Friday, July 31, 2009

Oscar Blandi Jasmine Collection Shampoo and Conditioner

If you have been wondering about the dirth of hair care posts lately, I actually do have a legit reason for it. I started using the massive sizes of Fekkai's Protein RX Shampoo and Conditioner and have been using them for over four solid months now. So that hasn't really left me open to trying new items. However, if you are considering purhcasing the large sizes of Fekkai products, you will be very happy with how long you are able to use the same bottles.

After several months, I finished them up and was able to turn to something new. I tried out the Oscar Blandi Jasmine Collection shampoo and the matching conditioner and I really love them so far. This collection is used to soothe and smooth out frizzy or unruly hair...exactly my type! Both products are scented with jasmine, making them a great choice for a fan of floral fragrances. However, with the strength of the fragrance, these might not be a good choice for someone who doesn't love florals. The fragrance lasts all day and doesn't leave after showering is over, so it is vital that the user loves this fragrance in order to continue use of the products.

Here is the description of the shampoo from the Sephora website, "Shampoo di Jasmine is essential for cleansing and smoothing all hair types that tend to be frizzy or unruly. Infused with natural extracts of jasmine and vitamin E, this smoothing shampoo creates a luxurious moisturizing lather that prepares and tames hair for maximum pre-styled frizz control".

And the description on the conditioner, "Balsamo di Jasmine is essential for conditioning and smoothing all hair types that tend to be frizzy or unruly. Infused with natural extracts of Jasmine and vitamin E, this smoothing conditioner controls hair and instantly seals the cuticle for maximum pre-styled frizz control".

When used together, these two products really deliver on the hair smoothing promise. The jasmine oil hydrates hair, helping to ward off frizz. The Vitamin E helps to seal down the cuticle so that excess moisture doesn't seep in and create frizz. Neither product weighed my hair down, which is quite unusual for anti-frizz products that are actually able to deliver on their claims. This combination of products came highly recommended to me by the manager of my local Sephora and after using it several times, it is not hard to see why. This combination is great for anyone with unruly, very dry, or frizzy hair.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Thursday, July 30, 2009

LUSH Think Pink Bath Bomb

The other night, I used my last LUSH Bath Bomb from the set that I bought awhile ago. The bomb is called Think Pink and I will give everyone three guesses as to what color the bath bomb is. I really liked this bomb and already I want to go to LUSH and buy another one. I still love bath bombs and this one goes up with Big Blue and Sex Bomb on my list of LUSH favorites. Above all, it's pink with flowers coming out of it!

LUSH bath bombs are one of their best selling products and here is the description of how they work in the bathtub. "Pop one in a pre-run bath and watch it erupt in a mass of fragrant fizzing, gently scenting the water with natural essential oils. The most popular of all LUSH products, bath bombs were created by Mo Constantine, one of our founders. Often imitated, our bath bombs are still the best, bar none".

Here is the description of this particular bath bomb, "Vanilla, lavender and tonka bean soak turns you into a glamour puss. Transform into a glamour girl with this little sweetener of a bath bomb. So girlie, Think Pink's bright water leaves you feeling distinctly feminine. Enhance your charms with vanilla, lavender and tonka bean. Put on your red lips, let your hair down and soak in the pink flowers. So fun, so girlie, so glamorous!"

I love that this bath bomb turned my bath water a bright pink. Both little flowers and heart confetti exploded out of this bomb when it was placed into the water. I never really noticed the tonka bean note in this bomb, this is one of the lighter fragranced ones and I noticed the lavender the most of all the notes. This bomb is a super girly product and is great to relax in a soothing bath with.

This bomb required a bit of clean up to take care of the pink ring left on my tub but it wasn't near as bad as what was required the clean Sex Bomb out. I liked the confetti but if it bothers people, the advice from Makeup Alley is to put the bomb in a stocking so it can't fully explode.

This is a good bath bomb for people who have never used LUSH bombs before. The light fragrance and pink water make it sure to delight anyone who tries it.

photo courtesy of LUSH

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Chanel Fall 2009 Collection - Collection Venise de Chanel

The past few collections from the House of Chanel has been full of Bohemians and their take on carefree elegance. This collection almost feels like a 180 from what we have been seeing since the beginning of spring from them. However, I personally feel that this is a good thing. Their whole summer collection was a complete strike-out for me so maybe this fall I can get back into the brand. This collection is called Collection Venise de Chanel and all of the colors are based on Coco's fascination with the "romance and drama of Venice". I have been to Venice and it is a beautiful city and I would love to go back again. This collection has already caught my eye.

Here it is...

Eye Gloss Luminous Cream Quadra Eye Shadow - Glowing new emphasis for the eyes, this unique gel-cream texture blends from sheer to intense. The subtle luminous sheen has a surprisingly - and decidedly sophisticated effect. Direct from Paris, Eye Gloss Luminous Cream Quadra Eye Shadow. This quartet of gel-cream shades - a pearl, gold, black, and red black - delivers a subtle luminous sheen that blends beautifully, from sheer to intense.

Les 4 Ombres Quadra Eye Shadow - Shade combinations ranging from matte to frost to satin for multiple looks, contrasting or complementary. Apply dry for subtle shadowing. Slightly moistened applicator gives a more intense shade. Organic polymer derivatives ensure smudge-proof long wear, particularly in high temperature or humidity. Dermatologist tested. One essential compact. Unlimited options. Les 4 Ombres Quadra Eye Shadow now in the new Murano, a quartet of moss, pink, seafoam, and green shimmer shades.

Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long Lasting Eye Liner - This new waterproof eye liner formula delivers long-lasting definition with a twist of the wrist. Colour winds up when you need it, winds down when you don't. A built in sharpner at the opposite end detaches for quick refreshes. Waterproof and mistake-proof Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long Lasting Eye Liner deftly delivers long-wearing definition and flawless eye lining.
- Espresso - deep brown
- Celadon - rich emerald

Exceptionnel de Chanel Intense Volume and Curl Mascara - Intense Volume and Sensational Curl Mascara. A dream mascara is one that is volumizing, curling, and lasting. Exceptionnel de Chanel achieves these three feats in perfect harmony. Its exceptional brush provides lash-by-lash application and creates an intense volume effect for precise makeup from roots to tips. A dramatic finish to Fall's look: Exceptionnel de Chanel Intense Volume and Curl Mascara combines a unique volumizing formula with an innovative six-sided brush for deeply glamorous lash effects.
- Smoky Noir - smoldering black
Poudre Douce Soft Pressed Powder - The beauty of a loose powder - with light-reflecting pigments to enchance and highlight skin's natural radiance - in a convenient compact for application anytime, anywhere. Poudre Douce Soft Pressed Powder offers the beauty of a loose powder in a convenient compact. Light-reflecting pigments help minimze skin imperfections.
- Peche Caresse - creamy peach

Les Tissages de Chanel Blush Duo Tweed Effect - Inspired by the iconic Chanel tweed fabric, two contrasting shades of sheer cheek colour are delicately "woven" with a subtle shimmering powder for a luminous natural glow. The sheer shimmering look of Les Tissages de Chanel Blush Duo Tweed Effect 'weaves' together complementary shades of powder colour for a luminous natural glow.
- Tweed Sienna - earthy bronze

Rouge Allure Luminous Lip Colour - It combines fabulously wearable, lustrous colour and sensational comfort and is subtly etched with the world-renowned Chanel logo. Lustrous colour and supreme wearability define iconic Rouge Allure Luminous Lip Colour, now in six deeply romantic shades.
- Instinctive - pink nude
- Comedia - pink rose
- Intuitive - pink brown
- Amusing - rich rosewood
- Captive - red brown
- Clandestine - red brick

Levres Scintillates Glossimer - Intense frost and shine for the lips. Cool array of hottest colours in a convenient, easy-to-use case. Gel texture imparts a shimmery, ultra-glossy look. New shades add extra sparkle and shine. A most-desired kiss of colour for the lips: the gorgeous shimmer and high shine glow of Levres Scintillates Glossimer. Too tempting to resist.
- Arlequin - nude gold
- Courtisane - red pink

