Monthly Favorites: January 2017

January is pretty much over, and I can’t believe how fast 2017 is already going by! It’s kind of scary that I can go out in shorts already (but this is Texas…). I discovered and re-discovered a lot of great products this month that I wanted to share! So many are famous, but famous for a reason.

Sunday Riley Tidal Moisturizer

I got this little sample at Sephora when I was buying a lipstick (of course I was!) and I have been loving it! It goes on watery but dries almost matte on the skin, locking in the moisture and also controlling oil at the same time. I have extremely oily skin, and I can use this without a problem. It also has brightening properties, which is great for acne scarring.

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

I have been having some major breakouts since I have been off the pill and spironolactone, so for spot treatment I have been using this! It must be used at night since it dries on quite crusty and pink (oh yeah how gross is that) but when morning comes, the paupules will be dried out and shrunken! I have found that this doesn’t really work for cystic acne, but it does work great for whiteheads and paupules.

Laura Mercier Setting Powder

OMG. This stuff really does get rid of pores (at least for the time you have your make-up on)! The trick is to use a buffing brush or a powder puff to apply this instead of a fluffy brush. It really sets base make up better than any other powder I’ve used. The hype is REAL.

Hada Labo Whitening Lotion

I actually used to use this a few years ago when I was trying to diminish acne scars, and since I had the terrible breakouts near the end of 2016, I decided this was probably a good idea to help with the scarring that had occured. In just the few weeks I’ve been using it, my scars have lightened! It’s a great addition to my skin care routine.

Mario Badescu Facial Spray

Another hyped product, this facial spray is great for a setting spray after make up, and it’s also very matteifying to use right after moisturizer. The bottle even says you can use it on your hair, but I just stick to my face. I have a feeling I’m going to be loving this in summer time the most.

Benefit Gimme Brow Gel Tint

After I got my brows waxed for the first time at Miniluxe Salon, I decided to do away with pencil brow products and find something more natural. In Asia, tinted brow gels are very popular, and Benefit’s Gimme Brow tinted gel got great reviews. This is the mini size in the shade 3, and it goes perfectly with my hair color and skin tone. It comes out at a warm medium brown color. I love the fact that Benefit’s products usually come in a travel mini size because not only can you carry around your fav make up products in your purse, but also you can try it at a fraction of the cost before you commit to the bigger size. I can say with confidence that I am definitely buying the full size of this product!

Dr. Jart Black Label BB Cream

Dr. Jart BB Cream is one of the few that provide almost full coverage without looking too cakey like some foundations would. I always trust the Korean brands over the American BB Creams because the American brands I’ve tried are more like tinted moisturizers. This one in particular is for acne prone skin. I don’t get very oily while wearing this with a primer and a setting powder. This is one of those perfect, everyday base make up items.

Hourglass Viel Primer

Speaking of primers! This primer is yet ANOTHER hyped product. But, it’s sooo good for oily skin. I have super super SUPER oily skin ever since I got off all of my meds, and this is great! I would say, however, that a good affordable dupe for this product is the Rimmel Stay Matte primer.

Dior Rouge Bal

I did a full review on this product earlier this month. This is one of my holy grail lipsticks. I may have a lot of lipsticks, but there are only a few I can actually wear everyday, not for a shoot, because my lips are dry and I can’t use most lip balms (I break out). This is a light pinky nude shade that looks innocent with a little blush on the cheeks.

Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo Seeker

I actually picked this up at Sephora while I was there to get the Veil Primer mentioned above, and I’m really glad I did. This is a very easy color, and the formula is creamy and a bit sheer. But best of all, even though this is close to a tinted lip balm, it doesn’t break me out like most do! Fingers crossed!

Chanel Rouge Coco Cecile

This is another everyday lipstick. It actually matches so well with my lips that the only thing it adds is the shimmer. I think it’s great for a no make up make up look.

MAC Fast Play

I was looking for a reddish version of the other shade by MAC called Cosmo, and this is definitely it. The formula is also an amplified finish, and it is similar to Cosmo, but less pink and more on the red side. When swatches on the hand, it looks muavey, but when I wear this on my lips it looks like a perfect red on me. I really don’t understand!  XD


I think I went a little product crazy this month, which is really ironic because I was hoping to be better with my spending habits this year, but it also ties into my other resolution, which was to clear up my skin. Most of these are skincare products, right?! Anyway, I hope to do full reviews of the products mentioned today. On to February!



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!


YSL Lipsticks | Swatches and Review

Yves Saint Laurent: the perfect picture of elegance. Especially the lipsticks. I remember seeing just the packaging for the rouge volupte shine lipsticks in YouTube room tour videos and in stores and thinking that it was the perfect tube of lipstick. The swatches in videos and on Pinterest and on the blogs were very vibrant and glossy-looking. I wanted at least one.


