Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Test Driving...

I just recently opened up a bunch of new products and am currently testing out the following products...

- LUSH Yummy Yummy Yummy Shower Gel
- Peter Thomas Roth Buffing Beads
- MAC Prep + Prime Eye
- Illamasqua Sheer Lip Gloss in Electrify
- Benefit Bad Gal Plum Mascara

What is everyone else testing out?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Essie Summer 2010 Collection - Resort Collection

For this summer, Essie just released a new collection of four shades called the Resort Collection. The four shades are meant to bring up images of the South of France and of luxurious vacations. The shades in this collection are all released individually and are available in a set of all four for those who love every shade released.

The first shade is called Lapis of Luxury. This shade is described as a "dreamy ocean blue" and appears from the picture on the website to have a cream finish. I love this shade, it is the perfect shade of ocean blue and would be a great pick for any summer manicure or pedicure. I will be picking up this shade very soon.

The second shade is called Playa del Platinum. This name gives me a headache so hopefully i will like this shade more. It is described as an "elegant and sheer sandy grey". This shade looks a sheer cream and would be very easy to use as a low maintence shade for an everyday manicure. I may not love the name of this shade but I see myself getting a lot of use from this shade in the coming seasons. I will be getting this shade also.

The third shade is called Splash of Grenadine. This one is the brightest shade of this collection and is a classic summer shade. It is described as "playful magenta pink". I predict that this shade will sell out the fastest since every magazine that I have read is talking about bright pink shades for the perfect summer pedicure. This is shade that I wouldn't mind having but I won't die without it.

The last shade is called Turquoise & Caicos and is another contender for favorite shade of the collection. This shade is described as a "flirty and pretty tropical aqua". Based on the picture on the website, this has a cream finish. It also appears to be more green than blue but that might just be the way the photo came out. I think that this is my second favorite shade of this collection.

I think this might be the first time is quite a while that it will be worth it for me to buy the entire box of shades. I am happily surprised that I really want each and every shade from this little collection.

photo courtesy of Essie

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Body Shop Sweet Lemon Body Products

I love lemon scented body products. I have loved the C.O. Bigelow Lemon products since I was first introduced to the Lemon Body Cream when it was first carried at Bath and Body Works. Another lemon favorite is the Lemon-Made line of products from Davies Gate. The C.O. Bigelow Lemon is true lemon and is scented with natural lemon oil, meaning that the fragrance fades quickly. The Davies Gate lemon is much sweeter and the fragrance does not fade as fast. Now, The Body Shop has added a lemon fragrance to their line up and I am quite happy to add another fragrance to me lemon loves.

This fragrance is called Sweet Lemon and I feel that it is in the middle of the two fragrances that I discussed above. It is sweeter than the Bigelow Lemon but the fragrance is still natural and fades fairly quickly. It has less of the sharp citrus note to it and therefore would appeal to someone who isn't already a fan of lemon. Another wonderful aspect of this line is that proceeds from the sales of the product go to help end sex trafficing. So you are able to help those in need while getting your hydration fix.

There are several key ingredients found in these products. Lemon seed oil is high in anti-oxidant properties and in Vitamin C helping to both soften the skin and protect it from future damage at the same time. Lemon Oil also helps to brighten the skin but it does increase the skin's sensitivity to UV rays so this may be a line best used at night if you spend a good portion of your day outside in sunlight.

This fragrances comes in the following forms: the body butter, shower gel, a light whipped body lotion (for those who find the body butter too intense for their skin type), and a divine looking body scrub. I think that I will be purchasing all four forms before they sell out.

photo courtesy of The Body Shop

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Clinique Vitamin C Lip Smoothie

I first checked this product out when I looked at the Spring 2010 collection from Clinique. The description and shades of this product left me dying to visit the Clinique counter and try it out. A few weeks ago, I was out shopping with my mother and wondered over to the counter to try out. My mother allowed me to pick a shade out and said that she would buy it for me. This is my kind of shopping day!

I checked out the Clinique website again and this is the description from the company. "We've squeezed in the best ingredients, like Vitamin C, and powered up antioxidants so lips look and feel their healthy best. Your recommended daily dose of lusciousness. Brushes on luscious colour and shine in juicy, moisture-rich blends." This product provides sheer to moderate coverage and is a liquid gloss. It is housed in a pen-style container that needs to be clicked up by the user. Initially, these colors look much more vivid at application and then are sheered out during application.

Currently, there are eight shades available in this gloss. I got Pink Me Up, which is the one that I wanted to try the most when I first looked at the Spring collection. The shades are listed as follows...

