Category: Makeup

Updates on Recent Beauty Products

by: mercedes | november 27, 2016 | filed under: makeup, maison

Thrice weekly blog posts, she said. I promise! She said.

Why is it so difficult for me to get regular blog posts up? I really do think if I could do it regularly, they would be an excellent addendum to my videos and IG posts, but – life?

But, I did recently have a flurry of updates I felt like sharing, so let’s just crack on (as Ms. C Hirons my idol would say):

1 – Ellis Brooklyn Candle in Fable

I vacillated with this endlessly, putting it in and out of my Sephora VIB cart. I did decide to purchase it, because 20% off and I was feeling splurgy. The verdict? The scent is as beautiful as I remember but in my opinion the scent throw isn’t far enough to warrant the steep price. I know it’s natural, but I’d rather spend money on either her body milks or the perfume itself of this scent, so I can actually have it on my person rather than barely scenting my home. Returned/thank god for Sephora’s great return policy. Also while I was there I decided to pick up samples of the Josie Maran Vibrancy foundation after a bunch of you mentioned it in the comments of a recent video. No expectations but never not vaguely wishing I could wear full coverage foundation.

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2 – Eve Lom Primer Sample

I’ve had this lying around for awhile, I think it came from a Barney’s order or something. I’ve never tried anything Eve Lom, they obviously aren’t eco, but they obviously are luxe. This is basically a moisturizing primer with spf. It was nice but too “conventional” for me, and you can smell the spf smell. I still prefer Suntegrity and Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream for my spf, and the Vapour primers if I need a primer.

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3 – Lauren B. Beauty polish in Laurel Canyon Lover + Dual Base/Top Coat

I was SO excited to test these out. Also do you like my festive photo?! I picked up some evergreen sprigs from Home Depot and a pretty bow and called it a day for holiday decorations. I might get a wreath because I’m sort of recently/newly obsessed with druid/pagan traditions and anyway tangent back to the polish. I absolutely LOVE Laurel Canyon Lover, it’s basically an exact dupe from what I remember of OPI Quarter-of-a-Cent cherry and the formula is just as good read perfect as my other two Lauren B. Polishes. The Dual/Base top coat I was hoping would replace my Zoya base coat and Sheswai top coat. So far my polish is wearing really, really well so I think for performance this product is great BUT it doesn’t give the same super high shine finish that the Sheswai top coat does, which I consider a dupe for the Seche Vite. ALAS the Sheswai is discontinued (cries) so I’ll be kickin’ it with this Lauren B. product for awhile.

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4 – Lastly, how obsessed are you with this chunky cowl? Yes I’m a knitter and yes I know it’s a bit un-Mercedes but I really adore the whole process of picking out a pattern, the perfect yarn, knitting itself…it’s so fulfilling to make things like that by hand.

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So that’s all folks! I really promise I will TRY and post more regularly. Also I uploaded my extremely long hair care routine video on YouTube this morning if you care to watch. Happy weekend and xoxo!

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Minimal Summer Makeup Look For Work (Daytime Bold Lip)

august 14, 2016 | by: mercedes | filed under: makeup, videos

Oh my god I’m so delinquent with posting here I can’t even deal. To be fair, it’s been a hectic summer – travel, moving, terrible Boston weather which makes me hate life…yeah. But August is about half over so we’re aaaalmost there.

Today on Youtube I took a break from my regular 20-30 minutes of rambling chats and put together a tightly edited makeup look video. This is the general amount of product I’ve been wearing on my face lately as really, what’s the point when the weather is what it is. Can you tell I seriously dislike summer, at least here, yet?

Head over to YouTube to watch!

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EcoLuxe Dupes For Conventional Makeup + My Favorite Things This Sunday

june 26, 2016 | by: mercedes | filed under: videos, makeup

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This video was a viewer request from several months ago, and I really enjoyed putting my list together and sharing it in today’s video – go watch on YouTube, and let me know any additions you have to my list <3
Products Mentioned –
NARS Laguna – Studio 78 Bronzer in We Evade http://bit.ly/28VIube
Makeup Forever HD finishing powder – RMS Un-Powder http://bit.ly/28YRuPK
Bobbi Brown Pot Rouges – RMS Lip2Cheeks http://bit.ly/1M12vaO
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid in Opal – Modern Minerals Moonstone http://bit.ly/1NBr58q
Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette – Jane Iredale Daytime Smokey Eye Kit http://bit.ly/28YIqZx
MAC eyeshadows – Kjaer Weis Eyeshadows http://bit.ly/1SqWYCP
Liquid eyeliner – Zuzu Luxe http://amzn.to/291jgtB
Benefit Benetint – Mahalo Red My Lips Tint* http://mahalo.care/shop/red-my-lips/?love=27
NARS Lipstick in Dolce Vita – Nudus 27 Kisses, Bite Buttercream in Pecan http://bit.ly/28VIQi6
Liquid Lipsticks – Aromi Liquid Lipsticks http://www.aromibeauty.com/liquid-lipstick/
OPI Bubble Bath – Trust Fund Money Buys Happiness http://trustfundbeauty.com/products/money-buys-happiness
NARS Matte Lip Crayons – HELP!

