Archive - Makeup

Dior Holiday 2015 “State of Gold” Collection | First Impressions

Published in: Collections, Dior, Makeup, Video

dior holiday 2015 blazing gold

Center stage: the Dior 5 Couleurs State of Gold Eyeshadow Palette in Blazing Gold #866 ($63, available now at and coming to Dior stores and counters this November)

Despite its official moniker, “State of Gold,” Dior’s holiday 2015 collection could have been called “State of Gold and Gray,” because gray makes a memorable appearance. Dior played with the concept of mixed metals in this release, and even though gray is not a color that usually pops into my head when I think, “Yay! Holiday collections!” I think it really works here.

I’ve been wearing five of the 13 pieces in the release, which is available now at and coming to Dior stores and counters this November, and I’m impressed by the way Dior handles these mixed metals.

But first! — why gray and gold? Well, both are iconic, signature colors at the House of Dior, much like beige and black are over at Chanel.

dior holiday 2015 blazing gold 886

The Dior 5-Couleurs State of Gold Eyeshadow Palette in Blazing Gold #866 ($63)

But with this collection, Dior handles the two colors in what I think are unconventional ways, like what they’ve done here with the eyeshadow palette I’ve been wearing, Blazing Gold. There’s a cool gold in the center next to a gray shade, but the gray isn’t just one of those blasé run-of-the-mill grays. No, it’s a breathtaking shimmery taupe-ish gray with flecks of cool golden micro glitter.

Seriously, it’s so beautiful that I almost can’t take it! — and when you wet it and wear it as an eye liner? Great Caesar’s ghost, it sparkles like 100 Leonid meteor showers. Gimme dat sparkly gold and gray! :)

dior holiday 2015 gris or passion

The Diorific Vernis in Gris-Or #227 and Passion #951 Nail Lacquers ($28 each)

I love funky combos and interesting ideas like that, and Dior does it again with the Gris-Or Nail Lacquer, where they combined gold and gray in the nail polish. I never would have expected it to work — a mix of metallic gold and metallic platinum? — but I think it totally does.

I’ve worn two of the four lacquers in the collection — gold and platinum Gris-Or and creamy, classic red Passion — and I like them both.

And can we just talk about Dior’s nail polish brush for a second? Isn’t it the best thing ever?! Flat and wide, it covers my entire nail from base to tip in a single swipe, and that brush tip is a beast. I love the crescent moon shape; it perfectly fits along the base of my nails, creating crisp, clean lines every time. It never leaves a mess, either, by getting polish on my cuticles.

dior holiday 2015 radieuse fascinate

Diorific Mat Velvet Colour Lipstick in Radieuse #430 and Fascinate #580 ($38 each)

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I’m Lovin’ the Rad Reds in the L’oreal Colour Riche Exclusive Red Lipcolor Collection

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, Lips, Loreal, Makeup

L'Oreal Colour Riche Collection Exclusive Red Lipcolor from the left: 401 Julianne's Red, 402 Blake's Red, 403 Eva's Red, 405 Freida's Red, 406 Zoe's Red and 407 Liya's Red

L’Oreal Colour Riche Collection Exclusive Red Lipcolor from the left: 401 Julianne’s Red, 402 Blake’s Red, 403 Eva’s Red, 405 Freida’s Red, 406 Zoe’s Red and 407 Liya’s Red

These six reds are rad!

It’s hard to pick a favorite from among the six $8.99 red lipsticks in the new L’Oreal Colour Riche Collection Exclusive Red Lipcolor line, but if you said, “Karen, you have to pick one!” first I would say, “Curses! Why you gotta be so cruel?” then I’d say 402 Blake’s Red, which you may remember from the 5 Fabulously Affordable Fall Lipstick post earlier this week. It’s neutral, so I could wear it with warm and cool looks (and I bet it would look great on most skin tones).

From the left: 401 Julianne's Red, 402 Blake's Red, 403 Eva's Red, 405 Freida's Red, 406 Zoe's Red and 407 Liya's Red

From the left: 401 Julianne’s Red, 402 Blake’s Red, 403 Eva’s Red, 405 Freida’s Red, 406 Zoe’s Red and 407 Liya’s Red

From the left: 401 Julianne's Red, 402 Blake's Red, 403 Eva's Red, 405 Freida's Red, 406 Zoe's Red and 407 Liya's Red

From the left: 401 Julianne’s Red, 402 Blake’s Red, 403 Eva’s Red, 405 Freida’s Red, 406 Zoe’s Red and 407 Liya’s Red

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Pre-Fall Ulta Haul!

Published in: Makeup, OPI, Revlon, Sally Hansen, Skin Care, Video

What the world needs now is 1) love, sweet love; 2) free pumpkin spice lattes (I finally had my first one of the season yesterday, and it was so good that I felt myself float out of my body and fly toward the sun, OMG!); and 3) more lady-dates.


