Dior Rouge Lipstick Swatches (555 Dolce Vita and 250 Bal)

Dior Rouge lipstick is probably one of the holy grail lipsticks for dry lips, as is the Chanel Rouge Coco line and the YSL Volupte Shine. I actually found this lipstick in a Japanese magazine when I was looking for pinks. I had been wearing the MAC Cosmetics “Cosmo,” which is an amplified formula, but I wanted to find a similar shade in Dior, because the shade was so similar to my natural lip. I think I have finally found my “my lips but better” shade.

Dior Rouge Lipstick Swatches

Before I review, please note the following regarding my skin type:

Skin Shade: Fair

Skin Type: Oily

Acne: Prone to hormonal areas (jawline, chin, mouth)

Lip Color: Light Muave

Lip Type: Dry

Dior Rouge Bal Lipstick #250 Lip Swatch
Dior Rouge Lipstick Swatches

Dior Rouge in the color Bal #250 is my most recent “my lips but better” shade. It is very pink, more on the nude side than a true pink, but still very pink for most people. Since my natural lip color is more mauve than nude, it does come out to almost the same color as my lips. I think what makes Dior one of my favorites is the formulation. It is moisturizing, glides on smoothly, and best of all…. it fades well! I hate it when I have a great color on and it fades and suddenly I look like I woke up from a party the next morning, smudges all around the edges of my lips and the center chapped and bare. This one doesn’t do that.

Dior Rouge Dolce Vita #555 Lip Swatch

Dior Rouge Lipstick Swatches

Dolce Vita #555 is basically the darker, more vibrant pink version of Bal. Seriously, I first bought this lipstick thinking this would match my lips but nope, way too bright. I think anyone who wants to do the Korean styled lips could definitely use this color to pull it off. The formula is the same as Bal, and it does also fade well on my lip color.

One other thing I like about these lipsticks is the reapplication throughout the day is seamless. They fade after about three hours, but once reapplied, it does not dry or cake on the lips. I find that even just applying most of the color to the center part of my lips and blending it out with my finger is enough to give my lips a good amount of color because these are very pigmented.

Dior will definitely be in my top lipsticks for dry lips! Since I have dermatophagia, I still sometimes bite my lips and these still stay on through all of the abuse. That’s enough to get me hooked!

Nicoco

OOTD: Timeless Florals

Dress & Sweater cardigan: Forever 21 | Bag – Coach | Boots – Cliffs by White Mt. | Jacket – Urban Republic

Doesn’t it seem weird to talk about florals in winter? Well, as I was freezing my butt off for this shoot, I do believe that you can still pull off florals in colder weather, as long as you have a sweater, boots, and a jacket to wear over it outside, of course!

This look is inspired by the innocence of a school girl, the confidence of a city walker, and the dreamer of a summer-lover, and the practicality of the everyday woman. The dress and cardigan combo is a classic that won’t go out of style for years to come, and the boots and knee socks add a touch of winter to it. The nude cross body bag is a piece you will probably see a lot of in the coming OOTD posts, mostly because it’s become my everyday bag now. It’s the bag I’ve been wanting for so long! Perfect size, great color, and absolutely versatile with every outfit.

This shoot was done in Pennsylvania, actually in Harrisburg, the capitol. And I was so brave out in the cold weather, but for some reason now that I’m back in Dallas, I’m a wimp again and I’m not taking the weather well, even when its 40 F outside most of the time, which is not nearly as cold as it was that day. Speaking of PA, my lovely little sister did this shoot with me.

Nicoco

 

3CE x Lilymaymac Lipstick Swatches (908 Warm&Sweet and 119 Hold On)

Near the end of 2016, famous Instagram model, Lily Macapinlac, AKA Lilymaymac, partnered with 3CE, a famous mid-brand of Korean cosmetics, to create a collection of Lilymaymac lipsticks. Lily is famous worldwide for her nude plump lip look. Today I have two of the three lipsticks to review: 908 Warm&Sweet and 119 Hold On.

