Happy Tuesday ladies! I wanted to give you all a sneak peak of something that was just released in the Fall 2012 collection from Estée Lauder- the Violet Underground Cyber Metallic palette. The formula is the same as the Bronze Sands palette released for the summer (I still have that draft waiting to be posted!) and the other gelee products Estée Lauder has released. This is a preliminary look only, not a review. Enjoy!

The outer packaging itself is a gorgeous deep violet color with the “EL” monogram embossed. It’s plastic, but feels sturdy. It was easier to open then the aforementioned Bronze Sands palette (anyone else feel me on that? lol).

The inside: stunning! Very art deco, and very ‘it’ styling and shading for this fall.

Rich in color and in detail….

Swatched- dry and in direct sunlight.

Swatched wet (cloudy/overcast) Unfortunately in the time it took me to wipe off the first swatches and re-do them with the wet effect the clouds came rolling in. Of course! lol

My first impression is a positive one. The packaging is tops, the brushes included work well, the design of the shadows is both cool and chic while the shades themselves mix everyday colors with high-fashion ones. The texture and payoff were great- though the fuchsia shade when used dry didn’t pack quite the punch I thought it would.

I can’t wait to create some looks with this. It’s available now from Nordstrom.

It’s hard to believe that fall collections are releasing everywhere and that summer is already half way over. I love the summer, but I also enjoy the fall. It’s hard to tell if I like one more than the other- they are actually pretty equal for me. If we could alternate between fall and summer all year I’d be totally good. :)

Anyway I picked up a few things from the collection that I thought looked stunning, and all of the pieces together reminded me of a picture I took on an outing last fall:

You can *almost* see and feel the wind, right?

NARS Vent Glacé Duo- A light silver and a warm silver/pewter mix. I love this color combination and Vent Glacé actually means icy wind in French. I can see exactly why they named it this after applying it. It really does evoke both the image and the feeling of that cold, autumn wind (like my photo above). The texture is buttery and soft.

Outlaw Blush- I was really looking forward to this being repromoted. It’s already been said that the texture could use significant improvement and I agree. However, when I apply it to my cheeks it went on easily and nicely- not like the swatch.

More Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil- My obsession with these pencils continues on. The texture and payoff is glorious as usual.

Autumn Leaves Lipstick- I was actually disappointed by this. It’s kind of patchy and doesn’t go on evenly for me. It’s probably my least favorite NARS Lipstick that I have tried thus far. I like the color and the name, but the formula needs improving.

Swatches L-R: More Lip Pencil, Autumn Leaves Lipstick, Vent Glace Duo

All of these are pretty unique to my collection. You can see how pigmented More is and the patchiness of Autumn Leaves. Normally sheer lipsticks being slightly patchy isn’t as noticeable but with a deeper color like this it kind of stands out. As I said earlier, the duo is buttery and smooth and I lurvvvve it. ;)

Swatches L-R: Tarte Blushing Bride, Sleek Pomegranate, TheBalm Cabana Boy, NARS Outlaw, Illamasqua Ambition, Milani Red Vino

Outlaw isn’t the most unique blush in the world so you could definitely skip this one. I do think it looks nice on the cheeks and I don’t mind having it in my collection.

Wearing Autumn Leaves

Wearing More

Vent Glacé on eyes

Wearing Vent Glacé and Outlaw

Wearing Autumn Leaves, Outlaw, Vent Glacé

Wearing More, Outlaw and Vent Glacé

My overall picks from the collection end up getting narrowed down to two: More Lip Pencil and Vent Glacé duo. I was slightly disappointed with the quality of both Autumn Leaves and Outlaw so I have a hard time recommending them unless you are dying for the colors.

I don’t think I’m quite ready for fall yet. As I was applying the colors I winced a little– bring back my coral lipstick please! lol. How about you? Are you over summer and ready for cooler weather?

I haven’t ventured too far into the world of Hourglass Cosmetics until recently. I had tried several things in store and loved most of what I have sampled. And who can forget their extremely unique-never-duplicated-amazingly-gorgeous Siren gloss I featured here? But if there is one item I had to pick as something I have always wanted to try it would be their Visionaire Eyeshadow duos; long listed as a favorite of beauty blogger extraordinaire, Temptalia.

Let’s start with the packaging, which is sleek, understated and classy.

But then you go to open it, and THIS happens:

Yes, ladies. It swivels. It’s quite possibly the most entertaining packaging of any makeup item I own. The brush that’s included? Totally usable and actually quite lovely. The generous mirror makes sliding this in your purse a total win.

Dune is a fabulous color combination. It’s a gold/champagne with a slightly blue-toned khaki with gold and copper sparkle. Both shades are gorgeous- but up close they really shine…

The textures are every bit as buttery as I have heard them described. They are easy to blend and last all day on my eyes (I almost always use primer- especially in the summer so keep that in mind).

Dune on eyes

Product Breakdown:

Face-

Eyes-

Lips-

I am incredibly happy with how this duo both looks and performs. It really exceeded my expectations, which is saying a lot because the bar was already set so high. I have my eye on Gypsy next- it needs to be mine! The duos retail for $38 at Sephora and are worth every penny. Have you tried the Hourglass eyeshadows yet?

*Items marked with a ‘*’ were provided by PR for review purposes only* The item featured in this review was provided by PR.

Over the last few weeks I have been excitedly testing out some new skin care products. I’m always particularly thrilled when the brand uses ingredients are 100% natural. This was the very case with Havvn, who have developed a line called DNA Skin Care.

The very first thing I noticed was this:

I’m always happy to see a label that looks like this!

The system consists of 3 creams (and a toner/cleanser as well); one for Day, Night and an Activator (hence, DNA) that helps to aid both the day and night cream in their absorption.

The products are housed in tubes with tops that twist up to reveal a pump. The pump locks back in place making it convenient for travel. The one thing I don’t like is that the Activating cream needs to be used twice as often as the day/night cream but you get the same amount as the other two. I realize it keeps the continuity of the packaging but, it’s something worth noting.

Textures: Day, Night, Activator

I did like the way all three creams felt, and the way they sunk into my skin. They were not too heavy for my oily/combination skin- a common problem for me. I was warned in advance that the textures and scents of the creams would probably feel unfamiliar to me- and they do. Since they are none of the usual suspects in terms of ingredients I’m used to (and perfumes, dyes). They felt somewhat sticky to the touch, but once applied felt very smooth. I also noticed that the day cream smells fruity, but I can’t really pinpoint what the other two smell like. Vegetables maybe? They aren’t offensive, but certainly different than what I’m used to.

My skin feels smooth and hydrated, but not weighed down. Although I’m in my mid-twenties and don’t really have signs of aging yet, I do think this helped smooth out around my eye area, and underneath them.

The bottom line: If you are someone who really insists that your skin care is natural or are looking for something new to try, this would probably be a good place to start. You can purchase the Havvn DNA Skin Care System from their website here. The three creams come in a set and it retails for $79.99.

How do you feel about your skin care? Are you more skeptical of some ingredients over others?

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

Friday again! Actually, this week was a special week because my Friday actually started on Wednesday (which was Independence Day here in the U.S.) so I have been enjoying some extra time off. It’s been nice, but it always goes too fast. Also, it’s been so freakin’ hot where I live that it’s really difficult to even be outside. It’s been in the upper 90s-100s every day this week so I’m ready for some cooler temps, like, soon. In the mean time, enjoy some up close photos of some gorgeous products and stay cool!

Want to know what these are? Check the Tags section below ;)

You can view the previous Friday Film Strip posts here: