Wednesday, February 25, 2015

today on, what to wear to a spring wedding

It's already time to start thinking of what to wear to spring weddings, so I've rounded up some favorites! Like the dress shown above, for one, which is currently 40% off. I just love the color and it's hard to beat a good maxi.

Here are some others that caught my eye...

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Today on Holy City Chic // Charlotte Tilbury: A Review

So unless you've been hiding under a rock, you've at least heard of Charlotte Tilbury, one of the world's most sought after makeup artists. She has her own collection of makeup and skin care products and I can't tell you how excited I was to get my hands on some of the items to test out for a review. 

Every product was created with Charlotte's 20+ years of artistry tips & tricks in mind and trust me, they all look fantastic. I only wish I had a CT beauty counter nearby to play with everything and didn't have to ooh & awe over everything by just browsing online.

I'll go ahead and start off by saying this was my absolute favorite of the bunch. You've probably seen this cult-favorite product in magazines and maybe even on instagram. It's used all the time on the red carpet and adored by so many. Including me.

The bronzer is the perfect not-too-orange, not-too red shade. It creates the perfect shadow, while warming up the skin. The highlight is a beautiful pearl shade that will flatter any tone. It's not glittery at all, but is able to capture the light in the most luminous of ways using Light Flex Technology, which captures light and radiates it out, giving a super Giselle-esque look. It's by far my favorite highlight I've ever tried. Used together, these products work wonders in giving that sculpted and radiant look we all seem to be after.

You can see in this swatch that the highlight doesn't really look shimmery, but don't be deceived! When it catches the light in real life, it's glowing, stunning, radiant... all of the above.

At $68, yes it's a little pricey. But this product is so pigmented, you need just the tiniest amount. Also, when you think about contour and highlight, those aren't two products that you will need tons of, so plan on this lasting a long time. I've used mine almost every day for the past few weeks and I've barely even made a dent in the pretty design that is etched into the product. It applies perfectly with the Powder & Sculpt Brush, which is ideal for applying contour and highlight due to its tapered end. Having both products in one compact is very convenient and the colors apply so well together. The two combine to create the most gorgeous glow. It's really a lovely product and I don't hesitate one bit to say that this is one luxury product that is absolutely positively worth the price.

I was attracted to these colors because I felt they would take me from day to night pretty easily. There's a warm champagne color on the top left for providing a light base, a minky taupe on the top right for enhancing, a warm bronzey brown on the bottom right for smoking out the look, and finally, a darker golden glitter shade on the bottom left for a subtle pop. 

L to R, colors listed as described above: warm champagne, minky taupe, darker golden glitter (see, it's suble and the glitter only appears when catches the light!), and the warm bronzey brown

These shades blend in so well with one another and can provide many different looks. They aren't the most buttery or pigmented shadows I've ever used, but the colors are so unique and beautiful. I've been wearing them everyday and haven't found myself reaching for any other eyeshadow palettes at all. This one gives me everything I need for day to day—and even for a night look. 

Acclaimed to be the holy grail of foundations... let's just say that phrase set my expectations pretty high. This product is described as an air-light formula with wonder powers and according to CT, it illuminates, smoothes, hydrates, minimizes pores and reduces wrinkles for perfect skin.

Do I think it is a beautiful foundation? Yes. Is it my favorite ever? No, not at the moment, at least. I'm looking forward to trying this in the summer because my favorite foundations change depending on the season and who knows, it might be my number one favorite then. There really isn't any one thing I can tell you that I didn't like about this foundation, but just in general, it didn't wow me like I had hoped. 

I have it in shade #3, which was spot on for me, too. I love foundations that get that golden undertone right. If you need help finding your shade, here's a great guide

This foundation allowed my skin to breath, but yet the coverage wasn't skimping. It was just enough. I would say that it's a light to medium coverage, yet it's buildable. On me, it wasn't very long lasting, but this could be completely different for you because the description claims that it should last for 18 hours. One thing I love about the formulation is that it contains a botanical alternative to retinol that is said to stimulate epidermal renewal by kick-starting collagen production, delaying the onset of wrinkles. Got to love a good multi-tasker.

Have you ever tried any Charlotte Tilbury products? Anything I've just got to try? Tell me, tell me!

This is not a sponsored post. I was sent the products to test out, but was not required to review. All opinions are my own!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

new post on // bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Review

So there's a product I've fallen in love with—bareMinerals Complexion Rescue, a brand new hydrating tinted gel cream that has completely changed the way I look at makeup. 

I never thought I'd be okay with wearing such little coverage on my skin until I tried this product, but it truly helps to perfect the skin with the tiniest coverage possible. It's incredible and something I can't explain. My skin is far from perfect, but this totally does the job for me. 

