Last Post of the Year: Fresh Beauty Discoveries + A Dash of Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale Inspiration

After 12 months and 131 swatch-laden posts, I am feeling a bit of triumph as I type the last Beauty Professor story of 2016. This year has brought incredible opportunities as well as life challenges, the most recent being a temporary loss of my computer hard drive (discussed HERE) and a week-long battle with the most pernicious flu I’ve ever had (still sick). 
Ever an optimist, some high points for which I am grateful include a new tenure-track teaching position (discussed HERE), a month-long collaboration with Sisley-Paris, an appearance in Vanity Fairfeature on the Beautylish site, serving as MC for a host of beauty events (discussed HERE, HERE and HERE), a decent round of travel (discussed HERE, HERE and HERE) and my regular column on the Neiman Marcus blog.  All in all, I am abundantly grateful for how this passion project–spawned by my shameless love of luxury beauty–has grown into a community of incredible readers and followers…in other words, YOU!

Remaining in true BP form, this post features my latest end-of-the-year beauty discoveries, some style notes and some Nordstrom Half-Yearly sale points of interest to peruse.
Kindly scroll on for more details, swatches and images of the products in action as well as a brief shopping guide and the Bottom Line…

Skincare etc.
  • *SLIP Silk Queen Pillowcase: This 100% silk pillowcase embodies pure bedtime luxury; designed to be kind to skin (no hideous face dents) and keep hair from tangling, I’ve put it to the test this month and can confirm that I consistently wake up with smoother, more behaved hair. 
  • *Lancer The Method Polish (reviewed HERE): A favorite for years, my supply of this powerful exfoliant was recently replenished, much to my delight. The ultra-fine granules buff away dirt and dead skin without imposing irritation and the renewed radiance that is revealed is simply incandescent.
  • *Tan-Luxe The Face: An innovative self-tanning discovery, this potent little vial allows one to create a customized glow; just one drop, mixed into moisturizer develops a subtle tan that can be intensified when quantities and frequency are increased. Brilliant!
  • *Vita Liberata Body Blur: Lightly tinted with a glorious pearl finish, this body cream hydrates while blurring imperfections and evening skin tone, making limbs lush and lovely. 
  • *Kerastase Elixir Ultime Nourishing Hair Oil: This lightweight hair oil makes hair infinitely shiny while restoring healthy hydration levels…I love using it post-shower as a detangler as well.
  • *Alterna Caviar Smoothing Hydra-Gelee Nourishing Hair Perfector: Designed to impart immense smoothness and moisture, just a single pump tames my hair, adding dimension and manageability.
  • *RMS Nail Polish in Luminizer, Killer Red and Beloved (also available as an exclusive set at RMS–similar colors include Infamous, Luminizer X and Vicious): This nail lacquer has exemplary ingredients and a color-rich lasting finish that makes nails shiny and strong.  I have a personal weakness for the pearly white Luminizer and Luminizer X shades–they make nails look clean and polished (pun intended) and match simply everything. 
  • *Maybelline Dream Cushion #30 Warm Nude: A beautiful and accessible foundation, this new formula from Maybelline utilizes cushion technology for medium coverage and a satin finish that lasts for hours. 
  • *Stila Aqua Glow Serum Foundation in Light-Medium: I have been playing with this foundation for the past couple of weeks and am impressed by its lightweight texture and medium coverage.  Unscented and easy to apply with a dampened Beauty Blender, it plays well on my sensitive skin (worn at the end of this post) and wears effortlessly. Wearing it as I type this!
  • *TOV Camellia Cooling CC Spray in Natural Beige: Intriguing on every level, this CC cream is dispensed from an airtight canister (much like the mechanism in the Dior Air Flash) onto a flat blending pad for a seamless finish.  The makes skin feel cool and nourished and the light-medium coverage is marvelous for no-makeup makeup days.  
  • *Isdin Skin Drops in Sand: This fluid formula features major pigmentation that can be customized for light to full coverage in seconds. The velvety finish lasts nearly 12 hours on the skin (no joke!) and the natural satin finish is sublimely flattering.  For reference, Sand is a great warm beige match for my NC 25 skin (I think it would also work on N/NC 20 and N/NC 30 skin).  In light of this formula’s customizable versatility, my only hope is that it becomes more readily available in the US in coming days!
  • *Soleil Toujours Perpetual Radiance Tinted SPF 20 Fluid: I have been wanting to try this luxurious niche brand for ages and was excited to give the Perpetual Radiance a spin. The built-in brush dispenses a weightless tinted serum that offers skincare benefits, SPF 20 and a skin-evening glow that performs well for hours. I can’t wait to take this my sun-intensive trip…more soon ; )
  • *lilah b. Virtuous Veil Eye Primer and Concealer in B. Radiant: This seriously pigmented concealer also doubles as an eyeshadow base for smooth and flawless skin.  A little of this unique formula–which has sublimely healthy ingredients–goes a long way and its crease-free performance is laudable. 
Swatches in direct sunlight.
Super unique packaging, no?

