Thursday, December 5, 2013

RiRi Hearts MAC Holiday Collection

We are now onto what I believe is the last holiday collection from MAC, it is another one in the series of highly popular RiRi Hearts MAC collections that started coming out in the very beginning of the summer months.  I have no idea when Rihanna's popularity will begin to wane but at the moment it shows no sign of stopping and these collections have been instant sell outs and cult favorites. I am considering going onto Ebay when I have some spare time (maybe after finals week) and looking to see what products from the summer and fall collections are being resold for.  I am willing to bet that they are only rising in price and popularity...

In the previous seasons, I have liked many of the eye makeup from the RiRi collections but I have never liked the lip or face products in the collections.  None of those shades have ever looked like they would work for my skin tone, something to be expected since myself and Rihanna have two very different skin tones and there is no way that shades for her would flatter me and vice versa.  I don't have high hopes for this collection and I would only really look at some of the eye makeup shades from the latest part of the RiRi series...

"Rihanna's latest creative collaboration with M·A·C is a series of stunning looks for lips, eyes and face in shades of metallic majesty and confident colour. This limited-edition collection is encased in exclusive white-pearl packaging with RiRi's iconic rose gold detailing. Wrapping it all up, the pink metallic sheen of the RiRi ♥ M·A·C Makeup Bag in a quilted design, uniquely Rihanna.", states the MAC website when providing a description of the overall collection.

Here is the holiday version of the RiRi collection!

RiRi Hearts MAC Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow: Pfresh Out - Five complementary shades by Rihanna for infinite day-to-night looks: soft champagne, peach gold with pearl, blackened plum, pearlescent pink and violet mauve. Highly pearlized frost finish. Encased in an exclusive white-pearl packaging with RiRi's iconic rose gold detailing. Limited edition.

RiRi Hearts MAC Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow: 2X Dare - Five complementary shades by Rihanna for infinite day-to-night looks: white silver, deep grey blue, beige-grey, cement with pearl and light crystal mauve. Highly pearlized frost finish. Encased in an exclusive white-pearl packaging with RiRi's iconic rose gold detailing. Limited edition.

RiRi Hearts MAC Superslick Eye Liner - A liquid liner in two limited-edition shades by Rihanna - the shimmering white of Pisces Persuasion and rose gold of Cockiness. Water-based, water-resistant, quick and precise to apply. Dries in 15 seconds to a sleek, long-wearing, wet-look, no-smudge line. The superior no-fuss, no-wobble application lies in the "magic tip" of the easy-to-control dipstick applicator. Exclusive white-pearl RiRi ♥ M∙A∙C packaging.
- Pisces Persuasion - shimmery white
- Cockiness - shimmery rose gold

RiRi Hearts MAC Lipstick - Colour plus texture for the lips that made M∙A∙C famous. Three limited-edition shades created by Rihanna. In Retro Matte - the signature red of RiRi Woo. In Matte - the nude taupe of Bad Girl RiRi and fuchsia of Pleasure Bomb. Exclusive white-pearl RiRi ♥ M∙A∙C packaging.
- Pleasure Bomb - matte fuchsia
- RiRi Woo - matte cool red
- Bad Girl RiRi - matte taupey mauve

RiRi Hearts MAC Bronzing Powder - Rihanna's limited-edition soft, golden brown powder with overspray of gold pearl gives sheer, natural colour and highlights. Ideal for enhancing a skin tone or accenting and enhancing a tan. Formulated for smooth, even application on all skin types. Exclusive white-pearl RiRi ♥ M∙A∙C packaging.
- Love, Rihanna - soft golden brown with overspray of gold pearl

RiRi Hearts MAC Nail Lacquer - Limited-edition matching shade of Rihanna's signature red RiRi Woo in our high-gloss formula. Contains conditioners and UV protection. Exclusive white-pearl RiRi ♥ M∙A∙C packaging.
- RiRi Woo - matte cool red

RiRi Hearts MAC Double-Ended Brush: 217/239SE - On one end: 217 Blending for shading or blending of colour or creamy products. This brush has fine, densely packed fibres arranged in an oval shape. On other end: 239 Eye Shader, smooth, firm fine fibres in a tapered shape and rounded edge to shade or blend eye shadow or emollient-based products. Can be used to build intense colour on the eyelid. Exclusive white-pearl RiRi ♥ M∙A∙C handle.

