Shu Uemura Summer 2014 | Drawing Pencils, Pret-A-Palette, Petal Lash Mascara & Tint in Gelato

I created a bold and edgy, graphic liner look in collaboration with Shu Uemura for the reformulated Drawing Pencils launch last month, but it is more of a daring, special occasion makeup. So for this tutorial, I decided to showcase a more wearable, toned-down version of the look using all the same products! I haven't worn a traditional white, silver, and black smoky eye in what feels like ages, so it was fun to get blending and see myself with more makeup on.. especially because I have had my hands full with my puppy Beau in the last week, meaning no time for eyeshadow!

Products Used/Worn:
Cle de Peau Concealer in Beige
Cle de Peau Eyebrow Pencil in 204 and Holder
Chanel Les Beiges Multi-Color Bronzer 02
Shu Uemura Eyeshadow in M 851
Shu Uemura Ready to Wear Prêt-À-Palette in Black and White
Velour Lashes in #WINGing
*Use promo code RAEVELOUR to receive 15% OFF

Brushes Used:
Shu Uemura 18R Goat Powder
Hakuhodo B J142
Hakuhodo B J004G
Hakuhodo S146
Wayne Goss 16

Paige Denim 'Audrey' Mixed Print Silk Shirt [ON SALE!]

Dior Vernis Gel in 257 Incognito

Dior [Similar HERE]

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June Beauty Favorites and Life Updates + BaubleBar Giveaway!

June has been an incredibly productive month for me, with lots of exciting new changes! I am completely sleep deprived and feel like a zombie, but it has all been worth the effort and time to set up my new apartment. There is still some cleaning and organization left to complete, but I couldn't wait any longer to share the exciting news! I had actually planned to post this video yesterday, but there was miscommunication on the cable company's end, so my internet installation had to be rescheduled. Now, I did manage to misplace my Benefit and Dior eyeliners that I wanted to include in this episode, but they will have to wait until next month. So sorry if you were waiting for an update!

The most obvious change to my videos is in my filming set-up, since I am no longer using my vanity as the backdrop. Instead, I am using my new couch! Please let me know what you think of the change. I do plan to switch up the scenes occasionally, so your feedback would be greatly appreciated! I hope to incorporate more lifestyle videos in the future. Office tour, anyone? xo

P.S. Don't forget to get your entries for the Bauble Bar Pearl Earrings Giveaway [not sponsored] in as soon as possible. It ends in just two weeks! All rules and guidelines are listed on the video's page HERE, so please click the link to submit your comments.

Products Reviewed:
Bauble Bar Pearl 360 Studs
Michael Todd True Organics SoniClear (15% OFF)

Makeup Worn:
Cle de Peau Concealer in Beige
Cle de Peau Eyebrow Pencil in 204 and Holder
Chanel Les Beiges Multi-Color Bronzer 02
YSL Couture Eyeshadow Palette in 04 Saharienne
Shu Uemura Drawing Pencils in ME Pink 12, Me Purple 71, G Silver
Surratt Lip Lustre Gloss in 06 Coquette
Velour Lashes in #WINGing [New Style]
*Use promo code RAEVELOUR to receive 15% OFF


Dior [Similar HERE]

J.Crew [old]
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YSL Summer 2014 Bleus Lumiere and Couture Palettes Review + Friends and Family SALE Product Recommendations

The stunning YSL 'Bleus Lumiere' Summer 2014 collection is largely sold out, but if you manage to find the BL Couture Eyeshadow Palette and/or the Bleu Celadon nail polish, scoop them up! I did not expect to fall so deeply in love with this collection, which is why I did not review it immediately. I apologize for the oversight because this is one of the best YSL collections in years.