But of course, at around $40 each, it is a pretty steep investment. I needed to do some research. This included hundreds of swatch videos, and going back and forth in my mind on whether to get a nude lipstick or a vibrant one. I ended up choosing the nude, because I was very into nude lipsticks at the time (I swear I have like ten of almost the same color in my MAC lipsticks).


Now after several purchases, I have three nude colors and three vibrant colors, and I go through phases on whether I want to wear something bright or nude on my lips. I’m totally hooked on the brand, but I still think I haven’t found the “perfect color,” if there is such a thing.


The one thing about these lipsticks is the color is not true to what it looks like in pictures. This is one of those things where you need to go in the store and try it yourself because every time I read reviews like this, my lips look different with the lipstick at the store than the person online. They are not true to color like most of the MAC lipsticks are. That being said, please use this review to determine a color you like and then go in store to see if it suits you. I don’t recommend ordering online for this reason.

YSL Rouge Volupte


My first YSL lippy purchase was a Rouge Volupte. It is the color “Ultimate Beige” #3, and it is a deep beige-pink. I remember at first I didn’t like the way it spread on my lips, but after I wore down the stick, it spread more evenly. The texture is creamy but not shiny. I think this shade has really grown on me and I would recommend this for autumn/winter.

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine


My second purchase was a Rouge Volupte Shine in the color “Corail Intuitive” #15. This one I don’t use often on my lips, because it is so light compared to my natural lip color. It’s a very light peach color that actually is a great blush for the cheek. So I’ve been using it as a blush. But for a person with less pigmented lips, this is a great coral peach lipstick with high shine.


My third purchase was the color “Pink in Confidence” #8 in the Shines. This one I was expecting to be more pink on the lips, but for some reason comes out as a very sheer nude for me. It’s pretty much my lip color exactly. I have to wear a liner with this lipstick to make it look good, so I don’t find myself often carrying this one around unless I am really looking for a my lips but better shade and I don’t mind also taking my MAC lipliner with me.


The forth lipstick I purchased was a bright and vibrant color in the shade “Orange Perfecto” #46, which is NOT orange at all. I love the color, but it is definitely a pink. It’s almost a hot pink color, a little more on the warm side.

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine Tint-in-Oil


The YSL 2016 Holiday collection came out on the YSL website, and the color I ordered was “Red in Rebellion” #53, which to me, wasn’t very red. It was more pinky than red on my lips, which is why I do not recommend ordering online. You need to go in store to figure out what the real color will look like on the lips. Doesn’t it look totally pinky?!

YSL Rouge Pur Couture


This formula is much like the satins of MAC. It can get a bit drying, but overall it is very creamy. If you have super dry lips, I would recommend getting a color that is similar to your lip color so it will fade well as it dries out. This is the color “Bois de Rose” #66, and it is very similar to my actual lip color, making it the perfect nude lip. This is definitely my favorite “my lips but better” lipstick. The packaging of this line is great because the tube also makes a good quick mirror.

YSL Volupte Sheer Candy


These are supposed to be tinted balms, but honestly I use this as a hydrating lipstick. The color looks very subtle in the skin swatch, but on the lips, it appears more pigmented. I love this color “Sweet Fig,” #7, because its the only berry-autumn lipstick that won’t make me look ridiculous. I think this is much better than the Benefit Balm tints. Compared to those, this is definitely more pigmented.


Overall, here is a comparison of the lipsticks mentioned above:


From bottom to top:

Rouge Volupte #3 Ultimate Beige

Rouge Volupte Shine #15 Peach Passion

Rouge Volupte Shine #8 Pink in Confidence

Rouge Volupte Shine #46 Orange Perfecto

Rouge Volupte Shine Oil in Stick #53 Red in Rebellion

Rouge Pur Couture #66 Bois de Rose

Volupte Sheer Candy #7 Sweet Fig


Wearing Rouge Fur Couture “Bois de Rose”

Would I recommend these lipsticks? Yes, I think it is a great investment, and I like the formulas a lot better than all of my MAC lipsticks at the moment. I did try a few different ones not mentioned here, including the cream tint and the glossy tint, and they did not work out for me because of my dry lips, so I do not suggest buying those.

The packaging is beautiful, the colors are wide variety, and the formulas are good for dry lips. But remember, don’t take my word for it, go in store and swatch them yourself! Sephora and Nordstrom usually carry most of the full lines of lipsticks for YSL.

xo  Nicoco