Monday, June 4, 2012

Summer Beauty Buys

I'm definitely a beauty junkie, and it doesn't help things when my mom passes along her back copies of Allure Magazine to me.  Reading a magazine devoted to beauty products only makes me want to buy them (of course!), and though I usually resist the urge, this month I decided to try a few new products for summer.

Since I love to wear makeup every day, but don't have much time in the mornings, I'm always looking for double-duty products that can speed up my time in front of the mirror.  June's Allure ran a small piece on eye color pencils, which are sort of like eyeliner, but thicker and blendable, so they can double as eyeshadow.  They also dry fast, are smudge-proof, and can last the entire day without creasing.

I decided to try Laura Mercier's Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Khaki, and though I've only been using it since Friday, I'm really thrilled with the results.  It comes in a retractable tube, so there's no need to sharpen it, and it's quite thick, like a crayon.  It goes on fairly dark, so I apply it to my lash line, just like eyeliner, then blend it upward on my eye toward the crease.  I prefer to use a sheer shadow underneath as a base, and I think this helps to make the stick easier to blend, but you could use it by itself for a darker look, too.  I have read that some women apply the stick at the crease of their eye and then blend down, so that's another way to apply it.

All of the shades of the Caviar Stick look lovely, and Khaki, the color I tried, is a neutral color in sparkly brown.  I really love the Turquoise color and am debating buying it, but I'm not sure if I'm brave enough to try such a bright shade.  It's not sold at Sephora, where I bought the items in this post, but is available directly from Laura Mercier's site

Laura Mercier's Caviar Eye Stick Eye Colour in Khaki.

The second product I tried was Yves Saint Laurent's Volupte Sheer Candy in Mouthwatering Berry, a sheer, fruit-punch flavored lip color.  I'm a big believer in wearing lipstick, and I still go the old-fashioned route and apply multiple products to achieve the look I like best.  Around the house, I'll wear plain lip balm or gloss, but when I'm out and about, I feel naked without something heavier on my lips.  It's not unusual for me to wear four products (base gloss, lip liner, lipstick, and more gloss) at once, just to pick up James from school.  I know that sounds crazy, but that's how I've always done things, and it works for me.

But in the heat of summer, it is nice to apply just one (or two) products to my lips and be done with it.  So I decided to try this super fancy colored lip balm to see if I can stand using just one product, and the verdict so far is YES!  The color is a sheer, berry stain that is buildable, and you can wear it light and glossy (like I do at home) or heavier (with a liner) for a darker look.  Since it's considered a gloss, the tube is fairly emollient and doesn't last as long as regular lipstick, but it leaves a nice stain on your lips and is easy to reapply without a mirror.

And probably one of the best things about this product, aside from the lovely, fruity scent, is the packaging of the tube itself.  I swear it looks like some kind of secret weapon or storage compartment right out of a James Bond movie, and the case is elegantly designed in gold and red, with the YSL logo surrounding it.  I don't normally get excited about product packaging, since that's no indicator of how well the item truly works, but this piece could be displayed alongside the prettiest perfume bottles. I don't think I've owned such an elegant tube of  lipstick since my mother gave me Guerlain products for my wedding ten years ago!

The Volupte Sheer Candy comes in ten different fruit shades at Sephora, and since it's an Yves Saint Laurent product, it's not the most affordable gloss.  Still, it will last me the entire summer and is so much fun to use, that it's worth the splurge, in my opinion.
The gorgeous Yves Saint Laurent Volupte Sheer Candy in Mouthwatering Berry.