Sunday, February 28, 2010

MAC Tabloid Beauty

Since the beginning of last month, MAC has been working non stop to release new collections at the rate of once to almost twice a week. While I really do love me some MAC, I am getting a bit tired of the rapid rate of collections. I seem to remember this occuring last year at this time too and getting the same feeling. This latest collection is called Tabloid Beauty and hopefully will work better for me than Riveting ever did. The packaging on this collection is all very bright shades and will make it stand out at the MAC counters. I really do like the limited edition packaging that MAC sometimes does to match their collections, I think it makes the products much more collectable.

From MAC, "Everyone loves the sizzle, the guilty pleasure of getting the gossip and the real story. This lineup is full of outlandish claims and shocking statistics - and they're all TRUE! Our headlines are all amazing, all scientifically proven. Hot off the presses..."

Ok let's go...

Penultimate Eye Liner - Specially packaged for the Tabloid Beauty collection: a liquid, pen-style liner that provides the ultimate precise, bold line in a rich, deep, carbon-black shade. Goes on fluidly in one steady stroke to style any fashion of eye line. Clinically proven to wear for up to 12 hours. Special sleeves are available only while supplies last.
- Rapidblack - true black

Plush Lash - Specially packaged for the Tabloid Beauty collection: a mascara formulated to instantly plump-up lashes for an extreme, voluptuous effect. Builds volume smoothly and evenly from root to tip. Delivers a silky, flexible, full fan of lashes. Also lengthens, curls, and lifts. This mascara features everything you want with no clumping, spiking, smudging, or flaking. In clinical tests provides lashes with a 112% increase in fullness and 125% increase in curl. Special sleeves are available only while supplies last.
- Plushblack - black
- Brownette - chocolate brown

Pro Longwear Lustre Lipcolour - Specially packaged for the Tabloid Beauty collection: a long-wearing lip colour that applies in two quick steps. Apply the colour, let it dry, then add the top coat! Provides sheer to medium coverage with a rich, lustrous, moisturizing finish. Doesn't smudge, run, transfer, or feather - proven to provide up to eight hours of transfer-free wear. Replacement top coats available. Special sleeves are available only while supplies last.
- Lishious - soft peach with gold pearl (Lustre)
- Jazz-Y-Razz - dirty plum with pearl (Lustre)
- Boss Brown - chocolate brown with pearl (Lustre)
- Night Rose - rich plum with gold pearl (Lustre)
- Betwixt - rich red-copper with pearl (Lustre)
- Sappho - fine wine

Pro Longwear Lipcolour - Specially packaged for the Tabloid Beauty collection: a long-wearing lip colour that applies in two quick steps. Stroke the colour base on, flip the stick, and apply the clear gloss. Soft and comfortable to wear. Doesn't smudge, run, transfer, or feather - proven to provide up to eight hours of transfer-free wear. Best removed with Cleanse Off Oil. Special sleeves are available only while supplies last.
- Durashell - soft pink with gold pearl (Frost)
- Loyal - warmed brown beige (Cream)
- Passion Preserved - subdued brick red (Cream)
- Commitment - rich reddened brown (Frost)
- Clingpeach - shimmering peach (Frost)
- For Keeps - rose-plum with iridescense (Frost)
- Perennial Rose - dusty pink with gold pearl (Frost)
- Lasting Lust - smoldering red (Cream)
- Stuck On You - berry-red with gold pearl (Frost)
- Unchanging - soft neutral lilac pink (Cream)

Prep + Prime Line Filler - Specially packaged for the Tabloid Beauty collection: a primer used post-foundation, pre-makeup to camouflage, soften and relax lines and wrinkles. Applies as a cream; dries to a transparent natural matte finish. Clinically proven to help rejuvenate your look: in tests 78% of panelists saw increased firmness and 83% saw visible lifting, while 87% noted benefits in the look of lines and wrinkles. Special sleeves available only while supplies last.

Prep + Prime Skin Refined Zone - Speciallu packaged for Tabloid Beauty collection: this partial primer is a lightweight, oil-free, soy-based emulsion that instantly helps to mask visible pores and control excess surface oil and shine. Clinical tests show immediate reduction in the visibility of pores by 37% and, over time, this product reduces clogged pores by more than 25%. With regular use, the appearance of pores shrinks to almost two-thirds their original size. Special sleeves available only while supplies last.

I think I am just on MAC overload right now..nothing from this collection is really appealing to me either. I like it more than Riveting but I'm still not a huge fan of the items. Maybe I am just grumpy...I don't know. I like limited edition packagined but after looking at all of these products, I am feeling that it is on the gaudy side. What do I want? I want the Eye Liner in the Rapidblack shade, the Lipcolours in Durashell, Perennial Rose, Lasting Lust, and Unchanging. Also I would like the Prep + Prime Skin Refined Zone. I guess I am just getting overloaded right now with all the new MAC collections.

photo courtesy of MAC

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Clinique Moisture Surge Face Gel

I feel like this winter is never ending. I no longer have my car dug out and the snow begins to melt a tiny bit when more snow is predicted in the weather forecast. And so far this winter, we have always gotten what they predict. It's a never ending cycle and all I want is spring and warm weather. My skin is dry and crabby and is making me crabby. A good moisturizer is needed right now.

Last winter, I received Clinique Moisture Surge when Macy*s was involved in a class action suit. Part of the settlement was that certain brands had to give a product for free to anyone who came into Macy*s on that day. The selection was pretty limited so I wasn't even going to go in when a coworker got back from lunch and showed me this face gel. This was already her favorite facial care product so she was very happy that she got a chance to get it for free. I decided that I would drop by after work and see what all products were left over. This was one of the few left so I decided to give it a shot over the heavier anti-aging serums.

Clinique describes the product as follows, "Enjoy rapid refreshment and a full 24 hours of soothing moisture with an addictive by-a-waterfall feel. Advanced hydration boosters and a new botanical blend hold skin's moisture in balance through stressful shifts in humidity, indoors and out." This product is a lightweight gel formula that is suitable for all but the most oily skin types. Also, since it is made to the same high standards as all Clinique skincare, it didn't irritate my sensitive skin and helped to reduce the appearance of redness in my cheek area.

Clinique states that this product can be used in two ways. The first is day and night as a traditional moisturizer and the second as a gel mask for intense hydration. I never used it as a mask but I was very happy with the twice daily usage. Clinique is correct in that the texture is addictive, it is soothing, calming and instantly hydrating. I was very unhappy when I finished this product. I feel like I used this product up much faster than I usually use up face creams, so I don't know if the packaging made it bigger and so I thought that it would last longer or what.

This is a face gel that I would recommend for normal to dry skin in the winter. Even though the texture is lighter than many other facial care products that I have used in the past, I do feel that it could become too heavy for proper usage in the summer months. This is good basic moisturizer, it is not formulated to reduce redness, reduce signs of aging, or help any other skin condition. However, you will get nice results from it and you will be more than pleased with it's non-oily feeling hydration.

photo courtesy of Clinique

Friday, February 26, 2010

DuWop Spring 2010 Collection

The new Spring 201o collection from DuWop is on the smaller side, it consists of only three products in total. DuWop describes the colleciton in one word "Eyecatching". It consists of a new line of eye shadows and other lips items that build off of their best-selling Lip Venom. I am a bit disappoined that this collection is small and that there are no new face products being offered this season. But let's look at the three newest products and see how they stack up.

EyeCatcher Shadows - Using basic color theory, EyeCatcher Shadows contain a matte shade that directly contrasts the color of the iris. On the other side is a shimmering mosaic of shadows that match the iris, creating the ultimate eye-enhancing duo. The matte shadows should be applied over the entire lid into the crease, the shimmery shade is then layered on top, at the lashline. This combination of contrasting and matching the eye color brings out the blue in blue eyes, the green in green eyes, and the golden tones in brown eyes.
- Blue Eye Intensifier - matte amber/marbled blue shimmer
- Green Eye Intensifier - matte burgundy/marbled green shimmer
- Brown Eye Intensifier - matte violet/marbled gold shimmer

Plumping Paste - Plumpers have come a long way since the dawn of the original Lip Venom ten years ago. DuWop constantly strives for innovation in this category and has created a treatment masque for the lips that conditions, exfoliates, and plumps simultaneously. Plumping Paste has a rich consistency, dense with conditioners like castor seed oil and hydrogenated jojoba. It also contains a new, highly effective ingredient to gently exfoliate and condition. An alternative to sugar scrubs, Plumping Paste uses jojoba beads that are massaged into the lips and wiped away with a damp cloth after 10 minutes. Combined with the classic Venom formula, Plumping Paste leaves the lips supple, full, and hydrated - the perfect canvas for lipstick or gloss.

Plumparazzi Kit - Plumparazzi Kit is a Sephora exclusive that features Plumping Paste, Lip Venom, Prime Venom, and a deluxe sample of Venom Gloss packaged in a special oversized version of Lip Venom's signature pink container. Plumparazzi Kit contains several of DuWop's superstar plumping products so there is a lip plumper for every occasion all in one package. The Plumparazzi Kit contains these signature DuWop products:
- Plumping Paste - a lip masque that conditions, exfoliates, and plumps the lips simultaneously.
- Lip Venom - the very first lip plumper on the market creating the lip plumper category, this lip gloss blends essential oils including cinnamon, wintergreen, and ginger, that cause the blood to rush to the surface of the lips, flushing and swelling them slightly.
- Prime Venom - a satin matte lip balm that plumps, primes, and conditions the lips leaving them supple and conditioned allowing lipstick to go on smoother and last longer.
- Venom Gloss - a high gloss that imparts shine with stunning color while giving the lips extra volume an extra volume boost utilizing the same blend of essential oils used in the popular Lip Venom.