Le Crayon Levres Precision Lip Definer - Creamy-textured pencil offers precise lip lining to emphasize and maximize the shape of your lips with long-lasting colour. Silicones allow ease of application. Vitamin E helps combat free radicals. Built-in brush for blending; comes with a double bladed sharpner. With a flawless outcome everytime, creamy Le Crayon Levres Precision Lip Definers shapes and enhances your lips with glide-on, long-wearing colour.
- Praline d'Or - brown nude

Le Vernis Nail Colour - Brillance to your fingertips with must-have colours from the runways of Paris. State-of-the-art formula strengthens and moisturizes nails. Unique patented non-spill bottle with wiping action for easy application. The finishing touch for Fall's romantic and dramtci beauty.
- Intermezzo - white pearl
- Gondola - maroon shimmer

I really love the Eye Cream quad, all four shades look like they would work well on their own or together and I don't have a black red shade in my collection yet. I haven't gotten to they this mascara out yet, though it has been on my list of mascaras to purchase since last fall. Maybe the Smoky Noir shade is the shade that I will get when I finally do try it out. I prefer the Lipsticks to the Glossimers this time around, usually the opposite is true. I want to get Instinctive and Clandestine. I hope that Instinctive will replace MAC's Way To Love as my my-lip-but-better lipstick to wear with dramatic eyes. Clandestine is a deeper red so I want to add that shade to my growing red lipstick collection. I also really like both of nail polish shades and I want to get these before they sell out from all the Chanel counters.
photo courtesy of Bergdorf Goodman

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bath and Body Works American Grown Line

Over the past week or two, it seems that summer has really hit. It is hot and humid and my body lotion seems just to be laying on top of my skin instead of sinking in. This is not my favorite time of year. To get through this spell, I usually just give up moisturizing and hope that my shower gel will be enough to hydrate my dry skin. And it usually is.

However, knowing how much I will be using shower in the next month or so makes me wnat to go out and buy a couple new ones to keeps things interesting. Bath and Body Works has just introduced a line of shower gels and hand soaps called American Grown. The scents are based on areas of the United States.

The first scent is called Savannah Mint and it is based on the natural mint that is grown in the Deep South and is traditionally made into tea and for mint juleps. "Part of the old-world ambience of Savannah, Georgia comes from the cool, refreshing scent of mint that fills the garden air. Breathe in this exhilarating fragrance and experience the romance of Southern charm and gentility". This product is also infused with real peppermint oil to cool the skin down during hot days.

The second scent is called Montana Sky and this would be perfect for either gender to use as it is nice and light. "No one who's ever breathed the fresh mountain air of Montana - Big Sky Country - will soon forget its clear, crisp quality. Experience this fresh, airy fragrance, inspired by the vast beauty of an endless blue sky". This product is infused with spring waters to help calm the skin.

The third fragrance is called Napa Grape and is based on the grape vineyards of California. "In the beautiful rolling hills of Napa Valley's rich wine country, the alluring scent of ripe grapes wafts through the air. Breathe in this irresistable fragrance and experince the intoxicating aroma that has inspired generations of romance". This product is infused with grape oil to help condition and protect the skin.

The fourth fragrance is called Siesta Key Lemon and is spicy citrus fragrance. I had hoped that this one would be close to Basil Lemon from Korres but it wasn't nearly close enough for me. "Nothing says summer like fresh-cut Meyer lemons from Florida. Sweeter than other lemons, they are plump, smooth-skined, and unmistakable dark yellow. Experience this sparkling citrus fragrance, a scent that has refrshed the air of Siesta Key for over a hundred years". This product is infused with lemon oil to help refresh the skin.

The last fragrance of the group is called Washington Apple and is the scent of pure red apples. "In the fertile valleys of Washinton State in America's far west, growers tend orchards that produce the world's most beautiful and delicious apples. Experience this juicy fragrance and remember your first bite of a shiny red apple, an unmistakably crisp flavor". This product is infused with apple extract the help nourish the skin.

My favorite from the collection is the Savannah Mint, it reminds of mint tea and is a great summer scent that can take me right into fall. The other two that I like are Montana Sky and Washington Apple. This line only comes in hand soaps and shower gels so I guess that I will be getting the shower gels in the above mentioned fragrances and trying to find lotions that match them in order to use them in cooler temperatures. The website only pictures the shower gels in two fragrances but I saw the whole line of shower gels available in the store the other week.

"If you're tired, you take a don't move to Napa". - Carrie Bradshaw. Sorry I just couldn't resist, it was just too easy!

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works

Monday, July 27, 2009

MAC Love That Look

This is the second new mini collection that was released last week from MAC. This one is all about eyes and is a return of many of the most popular shadow shades that debuted in last year's Starflash collection. Of course, the famed Smoke and Diamonds is out again in this collection. After the frantic scrambles and high bidding that this shade gets on Ebay, they would have been crazy not to bring it out again. This collection looks much more appropriate for the upcoming fall months and I predict that this one will be the sell-out of the two new collection.

From MAC, "MAC Starflash Eye Shadow: A special return appearence of this incredibly intense, super-pearly, astro-creamy, rich and frosted eye shadow that makes all eyes a super 12 fabulous, limited-life shades! Love that Look? Everybody does!

Here is the collection...

Eye Shadow - Highly-pigmented powder. Applies evenly, blends well. - Unbasic White - bright off white (Starflash)
- Dreammaker - frosty yellow gold (Starflash)
- Grand Entrance - frosty neutral peach beige (Starflash)
- Ego - light yellow pink (Starflash)
- Style Snob - dirty pink brown with gold pearl (Starflash)
- Fashion - light grey green with gold pearl (Starflash)
- Smoke & Diamonds - frosty dirty taupe (Starflash)
- Fashion Groupie - light blue violet (Starflash)
- One-Off - midtone green with silver pearl (Starflash)
- Rated "R" - bright yellow green (Starflash)
- Strike A Pose - dirty/deep blue green (Starflash)
- Glamour Check! - frosty reddish brown (Starflash)

Pearlglide Eye Liner - A creamy kohl-like eye liner with a sparkly, reflective finish. Highly pigmented; stands out for its rich, luxurious colours and pearl-metal look. Provides eye-cathing, highly stylized contrast for any look. Smooth. Glides on. Feels comfortable. Long-wearing.
- Rave - deep purple with purple glitter
- Fly-by-Blu - light blue with blue glitter
- Molasses - dirty brown with midtone brown glitter
- Black Russian - black with navy blue glitter

Zoom Lash - This instant volume mascara power-lifts the lashes into length, curls them up...builds them faster than you can wink! Precision control wand glides smoothly down lashes to provide a gorgeously silky upward "sweep". Smudge-proof and long-wearing!
- Zoomblack - rich black

217 Blending Brush - For shading or blending of colour or creamy products. this brush has fine, densely packed fibers that are arranged in an oval shape. MAC Professional Brushes are hand-sculpted and assembled using the finest quality materials. They feature birch, linden, and ramin wood handles, nickel-plated brass ferrules.

239 Eye Shader Brush - Soft and dense to shade or blend eye shaodw or emollient-based products. This brush has a tapered, rounded edge with smooth, firm, fine fibres. It can be used to build intense colour on the eyelid. MAC Professional Brushes are hand-sculpted and assmebled using the finest quality materials. They features birch, linden, and ramin wood handles, nickel-plated brass ferrules.

I saw this collection also when I was at MAC the other day and was much more excited by it. I haven't picked any up yet but I will have to go back within the next few days before it all sells out. From the eye shadows, I want Smoke & Diamonds, Dreammaker, Grand Entrance, Ego, and Style Snob. I also really want the Pearlglide Eye Liner in Molasses and both of the brushes included in the collection. This collection is much more promsing than the other one that I discussed already.

photo courtesy of MAC

Sunday, July 26, 2009

MAC Baby Bloom

This is a new mini collection that was just released by MAC at the end of last week. The mini collections never really hold much appeal for me but this one got me really excited when I first read about it several weeks ago. I immediately started planning my wish list and when I heard that it was released early, I went to the MAC counter at first opportunity. This collection is called Baby Bloom and the colors and products resemble more of a summer collection than one that would be released in the beginning of the fall shopping season.

Here is the description of the collection from MAC, "Shift your look to the sunny side of the street but keep face and lips soft, lightly-tinted, everyday sun safe! Choose from five neutral SPF 15 shades of new Studio Moisture Tint, and five soft-as-air shades of new Suntints SPF 12 Liquid Lip Balm".

