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Thursday
Aug272015

Dark Days Chocolate Confections

Dark Days Chocolate Moon Patties founder Wren McMurdo is a born chocoholic. A passionate confectioner by day, she is also a talented comic illustrator. I just love meeting highly creative artisans so I was really excited to try her dark chocolate coconut treats.

Dark Days Sea Salted Lemon Moon Patties. (Credit: Dark Days Chocolate)

Tied to sacred moon cycles, these delicately sweet vegan confections are infused with nourishing herbs like red raspberry leaf, lady's mantle, nettle and motherwort. It's a gourmet healing experience that doesn't feel heavy on your system. Perfect for any occasion, you won't feel guilty about indulging in one...or two, like I did! They're especially awesome for PMS or whenever you're feeling low energy or need sweet sustenance.

Mini Baby Moon Patties.

The seasonal Sea Salted Lemon ($4; 1.25 oz) is my favorite. The lemon isn't strong but it stood up well against the salt's brininess. I also loved the Date Bourbon Vanilla—that one's slightly sweeter. I would prefer the Peppermint to be more punchy but that's because I enjoy bold mint flavor. Wren's handcrafted creations are made with organic, fair trade ingredients (locally sourced when possible) and are gluten-free.

 

Seattle chocolate lovers can get Dark Days Moon Patties at Central Co-op, Sugarpill and Oddfellows Cafe. They're also available on Etsy. You can also custom order for weddings and gifts. For more info: www.darkdayschocolate.com.

For editorial consideration, review product was provided by the brand.

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Tuesday
Aug252015

Clarins Joli Rouge Moisturizing Long-Wearing Lipstick

Clarins is back with the new Joli Rouge Moisturizing Long-Wearing Lipstick and it rocks. The satin finish offers semi-opaque coverage, beautiful pigments and a featherweight texture. Housed in a new gold metal tube, you get to choose from 16 gorgeous shades. It's one of the biggest fall launches from the Parisian beauty brand and it doesn't disappoint. 

Mango oil, vitamin E, peptides and organic marsh samphire extract really amped up the moisture factor—I didn't experience any chapping when I wear it. In fact, my lips felt softer when I remove it. It's also bleed-resistant and has a 6-hour hold. I love how it doesn't stain my lips despite the strong pigment...there's no need to scrub it off! 

Joli Rouge Moisturizing Long-Wearing Lipstick in 751 Tea Rose, 753 Pink Ginger and 715 Candy Rose.

751 Tea Rose wears like a beige nude. 731 Rose Berry is a pink nude; 752 Rosewood is more like a tea rose while 753 Pink Ginger is a light rosewood. 715 Candy Rose is a cool pink with a hint of violet and 723 Raspberry is a warm pink with a touch of brown. 732 Grenadine resembles a dark raspberry in the tube but resulted in a flattering red-orange on the lips. It could be the lighting in my bathroom so definitely test out the shades at the makeup counter before buying.

Joli Rouge in 732 Grenadine.

The Joli Rouge Moisturizing Long-Wearing collection ($27 each) is available at www.clarinsusa.com.

For editorial consideration, review product was provided by the brand.

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Thursday
Aug202015

Kypris Mini Beauty Elixirs

Kypris recently rolled out miniature versions of their gorgeous face oils. I was already in love with their Inflorescence Body Elixir so naturally I had to try these lovelies out! The smaller 14 ml size is perfect for travel and since the formulas use wild-crafted and organic ingredients, it's best to use these up within six months.

All three oils absorb easily. In fact, they almost feel like a dry oil. If you love Bulgarian roses the Mini Beauty Elixir I - 1,000 Roses ($90) will seduce you and your beauty budget. The rose scent is actually on the subtle end as it's tempered by the healing oils of tamanu, baobab, prickly pear, pumpkin seed and kukui. Kaneka CoQ10, a stable form of vitamin C, and pomegranate and black raspberry seed oils help boost the antioxidant power of this formula. 

Designed for combination skin, the earthy Mini Beauty Elixir II - Healing Bouquet ($80) feature Indian jasmine, rose geranium, aged patchouli and sweet lavender. Again, the scent is not overwhelming and doesn't scream essential oil. If you struggle with acne this one's for you. 