From this little collection, I want the Blue EyeCatcher and the Plumping Paste. I have always used the Lip Venom Lite and I would like to try out the Plumping Paste. The Plumping Paste would allow me to use it under any lip product instead of only by itself (which is how I have found that the Lip Venom works the best). The EyeCatcher is a very interesting concept since I have always been against blue shades on blue eyes. I am going to give this a shot and see how their concept works for me.

photo courtesy of DuWop

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Philosophy Falling In Love

Philosophy Falling In Love is a fragrance that I have had for well over two years and have fallen in and out of love with several times. To illustrate my relationship with this fragrance, I have used about 25% of the bottle in less time than I used an entire bottle of Amazing Grace. There are times that I am in love with this fragrance and can use it every single day for a week or more than I go through a period in which I can't even smell it without getting a headache. It is very sweet and musky so it attracts both fans and haters with equal fervor.

Here is the fragrance description from the Philosophy website, "Falling In Love fragrance was created for one reason and one reason only...to make a woman smell and feel absolutely, positively, romantic, Falling In Love is a romantic fragrance that is worn by women, but loved by men and was created to give women a tool for helping balance their feminity with their sensuality." I found a list of the notes on the Sephora website. Here they are - vanilla, jasmine, lily of the valley, musk, and blackberry. The fragrance is very much on the sweet side and the vanilla note is very prominent. At one point, I thought that a cotton candy note would be in this fragrance with how sweet it smells. I think that it is the musk note that makes this fragrance so strong and induces the headache on some days. Also, I tend to get sick of berry notes very quickly so that is another issue I tend to have with the fragrance.

I bought this fragrance in both the EDT and the 3 in 1 about two and half years ago at Sephora. The EDT is the major target of my roller coaster realtionship with the fragrance, I can use the 3 in 1 every single day in the shower and never get overwhelmed with it. This fragrance is also offered in a lotion form but I have a feeling that it would not be worth it for me to purchase it for the above reasons surrounding the EDT. When I originally bought these products, a bar soap form of this fragrance was offered and I would love for that product to still be available.

I doubt that I will get this EDT used up anytime soon but I bet that I will use up the 3 in 1 and I would repurhcase that product. This fragrance can just get a bit too heavy on some days and induces a headache for me. And I'm not the only one, my mother is sensitive to many fragrances and this one totally kills her. I wish that the bar were still available, they were a beautiful pale lavender shade and would be lovely to set in a guest bathroom.

photo courtesy of Philosophy

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bath and Body Works Passport Tahiti

This is another part of my Bath and Body Works shopping trip. The first part was the new Aromatherapy products that I will be putting away for next fall, the second and third parts are the fragrances that I will be using all through the warmer weather. Today we will look at the Passport Tahiti line and then later we will look at the new Signature Fragrance. Passport Tahiti is a re-release of the Ile de Tahiti line that first came out in the winter of 2007. The line was an instant hit but was limited edition and the few remaining products ended up on sale that June. In the winter of 2009, Bath and Body reintroduced the line under the same name with one of the same fragrances and a new one. Again this winter, the line is back with a different name and one new fragrance but with one returning fragrance and the exact same packaging as other year. In previous years, the line was named Ile de Tahiti and it is now Passport Tahiti. I own some products from the first release and now have both some from the current release.

The fragrance that I bought from the release is the Coconut Vanille, the returning fragrance. From the Bath and Body Works website, "As the islands take in gentle rays, skin instantly drinks in this exclusive, sacred Tamanoi blend, a secret of Tahitian women for centuries. The wildcrafted Tamanu nut helps skin soothe and heal itself, while Monoi oil provides unequaled moisture for thristy skin. Now you body may drink these ancient sources of healing and beauty as a daily ritual." The Coconut Vanille fragrance is simply heavenly and is a mixture of coconut and bamboo with White Iris and musk. This was my favorite fragrance of the line and still is, year after year.

The new fragrance this collection is called Island Mimosa and is what I decided to buy this time around since I am well stocked on Coconut Vanille. This fragrance is a mix of florals and tropical fruits and makes me long to go to the beach. This fragrance has a dominant mimosa floral note mixed with apricot nectar and guava for balance. I bought this in the wash and the lotion.

Both of these fragrances are offered in a body wash, body lotion, and a fragrance mist. The Coconut Vanille also comes in a body butter which is my overall favorite product from the whole line. The lotion is a lightweight texture in a pump bottle. The wash is on the thicker and creamier side but still creates a mountain of bubbles on my puff. I feel that this body wash formula is one of the best that Bath and Body Works has ever offered and I wish that it would be available all year round in more fragrances. The body butter is very thick and is recommended only for the driest of skins. My major disappointment this time around is the fragrance mist. I don't recall what this company offered in the 2009 collection but in the original line a higher quality EDT was offered. I sprayed myself with the fragrance mist in Island Mimosa and was very unimpressed with the lasting power. An EDT in Island Mimosa would have rocked my world, I will need to look for a fragrance from Comptoir Sud to match this line.

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

MAC Riveting

Oh another new collection from MAC! I just got Viva Glam Gaga in the mail and now we are moving on to more new products. FYI - I love the lipstick shade, however I only recommend it for the pale skintones with cool undertones. I do think that the Cyndi shade is more universal. That being stated, let's check out the new Riveting collection from MAC. MAC states that, "Rock Goddesses are never afraid to strut their stuff and step up to the spotlight. This is rock-steady metal collection that pays homage to their strength and power! A fashion trend, true, but oh-so-much more is what makes these girls Riveting."

Time to check it out...

48 Lash - Longer wispy bundles with an even edge create a flirty fringe that verges on the dramatic.

Penultimate Eye Liner - A liquid pen-style liner that provides the ultimate precise, bold line in a rich, deep carbon black shade. Goes on fluidly, in one steady stroke, to style any fashion of eye line.
- Rapidblack - true black

Lipstick - Colour plus texture for the lips. Stands out on the runway. Simmers on the street! What made MAC famous.
- Bubbles - shimmery warm white (Glaze)
- Metal Maven - pale frosted silver (Frost)
- Show Orchid - vivid hot pink (Amplified Creme)
- Riveting - mid-tone dirty taupe (Glaze)

Tinted Lipglass - A unique lip gloss available in a wide variety of colours that can create a high gloss, glass-like finish or a subtle sheen. Designed to be worn on its own, over Lip Pencil or Lipstick, Tinted Lipglass is the perfect product for creating shine that lasts. It's pigmented, very shiny, and can impart subtle or dramatic colour. It contains Jojoba Oil to help soften and condition the lips. Tinted Lipglass is packaged in a convenient bottle with a sponge tip applicator that provides a quick, smooth, even application.
- Rock Out - light icy silver with pearl (Frost)
- True Babe - creamy mid-tone bright blue pink (Cream)

Powder Blush - Colour for the cheeks and face. Various formulas. Different looks.
- Full Fushcia - very bright iridescent fushcia (Frost)
- Dirty Plum - deep plum (Matte)

188 Small Duo Fibre Brush - A flat-topped, full circular brush used for lightweight application and blending of any formula colour - fluid, cream, powder, or pigment. Ideal for creating soft layers or adding textures. Made from a soft blend of goat and synthetic fibres.

Nail Lacquer - Revoluntionary new high gloss formula. Three long-wearing finishes - Cream, Sheer, and Frosted. Visibly different. Provides no-streak/no-chip finish. Contains conditioners and UV protection. Go hi-lacquer!
- Studded - true silver with pearl (Matte)
- Black Enough? - black (Matte)
- Wham Bam Glam - cool dark taupe (Matte)
This collection is a total miss for me. I want only two items, the Nail Lacquer in Studded and the Tinted Lipglass in True Babe. And the lip shade might be a total miss for me, depending on how bright it is. Oh well...I can't win them all.

photo courtesy of MAC

Monday, February 22, 2010

Stila Spring 2010 Collection

The Spring 2010 Collection from Stila is the most unique all of the collections that I have looked at so far. Some of the offered shades are much deeper than your usual spring offerings and are very shimmery. It honestly resembles more of a Holiday collection than a warm weather collection. But I am going to look at it and decide myself whether it is springy enough or if it will be going into storage until next fall.

Here are the products...

