Beauty Musings & Rogue Ramblings


Beauty Splurge: Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Cream Compact Foundation

Happy Friday loves!

I hope at least some of you have some exciting weekend plans? I don’t, I’m probably just going to be boring (okay, its not actually that boring, more relaxing and low key) and stay in, cuddling with my Kindle or one of the 5 unread paperbacks I have sitting next to me.

So last week, I splurged – like really did. Now normally, I can justify my beauty spending pretty easily, but even this product would have been pushing it on a normal day. But, thanks to a little thing called my income tax refund, I was able to knock a couple things off my lust list!! 😀

The Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Fresh & Hydrating Cream Compact (with SPF 15) Foundation being one of those things.

Now, I have tested the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Liquid Foundation, which after all the hype it was getting, I had high hopes for; but it simply turned out to be a disappointing product – to me at least – and I have normal skin, with rarely any issues!

It was shit for what it was, and I wouldn’t recommend it personally, not worth the hype or the price tag for a water logged wannabe tinted moisturizer. In fact, I would not even put it in the foundation category.

Simply put, there are better (and cheaper) products out there to achieve the same look it gives you.

Okay, now back to the real point of this post, the cream version of Chanel’s Vitalumiere Aqua line. 

ArtsyArchitette Chanel VITALUMIÈRE AQUA Cream Compact Foundation ReviewNow full disclosure here, I don’t even remember the claims of this foundation, that’s how long it has been on my lust list, but I knew that I loved how it felt when I tested it then, when I tested it last week and now that I have been using it. So, I’m going to offer up my thoughts first and then hunt down and paste the claims at the end.

ArtsyArchitette Chanel VITALUMIÈRE AQUA Cream Compact Foundation Review2Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Cream Compact Foundation comes with a whopping $58 price tag, plus tax in the U.S., so you may be able to see why I was hesitant from a monetary standpoint to just go off an purchase it – even after testing it.

Now that I have, I don’t regret it one bit! It is definitely one of the best foundations I have tried, guaranteed.

ArtsyArchitette Chanel VITALUMIÈRE AQUA Cream Compact Foundation Review3The compact itself is simply gorgeous, simple and consistently chic Chanel. Packaged in a box, then inside a soft open pouch. The compact is a rather chunky one, with two sections. One being when you first open the lid, with a mirror and cosmetic sponge. I personally have not used the sponge, as I always feel these types of sponges soak up too much product. But the sponge is nice to have, in case of a wanted/needed touch-up.

ArtsyArchitette Chanel VITALUMIÈRE AQUA Cream Compact Foundation Review4Followed by the actual cream foundation, under its own lid.

Minor flaw here: You have to really press down and ensure the foundation lid is securely closed, it pops open quite easily. Leaving it that way can endanger the foundation and it can dry out (nothing I have experienced – yet anyways).

ArtsyArchitette Chanel VITALUMIÈRE AQUA Cream Compact Foundation Review5The cream foundation pack also pops out of the compact. Clearly designed to accommodate a refill, which would be great, considering the refill would be slightly less expensive; BUT I have been unable to locate a store (or U.S. Chanel website) in the U.S. that sells the refills.

I have discovered that they did/do offer refills in other countries, strange that the U.S. is not included in that lot. I also spoke to multiple Chanel sales women, who have not heard of the refill being offered anytime soon, if at all, either.

What’s up Chanel? Why are you discriminating here?! If anyone knows more on this refill situation, let me know.

So onto the foundation itself. 

It is brilliant. Really, it is oil-free, water-based and I would definitely say that it is meant for dry to normal skin types. I say that considering it is so emollient, in that it really does melt into your skin beautifully as you apply it. Sorry, oily girls (and guys).

It leaves a very natural skin look, like a glowing-gorgeous-are-you-wearing-make-up-? natural finish.

Sexy man staring at you in the sunlight?  No problem 😉

It is certainly not a foundation that I will choose for the Texas summer, but Fall through Spring, and a top off with a little powder for staying power, no problem.

It is a light to medium coverage, very easy to work with and very buildable. Though, the best thing I want to say is that it feels like nothing is on your skin!

It is a wonderful feeling. It is light, extremely so, and your skin can still breathe, even at medium coverage. My skin feels hydrated and fresh all day, and by all day I’m talking about 7 hours – I haven’t really tested it much longer than that yet.

As for staying power, I would say it ranges from 5 to 8 hours, depending on your skin type, daily activities, if you choose to touch up and if you choose to powder your skin or not.