3CE x Lilymaymac Lipstick Swatches 908 Warm&Sweet and 119 Hold On

Before I review, please note the following regarding my skin type:

Skin Shade: Fair

Skin Type: Oily

Acne: Prone to hormonal areas (jawline, chin, mouth)

Lip Color: Light Muave

Lip Type: Dry

 

Lilymaymac x 3CE Lipstick Swatches

3CE x Lilymaymac Lipstick Swatches 908 Warm&Sweet and 119 Hold On

As you can probably tell, the shades look so similar on my arm swatch. Because they are similar. Really, Hold On lipstick is probably just a bit lighter than Warm&Sweet. They do look different on the lips, however.

Lilymaymac x 3CE Lipstick 908 Warm&Sweet Lip Swatch

3CE x Lilymaymac Lipstick Swatches 908 Warm&Sweet and 119 Hold On

I really do love this color with my skin tone; it makes me glow! It is the perfect all year round color. The color is just between a brick red and a brown peach color. It is very similar to MAC Cosmetics’ Kinda Sexy. The problem with this lipstick for me is… it’s so matte. Even more matte than the MAC lipsticks. I can’t wear them because they dry so fast on my lips. They are super drying. However, if you can wear matte lipsticks, this color is amazing, so I would highly recommend trying it. Dry lips are a nope, though.

 

Lilymaymac x 3CE Lipstick 119 Hold On Lip Swatch

3CE x Lilymaymac Lipstick Swatches 908 Warm&Sweet and 119 Hold On

The formula problem is the same with this on, Hold On. It is super drying. However, the color is really sweet and I can see this being a favorite color. The color is similar to Velvet Teddy or Honey Love by MAC Cosmetics. I have been using this as a blush, actually.

The staying power seems pretty good, but when it faded on my dry lips, it exaggerated the cracks and built up to the sides of my lips and away from the middle. Not very sexy, eh?

The Lilymaymac x 3CE lipsticks are definitely for people who can use matte lipsticks. These are even more drying than some of the MAC matte lipstick, and those are pretty drying. Unfortunately, I cannot wear these two beautiful colors, 908 Warm&Sweet or 119 Hold On, even tho the colors go very nice with my skin tone and hair. I guess I’ll be using them as blushes for now. :/

I recommend ordering these from Ebay because when I first tried to order these on the StyleNanda website, the shipping to the USA is $20. That’s ridiculous! On Ebay, you can buy the lipstick and get free shipping and you’ll still have to wait the same amount of time.

Good Luck on your perfect lipstick hunt!

Nicoco

OOTD: What is Home?

Coat – Urban Republic || Top – Forever 21 || Necklace – Target || Bag – DKNY

Where is home? I think I’ve found the answer now, at least for me. It’s like the distance of blue. Something you only recognize when you’re in the absence of it. When you’re living your life in your everyday routine, you don’t think about it. It’s only when you leave that you realize what you believe is home.

It’s complicated when you think of several places as home. Because how long do you have to be there to think of that location as home? Sometimes it’s only a few days because everything just clicks. But sometimes you can live somewhere for years and never feel at home. It’s hard to understand, but home is in the mindset more than in memories.

Some people say home is where the people you love are residing. But I don’t think that’s always true. It’s where you feel comfortable regardless of who is there. The human element of home is a big part, but also being able to be ok alone is important. Because nothing is guaranteed and just because you have memories so where doesn’t mean you’re required to tie that location to your sense of “home.”

I actually think that if we could overcome the attachment to the human aspect and maybe just the living aspect of home we would travel more. We would make more sacrifices to travel more because we would know that we wouldn’t be leaving anything behind, but rather taking something back, something that would remain a piece of us forever.