Not only does it perfect, but it also hydrates in the best way possible. I've never been able to use a tinted moisturizer on a regular basis before because, on my combination skin, they aren't moisturizing enough to use without a regular moisturizer underneath, but they are too moisturizing to use when I do apply a moisturizer underneath. Do you feel my struggle? Well, this is the first product I've tried that applies coverage and instant hydration to my skin without the help of any other product! I just wash my face, apply a serum, then apply Complexion Rescue and my skin feels insanely hydrated, but not oily. Of course, if you need more coverage, you can follow up with a second layer or apply your regular foundation just where it's needed. For everyday use, though, I really don't think added foundation is necessary after using this. 

I'm not being paid to say this—I swear my skin looks better after using this product for a week or so. It truly combines makeup and skincare like nothing I've ever tried before. You can buy Complexion Rescue for $29 at Sephora (The Smoothing Face Brush, that was made to be used with it, is available there, too!). By the way, I'm wearing shade 03 Buttercream.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

today on

Please update my URL on your blog reader platform! The new name, Holy City Chic, is found at!

So today I'm reviewing these three little wonders pictured above—all by Mary Kay. They were given to me by Elizabeth from Carolina Mrs., who also happens to be a MK consultant! (You can check out her website here.) I've used these products for a couple weeks now and feel like I've formed enough of an opinion to share with you. Moving from the left to the right in the photo above, we have the Makeup Finishing Spray, then the Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover, and finally the Lash Love Lengthening Mascara. 

Mary Kay Makeup Finishing Spray by Skindinävia

I was so pumped to try this stuff because I've heard amazing things about makeup setting sprays, but it's been years since I've tried one. I used to own one by Skindinavia and I actually loved it, but I'm not quite sure where it went. So when I heard that Mary Kay's was formulated by the same company (but it's sold for half the price), I was all on board. 

This spray can be used for two purposes. First, as the final step in your makeup routine to "set" everything in place for all day wear of up to 16 hours. Second, it can be used as a refresher at any time during the day when your skin needs a little perking up.

To be honest, I don't feel like I notice 16 hours of wear when I spritz this on my skin after my makeup has been applied. Of course, who wants to wear makeup for 16 hours anyway? (Removing it is the first thing I do when I get home in the evening!) I still think it's an amazing final step in a makeup routine. Here's why... Even though it doesn't seem to extend the life of my makeup, it definitely makes it look more natural, giving me a fresh-faced look. It basically makes any powders on your face have a skin-like, smooth appearance. I would definitely say it's worth the $18 just for that reason alone. Plus, it's going to last forever since only a couple of pumps are needed.

Removing my eye makeup is something I take very seriously. You absolutely have to be delicate with this area because it's the thinnest skin on the face and excessive tugging can cause premature wrinkles. After trying this, I will say that I still prefer removing my eye makeup by pre-cleansing my face with a gel or oil cleanser, then following up with my main cleanse. But, I love this for going in with a cotton ball afterwards and removing any pesky mascara that just didn't get fully removed. That said, if you are someone that likes to use a makeup remover like this—one that is applied on a cotton pad—then this would be your best friend. It removes makeup like a dream and doesn't leave skin feeling greasy afterwards. It's super gentle and doesn't irritate the eyes. It blows makeup wipes (like those Neutrogena ones) out of the water and performs better than any other remover of this kind that I've tried. (Probably on par with Bioderma, but that's hard to find in the US!)

Mary Kay Lash Love Lengthening Mascara
Elizabeth sent me this in the brown shade and I love it! I've only ever used black mascara, but the brown gives such a great natural, soft look. This mascara is just awesome. The curved brush perfectly fits my lashes and allows me to coat them so much better and easier than a standard straight mascara brush. Lengthening? ...yes, it definitely lengthens and provides a ton of lift to the lashes, too. I swear it makes my lashes look like I spent a ton of time curling them with a lash curler, even if I skipped that step. The curl and length lasts all day and doesn't flake all over my face. (Isn't that the most annoying thing in the world when mascara flakes below your eyes and accentuates dark circles? ugh!) A little tip: For a more dramatic look, I've been doing one coat of this mascara in brown, then following up with one coat of a different mascara in a black shade. Layering the brown and black shades gives an awesome effect! 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

spring, under $75! (on

We've had some warm days here recently (sorry to admit it for those of you who are snowed in!), which have left me craving spring more than ever. (Of course it's getting colder again today, agh!) I've raided my favorite websites for fun spring styles and I'm about ready to clear out some clothes in my closet to make room for some fresh new fashions. Here are some excellent choices for spring—all under $75! 
white tissue tee  | floral skirt

Also, not pictured, but I love this bracelet, this necklace, these distressed shorts, these earrings, and although it (lightly) breaks the $75 budget here, I do love this top!