Jewel Eye Shadow Palette - A glistening palette with four sparkling shades. Take your eye look to a new level! This Jewel Eye Shadow formula creates a wave of color that glimmers and sparkles across your lids for a brillant, out-of-this-world, sequin-like reflection. This palette provides buildable, smooth-gliding color and the perfect blend of pigment, transparent talc, and pearl delivers a weightless feel on the eye.
- Rose Quartz - light pink with silver sparkle
- Amethyst - grey eggplant with champagne sparkle
- Black Diamond - black with silver sparkle
- Golden Topaz - champagne shimmer with silver and gold sparkle

Jewel Lip Glaze Trio - A trio of glistening, jewel-infused glosses. The set features three glosses with an innovative formula that glides on seamlessly and leaves a celestial wave of sequin-like reflections on the lips. The luxurious glosses contain Stila's Exclusive Gem Complex, which contains diamond, emerald, jade, ruby, moonstone, rose quartz, sapphire, topaz, amethyst, amber, garnet, mother of pearl, and opal. Mango seed butter, goa seed butter, and shea butter also offer moisturizing benefits.
- Pink Diamond - pink with pink sparkle
- Amethyst - warm plum with gold sparkle
- Golden Topaz - amber bronze with pink sparkle

Black Diamond Mascara - A luxurious mascara swirled with authentic crushed diamonds. Blended with shimmer and infused with genuine black diamond powder, this innovative formula lengthens and adheres perfectly to lashes thanks to its jelly and filmogen complex. The result is unusually soft, plush, comfortable feeling along with a defined, lengthened look.
- Black Shimmer - black infused with silver shimmer
- Blue Shimmer - black infused with blue shimmer

Eye Shadow Trio - An eye shadow trio featuring Stila's award winning formula. Three complementary shades in one: base, crease, and liner make your makeup a complete breeze. Each trio contains three shades pressed into one piece, which can fit into any Stila refillable compact.
- Afterhours - bright, vibrant shades
- Bella - pinks and burgundies
- Goddess - neutral-bronzes
- Going Green - green hues
- Rocker - smokey greys
- Venus - plums
Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner - An easy-application, waterproof liquid liner that stays on all day and night. This easy-glide, quick-dry precision liner stays in place until you say when - no smudges, feathering, or running. The thin, marker-like tip is easy to use, even for the beauty beginner, and delivers any look (from a thin line to a bold, dramatic stroke!). It goes on smoothly without skipping, smudging, or pulling, and lasts all day!
- Black - black

Yumberry Crush Lip & Cheek Stain - A multi-tasking, crave-worthy pink shade for lips and cheeks. Apply this personalized, sheer, mid-tone pink hue for a naturally beautiful, healthy flush. Rich in vitamins and potent anti-oxidants, this superfruit hue is irresistable. Yumberry fruits boast the highest amount of the most potent anti-oxidants (OPCs, Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins) and are known to be 50 times stronger than Vitamin E and 20 times stronger than Vitamin C. Yumberry may also help slow the degeneration of collagen, this supporting the natural structure of the skin and slowing premature aging.
- Yumberry - sheer pearlized pink

I agree with others that have stated some of the items in this collection seem to be more Holiday than Spring. The new eye shade palette and the Jewel Lip Glazes are the items that jumped out to me as not being the traditional Spring hues. However, I love both of these two items and will be purhcasing them. I plan to try them out and decide what season they will be more appropriate for. I also really love the Yumberry Lip and Cheek Stain and cannot wait to order it as soon as Sephora gets it back in stock. From the Eye Shadow Trios, I want to get Bella, Goddess, Rocker, and Venus.

I am very, very curious about the Black Diamond Mascara. This formula sounds very unique and I can't wait to get both of these and test them out. I especially am curious about the black shade with the blue shimmer in it. I have heard from any sources that blue mascara makes your eyes look whiter and brighter but I have never tried any blue shades out. I am hoping that this mascara will provide all the same benefits that other blues will but still retain the deep black shade. As soon as I can get one of these, I will be reporting back about the results.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Friday, February 19, 2010

MOP Glisten Shampoo and Conditioner

I feel like haven't used MOP hair products in ages. I have been running through my stash of them quite quickly and haven't been able to replace my used up items since Bath and Body Works is no longer carrying this brand. Today we are going to look at the shampoo and conditioner that are offered in the Glisten line. The shampoo is my favorite from this MOP, the conditioner not so much. I initally received the shampoo from the MOP vendor at Bath and Body Works and liked it so much that soon after I bought myself the conditioner to match hoping that it would boost the effect of the shampoo.

MOP recommends the products for fine hair that needs volume. However, I do not agreed with that recommendation since the products worked very well on my thick, dry hair. "Glisten Shampoo gently cleanses while bathing hair in the freshness of Vitamin C infused orange extract. Stressed out strands need extra help without the heft. Pure maple syrup and honey boost hair's body and shine while helping to repair damage. Certified organic linseed oil and whole wheat protein restore and protect while you bathe your hair in the freshness of Vitamin C infused orange extract." Three major active ingredients that are listed are maple syrup, honey, and avocado. The inclusion of maple syrup and honey in this product are why I can't fathom how well it would work for fine hair, these are very hydrating ingredients are great for hydrating and producing shine but will weigh finer hair down.

The conditioner is also recommended for fine hair that needs volume. "Glisten Conditioner enhances hair's body and shine with natural humectants like maple syrup and honey. Need a quick remedy for the stress of getting gorgeous? Help strengthen, restore, and protect hair with avocado and linseed oils. Honey serves as one of nature's most powerful humectants and works with jojoba oil to maximize moisture and fullness. Wheat protein helps repair chemical and environmental damage while pure maple syrup infuses hair with body and shine." My same thoughts on the active ingredients hold for the conditioner also.

Of the two products, the shampoo is by far my favorite. I get a rich creamy lather with it, it helps to hydrate my hair, and I can see the difference in how shiny the finished product is. Now the conditioner was a let down, I was expecting a product that would be even more hydrating than the shampoo. This conditioner's texture was too thin for my liking and didn't really do much to hydrate my hair or to add shine to it. Which is rather odd since normally a conditioner does this better than the matching shampoo.

Shampoo is great, it is highly recommended for purchase. The conditioner would be better to skip but the shampoo is great when paired with Phyto's PhytoSesame. They are an ideal combination for my hair.

photo courtesy of Modern Organic Products

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

LUSH Chox Away Soap

Chox Away is a soap that was released by LUSH in mid spring 2009. I wanted it as soon as I heard about it but since it is a chocolate scent, I put off getting it until it was closer to fall and winter. I finally bought it last September in the LUSH store on Broadway and I was very excited to use it. Now that I have finally gotten enough items out of my shower that I could open it up and get it out, I have been using it every morning. And my very high hopes for this product were utterly dashed...

The U.S.A. LUSH site states the following about the product, "We love chocolate and know we're not alone in this. Luckily for us, chocolate is softening on the skin and smells delectable, which is why we stir white chocolate and dark chocolate into each batch of Chox Away. We scent this soap with the mouth-watering sweet orange, vanilla, chocolate, and peppermint fragrance from our Honey Trap lip balm. So if it's chocolate you love, lather up with Chox Away; it will satisify your cravings and won't increase you waist size!"

So why did I not like this soap? First and foremost, it has little to no scent at all. The little bit of scent that comes from the bar is a chocolate peppermint (which I don't mind at all), but overall this is the lightest scented bar soap that I have ever used. And I love how strongly scented LUSH bar soaps are, Rockstar makes the whole bathroom smell for hours after I get out of the shower, this one I couldn't even smell on my skin after rinsing off. The scent coming off the pile of soap in the store was very chocolate and so I was very excited for a strong chocolate scent.

This soap doesn't lather at all and therfore doesn't dry my skin out. This I do like in this wintertime since my skin is very dry right now. So I like this performance of this soap but I wish that it had a much stronger fragrance. I am also mad at myself for buying a huge chunk of this soap without having tried it out first. Initially, I wondered if I just got a bad bar of this soap since LUSH products are much more natural and I thought that maybe my bar was going bad already. However, I asked the question on the Makeup Alley Bath and Body Board and all the responses were about the same experience that I had with the soap. I will use up the bar that I have but I won't be buying this product again, I will just be sticking with my beloved Rockstar.

photo courtesy of LUSH USA

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

MAC and Milk

Ok this is getting to be overkill from MAC. First, we had the highly anticipated Spring Colour Forecast in four parts then Viva Glam came out, and now I see that MAC had teamed up Milk to design a new collection for Spring. Not that I mind new collections from MAC, but I wish that they had released this one on its own, it is somewhat dwarfed by Spring Colour Forecast and won't get the attention that it deserves. MAC describes this collaboration right here, "A spirited collaboration between New York Fashion Week's most ardent supporters, this season's MAC & Milk event adds a new dimension: an exclusive, runway-ready collection of makeup essentials suited to every shade of skin. Shop now!"

Here is the collection...

Eye Shadow - Highly-pigmented powder. Applies evenly, blends well.
- Brown Down - teddy bear brown (Veluxe)
- Copperplate - muted mid-tone grey (Matte2)

Brow Set - Slick! Strokes on. Adds shine, style, grooming, overall wow! to the brows. A brush-on gel that grooms and slicks brows into shape without flaking or stiffening the brows. Available in several tinted shades or clear, it can be used on its own, or for a nice natural look stroke over Eye Brows. May also be used on lashes, sideburns, and chops - any facial hair.
- Clear - colour-free

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". Smudgeproof and long-wearing!
- Zoomblack - rich black

Eye Kohl - A soft-on pencil liner that lines, defines, and shades the eyes with rich colour and a silky-smooth finish. Ophthalmologist tested.
- Smolder - intense black

Lipstick - Colour plus texture for the lips. Stands out on the the runway. Simmers on the street! What made MAC famous.
- Freckletone - neutral peach (Lustre)
- Fleshpot - nude beige (Lustre)

Clear Lipglass - A unique lip gloss that can create a high gloss, glass-like finish or a subtle sheen. Designed to be worn on its own, over Lip Pencil or Lipstick, Clear Lipglass is the perfect product for creating shine that lasts. It contains Jojoba Oil to help soften and condition the lips and a tiny bead of this highly concentrated product is all that's needed to cover the lip area. Packaged in a convenient squeeze tube, Clear Lipglass is easy to apply using a lip brush. Clear Lipglass can be mixed with other products, like Pigments, and can be applied anywhere on the body except for the eye area to create interesting effects.

