Monday, June 30, 2008

July 2008 Lucky

This is the last summer issue so I really found nothing new that popped out at me. The August issue will hopefully be a big hit.

The first thing that I loved about this issue is the letter to readers from editor in chief Kim France. She talks about how summer is seen by many as the easiest time of the year but in reality for beauty, it can be a big letdown. I loved this because I was truly convinced that I was the only person who didn't totally love every second of the the summertime.

other things that i loved in this issue...

- Smashbox Sheer Focus tinted moisturizer UVA/UVB SPF 15 - "This smooths away pores, fine lines, and excess oil, so you don't get shiny"

- Giorgio Armani Face Fabric Second Skin Nude Makeup SPF 12 - "A translucent wash of color with a powdery-but-not-quite-matte finish"

- Face Stockholm Tinted Mineral Moisturizer SPF 20 - "Packed with serious skincare ingredients like ginseng, gold, and vitamins, this looks and feels amazing"

- Jo Malone Lotus Blossom and Water Lily cologne - "four Lucky staffers demanded to know what this was when we spritzed it; the bamboo, lotus, and aloeswood (traditionally used in a japanese incense ceremony) are subtle and grassy and strikingly unique"

- sachajuan Ocean Mist - "We seriously can't keep this in stock. it mocks the effect - the roughed-up, lots-of body-and-texture-look - without the dryness of other 'ocean' sprays"

-Darphin Intral Redness Relief Soothing serum - "Perfect for sensitive skin. this feels cool and gel-like going on, and it puts the breaks on all types of irritation"

Jean Godfrey June's column really failed to impress me again this month. I know that her and I have different tastes on many types of products (hers running more to the natural and earth crunchy) but the last few columns that she has written have just really disappointed me. For a long time, it really didn't matter to me what type of products that she was writing, whatever she said about them made me want to try them out. I just really can't get into the fragrances from Kenzo that remind her of incense. I can't imagine wanting to smell like a head shop.

Really looking forward to the August issue...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Island Michael Kors and Spinoffs

I have been a fan of the original Island Michael Kors since I first smelled it in the summer of 2005. I bought the largest bottle that it came in and have been using it faithfully every summer since. This fragrance has inspired a bunch of spinoffs, which got me very excited to buy more and more products in this family. I have received samples of all of the fragrances and very disappointed to realize that none of them are all that original and all smell very close the original island. The notes for comparison...

original Island - "dewy, sparkling top notes of chinese kiwi, honeysuckle, and parrot tulip; lush vibrant heart notes of champaca flowers, gingerlillies, bulgarian rose, and stephanotis; woody smooth base notes of white bark accord, driftwood, and rice fields accord" (from the Michael Kors website)

Hawaii - "orange, orange flower, gingerlily, jasmine sambac, balsam (from

Capri - "orange bigarade, bergamot, violet de parma, dark fig, olive tree accord, white moss" (from

Fiji -"kauai waterfalls accord, oxygenated water accord, cactus par, mango mist, chinese kiwi, hydroponic honeysuckle, parrot tulip, tiare flower, jasmine sambac, gingerlillies, bulgarian rose, plumeria, stephanotis, galapogos driftwood, rice fields accord, birch wood, white bark accord" (from

To the best of my knowledge, Fiji was the first of the Island spinoffs to come out, which is why I believe that it is the closet of the fragrances. A large amount of the notes are matches and really Fiji just seems to be the original Island in a different colored bottle. For the next fragrance (Hawaii) the company seemed to try and branch out and made orange and orange flower a huge part of the fragrance. Quite frankly, if they wanted to release another Island, they had to do something very different to it and give the public a reason to consider purchasing it. Capri returns back to the Island base with a bit of a fruity note with the fig but its still not far enough away from the original to make it its own fragrance and let it stand alone.

In a nutshell, Michael Kors should have created Island and let it alone. The series of fragrances are not different enough to be worth purchasing and will eventually detract from the original if they continue to be Island in different colored bottles.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My First and Only Experience at MAC

I haven't mentioned MAC yet in my posting and this my be shocking to some people. Everyone that I know that could classified as a beauty product addict that I know has a decent amount of MAC and looks forward to the debut of their new collections. I don't fall into this category.