Here is the collection...

Suntints SPF 20 Liquid Lip Balm - A new tinted lip balm with SPF 20 to keep lips hydrated, protected, while still looking brilliantly chic. Provides balm-style conditioning, and everyday sun-shield protection in combination with sheer colour. Nourishing, helps improve the look and condition of lips immediately and with continued use. Features a light vanilla flavour.
- Lilt of Lily - soft creamy pale pink
- Just a Smidge - soft pastel yellow with multi-coloured pearl
- Pink Tinge - clean bright yellow pink with gold pearl
- Full of Grace - soft sheer rose
- Moist Plum - light lilac with very fine pearl

Studio Moisture Tint SPF 15 - A light, tinted moisturizer with SPF 15 and other skin nourishing ingredients. An easy one step finish specially suited for the season, this sheer tint provides just enough coverage to even out the skintone while creating a flawless, protected, softly moisturized finish. Suitable for all skintones.
- Light - soft pale beige
- Medium - warm beige
- Medium Dark - caramel beige
- Dark - deep caramel
- Deep Dark - rich golden bronze

These lip balms sounded like the perfect product for me when I first read about them, especially the Lilt of Lily and Full of Grace shades. They were the first products that I tried out at the MAC counter. I know that they are tinted lip balms but they were super sheer and had little to no color payoff. When appiled to my lips, it only looked like I had lip balm on, the colors were much too sheer and the different shades all looked exactly the same on my lips. So I passed on all of these. The tinted moisturizer I liked more but I'm not in the market for one right now so it would have been a waste to purchase.

I really think this collection should have been released in May or June, I am totally finished with summer makeup shopping and I bet most other people are either done or beginning to finish up too.

photo courtesy of MAC

Friday, July 24, 2009

NARS Fall 2009 Collection

Here is the beginning of the Fall 2009 Makeup Collections. I almost always start out with NARS and this season will be no exception. On first glance...this looks to be a very promising season. Since I wasn't a fan of much from any of the summer collections, hopefully this fall will give me a chance to try some new looks out.

Here is the description from the NARS website, "This edgy, alluring look begins with the ultimate bedroom eyes. A harmony of champagne and charcoal eye shadow hues built to a sultry finish. A soft sheer complexion is invigorated with a sculpted, flush cheek and bold, deep plum tinted lips. The result in charming, glamorous, and resolutely modern. In other words, completely NARS".
Here it is...

Duo Eye Shadow - The same long-wearing crease resistant formula as NARS Single Eye Shadow, in a series of uniquely paired color combinations. Worn together or alone, all duo eye shadows can be applied sheer or built up for a more dramatic effect. All powder eye shadows can be used wet or dry. Richly pigmented powders. Effortless blending, coordinated in fashionable pairs. Multifunction: use as eye shadow, eye liner, or on eye brows.
- Silk Road - icy pink/rose gold with golden frecks (mirrors the hues from traditional damask fabrics)
- Indian Summer - frosted champagne/mustard seed (balmy sunshine meets brisk fall)
- Brumes - matte charcoal/blue slate (perfectly captures the moody shades of a twilight sky)

Nail Polish - An exclusive formula with technology designed to improve flexibility, durability, wear, and gloss properties. This long-wearing formula provides a tough, durable chip-resistant finish and also has added UV protection to prevent polish discoloration. Modern, sophisticated colors. Gentle formula.
- Tokaido - black amethyst infused with gold (a more current option for devotees of black nail lacquer)

Lipstick - A wide range of captivating shades designed to provide the look and style the color dictates. Lipstick available in three formulas: Satin - moist, longwearing lipstick containing micro-bubble spheres to continually release lip conditioners which yield creamy, silky colors that wear for hours; Semi-Matte - a highly pigmented matte, non-drying formula that provides a long-wearing, full-bodied, velvety finish; Sheer - long lasting color pigments have been suspended in this translucent formula to provide a sheer, natural tint. Fashionable colors available in three textures. Exceedingly long-wearing. Nourishing and non-drying, with Vitamin E. Once you start wearing NARS Lipstick, you won't want to wear anything else.
- Fast Ride - sheer mulberry (a cool alternative to more common darker lip color options)

Single Eye Shadow - Longwearing, crease-resistant color in sheer wearable formulas. All NARS Eye Shadows can be applied sheer or layered for a more dramatic effect. These richly pigmented powders blend effortlessly and can also be used wet for precisely lining the eyes. Richly pigmented powders. Effortless blending. Multifunction: use as eye shadow, eye liner, and on eye brows.
- Mekong - espresso infused with gold (a study in contrasts for some adventure)

And what do I need to begin my fall makeup collection? Well pretty much this whole collection! With the exception of the Brume Duo, I really love everything and would want to buy it all. However, if I could only pick out several outstanding pieces? I would pick out the Silk Road and the Indian Summer duos and the Fast Ride Lipstick. Those three pieces are my absolute must haves and I will not be going into fall without them.

photo courtesy of NARS

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My Search for the Perfect Red Lipstick - MAC

I mentioned several weeks ago that I was test driving two shades of red lipstick that I had just gotten in a recent MAC haul. I have never really considered myself a red lipstick type of girl, I always thought that it drew too much attention to my mouth and it just wasn't a look that I liked on myself. I ended up at the MAC counter in my local Macy*s after a Sephora haul. I was just looking at the different red shades for a friend who asked my opinion on some of their shades as she herself was searching for the perfect red shade. All that I planned to do that day was look at a few shades then swatch them on my arm so I could tell her about the differences. Well plans do change... After swatching the first shade on my arm, I decided to let the associate try it out on my lips and see how it would look. And the rest is history...

The first shade that we tried is the very popular Russian Red. When beauty junkies recommend MAC red lipstick, this usually is the shade that they are referring to. I was told at the counter that this shade does very well overall for MAC and is a top seller at that particular counter. Russian Red is a matte finish lipstick and normally I am not a fan of lippee with a matte finish, I am much more of a lip gloss girl. The matte finish lipstick are very bold and have no shine at all to them. They are a true matte finish, nothing creamy about them. They are also very long lasting and will last through both eating and drinking. The major drawback for myself is that my lips tend to dry out quickly when using this type of formula. Russian Red is described by MAC as being a "intense bluish-red". This is certainly as apt description, the blue tones are evident and it is quite intense. This shade made me see that I could wear a strong red lip. Unto my pile it went...

The second shade that I tried out is MAC Red. This shade is another that is considered by MAC to be a blue toned red but it is considered to be more vivid than Russian Red. Upon wearing, I get much more blue out of this shade than I do Russian Red and it almost begins to take on a magneta hue as it is wearing off. This shade is a candidate to wear a red lip stain under it to keep the red bright (I haven't tried this yet though). This lipstick is a Satin formula and therefore it has a much creamier finish and isn't as drying on the lip. However, as with any creamy finish lipstick, this one wears off much quicker than one with a matte formula. Uhhhh...this one went onto my pile too...

The third shade I tried out a week later. This one is called Lady Bug and it was one that I took notice of on my visit before but since I had already purchased two shades of red lipstick, I didn't get a third that day. I kinda suprised that the associate didn't show me this shade since I find it to be very different from the other two shades. This shade is described as a "yellow tomato" and is one of the Lustre finish lipsticks. The description doesn't sound very appealing but it does no justice to the product itself. To begin with, the Lustre line of lipsticks has been my favorite formula ever since I started by MAC lipsticks and it has produced a Holy Grail lippee in the form of Way To Love from A Rose Romance. The Lustre formula is the closest to a lip gloss of any of the formulas and I have found that the shades are on the sheerer side and in my opinion, the easiest to wear out of any MAC lipsticks. This is the perfect sheer red shade, anyone could wear it. It can be worn day or night and with many different eye looks.