- Absolute Acai - blackened red purple
- Goodness Grapecious - soft dusty purple
- Rhubarbie - dusty nude with shimmer
- Pink Me Up - soft pink with flecks of silvery pearl
- Mango-thon - soft burnt orange with golden shimmer
- Raisin the Bar - warm raisin with a hint of red
- Nude-tritious - soft nude brown with shimmer
- Fig-a-licious - tawny reddened brown with soft shimmer

Pink Me Up is a great sheer pink for the spring and summer, I love it so much. This is a shade that I could see myself using every single day. The texture of this gloss is creamy and feels very nice on the lips. The first time that I used the click pen, I pumped much too much product out and the over application of the shade made it appear bright bubblegum pink on my lips. I have learned since then and one or two clicks is enough product to cover my entire lip area. I only want to get one more shade from the current selection, the Rhubarbie nude shade. I hope that this collection expands and we get more shade selection from it.

I can't really comment on the Vitamin C and other antioxidant benefits of this product since I don't have any visible signs of aging on my lips. However, the extra protection certainly won't kill me for the future. Especially when it helps me to look pretty and spring-like in the present.

photo courtesy of Clinique

Friday, April 23, 2010

NARS Summer 2010 Collection - Belle de Jour

Time for some new NARS shades! This summer's collection was inspired by Catherine Devenue is the classic film, Belle de Jour. I have never seen this movie but I have heard wonderful reviews of it and it is racing to the top of my list of movies to purchase. The NARS website states that, "Francois Nars looked for inspiration from the character Severine, played by Catherine Devenue in the iconic film Belle de Jour. 'Her character is incredibly beautiful and elegant,' says Francois. 'Her look is effortless - she has an incredible inner sophistication."

I love NARS so let's check out this new collection...

Cream Eye Shadow - Soft cream-to-powder formula that provides long-lasting shimmering color. The ultra-pigmented shades are balanced in a lightweight texture, transparent in application. This soft-blending formula can be worn alone or layered under NARS powder eye shadow for long-lasting wear and intensity. Cream-to-powder formula provides glistening color. Non-creasing. Intense hues with imperceptible finish.
- Cayenne - deep brown cream

Duo Eye Shadow - Featuring custom color combinations that make perfect pairings, this soft-blending formula may be applied with fingertips or a brush for more precision and control. Shades may be worn alone or underneath NARS powder eye shadows for more depth, color, and intensity. Cream-to-powder formula provides glistening color. Non-creasing. Intense hues cooridinated in fashionable pairs.
- Burn It Blue - iridescent ocean blue/turquoise

Cream Blush - Moisture-rich cream finish that provides smooth, silky color for naturally luminous skin. Delivers long-lasting color with a velvety texture and blends easily for healthy skin glow.
- Enchanted - soft peach with gold sparkle

Lip Gloss - Serious shine and sexy color in sheer, creamy, and semi-sheer formulas. Extremely wearable and versatile shades, lip gloss may be worn alone or over other lip products for heightened drama. Ultra-shiny and highly pigmented. Convenient wand application. Iconic shades. Ideal alone or over other lip color.
- Coup de Coeur - sheer apple brandy

Lipstick - A wide range of captivating shades designed to provide the look and style the color dictates. NARS Lipstick is available in three formulas. Fashionable colors available in three textures. Exceedingly longwearing. Nourishing and non-drying, with Vitamin E. Once you start wearing NARS Lipstick, you won't want to wear anything else.
- Love Devotion - sheer guava (Sheer)

The Multiple - The original multi-purpose stick for eyes, cheeks, lips, and body. Its unique, creamy formula blends effortlessly to provide sheer color for creating shimmering accents, contours, or dynamic highlights on all skin tones. Creates perfect, glowing complexions and is conveniently designed for failproof application. The original multifunction color stick. Mistake-proof color; quick and easy to apply. Sheer, natural finish for eyes, cheeks, and lips.
- Lamu - fresh glazed-apricot

Nail Polish - An exclusive formula with technology designed to improve flexibility, durability, wear, and gloss properties. This longwearing formula provides a tough, durable chip-resistant finish and also has added extra UV protection to prevent polish discoloration. Modern, sophisticated colors. Gentle formula. Toluene, Formaldehyde and DBP free.
- Versaillies - champagne gold

I'm not really loving this collection, I like it but I am not overwhelmed by it. I think that the Cream Eye Shadow Duo is beautiful but this isn't a set of shades that I could pull off without looking terribly 80s. I love the Cayenne Cream Eye Shadow, I would use it as both a shadow and as an eyeliner. I think that I might actually get more use out of it as a liner. I really like the Cream Blush, I love NARS Powder Blushes so I have high hopes for the creeam based formula. I like the new nail polish shade but I'm not that big of a fan of the new lip shades.

photo courtesy of NARS

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Estee Lauder Sumptuous Bold Volume Lifting Mascara

I have always considered Estee Lauder to be makeup aimed for more mature skin. And I have been annoyed with them for pulling all United States distribution of Prescriptives. And my annoyance has continued now that they have doomed Shu Uemura to the same fate. So needless to say, this isn't a brand that I have been following or that I stop at the makeup when searching for new products. However, I received this product for free when Macy*s was having a beauty event last fall so I decided to have an open mind and try it out. Let's face it, my willpower tends to go by the wayside when the promises of a new and untested mascara are right in front of me.