Going back to what once was my only home this past week was hard for me. I put on the fuzzy coat, stepped out into the cold air after being on a plane for the first time in five years, and faced my past. It was weird being back, but it made me appreciate my past as well as what I have now that I’ve moved away.

xo Nicoco

 

All Velvet

OOTD: Velvet Skater Dress- Forever 21 | Bag – Calvin Klein | Shoes – Report

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I’ve really taken a liking to velvet and I’m glad it’s back in, because there’s just something about it that makes me want to wear it. It’s soft, shiny, sophisticated. I think it makes a great accent piece, and in this case, its the star of the show. Honestly, I like to keep my outfits simple, and this is about as simple as it gets. The velvet texture is the most valuable part of this look! Skater dresses, or A-line dresses, have always fit my inverted triangle body type the best. It flares just slightly at the hips, giving an illusion of wider hips, thus keeping my body in proportion.

Next week I’ll be traveling back east for the first time in over a year, and at first I was nervous, but I’m definitely ready. I’m looking forward to spending the holidays with my family, hanging out with friends, and doing tons of outfit shoots with my younger sister, the previous photographer of my blog.

And that means I have to be “on-point” all the time there. Every outfit has to be photoshoot worthy. I’m excited to dress my best everyday like I used to!

I’ll definitely be incorporating more velvet into my outfits, so watch out for that!

xo Nicoco

Acne Makeup Routine

Everyone has their insecurities. Weight, body dysmorphia, things they don’t like about their face, insecurities about their abilities to do well in  their jobs. It’s a totally normal thing to not be 100% happy about life. And I’m sure most people understand that.

But there is a special case for acne. It’s something you cannot explain to a person who hasn’t dealt with severe acne. It seems like it’s a vanity problem. A trivial thing. It’s just skin; you aren’t dying. A first world problem, right?  But it is so much more than that. It’s more than skin deep.

At first it’s an annoying problem when you’re a teenager and you have small whiteheads on your forehead. Your mom gets you to try all these cleansers and creams. And none of them work, but you keep trying everything on the market. As you age into adulthood, the acne turns in to cysts all over your face, and you panic and start trying antibiotics and birth control pills. It always works for a little bit but when your body becomes immune, the acne comes back.

And one day you’re looking at yourself in the mirror, gentle caressing your face with your fingertips, trying to find just one spot of skin that is smooth, and your heart breaks when you can’t feel one spot of un-raised skin. It’s a terrifying place to be. You know nobody will take you seriously if you complain about it. Yet random people will ridicule you for it, try to give you advice on what you already know about, and you will always wonder if people can see past your face with acne.

It’s usually a hormonal problem, but sometimes it has to do with foods you eat, environmental toxins, a poor liver function, or digestive problems. The worst part is that traditional western doctors will never tell you about this because the do not know. They are the ones who push the birth control pills, the antibiotics, and the retinol A (Accutane) treatments, which are essentially a band-aid that will never heal the wound. And since the doctors don’t have the answer, you’re left to research on your own, trial and error treatments, trying to find the root of your acne problems.

The comments you get from other people are the worst, especially as an adult. You have friends who have perfect skin trying to give you advice on how to take care of your skin, random people trying to tell you to cut things out of your diet, and ignorant people asking you what’s wrong with your face. Thanks.

“You should wash your face more.’

“If you use this cream, it will clear up right away.’

“Have you tried going gluten-free? I bet thats it.”

But the worst one, the most controversial one, and the one I want to address today is……

“If you stopped wearing make-up, you wouldn’t have all that acne.”

This cuts to the core.  Because the statement is false, and its hurtful at the same time, and people who don’t understand acne will stand by this statement.

If you cleanse your face properly, wearing make-up will not make your acne worse.

Acne caused by make-up is different than chronic cystic and papule acne.

The acne suffer often has confidence issues caused by the stress of having acne. You know what happens when you’re stressed? You’re more likely to have acne!

Most acne is caused by what you put in your body, not what you put on your skin. Diet and hormones really effect how your skin appears. A commonly known fact within the holistic community is that dairy is terrible for the skin. Drinking milk or eating anything with a high amount of dairy can cause you to break out due to the amount of hormones in the dairy. There is controversy over this whole “drinking milk is healthy” conspiracy that I won’t go into, but if you are an acne sufferer, one of the first things you should try to do is cut out dairy from your diet and see if you skin improves.

