BEST OF: Top 13 of 2013 Beauty & Fragrance

Many of the products featured today have been featured at one time or another. I had not reviewed some explicitly but had been wearing/using them often in videos. Whatever the case, this edit of 13 products are my most memorable and most 'recommended' products of the year! I did leave out limited edition products, simply because the ones I love most are already di`scontinued or will not be available for much longer. I wanted to share products that were accessible as possible, so I hope you'll enjoy my take on this "Best Of" video!

I reviewed the products as thoroughly as possible, but I will provide a quick rundown here for those short on time. My favorite brands of 2013 were Tom Ford, Giorgio Armani, Cle de Peau, and Diptyque. Cle de Peau never fails to impress, from eyeshadows to lipsticks, but nothing tops their eyebrow pencils for thin sparse brows (full review HERE). Tom Ford makes some of the best eyeshadows, blushes, and lipsticks, but his liquid eyeliner pen has become my new Holy Grail. I never thought anything would trump my beloved Lanôme Artliner, which I diligently used for eight years! Now, my candle obsession has probably been the most rewarding and satisfying journey of 2013. I spend a lot of time indoors and live with two cats, so home fragrances are a must in my book. Diptyque is a luxury splurge, but the fragrances linger long after the candles have been snuffed out. I have a very weak nose and still manage to enjoy mostly all Diptyque scents! The throw is phenomenal, especially with Baies and Pine Bark, which is featured in the video.

Last but not least, I wanted to give a quick shout-out to my favorite skin care brand of the year.. 3LAB! I am currently using their Cleansing Foam, Super H Serum, and the fantastic WW Eye Cream. All three are perfect for soothing my dry winter skin, especially since the prescription acne face wash and serum that I am using tends to cause flaking! I was not able to feature them in the video due to time constraints, but I have done extensive reviews on several other products from the range HERE.

Products Reviewed:
Cle de Peau Eyebrow Pencil Cartridges in 202 (taupe) & 204 (charcoal) and Pencil Holder/Case with Spoolie 
     *with Tom Ford Cheek Brush 
     *with Tom Ford Bronzer Brush 
Diptyque Pine Bark Candle [Home Fragrance]

Makeup Worn:
Cle de Peau Eyebrow Pencil in 202 
Giorgio Armani Flash Lacquer in 519 
Velour Lashes in Strike a Pose


Zoya Pixie Dust in Tomoko [accent]

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November and December 2013 Beauty Favorites + Hits & Misses

I am so excited to share my latest batch of Favorites! Since I missed the month of November, I combined some of my most frequently reached for picks from last month with some new goodies I have been loving the past couple weeks. I included two 'misses' as well. I purchased the Urban Decay concealers during their Friends and Family sale, and thank goodness I did. I would have hated to pay full price for such lackluster concealers (more details in video). I also purchased one of their new Revolution lipsticks, very waxy and not comfortable on the lips at all. I will be sticking to EM Michelle Phan and Benefit products for mid-range beauty products from now here on out! On a more positive note, I am so happy with Sigma's new synthetic eye brushes and Kerastase Reflection hair care for color-treated locks. Last but not least, take advantage of Koh Gen Do's limited edition makeup removal wipes in the large roll while you can! They're a great value since the cloths are incredibly gentle and the cleansing water ideal for sensitive skin.  

Products Reviewed:
YSL Volupté Sheer Candy Lip Balms in 2 Dewy Papaya and 4 Succulent Pomegranate 
Sigma Beauty Spot-On Concealer Kit Brushes (F63 & F69) 
Sigma Beauty The Perfect Blend Kit Brushes (E32 & E37) 
EM Michelle Phan Arched Brow Pencil in Black 
Giorgio Armani Eccentrico 4-in-1 Face Palette (Blush) 

Makeup Worn:
Kevyn Aucoin Eyeshadow Duo in #210  

BB Dakota Broderick Sweater 


There were plenty of favorites that did not make the final cut for this video, but that does not mean I appreciate them any less! For example, here is the Jo Malone English Pear and Freesia trio that I posted on Instagram, available at Neiman Marcus. I purchased it as a treat for myself, but it would make a fabulous gift for any sweet fragrance lover! I especially adore the mini body creme, which is the ideal size for traveling or tossing into a purse to relieve parched winter hands. NOTE: I know a lot of you seem to pair this with Nectarine Blossom and Honey, but I prefer to wear it alone!

