Lancome Auda [City] in Paris Eye Shadow Palette

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Really? I'm just talking about the Lancome Auda [City] in Paris Eye Shadow Palette now? In my defense, I bought this palette later in it's initial release and for a while, I thought that it was limited edition and sold out. Then I started seeing it, again so I brought it out, took pictures and finally decided to write it up.

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Auda [City] in Paris is beautiful to look at and leave on a vanity top. The sleek, signature shape black lacquer look plastic outer shell is decorated with a line of Paris' iconic landmark buildings and a pair of impossibly dainty legs and feet in sky high heels tiptoeing across the landscape in matte relief.

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This photo makes me want to scream. Sometimes, my old camera really struggles.

Inside, there is a full length mirror with the same pattern in black across the bottom and sixteen neutral eye shadows/liners laid out in a logical, eye pleasing progression running light to deep. I can work in each trio or quad or I can mix and match from across the palette, to my heart's content. A small, double ended eye brush rounds out the presentation.

A quick word about the brush; it's useless. Not only do I despise double ended brushes with a velvet passion, this brush isn't even worthy of my usual give one end a haircut and use the other treatment. Maybe I can use the flat end for nail polish cleanup. I'll give it a go but I'm not holding out hope. Honestly, I'd rather not receive a brush in a palette if it has to be a piece of junk. It just cheapens the experience and can make me question the quality of the palette, overall.

Happily, the eye shadows are what I wanted them to be. Soft, wearable, ladylike neutrals in matte, satin and shimmer finishes in a selection of shades and tones that I can use to create a variety of looks from a pale wash of colour all over my lid to a full on, smoked out evening eye extravaganza, all without having to resort to grabbing other palettes or singles.

Would you like to see swatches? The shadows are shown on lightly moisturized skin, no primer. Sorry if that appears to skew the results but I am not as young and fresh and tight of skin as I once was and I have to hydrate or it's all just a crepe-y mess and nobody wants to see that. Also, I seem to have swatched these, bottom shadow, then the three above, rather than trio then bottom shade. Yeah, I don't know what I was thinking but I'm not going to reshoot.

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  • Kitten Heel: Rose gold shimmer
  • Filigree: Delicate, pale gold shimmer
  • Chouquette: Ivory satin matte
  • Parfait: Matte baby pink
All four of these shades have good pigmentation and payoff on the eye. Chouquette doesn't show up very well in my swatch, it is very close to my skin tone. Kitten Heel is a favorite. 

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  • Tenacity: Cocoa brown shimmer
  • Joie: Taupe shimmer
  • Voyage: Rust matte
  • Sante`: Tan matte
This section is very nice. Sante` is a terrific transition shade and Joie is gorgeous on the lid. Voyage can be a little temperamental but can be coaxed to cooperate. 

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  • Clock Strikes 12: Dark purple-y brown shimmer 
  • Exhibition: Rose shimmer
  • Zip Me Up: Greyed lavender shimmer
  • Volcano: Ashy taupe shimmer
Of these four, Clock Strikes 12 is the troublemaker. It can be recalcitrant but with a patient hand, it will deliver. 

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  • Nuit: Deep, greyed brown shimmer
  • Audacious: Medium golden brown shimmer
  • Couture: Light, greyed brown matte
  • "It" List: Charcoal mate
Nuit is smooth and easy to use, the other three are a touch bratty and "It" List can produce fallout but a little patience is all that I need to make it work. 

All of these shadows perform, build, blend and wear best for me over a good primer. Some are smoother and easier than others but that is true with many palettes. The ratio of great to not so hot shadows in this palette is very good so I have no real gripes. I like this palette and I'm happy that I picked it up. There is now an Auda [City] in London palette and of course, I think that I need it. For continuity's sake, of course!

Do you own the Lancome Auda [City] in Paris Eye Shadow Palette? Are you happy with it? Please do tell. 

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Makeup Wars -- My Favorite Highlighters for Fair and Mature Skin

I teamed up with some of my fellow Makeup Wars bloggers for a discussion on our favorite highlighters. Please get comfy, grab a nice, hot beverage and let me entertain you.
One of the things that "they" say that mature beauties should not wear is face highlighter. We are told to give up all of that good shimmer, light, and glow once we reach a certain age. Why? Well, the experts will tell us that shimmer and glow are bad for mature skin because it settles into wrinkles and pores, enhances texture and makes us look older. 