RiRi Hearts MAC Makeup Bag - Wrap it all up in the pink metallic sheen of a small rectangular, quilted makeup bag by Rihanna. 6.5" x 4.5" x 1.5" with zipper closure. Limited edition.

I think that this might actually be my favorite of the RiRi Hearts MAC collections, in the other collections I haven't liked any of the face and lip products and this collection is the complete opposite.  A big change with this collection is that the lipsticks are my favorite of the collection and the eye makeup shades don't really do much for me.  I love the fuchsia and the red shades that are included with this collection, the red shade is the original shade that came out when the first RiRi collection was released in the early summer and quickly became a sell out classic.  I am betting that the re-release of this shade with the holiday collection will make a lot of ladies very happy and will cause much more traffic coming to the MAC counters, I was never able to get my hands on it the first time around and now I am very excited to see that I have a chance to buy it again without resorting to Ebay!

The Lipsticks are my first choice from this collection and then the next item that I buy will be the red nail polish made to match RiRi's most famous MAC Lipstick shade.  I only like one of the Eye Shadow Palettes, Pfresh Out is the only eye shadow palette that I am interested in from this collection and I don't know that I like it enough to order it.  Some of the warmer shades are nice but they are nothing special and I am sure that I already own every single one of them from previous eye makeup purchases.  I don't like the other palette and I wouldn't use either of the liquid eye liners so the eye makeup products in this collection hold next to no interest for me and I will be skipping over them completely.  I will also be skipping over the bronzer as I am not a huge fan of shimmery bronzers and I don't use them this time of the year.

I am wondering if the RiRi Hearts MAC collection will continue into the spring months and come full circle early next summer or if this is the last collection in the line.  I guess we will see in the coming months if MAC will be continuing with Rihanna or if they will have a new face for their collections.

photo courtesy of MAC

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

LUSH Tisty Tosty Bath Bomb

I rarely focus on the same brand two days in a row but my latest Lush haul is temporarily changing the way that I like to blog.  I have been digging around in my latest package from this company and thinking about the lovely Twilight Bath Bomb yesterday made me want to take another LUSH bath last night.  Therefore, today we are looking at the Tisty Tosty Bath Bomb and then we are going to move onto a few different brands and products in the next few days.  There are very few LUSH products that I do not love and Tisty Tosty is going to be yet another one of my favorite products from this company.  I wish that we had a store closer to my house as I either have to drive over an hour to visit one of these stores or I have to order all the products online and hope that I like the fragrances that I pick out.

Tisty Tosty is one of the few floral bath bombs that I have found from this company, this is a true floral fragrance and not one that mixes florals with either vanilla or fruit notes.  You will only like this Bath Bomb if you love true floral fragrances and I am sure that this is not a product for everyone.  This will be a favorite of mine but I cannot see this being one of the best selling bath products from LUSH, it does not have much universal appeal but will end of up being one of their products that achieves cult status among its devotees.

"At the heart of the matter, Tisty Tosty is a bathtime love potion that's made to stir passions. Drop it into the tub to luxuriate among the romantic aromas of rose and jasmine absolutes, and watch as whole rosebuds saunter across the softening waters. Invite a friend to share your bath—it'll be love at first sniff with this sensual fizzer!", states the LUSH USA website.  This website also states that this product was created as a limited edition for Valentine's Day several years ago and then ended up being such a crowd-pleaser that the company decided to keep it in the permanent line up.  I do not remember when the product initially released and I can't find this date anywhere in my past posts so this must have been released quite a few years ago.

This Bath Bomb contains a very strong mix of rose and jasmine notes and the fragrance lingered in my bathroom for several hours after my nighttime bath.  The bomb released dried rose petals as soon as the product hit the warm water and began to explode.  One of my favorite pleasures in life is watching any LUSH Bath Bomb explode in the water and seeing all of the assorted treats inside start pouring out.  With my love of floral fragrances and rose petals, this bomb was destined to be a favorite of mine and I will order a few more of these in the next few weeks.