In other news, I’ve had an interesting weekend that has involved a lot of intensity and also a lot of rest. I finally got around to committing to watching some of Sali Hughes’ “In The Bathroom With” series on YouTube and I am HOOKED. I watched her most recent one, Part 1 with Wendy Rowe (who I now have a minor obsession with) and am almost done with Part 2 of her interview with Caroline Hirons. I SO SO SO recommend especially Part 1 of the interview with Caroline, as it’s supremely inspiring to hear about her career trajectory in beauty. I was already an avid Caroline fan for her knowledge, experience, and personality, but this is next level admiration. Seriously, obsessed:

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And lastly, I did a wee bit of shopping, online and one thing IRL. Maybe I’ll do an IG post with a mini-haul but as a teaser it included a new tarot deck (gah I can’t wait for it to arrive), a NARS matte lip crayon, and a powder spf product in preparation for an upcoming summer eco-makeup video collaboration coming up in July! So much happy :)

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Rest in peace…<3

Friday Things: Recent Beauty Heroes June Box Review Video + Boston’s Sephora at the Prudential

june 3, 2016 | by: mercedes | filed under: makeup, videos

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On Wednesday (my birthday!) I uploaded my review of the June Beauty Heroes box, featuring The Emotive Makeup Collection by Modern Minerals x Lotus Wei. This box was SUPER polarizing and I really do understand – my first impressions were decidedly underwhelming. I tried to remain neutral and unbiased while testing the products in the box out, and you can hear how my thoughts and product experience evolved.  Beauty Heroes will be changing how they deal with makeup in their boxes, sooooo hop over to go watch and hear it all! Also there are tons of comments where people shared their brutally honest opinions too, in case you’re interested.

Products in the box include the following –

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Lotus Wei-infused lip gloss in Padparadscha

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Lip Gloss in Citrine

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Modern Moonstone Cream Highlighter (exclusive to Beauty Heroes subscribers)

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Rose Quartz Eyeshadow

To subscribe to Beauty Heroes for the upcoming three months and to receive the June box from Modern Minerals x Lotus Wei:
http://bit.ly/1NBr58q

To give a Beauty Heroes Gift Subscription:
http://bit.ly/1NDKDZz

To learn more about Beauty Heroes as an eco-beauty subscription box service, here is a playlist of all my past Beauty Heroes reviews –
http://bit.ly/1UAcfS1

Ok AND THEN – I went to Sephora at the Prudential Center (in Boston) last night. I had been to their temporary space while the new space was being put together and DEAR LORD IS IT SOMETHING TO BEHOLD. It’s obviously massive, but what blew me away was seeing brands I’ve never seen in a brick and mortar Sephora – Briogeo, Verb, they’re getting Oaui soon, Tata Harper makeup, Surratt, EVERYTHING. Died.

I brought the Christophe Robin thickening spray to return (teaser, you’ll see this in my Mercedes Shops this Sunday!), and ended up getting all THIS:

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So actually the only thing I purchased was the Surratt Relevée Eyelash curler which I talked about wanting here, and lordy lord do they know how to lure a sister in with their packaging. Not shown here but in comes in a gorgeous black box with the super chic and elegant Surratt logo embossing, and the curler itself lives in this little black drawstring pouch. First impressions after trying it last night…unlike any other SHAPE of a curler I’ve used, it’s actually very FLAT and doesn’t have as much of an arc to it, if that makes sense? It feels very weighty and…intense. The curl it gave was gorgeous and my lashes were still curled this morning : p I need to play more, but I think I love it.

The other things here were freebies! The Bite Beauty matte lip crayon on Glacé is a new June 100 point perk (nothing else really spoke to me…was considering also throwing in the Hourglass primer mini but nah), and I went for Marc Jacobs in lieu of Fresh for my birthday gift (NARS was better last year imo).  Here are the lip colors swatched along with a completely gratuitous shot of another recent addition to my jewelry collection – that video is coming SOON because I am OBSESSED with the new adornment in my life:

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Glacé reminds me of two colors I already own, Nudus 27 Kisses and Bite Buttercream in Rosewood (yes, you will see this Sunday TOO SO MANY SPOILERS). The Marc Jacobs shade is called Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (cute) and looks like a pretty universally flattering rose pink.

