Press Sample

Earlier this year Juicy Couture launched a new, fresh version of their signature scent called Hollywood Royal. I took one look at the bottle and fell in love. However, it was only after reading the top notes that I really knew this was a perfume I could definitely get along with.



The bottle itself has a stunning gold star and sparkle design. It’s weighty and looks beautiful sitting on top of my vanity.

The notes according to the company: begins with notes of candied apple, pear and pomelo. Its floral heart is filled with creamy white petals, resting on the base that combines cashmere wood and soft musk with sweet nuances of vanilla and marshmallow.

It’s sort of a nice blend of many aspects of fragrance that I love; it’s a little bit sweet, a little bit soft, slightly fresh and quite sophisticated. It lasts around 6 hours on me. If I put a little in my hair I can smell it throughout the whole day. It’s a fragrance that I don’t think people will obviously notice, which is a good thing in my book. I like fragrances that can just blend into your body chemistry and don’t announce themselves when you walk into a room. Fragrance is a very personal thing and if you’re into a heavier scent this probably won’t be for you.

I can see many age ranges wearing this because it fits into so many different categories. It’s an all-occassion all-season scent, though I definitely liked it in the spring with the white petal component.

This perfume retails for $72 at ULTA and Macy’s. The versatility of this scent makes it a true winner for me.

I first discovered Clinique Cheek Pops early last year when they released four shades (Plum, Ginger, Peach and Berry Pop). I picked up Peach and Plum Pop early on, but with the limited shade range I felt my collection was pretty complete. Imagine my excitement when I found out that Clinique was to release a whopping 8 additional shades earlier this Spring. As soon as my local Sephora store had them in I went in for a swatch session.

DSC_0278Peach Pop, Nude Pop and Plum Pop

The formula on these blushes is very unique. It’s not a powder, but it’s not really a cream either. It’s a hybrid product but I wouldn’t describe it as a gelee. The product feels very silky to the touch, but it’s not pliable or “bouncy.” They are pigmented enough to work for many skin tones but not so pigmented that they are hard to work with.

DSC_0283Plum Pop, Peach Pop and Nude Pop

Once applied to the cheeks you notice a glow, almost how your skin looks after a facial. They are not shimmery or dewy, which helps combination skin girls like me get longer wear time. Speaking of that, these last all day on me. It’s rare that a blush formula will do that on me.


Plum Pop, Peach Pop and Nude Pop

Plum Pop is a bright berry pink that perks up even the dullest complexion days. Peach Pop is a perfect peach/coral blend that looks great on tan skin. Nude Pop is a brown, almost flesh toned shade that adds dimension and a hint of color to the cheeks. My favorite way to wear my new shade, Nude Pop, is to sweep it generously across my cheekbones, focusing more on the back and then layering a small amount of Peach Pop on the very front of my cheek bones. It creates a perfect bronze-blush shade that I will definitely be wearing all summer long.

I still have my eye on Heather Pop or maybe Fig Pop, but I’m trying to wait until fall since it’s likely I won’t get a lot of use from that type of shade until then. But all of the colors are so tempting, I could see how it would be easy to own the whole collection.

Cheek Pops retail for $21 each at Nordstrom, Sephora and Clinique. They get a big A+ from me. :)




Spring is officially here! I know there is a lot of talk about pastels and pretty pinks, but for me the spring season always means that summer (yes, summer!) collections are being released. I love summer collections because they usually contain my most favorite products- bronzers and highlighters!

Laura Mercier and Estée Lauder have made many of my favorite highlighters in the past, so I was very excited to find out that they were both releasing a new one in their respective summer collections this year.

Let’s start with Estée Lauder.

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Gelee

The Bronze Goddess Illuminating Powder Gelee is new for summer 2015. It retails for $40. I found mine at my local Nordstrom store (they just got them in this week).

I know this was touted as being a re-release of their famous Heat Wave gelee from two summers ago (see my original post here) which is why I thought it was an easy pass for me. I saw more photos and swatches online and quickly realized that although it shares the same design as Heat Wave, the two were not the same.

Bronze Goddess is much less shimmery, and darker. It is a more bronze color.

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess vs heat Wave

Bronze Goddess and Heat Wave

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Gelee Swatch

Bronze Goddess vs Heat Wave

You can see from the swatches here how different the two are. I actually consider Bronze Goddess to be more of a bronzer than a highlight for me. It’s too dark on my skin tone to be a highlight. I do, however, think it adds a lovely glow to the skin when layered over my bronzer or my blush. I can easily see myself using this on those no makeup days or all summer long to add a sunkissed glow to my skin. It’s not metallic so it makes it easier for all age ranges to use it.

Laura Mercier also released a product that looked nearly identical in both description and photographs to the previously released Spellbound highlighter (my original post here). The “new” highlighter is called Indiscretion.

Laura Mercier Indiscretion vs Spellbound

The only difference between the two is that you can tell which one I’ve used. ;)

These two products are practically identical in every way. The pattern and texture are exactly the same as well.

Laura Mercier Indiscretion Swatch

Spellbound vs Indiscretion

If there is a difference it is that Spellbound is ever-so-slightly more rose gold and Indiscretion is slightly more true gold. When blended out they are the same shade.

Laura Mercier Indiscretion vs Spellbound

Spellbound vs. Indiscretion (lightly blended)

I have to say I am disappointed. Not that they re-released it, but that they decided to rename it. I am glad those that missed out on the original release of Spellbound have another shot at getting the shade. For those of us who already had it and bought this one expecting something new, well, you’re going to feel a little let down. But don’t worry, I have two new highlighters to show you soon that will be sure to be a… spring in your step.