I wish that I had found this Bath Bomb earlier, it was hidden at the bottom of the LUSH Bath Bomb category and I have never seen it displayed well during any of my store visits.  These facts back up my surmises that this will be a cult product but never one with universal appeal.  I have always loved LUSH Bath Bombs and this is yet another one of my favorites and will be repurchased over and over again!

photo courtesy of LUSH

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

LUSH Twilight Bath Bomb

The most stressful season of the year has arrived in full force and I am trying to find ways to distress...without wine.  I have about ten days until finals are over and I am working on finishing all of my final projects as early as possible so that I can invest even more hours into studying for my dreaded finance final.  Last weekend, I received a small LUSH order and I took the time on Sunday night to try out a newer Bath Bomb.  The Twilight Bath Bomb came out a few seasons ago but I was ordering and trying it for the first time with my last order.  I purchased a few of these and plan to use them all throughout the holiday season for a bit of extra relaxation during this busy season. 

"Recreate the magic of a dreamy, starry night in your tub with our most relaxing bath bomb yet. As Twilight slowly fizzes away in the tub, its dusky pink exterior gives way to streams of purple, and finally to a deep indigo hue with delicate shimmering stars. Relaxing lavender oil and comforting tonka absolute soothe stressed bodies and minds, leaving you feeling warm, fuzzy and ready for a restful slumber.", states the LUSH website. 

Twilight might be the perfect fall and winter bathtime treat, I love using deeper lavender fragrances in the cooler weather and I love the strong mix of lavender and tonka bean that develops from this product.  I laid in this wonderful bath for about thirty minutes and had not a care in the world when I got out and went to bed.  This is the perfect scented treat to help me through finals season.

I am torn between what I love the most about this Bath Bomb, the relaxing fragrance or the color that it turns my bath water.  The Bath Bomb is a medium pink shade when it is first unwrapped and then turns into a pale purple when it first hits the water.  As the product dissolves, it develops into a deeper purple hue with small pieces of gold shimmer in it.  It really reminds of a beautiful sunset and then the full night sky.  I was enchanted with this aspect of the product.

I am very glad that I bought several of these and I will continue to use them all through the next few days of finals season and then to combat the rest of the holiday stress.  I will order a few more of these to use for the rest of the winter months.  Twilight is among my top five for LUSH bath bombs and it might be one of my favorite products from the whole line.

photo courtesy of LUSH

Monday, December 2, 2013

Benefit Gimme Brow! Volumizing Brow Gel

Today is Cyber Monday and one of the biggest online shopping days of the year, we all know that stores do certain offers only on their websites but many stores also have great offers.  I decided to hit the mall very early this morning and do a bit of shopping for my family before I start cramming for finals season.  My last stop today was Sephora and I already started to pick up some items on my Most Wanted List, many of the holiday products are getting hard to find but I am very excited about my newest purchase from Sephora.  I have been interested in the Benefit Gimme Brow! product for a few weeks now but have never used this type of product on my eyebrows.  I bought this product this morning and tried it on as soon as I got home today.

I must confess that I don't spend much time thinking about my eyebrows, I usually get them cleaned up every few weeks but I keep them on the thicker side and don't change the overall shape of them.  I have dark hair and dark brows so I also don't have many concerns about the color of them matching my highlight/lowlight mix.  I used this brow gel once and I all I could think was "Why did I wait so long to try products like this?!", I love this product!

The Sephora website provides the following description of this awesome brow gel formula, "An award-winning, brow-volumizing, fiber gel that mimics the look of real hair for fuller-looking brows.  Gimme Brow’s innovative brush-on gel has tiny microfibers that adhere to skin and hair, creating lush-looking eyebrows where before there were none. The water-resistant, long-lasting, formula builds easily for thick, full arches, thanks to a tapered brush for blending and precision tip for shaping perfect brows.". 

This product is available in the following shades...

- Light/Medium - matches light brown to medium brown eye brows
- Medium/Dark - matches medium brown to dark brown eye brows

I use the Medium/Deep shade and it matches my hair perfectly, it is a shade deeper than my natural eye brows and the shade change make them stand out and look more defined and groomed.

This is a very easy formula to use, I was a bit worried that I would be having to draw my eyebrows on and run the risk of looking very unnatural.  This product has an applicator that reminds me a very small mascara wand, the product both tints and shapes the brows in one step.  I start with the inner corner of each brow and then sweep the product all the way to the outside.  One dip of the product is enough to do both brows in this fashion, I can just sweep this product on and be done with my brows.  This product quickly tames any stray hairs and makes my lashes look perfectly groomed with minimal effort.