Of the three that I have bought already, Lady Bug is by far my favorite. Russian Red if my second becuase it lasts long and wears well. I like MAC Red but I don't like how it can turn somewhat magenta as it is wearing off. Next, I have to go back and pick up Ruby Woo, a slightly deeper red shade that I decided I would hold off until purchasing fall makeup to get.
photo courtesy of MAC

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Urban Decay Primer Potion

Yesterday, we looked at Too Faced's Shadow Insurance eye primer. Today we are going to look at Primer Potion from Urban Decay and decide which of them is a better product. To start off with, I have used Primer Potion much longer than Shadow Insurance. In fact, I used Primer Potion before Shadow Insurance ever even debuted on the market. Primer Potion itself has always made me very happy and i never would even have thought of trying another product except for the annoying packaging. We have all seen the You Tube videos and the beauty blogger posts where the tube is cut into and the remainging product is scooped out. And once the whole process is complete, the user finds out that she has wasted about 1/3 of the product becuase of the wand and the style of the packaging. Not cool. Since I am a klutz to begin with and therefore should not even consider putting a sharp knife into my hand, I decided to try something with different packaging. But what am I giving up?

Here is the description of the product from Urban Decay, "This miracle eyeshadow primer is unmatched by any other in the beauty industry! The genie in this bottle fulfills three wishes: eyeshadow that lasts, more vibrant and lasting color, and absolutely NO creasing. Apply Primer Potion to lids before shadow application. It dries down almost instantly (and invisibly), creating smooth lids that are super powered eyeshadow magnets. The formula is full of silicone, which you beauty mavens know makes for a smooth and silky application. Packaged in a pretty genie bottle, our Potion applies with a magic wand and flocked applicator".

This product is available in two shades, the original shade is flesh toned and the new Sin shade has a bit of champagne shimmer to it. The Sin shade can be worn with shadow over it or by itself for a polished, natural look. My thoughts today are going to be around the original formula, I haven't gotten the Sin shade yet. This product comes with a doe foot applicator and until recently, has been straight. Urban Decay must have heard all the whining around the packaging and they have updated the applicator to now be on an angle so much less product is stuck to the sides of the tube, allowing the user to not waste their favorite primer.

Primer Potion makes my eye shadow last all day. All day, as in over 12 hours. If I don't take my eye makeup off at night (with remover, water does nothing to get this product off), it will still be going strong next morning. Cream eye shadows last most of the day with this product but they are pretty much maxed out after 12 hours and begin to fade away. This product is not quite as creamy as Shadow Insurance and could make extensive blending a bit harder than the other product. I haven't really had any issues in that area arise yet.

So my choice...Primer Potion all the way! Also, with the release of the Fall 2009 products from Urban Decay, primers for the face have been released that are housed in squeeze tubes that look very much like the Eye Primer tubes. Maybe Urban Decay has something else in the works for us...

photo courtesy of Urban Decay

Monday, July 20, 2009

Too Faced Shadow Insurance

Eye shadow creasing has always been a huge complaint of mine. It always seemed to me that no matter what brand of shadow that I was wearing, it would be creased and fading within a few hours of application. For a time, this forced me to give up on eye shadow almost all together, I ended up doing a neutral eye everyday and collecting massive piles of lip gloss. Then I thought to try out some primers. My first primer was Urban Decay Primer Potion (which we will look at tommorrow) but I always hated the packaging and needed to see if there was anything better out there. Too Faced has never really been a brand that I have owned a lot of products from so I was rather hesistant to try this one out. But I needed to give it a shot at some point, so I picked up Shadow Insurance to give it a run.

Shadow Insurance is defined by Too Faced as being an eye primer. Here is the description of the product from the Too Faced website, "Your full-coverage insurance policy against all fading creasing melting blurring oil-slicked and hard-to-blend eye shadow accidents. Our silicone-based eyeshadow primer transforms any eye shadow into a perfectly blendable color-drenched intensified version of itself then locks it down perfectly until you take it off. Our skin soothing formula evens out the skin tone on your lids and smoothes out lines while it secures a barrier between the oils of your skin and your makeup so no shadow catastrophes will ever happen again".

This product comes in one flesh toned shade and blends easily onto the eyelids. The squeeze tube is very convenient and I like that it allows the user to squeeze the only the needed amount out and reduces waste of the product. The tube was always my major complaint with Urban Decay so I was very happy with this type of packaging. This product gets me about 4 to 6 hours of shadow wear with minimal creasing. I don't really feel that this company's claim that the product intensifies color is really all that accurate. It adds a small bit of intensity but not enough for it to be really effective. It seems to work equally well with both powder and cream shadows, however the cream shadows produced creasing slightly fasting than the powders (as they always do for me anyway).

So which one is my final choice? We will see tommorrow after I get go into the pros and cons of Primer Potion.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Chanel - French Week Day 7

Well this is the last day of my week long tribute to France and French beauty. I feel like I have covered several amazing French brands but also that I have barely scratched the surface of many of the products and lines that come out of this country. For the last day, we are going back to Paris and to one of the brands that is about as classic French as it gets. For when many women think of France, they first picture Chanel and the iconic Chanel No. 5 fragrance. This fragrance is know as the "now and forever fragrance". This is very true, this is the one fragrance that both my mother and I wear and a fragrance that I can see myself still wearing when I am her age.

Here is the description of the fragrance from Sephora, "The first great abstract perfume, N°5 conjures up no precise floral scent and survives the passing of mere trends because it is beyond them. Coco Chanel wanted "a woman's fragrance that smells like Woman." When perfume designer Ernest Beaux presented her with his 5th composition, the choice seemed simple and obvious. Her perfume would be called N°5. Five was her lucky number". What she mean when she wants a fragrance that smell like "Woman"? It is very simple, Chanel wanted a fragrance that had no instantly recognizable notes and soon after the first aldehydic floral.

At that time in history, perfumes had one or two very recognizable notes and that was what the fragrance smelled like. An example of this would be that if a fragrance boasted lily of the valley as its main note then the fragrance smelled like lily of the valley and nothing else. Chanel wanted a fragrance that was different for every woman and had no notes that jumped out at one. An aldehydic floral is defined as follows, "A bouquet of abstract flowers with an indefinable femininity".

This is the description of the development of the fragrance after initial application, "Launches with bewitching notes of Ylang-Ylang and Neroli, then unfolds with Grasse Jasmine and May Rose. Sandalwood and Vanilla round out the fabled composition with unforgettable woody notes". The notes that I find most evident in the fragrance when I am wearing it is the jasmine and sandalwood. I know that rose is one of the listed notes but I find that with application, the jasmine comes out more and is the heart of the fragrance.

Another claim to fame of this fragrance (like it needs another!) was stated by Marilyn Monroe that this fragrance was all that she wore to bed at night. It is also the subject of a series of prints by Andy Warhol that now hang in the Museum of Modern Art.

Style and and forever.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Caudalie - French Week Day 6

For the second to last day of French Week, we are going to the French countryside and looking at the more rural areas of the country. Paris may be the most well know aspect of this country but in reality, France is very diverse and every aspect of the country should be looked at. The Bordeaux region of the country in rich in farming and especially well known for its role in the production of grapes and wines. Caudalie is a skincare line that is based on grapes and the anti-oxidants that they contain. Since I wax poetic about Caudalie's products all the time, this column will be based on the science behind the line and the role of the grapes in the products.

In 1993, Mathilde and Bertrand Thomas (the founders of the line) first met with Professor Vercauteren who was then already working with the anti-oxidant. It was explained to the couple that after the grapes have been harvested, the seeds are then thrown away and that the seeds contain beneficial anti-oxidants. They contains what are known as grape polyphenols, containing a large amount of anti-oxidant which could very successfully be used in skincare.

Some facts from the company's website...According to in-vitro testing, the grape-seed OPC is 10,000x more effective in fighting aging than Vitamin E. Also used in the skincare is the compound Resveratrol, isolated from the stalk of the vine. This is a stablizied molecule that was patented in 2001 that provides exceptional action on the stimulation of cellular renewal, which is vital to help skin lacking in vitality.

Another compound is also used by this company, named Viniferine. This is the compound that is found in the Vinoperfect line of products that I am so in love with. This compound is used to help promote radiance and treat dark stops without the use of bleaching agents.

The use of these ingredients are the core of Caudalie's Vinotherapie, the use of the grape to protect and treat the skin from damaging and aging free radicals. Also, in addition to these two major ingredients, Caudalie strives to use only the highest quality natural ingredients and essential plant oils in all of its product line.