I have had one and only one experience at MAC and that was several years ago when I was in college. I was just beginning to experiment with high end makeup and skincare and was trying to break out of my neutral eyeshadow and lip balm rut that I had been in the whole school year before.

After many recommendations from friends and coworkers, I went the MAC counter in my nearby Macy*s. I decided to look for eye shadows that would be more dramatic than my current look and would really make my blue eyes pop. I decided to look for golds and bronzes and to see how the makeup artists could help me to create a new look.

Well, the only makeup artist that was working there had tons of black and plum eye makeup on (expertly applied of course). She grabbed several shades and quickly explained to me how to apply them in order to create a smokey bronze eye. She explained everything way too fast and I was left reeling from the explanation and ended up buying two shades of eyeshadow in hopes that I could take them home and create something with them.

Shockingly, I ended up only ever wearing the palest gold shade and the bronze sat unused in my train case. Ever since then, I have stayed away from MAC because I know that I could never create the look that they seem to push on their customers.

The Naughty Nauticals collection that was released in the end of spring 2008 got me interested in MAC again. I love anything nautical and really liked the shades of the collection. Sadly, I didn't actually get to purchase any of the collection because it was sold out in a matter of a few weeks. However, it did get me to give MAC another shot and to decide to go to the counter when their next new collection for fall comes out and to have their makeup artists find a look that works for me.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Coconut Hut's Pink Sugar Cake

I am a huge fan of the original Pink Sugar from Aquolina and I wear it all summer long. I get tons of compliments on it from both genders. However, the company doesn't make quite as many body products as I would like in that scent and the ones that they do have are of high cost and poor quality. So what else would I do but turn to the etailers.

As stated above, I'm quite the sucker for Pink Sugar and it turns out that I will order anything in that scent from any etailer in the hopes that I can find fantastic products with the same scent.

The first one that i tried was Pink Sugar Cake from Coconut Hut. The first sniff is total 100% percent Pink Sugar and it smells exactly like the original. Very impressive. After the drydown, it still smells very strongly of Pink Sugar but with a bit of a cakey note to it. I applied it before bed and could smell it the next morning. the Pink Sugar note faded away a bit and the scent just became very sweet.

Pink Sugar dupe number one = A+

This one will be hard to beat.

For the record, the notes of Pink Sugar are as follows (from the Sephora website); bergamot, silician orange, raspberry, fig leaves, lily of the valley, licorice, strawberry, red fruit, cotton candy, vanilla, caramel, musk, wood, powder.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Carmindy's '5 Minute Face"

I recently picked up the book "5 minute face" by the makeup artist Carmindy. The first thing that attracted me to this book is that she herself is on the cover with flawless yet very natural looking makeup. Her philosophy is that every woman is beautiful in some way and makeup should be simple and enhance features rather than change features. This advice is worth a shot to me.

Here are some things that I learned from the book...

- Use a blush brush to apply powder in order to better target the areas that need powder.

- Use a powder brush to apply blush in order to better hug the apples of your cheeks.

- Wiggling a eyeliner pencil for better application and then softening the line with a q-tip.

- Use a red lip stain before applying red lipstick to make pigment last longer.

the above tips are things that even I have never heard of and am now eager to try. The red lip stain one is my favorite because i have a red lipstick from Vincent Longo that I love but I rarely use it because it is very high maintenance and requires almost constant touch ups.

I only had one real complaint with this book. Carmindy goes through different tones and hair colors and recommends makeup shades for them. Well, all brunettes do not have medium skin! The only place where she mentions pale skin is in conjunction with red hair. Most redheads have a complexion that supports warm and neutral shades, which is very much unlike mine. So I feel rather left out of this section and was unable to learn anything about shades that would work for my skin tone.

Carmindy gives step by step advice on how to create several trendy looks along with her classic 5 minute makeup routine. My next step is reviewing her book this book will be to try some of her advice on how to create these looks and see how well her advice translates into real life.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Bare Escentuals...Why the Hype?

so far I have yet to mention Bare Escentuals at all in my posts. Like almost every other female in the United states, I have fallen prey to hype around mineral makeup and have purchased the Bare Escentuals starter set at Sephora. After two years of lusting after this product, I finally got to a Sephora in Manhattan (until several months ago I didn't have one near my house at all) and was prepared to be amazed at what I thought would be my flawless looking skin.

