A Thursday Beauty Break With Starbucks and Summer Makeup From Tokidoki, Korres, Smashbox, Laura Mercier and More

Published in: Makeup

thursday beauty break chai latte

Tabs is quite the taskmaster, as you well know, but every once in a while, about as often as a solar eclipse, he takes pity on his lowly assistant and grants her (me) a break.


Today was one of those days. I was given a break from my official feline assistant duties and two hours of company sanctioned “me time,” or “meow time,” as Tabs likes to say.

He’s a big fan of meow time. ๐Ÿ™‚

Behold the face of a kitty dictator!

Today, I decided to spend my meow time on a beauty break — ya know, some noms, a little window shopping and, of course, makeup.

Join me! It’ll be fun.

First order of business: Starbucks. Grab a seat, and I’ll get us some tasty beverages. Gotta fuel up before we browse.

Where should we start? How about Sephora? There’s one just down the street.

Don’t worry about spending money. We’re just going to look around. Promise.

Well…unless we come across a completely awesome life-changing color. In that case, all bets are off.

Lately at Sephora, I’ve been starting in the Tokidoki section. The cheerful packaging gets me every time, like this new limited edition Love From London Palette…

tokidoki love from london open

tokidoki love from london front

Isn’t it cute!? Eight eyeshadows, a bronzer and a keychain for $42. That’s not bad. And the pans look pretty big, too.

I like the mix of neutrals and blues — oh, but they swatch pretty sheer…

tokidoki love from london swatches

I think I might like it more for the cute factor than anything else. Let’s keep moving…

Ah, some new stuff from Korres!

korres cheek butter

The Cheek Butter cheek tints ($25 each), which are supposed to be hydrating and long-wearing, feel surprisingly thick and creamy.

I wonder how they’d stand up to my combination dry/oily cheeks. I always have trouble finding blushes that don’t just slip away…

They come in a warm pink called Philia Rose, a rosy pink called Eros Coral and a berry pink called Chara Crimson.

I think I like Eros Coral the best… How about you? Which one’s your fave?

Then there’s the new Korres Magic Light Contouring Trios ($28 each); they also look kinda cool. You get a bronzer, blush and a highlighting powder in the same pan.

That’s always handy.

The two versions, Mykonos (comes with a peach, a soft rose and a matte bronze) and Santorini (with a cream, a soft nude and a deep bronze), seem like they’d suit lighter skin tones well.

I know you’re probably supposed to use the colors separately to shape, contour and highlight…but let’s just swirl ’em all together and see what we get! ๐Ÿ™‚

korres magic light

korres cheek butter magic light contouring trio swatches
Korres swatches from the left: Cheek Butters in Philia Rose, Eros Coral and Chara Crimson; Magic Light Contouring Trios in Mykonos and Santorini

Ya know, since we’re here, I’ve been meaning to swatch the eight new Smashbox Limitless 15 Hour Wear Cream Shadows ($19 each) since forever. Might as well do that now…

smashbox limitless 15 hour wear cream shadows

smashbox limitless 15 hour wear cream shadows swatches
Swatches from the left, top row: Topaz, Riches, Gemstone and Icon; bottom row: Neptune, Sapphire, Iris and Stone

Wow, lots of pigment there. Nice!

Oh, look at that — the light violet, Gemstone, just sent me a text message. It says, “I want to visit your makeup bag soon.” Haha! Okay, that can be arranged.

Just a sec. Someone’s waving at us from over there, by that Laura Mercier display. The hot pink pan — is that a blush?

laura mercier summer jewels

Ah, it’s actually an eyeshadow. Interesting.

The silver and hot pink in the new limited edition Summer Jewels (“Bold. Glamorous. Radiant.”) release are probably too cool for my warm skin tone, but maybe you could pull them off. What do ya think?

laura mercier summer jewels swatches
Laura Mercier Summer Jewels swatches from the left: Baked Eye Color in Silver, Baked Eye Color in Rubellite, Shimmer Bloc in Tourmaline, Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Sterling, Creme Lip Colour in Rose Quartz and Faux Lash Mascara in Black

Good grief! Has it already been two hours? Time flies when you’re having fun…

I should probably get back to work before Tabs calls. I’m supposed to give him a kitty shiatsu massage.

Let me just check out this Nude + Neon kit of six mini-nail polishes from Nails, Inc. ($25) first…

nails inc neons nudes


How cool is that? You get all these trendy summer colors in one box. Totally takes the guesswork out of choosing what colors to wear.

Which reminds me, I’m supposed to schedule a mani/pedi for Tabs.