The campaign ad went for a bit of shock factor appeal with opposing textures and high contrast color, like where the orange tones were intensified to a metallic molten rust. I love the editorial looks, but I wanted to combine both warm and cool colors from the Bleus Lumiere palette, so I took the minimal approach with subtle nods to color! I will be wearing this combination all summer long because I am that obsessed with it. It's an easy pastel combination that shakes up my neutral routine without looking completely gaudy or feeling awkward when I step out in public. Give it a try with products you already have in your stash! 
P.S. If you want an aqua similar to the YSL eyeshadow I'm wearing, try the coordinating Bleu Acqua Waterproof Pencil that was released with the Bleus Lumiere palette xo

Makeup Worn:
Cle de Peau Concealer in Beige
Chanel Les Beiges Multi-Color Bronzer in 02
Cle de Peau Eyebrow Pencil in 204 and Holder
Eye Makeup:
YSL Bleus Lumiere Summer 2014 Couture Palette [Sold Out]
YSL Couture Eyeshadow Palette in 04 Saharienne
Velour Lashes in Cluster-holic [Medium and Long]
*Use promo code RAEVELOUR to receive 15% OFF!

Eye Brushes Used:
Bobbi Brown Angle Eye Shadow
Bobbi Brown Eye Blender
Bobbi Brown Eye Sweep
Hakuhodo J142

YSL Bleu Celadon Summer 2014

House of Harlow White Sunburst

Please note, the YSL Friends and Family Sale has just started! If you're interested in any of the products I used in the video tutorial above, take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy 20% OFF any order of $75 or more with complimentary shipping until June 30, 2014. Sign up for your unique coupon code HERE and don't forget to check out my recommendations below. I've always had a soft spot for YSL, so I have tried just about everything from the brand and these are my favorites. Happy shopping xo
  • COUTURE PALETTE Eyeshadows in 4 Saharienne + 2 Fauves + 11 Ballets Russes: These pigmented, smooth, and long-lasting eyeshadow palettes are my favorite eye release this year! YSL has done at outstanding job with the reformulation. Very minimal fall out and easy to blend textures in a variety of shades.. there's a little something for everyone! I'm totally tempted to collect them all because the quality is so consistent, but I exercised restraint and ordered just 2 and 11
  • VOLUPTÉ SHEER CANDY Lip Balms in 2 Papaya + 4 Pomegranate: These are my favorite tinted lip balms and by far, my most worn YSL lip products. I love the silver bullet with gold filigree, and the formula is lightly hydrating with a gorgeous glossy finish. Women always stop to ask me what I'm using when I reapply on the go. The ultimate treat for everyday use!
  • LA LAQUE COUTURE Nail Polishes in 25 Rose Romantique + 22 Beige Leger: Both are perfectly ladylike colors suitable for any occasion. I adore the slightly rounded edge of the brush that makes getting close to the cuticle (without flooding it) rather easy. 
  • TOUCHE ÉCLAT Highlighting Pen: This bestseller from YSL is worth a try if you are looking for a brightener! I love this highlighter because it looks so natural, and it never cakes. If you have faint dark circles, you can actually wear it alone. Try tapping it along the top of the cheeks to create the illusion of higher cheekbones! I use shade 2.
  • BABYDOLL Kiss & Blush in 12 Moca Garconne + 8 Pink Hedoniste: I love these versatile soft-matte colors! The whipped mousse formula can be used on cheeks or lips, though I really only wear mine on the lips. The brighter colors may attract the eye initially, but I reach for complexion boosters like 12 and 8 most because they're so flattering!
  • SOUFFLE D'ECLAT Loose Powder in 3: This brand new release is just in time for the summer! I meant to use this in my YSL Summer 2014 video, but I had already packed it away. I will be sure to use it in another tutorial soon! I love how the soft yellow undertone of 3 diffuses the redness on my cheeks while the Mother-of-Pearl provides a natural glow. This airy powder is perfect for setting liquid foundation or BB Cream on even sensitive and/or dry skin! The Souffle D'Eclat is replacing my beloved La Mer Loose Powder, which is apparently being discontinued.
  • ROUGE VOLUPTÉ Lipsticks in 30 Faubourg Peach + 1 Nude Beige: These classic, full-coverage creamy lipsticks are irresistible. Even though they make my super sensitive lips peel, I still wear them because the colors are too beautiful to ignore! Considering how opaque this looks on the lips, the formula feels lightweight. The color options are nearly endless, so give one a try!
  • GLOSSY STAIN Rebel Nudes in 105 Corail Hold Up + 112 Dangerous Pink: The Rebel Nudes are the latest additions to the Glossy Stain line-up, and they can be worn alone or layered on top of the classic shades for a 3-D effect! This long-wearing formula tends to be hit or miss since they feel a little sticky, but I absolutely adore them. When worn over clean lips, they do not bleed into the lip lines, and the darker shades will leave a pretty stain behind! 
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Giorgio Armani Friends and Family Sale 20% OFF + Product Recommendations