Mineralize Skinfinish Natural - A luxurious domed face powder with minerals, slowly baked to provide a dimensional yet natural-matte finish. Provides perfect low coverage. Use to set and fix foundation or as a touch-up throughout the day. Available in a range of hues to match all skintones.

Face and Body Foundation - A water-based, water-resistant foundation that provides long-lasting, natural coverage for face and/or body. Ideal for all skin types. Face and Body Foundation provides sheer, natural looking coverage in an easy to blend, water-resistant formula. The long-lasting formula is available in a wide range of colours and contains several emollients to help moisturize and condition the skin. It delivers professional looking results that meet the exacting standards of beauty photography and is ideal for perfecting the face and body. Available in a wide range of hues to match all skintones.

Fast Response Eye Cream - The super-charged, caffeinated cream with instant effects. De-puffs, erases the look of dark circles, firms, smoothes, and softens skin around the eye. Special optics act like magic to fade away lines.

Strobe Cream - The ultimate fix for the skin. Super-powered with potent botanicals; de-snoozes, de-stresses, moistens, freshens, and boosts the look of dull, flat, or tired-looking skin with a fully loaded vitamin zap and a mega dose of green tea. Brightens and clarifies with iridescent particles and antioxidants. Enhances the effects oflight on all skin and in all lighting conditions from sunlight to spotlight.

Fix+ - An aqua-spritz of vitamin and minerals, infused with a calm-the-skin blend of green tea, chamomile, cucumber, topped off with the fresh, natural, energizing scent of Sugi. Adds radiance, finishes makeup. Spray it on. Skin drinks it up!

187 Duo Fibre Brush - A large full circular brush used for lightweight application and blending of face powder or pigments. Use to create soft layers or add textures. Made from a soft blend of goat and synthetic fibers.

Ummm...I fail to see what the point of this collection really is. There are very few colour selections and most of the products have already been part of one or more collections dealing with creating perfect skin. The major thing that this collection did was get me interested in the MAC skincare products that I haven't tried yet. I would be interested in testing all of the skincare products that have been included in this collection.

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Monday, February 15, 2010

Essie Spring 2010 Collection - The Art of Spring

The newest collection from the nail polish company Essie is a group of pale and red shades that are named after periods in art history. I really loved the Holiday Collection from Essie so I am hoping that this one lives up to the high expectations that I have for them this Spring. There are six shades in this collection so let's check them all out without further ado.

The first shade is called Lilacism and is described as "elegant and enchanting, this satiny smooth lilac whispers springtime". This shade is a beautiful pale lilac cream and I already have fallen in love it.

The second new shade is called Neo Whimsical and is described as "flaunt your classic taste with this rose-plum hue". This shade is a deeper lilac with a rose tint. This shade is quite pretty and I want this too.

The third shade is named Pop Art Pink and it is described as "add a pop of romance with this sheer chiffon pink". This one appears to be a sheer creamy pale pink that should be along the lines of Ballet Slippers. I already own a bunch of polishes that look like this one but this one has still captured my heart and I want to get it too.

The fourth shade is named Red Nouveau and it is described as "the new must-have red is a fiery hot crimson that makes a true fashion statement". This one is a true cream red and would work eqaully well throughout all four seasons. This is another one that I want to get.

The fifth shade is called Tart Deco and it is described as "chic and modern, this dreamy coral is an artistic burst of color". This one if the brightest of the collection and it is a creamy coral. I don't like coral shades in general so this one doesn't appeal to me and is one that I doubt that I would be purchasing.

The last shade is named Van D'Go and it is described as "impressionist or not, this peachy keen shade leaves a vivid impact." The shade is a pale peach cream and is the other one in the collection that doesn't really appeal to me.

Also, Essie is offering sets with this collection. The first set that is offered is a set that contains four mini polishes of the new shades. Pop Art Pink, Lilacism, Tart Deco, and Red Nouveau are offered together in this set. The second set that is offered with the spring shades is a set that contains all six new shades in the full size bottles.

From this collection, I don't think that I will be getting any of the sets but I will be indulging in a few of the single bottles of polish. On top of my list is Lilacism, I am currently in love with this shade. Also, I will be picking up Neo Whimsical, Pop Art Pink, and Red Nouveau. I love this collection and these are some great offerings for spring.

photo courtesy of Essie

Sunday, February 14, 2010

R.I.P. Alexander McQueen

It's Valentine's Day...

My original plan was to ignore the day totally and publish a column about Essie's Spring line. However, circumstances change and you will have to wait to get your spring nail polish shade fix. What changed my feelings? The suicide of Alexander McQueen and the entire subject of suicide itself. In my mind, suicide is not about cowardice, it is about intense pain and the feelings of hopelessness and complete despair. When everyday becomes a struggle to get out of bed and go about life, when you feel utterly isolated, when nothing can make you happy, when you feel that no one cares or will listen. When beauty transforms into the looking down at the water from the edge of the bridge or the end of the hangman's rope. Eternal nothingness seems as though it will be heaven.

My first introduction to McQueen was in the mid 1990s. A fat sixth grader was given an issue of Vogue by her mother to shut her up while the family went on vacation. This issue became studied and treasured since later her mother decided that Seventeen had more appropriate content for her child. It was a fall fashion issue, an introduction to McQueen and Galliano and the beginning of Tom Ford's work with Gucci and Stella McCartney's work with Chloe. I still have this issue and will never part with it. I entered a world of beauty and fantasy that day that I have never left.

McQueen was unabashedly avant-garde. Throughout his career, he shocked and amazed both his followers and his critics. He never produced collections that were so similar that there is no reason to shop them. He used the latest technology to bring drama to his shows, including a lifesize hologram of Kate Moss in his Fall 2006 runway show. He shocked the world by having a show in which robots spray-painted Shalom Harlow (the photo shown here). He began with a reign at Givenchy then went on to have his own brand in the beginning of 2001. His designed produced two of the largest overall trends of the last few years, low slung pants or "bumsters" and the use of skulls on pieces of clothing and accessories. He has left an undeniable mark on the fashion world for decades to come.

All the articles on his death state that his suicide arose out of his despair of the death of his mother earlier in the month. Did anyone notice what he thought or felt? I really wonder...

Today is the official day of love. Instead of wasting money on roses that will die and candy that will fatten your lover's thighs, take the time to call a friend or relative and ask them how they are doing. Ask them about anything...hopes, feelings, thoughts. Don't be afraid to care. Don't be afraid to listen. Some people just need to be asked and they will be able to talk out their problems, others need a bit more probing. According to suicide.org, more people die by suicide than by homicide. This needs to end...
Suicide is not cowardice, it is heart-breaking and a death that can be prevented by society. Take the time and talk to someone you love. you may change their life today.

facts and figures quoted here are from Style.com and Suicide.org
photo courtesy of Style.com

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Origins GinZing Eye Cream

You might remember my raving about getting good samples when I talked about the Nude Facial Cleansing Oil and how much I loved to get samples of products that I already really wanted to try. That theme occurs again in this entry. I read about this product last fall and it went right onto a Most Wanted list. However, I was buying some Prescriptives early last November and it was right when Macy*s was having a beauty event and I was lucky enough to receive a generius sample of this packed up in a box with many others.

Here are the product details from the Origins website, "GinZing Refreshing eye cream to brighten and depuff. 86% brighter appearance. 80% reduction in puffiness. Late night? Long flight? Look tired all the time? Prepare to become one of the perky people! Nature's clinically-proven morning-after cream instantly reduces dark circles. Unsightly bags and puffiness virtually disappear. And Origins proprietary complex of Caffeine from the Coffee bean, Panax Ginseng, Magnolia Extract and natural optical brightners rapidly wakes up , refreshes, and restores radiance to tired eyes."

This is a first for me, trying out a skincare product from Origins. I don't have much from there and what I do have is mostly body products and makeup brushes. I wasn't quite sure what to expect but I honestly was expecting a fair product that helped with depuffing and somewhat with dark circle reduction and undereye brightening. The texture of the product was the first aspect that really pleased me. It has the gel-cream texture that I liked so much in Caudalie's eye cream expect that this one is bit easier to spread than the other.

So other than the wonderful texture, how did this product measure up? Actually quite a bit better than I expected. This make be a bit shocking but I prefer it to the Caudalie eye cream overall and may have found the best depuffing and overall brightening eye cream so far. The directions say to apply this eye cream in the morning or whenever needed. That for me is twice a day, in the morning and at night. After about a week or so, I noticed that the puffiness under my eyes was much reduced. After about two more weeks, I noticed a reduction in the dark circles and the overall lightness of the area. Another huge plus is that this eye cream didn't dry my skin out at all. I was a bit let doww when I went to look this product up on the Origins website though. My sample came in a squeeze tube but the product itself is housed in a tub. I really prefer the squeeze tube and the texture of this product is really suited to the squeeze tube so I wish they would have packaged the full size product just like they did the sample.