Make-up can help conceal blemishes and even out skin tone. This can build confidence and reduce stress, which in turn will reducing androgen and cortisol hormones which cause acne.

As I move along through my acne journey, I have a make up routine down to cover up scarring, even out skin tone, and of course help conceal current blemishes.  After years of experimentation with my oily acne prone skin, here’s what I’ve found that works!

Before

My skin isn’t as terrible as it was, but I still have scarring and acne around my jaw. Hormones fosho.


The only foundation that is full coverage with feeling cakey, thick, or oily is the Estée Lauder Double Wear foundation. Because I have a fair neutral skin tone, I use the lightest shade N01.


You really don’t need a lot of product to cover the face. Only a nickel size of foundation!


For application, I’ve tried using my fingers, a beauty blender and a sponge, but the best by far is using this E.L.F. stippling brush in wispy circular motions on the skin. It evenly distributes the foundation in a flawless manner. Be sure to wash the brush with face wash after each use!


Use a mattifying powder to set the foundation afterwards. This one I’m using right now is by Tony Moly. If you gave extremely oily skin, pat on some setting powder before applying the foundation as well.


The blush I use is Benefit’s Dandelion blush. It gives such a healthy glow back into the cheeks.


For brows, I’m using the Hourglass pencil in Dark Brunette. This is by far the most pigmented brow pencil I’ve ever had. I prefer this over the famous Anastasia brow wiz pencil.


The mascara I’m into right now is the L’Oréal Voluminous mascara. I’ve found that drugstore brand are actually better than the high end mascara, so why spend more money on something that won’t work as well?


I’m still obsessed with lippies and have many….. it’s an addiction. But for now I’ve been content with the Chanel Coco Shine lipstick. This one is in the shade Melancolie #99. It’s a coral undertoned dark taupe shade, perfect for this season, and also perfect for the trending taupe lip in Dallas.

After


Done! It’s meant to be natural, and I’d like to think of this as a simple everyday look. I don’t use eyeshadow often and I don’t contour to change much about the shape of my face. I want to look just natural and enhanced. A better version of myself.

And I think that’s how a lot of girls who struggle with acne want to feel. Just at least normal.

As for what I am currently doing for my acne…. it’s mostly all inside.

I am off the pill and my previous miracle working spironolactone due to hormone issues regarding my thyroid. So I’ve turned to natural methods.

Preventing Acne

1. I cut out a significant amount of dairy. As explained above, dairy can cause hormonal imbalances.

2. I’m taking an amino acid supplement called L-Lysine which helps block an acne causing hormone called androgens. It also helps with depression which is a plus.

3. I’m taking a probiotic to help balance the bacteria in my gut. A lot of hormonal issues are caused by an imbalance of bad bacteria in the gut.

4. I’m drinking burdock root tea every night to help my liver dispose of toxins from my body.

5. Neem ointment has replaced my lip balm. I’ve found that many lip balms, tiny balms, and some lipsticks can cause acne around the lips. Neem ointment is an antibacterial ointment that can be used for the lips. Just don’t ingest it!

6. I use a make up wipe after I cleanse my face to make sure I’ve removed every trace of make up. Never sleep with make up on!

7. I’ve cut down significantly on alcohol intake. I hardly ever but it for home and try to limit myself. Alcohol is an obvious way to cause problems for removing toxins in the skin by making your liver work harder.

As for any acne sufferer, the journey is ongoing. If you have acne, don’t give up hope. Treating your body in a healthy way is the best place you can start. Don’t buy into the topical products or prescription drugs because they are essentially a band aid for the problem. Find out what is causing the imbalances, learn how your body responds to certain things. It’s frustrating, I know. But getting to the root of the problem and stopping it is better than covering it up with products that may or may not always work. And never feel despair when an ignorant person who has never been through severe acne tells you to go wash your face or to stop wearing make up. Don’t stress it. Because stress causes more acne. 😉