Giorgio Armani's Friends and Family Sale is here! Enjoy 20% off on any order of $75 or more with complimentary shipping until June 30, 2014. Sign up to receive your invite and a unique code for the sale if you haven't already! Stock up on all your favorites or take this opportunity to brand out and try something new from the brand! Armani is one of my favorite brands, and I've listed all my must-haves below, so feel free to take a look at my recommendations!

  • EYES TO KILL Intense Eyeshadow in 29: This exquisite silvery pink is my top pick from the dozen Intense eyeshadows I own. 29 is limited edition, so pick it up now while you. It has long been sold out at department stores like Nordstrom, so I'll be ordering a back-up!
  • EYES TO KILL EYESHADOW Quads in 7 Blush + 2 Bourdoir: These two eyeshadow palettes are perfect for everyday use, some of the best designer makeup made. Highly pigmented and smooth! 
  • EYES TO KILL SHIMMER Quads in 11 Mystery + 10 Mirage: These shimmery, slightly more metallic versions of the original eyeshadow quads have especially more impact in photos.  
  • CHEEK FABRIC Blushes in 507 + 503: The updated powder blushes are super fine and silky. All the colors are so natural and really adhere to the skin, appearing like a truly natural flush.
  • FLASH LACQUER Lip Glosses in 107 + 519: I reach for these lip glosses the most! They are non-sticky with a plush gel texture that provides the illusion of fuller lips.
  • ROUGE ECSTASY Lipsticks in 103 Incognito + 303 Dragee: These opaque lipsticks condition my lips like no other! I adore the red magnetic packaging and pair these with the Flash Lacquer for long-lasting color and shine. 
  • MAESTRO FUSION Foundation: This ultra lightweight, smoothing formula is best for the summer season. I love the natural coverage, and you can pat extra on your imperfections for additional coverage!
  • LUMINOUS SILK Foundation: This is the foundation everyone should try, especially if you have normal to dry skin. Excellent for photos where flash photography is involved!
Happy Shopping! xo
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Bronze Diva Summer Giveaway! Feat. Clarins, Tarte, Amika

To celebrate the arrival of summer, I wanted to host a giveaway for all my readers who love to tan! Please wear sunscreen and protect your skin whenever possible. To promote the message of safe and healthy tanning, I wanted to share 3 of my favorite self-tanning products for the face!
I highly recommend the Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster ($30 USD), which is a unique made-to-measure self tanning product for the face that is meant to be mixed into your daily and/or evening moisturizer. The Glow Booster makes radiant, sun-kissed skin so easy to achieve! The Tarte Maracuja Bronzing Serum ($47 USD) is a skin care product that creates a gradual tan. You can spread this multitasking elixir on both face and neck, and it will also help the first signs of aging for a brighter and smoother complexion. The convenient Tarte Brazilliance Skin Rejuvenating Maracuja Self Tanning Face Towelettes ($21 USD) are a diva's must-have this season. Throw these into your beach bag or pack them into a carry-on for your upcoming summer vacation. These towelettes are perfect for those who do not have time for a gradual treatment and need some color immediately!
These 3 amazing self tan goodies will allow you to maintain a gorgeous, sexy tan that looks totally natural without incurring any sun damage. Furthermore, you'll be able to avoid that awkward bobblehead look with a super tan body and pale face!