However, that isn't a serious enough flaw for me to not purchase the product because the other qualities of this product are superior to all that I have tried so far.

photo courtesy of Origins

Friday, February 12, 2010

MAC Viva Glam - From Our Lips

Well this was a bit of shock when I went on the MAC website a few minutes ago. I just finished up Spring Colour Forecast several days ago and will be starting MAC and Milk right after this. I didn't expect the newest Viva Glam out for another month since all the blogs stated that it would be coming out around St. Patrick's Day. However, it is up on the MAC website with the promo pics that I put up earlier of Lady GaGa and Cyndi Lauper. I am so pumped right now!

"Time to wham up the GLAM in VIVA GLAM! It's a gaga-glamorous look at our abiding passion: The MAC Aids Fund and the VIVA GLAM program are the heart and soul of MAC Cosmetics. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the sensational Cyndi Lauper and the eletric Lady GaGa!" There are two lipsticks in this collection, one for each of the new spokesladies.

VIVA GLAM Cyndi - A limited edition VIVA GLAM Lipstick named after celebrity spokesperson, Cyndi Lauper. Features a high-lustre finish and a light coral-red color. As with all VIVA GLAM products, every cent raised through the purchase of VIVA GLAM Cyndi goes to the MAC AIDS Fund to support the fight against HIV/AIDS.

VIVA GLAM Gaga - A limited edition VIVA GLAM Lisptick named after celebrity spokesperson, Lady GaGa. Features a high-lustre finish and a cool blue-pink shade. As with all VIVIA GLAM products, every cent rasied through the purchase of VIVA GLAM Gaga goes to the MAC AIDS Fund to support the fight against HIV/AIDS.

I want the Gaga shade and I am ordering it as I type this sentence. I am so beyond excited right. Normally, the VIVA GLAM shades sell out before I ever get my little paws on them and I end up having to wait until MAC is able to re-stock several months after the release.

To quote Gaga herself, "So happy I could die and it's alright."

photo courtesy of MAC

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Sandalwood Fig

I had a major Bath and Body Works shopping experience several days ago. Quite frankly, I had a bag filled up in about ten minutes after my entrance into the store. To be fair, I haven't really loved anything from there since they introduced P.S. I Love You last fall and hadn't really spent much money there throughout the holidays and during their sale. So my shopping spree there was a long time in coming.

Three of the items that I purchased that day were from the Aromatherapy collection. They have introduced a new fragrance in the Sensual collection called Sandalwood Fig. Interestingly, I like neither sandalwood nor fig but I fell in love with this fragrance when I first tried the lotion out. "Love is in the air. The perfect sensual experience featuring Sandalwood Fig, an irresistable blend of creamy sandalwood, a kiss of fig, and natural pheromones."

This is a cold weather fragrance so I might not even get to open it up before spring hits this year. At the moment, I am trying to use down any winter fragrances that I can before the warmer weather hits. So I think that I will be putting this little part of my haul away until next fall. However, I wasn't going to take any chances on this fragrance being limited edition and not getting any. This fragrance is a sophisticated blend of the two major notes and smells very Jo Malone-esque.

So what did I get? I first picked up the candle and I think that it is my favorite product available in this fragrance. I also decided on the body wash and the matching body lotion. The Bath and Body Works website also has this fragrance available in small candles, a body scrub, a body mist, and a massage oil. If the fragrance is still around next fall/winter, then I think that I will also buy the scrub and the body mist at that time. This is great pick from Bath and Body Works and should appeal to even the most discriminating of body product shoppers. Overall, the Aromatherapy line is one of the highest quality line of products from this company and there is a fragrance in this collection to appeal to everyone.

More to come in upcoming entries about everything else that I purchased that day.

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

MAC Spring Colour Forecast 4

This is the last installment of MAC's Spring Colour Forecast and I must say that I like the concept of the idea and I wouldn't mind seeing them do it again in the upcoming seasons. The last part of the collection is based on amber hues. "If it's precious, excessive, golden, it's AMBER. Pick a mood, decide on a demeanour, then mix it up for a fervent flash of authentic emotion! Find your forecast, pursue yout passion with four vivid, sensual colour ways designed to capture the season in MAC style."

Onto the amber shades of the collection...

Colour 4: Eye Shadow x 4 - Four limited-edition Eye Shadows specially slected to complement the yellow/gold palette of the Spring Colour Forecast collection. Featuring a square design, clear lid and magnetic closure, this marks the debut of our new Eye Shadow x 4 compact.
- Manila Paper - pale frosted white gold (Veluxe Pearl)
- Flip - bronze gold (Frost)
- Aztec Brick - frosted true copper (Veluxe Pearl)
- Creole Beauty - frosted dark golden brown (Frost)

Lipstick - Colour plus texture for the lips. Stands out on the runway. Simmers on the street! What made MAC famous.
- Beigeland - frosted light pink beige (Frost)
- Bronzilla - frosted mid-tone yellow brown (Frost
Tinted Lipglass - A unique lip gloss available in a wide variety of colours that can create a high gloss, glass-like finish or a subtle sheen. Designed to be worn on its own, over Lip Pencil or Lipstick, Tinted Lipglass is the perfect product for creating shine that lasts. It's pigmented, very shiny and can impart subtle or dramatic colour. It contains Jojoba Oil to help soften and condition the lips. Tinted Lipglass is packaged in a convenient bottle with a sponge tip applicator that provides a quick, smooth, even application.
- Almondine - pale yellow gold with pearl (Frost)
- Gold Dust - mid-tone copper with pearl (Frost)

Blush Ombre - A powder blush featuring a shade wave of gentle ombre hues. Ultra-fine formula provides the cheeks with flawless, medium-buildable coverage and lightly pearled, natural-looking radiance. Limited edition.
- Springshine - neutral suntan

Nail Lacquer - Revolutionary new high gloss formula. Three long-wearing finishes - Cream, Sheer, and Frosted. Visibly different. Provides no-streak/no-chip finish. Contains conditioners and UV protection. Go hi-lacquer!
- Abalone shell - light creamy warm beige (Cream)

I have one noticed one huge theme for myself through these four collections, I love most of the eye products that have been offered but I am pretty polarized on the lip shades. I either love them or hate them and this part of the collection is no exception. I am very much looking forward to getting the Lipstick in Beigeland but I don't like any other shades. I can't wait to get my hands on the Eye Shadow x 4, this one looks like it would be perfect to show off my blue eyes. However, that it all that I want from the amber shades, I think that the rest of the collection will be too warm for myself.

photo courtesy of Specktra.net

MAC Spring Colour Forecast 3

The third part of this Spring Colour Forecast Collection is the purple and lavender hued collection. This one is very cool toned and I feel will be the hardest of the collections to successfully pull off. I also wonder if some of the shades might have been more appropriate for a deeper toned collection around the Holidays. I guess it's time to find out. From MAC, "If it's wicked, noble, naughty, it's PLUM. Pick a mood, decide on a demeanour, then mix it up for a fervent flash of authentic emotion! Find your forecast, pursue your passion with four vivid, sensual colour ways designed to capture the season in MAC style."

And now it's time for the purples...

Colour 3: Eye Shadow x 4 - Four limited-edition Eye Shadows specially selected to complement the plum/burgundy palette of the Spring Colour Forecast collection. Featuring a square design, clear lid and magnetic closure, this marks the debut of our new Eye Shadow x 4 compact.
- Mink Pink - neutral soft pink (Veluxe)
- Bruised Plum - frosted mid-tone dirty mauve (Veluxe Pearl)
- Black Tulip - frosted dark grape (Frost)
- Jungle Moon - blackened deep eggplant (Matte)

Lipstick - Colour plus texture for the lips. Stands out on the runway. Simmers on the street! What made MAC famous.
- Radicchio - sheer mid-tone blue mauve (Lustre)
- Hang-Up - deep berry (Cremesheen)
Tinted Lipglass - A unique lip gloss available in a wide variety of colours that can create a high gloss, glass-like finish or a subtle sheen. Designed to be worn on its own, over Lip Pencil or Lipstick, Tinted Lipglass is the perfect product for creating shine that lasts. It's pigmented, very shiny and can impart subtle or dramatic colour. It contains Jojoba Oil to help soften and condition the lips. Tinted Lipglass is packaged in a convenient bottle with a psonge tip applicator that provides a quick, smooth, even application.
- Lavender Wind - lavender with pearl (Frost)
- Purple Rage - dark berry with pearl (Frost)

Nail Lacquer - Revolutionary new high gloss formula. Three long-wearing finishes - Cream, Sheer, and Frosted. Visibly different. Provides no-streak/no-chip finish. Contains conditioners and UV protection. Go hi-lacquer!
- Imperial Splendour - deep creamy violet (Cream)

Oh I love the Imperial Splendour Nail Lacquer. This is my favorite product from this collection. I am interested in the Eye Shadow x 4 and I want to see how MAC creates this new product throughout the upcoming collections. I don't think that I really like any of the lip products except the Tinted Lipglass in Lavender Wind. After looking at this collection, I still have a feeling that these products will be hard to pull off but I am looking forward to grabbing up a couple shades from this collection.

photo courtesy of Specktra.net

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

MAC Spring Colour Forecast 2

The second installment of the Spring Colour Forecast is the coral based part of the collection. This grouping is much warmer and most likely will not be for me but I will keep an open mind and look at the whole collection. "If it's tawny, sensuous, glowing. It's CORAL. Pick a mood, decide on a demeanour, then mix it up for a fervent flash of authentic emotion! Find your forecast, pursue your passion with four vivid, sensual colour ways designed to capture the season in MAC style."