A dream come true for myself would be a visit to one of this company's Vinotherapie spas, located throughout the globe. Both facial and body treatments are offered and grapes are at the heart of everything performed in these spas. The United States spa is located in The Plaza in Manhattan and is one of my most wanted places to visit.

All of the above reasons contribute to why Caudalie is a favorite company of mine and a necessary addition to a week of discussing French products and beauty philosophy.

photo courtesy of Caudalie

Friday, July 17, 2009

By Terry - French Week Day 5

For the fifth day of French Week, I have decided to look at another high quality niche brand. By Terry is a brand that is not known to many outside the beauty industry but has an extremely discerning and captive group of buyers.

By Terry was created by Terry de Gunzberg. This is not the first group of products that she has masterminded. Why do I say 'masterminded' and not 'created'? She has not only created the line of products, she created a whole new concept in the packaging of products. She originally worked for YSL and while there, she created the famous Touche Eclat pen concealer and indeed the whole concept of the click-pen method of products. Her personal product line, By Terry, is much an extension of this concept. Terry draws much of her inspiration for products and colors from museums and her garden of multi-colored roses. And who else loves roses? Me!

By Terry has a whole line of rose based products which will endlessly hold my attention during a SpaceNK visit, but today I have decided to talk about her products that have the click-pen design since they are what she is most famous for creating. Her Light Expert foundation is revered by all those who try it and it is a Holy Grail material for many of her clients.

Here is the description of the product from the company's website, "This genius foundation brush sweeps away imperfections, dull skin and shadows to reveal a flawless complexion with every stroke! Enriched in hyaluronic acid filling spheres, moisturizing, anti-aging and antioxidant active ingredients, its extreme skincare formula plumps up hollow areas and remarkably preserves the youthfulness of the skin. Its totally perfecting and almost imperceptible “super-natural” texture instantly smoothes away wrinkles and fine lines. It diminishes imperfections and erases signs of fatigue. A savvy new beauty step with easy application for an immediate radiance result". Their are two methods of application of this product and I have been told that they work equally well. The first is to use the brush as the applicator and use the product as one would a foundatiuon brush. I have been told that this produces a heavier coverage and is recommended for those who are in need of a fuller coverage from their foundation. The second method produces a sheerer application. Use the foundation brush to dab the product on the cheeks, nose, and forehead. Then a foundation sponge is used to blend the product in.

My only dislike is that this product is only available in six shades so not everyone will find their perfect match.

I adore the light reflecting particles in this product especially for use on my dark circles in the morning. They manage to instantly make my look more awake and alive. This is one product that I really feel that everyone should try at least once because they will fall in love with it.

photo courtesy of By Terry

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Guerlain - French Week Day 4

On Day 4 of French Week, we are going to go back in time about 100 years to look at the classic Guerlain fragrance, L'Heure Bleue.

L'heure bleue...the blue hour. This time of the night is also known as the twilight hour, which is the time of the morning and night when there is neither full light or full darkness. This is times of the day when the flower smell the strongest and it is believed by many that the light is the most flattering at these hours. The blue hour was the inspiration for the legendary fragrance created in 1912 by Jacques Guerlain, a favorite time of the day for him. This fragrance is a classis yet still manages to remain on the cutting edge of fashion. This fragrance is classic French and extremely sophisticated.

The Bergdorf Goodman website describes the fragrance as follows, "The semi-oriental classic blends floral, powdery notes of aniseed, carnation, and vanilla. The curves on the upper part of the bottle were inspired by Art Nouveau. The heart-shaped stoppers are a playfull allusion to the pre-war years".

At, I found a fantastic review of the fragrance that gets this fragrance perfectly. "At the top you are met with orange blossom and bergamot. This is a lovely light beginning reminsicent of the dying of the light as these are bright fleeting notes. The heart is that part of twilight that the night flowers begin to peek out. Anise is the note that shuttles my nose into the deepening dark as carnation and its clove-like character begin to take hold, this is soon followed by rose and violet. The base is vanilla and musk but it is superbly balanced and it is never too sweet or too animalic it is just right". I wasn't aware that this fragrance contained anise, normally I hate this note because it always seems to overpower the other fragrance notes. This is not evident in this fragrance.

I first was attracted to this fragrance because of the name, which reminded me of the beauty of the twilight. I have only smelled this fragrance once at Neiman Marcus and I was instantly smitten. I would love to own a bottle of this classic fragrance for two major reasons; first, it has rose in it and second, it is contained in the most beautiful bottle that I have ever seen housing a fragrance. This fragrance falls into the category of fragrances that are a treasure to have.

photo courtesy of Neiman Marcus

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Annick Goutal - French Week Day 3

The French perfume house Annick Goutal is a truly luxurious perfume brand. This company falls firmly into the "niche" group of fragrances. I have only ever met one other person who shared my love of Petite Cherie (instead of 200,000 who wear Marc Jacobs Daisy). Not only are the fragrances and product top-notch, distribution is also very limited and the customer will have to search several high end stores in order to find the product that they desire. And we all know how much I love a chase...

Annick Goutal originally started out as a small perfume house in Paris in 1980, eventually growing a loyal and discerning group of clients. This company believes that a fragrance is more than a product made for scent. Their philosophy is that each fragrance represents a moment, one that the fragrance was purchased specially for or one that the fragrance was worn to commemorate. I was in agreement with this; for me, wearing Petite Cherie reminds me of the first warm day of Spring. I always get the bottle out right at the end of winter and eagerly await the first beautiful day in order to wear it. This fragrance represents the first blooms of spring and the excitement that the new season always holds for me.

Petite Cherie is my favorite fragrance from this house. It falls into their "Sweet" line of fragrances and is a perfect fragrance for a warm spring day. Here is the description of the fragrance from Annick Goutal, "The sweet, fruity, and gourmand notes of peach and pear mixed with the flowery touches of rose musk on a vanilla base. All the naive and determined 'Child Woman' will be seduced by this Eau de Parfum, with intense feminie chords of fresh roses. This Eau de Parfum is housed in a precious blue-green butterfly bottle, the emblem of the Annick Goutal brand". These are the notes - pear, peach, rose musk, cut grass, and vanilla. I find that the pear is the most evident on first spritz then the rose note come out after about 20 minutes.

Along with several sizes of Eau de Parfum, this fragrance also comes in several body product forms and candles. I highly covet the body products and the candles in this line and am trying to find a reason to celebrate and purchase these products.

Also while searching on this company's website...I discovered that they have a rose fragrance. This will become another highly coveted fragrance for me.

photo courtesy of Annick Goutal

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Make Up For Ever - French Week Day 2

Yesterday we looked at the products that are produced in the French countryside. Today, we are going right to the heart of Paris and looking at a company that is on the cutting edge of the beauty industry. Make Up For Ever was started by Dany Sanz in 1984 to aid her in creating up to the minute fashionable looks with high quality products that could withstand outside elements. Sanz's objective in creating her own line is as follows, "To develop an all-encompassing line for fashion and show business professionals that has every product, texture, and color needed to achieve any effect a makeup artist's heart could desire".
This line was one of the first to venture into the world on HD and the types of makeup that would need to be worn by professionals in order to appear flawless on the screen. With the advances in technology, it very quickly became evident that traditional makeup no longer passed and wasn't sufficent to cover flaws and still look natural. This line of products is used by many T.V. and movie professionals in order to create a flawless skin look and is a favorite of many women who desire a fuller coverage foundation that will not budge all day long.

The HD foundation is a favorite of mine since the first use and the matching powder is fast becoming a HG product for me. This foundation comes in a array of shades with 25 currently being offered. the array is dazzling and any skintone will be able to find themselves a great match from this collection. I use Pink Porcelain or Ivory, both pale shades with pink undertones and I have fantastic results from both shades. This foundation is oil-free and is considered to be a medium to full coverage liquid foundation. It makes flaws invisible under HD and therefore is also a great good choice for women who exist in real life.