Extremely sensitive folks will appreciate the pared down Mini Beauty Elixir III - Prismatic Array ($70). It doesn't contain essential oils and the delicious nutty scent makes it a pleasure to use. It contains all the base ingredients of Beauty Elixir I, without the precious rose oil. If you do try these elixirs, I'd like to know which one you prefer!

Available at www.kyprisbeauty.com.

For editorial consideration, review product was provided by the brand.

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Monday
Aug172015

Shu Uemura Gloss Unlimited & Drawing Pencil

It's been a while since I tried the awesome lip glosses from Shu Uemura. Their signature Gloss Unlimited ($25) collection offers fantastic colors for a natural, polished look.

Gloss Unlimited in Pink 70 C.

The PK 70 C is a sheer candy pink that flatters and enhances my natural lip tone. The 3D shape-memory gel technology contours lips in a subtle, not-too-shiny way. I just adore BG 20 G, a champagne beige with a hint of iridescence. Non-sticky and moisturizing, both options are great when you want a pale lip to pair with a dramatic winged eye or tons of false lashies. I also like the new applicator as it picks up the right amount of product. 

Gloss Unlimited in BG 20 G.

I also got to test drive the long-wearing Drawing Pencil ($24) in M Dark Brown 83. True to its reputation, the smooth texture doesn't drag along the delicate eyelid and doesn't smudge. It really stays put until you remove it with cleansing oil. It's a quicker alternative for when you're in a hurry or when you don't want to fuss over liquid eyeliner.  

Available at www.shuuemura-usa.com.

For editorial consideration, review product was provided by the brand.

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Thursday
Aug132015

Kiehl's Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+ 

Kiehl's recently updated their popular Super Fluid UV Defense Sunscreen SPF 50+ to make it lighter than ever. The non-greasy matte finish is quite similar to the Clarins UV Plus but it's offered at a slightly lower price point. It's non-tinted so you won't worry about a white cast showing under makeup and it's water resistant for up to 80 minutes. I'd consider this as part of a sun care regimen if you want ample protection without a thick layer on your pretty face!

 

Available for $38 (1.7 oz) at www.kiehls.com.

For editorial consideration, review product was provided by the brand.

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Monday
Aug102015

Kypris Inflorescence Body Elixir

Kypris is a relative newcomer to the green beauty world, but founder Chase Polan is already taking the eco skincare market by storm. Polan fuses her cosmetic chemistry background with organic, wildcrafted, and sustainably grown ingredients to create luxurious, high-performance skincare. 

Inflorescence, the brand's new body care elixir, is aimed at softening, toning and protecting the largest organ. Potent botanical seed oils (moringa, tamanu, prickly pear) are used in this concentrated formula to give an antioxidant boost to your SPF regimen while iris stem cells and vitamin C ester help stimulate collagen production. The heady sweet orange and neroli fragrance is reminiscent of a dreamy afternoon picnic in an Italian orange grove. You won't need perfume after using this oil!

The texture feels rich at first but spreads and absorbs easily. I use a small amount on my arms and legs right after a shower to nourish sun-exposed skin. The gorgeous deep emerald glass bottle is a pleasure to look at and Polan's strong yet feminine design aesthetic is evident in the product packaging. I just adore the white lace motif, don't you? Makes me want to keep the bottle long after the oil is used up.

Available for $95 (100ml) at www.kyprisbeauty.com and Beautyhabit.com.

For editorial consideration, review product was provided by the brand.

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Thursday
Aug062015

Giorgio Armani Eclipse Collection Eye Tints

The new Eye Tints ($38) from Giorgio Armani Beauty's summer Eclipse Collection are quite fun to use. The buildable formula looks concentrated but the first layer is actually quite sheer. Plus, the comfy texture feels like a cooling gel eyeshadow. Gold (13 Zenith), copper (14 Sunrise) and plum (15 Sunset) are featured as the seasonal shades; Zenith is fantastic with either Sunrise or Sunset. 

One layer results in a gorgeous shimmery wash that can be work appropriate; add another layer and you'll get runway-ready effects. There's a tiny bit of fallout at the 6-7 hour mark but I haven't seen any creasing and staying power is pretty strong. 