At the end of the day, there are too many things I cherish to cram into just one video. These Favorites videos are just to provide you with an idea of products that I reach for most often during any given month. I did intentionally leave out some products to review them in my 'Best of 2013 Beauty' video, so I hope you will keep your eyes peeled for that one. I promise it will be epic! Merry Christmas, everyone!!
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SpaceNK Holiday 2013 "All That Glitters" Makeup Tutorial feat. Hourglass Ambient Powders and Mint Green Eyes

Today's feature is a Holiday look that I cannot get enough of! My favorite color is mint green, so I wanted to incorporate my newly discovered NARS eyeliner in Barrow Street. The intense pigmentation and very creamy texture make Barrow Street a top notch pencil. It, however, looks quite 'mod' since it has a cool white base and matte finish. To soften the graphic attitude of Barrow Street, I layered By Terry's Ombré Blackstar eyeshadow stick in Fizzy Jade on top. The mix creates a warmer mint green that is supremely more flattering against the yellow tones in my skin, and it stays vibrant, opaque, and budge-proof for twelve hours! I could wear this bright pastel eye combination every day.

I used three Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders in this tutorial, and they are consistently amazing and worthy of the hype they receive. I already own Diffused and Dim, but Ethereal is perfect as a setting powder over liquid foundation since it is not not as shimmery as Diffused. I used Luminous on the tops of my cheekbones and down the bridge of my nose. The champagne pearl provides a soft highlight that is gorgeous in any light. Dim is lovely as a highlighter as well, but Luminous is a more traditional highlighting color! Radiant was used as a bronzer to complete the complexion here, and I love it so much more than I expected to. It is now my Holy Grail bronzer for the winter months since it does not accentuate dryness whatsoever. My best friend Tammy said my skin was positively glowing!

By Terry recently launched a new base product, Terrybly Densiliss, which I featured in the tutorial. The 7 Golden Beige shade is the ideal match for my skin color, so I will be using this foundation for the rest of the winter. I do have to moisturize and prep with primer to achieve the best results, but Terrybly Densiliss is a fantastic serum foundation. I chose to veil the lips in a neutral rosy pink, a 'My Lips But Better' lipstick. The By Terry Rouge Terrybly has such a fabulously comforting, moisturizing formula. I topped with a sheer baby pink lip gloss to add some shine and extra dimension. I did not want to take away from the colorful eyes, which is why I decided to use products that made my lips simply feel healthier and look plumper.

Now, I have not mentioned the brand much here, but Diptyque's legendary candles and fragrances are my obsession of 2013. I am dedicated to the matching Baies (candle) and L'Ombre Dans L'Eau (fragrance), but I decided to branch out and try the Philosykos scent. The sweet fig is balanced by a sensual cedar base. The wood notes are very apparent in the dry down on my skin, but I still have been enjoying it as a winter fragrance. I ordered the Oyedo EdT, a citrus, earlier this week so I'll review all three of these unique scents in a separate review post next month. Diptyque's Eau de Parfums or Eau de Toilettes are a luxurious finishing touch to any makeup look or outfit!

This "All That Glitters" beauty routine is perfect for Holiday gatherings and of course, New Year's Eve festivities! It also photographs beautifully due to the Hourglass powders, so give this brightening neutral bright party look a try!


Beauty Blender PRO Sponge 
Tom Ford Bronzer Brush 
Laura Mercier Fan Brush 
EM Michelle Phan Arched Brow Pencil in Black 
MAC 239 & MAC 217 Eyeshadow Brushes
Laura Mercier Bare Nude Mini Lip Glacé Collection
     *More specifically, the Lip Glacé in Bare Baby

Chanel Earrings [Current]


Chanel Cosmic & Magic

Diptyque Pink Bark

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Boots No7 Photo Fix Filler & Primer Review, Photos + GIVEAWAY [5 Winners]

Boots No7, Britain's #1 beauty brand, recently released an innovative new primer called Photo Fix! It perks up skin instantly, but more importantly, all No7 products are dermatologically-tested and suitable for even the most sensitive skin. I am always looking for the best budget buys, and this primer is gentle on my skin, which is easily congested. Photo Fix is oil-free and works to smooth out lines and wrinkles, while evening out skin tone and reducing the appearance of pores. Check out more photos and enter to win one of 5 after the jump!


