Thursday, May 29, 2008

Kat Von D

I am forever in the quest to become more "hardcore" even though i am Charlotte York through and through. My quest for this has lead me to ogling everyone's tattoos and covering myself with Ed Hardy temporary tattoos in order to try and live up to this ideal.

So when Kat Von D (legendary LA based tattoo artist) made her own makeup line for Sephora, I was super excited. Her personal trademarks (other than numerous tattoos) is smokey cat eyes and red lips, two looks that I own the makeup to do but have a very hard time carrying off. Hearing about the creation of this collection gave me hope that I could buy this collection and somehow be able to pull this look off (don't ask me why).

I saw a lipstick shade in last month's Lucky, which just grew my excitement for the launch of this line. Kat herself designed all the colors and based the packaging on various tattoo designs that she has done for clients. Well the line is now out in Sephora and I wanted to witness it for myself. This was easier said than done.

Sephora number one - This one only had a couple shades of lipstick and nothing else.

Sephora number two - This store only had a couple of lipstick shades, the eyeliners, and the testers of the eye palettes.

Sephora number three - This store had the lipsticks, the eyeliners, the brush set, and one eye shadow palette.

There are several pieces that I wanted the instant that I saw them; the Ludwig Eye Palette, the Romantico and Puro Amor Autograph Liquid Eyeliner, and Painted Love Lipstick in Hellbent and Underage Red. When the last Sephora that I visited actually had all of these products, I was so happy and ready to buy everything. Until I began to try to the products.

The colors look fantastic in the package but once they are applied to the skin, it becomes evident that this is a drugstore quality makeup line that has been dressed up with fantastic packaging and Kat Von D putting her on the products. The texture of the lipsticks is dry and crumbly and the pigment leaves much to be desired when applied. The eye shadows were much of the same quality. The liquid eyeliners were little to no different than any other that I have ever tried and may in fact be of worst quality than others I have tried.

With acute disappointment, I left the store empty handed and changed my whole view of the line. The colors look good in the package but leave much to be desired when applied to the skin. I would advise staying with MAC, NARS, Smashbox, and Make Up Forever to combine great quality with eye popping shades.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Worst Products that I Have Ever Used

So far I have devoted the majority of space to products that I love or at least have been impressed with. But like any other beauty product consumer out there, I have been disappointed and horrified by a number of products.

I rarely find a product that I am not pleased with. This is not because I have low standards (Oh god no!), this is because I do my research before I go out looking to purchase new products.

Research? First read several of the Cosmetics Cop's (Paula Begoun) books. I don't agree with her on every point that she makes (She looks at cost of products and rates somewhat based on it and you will never catch me in the cosmetics aisle at CVS) but she is very grounded in her knowledge about ingredients and how they function in beauty products. If you can read and understand the ingredient list in any product, that is half of the battle to weeding out undesirable products. I must admit that I have a scientific background, so I do have a rather large advantage in this area.

I also dismiss any unjustifible claims on the part of beauty product marketing (a product sold in department stores ((no matter how fantastic)) will not take the place of botox or cosmetic procedures), its just not possible.

I also read reviews on (wonderful source of information) and read beauty and fashion magazines cover to cover to find the best products for me.

A must is to try before you buy. Any store or counter that is truely interested in your business will explain the product, how it works and how to use it in-depth before you buy. I have also found that with most purchases that I have made, the sales associate throws a bunch of different samples in my bag (great way to really try before you buy).

What are the worst products that I have ever used?

-Jessica Simpson Dessert Beauty Sugar Scrub in Dreamy (this whole line is terrible but the suagr made me feel like I rubbed crisco all over myself)

-Urban Decay Big Fatty Lash Plumper (did nothing to volumize my lashes)

-Too Faced Lip Injection (burned like hell and made me look like Goldie Hawn in First Wives Club)

-Fekkai Glossing Shampoo and Conditioner (hydrated but made my hair look like an oil slick)

-Phyto Plage Protective Beach Spray (too much olive oil and no SPF)

-B. Kamins Booster Blue Rosecea Cleanser (drying and irritating, I think it made my skin look even redder)

-Korres Silk Milk Conditioner (reeked to high heaven and left my hair a tangled mess)

-Fekkai Wave Creating Spray (I looked like an extra from a bad 80s movie)

-Jonathan Weightless Smooth No Frizz Cleansing Cream and Cream Rinse (left my hair oily and weighed down)

-Joey New York Pure Pores Blackread Remover Gel (burned like hell and left me no way to gauge its effectiveness when I was running to sink trying not to cry)

Out of all these products, I actually only purchased five of them, the rest were all samples or came with other products in a kit.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Chanel's Blue Satin and Azur

Earlier, I had written an entry on Chanel's Blue Satin nail polish and how it is considered to be the hot color for Spring 2008. At that time, I had only used it by itself even though I owned both it and the Azur color to top it off.

I have now tried it with Azur and I really can see the difference in the two looks. Blue Satin by itself is a deep opaque blue. With Azur on top of it, it lightens up and has a great shimmer. Chanel had a great marketing ploy when they layered the two polishes in the photos of their spring line. Anyone that only bought Blue Satin then would have to go back and get Azur in order to complete the look. However, I highly doubt that Chanel could not have combined the two polishes into one color and only sold that one.

Which look do I prefer might be the bigger question. Well...I don't quite have an answer to that question. Blue Satin + Azur is more attention getting and loves great for pedicures but I am conservative with my manicures and don't wear any shimmer on my hands.