To complete the look the Black Ecstasy Mascara ($32) is offered in 2 Navy Blue as an elegant alternative for those who don't want to wear black 24/7. The lightweight formula defines and lengthens lashes very well and holds a curl. It's also easy to layer, doesn't clump and cleans easily. I have to say, that red lacquered wand makes the application process pretty darn sexy!

Bronzer fans need to check out the Maestro Liquid Summer ($64). It's extremely concentrated so only 1-2 drops is enough for most bronzing purposes. You can also mix it into your preferred foundation or BB cream for a natural sun-kissed glow. Like their foundations, this one feels absolutely amazing on the skin and the 1 oz. bottle will last a long time. 

To purchase: www.giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com.

For editorial consideration, review product was provided by the brand.

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Wednesday
Aug052015

Tatcha Indigo Soothing Triple Recovery Cream

Ingredients matter when it comes to skincare and the precious Japanese indigo featured in Tatcha's Indigo collection is a welcome relief for those suffering from eczema, rosacea or generally sensitive skin. The brand's latest offering, the Indigo Soothing Triple Recovery Cream, is packed with 3% colloidal oatmeal, indigo, sophorica japonica, and their signature Hadasei complex to relieve and calm inflamed skin.

I love how it's completely scent-free. It soaks right in so there's absolutely no residue. This cream is becoming an all-in-one skin remedy for me. On top of general anti-aging maintenance it's great for the redness I sometimes get in the mornings; I also use it to spot treat itchy rashes and sunburnt skin. The 1.7 oz jar will last a long time and there's no need to use a lot of product. It's also suitable for normal, non-reactive skin to prevent premature aging.

Available for $135 at www.tatcha.com.

For editorial consideration, review product was provided by the brand.

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Tuesday
Aug042015

NARS Audacious Mascara

Starting this month, NARS is launching their Audacious Mascara ($26). The big draw is the brush design, which features curved hooks to help you achieve extra length, separation and volume. It takes a tiny bit of practice to let the hooks rotate smoothly off the lashes. 

One coat is great if you want a natural look. Two is required for dramatic length, but a third one would make the lashes clump a bit. The super lightweight formula is on the dry side, so you need to work quickly. I didn't get any smudging but micro flakes were apparent by the end of the day. It also cleans off easily, which is way important in my book. Definitely check it out the next time you swing by the NARS counter!

Available at www.narscosmetics.com, NARS boutiques, and Nordstrom.

For editorial consideration, review product was provided by the brand.

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Friday
Jul312015

Gucci Makeup for Summer-Fall

While many beauty lines have debuted their fall makeup, a few brands are still promoting summer looks. Gucci Beauty has been a huge hit since the beginning and I got to try a few items from the S/S 2015 lineup that originated from the main collection. These colors are a great transition to early fall, as well as covering any year-round looks.

The Magnetic Color Shadow Duo ($49) in 10 Aristocratic was featured in the Gucci Cruise 2016 runway show. Matte earth brown is paired with satin grey purple. The purple is gorgeous alone but when used with the brown it's an elegant daytime look. I'm also impressed with the pigmentation and payoff; the texture is buttery smooth and you don't need much to get it to show on the eyelids. 

The Sheer Blushing Powder ($49) is just as pigmented, if not more. A gentle swipe is all you need to pick up the right amount of color. The 10 Spring Rose is a fresh delicate pink that is flattering on many skin tones. Even in this heat wave the color held up quite well, fading just a bit. I didn't have to use a primer to lock it down! And, the brush that comes in the compact is really soft. 

For the lips, the Vibrant Demi-Glaze Lip Lacquer ($32) is amazing. The 200 Dark Romance is a deep plum that works as a sheer berry glaze with just one swipe, or layer on top of lipstick for a more dramatic fall look. It's not super high-gloss, giving just the right amount of shine. The 10 Mistique White adds a hint of clear iridescence to any lip color, or wear it alone for a subtle sheen. Both shades are non-sticky and the chocolate scent is barely detectable. The Dark Romance can last a while as a lip stain effect. Love love love.

Available at www.gucci.com, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. 

For editorial consideration, review product was provided by the brand.

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