 

xo Nicoco

OOTD: Winter Weekend

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OOTD: Top – Dress from Forever 21 that I cut into a shirt | Velvet skirt – Zara Kids | Leather-Tweed jacket – Forever 21 | Purse – London Fog

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It’s kind of sad that this is what I consider winter now. Just wait, in a few weeks when I’m back up North all bundled in a heavy jacket and earmuffs, scarf and gloves, I’ll be reminded what winter is really like. I featured this skirt last year, but at the time velvet was not trending as much as it is now, so I thought I would bring it back! I love how it becomes an accent piece, making any plain outfit more edgy. I’ve been trying to find more velvet pieces, but it seems that it is very much an accessory type of fashion (eg. hair pieces, hats, bags).

Just wanted to quickly share an outfit inspiration post. I am working on a much longer post which should be out by Tuesday. It’s skincare related, so be ready!

 

xo Nicoco

Tips for Oily Skin

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The forced daily routine: look at your face in the mirror, blot oil from your nose and forehead. Why is this happening? I only put on my make up about two hours ago! Wtf

Having oily skin is worse than having dry skin. Because you still have dry skin under all the sebum. And sometimes you think you have combination skin… on the same areas! Is it possible to be oily and dry at the same places?

Well, I won’t talk about all the science behind it all, because I’m sure you’ve heard all about why you have oily skin, but what you’d really like to do is know how to control it!  I know for myself, I have been trying to control my oily skin for years, and from many agonizing school and work days suffering from my trial and error, here are the top 5 things you can do to control your oily skin!

1. Stop Using Harsh Exfoliants

People with a normal skin type like to talk about how they are using St.Ives face scrub or this new coffee scrub or whatever. I personally used the Lush Herbalism face scrub. BAD IDEA, GUYS! Using scrubs like this on your face is a harsh exfoliant and will disrupt the skin’s pH levels the “mantle” on your skin. And when this happens, you overproduce oil! It was terrible. The first week I used it, my skin became oily within 30 minutes of washing it and putting on my normal make up. Do you know how annoying it is to blot your face every 30 minutes during a work day? So yes, don’t use harsh exfoliants.

So what do you use to exfoliate then? There are a few choices. There are chemical peels, which will exfoliate your skin without the friction. There is something called Japanese water jelly, which will pick up the dead skin on your face. And then there are micro scrubs you can get, which have an exfoliant so small that it will not disrupt the pH mantle.  What ever you do, do not get a face scrub!

2. Spray Your Setting Spray Before Putting on Makeup

This seems backwards, but if you do this, the oil will have a layer to be absorbed before the foundation! If you use a primer, it should go in this order: setting spray, primer, foundation, powder, setting spray. It makes the foundation lasts so much longer!

3. Use a Damp Beauty Blender to Pat on Your Setting Powder

By doing this, you will be super-setting the powder into your skin, which helps you stay matte longer. Even using a dry beauty blender works, but the damp one works even better. Just make sure to use a translucent powder, preferably one specially made for oil control.

4. Use a Moisturizer for Oily Skin

For the past few months, I’ve been using Desert Essence’s Oil Control Face Lotion, and it makes a huge difference when I use it compared to when I used regular moisturizers or sunscreens under make up. I think the witch hazel helps a lot in this particular lotion. Another one that was great on oily skin was Alba Botanica’s Green Tea moisturizer. As long as it is an oil-free moisturizer formulated for oily skin, it should help control the oil on your face during the day.

5. Be Aware of Acne-Causing Products

Oily skin is often over-producing sebum, causing clogged pores. This leads to acne-prone skin. Some products that might cause even more pore-clogging sebum are lip balms, balm tints, toothpastes containing Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, exfoliating scrubs, and a handful of other products. Do your research to be sure that what you are using is for sensitive skin. Destroying the skin mantle can turn your oily face into an even more oily and acne-ridden face.

These tips are all from personal experience. I am not a doctor or a dermatologist. But I have battled with oily skin and acne my entire adult life, and I understand the frustration. I am still searching for solutions for both oily skin and acne, so hopefully soon there will be a blog post showing that I have overcome it!

