I’m pretty sure I’m quoting a Disney movie here, but I remember someone saying that a late blossom is always the prettiest. Case in point, the Ellis Faas Spring Set. It arrived on the scene later than other spring collections but it’s one of the prettiest I’ve seen.

You had me at hello. If you have never seen them before, Ellis Faas incorporates the click pen concept to most of their makeup products (eyeshadows, blushes, lipsticks, concealer) and they are housed in sleek silver-bullet looking tubes. You are either a fan of the delivery system or you’re not. At first I was undecided but after trying Ellis Faas last year I was able to embrace the packaging for the product that lies within.

Like a bullet through a flock of doves.  The Spring Set features three permanent colors for eyes and lips: Creamy Eyes E106, Milky Lips L207, Lights E304. I was most excited about the Lights product because I have actually had 2 other shades on my wishlist for some time.

And at last I see the light. Swatches L-R: E304, E106, L207

E304 is a stunning, light-catching metallic purple. A word of caution with the Lights products- you have very little time to blend. I found that out the hard way! E106 surprised me in such a good way. I was expecting more of a purple but what I got was a lovely taupe-leaning brown. Gorgeous! L207 pulls the look together with a natural peach/brown hue that feels lovely on the lips.

Another picture of the lights- even without any flash/direct light see how light-reflecting it is? Love! I enjoyed the lights so much that I ordered another shade- E305 (to be featured soon).

The Spring Set can be purchased on the Ellis Faas website now. It retails for $85 (it’s almost like getting one of the pens for free)!

By the way, the blush I’m wearing in these photos is NARS madly. :)

*the items in this post were provided by PR for review purposes only*

Just in time for the unofficial start of the sunny season, all of the Lipstick Bandits decided to showcase a lipstick that oozes summer- something fun and bright. I imagined deciding on one wouldn’t be easy, but I knew right away what color family I would choose- coral. Coral is by far my favorite color for lips (and tips!) all summer long. I originally planned to go with something I already had in my collection (MAC Vegas Volt for example), but you know what they say about the best laid plans…. <ahem>.

I was absentmindedly searching for swatches of a line I had never tried before but have continually heard about (both good and bad). Being a curious minded person I figured I had to test the waters myself and form my own opinion. The brand in question? Tom Ford. Again, I wasn’t intending to make my purchase anything related to this post but once I came upon the swatch of it I knew it was meant to be. *cue dramatic scene cut music*

The packaging. It’s weighty enough and the color combo is starting to grow on me, though when I first saw the brand it was a turn-off. Also, the packaging is not exactly black. As you can see under the light it turns kind of an amber- brown color. I quite like that it’s a bit of a chameleon that way. Keeps things interesting.

But what you really want to see is the color, and rightly so:

True Coral- It’s a gorgeous shade and as the name implies it is a pure coral color and it’s positively glowing. It’s bright, and even brighter in person. The formula is by far my favorite high end regular lipstick formula I have tried (not counting the glossy type lipsticks). Dior’s formula is lovely, but this is more pigmented. I find Guerlain Rouge G’s can be drying on me, and this isn’t. On my lips it glides on effortlessly and feels so smooth. I was surprised to find that it was not a dry formula, nor did it feel dry on my lips. Normally lipsticks with this much pigmentation can be parching, but that’s not the case here. When I rub my lips together it feels almost balmy- no drag at all.

Laser-bright! As I mentioned earlier Coral is my favorite lip color to wear in the summer time. I find it so face brightening and I just like the way it works with my skin tone. I’m often sporting either bright liner or a bright lip and little else on my face during the summer and this is a shade that can pull that off with little effort. Though I have only owned it for about 5 days as I write this I have already worn off the ‘TF’ logo imprinted into the tube, a true testament to how much I enjoy it. Another thing worth noting is that I actually *want* to reapply this. On a normal day I rarely reapply lip color. I just forget. I get busy and I don’t look in the mirror and I forget. This lipstick is that unforgettable, ladies.

True Coral on the lips- The staying power is fair to good- though I think I would be happier if it held up better against drinking and eating. To be fair, most lipsticks (including Chanel’s ubiquitous Dragon) don’t hold up well on me when I’m dining.  Maybe it’s just my body chemistry.

Ah, and then there’s the matter of the price. Le sigh, you know it couldn’t all be great news, could it? It’s a staggering $48 price tag (same as a Rouge G). So will I be buying up the entire range any time soon? No. But I will probably pick a few strategic colors that I know I will use over and over again. Nordstrom carries the lipstick line, but you can also get them from Neiman Marcus, Barney’s and Saks.

Ah, and then there’s the matter of the price. Le sigh, you know it couldn’t all be great news, could it? It’s a staggering $48 price tag (same as a Rouge G). So will I be buying up the entire range any time soon? No. But I will probably pick a few strategic colors that I know I will use over and over again. Nordstrom carries the lipstick line, but you can also get them from Neiman Marcus, Barney’s and Saks.

Don’t forget to check out what the other Lipstick Bandits chose for their summer bright lipsticks (shield your retinas ladies):

I hope you all are having a great start to the weekend!  I wanted to quickly share with you some pictures and swatches of the new L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadows that were released in the UK (and possibly Europe) for the Cannes Film Festival this year. I don’t know if and when these shades will arrive stateside, but you can order them from FeelUnique.com (where I got mine) and they had free shipping to the U.S. plus a 30% discount going at the time.