It does wear off, as all foundations do eventually, but it does so gradually and naturally. I would say that it melts away, just as it melts into your skin when you apply it, it melts away slowly, with no separation nor blotchy areas.

It does have broad spectrum SPF, and I have not tested it with flash photography yet (sorry!).

The main flaw, but not uncommon, unfortunately, is their shade range. I am on the lighter side of the spectrum, wearing Beige 30 (for reference, I am a tiny bit dark for my MAC NC25 right now and I am SB7.5 in Illamasqua Skin Base), with me being in the middle of their range.

They do offer a Beige range, for yellow undertones, and Beige Rose for pink undertones; but still they lack shades for darker and deep tones.

Overall though, I would definitely recommend it!  

Okay – now for what Chanel claims – pause for 2 minutes of web browsing and package reading: 

This water-based formula blends effortlessly and offers the lightness and radiance of a fluid with the ease and convenience of a compact format. The complexion is immediately hydrated and smoothed, with a look of natural, flawless radiance and a comfortable feel that lasts all day.

Feel the delightful moisture sensation.

From the very first application, you will succumb to the watery sensation of Vitalumiere Aqua. The fine water-rich emulsion texture gently melts onto the skin, bringing instantaneous freshness for a dewy complexion. Specifically adapted to normal to dry skin, the secret of the formula lies in the right balance between water and emollient ingredients. Moisture and long-term comfort are guaranteed.

Regain the radiance of a rested complexion.

Vitalumiere Aqua revives your dull, stressed and tired complexion. Skin imperfections are optically erased with the Soft Focus pigments and their excellent light-diffusion qualities. Plumped, flawless and perfectly even, the complexion glows with natural radiance all day long. Endowed with a mineral screen and a UVB sun filter, the skin is protected from damaging sun rays to help preserve its original radiance.

Oil-free. Dermatologist tested. Non-comedogenic (non-pore-clogging).

So there you have it! Sorry this went way longer than I had initially thought… so if you’re still reading. I love you. And you’re awesome. You should get a prize, but I spent my money on Chanel. Oops.  

Oh, any similarity in wording to the Chanel claims was pure coincidence.

I love it! Now I’m scared to use it so much – I don’t want to pay for a full compact again 😦 Granted, reusing the Chanel compact would be handy 🙂



Most Loved Beauty Products of 2012 ♥ Skin Care Edition

Happy New Year lovelies!!

I hope your holidays went well, with 2013 starting off amazingly for you all and continues to be a wonderful year. So I’m here with my favorite skin care products of  2012!

Fair warning, my name is Samantha and I am a beauty addict. Skin care, body care, make-up, nails, perfume and tools – I’m throwing all my most used/most reached for items out there! So stay tuned for more 2012 favorites…

This is a product heavy post – so I won’t be going in depth on the products, since there are so many; BUT if you see a product you like or are curious about, and want to know more or want me to do an entire review post on – let me know in the comments or via email!

ArtsyArchitette 2012 Beauty Favorites Skin Care

These are definitely my go to facial skin care products and I don’t deviate from them (or my routine) very often – if at all – unless I am testing a new product out. I have a couple other well liked products that, depending on the weather or situation, I may use them in place of these; but these are my overall well loved favorites.

1. Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer SPF 50 with Helioplex – My everyday morning/day/pre-make-up moisturizer.

2. Yes To Blueberries Intensive Skin Repair Serum – My nightly serum for the neck and chest area.

3. Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Anti-Wrinkle Deep Wrinkle Night Moisturizer – My nightly moisturizer. It is all about being proactive!

4. Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque – My go to (and usually weekly applied) mask for getting/keeping my skin clear. You can read my review on this masque here.

5. Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery ConcentrateThe product that really keeps my skin glowing and looking great every morning!

6. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Eye Cream (as above) or the Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Anti-Wrinkle Deep Wrinkle Eye Cream – I go back and forth between the two, but either one is a must for my nightly routine!

7. Origins GinZing Eye Cream – My day eye cream, great for brightening up the eyes in the morning.

*8. MAC Fix + – I had just sadly ran out and forgot to include it in the photo, but I go through 2 bottles of Fix + every month! Vitamins, minerals, calming ingredients and just overall really lovely on my skin – I use it to refresh my skin in the morning, pre-moisturizer, throughout the day and at night as the start to my nighttime routine!


ArtsyArchitette 2012 Beauty Favorites Skin Care2

When it comes to body care, I’m not as picky, so I’m not really going to bother with body lotions and body washes, but I do have some stand out favorites I just have to mention!

