Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Review of Benefit's They're Real Push-Up Liner

Honestly, there's nothing worse than hearing so much about the release of a new product from a major brand, anticipating it's arrival, FINALLY getting your mitts on it only for it to fall short of your expectations. Sadly, this was the case with Benefit's They're Real Push Up Liner which if you read my post a few weeks back, I was jonesing to get my hands on the early access release of the new product.

review benefit they're real push up liner

To start, I had pretty high expectations for this liner from the beginning since Benefit slapped the "They're Real" name on the product and I immediately associated it with the They're Real Mascara which has to be included on my all-time favorite list of mascaras. However, after getting beyond the packaging, which I absolutely adored, that's where my infatuation started tapering off.

The product proved to be very troublesome from the moment I opened it. While cranking away at the dispenser, I felt like it took my eons to even get product to appear out of the flexible tip applicator. When I finally struck gold, I went for it! Starting at the inner corner of my eye, I was able to get extremely close to my lash line, which is what I was hoping for. However, I quickly noticed that pushing the gel product across my lash line was proving to be a bit messy. I noticed faded areas along my lash line where there was a lack of consistency of product application and even some clumps of gel liner caking up along the lash line. Such an utter bummer.

Honestly, I sum it up to this. The big fault in this product is that the flexible tip applicator doesn't bond well with the gentle pressure that is essential to apply liner on your lash line. Swatching this product on your hand? No problem, you have a beautiful and consistent black matte line. But, achieving the same result on your lash line is quite the feat if you don't have a lot of time to spend on the task.

Benefit They're Real Push Up Liner

I won't say it's all bad news though. The payoff is great when you get through the application issues. The natural angle of the flexible tip applicator does allow you to mark your cat eye wing with ease and the matte black color of this liner adds a mod and dramatic effect to liner that any girl would enjoy. Additionallly, if you're looking for a liner that won't budge, this is a superb option because it's definitely not going anywhere until you want to take it off.

Lastly, my only advise is that you use this product when you have some time to spend on perfecting the application. This isn't your running-out-the-door liner and this definitely isn't one for newbies to experiment with as it is quite fussy to maneuver. I've, personally, found myself reaching for my Stila Stay All-Day Liner much more often than this one on a day-to-day basis.

If you're interested in picking up the Benefit They're Real Push-Up Liner and giving it a try, you can find it at Ulta and Sephora for $24.

So, what are your thoughts on the new Benefit They're Real Push-Up Liner? Have you had issues with application and splotchy results or was all smooth sailing? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Until next time - XOXO

Monday, June 23, 2014

Review: Sephora Formula X 'The System'

So, I hope you're in the mood for a rave review, because that's what I have for you today! My latest find and absolute obsession is Formula X "The System"which is sold at Sephora.

To simply explain this product, it is a system complete with a nail cleanser, base coat, polish color of your choice and top coat that insures your nail color will be long lasting, shiny and durable. I have to tell you that this completely lives up to it's claim.

Formula X The System Review

The System is easy to use. If you know how to paint your nails, you already know how to use these products. You'll start with the Cleanse which preps your nails for your polish by eliminating contaminants like oil and other residues that contribute to premature chipping in your manicure. You'll follow this up with the Prime or base coat which has a sticky texture to it that will ensure your polish adheres to your nail. Next up is the polish color. Formula X polishes have great consistency and color payoff so you can't go wrong with the myriad of colors that are available in the line. Lastly, you'll finish off with Shine, your top coat, which provides a glossy and beautiful finish to the nails.

My favorite thing about The System is that all of these products work flawlessly together. It may seem like you're putting a load of polish on your nails after you complete all of the steps, but it feels no heavier on the nails than your run of the mill polishes AND they are fast drying! Moreover, I'm not the biggest fan of gel or shellac manicures because it's such a hassle removing it from your nails and there's a significant risk of damage to your nail beds. That's not a concern here because you get the long lasting wear as well as an easy peasy removal.

Sephora Formula X The System
Just after initial application of Formula X 'The System'

For my first trial run with Formula X 'The System,' I tried the color Provocative.  Let me tell you, I've never received more compliments on a nail color. It was absolutely gorgeous! My manicure stayed fresh looking for 2 whole weeks before I started noticing small chips at the corners of my nails. I was floored! And trust me, I didn't take it easy on this polish. I cooked, I typed, I washed, dried and folded warm laundry (which you know is the kiss of death for many polishes). It just didn't budge.

