A hub for all things to do with design, furniture painting, photography, style, event planning [and some foodie bits for good measure].  

6 Sephora Reviews: my must have summer products

I've had makeup and skincare on the mind lately. Atlanta is HOT [don't say HOTlanta, we're over it].  The temperature on average is between 95 and 99, and is UNBELIEVABLY humid.  We're [almost literally] melting here. Between that and the fact that I'm headed to tropical paradise in a week [EEEE!!], I've needed to rethink the sort of makeup I wear daily. I've purchased these over the last couple months, and have been using all of them on a regular basis.  I can attest [I even submitted my reviews on Sephora!] to their ability to keep my face looking fresh all day long. Some of these are definitely investment pieces, but they're all entirely worth it [though I did buy some back when Sephora was having their rare 15% off sale]. Read my reviews and try some of these out for yourself.  All of these products are joining me in Hawaii and next week I'll post a 'What's in my Makeup Bag, Maui Edition!

Elizabeth and James Nirvana White Perfume: Elizabeth and James Nirvana White is a captivating blend of delicate peony, chic muguet, and tender musk for a feminine scent with dark sophistication. 

I tested this in the past and didn't think much of it. But one day I was at the store with a friend who was trying out perfumes, randomly picked it up again and was SOLD. My usual scent is Chloe, but since it's at a higher price point, I'd have to say this is a great alternative if you're looking for a light floral and love the scent of peonies [I can't get enough!]. My only gripe is unlike Chloe, this eau de parfum doesn't last very long. The scent dissipates after just an hour or two, so I find myself reapplying often. But since the packaging is so fantastic [one of the best I've ever seen!] I don't mind toting it around with me wherever I go!

Bobbi Brown Full Coverage Face Brush: an ultrasoft face brush with short, tightly packed bristles that brush on full coverage foundation. 

I saw this brush on various beauty youtube channels, and was intrigued enough to test it out for myself. I LOVE how the handle isn't massive. The size is is perfect from an ergonomic and travel-friendly POV. I've used it with liquid foundation, bb cream, concealer, blush, bronzer and powder, and it all works like a dream! If they weren't so pricey, I'd keep two and use one for liquid and the other for powder applications. Other than a brush for eyeliner [if you apply yours with a brush that is] I would say this is the ONE brush I can't live without.

Urban Decay All Night Makeup Setting Spray: a weightless setting spray that keeps makeup looking just-applied for up to 16 hours

Although I love the process of putting on makeup, I'm not a fan of reapplying it more than once a day. My logic is if I'm investing in high end, good quality products, the least they could do is last longer than more affordable options! I do a good job of choosing products that last on their own, but this spray takes things to a whole new level. It acts as an insurance for my face, and my face and eye makeup easily last 8-12 hours. The only thing I ever really need to reapply is my lipstick, but that's to be expected. I went with the 1oz. to test it out, and I prefer it since it seems to last and it's very travel friendly. My only issue is the packaging. For some reason, my bottle looks SO dirty! I guess it's from having makeup on my hands, but I don't notice any of my other products having this issue.  May just be the white bottle, but that's definitely the only thing I'd change!

Nars Narsissist Dual Intensity Eyeshadow Palette: limited-edition eye palette featuring eight Dual Intensity Eyeshadows and a travel-size wet/dry brush, in a special NARSissist mirrored palette

I've always loved using eye shadows wet, since I find my lids are dry and wet or creamy products last much longer for me. Like a previous review mentioned, there's a definite learning curve with a palette like this. The darker shades are highly pigmented and go on DARK when applied wet. But I have to say, I use all 8 colors both wet and dry, but more typically wet. For spring/summer [which is when I started using this palette] I find myself gravitating to the coppery tones of Himalia, since I've been all about coppers and rose golds as of late [add europa to it to create more of a rose gold effect]. But I'm surprised how much I like Lysithea for night looks. I've really never used grays on my eyes, but I this steel shade works really nicely when paired with the deep blue of Giove as a liner. 4 stars because I think it should be priced under $70 and isn't for a beginner, but I know this palette will last so I'd definitely recommend it if you're willing to learn!


Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Dim Infusion: groundbreaking hybrid that combines the customized lighting effects of Ambient Lighting Powder with a spectrum of breathtakingly modern hues for seamless, soft-focus, and multidimensional color

I can't see going back to any other brand of blush. I love everything about this product line. I purchased the color Dim Infusion, and when I received it, I was worried it would be too fair for my medium tone skin. But it works just beautifully.  I hate blushes that are unnatural or overly pigmented, simply because I don't want to have to try too hard to make my face look natural. This product has just the right balance of sheer and pigmentation, and the shimmer is very subtle.  The coral is perfect for spring and summer. I also adore the packaging [really of the entire Hourglass line!]. The blush lasts all day on my face, and I don't need much to achieve my desired look. I can't wait to pick up another shade for fall and winter!

Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in Groenland: lightweight tinted moisturizer that evens skintone and provides a translucent veil of protection. 

I purchased this a shade darker than my usual Color IQ suggested, since I was planning ahead for summer, and I'm so glad I did. I went with Groenland, and right now it's blending seamlessly with my skin tone. I love that one little squeeze of the moisturizer works for my entire face, so I know this could last me the entire summer. When I'm needing more coverage, it's definitely buildable, but I find using a mix of this with my foundation works best if I'm having a bad skin day. I have dry skin in cooler weather, and combination skin during the more humid months, and this seems to suit me during both.  I've used Laura Mercier in the past, and I think I'm leaning towards this since I find it provides better coverage and the color is more suited to my skin tone. A must have for the summer months!