So that’s my Friday for you, playing around with new loot. What’s going on with YOU? <3

 

Effortless Minimal Weekend Makeup Look

may 23, 2016 | by: mercedes | filed under: videos, makeup

Awhile back I did a video on my channel titled “French Chic Minimal Makeup” – and if I could do it over again, it would be this look. The look in that previous video was a bit overdone, and I prefer how this one came out for achieving that vibe. I’ve been reading so much Into The Gloss lately that it’s made my impulse towards the more undone, effortless, minimal, European beauty look much MUCH stronger than it already was. Plus, the warmer months naturally call for less makeup. Thanks to my dedication towards implementing my medical intuitive changes, combined with my foray into gentle chemical skin exfoliators, and my skin is really happy with just sun protection/tinted moisturizer and a bit of concealer. I’d love to hear if you’re similarly vibing to minimal makeup, and how you go about achieving and effortless, yet still covetable look with that certain je ne sais quoi element. Watch the video over on Youtube, and don’t forget to subscribe <3

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List of products used –

Essential Apothecary Alchemist Hydrate Toner/Body Spray
Suntegrity 5-in-1 Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen in Light http://bit.ly/1PZgSBG
Anastasia Brow Definer in Medium Brown http://seph.me/20Kzadx
Jane Iredale Daytime Smokey Eye Palette http://bit.ly/1RGvDfE
Antonym Eye Pencil in Noir http://bit.ly/1OEIicB
Lily Lolo Mascara in Black http://bit.ly/1UkRc1Z
Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara http://seph.me/1P66wBD
Tarte Undereye CC Corrector in Light/Medium http://seph.me/1ThiFS3
Trish McEvoy Pressed Translucent Finishing Powder http://bit.ly/1x2cMM6
RMS Buriti Bronzer http://bit.ly/1Jk61kY
Bite Beauty Matte Lip Crayon in Coulis (Limited Edition)
Ellovi Tinted Lip Butter http://www.ellovi.com

Currently Lusting // Beauty + some other mid-week notables

may 18, 2016 | by: mercedes | filed under: videos, makeup

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These kinds of wishlist videos are SO FUN for me to do, and you seem to really enjoy them too! They always generate a lot of amazing comments which are amazing to read – as I said to someone in a comment today, it’s like I can almost feel the energy of desire and nascent possibility reading other people’s wishlists! Yes, I am a weirdo :)

Catch the video over on YouTube, and leave me a comment letting me know what’s on your wishlist so I can feel the beauty lust vibes!

In other news, I’m going to work on two small additions to this site – creating an email subscription widget so you can be alerted every time I post on here (if you choose), and creating a “Daily Reads” sidebar. I’ve gotten back into regular blog reading as a product of being back in a relatively normative office environment. I’m drawing so much inspiration from them too! So I’d like to compile a list of those to share.

A few other mid-week things to share –

This lipstick technique is everything I aspire towards – effortless, undone, chic, alluring, yes

I dj’ed this track last Friday and remember what a personal AND crowd pleaser it is #doyouwantmebaby

This chocolate was a TREMENDOUS LET DOWN crying. Please don’t buy it, it’s gross.

And lastly, came home to THIS today! (if you don’t yet follow me in Instagram, I posted this earlier on there – so hop over and follow! It’s the only social media platform – in addition to YouTube – I regularly engage in. Facebook on a personal level to keep abreast of music events but that’s literally it).

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Nude Lipstick/Everyday Lip Product Collection AND a Mother’s Day Giveaway on Instagram!

may 8, 2016 | by: mercedes | filed under: makeup, videos

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Sharing my nude lipstick/everyday lip product collection on YouTube this Sunday, complete with lots of arm swatches which end up looking like a beautiful work of art when I’m all done! It’s the little things. I’m also intending to do a companion video of my bold lipsticks – my one true makeup love!

Also, Happy Mother’s Day! Amaki Beauty, who sponsored a Valentine’s Day giveaway I did, sent me a box of beautiful products for a Mother’s Day giveaway. These things would make beautiful gifts, or I would NOT judge you if you decide to keep them for yourself. I show product close-ups of everything in the box on the intro to my video on youtube today, but here’s what’s included:

Mother’s Day Gift Set, valued at $51, includes –

 

Rose Water Hydrating Mist Toner 4 fl oz

Jasmine & Rose Nourishing Oil 4 fl oz

Konjac Facial Wash Sponge
If you don’t win the giveaway but want one of these sets anyway, it can be yours! It’s $37 plus free U.S. shipping, http://www.amakiskincare.com/products/mothers-day-gift-set

 

All the details will be over on Instagram, so head over there to enter!