Time for the corals...

Eye Shadow - Highly pigmented powder. Applies evenly, blends well.
- Nanogold - sheer yellow beige with pink pearl (Lustre)
- Straw Fighting - frosty light yellow orange (Veluxe Pearl)
- Perky - Light salmon pink (Satin)
- Hot, Hot, Hot - mid-tone coral (Satin)

Crush Metal Pigment: Stacked 2! - Crush Metal Pigment in a shade wave of four stackable jars, specially selected for the Spring Colour Forecast collection. Provides intense colour payoff and medium coverage with highly reflective metallic sparkle. Creamy, crease-resistant. Long-wearing. Limited edition. Contains the following shades: pale gilded beige, yellow gold, green gold, and copper gold.

Plush Lash - A mascara formulated to instantly plump up lashes for extreme voluptuous effect. Works fast. Builds volume smoothly and evenly from root to tip. Delivers a silky, flexible, full fan of lashes. Fluid formula lightly coats lashes one layer at a time without smearing, smudging, or clumping. Goes on via an innovative, specially patented wand with a v-shaped groove that prunes the bristles on one side while leaving the other side full and lush. The short bristles coax the lashes upward to an extraordinarily sophisticated yet flirtatious curl, while the other side separates and combs the lashes root-to-tip creating a long, well-defined glamour lash. Volumizing, lengthening, curling, lifting. This mascara features everything you want, with all the top mascara no's: no clumping, spiking, smudging, or flaking.
- Plushblack - black

Lipstick - Colour plus texture for the lips. Stands out on the runway. Simmers on the street! What made MAC famous.
- Colour Me Coral - frosted light coral (Frost)
- Victorian - frosted light golden pink (Frost)
- Fresh Salmon - sheer bright pink orange (Lustre)
- Rose Maiden - frosted bright berry (Frost)

Tinted Lipglass - A unique lip gloss available in a wide variety of colours that can create a high gloss, glass-like finish or a subtle sheen. Designed to be worn on its own, over Lip Pencil or Lipstick, Tinted Lipglass is the perfect product for creating shine that lasts. It's pigmented, very shiny, and can impart subtle or dramatic colour. It contains Jojoba Oil to help soften and condition the lips. Tinted Lipglass is packaged in a convenient bottle with a sponge tip applicator that provides a quick, smooth, even application.
- Ember Glow - creamy light apricot (Cream)
- Kumquat - frosty tangerine (Frost)
- Cha Cha - mid-tone pink with gold pearl (Frost)

Blush Ombre - A powder blush featuring a shade wave of gentle ombre hues. Ultra-fine formula provides the cheeks with flawless, medium-buildable coverage and lightly pearled, natural-looking radiance.
- Ripe Peach - light coral

Nail Lacquer - Revolutionary new high gloss formula. Three long-wearing finishes - Cream, Sheer, and Frosted. Visibly different. Provides no-streak/no-chip finish. Contains conditioners and UV protection. Go hi-lacquer!
- Malibu Peach - bright creamy tangerine (Cream)

Creations: MV2 - Cool, calm, and classic. Vanilla teased with lemon, melted with lavender creme, and then given a warming shot of vanilla bourbon mixed with vanilla mousse and heliotrope.

I like a couple pieces from this collection but overall this one isn't my favorite. I like the eye products the best, I want the Eye Shadow in Nanogold and the Crushed Metal Pigment set. None of the lip colors are really for me, but I would like to try a peachier shade of blush. The only peachy shade that I currently own is NARS orgasm but I want to see how I look in a true peach with no shimmer. I don't really know what I feel about the Creations from this collection, I normally don't wear many vanilla fragrances and this one sounds as though it would be one that I would be putting away for next winter.

photo courtesy of Specktra.net

MAC Spring Colour Forecast 1

Within the last week, MAC has released four new collections all under the header "Spring Colour Forecast". Each collection is based off of creating an entire makeup look with the use of one shade. The collection that we are going to look at today is the Spring Colour Forecast 1, the collection that is based on shades of pink. This might just be a favorite of mine. The description of this Spring Colour Forecast is right here, "If it giggles, tickles, teases, it's PINK. Pick a mood, decide on a demeanour, then mix itup for a fervent flash of authentic emotion! Find your forecast, pursue your passion with four vivid, sensual colour ways designed to capture the season in MAC style."

Here are the pinks...

Eye Shadow - Highly pigmented powder. Applies evenly, blends well.
- Rosy Outlook - frosted baby pink (Frost)
- Da Bling - pink with gold pearl (Veluxe Pearl)
- Lala - mid-tone pink (Frost)
- Very Violet - dark violet (Frost)

Crush Metal Pigment: Stacked 1! - Crush Metal Pigment in a shade wave of four stackable jars, specially formulated for the Spring Colour Forecast collection. Provides intense colour payoff and medium coverage with highly reflective metallic sparkle. Creamy, crease-resistant. Long-wearing. Limited edition. Contains the followinng four shades - pale pink frost, mid-tone rose frost, light lilac frost, and dark purple frost.

Plush Lash - A mascara formulated to instantly plump up lashes for extreme voluptous effect. Works fast. Builds volume smoothly and evenly from root to tip. Delivers a silky, flexible full fan of lashes. Fluid formula lightly coats lashes one layer at a time without smearing, smuding, or clumping. Goes on via an innovative, specially patented wand with a v-shaped groove that prunes the bristles on one side with leaving the other side full and lush. The short bristles coax the lashes upward to an extraordinarily sophisticated yet flirtatious curl, while the other side separates and combs the lashes root-to-tip creating a long, well-defined glamour lash. Volumizing, lengthening, curling, lifting. This mascara features everything you want, with all the top mascara no's: no clumping, spiking, smuding, or flaking.
- Plushblack - black

Lipstick - Colour plus texture for the lips. Stands out on the runway. Simmers on the street! What made MAC famous.
- Phlox - sheer light pink (Glaze)
- Bubblegum - light lavender pink (Glaze)
- Laugh A Lot - mauve pink (Lustre)
- Pink Burst - clean bright pink with pearl (Frost)

Tinted Lipglass - A unique lip gloss available in a wide variety of colours that can create a high gloss, glass-like finish or a subtle sheen. Designed to be worn on its own, over Lip Pencil, or Lipstick, Tinted Lipglass is the perfect product for creating shine that lasts. It's pigmented, very shiny, and can impart subtle or dramatic colour. It contains Jojoba Oil to help soften and condition the lips. Tinted Lipglass is packaged in a convenient bottle with a sponge tip applicator that provides a quick, smooth, even application.
- Cultureclash - clear baby pink with pearl (Frost)
- Hush, Hush Rose - mid-tone blue pink with pearl (Frost)
- Electric Fushcia - mid-tone fushcia (Frost)

Blush Ombre - A powder blush featuring a shade wave of gentle ombre hues. Ultra-fine formula provides the cheeks with flawless, medium-buildable coverage and light pearled, natural-looking radiance.
- Azalea Blossom - light cool pink
Nail Lacquer - Revolutionary new high gloss formula. Three long-wearing finishes, Cream, Sheer, and Frosted. Visibly different. Provides no-streak/no-chip finish. Contains conditioners and UV protection. Go hi-lacquer!
- Galore Pink - creamy mid-tone blue pink (Cream)

Creations Hue: Pinkaura - Lingerly floral, slightly foxy. Starts off green then bursts into a flowery boquet of florals, black violet, and magnolia pearls. Sashays into a rich warm amber and balmy vetiver.

As I thought, I love this pink hued color collection and will be wanting a bunch of different items from it. Starting from the top, I want the Eye Shadow in the Rosy Outlook and the Da Bling shades. I love the Azalea Pink Blush shade and I am betting that it will be great for my skin tone. Lippie wise, I want the Lipstick in Phlox and Laugh A Lot and the Tinted Lipglass in Hush, Hush Rose. I have wanted to get Hush, Hush Rose ever since i saw the early pictures on Specktra. net and hopefully I will not be let down when I go to get the actual product. I also cannot wait to get my hands on the Pinkaura perfume that is introduced with this collection, I love florals and have recently been getting into green scents also so this one should become one of Spring staples.

So far I am liking this idea from MAC...

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Philosophy Valentine's Products

Well, I guess that this is the last post about Valentine's Day products for the year. This collection from Philosophy contains products and fragrances that are both Valentine's Day appropriate and will take us all the way into the spring months. As always, this collection consists of both individual products and little sets.

Let's see what's new...

Cherry on Top Shampoo, Shower Gel, and Bubble Bath - Delight your senses with this mood-topping cherry as you lather from head to toe. This formula's rich, creamy foam gently cleanses and conditions, leaving skin and hair feeling soft.

Cherry on Top Lip Shine - Smooth and soften lips to a sweet "maraschino cherry on top perfection" while achieving a beautiful shine and a natural hint of color. The moment you melt this treat into your lips, you will know the good life can't be topped.

Butterscotch Bliss Shampoo, Shower Gel, and Bubble Bath - The classic, smooth, creamy aroma of butterscotch is sure to create a bath or shower experience that will melt you with bliss. This gently cleansing and conditioning formula leaves skin and hair feeling soft and smelling decadent.