I first tried using the Flawless Face brush and realized that it gives no coverage at all. I went up to the stiffer kabuki brush only to realize that it gives moderate coverage. I looked in the mirror expecting to be amazed. WRONG!

The motion of pushing the brush repeatedly onto my face made my face even redder than normal (How can this be good for sensitive skin?) and provided a fair amount of coverage in other areas. I still had to sit and blend it with the flawless face brush to get my face to look remotely natural.

The DVD that came with the set and instructions insist that the concealer brush can be dipped in the powder and used for heavier coverage for dark circles, blemishes, etc. again...WRONG! I still have to use a liquid concealer in order to effectively cover up flaws. The next step is the Mineral Veil finishing powder. For this I used the Flawless Face brush and was happy with the results.

Oh yeah...this whole routine took almost 20 minutes and I ended up covering my black clothing in the powders since I was not used to working with loose powders. I have gotten better at handling the powders but I still manage to cover something with them every time I use the products.

My least favorite thing about Bare Escentuals...the products make my pores look HUGE and very noticeable. Which is not quite what I had in mind when putting makeup on.

Bare Escentuals is great for the woman with fantastic hand - eye coordination, time to put on makeup, skin that is already nice enough to not need the kabuki brush, and who has very tiny pores.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Most Wanted June 2008

this is my most wanted list for this month...

1. Vincent Longo Water Canvas foundation
2. Givenchy Very Irresistible Summer Cocktail
3. Cleanse Your Soul Key Lime Marshmallow Cream
4. Dr. Brandt Anti-Oxidant Water Booster in Blueberry
5. Chanel Powder Blush in Rose Petale
6. MD Skincare Powerful Sun Protection SPF 45 Sunscreen Cream
7. Burt's Bees Naturally Nourishing Body Wash
8. MAC Eye Shadow in Shroom
9. Philosophy Purity Made Simple Face Wash
10. Chanel Glossimer in Twinkle

It may be surprising that I don't already own the last three products. They are products that I have read about many times but somehow just never got around to purchasing them. After reading the Reader's Choice Awards in the June issue of Allure, I decided that I really should try these products at least once since they have been highly rated so many times.

Friday, June 6, 2008

June 2008 Lucky

The June and July issues of Lucky are normally pretty small (seen all the summer stuff and nowhere near time for the fall stuff), so I didn't expect all that much from this issue. Truth be told, I'm more into spring beauty than summer beauty. Summer to me means citrus fragrances that go sour on me and 100% humidity to ruin my hair.

So here we go with what I wanted from this issue...

Very Irresistible Givenchy Summer Cocktail - "In this expertly tweaked version of very irresistible, the boldness of the rose is cut with crushed mint leaves - like a mojito in a summer garden" (I LOVE rose scents!)

Ren Body Wash in Moroccan Rose Otto - "This works into a nice lather, and the rose smells so real - it lingers on your skin in a soft, unobtrusive way" (Are we noticing a trend yet?)

Chanel Powder Blush in Rose Petale - "I love the Chanel blushers; this is the prettiest rosy pink and works well over bronzer" ( I love pink blush but i must admit that I never thought to put it over bronzer)

This issue of Lucky has a small article on the Kat Von D makeup line and was what actually made me crave it in the first place. However, I have posted my thoughts on this line previously and have curbed wanting the line.

Not strictly beauty products, but this issue also has a bunch of books in it that I would like to read especially the one about sugar aging our skin written by Dr. Brandt. I need to get this one.

Jean Godfrey June's column...she resumes talking about her love of the Dr. Brandt anti-oxidant water boosters and introduces his latest one, blueberry. This booster is supposed to possess the same amount of anti-oxidants that are found in 15 cups of green tea in only one little dropper full. This is must buy next time I go to Sephora.

It seems weird to say this but I'm beginning to look forward the issues on fall beauty...even just to see some new products.