“Siri, remind me to call Deborah Lippmann.” ๐Ÿ™‚

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. LOVE the packaging and the colours of the Korres Cheek Butters! Though I have combo cheeks as well and unless these dry powdery, I know they won’t be hanging around very long.
    dani@callitbeauty recently posted … The New Love Of My Life – Jo Malone’s Dark Amber & Ginger Lily Cologne Intense

  2. Dovey says:

    I was hoping for swatches of the cheek butters! I love the look of Eros Coral and Philia rose. I really want these for the packaging, but probably should try them in person first!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Dovey,

      ๐Ÿ™‚ Both of those colors are so pretty! Let me know what you think of them once you check them out in person. Happy Friday!

  3. I am SO excited for the new cheek butters – they looked gorgeous in the promo photos, and judging by your swatches, they’re not too shabby in terms of pigment, either! My cheeks actually tend to be pretty dry (okay, okay: my entire face tends to be absolutely bloody parched), so the idea of a “cheek butter” sounds pretty great ๐Ÿ˜›
    Rae // theNotice recently posted … Bronzed skin & bright summer lids, plus a ramble about reviews vs straight-up editorials

    • Karen says:

      Hi Rae,

      I feel ya. My cheeks are always dry, too! Do you guys get Nude Skincare? I just picked up a bottle of their Hydrating Water and it’s great for quick moisture throughout the day.

      • Advah says:

        I second the Hydrating Water, that stuff is a godsend for dry skin! Reminds me I need to get myself a new bottle..

        • Karen says:

          I have it on my desk right now! I spray it on my face throughout the day. Have you tried anything else from Nude? I like the Hydrating Water so much that I’m curious to know if anything else is good.

          • Advah says:

            YES. I’m a Nude addict. The Cleansing Oil has changed my life and I really like their Face Wash too – simple, but gentle yet does a great job at cleansing (even removes my mascara without makeup remover). As for the Water, I apply a few drops of rosehip oil before my face is dry – it makes a big difference.

            Their super Serum is quite nice too; over the summer a few drops were enough to make me glow after a sunny day ๐Ÿ™‚ As I generally have good skin though, I wouldn’t necessarily splurge for the whole bottle (had it as a gift). Their new moisturiser is quite nice about wasn’t enough for my dry skin unfortunately.
            I’ve also heard great things about their eye cream ($$$) and I really want to try their Replenishing Oil!

          • Karen says:

            Oh boy. I feel an obsession in the works. The Sephora near my house just started carrying it, so I might have to stop by this afternoon to check your recommendations out. ๐Ÿ™‚ Time to ask for some Sephora samples, whee!

            I’m also really curious about the Miracle Mask, but I’m currently saving up for a full size bottle of Exfolikate first.

          • Advah says:

            Nude have brilliant customer service and will mail you samples of anything you’re after if you email them! They sometimes have good offers on their website, so I usually get my stuff from there or websites like FeelUnique or Naturisimo.

            Oh, would love to try that mask too..

      • I think we might, but I’ve never found hydrating mists to pack enough of a punch for my skin! They’re a nice “boost,” but not enough to make my skin stop feeling parched if it already does ๐Ÿ™

        I’ll keep an eye out for the Nude Hydrating Water, though! Thanks for the rec, Karen ๐Ÿ™‚
        Rae // theNotice recently posted … New 26/05/12 (recent non-Sephora launches)

  4. Sugarenia says:

    It always startles me to see greek language featured so strongly in Korres stands ๐Ÿ™‚ Their new stuff looks nice!

  5. Kim says:

    Love the Smashbox cream shadows!

  6. Jessica says:

    Great finds Karen! What camera/lens do you use for taking swatch photos on your arm? They always looks so great! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jessica,

      I use an ancient Canon G11. It’s old, but it’s lightweight and allows me a little more flexibility than a regular point and shoot. Plus I’ve been shooting with it so long I could use it in the dark, haha.

  7. ahahah I love this. The cheek butters look great, and I’ve got my eye on Mykonos just for the name (I think something I once studied in Art History hails from there, although my slightly tired brain is having trouble remembering what it is right now..). The Nails Inc. polishes look lovely as well, I could see myself wearing every single one of those shades this summer ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Makeup Morsels,

      The Nails Inc. polish kit is too cute. Hope you’re having a great Friday! Got any exciting plans for the weekend?

  8. Louise says:

    I agree, Smashbox Gemstone SHOULD be in your makeup bag! I like to reach for it when I’m wanting a subtle smokey eye ๐Ÿ™‚ But then again I’m so fair about anything above a nude beige can start to look “smokey” lol…
    Louise recently posted … Thoughts & Comparisons: Estee Lauder Invisible Fluid Makeup vs. Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua

  9. Katie says:

    Like everyone above, I’ve also been curious about the Korres Cheek Butters. I like the look of the first two!

    And Karen – as always – your idiosyncratic writing inspires to improve my own!

  10. Advah says:

    Oooooh now I’m glad we don’t get many Korres (really, like 2) products in here or I’d buy the whole set of blushes just because the packaging is THAT pretty!