Sephora Formula X Provocative
Formula X 'The System' after 3 days of wear
One mention aside is that I did try The System with a different brand of polish and the wear was good, but not as great as with a Formula X brand polish. That manicure lasted 1 full week before chipping.

All in all, I'd say if you're like me and loathe chipped nails or spending every 3 days re-polishing your nails, you'll want to invest in Formula X 'The System' and some Formula X nail varnishes. You can find the set for $32 at Sephora.

Have you tried Formula X polishes? Let me know what are some of your favorite shades because I'll definitely be stocking up now that I'm equipped with The System.

Until next time! XOXO

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Want a chance at early access to Benefit's They're Real Push-Up Liner?


Oh, be still my heart! I have some awesome beauty scoop!

Yesterday, Benefit teased their newest addition to the "They're Real!" line, the Benefit They're Real Push-Up Liner. I'm extremely excited about this liner since it is described as the "first ever lash-hugging gel liner pen." Has anything ever sounded so enticing?!

So far, all of the videos and snapshots of the product showcases a thick, bold line cozying up to the lids. I'm curious to see if 'lash-hugging' also means that you can get a thin sleek line, as well. I certainly hope so, because versatility will easily catapult this new product to one of my must-haves.

Benefit also shared a sneaky surprise with this announcement. Apparently, you and all of your friends, can get on the wait-list to get early access to the new Push-Up Liner if you sign up at The Line To Fine and follow a series of e-mail tasks that allow you to inch your way to the front of the line of eager makeup addicts! They're only releasing a select number of liners ahead of the formal launch, so if you're as excited as me to get your hands on this new liner, stop by and get signed up quick!

For those that possess that golden quality called patience, the product fully releases on Friday, June 27, 2014. As you might have guessed, as soon as I am able to snag one of these coveted liners, I'll be posting a full product review.

So, are you signing up?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Review: Tarte Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundation

I have to credit finding this little gem to MissGlamorazzi on YouTube, however, countless other YouTubers have raved about this incredible product, the Tarte Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundation. I honestly haven't dabbled in the Tarte Cosmetics offering before, but after discovering this awesome foundation, that will definitely be changing.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundation

I've never been one for the mineral foundation craze, it all just seemed a bit too fussy to me. However, the Tarte Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundations have found a way to win over nay-sayers like me with their mesh filter that ensures product doesn't go flying all over your bathroom counter when opened. Not only that, but the product comes in a large array of shades to compliment several different skin tones, which is a feature that I love to see in foundations. Yes, please!

Tarte Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundation in Tan Sand

The foundation delivers medium to full coverage on the skin and you can build it up depending on what you need for your skin. I've done a quick before and after snapshot of me without any makeup and then wearing the Benefit POREfessional Primer under the Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation. I use the shade, Tan Sand.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundation Before and After
Before: No Makeup
After: POREfessional Primer & Tarte Amazonian Clay Airbush Foundation in Tan Sand
Quite the difference, right?! And, the product feels practically weightless on your skin. It has a smooth, flawless appearance that buffs and blends right into your skin for long staying power throughout the day. 

I definitely recommend grabbing this product because it's a great buy all around and a perfect option for summertime foundations. You can pick up the Tarte Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundation at Tarte, Sephora or ULTA for $36.

Have you tried this foundation or any other Tarte products? I'd love to hear what you're loving from their line because I might have some shopping to do!

Monday, May 26, 2014

First Impressions: See By Chloe

Scent is such an integral part of your sensory perception. For me, scent is the main tie for recalling memories or special moments. So, I'm especially invested in finding a beautiful perfume scent to carry me through the summer months that will always remind me of being engaged to the love of my life, beginning wedding planning, dress hunting, bonding with my bridal party and many of the other fun aspects that accompany such an important time in life.

Therefore, I'm currently on the hunt for the perfect summer fragrance and this year, I want something different than my usual fresh, light and floral scents. I am looking for something with a bit more body and bold notes that really evokes happiness in my senses.
See By Chloe
See By Chloe
My first selection is See By Chloe, a prominent and lively fruity fragrance the pairs feminine essences like apple, jasmine and ylang ylang along with masculine musk, vanilla and bergamot spice to create an exceptional final product that lingers beautifully on the skin throughout the day.