Face + Cheeks.
  • *Estee Lauder Intuitive Octopus Powder: Opulent and utilitarian, this diminutive bejeweled compact features a whimsical octopus; the creamy yet translucent setting powder within is so versatile…it evens skin tone and banishes shine in seconds. 
  • *Kevyn Aucoin Contour Palette (currently on sale!): Four finely-milled shades of face finishing powder in one extremely streamlined compact; the contour shade adds depth, the bronzer works well to warm up the canvas, the peachy pink blush looks fabulous on the apples of the cheeks and the champagne highlighter creates a candlelit glow.  I am wearing this in the images at the end of this post! 
  • *Laura Geller Baked Gelato Swirl Trio: Three best-selling shades of illuminator for kissed-by-light effect that brightens while still being subtle, wear them alone or mix them for a customized luminosity.
  • *Girlactik Luminous Face Veil in See Through and Goldie (reviewed HERE): I had the chance to preview the recent release of these power highlighters from one of my favorite indie-brands, Girlactik.  The soft gold Goldie looks gorgeous on warm skin tones and the nearly clear, See Through yields a liquid-like glow that is unique in my collection…on heavy rotation, indeed.  
  • *IT Cosmetics CC & Vitality Cream Blush in Je Ne Sais Quoi: A flattering cream blush in a perfect shade of pink, this formula self-adjusts to a spectrum of skin tones for a quintessential rosy flush that also boasts skincare benefits. 
*Estee Lauder Intuitive Octopus Powder.
*Kevyn Aucoin Contour Palette swatches in direct sunlight. 
*Girlactik Luminous Face Veil in See Through and Goldie swatches in direct sunlight.
*Laura Geller Baked Gelato Swirl Trio swatches in direct sunlight: Ballerina, Gilded Honey and Peach Glow.
*IT Cosmetics CC & Vitality Cream Blush in Je Ne Sais Quoi
// EYES //
  • *Gucci Impact Long Wearing Eye Liner in Ottanio, Black and Sunstone (also available at Neiman Marcus): This innovative color-saturated eyeliner stays soft for the first 30 seconds of application, ensuring maximum blendability for a smoky look.  Once it sets, it dries to a waterproof finish that stays in place, even in sensitive areas like the waterline. 
  • Smith & Cult Book Eyes Eye Palette in Noonsuite: Four coordinating neutral shades are housed in a clever compact, featuring the style one has grown to expect from Smith & Cult.  Pigmented and blendable with a velvety finish, Noonsuite is a must for warm neutral lovers. 
From L-R: Black, Ottavio and Sunstone. 
Swatches in direct sunlight.
The eye look.
Smith & Cult Book of Eyes in Noonsuite. 
Swatches in direct sunlight.
// LIPS //
  • *Marc Jacobs Up All Night 5-Piece Petites Le Marc Lip Creme Set (currently on sale and also available at Marc Jacobs and Sephora): This divine collection of five creamy and opaque Marc Jacobs lipsticks comes in a stunning metallic pink/violet clutch, embellished with a gorgeous black tassel.  Everything about this set–from the wearable shades (swatches below) to the easy-to-repurpose pouch–make this a steal. 
  • *Girlactik Matte Lip Paint in Rustik: The latest shade from indie beauty brand Girlactik, this insanely pigmented rust red cloaks lips in significant coverage; it dries to a comfortable matte finish that wears beautifully for hours. 
  • *Lipstick Queen Saints and Sinners in Candy Sinner, Candy Saint, Mauve Sinner and Mauve Saint (reviewed HERE): Ever a fan of cool pink lip color, these newest shades from Lipstick queen do light lilac pink and luscious mauve so well.  The Saint versions are sheer and shiny and the Sinner formula packs an formidable amount of pigment with a cream finish.  I have been mixing Sinner Candy and Sinner Mauve constantly as of late. 
  • Givenchy Gloss Gelee d’Interdit in Frozen Rose: I picked this up last month when in San Francisco and am so glad I did; the exceptionally shiny jelly texture imparts just enough pink to brighten up the lips…try wearing it over nude lip liner for maximum impact. 
  • *By Terry Baume de Rose Set (reviewed HERE): This resplendent set has been selling out like crazy and one can easily ascertain why; it is a fantastic value, featuring five shades of By Terry Baume de Rose in mini tubes that lend to ease of application…so chic.
*Marc Jacobs Up All Night 5-Piece Petites Le Marc Lip Creme Set.
From L-R: No Angel, Slow Burn, Oh Miley!, Miss Scarlett and Scandal.
Swatches in direct sunlight.
A swatch of Rustik in direct sunlight…insane color payoff, no?
Lipstick Queen Saints and Sinners unite. 
Swatches in direct sunlight.
Givenchy Frozen Rose…for a pink jelly effect. 
Swatches of the By Terry Baume de Rose set. 
The following images reflect the products in action in afternoon sunlight…