I strongly disagree! Highlighter isn't necessarily aging; in fact, the right highlighter for our own skin type, judiciously applied can be flattering and youthful. A gentle sweep of radiant stuff along the tops of the cheekbones, above the brows, on the forehead, chin and a bit on the bridge of the nose captures light, brightens the high planes of our features and gives a gentle lifting effect. For skin that has texture, pores or fine lines/wrinkles, a very finely milled, silky powder highlight or a smooth creme are good choices. There are matte highlighters for beauties who want that lovely, youthful lift but don't want shimmer or radiance. For the rest of us, there is glow in the form of nine of my favorite highlighters.

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What? Only nine?

Smartass. Actually, I went stash diving to take pictures for this post and learned, much to my chagrin and delight that I own a lot of highlighters in different tones, from different brands and in different price points. This is my edited down selection. My favorites; the pretties that I reach for most often. These highlighters are gorgeous for fair-not-porcelain skin, like mine through medium skin tones. A few of these may work very nicely for deeper skin tones, as well.

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My preferred highlighter formula is powder. I own one creme highlight and I even have a snack sized liquid floating around here, somewhere but the hell if I could find it for these pictures. I like highlighters that range from pearl white to a gentle pink, champagne and even a soft gold. I like to coordinate the tone of my highlighter to my eye and cheek colours. If I'm wearing cooler colours, I go for a pearly or cooler pink highlight. When I'm rocking warmer tones, maybe a bit of sunless tanner and bronzer I go for champagne and pale golden highlighters.

I like to apply my powder highlighter with either a very soft, small tapered brush or a wispy fan brush, depending on the effect I'm going for and the product I'm using. Creme highlighter, in my experience is best applied with my finger then blended softly with a duo fibre brush to buff it into my skin and make it look seamless. I find that lightweight, silky powders and cremes are easy to control and melt into my skin to impart glow and radiance without playing up lines, pores or texture.

Swatches of my Top Nine are below. These swatches are hefty, to show their colour and glow.

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Let us begin with my Becca Beauties.

  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter, Champagne Pop. I was a little worried about this one, when I purchased it. The reviews ranged from great for ALL skin tones to pale people, steer clear! I was delighted to learn that this peachy/white gold lovely works for me. It blends into my skin, gives me a gorgeous, luminous glow and it isn't too dark, as long as I don't go overboard. I do feel that if you are more fair than I, this highlighter may not be your cup of tea. 
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Pearl is delicious for the fairest of the fair to, I would say, light-medium skin tones. Like her sister, Pearl blends into my skin and imparts glow without looking harsh or glittery. 
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Poured Creme Highlighter in Moonstone. I wrote this highlighter up, sometime back and I am sorry to say that I was pretty hard on it. I don't know what the hell I thought I was doing ... I hadn't even put the stuff on my face. I just went off of swatching it and decided that I wasn't into it. Maybe I was cranky, or something. Whatever the case, I have used this highlighter since and I admit, it's rather gorgeous! I like it over a warm coral blush, it makes my cheeks glow but it doesn't look "yellow-y" or harsh. Yes, this is my plate of crow, served up hot. 
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Opal Glow on the Go. This affordable duo featuring the unequaled Opal includes a snack sized pressed powder and liquid. I wanted to show the liquid, which I also really like but I couldn't find the damned thing. Opal is beautiful not only on the face, it's fantastic on the eyes and when my little one runs low, I'll grab a full size, for sure.  

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Up next are the Fab Five. These are all from different brands and price points.

  • Colour Pop Pearlized Highlighter in Spoon. This silvery champagne has tiny glitter sparks that don't really show up, when it's lightly tapped onto my skin then buffed in with a brush. I like the bouncy-creme-powder formula and the price point can't be beat. Eight clams for all of this pretty? Yes, please. I have my eyes on a couple of other shades and I plan to pick them up, soon. Because I need more highlighters. 😏
  • Mirabella Brilliant Mineral Highlighter in Swirling Pearl. Oh my! This is one of my favorite highlighters in my collection. This delicate, champagne pearl is dreamy and luminous and perfect. 
  • Bobbi Brown Highlighting Powder. My shade is Pink Glow. I bought mine during it's first release in different packaging but it's the same product, as far as I can tell. I adore this soft pink highlighter. When it's swatched, it can look glittery but when buffed into the skin with a brush, the sparkles mostly fly away and I can enjoy the glow without the glitter. This one also makes a pretty blush topper. 
  • Dior Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer Powder in shade #001. Soft pink-y gold radiance from an ultra silky powder that blends seamlessly into my skin. I see that there are new shades! #2 looks right up my alley. I Loves Listed it. Maybe next VIB sale... 
  • Tom Ford Skin Illuminating Powder Duo in Moodlight. This duo is a bronze gold and an ivory with a hint of gold shift. The bronzy shade is too dark for me, unless I have sunless tanned or want to add a little glow to my matte bronzer. The light shade is stunning and the powder is so light, so silky that it looks like perfect, glowing skin. No matter how much I apply, it is never obvious, never too much. This highlighter duo was insanely expensive and I don't regret even one penny I spent on it. 