Flirty Girl Shampoo, Shower Gel, and Bubble Bath - Bring the playful scent of flirtation to your bathing routine with this gentle formula that leaves skin and hair soft and conditioned, and your attitude ready to take on the world with a wink. The fun-inspiring aroma will always leave you wanting more.

Flirty Girl Body Lotion - Treat your skin to serious moisture, infused with a fun, playful scent. This hydrating formula contains natural olive and macadamia nut oils to help soften skin and aid in moisture retention. A dose of shea butter helps nourish dry skin leaving it feeling silky smooth.

Flirty Girl Lip Shine Duo - This fun, playful duet gives you two ways to make your pout deliciously pink and feminine. Flirty Girl is a softly sweet and delicate pink. Bubble Gum Blow Out is a sugary sweet and deep pink. Both lip shines help hydrate, smooth, and soften lips.

Flirty Girl Set - Philosophy's Flirty Girl scent is sweet, soft, and fun - a lighthearted pick-me-up for girls of all ages. Enjoy a rich, foaming lather formulated to gently cleanse and condition skin and hair. Treat your skin to the natural-oil-infused body lotion, designed to increase moisture retention, provide nourishment and leave skin feeling silky-smooth. Add a brillant finishing touch on lips for the complete flirty effect.

Also with the introduction of this collection, the Sephora that I visited had a complete restock of the Bubble Gum Blow Out 3 in 1. I still love the Bubble Gum Blow Out and want to get the lip shine set that has this scent in it. Flirty Girl was just ok, it was a somewhat generic fruity sweet fragrance. If I didn't have so many products that don't smell all that different from it, it would be something that I would like more. I do like how they are beginning to offer more moisturizers that match their washes, I just wish that the Cherry on Top would have one. I really like the Cherry on Top, cherry seems to be a big deal going into this spring. I like the Butterscotch Bliss fragrance but I think that it might be a bit much on a daily basis. I don't know that I would want this product in the full size but I will be watching for it when it is available in smaller sets.

photo courtesy of Philosophy

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Urban Decay Spring 2010 Collection

As I am typing this, the hype surrounding the Alice Book of Shadows is continuing to grow at an exponential rate. With this as a previous, I am willing to bet that Urban Decay has some other amazing products coming out this Spring. I am never disappointed by Urban Decay and I know even if all they did was repackage old shades and give them new names, I would still swoon. But I doubt that they would ever consider doing that so we have a new crop of products and shades from this company to look forward to this season.

Let's check out what I will be lusting after all season...

Stardust Eye Shadow - It's something unexpected in eye shadow: an explosion of stars. Stardust Shadows' silky texture delivers an incredible amount of sophisticated, twinkling sparkle. Boasting 40% more glitter than our most sparkly shadows, Stardust delivers a sheer wash of color, topped with teeny bits of iridescent sparkle that glisten like wet snow. The glitter (a pricey ingredient called reflex) actually stays on your lids. No fallout, no chunky glitter...just stunning sparkling eyes. From uptown neutrals like black, gray, and brown to bright pops of turquoise, green, and purple, the galazy of shades helps create tons of looks, and blend well with our other Eye Shadows and range of 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils. The futuristic, squeeze-open case holds over TWO TIMES the amount of product in our other Eye Shadows. With all this Stardust, you'll be dreaming of date night at the laserium.
- 54 - light purple with iridescent sparkle
- Atmosphere - deep turqiouse with iridescent sparkle
- Bobby Dazzle - white with iridescent sparkle
- Diamond Dog - brown with iridescent sparkle
- Griffith - green with iridescent sparkle
- Moon Spoon - gray with iridescent sparkle
- Retrograde - dark purple with iridescent sparkle
- Space Cowboy - beige with iridescent sparkle
- Void - black with iridescent sparkle

Eye Shadow Primer Potion - Eden - An eye prep product that provides smoother, longer-lasting, and absolutely crease-proof eye shadow - and is now offered in a very-wearable, tawny, matte hue. Eye Shadow Primer Potions from Urban Decay are unmatched in the beauty industry! The genie in these bottles fulfills three wishes: eye shadow that lasts, more vibrant and lasting color, and absolutely NO creasing. Apply Primer Potion to lids before shadow application and it dries down almost instantly, creating smooth lids that are super-powered eye shadow magnets. Urban Decay offers several unique shades in their Eye Shadow Primer Potions, but all boost the same unbelievable function. Eden is matte-finish, tawny hue and gives you a stunning "no makeup" look when worn alone or complements other eye shadows worn in combination. Packaged in a pretty genie bottle, all these Potions are applied with a magic wand and flocked applicator.

Eye Shadow Primer Potion XL - Sin - A shimmering, champagne-hued primer that seriously ups the staying power of your eye shadow and now comes in a larger-than-life XL bottle (that's 60% larger than the original size!). This two-in-one beauty miracle combines the shimmering champagne shade of Sin - one of Urban Decay's best-selling eye shadows - with the staying power of their incredible Eye Shadow Primer Potion. Used alone, it's a crease-proof shadow. As a prep before your eye makeup ritual, it becomes an eye shadow magnet. But this power tool doesn't stop there! Use it on lids to perk up tired eyes, or dab it on the brow bone and cheeks for the perfect highlighter. You can even wear it in combination with other shadows and have it peek out as a highlight. If your look doesn't call for shimmer, don't worry, it won't show through your shadow. Sin goes on silky and is universally flattering, so whatever your look, Sin makes it last!

Razor Sharp Ultra Definition Finishing Powder - A high-tech translucent powder that provides a stunning, soft-focus effect, even under bright and unforgiving light. Designed for the stars of film and flat screens, this high-tech finishing powder contains silky, micro-fine particles that fool the eyes with "optical blurring" and micraculously seem to airbrush away skin's imperfections. It provides a smooth, flawless, soft-focus finish that flattering under even the harshest of lights. Use Razor Sharp as a finishing touch after foundation, or wear it alone to create a perfect "bare skin" look. However you apply it, you'll be addicted to the tiny refreshing water particles that float on skin's surface and burst when applied.

We have already gone over the Alice Book of Shadows so I feel no need to write it up all over again. On my next trip to Sephora, I think that I will be buying both of the Sin and Eden Primer Potions, I already love the original and I want to see how these measure up. I also want to test out the Finishing Powder against the one that I already love from Make Up For Ever. From the Stardust Eye Shadows, I must have the Space Cowboy shade. It looks as though it is very similar to Midnight Cowboy which I have been obsessed with in the past month. I just can't imagine it being more sparkly than the original but somehow it is going to be. The other shades that I want almost as much are 54, Bobby Dazzle, Moon Spoon, and Void.

Space Cowboy has captured my heart, I think this is going to be my new favorite "going out" shade...

photo courtesy of Sephora

Friday, February 5, 2010

Nude Skincare Facial Cleansing Oil

For the past few weeks, I have trying a facial cleansing oil instead of my usual milky cleanser for my winter dry skin. For a decent amount of time now, I have been curious about using oil to clean my face instead of a traditional cleanser. However, I must say that I often put off buying one of these products since they are on the more expensive side and all the bottles are huge. I had also read that the bottles take forever to use up and I was afraid that I would be stuck putting out the cash for a product that I wouldn't like and I would be using it for the entire next year. I really lucked out on this product though. I was given this product as a choice at Sephora for my deluxe Beauty Insider sample. The sample is very nice sized and I need very little of it to clean my whole face.

The oil that I am referring to is the Facial Cleansing Oil from the British brand Nude Skincare. This line overall gets the Sephora seal for Natural products and their line is very much plant based in origin. This product is considered by Sephora to be "an antioxidant-rich facial cleanser". Here is the more detailed description on the Sephora website, "Nude Cleansing Facial Oil is a luxuriously pure and effective detergent-free oil face wash for normal to dry complexions. It allows you to remove makeup and cleanse without stripping skin of needed moisture."

The instructions on the side of the bottle stated that that two pumps of this product should be dispensed and then the user should warm the oil up in their wet hands until a milky lather is created. I did all the above and my first comment is that describing the result as a milky lather is a bit of a stretch, all I got was a somewhat more milky version of the oil. Also, this product has a very unique scent to it that I had to get around. Looking closer at the Sephora website, it states that Soybean Oil is one of the first active ingredients and I bet that that is responsible for the smell. It is a natural fragrance so it fades away as soon as I was the product off of my face. I can live with the fragrance, it's not all that strong and pretty easy to ignore. This product also contains Omega 3 and Vitamin E to cleanse without stripping any moisture out of the skin.

The product does a great job of getting all the makeup off of my face, I do use a separate eye makeup remover so I haven't tested it out in this respect. The product is easy to rinse and doesn't leave an oily residue like I feared that it might. It hasn't dried my skin out yet and I think that I am beginning to prefer it in the colder months to other cleansers that I have been using. Also, I have not broken out once during the whole use of this product.

I think that this is the best Beauty Insider sample that I have gotten yet from Sephora. It is huge and has been lasting me a really long time. At the beginning of next Fall, I will go up to Sephora to get this product in this full size so I can use all during the colder weather. I need to take some more time and learn about the rest of the Nude Skincare line and see what other products they carry that are as good as this one.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Coconut Hut Valentine's Day Fragrances

As we have discussed before, Coconut Hut Beauty is a company that you will love if you love warm weather and all the tropical fragrances that go along with it. The last weekend was well below freezing so I am more than happy to embrace a couple of tropical-inspired fragrances. The owners, Lena and her husband were on vacation to Maui last month and therefore, her February fragrances are based on this vacation and are perfect for the Valentine who is sick of the cold.