I must say that it took a long time for me to try this product out. I had previously been quite content with my Clinique foundations and wasn't really in the mood to try something new out. Also tis product is also mentioned on the Makeup Alley Makeup Board and I was uncertain that this product could live up to the hype that centers around it. The first time that I used it, I used two full pumps and wasn't happy with how heavy it felt. I went down to using a pump and a half and later down to one pump. With one pump of product, this foundation delivers amazing coverage with no clumping or caking and without making me look too made up. After about 2 weeks, I joined the group of women who worship this product.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Monday, July 13, 2009

L'Occitane En Provence - French Week Day 1

The Provencal region of the France is in the Southern part of the country, this is the area that is nearest to the Mediterranean and is part of the more farm based parts of France. The company that comes to mind when most people hear of this region is the Provencal based line, L'Occitane. This region of France has large areas of farmland and this company uses the natural ingredients to create high quality body and skincare products based on a few of the core crops and products of this region. This company enforces rigorous standards for all of its product formulations so the user knows that he or she will be purchasing only the highest quality products with high quality essential oils contained in it.

My favorite line of products from this company is the line that is formulated with French Lavender. L'Occitane uses organic Butterfly Lavender harvested in the region in the late spring and early summer of each year. Lavender essential oil is key ingredient in most products that are used to destress and to aid people who are experiencing sleep issues.

I have several favorite products from the Lavender Collection. My favorite is the Lavender Foaming Bath. This product creates mountains of lovely, fluffy bubbles and is my favorite way to soothe away stress and get ready for a full night of sleep. I follow this up with the matching shower gel and body lotion. I will admit that I get much more use out of the shower products since I don't get to relax in a bath near as much as I would like to. Let me tell you from first hand experience, these product (when all used together) will put you to sleep. I first tried using Lavender when I was a junior in college and was going through a period where I had slept more than a couple fitful hours per night in well over a month. I gave these a shot and the next morning, I woke up to realize that I had slept for well over 12 hours and I felt sluggish from all that sleep and felt as though I had used sleep meds and forgotten about them.

While browsing the L'Occitane website to find the foam bath, I noticed that they make this fragrance in small butterfly shaped soaps, which would be a lovely hostess gift along with some bath products and the room perfume.

L'Occitance also carries many other products that are very popular. The two best known are by far the Shea Butter collection and the Citrus Verbena collection. The Almond products also get rave reviews. I think I will be trying more of the products from this company when I am feeling like a bit of simple South of France beauty.
photo courtesy of L'Occitane

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Le Commencement...

Tomorrow begins my annual Bastile Day celebration. Notice that I did nothing for the Fourth...the United States spent 8 years from 2000 to the 2008 disgracing itself in the world community. I celebrate the French Independance Day and this year I will devote a whole week starting tommorrow to French beauty and classic French brands and style.

To start it off...the First Lady of France!

Maybe next year, the United States will have progressed to the point that I won't be embarrassed to be an American...

But for this year...vive le France!

photo courtesy of Telegraph UK

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Benefit Crescent Row Collection

These three fragrances are the latest to come from the company Benefit. I rarely think of Benefit when thinking of fragrances but their Maybe Baby fragrance is top seller for their company. These fragrances are based on the personalities of three different ladies that live next to each other. The Sephora website allows users to take a quiz to determine what their personality matches from this collection. At the end of looking at the fragrances, I will take the quiz to determine what should be the fragrance for me.

Here is the description of the overall collection from Sephora, "The Crescent Row fragrances are based on a fashionable strip of flats in Bath, England, which serve as home to several imagery gals. Their lives are filled with laughter, gossip, and seduction; and each scent, bottle, artwork, and name was created to reflect the fascinating protagonists."

The first scent is called My Place or Yours Gina. Gina is described as having a "flaunt it if you've got it" attitude that is seductively provocative. Her scent is an alluring affair of pink pepper and wild raspberry - resulting in a woody-oriental scent that is enticing and smoldering. The notes are: pink pepper, bergamot, tangerine, peony, wild raspberry, white lily, patchouli, tonka bean, vanilla bean.

The second scent is called Laugh With Me LeeLee. LeeLee is described as having a playful feminity that is naturally sexy. Her scent is based on a light blend of citrus, jasmine, lily blossoms, blonde wood, and amber. This results in a soft-floral scent that is refreshing and feminine. The notes are: cassis, melon, citrus, black violet, lily, jasmine, blond wood, amber, santal.

The last scent is called Something About Sofia. Sofia is described as a free spirit that has flair and a distinctly individual style. Her scent contains oriental blossoms, mango, and fresh vanilla - resulting in an oriental floral scent that is fresh and original. The notes are: mango, freesia, sheer lily, jasmine sambac, peony petal, musk, white caramel, vanilla bean.

So who am I? I got Laugh With Me LeeLee which is exactly who I thought that I would come out as. This actually is the scent description that I am the most attracted to so I happy that this one is my choice. So according to this scent quiz is that I am flirtatious and innocent with a playful wink and a mischievous smile. Time for me to get this fragrance since it and I are meant to be...

photo courtesy of Sephora

Friday, July 10, 2009

DuWop Lip Venom V

DuWop's Lip Venom Lite was the first of the many lip plumpers that I have bought over the years. My collection has grown by leaps and bounds but I have always held a soft spot in my collection for the Venom and the great red shade that it turns my lips. I don't notice much with the plumping effect but since I already have rather full lips, I wouldn't really be the greatest candidate to test out the plumping effect.

DuWop has released a new Lip Venom called Lip Venom V, inspired by the Twilight series of books and movies. We all know that I love Twilight and marrying Twilight with beauty products is one of my versions of heaven.

Here is the description from the DuWop website, "Be transformed. Let the alchemy transcend. This special limited edition Lip Venom is a sneak preview of our highly anticipated Twilight Venom, debuting this fall. Lip Venom V is not your typical DuWop Venom. Instead of a gloss, Lip Venom V is a shimemring crimsom lip stain suspended in a venom-laced liquid lip conditioner with a super-potent bite (Watch out!), and contains argan, avocado, olive oils, and Vitamin E."

This product is limited edition and due to the demand that DuWop is anticipating, at the moment only a maximum amount of two of this product can be purchased by one customer.

This product is a major lemming for me. I am a bit on the wary side about the warning of the "super-potent bite" but I really want to give it a shot. And it is the first piece of the Twilight inspired collection that will be releasing this fall.

photo courtesy of DuWop

Thursday, July 9, 2009

MAC Colour Craft

Colour Craft is the newest collection from MAC, launching in stores today. I can already feel that this will not be a collection for me...look at the promo pic! I could never look like that nor would I ever want to. I am going to look at this collection with the assumption that I will be skipping over it but let's still take a look and see if I can find anything that will work out for me in real life.

Here is the description of the collection from MAC, "Every artist must be daring to hone her craft. Go ga-ga over this dizzying array of new hues. The self-made individuality of arts and crafts finds its way in a soaring one-of-a-kind creation: you. Don't skimp on the materials. Get creative!"

Let's check it out...

Mineralize Eye Shadow (Quad) - Mineralize Eye Shadow spun into a stylish pinwheel pattern of four shades to provide contrasting and complementary colours in a range of glitter, pearl, or shimmering mineralize finishes. Limited Edition.
- Girlish Romp - dirty violet/yellow white/mid-tone pink/pastel coral
- Odd Bits - silver grey/dusty rose/peachy bronze/dark burgundy
- Assemblage - silver white/deep grey/yellow gold/black with silver glitter
- Eccentricity - rich gold/light violet/rich bronze/deep plum
- Natural Flare - copper/yellow orange/rich gold/dirty brown
- Fashion Patch - ice blue/off white/white pink/black with silver glitter

Lipstick - Colour plus texture for the lips. Stands out on the runway. Simmers on the street! What made MAC famous.
- Colour Crafted - milky pink (Frost)
- Madly Creative - pink neutral with white pearl (Frost)
- Most Popular - purple with yellow undertone (Lustre)
- Ever Embellish - plum brown with red pearl (Lustre)
- Made With Love - bright coral pink (Lustre)
- Trimming Talk - bright fuschia (Frost)