1. Neutrogena Body Oil – A must have in my shower for everyday!

2. Victoria’s Secret Jasmine & Water Lily Body Oil – When I want just a little something more luxurious and the scent – to die for!

3. Soap & Glory Hand Food – I take this hand cream everywhere 🙂

4. Soap & Glory Flake Away Body Polish – My all-time favorite scrub – nothing has beat this one yet! Read my review on this scrub here.

There you have it, my most loved skin care products of 2012! Look out for more of my 2012 favorites this month!


Product Spotlight: Kiehl’s Rare Earth Pore Cleansing Masque

I have finally found my holy grail of face masques!!

About a month ago, my skin was acting up majorly (which is not normal for me) and I was in need of something that would clear up the issue and quickly! I wasn’t interested in using spot treatments, anything harsh or drying, and I did not want to wait to wash away to problem with my normal cleansers – so I opted to look for a super mask!

I found it! Kiehl’s Rare Earth Pore Cleansing Masque 🙂

Being a Kiehl’s lover, I don’t know how I hadn’t discovered this one yet… I have tried A LOT of masks/masques, but none have come close being the type of miracle this one is.

Kiehl’s Claims: 

Our Rare Earth masque helps purify and detoxify skin while minimizing the appearance of enlarged pores. Formulated with Amazonian White Clay to gently draw out oil, dirt and toxins that can clog pores. The addition of Oatmeal and Aloe Vera will help soothe, hydrate and protect sensitive skin.

This thoroughly cleansing masque may be used for normal to oily skin types to help eliminate debris and dead surface skin-cell accumulation that can clog pores and leave skin dull-looking. With ingredients sourced from the Marajo Island at the mouth of the Amazon River, this unique formula is rich in minerals and helps eliminate surface toxins from skin. Our deep cleansing masque helps to purify skin, leaving the appearance of pores minimized and skin refined.

Everything they claim has been true for me!

The best thing I like about this masque is that it combines deep cleansing with gentleness. As with many clay based masks, they can be immediately drying or irritating to skin – but not so with this one.

You should apply a thin layer on cleansed – damp skin and allow to dry fully, about 10 minutes, then remove with a warm wet towel and pat dry. It applies very easily – glides on and a little goes a long way. As with many Kiehl’s products, it has the expected natural-earth-clay scent of the ingredients.

It has a cooling and slightly tingling sensation on the skin, as expected with deep cleansing masques. After you remove the mask, you can see and feel the difference in your skin.

The first night I used this mask, the very next day my skin had cleared up and improved dramatically. I was hooked!

My skin has been doing amazingly well the past month and this has been the only new product I have added to my routine. I use masks once a week and have only chosen to use this one from now on, unless I need to test a mask product.

I would also recommend using this mask as a spot treatment for unexpected or stubborn blemishes. Apply to the spot(s), allow to dry and go to sleep. Wash off in the morning and I can (almost) guarantee that the spot will be gone or at least diminished.

Also, as with all deep cleansing, make sure you properly moisturize after using the masque.

The masque sells for $23.00 (5.0 fl. oz. Jar) and I definitely think it is worth the price tag! Since you apply the masque in a thin layer, I can see the jar easily lasting 4 to 6 months, using it once a week.


My Favorite Make-up Brushes

I am a make-up brush fiend and I love it! To say I have quite a few brushes would be a gross understatement; but there are some I love much more than others – so I decided to share 🙂

I have 3 favorite brands/lines of make-up brushes and the following applies to all three brands…

Why I love them:

  • Affordable
  • High Quality
  • Quality is worth the cost of every brush (at least the ones I own so far)
  • Wide range of brushes for many applications
  • Have NEVER SHED bristles -ever! (Though, I do properly care for my make-up brushes)
  • Extremely soft and gentle on the skin
  • Great multipurpose brushes

First up… Sephora Collection “Airbrush” Line

My favorite brush in the collection:

Pro Air Brush #55

What I use it for: BRONZER! This is my dedicated powder bronzer brush, I will use nothing else to get my bronzed glow!

Next… Sonia Kashuk “Kashuk Tools” Line

My favorite brush in the collection:

Synthetic Flat Top Multipurpose Brush

What I use it for: Stippling and blending liquid foundation and cream blushes! Just amazing!!

And finally… Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman

My favorite brush in the collection:

Buffing Brush (part of the “Core Collection”)

What I use it for: Buffing in liquid foundation and cream products. Also great for powder products. Talk about flawless!