I've only purchased the rollerball, but thus far, I am really enjoying the perfume and have gotten a lot of great feedback when I wear it out and about. The next time you're at the perfume counter or browsing in Sephora, I recommend giving this a whiff and picking it up. You won't be disappointed.

As for my official summer scent, we're still going to shop around, but this is a great contender. Stay with me on my journey for a summer scent because we know it's oh so important! Let me know your recommendations that I should consider trying and what you've been loving this summer.

Until next time! -- XO

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Review: Fresh 'Life' Body Oil

I love the staff at Sephora. They're friendly, attentive and, without fail, always informed about the latest and greatest products. There's a countless number of times that I can credit finding my newest make-up bag staple to the recommendation of a Sephora employee. That was the case with the Fresh 'Life' Body Oil, my newest skincare must-have.

The Fresh 'Life' Body Oil is completely luxe from package to product. The packaging is simple and very 'apothecary' down to the heavy glass bottle with a faux marble top. I'm a serious packaging nerd and will definitely need to figure out a way to repurpose this bottle when I finish with it, but I digress. 

The product is so impressive, starting with the scent. The scent brings notes of almond, fresh rain and a slight floral undertone. They all meld together in the most pleasant way to rejuvenate your senses. The consistency of the oil is substantial, but lightweight enough to absorb into your skin and leave a smooth dewy (but not greasy) feeling . I find it best to use the body oil when I'm fresh out of the shower or bath and my skin is still slightly damp. This allows the product to easily massage and absorb into the skin.

Fresh Body Oil

The body oil claims to provide 24-hour moisture, I'm not sure if I'd go that far, but I'd say this offers a good 18 hours. I've been using the Fresh 'Life' Body Oil for the past four months and have noticed a substantial change in the appearance of my skin especially on problem areas that tend to be too dry. Not only that, but I still have plenty of the body oil left. You definitely don't need more than a quarter-sized amount for moisturizing.

Keeping all of this in mind really helps to weather the blow when you think about the fact that this product costs $48 at Sephora! Eeek, I know, right? But, it's worth every penny and I'll gladly be repurchasing this when the time comes. My formerly dry skin is once again indebted to you Sephora. You're the best.

Have you tried the Fresh 'Life' Body Oil or any other Fresh products that have made your list over must-haves? I'd love to hear from you! Until next time -- XO

Monday, May 19, 2014

Relaunch of The Chic Counsel

Well, hello again! Okay... I suppose that I owe you an explanation as to where I've been for the past few months. I'm not one for excuses, so I'll just level with you. I adore fashion, beauty, cooking, finding new adventures...I could go on and on, but amid indulging in these activities and interests that I love so much, real life comes into play. I've taken a step back and looked at my life, my goals and what I want for myself, and you know what? I was a little disappointed in myself because I noticed that I don't invest enough time in what interests me or challenges me.

So that leads me here to The Chic Counsel relaunch. Back in 2013 when I first started blogging, I thought of this space as purely a beauty and fashion focused outlet, but I want The Chic Counsel to be more of a portrait of myself and the things that I experience and enjoy, so that means more lifestyle pieces where I'll explore a myriad of topics like cooking, design, and relationships. Don't get me wrong... beauty and fashion are still a very large part of who I am and that's not going anywhere! We'll just have the chance to connect on some new topics now.

Along with this new direction is a new look, which I'm very excited about! The design of The Chic Counsel is much more streamlined and simple so that you can easily navigate the blog, talk to me and other readers through DISQUS comments and enjoy the photography in a larger format. I'd love to know what you think of the new look!

Lastly, I'll close with some exciting news about what's been going on in my life over the past few months. My college sweetheart, Colinn and I are engaged after 8 years of dating! I'm beyond excited and cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with this incredible man. We even have a new addition to our little family...no, not that kind! We adopted an English Bulldog named Dutchess (misspelled intentionally). She's a rambunctious and adorable ball of happiness.

With that, I'll leave you with a few pictures, but please, check back regularly and look for new posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Until next time -- XO






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