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Baume de Rose: worth the splurge?

April 16th, 2014 · Beauty, Emma's Thoughts

There is a class of beauty product that we all know as the “vanity piece”. No pun intended here, these products are meant for display.

They sit, beautiful both in packaged form and unboxed, happily on your bathroom counter, bedside table, or vanity. Propped up as little luxuries. They are the petite accent shelf to your functional bookcase.

By Terry’s Baume de Rose is my latest splurge in this category. Naturally, I have lusted over it for years, curious about the hype. The reviews that I have both watched and read mostly place it on a pedestal. This, of course, only made me want it more. However, I could never justify the price. Fifty-nine dollars for 0.35 oz of lip balm is a hell of a lot.

But in the name of both indulgence and blogging, I finally splurged. Sneaky caveat: I redeemed $50 worth of Birchbox points, so that price stung a lot less.

I will say this: Baume de Rose smells incredible. It smells like a million rose petals, carefully pressed. (That probably did happen.) If you enjoy rose scents, you will eat this up. It is a good lip balm. It feels moisturizing on the lips, has SPF 15, and is sticky enough to stay put for hours without being overly tacky. The texture is along the lines of a MAC Tendertone if that helps you visualize it– and I think you know of my love for Tendertones. The packaging screams luxury– weighty frosted glass with a gilded lid.

Baume de Rose on the lips

Will I repurchase? Probably not. Baume de Rose is very nice, but it is not leaps and bounds better than other far less expensive lip products. I will certainly enjoy this pot, though, while it lasts. I will also secretly admit to you that I am keen on trying Dior Crème de Rose someday (insert face of shame). Which at $27, is a bargain compared to By Terry. For a cheaper rose fix, stick with good ol’ Smith’s Rosebud Salve, for $6. For a closer dupe with a creamy pink finish? Your pick is Nivea Lip Butter in Raspberry Rosé Kiss, for only $2.99. I own and adore both of these.

Have you tried Baume de Rose, or any other By Terry products? Let me know how you like them!

xoxo, Emma

 

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Review: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

April 13th, 2014 · Beauty, Emma's Thoughts

I fell in love with NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer at first swipe, and three tubes later, a review of this delightful goop is in order.

The texture is perfection: smooth and thick enough to fully cover imperfections, yet delicate enough to seemingly melt into the skin and stay put all day. It’s so natural and lovely, it’s a bit of a shock how well it covers and somehow maintains a radiant finish (yes, the name is spot on, too). It’s rare to find this level of coverage with a finish this lightweight and moisturizing. No chalkiness. No cake.

My shade is Light 2 Vanilla, which is fair with slight pink undertones. It matches my face incredibly well, nearly perfectly. This is key. If you are cool-toned and select a concealer that leans too yellow, it will look obvious on your skin, especially in natural light. When selecting your shade, always test on your face. I swatched this on my hand for you to see, which is much pinker than my face.

A 0.22 oz. tube of Radiant Creamy (I keep typing Radiant Dreamy because that’s how I feel) will run you US $29. The packaging is sleek, classic NARS with a doe foot applicator. I favor this type of packaging for a concealer over a tube (often I squeeze out too much) or a pot (generally less sanitary, and product will be drier). This concealer is ideal for purse- and gym bag-toting, as you can dot on the tiniest amount with the wand and tap into the skin for easy touch-ups.

The versatility of this concealer is one of the major selling points for me, as I can use this both for facial concealing, and under my eyes to help cover dark circles. Radiant Creamy blends super easily, and because of the ideal shade match, I can get away with using only this product where needed for light coverage on days that I feel like passing on foundation or BB cream altogether. When going this route, I like to top it with a dusting of Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder or MAC MSF Natural, and I’m good to go. I never thought I could be comfortable as that foundation-free person, but this concealer really makes that possible. It is chock full of antioxidants, so maybe it even improved my skin a bit over this past year.

Most days though, I do wear a light foundation (current obsession: Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in 12 Beige Rose). The combo of the Chanel with this NARS concealer is flawless, and provides a very natural, polished look. More on the Chanel in a future post…

If you need a new concealer, I highly suggest giving Radiant Creamy a go. Report back and let me know how you like it.

And NARS, well done. Please make this forever.

xoxo, Emma

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All about the frosting.

October 9th, 2013 · Lifestyle

Now that it’s October, I’m craving everything pumpkin, from beverages to food to the pumpkins themselves (the Cinderella ones, if you must know). I love to bake, and plan on incorporating many more foodie posts in the near future here on the blog. So, to fulfill those pumpkin cravings that I know you are also experiencing, I bring you a delicious and simple fall recipe idea.

I was inspired to make these while at Starbucks, enjoying pumpkin loaf, and wishing said loaf was a bit more decadent. For me, it’s often all about the frosting. I wanted something that was not quite a cupcake, but had a bit more oomph than a typical muffin. A bit savory, but also sweet.

And cream cheese. I love cream cheese (who doesn’t?). I wanted this to have cream cheese frosting.

So: I found a box mix of Trader Joe’s pumpkin loaf in my kitchen and proceeded to make gigantic muffins. Since frosting is key, I made this from scratch, and then piped that frosting on in thick, delicious swirls.

For the frosting, you will need: hand mixer, two 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, 1/2 cup softened butter, 2 to 3 cups confectioners’ sugar (up to your taste buds) and 1 tsp vanilla extract.

1. Cream together the cream cheese and softened butter using a hand mixer

2. Add the vanilla extract

3. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, mixing after each cup.

After the muffins cool, pipe on a generous amount of frosting, working in circles from the outside in.

The result? A completely perfect fall breakfast… just add the espresso.

Note: unless super hungry, one of these muffins will definitely feed two.

 Bon appétit!

-Emma

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