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On Esteé Lauder/Brand Subsidiaries, Testing Cosmetics on Animals, and China…

may 5, 2016 | by: mercedes | filed under: ethos reflections, makeup

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I am a thoughtful, critical person. This has pros, and plenty of cons. It can make life more complicated, but I’ve determined ultimately much more rewarding and full of immense depth. One way this energy has become channeled in my life is through my constant reflexive/reflective practice over my consumption habits – and chiefly beauty products. It is a combination of my minimalist strivings, my attempt at curating a beautiful life, and more recently a reflection of the incredible detoxification that has infused every corner of my life as a result of the work I began with a medical intuitive three months ago. Now more than ever, I am crystal clear on what belongs in my life, what doesn’t, and what I want to draw into my life, and surround myself with.

As a beauty blogger/youtuber/content creator who brands herself primarily in the “eco space,” I’ve always felt a bit…different, from many of the same vein. For one, I am not vegan or vegetarian. In fact completely the opposite – a traditional foods approach was what finally kicked the disordered relationship I had with foods since childhood to the curb. It is my personal conviction that very few people can thrive on an animal-free diet over the long term. During my dissertation research, on Rhode Island’s local/alternative food movement, I traveled all over the state and met many people involved in producing and selling food locally, including animal products. It profoundly shifted my mindset away from the now normalized rhetoric of “meat is basically all of our environmental/health/spiritual/everything problems” and towards a deep respect and reverence for humane animal husbandry, and a conscious relationship with animals and animal products we may consume, which provide profound nourishment on both the physical and energetic level.

I’m not sure why I’m rambling about all this so much when the point of this post is to wax poetic about why I no longer want to buy from cosmetics brands owned by Esteé Lauder, which I’ll get to very soon. But I suppose I feel the need to clarify my stance towards the now commonplace rhetoric around our (human) relationship with animals. As a species, we have ALWAYS had a dependent, and often exploitative relationship with animals. This has only become grossly and perversely exacerbated under (late-stage) capitalism, and global development. I think most people can agree that there are some things deemed worthy of an ethical “violation” of animal rights (i.e. testing pharmaceuticals that have the potential to be life-saving to humans), and those not worth of such a violation (i.e. testing cosmetics). I’m oversimplifying this, but bear with me.

As I spoke about in this video, I’ve never been overly compelled by cosmetics brands whose primary marketing slant is that they are cruelty-free – while continuing to use toxic chemicals in their formulations. What the HELL is the point of that? I still don’t understand it, really. It has also always upset me that we seem to care a hell of a lot more about animal rights (maybe because they are technically “voiceless”?) over human rights/labor rights, which is a part of the discussion that is nearly always edited out, or not even considered. In general, I try and consider a holistic nexus of issues when I choose what brands to support and products to buy. Now, I’m human and not a perfectionist, so I’m not 100% conscious 100% of the time. But more and more, I find myself being repelled ENERGETICALLY by certain brands and products. Enter, what this post was actually supposed to be about from the outset!

In a recent video, I talked about how I was lusting the Tom Ford eye defining pen. I mean damn that thing looks luxe, at $56 a pop – the stuff a liquid eyeliner lover’s dreams are MADE of. It gets nothing but raves, and is supposed to perform like nothing else on the market. After expressing my desire for said product, a few of my regular viewers (and friends) pointed out Tom Ford’s non-cruelty free status, as a brand. As you can see if you go read the comments, we had a nice dialect about it where I shared a version of what I’m sharing here – that I don’t find the cruelty-free label compelling, I look at the bigger issues, et cetera. But the more I sat with it, the more I actually WAS kind of upset. Or, I started feeling more into the energy I guess.

I did just a basic search on Tom Ford and cruelty-free, and learned (both from google and from my friend/viewer who works for Trish McEvoy, which is [aside] one of the last hold outs in independently owned luxury cosmetics brands) that Tom Ford is owned by parent company Esteé Lauder, which owns a host of other brands I feel embarrassed I didn’t actually know about, including MAC, Bobbi Brown, Bumble & Bumble, among many others – you can read the full list here.