There were only three new fragrances released, which is slightly disappointing to me but let's check them all out now.

Passion Coco Kiss - Get your tropic on! Waves of passion fruit nectar and sweet coconut milk gently break against a surf of Hawaiian pineapple.

Haleakula Sunrise - Delicate tuberose entwined with pikake, a whisper of gardenia, ending with the sweetness of island mango.

Hana Rain - The green and lush mountains of Maui after a gentle tropical rain. Refreshing, clean, invigorating.

Who cares if there are only three new fragrances?! I want all three! I love the shea butter based body wash from this company and the body butter. Also, this company has a great choice of scrubs so any type of skin can get the correct scrub that they need. I think I can handle some tropical fragrances more around the middle of winter and into spring than all foody fragrances.

photo courtesy of Coconut Hut Beauty

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Bathed and Infused Valentine's Day Fragrances

My goodness ladies! I have been relooking over some of my Valentine's Day posts and boy do I sound crabby in some of them! I wanted to write all about the fun beauty products that are always released at this time of the year but somehow I just ended up grumbling about the holiday itself. To all you ladies who are waiting excitedly for the 14th, have a great time getting gifts for the guy and getting yourself all ready for a special night. My goal is get through these next few posts about Valentine's and focus on what I love about this holiday. Sweet scented body products, tons of candy, and seeing roses all over the place. Now onto the beauty.

This time, we are going to look at Bathed and Infused, the first etailer that I had ever ordered from and one of my overall favorites. This company always has fast service, an extensive scent list, and the packaging is the same every single time that I order from them. This company didn't offer any new fragrances at Christmas so (inspite of myself), I was very excited to see something new from this group. Actually, my first ever etailer purchase was Valentine's Day fragrances from this company so I have to love them. On first glance, the scent list of the limited edition fragrances is much longer than it has been in previous years so there will be at least one scent for everyone.
Let's jump right in...

Black Cat - This best-seller from Halloween is back by popular demand! A devious blend of black licorice and pumpkin, both of which are scents that reportedly drive men wild. Just wait until you cross his path - meow!

Blue Moon - Blue Moon, I saw you standing alone...Don't be blue on Valentine's Day! Lemon, blueberries, and marshmellow combine in such a dreamy way that you'll know you're not alone.

Blush - Just like that pinkish glow that creeps into your face when that certain someone is near, this fruity floral blend with a soft breath of vanilla and a hint of musk with recreate that indescrible feeling.

Box of Chocolates - You know the saying , "Like is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're going to get."? We say it doesn't matter if you treat yourself to a little bite of each one! This chocolate confection is based on just that philosophy. A little bit of raspberry filling, a little bit of caramel, a touch of almond, and a whole lot of chocolate. Take a little bite of each; we won't tell.

Bridezilla - Ah! We love your incessant chatter about dusty rose and mauve! Cash bar at the reception? Great idea! Definitely monitor your bridesmaids' calorie intake. Soft and innocent, this vanilla and stephanotis fragrance veils the nuptial nightmare that lurks below the surface.

Croissant - As you stroll down the Rue de Rivoli and catch a whiff of something delicious in the air, you're drawn to a small bakery where the fresh croissants are piled neatly in the glass display. "Un croissant, s'il vous plait." Ah, the buttery goodness just melts in your mouth.

Ever After - You'll happily daydream about this floral combinaton of rose, violets, and bergamot kissed with musk and vanilla. Prince Charming? Who needs him?

Femme Fatale - Sexy sandalwood and vanilla combine with a touch of chocolate that puts the red in lipstick and the high in heels.

First Kiss - Exhilarating as a first kiss, this deceptively simple blend of coconut, cherry, and almond will make you fall in love all over again.

Heart's Desire - Longing gently wraps its arms around you and your soul stirs. The feeling inside you swells like the tide and the love in your heart glows bright crimson. Coconut milk, blood orange, and sweet cake will have you falling in love.

Lady Chocolat - Sophisticated. Demure. Irresistable. Lady Chocolat is all about class. A decadent blend of fine chocolates.

Love Notion - The sexy allure of musk and pumpkin tempered with vanilla. This secret recipe is sure to tempt them closer.

Marshmellow Cloud - Butter cookies kissed by Tonka Bean float away on this fluffy, whipped marshmellow cloud. A sweet treat for your sweet tooth.

Paradise - Get lost in a lush, tropical jungle with the one you love and feast on mangos, papayas, and pineapples swirled with cotton candy for a sweetness that only the two of you share.

Pucker Up - Pucker up, buttercup! This tart citrus blend is a sure to be a true for your kisser. Polynesian grapefruit and a touch of sweet citrus are blended into this fresh, fabulous blend.

Pure Indulgence - Ahhhh, who doesn't love to be pampered every once in a while? Give your senses a treat with this complex fragrance that begins with a hint of brown sugar, delicate pink freesia petals, Madagascar vanilla bean, pure jasmine absolute, and ends with a slight touch of nag champa.

Ruby Slippers - The alluring ruby glow will tempt you too with this delicious champagne cocktail spiked with pomegranate juice, fresh blueberries, and a kiss of coconut.

Sensous Sandalwood - The rich, alluring scent of this sandalwood fragrance is incredibly sexy, and works incredibly well as a scent for men or women. Great for when you want a lush, woody, sophisticated aroma.

She's No Tart - Hey! Just because she's sexy and confident, doesn't mean you can judge her. She may not be a tart, but the fragrance she wears has bite. A floral with a twist: Lilac and Orchid touched with mint and lime.

Starry Eyes - What do you see when you look deep into your lover's eyes? Why, the heavens of course! Shooting stars and comets bubble across the sky as heliotrope, musk, and amber, and a touch of tonka bean waft through the air.

Violet Chiffon Cake - This light-as-air chiffon cake is dipped in sweet lightly scented with fragrant violets. Romantic and totally decadent!

Vixen - You know you're sexy and you need a scent that is as seductive and alluring as you are! This sensual blend brings together black currants, orange, delicately soft amber, vanilla, water lily, and hints of black pepper, and coriander.

What I love this most about this huge collection is that there are scents for every mood of Valentine's Day...love, kinda grumpy, and going out. Of this collection, Paradise is the only one that I have owned before, I bought it in the wash and the lotion about two years ago and it still remains one of my favorite scents from this company. The blend of the tropical fruits and the cotton candy is perfect. I highly recommend several items from this company, the body lotion and fluff, the body wash, and especially the whipped sugar scrub. I have not tried the EDTs from Bathed and Infused but they are much raved about on Makeup Alley's boards so I feel safe recommending them too.

Based on the success that I have had with the scents so far from this company, I would also like to get - Blue Moon, Box of Chocolates, Croissant, Ever After, Femme Fatale, First Kiss. Lady Chocolat, Marshmellow Cloud, She's No Tart, and Violet Chiffon Cake. Another great thing about this company that I forgot to mentio above? The turn-around-time is super quick, usually within a week so this company is also a great option for gift giving without having to think a month in advance.

photo courtesy of Bathed and Infused

Monday, February 1, 2010

Victoria's Secret Beauty Rush Kiss N' Tell Collection

Victoria's Secret is mecca around Valentine's Day. It houses practically everything a lady needs for a fantastic Valentine's Day...for those who have a date/boyfriend/husband. For those of us who kinda try and forget that the holiday exists, it can be a huge slap in the face walking by the store in the mall. But if you go around all the pretty lingerie and items covered in hearts, you will find that they have released limited editions of their Beauty Rush products.

There are three fragrances that are being released. The first one is my favorite and is called Cupquake. It is a sweet, cakey cupcake scent that is very true to it's name. I really liked this one since I love cake anything. The second scent is called Berry Smooch. It is a sweet, candyish berry scent and I find it to be ok. I don't really like berry scents and their Juiced Berry I only like because it has a strong true berry note and nothing else clogging it up. The third scent is the one that I find the most interesing. It is called Cherry Bomb and is a pretty true cherry scent. I feel like I never see cherry scents in the mass market beauty products unless they are mixed with a pile of other notes. Of the three fragrances, Cherry Bomb may not have been my favorite but actually would be the one that I would be the most likely to purchase since I have a gap where cherry fragrances are concerned.

The three limited editions are all released in the following four products: Beauty Rush Double Mists, the 3 in 1s, the Body Glow Moisture Cream, and the Body Drink Lotion. I know that I will be purchasing none of the Double Mists since they are still continuing to produce the ones that have a oily feel on the skin. They must have wide appeal since Victoria's Secret continues to produce them and brings them out in the new fragrances but I personally cannot stand the feel on my skin. I love the 3 in 1s, this formula is just perfection and somehow is the right combination of cleansing but still not drying my skin out. There is not one fragrance that I wouldn't get in this formula. Between the two moisturizers, I would opt for the Moisture Cream since I need a bit of heavier hydration and prefer not to have to squeeze out the product as I do with the Body Drink lotion. However, as long as I get the 3 in 1s and one of the moisturizers, I won't sweat the details.

Victoria's Secret still may not be my favorite place to be around Valentine's Day. But having fun body products to buy makes it a bit easier for me to ignore the cooing women buying teddies to show off to their spouses.

photo courtesy of Victoria's Secret