Good luck!

 

xo Nicoco

OOTD: Warmth of Dusk

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OOTD: Dress – H&M | Bag – Skinnydip London | Shoes – Predictions | Sunnies – Guess

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It’s cooled down significantly now, but this outfit coordinate was actually from a few weeks ago when it was still hot outside. Hence the short sleeves!

I know I’ve talked about this before, but do you ever feel like the sunsets hold so much meaning in our lives? It’s the small window of time before night falls, before the mind is consumed with thoughts, when the world is silent, if only for a moment. Especially here in Carrollton DART train station, it looks like the ends of the Earth at dusk.

It symbolizes the “drop,” where we fall in between what is real and what is not. The place in between reality and fabrications of the mind. For a lot of people, their mind is awake the most when the world is quieter, which is usually at night. For myself, I slip into a false sense of reality at night sometimes. There is something about the setting sun that makes you appreciate all that is around you, and you start to believe that maybe the world is a beautiful place, as is the world inside your mind.

In the same way, it is important to appreciate the moments of beauty. It reminds you why you are living, at the most basic level. I think a great example of someone who does this everyday is my mother. She lives at her own pace, admiring all around her. You wouldn’t know unless you asked, but she does take in everything and finds joy in the simple moments of beauty that this world has to offer. You can actually find pieces of her world on her Instagram account @m.imee.

These pictures were right before the sun set over Dallas area. My outfit is inspired by the knee socks, as I try to incorporate them as much as I can. But I think the warmth of the setting sun was the star of these photos. It brings out the best in everyone.

Make sure not to miss the sunsets nowadays as the days are getting shorter!

 

xo Nicoco

OOTD: Slowing Down

mori mori mori

OOTD: Top – Forever 21 | Oversweater – Mudd | Skirt – Zara Kids | Shoes – Forever 21 | Bag – Thrifted | Scarf – Calvin Klein

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past year, it’s how wrong I was about myself. All my life I thought I wanted to live in the city. I was attracted to the idea of a place full of noise, full of activity, things to do, people to meet, places to go. A place where there was always one thing after another, like a never ending list, but more like a web of ideas, stringing towards the next idea, the next trends, the new big things. I thought I loved innovation, competition, and would fit in better in a fast-paced life, away from the nature, away from the simple life. I wanted dynamics that did not exist in the small town I lived.

I remember as a child, I was the one girl with the long twisted and un-brushed hair who picked up insects and studied leaves. I carried a journal out into the woods, and was fascinated by the small, tangible things of the earth. I often found myself lost in thought, dreaming about the places that I would explore, the world that opened its arms for me, calling me to discover the history, the stories, and the art of the nature, the civilizations, and the lost voices of the past. I liked to watch the weather and understand how it changed the nature around me. I was sometimes seen as a scatterbrained, slow girl. But really, I was intaking everything around me. Living half in the moment, half in my imagination.

It became lost when I grew older and chose to follow others. But now I see, I am still a girl who appreciates the small moments that other might think are insignificant. I like to write while in nature. I like to wander. I am a mori girl at heart.

Mori girl is a way of life. It was first recognized as a type of fashion in Japan in 2007, but it exists in many cultures before this. Mori means forest, so essentially, a mori girl is a girl who wanders the forests. She dresses in a particular fashion, mostly dresses, skirts, and with layers. Earthy tones and natural fabrics. She has somewhat unruly hair, sometimes tamed into braids. She is lost in thought about nature, history, and being content. She appreciates every moment in life, taking life slower than the fast-paced ways of modern society.

While I think that I am a mori girl as far as a way of thinking, I don’t think I can completely confine my style to mori girl standards. They tend to wear oversized clothes, many layers, and always skirts and dresses. After dressing this way today, I realize, that while I do love a-line skirts and oversized sweaters, I could not wear this everyday, just because I want to have form-fitting clothes.

I think if anything, mori style is a reminder to slow down, be comfortable, and appreciate all that you have around you.

 

xo Nicoco