I am wearing

And now for the **Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale Recommendations…I divided my finds into three categories: Style, Beauty/Accessories and Men:

// STYLE //

(14) Rag & Bone Jaspe Sweatshirt


(1) Lancome Cushion Highlighter (review)
(2) Bobbi Brown Beach Set
(3) Christian Louboutin Loubilaque Gloss in Bikini (review)
(4) Laura Mercier Windflush Cheek Color
(5) Mirror Jewelry Box
(6) Nadri Star Pendant
(7) Dogeared Long Y-Necklace
(8) TAVIK Fletch iPhone 6/6s Wallet Case
(9) Kate Spade iPhone 6/6s Folio Case
(10) Gucci 58MM Navigator Sunglasses

// MENS //

(5) Boconi Reversible Leather Belt

**The sale is running now through 1/2/17!

–Shop the Sale–

Last look.
–Shop the Post–

Bottom Line: I hope you enjoyed this last post of 2016; it has been my true pleasure to share my beauty discoveries for nearly five (!) years now.  Thank you, from my heart, for your constant support and encouragement.  
Good things ahead, including some new Burberry, fresh By Terry and even more product procurements; I’ll also be working on my best of 2016 video…do keep an eye out!
Love and blessings to you in 2017!
–The Beauty Professor

**PR samples provided for review denoted by an asterisk (the rest purchased by me),  however, as always, all of my opinions are expressly and unequivocally my own.  © 2012-16 Beautyprofessor® All Rights Reserved. Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author’s written permission.

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Comments (2)

  • Unknown Reply

    I am an avid reader of you blog, I love your reviews and have bought so many wonderful things thanks to you! I was wondering how you feel the Isdin Skin Drops compares to the Chanel Vitalumiere foundation. That was my HG formul perfect in everyway (beige 20) until it it turned orange! I saw you have the same issue. What formula would you recommend that is comparable? Thank you so much!

    January 3, 2017 at 3:19 am
  • birkinbagbeauty Reply

    congratulations of your 5th year anniversary…I always love the mixture of Cali spirit with your choice in makeup. As for that Silk Slip pillowcase, I guess your hair managed very well for so many years without…I'm always having serious hairenvy but I used to have that length and colour myself so I love to re-create it again…Long hair rocks!

    January 5, 2017 at 8:54 am

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