I absolutely love the results of this product and I have fallen in love after using the product for only one day.  I decided that I needed to experiment a bit with the wear of this product, I don't want it to melt down my face in the hot weather or when I am at the gym after work.  I jumped in the shower before writing this post and just let the warm water run over my face.  The product didn't move at all and I had to use eye makeup remover to clean it all off my eye brows, I will be able to use this product every single day and I will be making this a staple of my makeup routine.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Most Wanted December 2013

Today is the first day of December and we are in the final stretch of time before my finals for this semester and the end of the holiday season.  I have a few last products from the holiday collections that I want to look for and then I will start thinking about what types of beauty trends we will be seeing for the spring season.  I am the most excited about Urban Decay releasing the Naked 3 Eye Shadow Palette in the very beginning of this month and I will be waiting on pins and needles until I can buy and try it out.

I also make a larger Most Wanted List in the month of December, I get inspired by the Twelve Days of Christmas and I want to pick up a few extra holiday gifts for myself.  This month I have a mixture of makeup and perfume products that I want and then I plan to try some new skincare products in the month of January.  I am feeling all kinds of new color products right now and I want quite a few new eye shadow palettes this month.

My Christmas List!

- Urban Decay Naked 3 Eye Shadow Palette
- Bobbi Brown Old Hollywood Eye Shadow Palette
- Bobbi Brown Old Hollywood Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick in 24 Karat
- Zoya Zenith Nail Polish in Seraphina
- LancĂ´me L'Absolu Rouge in Absolute Rouge
- Tory Burch EDP
- Benefit Gimme Brow! Brow Gel in Medium/Deep
- Aerin Evening Rose EDP
- YSL Parisian Night Blush Collector Palette Rue de Babylone
- YSL Parisian Night Rouge Volupte Shine in Pink in Paris
- Dior Golden Winter 5-Couleurs Eye Palette in Golden Flowers
- China Glaze Happy Holiglaze Nail Lacquer in Mingle With Kringle

I am so ready for the first new full Urban Decay Naked Eye Shadow Palette since December of 2011, the small Naked Basics palettes are not near as exciting as this release and I am hoping that I will have my hands on Naked 3 by the beginning of next week!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Caudalie Divine Oil

I have decided that the China Glaze collection that we looked at the other day will be my last holiday collection of the year.  Many of the special gifts that were put out by Tarte and Stila are already sold out and I cannot see the point in showcasing products and collections that are sold out and have little to no chance of being restocked.  I am guessing that I started my holiday collection coverage a bit too late this year, other blogs had pictures of products from these two brands up in the end of September...a time when I was in no mood to even think about the holidays.  I am also starting to get excited for spring after reading the Spring Trend Report in the last issue of Allure.  I think that I will have coverage of the upcoming spring trends coming within the next three weeks.

Today I wanted to focus on a great skincare product from Caudalie, I have been loving the Divine Oil as my skin is changing with the end of the fall and the beginning of the winter season.  I bought this product at the end of October and saved it until my skin got a bit drier as the temperatures dropped.  I bought this oil to use as a body moisturizer but I didn't realize that it could be used on the hair and face also.  I have only tried it on my body and sprayed into my hair so I can't comment on facial use but I can review how it worked in the other two scenarios. 

"A luxurious dry oil that provides nourishing moisture and lasting comfort to body, face, and hair.  Divine Oil contains a blend of grape seed, hibiscus, sesame, and argan oils combined with patented grape seed antioxidant polyphenols to leave skin soft, visibly firm, and radiant. Perfect as a post-sun product, its glamorous texture is instantly absorbed, imparting a subtle, floral, and sunkissed fragrance.", states the Sephora website. 

Caudalie is a brand that it well known for using grapes as a main ingredient, the anti-oxidant benefits of grapes and wine are becoming more popular in both the United States and Europe.  This brand has harnessed the power of grapes ever since its first few products and I have used this brand for many years.  I always get excited when new products come out and I have wanted to try this oil for the past few months.  I had wanted to order the oil since late last winter and forgot until the weather warmed up too much to reap all the benefits of oil.  I tend to use oils more in the fall and winter but this oil is light enough that I could it in all but the warmest months of the summer.