Marbleized Lip Glass - A marbleized melange of three summer-light and get-ready-for-fall tones swirled into one high-shine Lip Glass formula.
- Funky Fusion - pink coral (Cream)
- Pretty Pattern - warm dirty beige (Frost)
- Crazy Haute - blue pink (Cream)
- Miss Marble - muted pink (Cream)
- Electric Edge - cool violet (Frost)
- Nice Mix-Up - burnt ginger (Frost)
Mineralize Skinfinish - A luxurious velvet-soft powder with high-frost metallic finish. Smoothes on: adds buffed-up highlights to cheeks and brows, or an overall ultra-deluxe polish to the face.
- Porcelain Pink - soft pinky coral with gold veining
- Sunny By Nature - rich bronze with pink pearl
- Cheeky Bronze - soft golden coral with bronze pearl
Mineralize Skinfinish (Trio) - A Mineralize Skinfinish featuring three complementary shades in a striped pattern. On application provides an overall sheer and radiant effect. Limited Edition.
- Warm Blend - antique gold/mahogany bronze/copper
- Triple Fusion - soft champagne gold/soft golden pink/rose pink with gold nuances
- Smooth Merge - soft champagne pink/deep rose/pale cool pink

Mineralize Blush - A Mineralize Blush specially created for the Colour Craft collection. Each shade features a rich, shimmering pearl veining in contrasting or complementary tone. Limited Edition.
- Hand-Finish - light pink with deep gold veining
- Fad-Dabulous - dirty burnt coral with yellow gold veining
- Daft Pink - deep blue pink with light white yellow veining
- Improvise - mid-tone neutral coral with light white yellow gold veining
- Cheek & Cheerful - mid-tone bronzy brown with yellow gold veining
- Style Demon - dirty brick red with copper veining

109 Small Contour Brush - Use on the face to apply, blend, or contour powder products. Softly rounded dome tip delivers just enough colour; smoothly blends colour into the face. Of natural fibres.

131 Duo Fibre Powder/Blush Brush - A flat, tapered face brush featuring a combination of short natural fibres and longer synthetic fibres making it ideal for the highlighting/contouring of Mineralize Skinfinish and all powder products.

226 Small Tapered Blending Brush - Short, tapered blending brush with ultra-soft, natural bristles. For application and blending of shadow on the lid, and perfect for working the crease.

My only must-have from this collection is the 226 brush, this looks like a perfect brush for blending that is just a smidge smaller than the 224 that I already have. I would like to get the Madly Crative Lipstick but I'm not a fan of any of the other lip products. Many of the eye shadows look like colors that I would want to own but I dislike greatly how all four shades are in the same container, the package totally ruins all of them for me. I would use them twice and all four shades would get mixed together and that would be the end of it. I don't really care for any of the blush shades or the other Mineralize products made for this collection.

This collection looks too hard to work with for myself. This might have been a bit more workable as a Pro only collection.

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Fall Beauty Trend Report

The thought of writing this article before summer had even really begun pained me to the core. However, it is now an appropriate time since the Fourth of July has passed and the other day I bought my first late summer into fall cardigan. So here is the Fall Trend Report and a preview of what we will be seeing the stores over the next few weeks. I pulled this from an issue of Allure since I have found their Runway Reports are usually very accurate. This fall will be bassed on practicality but the hair and makeup trends are leaning toward the stronger side and a heavier application. Pat McGarth was quoted as saying that this seaon will be one of extremes; makeup will be either bare or full-on with nothing in between.

Here we go!

Red Lips - A number of designers chose crimson lipstick to convey strength. "Red lips make you feel powerful," said makeup artist Tom Pecheux. At some shows the color was glossy and bright, but more often it was deep and velvety.

Crazy Shadow - Inspired by David Bowie and '80s club kids, the eye makeup was kooky at times. At Dior, McGarth appiled orange, violet, and yellow shades, while at Prada, she brushed red glitter on the lids. The pros often drew the shadow beyond the outer corners of the eyes to give them an elongated shape.

Hot Buns - With so many high collars on the runways, the hair was often swept into a chignon. Some were slick and masculine; others looked as if they had been gathered without a glance in the mirror.

Dark Eyes - The toughest makeup look for fall: eyes loaded with black shadow and liner, often with glittery blue, brown, or gunmetal on the lids. "The eyes here are a bit hard-core, " said makeup artist Dick Page at Michael Kors.

Rough Waves - When the hair was worn down, the pros employed a curling iron to create tousled, but not bed-head-y waves. "With the graphic eye makeup, casual waves help to keep the look young," said hairstylist Sam McKnight at Chanel.

Messy Ponytails - Offsetting fall's crisp clothes, loose ponytails looked sexy, not sloppy. Hairstylists finger-raked them back for a rumpled finish, sometimes teasing them, and let loose pieces of hair fall where they may. "Unbothered and carefree" was what hairstylist Orlando Pita called the result.

Defined Brows - Intense brows set off all kinds of makeup looks. At Yves Saint Laurent, Pecheux paired red lips with darkly penciled brows. At Vera Wang, Lucia Pieroni kept the makeup nude but emphasized the brow shape with powder for "strength without a lot of makeup."

Hair Decor - The hair accessories were far from sweet. Black leather strips toughened up the chignons at Yves Saint Laurent; at Lanvin, black feathers were cut into jagged shapes and pinned in the hair.

Rosy Cheeks - Since the foundation and powder were so throughly refined, the models' faces got an energy boost from pink blush. "With matte skin, you need a little blush to avoid looking so sallow," said Philips.

Pale Lips - Soft shades of lipstick such as beige and baby pink balanced the aggressive eye makeup; they actually seemed racy on a pared-down face. When topped with gloss, these pale hues made the models' mouths "look sexy and full," said McGarth. At Louis Vuitton, where the models' shiny beige lips were paired with neutral cheeks, "the overall look was monochromatic," she said.

Ummm...welll...SO EXCITED!! I have been test driving three different MAC red lipstick shades for several weeks now (details upcoming, I swear!) and I have fallen into the red lipstick lust. I was already plotting more shades that I was going to get and now that they are the top trend, I should be seeing tons of new choices in fall collections. I love the strong eye looks but the real question will be if I can pull them off. I that I will have to tone them down but this will be an experiment for this fall. I already love rosy cheeks so this season will be no change for me and now I want to try the nude lipsticks that were used to offset the eyes.

My hair is rough waves naturally so maybe for one day I will actually forego my iron and try this out. Maybe...

photo courtesy of and Marc Jacobs

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Shiseido Perfect Rouge Lipstick Collection

I have never used anything from the line Shiseido, I know little to nothing about their product lines and really anything about the brand. However, last spring, I kept hearing about their new lipstick collection called Perfect Rouge that was being designed by makeup artist Dick Page. At that time, I wasn't near as into lipstick as I am now so this collection went relatively unnoticed by myself until a bit ago. But since lipstick is my latest obsession, I am hoping that this collection will be right up my alley.

Shiseido states that, "Perfect Rouge gives moisture all day long, imporving dryness and roughness over time. The color in the tube is the color that appears on your lips, and the sophisticated finish in lustrous". These shades appear to be very high impact on first glance and have me hoping that I will find another red love in this collection.

Here are the shades...

- RS 701 Serenity - delicate, slightly greyish rose; calm, discreet
- BR 702 Almond Pink - natural, light pinky brown; tender, soft
- PK 303 Pink Mesa - medium brownish pink; warm, earthy
- RD 304 Sweet Pea - fresh, soft red; clear, sweet, and floral
- RD 305 Salon - chic, cool red; casual elegance
- RS 306 Titan - soft, greyish rose; romantic, charming
- PK 307 Tourmaline - clear, soft grey pink; freshness and clarity
- BE 208 Baby - gentle, warm beige; innocent, sweet
- BE 109 Spiced Cream - subtle, creamy beige; sexy, pale
- BE 310 Dune - deep, sandy beige; urban natural
- RS 711 Venetian Rose - deep, grey rose; sophisticated, discreet
- RS 612 Gilded Wine - rich burgundy; alluring, enigmatic
- RD 613 Mystery - intense, reddish chocolate; dark, reddish, provocative
- RD 514 Dragon - dramatic blood red; sexy and intense
- RD 415 Valentine - bright blue red; positively chic
- RD 516 Cerise - vivid cherry red; a dash of brightness
- PK 417 Bubblegum - bright, warm pink; fun, sweet
- OR 418 Day Lily - fresh, bright orange; vibrant, exciting
- PK 419 Ariel - fresh, cool pink; lively and energetic
- RS 320 Fuschia - brillant blue pink; punk or couture?