To complete this 'Bronze Diva' summer giveaway, I wanted to include the Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo and Undone Texture Spray. These two lovely purse-sized products are ideal for touch ups to your tousled goddess hair while on the go, and the best part is that they smell amazing! Last but not least, always remember to pack a travel-sized makeup remover when going away on holiday, like the Shu Uemura Fresh Cleansing Oil included here in the Bronze Diva Summer Giveaway!

This contest will end on Monday, June 30th, 2014 at 11:59 AM PST. I will announce the winner here and on Twitter! Please make sure to keep an eye out and claim your prize if you are the winner. Best of luck xo

THE WINNER IS Emmy P. Congratulations and thanks to all those who entered! xo

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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THE TEN | Best Skin Care Products for Acne & Acne Scarring + My Acne Story

Today's long post is dedicated to my acne story. Thanks to the magic of genetics and the influence of my skin care-obsessed grandmother, I never had insecurities about my skin and have almost always maintained clear, healthy skin. I never struggled with acne until last year, when I had a severe bout of cystic acne due to facial waxing. Lesson learned: NEVER EVER wax the face! I had waxed my brows successfully via the Benefit Brow Bar, so I figured I might as well wax off the little peach fuzz around my forehead and cheeks. I couldn't have been more wrong. My skin was fine for the first couple months, but then the cystic acne appeared. I immediately stopped waxing, but I suffered from active break-outs for nearly six months thereafter, wave after wave. Please continue reading and check out my product recommendations after the jump!


Romantic Makeup | featuring Cle de Peau, Tom Ford, SK-II + NEW Velour Lashes

I was inspired by all the 'romantic makeup' photos I saw on Instagram and Pinterest recently to create a tutorial dedicated to this new trend! My interpretation of the look is perfect for date night, especially if it is a special occasion. Your eyes will sparkle as much as your personality!

I had been flooded with requests to use the Tom Ford Seductive Rose eyeshadows in a tutorial since featuring it in my Fleur Fantasty pictorial here, so I took advantage of this video to showcase the beautiful glitter textures. I used brushes for application, but try using the pads of your clean fingertips to avoid fall out. I also featured a slew of Cle de Peau, since it is one of my favorite brands but haven't previously featured much color. Cle de Peau eyeshadows are very soft and subtle, so they are excellent for those who struggle with blending or for those who work in conservative/professional settings.

Last but not least, Velour Lashes recently released two brand new styles. I chose to "You're My Wing Woman" because it is the more natural of the two. Most of my readers and viewers know that I love flared lashes so these updated styles are right up my alley! I highly recommend both. 

Products Used/Worn:
Shu Uemura Eyeshadows in ME White 906 & ME Soft Copper 270 and Quad Case
SK-II Cellumination Mask-In Lotion
SK-II Cellumination Aurabright 
SK-II Cellumination Cream EX 
Cle de Peau Concealer in Beige 
Cle de Peau Eyebrow Pencil in 204 and Holder 
*The Silky Lipstick was discontinued. Above is the updated version!
VELOUR LASHES in You're My Wing Woman 
*Use promo code RAEVELOUR to receive 15% OFF

Brushes Used:
Tom Ford Eyeshadow Brush
Tom Ford Eyeshadow Blend Brush
Tom Ford Eyeshadow Contour Brush
Bobbi Brown Bronzer Brush
Wayne Goss 04, 05, and 07 Eye Brushes 
Koyudo Flower Series Kabuki in Pink/Blue
Wayne Goss 14 Blush Brush


Natural, Air Dry

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My TOP 5 Cleansers featuring TATCHA, Clarins, SK-II, Laneige, and Sulwhasoo

I have received several inquiries asking which cleansers I use, so here is a round-up review of my Top 5 picks! These are on heavy rotation, meaning I use them interchangeably depending on my mood and skin's needs.