You know what a lady-date is, right? It’s when you go out with a friend — ideally, someone who likes makeup as much as you do — for coffee, snacks or what have you, and then, ya know, if you happen to wander into someplace where lipsticks and eyeshadows are available for perusal…so be it. :)

I went on one a couple weekends ago with my friend Marisol. We had acai bowls, then paid homage to our homeland, also known as Ulta.

Here are the things that came home with me that day.

It was mostly a nail-centric visit, because my nails have been very crabby lately (they’ve been splitting, boo), with a sprinkling of skin care and body care, and a dash of makeup for good measure.


As always, thank you again for watching.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



What’s Your Basic Skin Care/Skin Prep/Makeup Process? Here’s Mine…

Published in: Just For Fun, Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To

your basic skin care process

What’s your basic skin care/skin prep/makeup process? Here’s mine…

1. Hydrating mist all over my face

MAC Fix+ ($22) has been my long-time and still current jam. I almost always have a bottle with me, and I even bring one of these travel-sized one with me on trips.

But I’m eager to try Mario Badescu Facial Spray With Aloe, Herb and Rosewater. It’s only $7, so a third the price of Fix+, and my friend Kwmechelle (hey gurl, haaaaay!) swears by it. Right now it’s at the top of my never-ending list of things to get next time I visit Ulta.

2. Face cream (with a separate eye cream around my eyes)

Because I don’t usually start doing my makeup right after I wash my face and do my morning skin care, I usually take a few minutes to moisturize once more before putting on le face paint. I’ve been using Embroyolisse, which is available online at Sephora for $28, for my face and MAC Fast Response Eye Cream ($31) for my eyes.

3. Primer

I use one primer for my face — currently Make Up For Ever Step 1 Smoothing Primer ($36) — and a separate primer for my lids, and you can probably guess which one that is! :) Yes, it’s NARS Pro-Longwear Smudge-Proof ($25).

As for under my eyes, I rarely apply primer under my eyes, but I know it’s a step that a lot of people do.

4. Color correcting around my face (if necessary)

I have a few spots of darker pigment around my left eye and the left side of my lip, which I sometimes color correct with either an orange primer ($36 Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Radiant Primer Peach) or an orange concealer (The Burnt Coral side of $25 MAC Studio Conceal and Correct Duo in Rich Yellow/Burnt Coral).

*sigh!* It really does take a village…

5. Foundation or tinted moisturizer

Which one I use depends on what I’ll be doing that day and how my skin’s behaving, like whether it’s been more oily lately, or dry, or if there’s a pimple par-tay on my chin, but most of the time, if I have the time, I’ll use some kind of medium- or full-coverage serum foundation.

You probably already know this, but I really like Diorskin Nude Air in 40 Dore ($53) for full coverage, and now I’m also liking MAC Studio Waterweight in NC 42 ($33) for medium coverage.

Or, if time is of the essence and I barely have five minutes to go from zombie Karen to full-blooded, real-life Karen, I’ll wear a tinted moisturizer like Chanel Les Beiges All-In-One Healthy Glow Fluid SPF 15 in 40 ($45) instead.
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MAC Guo Pei Collection: Fall 2015

Published in: Collections, MAC Makeup, Makeup, Product Reviews

mac guo pei collection

Years from now, in the distant future, when historical beauty buffs/artistic archeologists look back on MAC’s 2015 limited edition releases, the award for Best Dressed Collection could easily go to MAC Guo Pei.

This one is a beauty! — and the packaging is also unusual for MAC. The compacts, lipsticks, brushes and glosses are all wearing fabric accents with floral flourishes (there’s even a cute little lady bug on the print) and have details like real stitching on the fabric sides.

mac guo pei night sky

MAC Guo Pei Eye Shadow X 4 in Night Sky

mac guo pei morning light

MAC Guo Pei Eye Shadow X 4 in Morning Light

mac guo pei zenith ethreal orchid brave red

MAC Guo Pei Lipsticks in Zenith, Ethereal Orchid and Brave Red

Unfortunately, the designer treatment also results in one of the more expensive MAC collections around. The two eyeshadow quads are — brace yourself for it — $70 each (!).

Yes, that’s crazypants.

Thankfully, the shadows are up to par for MAC. Unlike the shadows in some of MAC’s other limited edition quads and palettes, which for me are sometimes hit or miss (some feel harder than usual and aren’t as pigmented as their permanent collection counterparts), these are of comparable quality to the shadows in the permanent line.

Thank goodness for that.

All of the shadows in the two quads swatch beautifully, and I haven’t had any problems with blending, skipping, fallout or patchy/uneven application.
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