How do you feel about these two new releases? What are your thoughts on companies renaming products?

It’s a polarizing holiday isn’t it? I’ve known people who cannot stand it and others who lived for it. Some say it’s silly and made-up and just another “Hallmark Holiday.” I somewhat agree with that. I also have to agree with those who think it’s sweet, romantic and just kind of fun. Do I really want some cheesy Teddy Bear wearing a shirt that says, “I heart you” on it? No, I can’t say that I do. However, the idea of spending a day with my husband just celebrating the way we feel towards one another makes me smile. And if that makes me lame…well…so be it. :)

Because I enjoy the holiday and take it for what it really is, I thought I’d dedicate a fun little post to my picks to bring out during this love-fest week.


Valentines Eyes


Pinks and purples are easy to use together and they really do create the perfect romantic setting for a Valentine’s look.


Valentines Eye Palettes

Eye Palettes

Rose golds and purples can also create some pretty amazing combinations. Your eyes don’t have to be Barbie Doll pink to give off that lovey-vibe.


Valentines Blushes


It’s all about glowy, healthy looking cheeks. Something that gives you a believable, maybe slightly embarrassed or shy blush.

Valentines Lips


My idea of a Valentine’s lip is something a bit more….kissable. That’s why you won’t see any bright pinks or deep reds here. I prefer to play up my eyes and let my lips look more natural.


Valentines Nails


For nails I go with shades that are girly. Feminine and chic, these polishes add an extra something to your look.


I hope you were able to draw some inspiration from my picks for Valentine’s Day makeup. Here’s hoping your day is filled with love, wherever or whomever it comes from. :)


01. 02. 2015

Up until today, we had not really had a winter here in Chicago. A little snow, a few really cold days…but compared to last year it was like spring. Of course, it was too good to be true and we have gotten about 15 inches of snow in less than 24 hours. It’s definitely a blizzard out here! Keeping in the spirit of the weather, I thought it was a good time to share my picks for icy winter looks. I was inspired by Sam’s video here on her favorites for this time of year.

Winter Highlighters

My choice for winter highlighters are lighter versions, almost all cool toned or leaning that way. Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector in Pearl is great this time of year for adding dewiness. MAC Lightscapade is the most muted, but adds just a hint of glow to the skin without being obvious. Chanel’s Camelia de Plumes is a full-on highlighter (one that doubles as an eyeshadow) that has a gorgeous finish but is definitely not for those who are timid around sparkle. Edward Bess’ South of France is one of those unique, multi-taskers that manages to add definition to the cheeks like a bronzer, but also a glow like a highlighter. It’s very light, and may not work for everyone. On my pale skin, it’s perfect this time of year.

Winter Blushes

Another thing most makeup enthusiasts agree on is getting that perfect “Snow White” or “in from the cold” look. It’s easy to achieve with shades like the ones I have above. Tarte’s Natural Beauty is a very popular choice for good reason, the formula is impeccable and the tone is spot on. MAC’s Frankly Scarlet (top) and Salsarose (right) are both variations of the same shade. Salsarose has a slight sheen and is a bit more pink, while Frankly Scarlet is very matte and more red. Of the three, Natural Beauty is my favorite. Frankly Scarlet is bit dry in texture and a little harder to work with.

Winter Eyes

In terms of colors on the eyes, it’s a bit of a mix. Cool purples, icier blues and mints and shimmery taupes are all good picks for this time of year. Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill in #24 Madre Perla (top right) is a pearly white with a hidden mint/pink flash that is gorgeous (you can see it in action here). Bare Minerals shadow in Skyline (middle right) is a cooler, slightly greyed blue that pairs nicely with the Bare Minerals duo in Showstopper (bottom middle) (which I’ve also used here). MAC’s Aqua shadow (bottom right) is the perfect mint that is slightly blue that gives it a bit more of an icy flavor, but still so brightening on the eyes. NARS Heart of Glass (top middle) is one of my all time favorites. Michele1218 on Youtube once suggested it over NYX Jumbo Eye Shadow in Milk and the pairing is great during the winter. It gives a hint of blue without being Miss Piggy. It’s very chic. It’s probably the most reached for blue eyeshadow in my collection. Laura Mercier released a limited edition shadow in winter 2013 called Pearl Fantasy (top left) which was too pretty to pass up. It’s one of the lightest taupes I own, but the sheen it gives on the eyes is quite stunning. The formula and texture is interesting, kind of creamy. Similarly, NARS Dual Intensity shadow in Callisto is creamy, but more intense. The sparkle here is amazing and I really enjoy these shadows. I do have to say, I experience fallout during application so while I like them, they aren’t perfect in my book.

Winter Lips

It so happens that all of my choices here are from MAC. As much as the brand may frustrate me at times, they make some really unique colors and I fall for them frequently. The lipglass in Clear Water is icy and sparkly in a way that is beautiful and not obnoxious. The lipstick in Summer Shower looks scary in the tube, but goes on very sheer, adding a hint of minty sparkle to the lips that brightens my smile and lifts my complexion. MAC’s Gone Romancin’ dazzle glass is a pretty, sparkle lavender shade that is probably the most wearable in that category. The formula is creamy and not sticky.

Tomorrow is Groundhog Day. Let’s enjoy our icy winter makeup and secretly wish for an early spring! ;)