    Karen, that makes me wonder: how do you take photos in stores? Do you speak to the sales assistants first? Are they ever unfriendly or awkward about it?

    PS: just got back after two weeks of holiday, and boy I’ve missed MBB!

    • Karen says:


      Nice to see you again. How was your trip?

      Regarding the photos — nah, I just take them!

      • Advah says:

        Hahaha I like your approach. After all, if they’re happy with customers applying makeup directly on themselves (ew), photo-taking probably isn’t that big a deal..

        And the trip was brilliant, thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m NOT pleased to be back, me thinks it’s time for a life change (it was also my birthday. I feel old.)

        • Karen says:

          Some SA’s get worked up about it, but whatevs. I always find a way to get my shot. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          Happy belated birthday, and NO YOU ARE NOT OLD. Do any of your life changes involve eating your way through more of France? (Still so jealous of your trip to Nice and Provence!).

          I’m thinking about life changes too, as my 37th (!) is coming up in a few weeks.

  11. Jenna N. says:

    WHAT IS THAT STARBUCKS DRINK??!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!!?!?!?? Looks delicious!!!

  12. Aww thanks so much for the little Sephora tour, Karen! I miss it DEARLY! I’m super interested in the Smashbox cream shadows, but unfortunately we don’t get Smashbox here!
    Sunny @ Mostly Sunny recently posted … Chanel Les Expressions de Chanel 2012 Information & Images

  13. Nina says:

    I had that Tokidoki palette in my cart and the removed it. Then added it again and removed it. I have, I think, all the other Tokidoki palettes and the eyeshadows have always been OK. Not great, but not the worse either. I think my main issue is they can be a tad powdery.

    I think im going to wait til the London palette goes on sale LOL …

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nina,

      I kinda just want it for the keychain, haha! They had a BUNCH of cute stuff besides the palette. Have you seen the lip trios? Adorable.

      Happy, happy FRIDAY! Are you guys doing anything for the long weekend? I think we’re gonna try to do a wine country day. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Nina says:

        Me too, actually LOL! The biggest keychain they had was w/ the skateboard palette, I think.

        We’re just going to stay in. Ive been pretty rundown @ work and would appreciate the downtime!

        HappyhappyFriday, indeed!!!!

  14. NeenaJ says:

    I love virtually shopping with you! So fun! The LM shimmer bloc looks gorgeous.

  15. those korres cheek butters look really good especially the two darker colors. darn.

  16. Chris25 says:

    I’m lusting after Neptune Cream Shadow. Such a gorgeous jewel-toned shade.

  17. Kim says:

    Shopping at Sephora is so much more fun with you! ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy Friday, btw! I hope you guys have a fun, long weekend. Ours is packed, as usual, but I’m looking forward to MIB3 tonight. Bad reviews be darned!

  18. Heather says:

    That was such a fun trip to Sephora – we should really do that again some time Karen! Do the Sephora sales clerks ever look at you funny though when you snap shots of the products there?

  19. gio says:

    I’m intrigued by the Korres cheek butters too. They look great!
    gio recently posted … Can You Really Deep Condition Hair Or Is That Only Wishful Thinking?

  20. Katherine G says:

    I just bought Smashbox in Neptune and it is a great color. I wore it today for the first time on a motorcycle ride, and it stood up to sweat and tears. I love the color because it looks like the ocean and is an iridescent blue/green. I am hoping the color stays around for a while – it is a new favorite of mine!

  21. musical says:

    Your local Sephora seems like way more fun than the one in my neck of the woods :). Out here, products show up weeks later (delayed by at least a cpl. of weeks after launch!). Those Korres cheek butters look so inviting! The Korres counter in your Sephora seems well stocked!

    Need me some meow time as well! Glad you had fun!

  22. Jane says:

    What a fun trip to Sephora. I have two of the new Shashbox 15 hour eye shadows — Topaz and Icon. They are awesome, or I think so anyw

  23. I read Starbucks.. Omg, makes me wanna go to Starbucks.
    I’m very curcious how the cheek butter will feel on my skin.. colors look great.
    Stรƒยจphanie recently posted … Tutorial: Drag Marble Flowers

  24. Stef Smith says:

    I am loving those Smashbox cream eyeshadows! My birthday is next month and I know what I’ll be getting! Woo-hoo! Now I’m in the mood for a Starbies and a Sephora day!

  25. Selina says:

    Wow, the smashbox shadows in gemstone and icon are gorgeous. I need to try them out, along with the Korres cheek butter. I love the lip butter, so hopefully the cheek butters will be just as amazing.

  26. JCz says:

    I love love love this! It’s like you were on a recon mission for those of us who don’t get a chance to get to Sephora very often. Pictures of the displays and swatches too? – Brilliant!

  27. Melody says:

    dat Smashbox cream shadow @_@! I’ve got my eye on gemstone now, too.

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