I have been using the SK-II Facial Treatment Cleanser ($70 USD) almost every day in the mornings for the past several months. I purchased my first bottle several years ago and am glad to have started using it again. I recommend applying it with very little pressure using the meat of the fingertips since this is so effective that there is no need to rub it in or tug at the skin. It leaves my skin feeling conditioned and smooth yet perfectly clean. I highly recommend it for those with acne-prone skin because it does not irritate blemishes. I adore the subtle rose scent and a little goes a long way, so each tube will last me six months or more! I recommend using a pearl-sized amount every time. The foaming effect should be light and milky, so avoid using more to amp up the bubbly lather.

My friend Leanne introduced me to the Clarins Water Comfort One-Step Cleanser ($35 USD), and I am in love! I soak a Shisiedo cotton pad with it and wipe down my face and neck. The refreshing sensation and the scent of the peach essential water in the formula wakes me right up! Now, do keep in mind that I never ever use this on my eyes or in the evening. I reserve this for mornings when I am too tired to wash my face using SK-II's cleanser.
NOTE: If this cleanser doesn't sound appealing, try the Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser, which is truly the best for all skin types because it does not disturb the skin's natural moisture balance. I love the invigorating orange scent and have repurchased it multiple times over the span of four years.

Sulwhasoo is one of my must-have skin care brands. Everything I have tried thus far, I love. The Sulwhasoo Snowise EX Ginseng Exfoliating Gel ($60 USD) is technically a wash-off mask but the instructions direct you to use it like a cleanser, so I use it in the mornings twice a week. I rub it on in circular motions for two to three minutes and rinse it off. Despite hyperpigmentation and texture issues from my unfortunate bout of cystic acne last year, my skin still feels soft and supple. After using this Exfoliating Gel, however, my skin feels baby soft and also looks more plump! You can use this after washing your face at night if you prefer — as a mask like its intended use — and I actually recommend that if you have combination to oily skin.

My Holy Grail evening cleanser is the TATCHA Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil ($48 USD). It feels much more like a gel cleanser than a standard cleansing oil, so this is ideal for those who have avoided cleansing oils in fear of clogged pores. The TATCHA breaks down makeup gently and easily and does not require double cleansing. I have used Shu Uemura's cleansing oils for nearly a decade — the Ultim8 and Anti-Oxi are best — but I occasionally have to use a foaming cleanser afterward. The TATCHA, however, is very expensive. In comparison to Shu Uemura's Anti-Oxi, the TATCHA is $11 more for the same 5 ounces, so I generally reserve it for filming days when I wear the most makeup. I really love how clean yet comfortable my skin feels after use and that I do not have to follow up with a foaming cleanser. It's a splurge, but I highly recommend this!

The Laneige Multi Cleanser ($22 USD) is the newest addition to this Top 5 line-up. If you like squeaky clean skin, the Multi is made for you! Since it is touted as a makeup remover and exfoliator, I use this mostly at night as the second step to double cleanse after taking my makeup off with a Shu Uemura cleansing oil. This affordable foaming cleanser is intended for all skin types, but I believe it suits normal to oily skin best. I avoid using this when my skin is on the drier end, since my face feels a little too tight afterward. Nonetheless, I love the fresh, slightly citrus scent and how well it lathers up with a dime-sized amount.

Another cleanser that I recently started using is Koh Gen Do's Oriental Plants Facial Wash ($45 USD). This hasn't joined my current rotation, but it's an excellent creamy foaming cleanser. It feels a bit more moisturizing than SK-II's but not as drying at Laneige's.

Please do not forget that removing skin care residue as well as oil and makeup build up is essential for clear skin! I feel that many skimp out on cleansers and place very little emphasis on cleansing without realizing the long-term effects that can occur. Skin care is a commitment that does not necessarily show immediate results, so I understand why people would rather spend more on makeup and shoes or bags. Pamper your face, however, and it will help your cosmetics sit better on the skin and even last longer throughout the day! Never sleep with your makeup on, and always remove your skin care in the morning.

Bottom Line: I switch up cleansers very often, but I will and do repurchase all of these featured here!
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