NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, $29
pic from the NARS Instagram

I neglected to give NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer a shot, dismissing its praise as fangirl hype. As one of the higher-priced prestige (not quite luxury) concealers out there, it was low on my list.

Then, fortunately, Sephora started carrying a travel size. What better way to try NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer than to pay only $12 (.05 oz) for a tube rather than $29 (.22 oz)? Sure, the price-to-product ratio is better in the full-sized, but it takes me forever to get through concealer. This time, overall value loses out to gross spend.

Shades

The diminutive tube only comes in Vanilla and Custard. The two, respectively, are the second- and sixth-lightest in the line. Overall, the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer line features sixteen shades, including five deeper ones that would suit some people of color. As for me, I picked up Custard – a yellow-toned concealer for light-to-medium tones.

My gripe with the line? Make some of the travel sizes for people of color, damn it.

More after the jump.

Read moreNARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

Adventures in Balayage

Beauty Skeptic's BalayageA peek at some of my balayage highlights.
Excuse my comically bad lighting that does not fully showcase how awesome my hair is.

After lengthy consideration, I decided to go forward with balayage highlights. I went for a consultation on September 13, which is where I gathered my information on how to prepare for my balayage highlighting appointment. Balayage isn’t something new, even if it is a new-ish trend in the United States; but I could swear, of all the haircolor techniques out there, this one was made with me in mind.

I did extensive research and chose a charming salon in my area, had a really positive consult, and was ready. By my September 20 appointment, I was rarin’ to go.

So, Tell Me What you Want

To my consult, I brought the following three photos, found on Pinterest, for inspiration:

Adventures in Balayage - Inspiration

Clients get caught up in trying (and failing) to describe what they’re looking for. Pictures help. But you know what else really helps? Explaining and or showing what you definitely, under no circumstances, do not want. Most balayage highlights create a lovely, ombre effect on the hair – but not all ombre hair is balayage. For me, “ombre,” leaves a sour taste in my mouth. Search Google Images for, “Ombre hair,” and you’ll see what I mean. Severe, harsh transitions. Lines, even. I want nothing about my hair to be harsh, and I grew out a misguided hair choice once before and dealt with awkward lines. Never, ever again. Balayage is french for, “sweeping,” and damn it, that’s what I want. Lines of demarcation are the enemy.

Decisions, Decisions

Armed with those three photos my colorist and I made some decisions together. Notice how I said together? It should be a joint effort. Most of these decisions took place during my consultation. But if you and your colorist don’t agree on the course of action – say, you want X and she thinks you ought to do Y? You’re going to have a bad time. As a client, you should have realistic expectations and asks for your colorist. She or he may well seem like a wizard, but it isn’t magic.

Based on those photos, my expression of my #hairgoals, my habits, and prior aversion to color we decided:

  • As far as color goes, the third option made the most sense to emulate. After all, it’s easier to make more changes down the road than to go, “Shit, I don’t like this as much as I thought I was going to!”
  • Overall placement somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd photo.
  • To place more product at the ends to concentrate a little more blonde color there (like the 2nd photo).
  • …But to overall play it a little safe.

It can be a little intimidating to be in the chair, but when you’re spending money on these services, it’s worthwhile to be 100% sure you’re on the same page. If your stylist or colorist is worth a damn, she or he WANTS to produce results you’re happy with. If the salon you’re working with is not eager to work to that goal, find another salon. Seriously.

Read moreAdventures in Balayage

Sephora Play September 2016

Sephora Play September 2016Living Proof Night Cap / Sephora Rouge Shine Lipstick / Anastasia Clear Brow Gel /
Tory Burch Jolie Fleur Verte / KvD Tattoo LinerDr Jart+ Water Drop

I was pretty excited to try this box, so I prioritized using the items sooner rather than later.

Read moreSephora Play September 2016

How I Prepared for my Balayage Appointment

Balayage Prepvia Hair World Mag

I wrote, a while back, about considering getting Balayage highlights.

After a long time, a lot of consideration, and a consultation at which I asked my poor colorist half a million questions, I decided to take the plunge. I booked for Tuesday, September 20.

Here’s how I prepared for my balayage appointment.

What I Asked

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Micellar Water Challenge Conclusion

Micellar Water

It hardly seems like it, but a month has already passed since I took part in a Micellar Water Challenge. At that time, I also issued that same challenge to you readers – eschew your makeup wipes, and try using micellar water for your makeup removal needs as well.

How My Skin Feels

In a word, my skin feels awesome. Since I started removing my makeup with Micellar Water instead of using a makeup wipe, the skin on my cheeks has retained more of its moisture. Combined with my normal exfoliation routine, my skin is doing pretty well – less flaky skin around my nose. Finally, I’ve not needed to use quite as heavy a hand with moisturizers.

Also, no fragrance! Dear skincare companies, please please stop adding perfumes to facial skincare products. Thanks.

Cost Considerations with Micellar Water

Read moreMicellar Water Challenge Conclusion