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I thought that you might like to see how these look in lighter, softer swatches. From the left, as you face the screen: Champagne Pop. Moonstone. Opal. Pearl. Spoon. Swirling Pearl. Dior 001. Pink Glow and the lighter half of Moodlight.

Gentle reader, I'm fifty-two and I have no plans to give up my highlighter any time, soon. I love the way it catches the light, the lifted, dewy look it gives to my skin and damn it, it just makes me feel pretty. I'm not letting anyone tell me what I can't wear and you shouldn't, either. Look, we get one trip on this big rock and life is too fucking short for stupid beauty rules. Wear what makes you happy and feel good. If anyone disapproves, flip your hair, turn on your heel and high-tail it away from them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.

Do you wear highlighter? What are your favorites? Enable me. I think that at this point, one (or three) more won't make all that much difference.

This post is in collaboration with my fellow Makeup Wars beauty bloggers! Please take a little time to click the links, below and visit their blogs and read about the highlighters that they love.


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Evian Natural Mineral Facial Spray for Home and Away

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Evian Natural Mineral Water Facial Spray is a staple on my dressing table, nowadays. You know, I never thought that I'd say that about a spray can of water. I'm no stranger to facial mists, I have loved and used rosewater for years and I have other mists that I enjoy on a regular basis but water? In a pressurized canister? What's so special about this product and why would I keep it on my dressing table and in my handbag?

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Evian Natural Mineral Water Facial Spray is pure spring water sourced in the French Alps. It takes about fifteen years for snow melt to filter through the layers of soil and rock of the mountains, where it acquires a unique balance of beneficial minerals with a neutral pH of 7.2, making Evian Facial Spray a lovely beauty treatment and the perfect little pick me up for myself and my family.

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There are a plethora of ways in which Evian Facial Spray can be used and I thought I'd share some of my favorites with you. One way I like to use it, is while applying skin care. A light mist on clean skin, after toner and essence adds a layer of hydration that I quickly seal in with my serum before going on to my eye cream, moisturizer and face oil. The extra hydration helps me to wake up to soft, comforted skin, in the morning.

I live in Arizona and it gets hot here in the summer. By mid afternoon, I can start feeling prickly, overheated and out of sorts. A quick trip to the fridge, grab the canister of Evian Facial Spray chilling in the door rack and after misting my face, decollete and the back of my neck, I am instantly cooler, refreshed and not nearly as cranky as I was just seconds, ago.

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Evian Facial Spray is the ideal makeup lover's little helper. Sprayed lightly on my face after I apply my makeup, it sets, takes down that powdery look and enhances my highlighter. I can trust the ultra fine mist to never spit big drops that would spot and ruin my carefully applied makeup.

Got frizzy hair? I do! My hair's natural texture is somewhere between coiled razor wire and a blackberry bramble. I have wurly (a cross between wavy and curly) hair that forms beautiful bends and spirals when wet but even with judiciously applied product it can, if I'm not very careful, expand into a puffy, frizzed out nightmare after it dries. A nice, generous spritz of my Evian Facial Spray reactivates the product in my hair and a few gentle scrunches refreshes my wurls and calms the crazy.

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Taking a trip? Evian Facial Spray in the travel size is perfect to tuck into a makeup bag, tote or carry on. Thanks to the 1.7 ounce, TSA compliant packaging, you can take your Evian Facial Spray on board an airplane and use it to cool, soothe and refresh yourself or a loved one when that dry, close cabin air starts getting to you. It's also nice to have on hand for a quick touch up while out running errands, to cool down after a fast turn on the dance floor or mist your kids' heated little faces after they have been out playing or participating in physical activities.

If you would like to experience this lovely mist for yourself, you can buy Evian Facial Spray from their website, SephoraNordstrom and Walgreen's.

Evian is social. Visit them on Facebook and follow on Twitter and Instagram.

If you would like to enter a giveaway for a limited edition beauty bag containing Evian Facial Spray and a Clarisonic Mia 2, click here by February 1st and good luck!

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Fashion Flash -- Week of 1/9/2017


Fashion Flash, the best online mini magazine for savvy beauties 40+ is live and this week is being hosted by the wonderful Barbara of The Best of Everything After 50. If you are on the lookout for the best in fashion, beauty, wellness and travel hop on over to Barbara's fabulous blog, get comfy and spend a little time reading our articles and don't forget to come back, next week for our next issue!