Clockwise from left: Metallic Lilac, Innocent Turquoise, Naughty Strawberry, Sassy Marshmallow

Although I prefer the formula of the Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Silk Shadows the L’Oreal version is still lovely in it’s own rite. They aren’t quite as sparkly or as dynamic but I do think they are great affordable alternative. I chose these shades because I felt there were no colors in the current Giorgio Armani line up that were anything like these and after seeing and swatching them I still believe that to be the case.

Naughty Strawberry

Metallic Lilac

Sassy Marshmallow (with that kind of name how can you not love this shade?!)

Innocent Turquoise

These feel exactly like all of the other shades I have tried in the past. I haven’t worn them yet so I can’t speak to their exact wear time, but typically without a primer they last about 6 hours and with a primer they last  8-9 hours.

Swatches L-R: Innocent Turquoise, Sassy Marshmallow, Metallic Lilac

Innocent Turquoise is so perfect for summer. I like that it’s not full on, but has an almost minty quality to it. Sassy Marshmallow is a hard shade to capture and describe. As you can see from the picture in the pot it has some grey, purple, pink and blue tones to it. All together it looks like a light lavender, but depending on the angle and the light you can see the flecks of the other colors. Metallic Lilac is a nice cooler toned purple that looks to have blue flecks in it  when swatched but in the pan the flecks are pink. I did not swatch Naughty Strawberry because I don’t know that I will be keeping it for myself. I think the color looked different online and that’s why I ordered it but I’m not really a pink eyeshadow fan personally.

What are your thoughts? Are you happy with more unique shades being released or are these colors not really your style?

It’s Memorial Day weekend here in the States and I couldn’t be happier about having some extra time out of the office. The weather is going to be HOT and I plan to soak it all in and spend some time on the water. Have a fabulous weekend!

I had to throw in some pictures of the flowers in my yard at the moment, enjoy!

(Iris)

(Iris)

(Osteopernum)

(Osteopernum

(Viola)

(Jack Frost)

(Verbena)

Wondering what the items are? Check out the tags section of this post to find out ;)

It was sometime last year that I discovered I needed to use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner. My hair is color treated (abused) and I found that using a natural hair care regime helps keep my color looking fresher for a longer period of time. Also worth noting is that my hair gets fairly oily after just a day or two. I try to wash it every other day (but usually I end up washing it daily because of my bff- the treadmill). Sulfate-free shampoo really helps my hair stay less oily in between washes because it doesn’t strip the natural oil as much as other shampoos. To that end I wanted to share 2 new lines of hair care products that I have been testing for several weeks that you *need* to know about.

The first is by bain de terre and they have launched a line called purité and it is free from ten common chemicals (no sulfates, parabens, formaldehyde, colorants, gluten, mineral oil, phthalates, MEA, DEA & PPG) and never tested on animals.

The first two products I tried were the color protect shampoo and conditioner. I loved the smell right away- described on the bottle as ‘white floral’, it’s light and fresh, slightly flowery and not overpowering. I am absolutely blown away by the conditioner. I have never tried such a thick conditioner ever. It’s almost hard to get out of the bottle at times. My hair feels so incredibly soft after using it and it’s tangle-free (important as my hair is 19+ inches long). It doesn’t weigh my hair down and it leaves a lovely shine. At the time that I am writing this I have about 25% left of the entire bottle. I have used it every day since it arrived and don’t want it to end. I feel like it has definitely helped keep my blonde(r) hair from getting brassy in between colorings.

I do, however, have an issue with the shampoo. It’s probably my own body chemistry (did I mention my hair gets pretty oily pretty fast)? Well, it doesn’t seem to be able to break down the oil in my hair. I used it the first time and was impressed with how clean my scalp felt. But then the second time I used it after I finished drying my hair I could still feel oil on my roots. At the time I chalked it up to not having been thorough enough in my cleaning and shrugged it off. The third time I used it I scrubbed my scalp not once, but twice  before adding conditioner. Imagine my surprise then after having been as thorough as I thought I could be and still feeling oil in my hair after blowing it dry. It was a vertical eyebrow moment. After this I stopped using it. It just isn’t the right shampoo for my hair type. If you have normal or dry hair I bet this will work fabulously for you, but if you have oily hair I would stick to the conditioner only.

These are available now in Ulta Stores across the U.S. (not online sadly). The shampoo and conditioner retail for $14 and $15 respectively.

The third product I have been testing is from Hairtrition  and is the Keratin Smoothing Leave-in Treatment. It’s got an almost gel-like consistency and isn’t very thick. I am used to using hair oils as a treatment that are much thicker than this so I wasn’t planning to be impressed by it. I was pleasantly surprised then to find out just how smoothing the treatment is. I comb this through towel-dried hair and then blow my hair dry. Afterwards I am left with very shiny and silky strands- incredibly reminiscent of how my hair oils work. Again, I have been using this religiously for several weeks. You don’t need a lot- I use about a quarter sized amount for my entire hair. This also has a nice light fragrance and reminds me of a trip to the salon.

The leave-in treatment retails for $6.99 at Sally Beauty Supply Store and online.

Shiny, smooth hair (just blown dry, not straightened or curled) after using the Keratin leave-in treatment and the color protect conditioner.

I can’t wait to test the other items from the bain de terre Purite and Hairtrition Keratin lines- and I will be reviewing those over the next few weeks.

If you would like to see other reviews of these hair care lines you can check out the posts done by my lovelies Larie of Eye Heart it and Eugenia of Ommorphia Beauty Bar.

*The items featured have been provided for review purposes only by PR. My commitment is to you, the reader and I always write my honest opinion *