EM Michelle Phan The Life Palette Moment in Holiday Life: New Year's Countdown Edition Review, Photos, Swatches + GIVEAWAY!

EM Michelle Phan's new Holiday Life: New Year's Countdown Edition eye, lip, and cheek palette is inspired by the reminiscence of the past year and the celebration of a new year to come. This refillable Mini palette is very much in tune with the burgundy makeup trend that is all the rage this season, with deep berry hues and vibrant golds to keep the overall look festive and appropriate for the holidays. Check out the individual product details and swatches after the jump!


Chanel Holiday 2013 Nuit Infinie de Chanel Review, Photos, Swatches, Tutorial

The Chanel Holiday 2013 Nuit Infinie collection is a wearable set of lovely colors with spot-on textures. The lipsticks are far more approachable than they appear to be in the tubes, and the nail polish is ultra smooth and glossy even without a topcoat. The revamped Rouge Allure Velvet lipstick formula is so comfortable and more forgiving than ever, but I prefer the pink-red La Précieuse. La Désirée, however, has an edgy cranberry wine lean that is more on target with the current 'burgundy' lip trend. Rouge Rubis is by far the brightest and most neutral red nail polish Chanel has released in years.
I highly recommend the richly pigmented Accent blush since it is a very flattering nude with a hint of warmth, one of the best Chanel has ever done. Now, Charming may be the best eyeshadow palette since Kaska Beige, but I prefer the ease of the Initiation Illusion D'Ombre. The champagne and silver glitter in Initiation might look too glitzy in the swatch, but it is a low maintenance color that is subtle enough for day time use. The Charming eyeshadow palette is more appropriate for a conservative office setting and has a wearable mix of satin, matte, and shimmer textures. Charming is much more pigmented than the similarly packaged Pearl River.

NOTE: The new Le Blanc Light Revealing Primer in Rosée (non-comedogenic) truly does provide a brightening effect, but it must be worn with foundation — ideally liquid. Since it casts a pale pink tint that is very noticeable on my bare face, it may not be the most versatile primer but the lightweight formula is perfection.

Makeup Used/Worn:
EM Michelle Phan Arched Brow Pencil in Black 
Chanel Illusion D'Ombre Creme Eyeshadow in 827 Initiation 
Chanel Ombres Matelassées de Chanel Eyeshadow Palette in Charming 
Velour Lashes Day & Night Kit 'You Complete Me' 
Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in 84 Accent 
Shu Uemura Cheek Brush 20h 
Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Lipsticks in 317 La Précieuse and 327 La Désirée 

Chanel Rouge Rubis 
Chanel Goldfingers [discontinued]



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Shu Uemura x The RAEviewer: Limited Edition 'Night' Eyeshadow Palette Review, Photos, Swatches, and Tutorial

Bronze was the theme of my first collaborative effort with Shu Uemura, so I wanted to take it up a notch with a colorful nighttime look. I chose purple since it is the most flattering bright eyeshadow against all eye colors and depending on the shade, can even be considered a neutral. 
The Shu Uemura X The RAEviewer "Night" Palette was inspired by my love for Dior's Stylish Move eyeshadow quint. Both are lovely purple themed options, but the Dior palette is warmer and more subdued. That is why I created a palette with more vibrant tones which are perfect for nighttime and special occasions. These four Shu Uemura eyeshadows can create more intense eye looks since the pigmentation is so rich, and they are supremely smooth and easy to blend. Use more burgundy and less plum for a daytime themed look! 

The star of my palette is the iridescent medium purple 795, which has a cool blue undertone that makes brown eyes like mine pop! To further spotlight the beauty of the purple, I chose soft pearly textures for the other three eyeshadows. The light pink-lavender illuminates the brow bones and inner corners of the eyes. The dark plum has a strong brown base, so it adds structure and warmth, while the black eyeshadow intensifies and completes this brilliant smoky eye. I truly believe this is the perfect purple palette!