The key ingredients contained in this multi-purpose oil are...

- Grape Oil: Rejuvenates and nourishes.
- Extra Virgin Argan Oil: Restores hydrolipidic film.
- Sesame Oil: Softens and moisturizes.
- Patented Anti-oxidant Grape Seed Polyphenols    

Divine Oil provides a light spray of oil all over the body or hair.  I spray it right onto the skin and then rub it in with my hands, it hydrates quickly and leaves little to no residue on the skin.  I also liked to use it as a pre-shampoo oil treatment on the ends of my hair.  I shied away from using this oil on my face as it has a bit more fragrance contained in it than I normally like to use on my face. 

The fragrance is a light floral with a hint of green notes.  It is a slightly more floral version of their best selling perfume and I would also love a perfume in this fragrance for the spring.  The fragrance will let me use this oil into the warmer weather and I will see how long I can use it into the spring and summer months.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Friday, November 29, 2013

Fitness Friday - Reclined Spinal Twist Yoga Pose

I was on the fence about what to look at this Fitness Friday, yesterday was Thanksgiving and there was a part of me that wanted to look at a high intensity cardio exercise and another side that knows that there are very few people that have the motivation to hit the gym today.  I was fully planning on hitting the gym this morning and then I woke up later than usual and did not want to move out of my bed.  I have decided that I will be skipping both the gym and the mall today so I am hanging out in my favorite sweatpants and I have decided that I will not be writing a post about cardio activities until I return to my normal routine in the next few weeks.

Today we are going to be looking at a restorative yoga pose that I have done in both the beginning and end of many yoga classes.  This pose also helps with stomach issues and bloating, two common problems that occur after the Thanksgiving meals.  This would be a great yoga pose to try today and I enjoy doing it as many nights as possible before bed.

The Yoga Outlet website provides some great background on the benefits of the pose and how to reap the benefits of it.  "Twists are a great way to decompress and squeeze out the anxiety and frustrations of your day — just like wringing out a sponge. They also stimulate and detoxify the organs of your torso. If you’ve ever felt worn out at the end of a workday or after a weekend of over-indulgence, Reclined Spinal Twist is a great pose to help restore balance."  This pose is great for back or stomach issues but today we are going to focus on how it helps to relieve bloating

Reclined Spinal Twist helps to "wring" out the digestive organs and simulate digestion.  It will help to send fresh blood to the digestive system and keep them functioning in a healthy manner.  It will help move excess gas out of the stomach and reduce bloating, while keeping digestion flowing in the correct fashion.

- To begin, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. You can rest your head on a pillow or blanket for extra neck support. Let your arms rest at your sides.
- On an exhalation, draw both knees to your chest and clasp your hands around them. This is Knee-to-Chest pose.
- Extend your left leg along the floor, keeping your right knee drawn to your chest. Extend your right arm out along the floor at shoulder-height with your palm facing down.
- Shift your hips slightly to the right. Then, place your left hand on the outside of your right knee.
- Exhaling, drop your right knee over the left side of your body. Keep your left hand resting gently on your right knee.
- Turn your head to the right. Soften your gaze toward your right fingertips. Keep your shoulder blades pressing toward the floor and away from your ears. Allow the force of gravity to drop your knee even closer to the floor. If your right toes can touch the floor, allow your foot to rest.
- Hold the pose for 10-25 breaths. On an inhalation, slowly come back to center, bringing both knees to your chest in Knees-to-Chest Pose (Apanasana).
- Exhale, and extend your right leg along the floor. Repeat steps 3-6 on the opposite side.
- When you’re finished with the pose, hug your knees to your chest for a few breaths in Knee-to-Chest Pose (Apanasana). Then, slowly exhale as you extend both legs along the floor.

The digestive benefits of this yoga pose as easy to understand on the day after Thanksgiving but this pose also will help with back muscles and wringing tension out of them.  It also helps to tone and refine side abdominal muscles, which is how I will be using this pose the majority of the time.

Hopefully this pose helps to make yesterday's Thanksgiving dinner a fond memory and I am sure that all of us will get right back on the exercise bandwagon next week...

photo courtesy of Yogaoutlet.com