The two polishes together are an attention getting statement but are too much for a conservative girl's manicures. However, the look of the two is one of the best ploys that Chanel has ever come up with to sell more makeup. and how do I know that it is a fantastic ploy? I fell for it hook, line, and sinker.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Marc Jacobs Daisy Ring

This Spring season has ushered in a new scent trend, making containers that are as amazing as the scents inside them. For Valentines Day, I received the Marc Jacobs Daisy ring with the Daisy perfume inside of it.

The ring itself has been in several magazines including Cosmo and Allure. I loved it the moment that I saw it last winter in Sephora. I didn't buy it at the time because it is gold and I don't do gold jewelery.

But I got it as a gift and I decided to make the most of it. It can actually be used in two different ways, one as a ring or a chain can be added to it to hang it off of a handbag or wristlet. I first tried it as a ring and I found out its major flaw - it is really heavy and rather clunky when worn. I still have to try it hanging off my handbag.

The perfume itself...I love it! It is not a face full of daisies as the name suggests, it is actually named after Daisy from the Great Gatsby (one of my favorite books). the notes are as follows (from strawberry, violet leaves, ruby red grapefruit, gardenia, violet petals, jasmine petals, musk, vanilla, and white woods. It is described as "bright, alluring, eternal".

Cute container, statement making ring, and a beautiful scent...MINE, MINE, MINE!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

My Top 10 Want It List for May 2008

What products I want the most this month...

1. Creed Spring Flower
2. Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue
3. Cleanse Your Soul Candy Girl
4. Versace Bright Crystal
5. Shu Uemura Silk Bloom Restorative Hair Treatment
6. Aveda Smooth Infusion Shampoo
7. Essie Cosmetics Nail Color in Fiji
8. Clarins Younger Longer Balm
9. Dior Capture r60/80 Yeux Wrinkle Restoring Eye Cream
10. Lancome Christopher Kane Juicy Tubes in Peach Mochi

This month it appears that I'm in the mood for some new fragrances. It may be shocking that I don't already own Light Blue. I first liked it in the Summer of 2005 and tried it on. I was told that it smelled just "ok" on me. That started my love/hate relationship with the fragrance. I always loved how it smelled on other people but I just never tried it on again. Until several weeks ago...I tried it again and fell in love with it. It smelled fantastic, I got tons of compliments on it, and it lasted until I woke up the next morning.

Monday, May 5, 2008

May 2008 Issue of Lucky

Overall, better than April but still not awe-inspring. maybe iI'm just jaded by owning way too many beauty products already. There was nothing in this issue's beauty section that got me really excited but there are still some things that iIwant to pick up (of course!)

I want...

- Coach Lip Gloss in Hibiscus - "A glassy, clear watermelon with an incredible texture - syrupy but light" (Who cares about the color - I love the tube it comes in!)

- Lancome Peut-etre Eau de Parfum - "Riffing off of the 1937 original, this is powdery, warm, and sexy, with a mix of rose, iris, and a generous dose of musk"

- Essie Cosmetics Nail Color in Fiji - "This shade is especially great for spring, but I wear it year-round - its the prettiest white pink"

- Lancome Christopher Kane Juicy Tubes in Peach mochi - "The dreamy, willowy figure looks decended from a Klimt painting but is actually the handiwork of fashion designer Christopher kane - who also helped come up with the delicate, shimmery pale gloss shade"

- bliss a Tan For All Seasons - "Citrus-scented and infused with antioxidants - plus its made with aloe to moisturize, helping the color last longer"

- Mystic Tan Sunless Tanning Spray Face + Body - "The same dark, natural color you get at a Mystic Tan booth"

- Rene Furterer Fiorvanti Clarify and Shine Rinse - "Like the old-school vinegar rinse hair trick, but gentler: pour a capful after shampooing and conditioning for unbelievable shine"

- Fresh Meadowfoam Cream Treatment Conditioner - "I recently grew my hair out, and this gives me the right amount of bounce and shine. It's thick and creamy and has the most lovely delicate scent"

Jean Godfrey June's column - much better than last month (I'm still trying to get over the talk on home hair color), one article on foot treatments and one on her perfect fragrance. This month's column makes me want to seek out Red Flower perfumes and see what they are all about. I don't even think that I want to buy any but I want to see the perfume that is her perfect fragrance.

Looking over the above list...maybe this was a better issue than I thought, I see that I want a couple more than just a few things.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Update to My Most Wanted List of April 2008

So I didn't do very well with my most wanted list from last month. Actually I only ended up buying one thing on it - Cleanse Your Soul's Mango Marshmallow Cream body products.

A quick background - Cleanse Your Soul is an independent etailer company ran by an amazing woman named Judy. I first heard about her products on the bath and body board of Makeup Alley. She has a fantastic array of products and scents and top notch customer service. She truly seems to care about her customers and is always adding new scents and trying to lessen her turn around time. I have never ordered anything from Cleanse Your Soul that I didn't love.

Mango Marshmallow Cream is a scent that she released in the beginning of March. It is another scent in the "marshmallow cream" category. It joins the famous Lemon Marshmallow Cream and the Key Lime and coconut blends. Lemon Marshmallow Cream was part of my first order from her and it is out of this world. I was really excited to see the mango one because i love her marshmallow cream blends and i love mango.

I got the products in the mail last weekend and they were very light the first few times that I smelled them (etailer scents usually are). I retried them right before i saw down to write this and they have gotten stronger. The marshmallow cream note is more evident than the mango but hopefully this will come out soon too.

Maybe next month I will get more products from my list than just one.