Now, the issue is such. In the United States, all of these Esteé Lauder-owned brands I guess ARE cruelty-free, and do not test their products on animals. However, they have a “disclaimer” that states they WILL test their products on animals IF IT’S REQUIRED BY LAW. And you need not dig very far to learn that it is, in fact, required to test cosmetics on animals before they reach the consumer market in China. I’m sorry, but what the fuck is up with that. There’s no politically correct way to say this, but China already makes me uncomfortable in so many ways and this was just the last straw. Maybe I’m missing some of the context about WHY a country would have such a law in place, but either way it’s just really gross. Of course, a global company like Esteé Lauder would never dream of not selling their products in a place like China with such a MASSIVE market share (I heard on NPR the other morning that China either has or will soon surpass the US in terms of Starbucks locations/consumption). So I get that companies like that are basically ethically bankrupt and sans morals, but I’m just like…no. NO.

So, enter my why I guess I’ll no longer be buying from brands under the Esteé Lauder umbrella. And continuing to research what other companies/specific brands this pertains to. It kind of blows because I really need a new MAC 217 brush so that may be my one teeny tiny last ditch exception. I don’t know guys. Maybe I’m just channeling my frustrations about the state of the WORLD more generally into this, lashing out on China! But I’ve been thinking about it enough to write this exceedingly verbose blog post about the issue.

Any thoughts?

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Eco-Beauty With A Cause: Mahalo’s Red My Lips Tint // Campaign Details + First Impression/Demo

by: mercedes | april 17, 2016 | filed under: makeup, videos

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and Mahalo (one of my TOP eco brands) has launched a beautiful bright red lip tint, with 20% of the proceeds going to redmylips.org, an international non-profit dedicated to combating rape myths and victim blaming. I’m so happy to be showing you this product in my video today – I’d love to hear your thoughts. xoxo, mercedes.

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To purchase your own Red My Lips tint and support the campaign during the rest of the month of April:
http://mahalo.care/shop/red-my-lips/?love=27

Additionally, if you spend $150 on Mahalo’s website this month, you will receive a complimentary facial steam valued at $45 (I hear they’re running out though, so chop chop if you’re interested!):
http://mahalo.care/shop/

Updated Everyday Makeup Routine (Eco/Luxe)

march 27, 2016 | by: mercedes | filed under: makeup, videos

I’m realizing that I’ve gotten out of the habit of doing makeup-centric videos on my channel and I’m intent on changing that! More GRWMs! Those are such good videos to watch. So more makeup videos to come, but in the meantime I thought it was about time to show you my updated everyday makeup routine. This is what I’ll throw on in 10/15 minutes tops before work – I usually rotate between 2-3 products in each category, and sometimes I’ll forgo the liquid liner for a wash of cream shadow, or I’ll change up the lip (though it tends to stay in the neutral family…forever trying to rock bold lips during the day but I just always revert to what’s easier #humannature). Watch below, or head over and watch on Youtube (and subscribe while you’re there!):

Full product list (how can so many products still be applied so quickly and effortlessly?) –

Josie Maran Nirvana Hydrating Treatment Mist http://seph.me/1PxrrY4
Lily Lolo BB Cream http://bit.ly/21U3inA
Suntegrity 5-in-1 Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen in Light http://bit.ly/1PZgSBG
Tarte Undereye CC Corrector in Light/Medium http://seph.me/1ThiFS3
Kjaer Weis Foundation in Paper Thin (sample) http://bit.ly/25q8gep
Trish McEvoy Pressed Translucent Finishing Powder http://bit.ly/1x2cMM6
W3LL People Bio-Bronzer Stick http://bit.ly/1Pc1Y9F
Too Faced Blush in Your Love Is King (LOVE THE SADE REFERENCE WHETHER IT WAS INTENTIONAL OR NOT) from Too Faced Love Flush Blush Palette http://seph.me/24KxjIT
W3LL People Bio-Brightener Stick http://bit.ly/1JuHVyA
The All Natural Face Vegan Brow Wax http://bit.ly/1JQWjqp
Tarte Amazonian Clay Volumizing Brow Powder in Medium Brow
Brow Food Clear Brow Enhancing Gelfix http://seph.me/1ROmr5s
Jane Iredale Daytime Smokey Eye Palette http://bit.ly/1RGvDfE
Zuzu Luxe Liquid Eyeliner in Raven http://bit.ly/1QLqH7G
Red Apple Lipstick Lip Exfoliator* http://bit.ly/1P1tJE2
Zuzu Luxe Liquid Eyeliner in Raven http://bit.ly/1QLqH7G
Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara http://seph.me/1P66wBD
Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk http://bit.ly/1W5llSR
Bite Beauty Butter Cream Lipstick in Pecan http://seph.me/1ZrqNky