Wow, I am glad that I looked into this collection. I have found a bunch of new items that I want to try. I really want to get Dragon, I think this shade will be a bit deeper than many of the red shades that I already own. I feel like Valentine could be very close to MAC Red but I would need to do a side-by-side comparison to make a final purchase decision. Cerise appears as though it could be very similar to MAC's Russian Red so a side-by-side is again needed. I also want to add Salon to my red collection, it doesn't appear to resemble any shade that I currently own. I also want Almond Pink, Baby, and Spiced Cream to round out my list on this collection.

photo courtesy of Shiseido

Monday, July 6, 2009

Caudalie Pulpe Vitaminee

The last month or so I have been test driving this facial moisturizer. Caudalie has never let me down before so I was excited to find this product and start using it. This product is moisturizer designed as an anti-oxidant skin protectant for normal to combination skin types and it is part of the Energizing line of products. I love the easy to use squeeze tube that this product comes in. It is the perfect tube since the product is easy to get out but it isn't that hard to control the amount of the product that the container dispenses.

Here is the product description from the company, "This moisturizing cream is remarkably effective at preventing sagging of the skin, providing it with energy, smoothness, and a matte finish that lasts throughout the day. Wrinkles are visibly smoothed and your skin is radiant." This prpduct is recommended for women with normal to dry skin in search of a lifting effect.

I many not need the lifting effect yet but on all other counts, this is great product. I love the matte finish that it gives my skin. With all the rain and humidity that this are has been experiencing the past few weeks, I really need a product that deliver on the promises of a matte finish. After using this producgt, my skin is much softer and my cheek area is much less tighter than usual. I haven't broken out from this product. I am am very happy with this product so far and I think that it is a great choice for my skin in the warmer months.

This product is available in a cream form (which is the one that I am using) and a lighter fluid form. I think the fluid form would not be enough to hydrate my dry areas but someone with oiler skin than mine would greatly appreciate the lighter texture of the fluid product.

I still have yet to get a major miss from Caudalie and I feel that I have used at least 75% of their product line so far.

photo courtesy of Caudalie

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Nordstrom Event Sale Most Wanted

After looking over the offerings from the Nordstrom Event, I decided that I need to come up with another Most Wanted list for this list. A bunch of lemmings were created just by one visit to the website. The picture is of the Lancome brush set which is my number one coveted item from this event.

- Lancome Declaring Indigo Brush Set
- Rock & Republic Drama Queen Collection
- Dior Jazz Club Eye Palette
- La Mer The Signature Collection Set
- Philosophy Celebrate Life High Foaming Bath and Shower Gel
- L'Occitane Amande Cleansing and Soothing Shower Oil Set
- Jo Malone Anniversary Colonge Set
- Bobbi Brown Best of Bobbi Set
- Chanel Radiant Eye and Lip Palette
- Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Rouge Noir

Thoughts? The Lancome set is radiant and one of the most beautiful items that I have ever seen. Also the Dior eye palette falls into that same category. I don't own anything from Rock & Republic and very little from Bobbi Brown so this even gives me the ability to try several things out from these collection. And the Chanel palette and polish? I can never resist the Cs.

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Friday, July 3, 2009

MAC Graphic Garden

Graphic Garden is the second collection that has been released for the Nordstrom Event. i had been seeing photos of this collection on the Specktra website for several weeks and now it is finally available for pre-order. I don't know is this collection will be released to any other outlets after the event, though I assume that it will if it sells well enough.

Here is the description from Nordstrom, "A modern graphic garden grows like a haute hologram in black-and-white chic. Sleek metal compacts with lenticular op-art plaques and kits that trick the eye - all to delight the senses. Glossy black-and-white cosmetics bags and indispensible brush sets complete the experience".

Here are the products...

MAC Brushes (Set of 5)
- Define and Blend - A black-and-white patent finish twill bag featuring Graphic Garden's signature rose pattern. Contains a separate zip-up brush holder with five brushes to help shade and define your look: the 129 SE, 190 SE, 209 SE, 219 SE, and 252 SE.
- Shape and Perfect - A black-and-white patent finish twill bag featuring Graphic Garden's signature poppy pattern. Contains a separate zip-up brush holder with five brushes specially selected to help shape and perfect your look: the 168 SE, 187 SE, 194 SE, 212 SE, and 275 SE.

MAC Lip Bag
- Baby Blooms - A small make up bag in the signature black-and-white poppy pattern of the MAC Graphic Garden collection. Features Soft Illusion and Spiceflower Lipsticks and Baby Bloom Lip Glass. These shades appear to be either pinks or neutrals.
- Summer Crop - A small make up in the signature black-and-white rose pattern of the MAC Graphic Garden collection. Features Semi-Annual and Garden Bed Lipsticks and Summer Crop Lip Glass. These shades appear to be warmer and more on the gold side.

MAC Eye Shadow x 6 Palette
- Fresh Cut - Six limited-edition eye shadows in a metal compact featuring the black-and-white MAC logo/floral rose lenticular pattern of the Graphic Garden collection. Features Floral Inc., Sun-Shy, Fresh Cut, Poppy Noir, Bloomcycle, and Part Peony. These shades are plums, lavenders, and pinks.
- Graphic Garden - Six limited-edition eye shadows in a metal compact featuring the black-and-white MAC logo/floral poppy pattern lenticular pattern of the Graphic Garden collection. Features Social Climber, Botanical Blue, Straight Hedge, Wild Wisteria, Linear Lilac, and Graphic Garden. These shades are blues, greens, and lilacs.

This collection is fair. Like with Look in a Box, I am really not a fan of the mini collections since I would rather purchase single shades. I like the Baby Blooms set of the lip products and the Fresh Cut palette but those are the only two products that I would purchase from the collection. I wouldn't mind getting these items but they are not must-haves for me. I am really looking forward to Colour Craft and getting items from that collection.

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Thursday, July 2, 2009

MAC Look in a Box

MAC Look in a Box was created exclusively for the July Nordstrom Sale Event. As of right now, it won't start up for another two weeks but since many of the items are available for pre-order, I want to being looking at them. From what I have seen already, I very much doubt that many of these items will even be available after the very beginning of the sale becuase there are some fantastic options available. With my recent of discovery of a major MAC weakness, I had to look at their two new collections before I even opened up the pages on anyone else.

Look in a Box is great option for a gift or for a women who is just starting to get interested in makeup and may not have a full collection yet. MAC has put together three "looks" and has included in each set, the five essential products that are needed to achieve the desired look.

The first look is called Seductress. It is five essential products packaged together to achieve a modern, seductive look. It features Belightful Irisdescent Powder/Pressed, Knight Divine and Naked Lunch Eye Shadows, Bare Slimshine Lipstick, 181 SE Buffer Brush, and a promo sized Zoom Lash.

The second look is called Sun Siren. This package contains the five essential products that are needed to achieve a luxurious. It features Bronze Bronzing Powder, Shroom and Amber Lights Eye Shadows, Get Rich Quick Dazzleglass, Buffer Brush 181 SE, and a promo sized Zoom Lash.

The last look is called Sweet Tease and it is my favorite of the group. This box is put together to create a minimalist, lightly sexy look. It features Shell Pearl Beauty Powder, Mulch and Gleam Eye Shadows, Love Nectar Lustreglass, a promo sized Zoom Lash and a 181 SE Buffer Brush.

Am I pumped about these collections? Honestly...not especially. I would like to get the Sweet Tease box but I'm not all about the others. I like that these collections feature many of MAC top-rated shades and are a great introduction for someone just beginning with the brand. However, many people already own at least one or two of the shades and then buying the whole box would be a bit of a waste. I want the Sweet Tease box but this is not really the collection for me.

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Most Wanted July 2009

A couple last summer purchases before the fall collections come out...

- Too Faced Blush in Pinch My Petals
- Sephora by O.P.I. Nail Colour in Mermaid to Order
- MAC Eye Shadow in Mythology
- Guerlain Le Rouge G Lipstick in Gala
- NARS Lipstick in Belle de Jour
- Benefit Cream Shadow Liner in Skinny Jeans
- Estee Lauder Pleasure Baie Rose Peony EDT
- Philosophy Beach Party Golden Girl Shower Gel
- Bathed and Infused Whipped Sugar Scrub in Strawberry Mojito
- L'Artisan Perfumer The Pour Un Ete EDT

The last month for summer beauty purchases...