sparkle finish for brilliantly defined eyes. 

        What it does: 
        Emphasize the lash line by giving eyes an elegantly bold look with this full-coverage, long-wear liquid liner. Once eyes are lined, glide on the step-two transparent, monochromatic liquid liner for a touch of subtle glitter. This unique combination of bold color and a hint of sparkle creates a sophisticated, smoky-eyed look. 

        What it is formulated WITHOUT: 
        - Parabens 
        - Sulfates 

        Suggested Usage: 
        -Apply liquid liner close to the natural lash line and wait two to three minutes for it to dry. 
        -Apply the liquid transparent glitter liner as the second step directly on top of the liquid base coat. 

        Ingredients: Liquid Liner// Water, Ammonium Acrylates Copolymer, Butylene Glycol, Methylpropanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Xanthan Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenylpropanol, Simethicone, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, [May Contain +/- :] CI 77499 [Iron Oxides], CI 77266, CI 77891 [Titanium dioxide], CI 77491 [Iron oxides]. Monochromatic Liner// Water, Polyurethane-1, Glycerin, Polyethylene Terephthalate, Phenoxyethanol, Carbomer, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide, [May Contain +/- :] CI 21108, CI 51319, Cl 73915, CI 74160, CI 74260, CI 77266, CI 77891 [Titanium Dioxide], CI 77000 [Aluminium Powder].

        What else you need to know: 
        "I designed this product because each time I create smoky-eyed looks for clients or on models for photoshoots, I imagine adding an eyeliner to the smoky eyes with an undercover sparkle that is monochromatic. My Star Liner transforms dark smoky eyes into smoky glam."—Natasha Denona, Founder

        Swatches of the Natasha Denona Star Liner  in direct sunlight. 
        Le Metier de Beaute Lip Creme. 
        Nearly five years ago, I made my very first purchase from the Le Metier de Beaute line; it a tube of the *Le Metier de Beaute Lip Creme, which, for many reasons, I treasure to this day. This lip gloss is remarkable.  Creamy and gently opaque, it imparts a cellophane shine and plush color that can be worn alone or over existing lip color for even greater impact. Non-sticky and long lasting, I am partial to Riche (a perfect nude), Posh (a cool candy pink) and Flair (a translucent warm red).  I love this formula as much as I did five years ago!

        • Aloof: Creamy pale beige
        • Riche: Tender pinky nude
        • Sleek: Light caramel beige
        • Breathe: Natural muted pink
        • Array: Shimmer-free dolly pink
        • Posh: Cool and iridescent candy pink
        • Statement: Electric rose
        • Pave: Cranberry pink
        • Flair: Translucent warm red
        • Static: Pulsing magenta pink
        Swatches in direct sunlight. 
        Swatches in direct outdoor lighting. 
        Swatches in direct sunlight. 
        Wearing Riche.
        Wearing Posh. 

        Le Metier de Beaute Moisture Matte Lip Creme. 
        The *Le Metier de Beaute Moisture Matte Lip Creme (also reviewed HERE) has immense color payoff and a velvety, hydrating texture that envelopes lips in a cloak of long lasting pigment. The formula is lush yet weightless and wears beautifully for hours.  A few of my favorite shades include Mannequin (a quintessential nude beige), First Look (effortless and universally flattering) and Tabou (cherry red goodness). I am completely impressed with this resplendent take on the matte lip! 

        Official details, courtesy of Neiman Marcus:

        Moisture Matte Lip Créme is a vivid, moisturizing and full coverage matte liquid lipstick. This hybrid of a gloss and lipstick is supremely longwearing and delivers velvet, high-pigmented color. The dynamic range of color that make-up the Moisture Matte Lip Créme collection is very much a reflection of the evolution of Le Métier De Beauté. Bold, exciting colors that perfectly capture the fresh and exciting mood of our brand. 
        • Long-lasting, full coverage matte lipstick 
        • Delivers intense pigment to lips
        • Lightweight, comfortable wear
        • Smear resistant 
        • Enriched with Vitamin E
        How to use: apply your choice of Moisture Matte Lip Créme all over the lip and blend out with a brush or fingertip. Lip liner may be applied before or after initial application. Lip-gloss should be added as a final step to ensure maximum durability and smoothness.

        Swatches in direct sunlight. 
        • Mannequin: Medium peachy beige 
        • First Look: Rich rose nude
        • Billow: Cool baby pink
        • Affinity: Deep mauve 
        • Teddy Boy: Intense 90's brown
        • Truth: Bold coral
        • Scheme: Bright warm red
        • Tabou: Classic cool cherry red
        • Aura: Radiant hot pink
        • Revel: Lush fuchsia pink
        • Ricochet: Wild orchid
        • Vicious: Nearly black purple
        Swatches in outdoor natural lighting. 
        Swatches in intense sunlight.

        Wearing Teddy Boy.
        Wearing Tabou.
        Last look.
        --Shop the Post--

        Bottom Line: I hope you found this swatch-heavy Cyber Monday post helpful and cannot wait to hear about what you may have indulged in...please share your choices in the comments section below!

        Good things ahead, including a travel beauty and fashion recap and a host of new product procurements! 

        Have a wonderful week,


        --The Beauty Professor

        **PR samples provided for review denoted by an asterisk (the rest purchased by me),  however, as always, all of my opinions are expressly and unequivocally my own.  © 2012-16 Beautyprofessor® All Rights Reserved. Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author's written permission.