P Light Pink 125, pearl delicate pink
P Dark Plum 790, pearl burgundy plum
P Black 995, pearl black with silver glitter
IR Medium Purple 795, iridescent rich purple

If you like what you see and would like to purchase the eyeshadows, feel free to use the promotional code RAEXSHU until December 31st to score the quad case for free ($14 USD Value)

Makeup Worn/Used:
- Shu Uemura Lightbulb Foundation in 554 [gifted by Leanne from Singapore xo]
- NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard
- Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk UV Compact Powder in 4
- Shu Uemura Hard Formula Brow Pencil in Stone Gray
- Shadow Shields Adhesive Pads
- Inglot AMC Gel Eyeliner in 76 White
- Shu Uemura x The RAEviewer 'Night' Eyeshadow Palette in Purple [Shu Uemura Canada]
- Sigma The Perfect Blend Kit Brushes
- Tom Ford Defining Eyeliner Pen in Deeper
- Shu Uemura Tokyo Lash Black Mascara
- Shu Uemura False Eyelashes in Soft Cross
- Shu Uemura Supreme Shine Lipstick in PK 337
- Shu Uemura Gloss Unlimited in PK 50 C

Guerlain Champs-Elysées

Joie Tevy Blouse

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Giorgio Armani Eccentrico 4-in-1 Face Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

Giorgio Armani released a small collection of vivid colors for Holiday 2013. I was immediately enamored by the edgy design and packaging of the Eccentrico Face Palette and and ordered one as soon as it was available at Nordstrom. I picked it up without glancing at the price and was shocked when I realized I had paid $88 + tax, which is the standard pricing for Armani palettes containing one blush with three eyeshadows. I feel a justified price would have been around $65 since Armani's eyeshadow quads are $59. Despite my mixed feelings about the price, I have fallen in love with the color and quality. Check out more details after the jump! 


VOLUSPA 'Vermeil' French Bourbon Vanille, Clove Pomander, and Makassar Ebony & Peach Candles Review, Photos

Once upon a time, home fragrance was unknown territory. I was aware that Bath & Body Works candle hauls littered YouTube land, but I was rarely impressed by their cloying scents and lackluster throw. In the past year, I have become obsessed with all things Home & Decor, especially candles. I discovered Voluspa while wandering through Nordstrom recently, so I wanted to share my thoughts on a few of their Vermeil (formerly Seasons) collection's candles. Check out more photos and breakdowns of each candle after the jump!


Shiseido Benefique Skin Care Review + GIVEAWAY

Shiseido released a brand new skin care collection called Benefique earlier this year, and it is targeted at 20 and 30 year olds to boost skin's health and prevent signs of aging. The finest Asian botanical ingredients meets Shiseido's cutting edge science that boosts skin's inner strength, and revitalizes its outer beauty. Formulated with energizing nutrients like Tiger Lily root extract, Angelica root extract and Ginseng extract, Benefique delivers ideal solutions directly to skin. Check out the individual product reviews and enter the giveaway after the jump!


Holiday 2013 Edit: Fashion, Beauty, Hair

What are you loving this Holiday season? Black, white and other neutrals generally dominate my clothing's color palette during colder months, but I decided to incorporate brights into my winter wardrobe whenever possible this year.. I love red dresses and oversized cardigans in the winter, so I featured a few of my favorites as well as other clothing, beauty and hair must-haves of the season in celebration of the new ShopStyle! I know everyone is having fun shopping for their loved ones, but will you be treating yourself to anything special tomorrow? It is Cyber Monday, after all!

BB Dakota Cardigan
Funktional Coral Dress
Line & Dot Red Dress
Paige Denim
Theory Tank
Louis Vuitton Purse
Ash Sneaker Wedges
Frye Tall Leather Boots
Nike Free Flyknit [Best Running and Lifting shoe ever!]
YSL Lipsticks
GHD Air Hair Dryer
Chanel Powder Blush
Diptyque Solid Perfume
Benefit Bronzer in Hoola
Butter London Nail Polishes
Amika Touchable Hairspray
Kerastase Chroma Thermique
Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo
Quicksilver Hawaii Mini Backpack for Travel
Shu Uemura Holiday 2013 Heart-full Pink Parallel Palette
Shu Uemura Holiday 2013 Fun-tasy Cheek & Lip Tint

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It Cosmetics Vitality Face Disc Review, Photos, Swatches + Jumbo Powder Brush

It Cosmetics by Jamie Kern is a pretty spectacular brand. All the It products I've tried thus far have proved impressive, but the Bye Bye Redness Neutralizing Cream and this Live, Love, Laugh Anti-Aging Vitality Face Disc are my favorites. This oversized saucer of a trio (highlighter, blush, and bronzer) is well worth the money, so check out the details after the jump!
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