Estee Lauder Sumptuous Bold Volume Liftin Mascara is quite a mouthful to say so we are just going to refer to this product as the Sumptuous Mascara for the rest of the review. My thoughts on this mascara are on the lukewarm side, I like how it performs but the removal process has left me cold.

Nordstrom states that, "Lift each lash with big, bold, weightless volume. The formula: Unprecedented Bold Volume formula has ultra-light, lash-thickening fibers. Lifts and plumps even sparse lashes into big, lush lashes that are all lightness and flirtatious curl. The brush: Exclusive BrushComber thicken like a brush. Defines like a comb. Wraps your entire lash in air-light volume. Lashes sora with 360 degree lift and curl. The look: Daringly full, sensuously curved, all-out seductive lashes. Now take your lashes all the way to big, bold, beautiful."

This mascara does very well in the following categories: curling, volumizing, and defining. I loved this product the first time that I used it. My lashes were super big and defined and really helped to open up my eyes. Until I tried to take it off. I used my Caudalie Cleansing Water that I always use and I used a new cotton ball saturated with product in order to remove my eye makeup. I have always used this remover very successfully with other mascaras, so in this case I put the issue with the mascara formula and not the eye makeup remover formula. After trying to remove it, I end up with mascara smudges under my eyes and red, stinging eyes. I can usually only get about half of it off at once and therefore then have to try it again later, drying out the skin around my eyes like never before. I have this product in Bold Black, which is the deepest, rich black shade offered by Estee Lauder. I love this shade, it is the perfect inky, dramatic black. This mascara is also available in both a regular Black shade and a Brown shade.

This mascara is an example of how the removal process can completely ruin a great formula. I am scared that I am going to begin to lose lashes (like what happened with Smashbox Bionic Mascara) with how difficult this product is to remove. I doubt that I would pick up another tube of this mascara unless Estee Lauder changes the formula to make the removal easier.

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ojon Revitalizing Mist

Ahhh...the unmistakeable scent of Ojon hair care products! And now with a product that I am actually not going to wash out of my hair? If you can't guess, I put off using this product for quite a decent amount of time but one day I ran out of my favorite PhytoMist and this product was sitting in my collection, ready to be taken for a test drive. This is product falls under the category of detangler more than a leave-in conditioner. It is a hydrator but it also helps to smooth the hair at the same time.

Ojon states that, "Fortified with exclusive Ojon oil, an ancient native secret to naturally beautiful hair from Central America's Tawira tribe, known as "the people of beautiful hair". Ojon Revitalizing Mist is a refreshing, weightless, "shake to activate" formula that works like "liquid Ojon" to instantly detangle hair. This pH-balanced formula, enriched with a vitamin blend helps smooth the hair's cuticle layer to allow for a more even application of styling products."

As stated in the description, this product is originally formed into two separate layers and it must be shaken in order for the ingredients to blend and work correctly. I have always blended the two layers and do not plan on trying each layer out by themselves. I use this product at night only, on wet hair before I put it all into a bun for me to sleep in.

My first thought when using this product is that this product doesn't allow the fragrance to be rinsed off. Though I must admit that after using it for two or three days in row, I began to barely even notice the fragrance at all. After about a week of use, I found that my hair was softer than before I started with it and the overall shine factor is greatly improved. I noticed that this product adds to all the build up that I get on my hair from all my smoothing and hydrating hair products, so a deep cleansing shampoo once a week is still a must with this product.

I got this product when Sephora offered a small version of it as a Beauty Insider gift. I am pleased with the results that I have gotten from it so far and will be comparing the ingredients between it and my beloved PhytoMist. PhytoMist is better for use on hair that has been freshly colored so I may have to alternate the two products. The Ojon doesn't strip hair of color but it isn't color protectant and I find that essential for the first two weeks after a salon visit.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Philosophy Ice Cream, You Scream

The weather is getting warmer and now one of my major food cravings is ice cream. Every single day, I crave ice cream and usually the craving doesn't subside until I go out and find myself some. The weather is warm enough for me to sit outside The Heavenly Hedgehog in nearby Bethlehem, eat their wonderful ice cream sundaes and people watch all day long. Philosophy's new trio of 3 in 1s, Ice Cream, You Scream, couldn't have come at a better time for me and it is only adding to my sundae cravings.

Sephora states that this product is "a giftable trio of bath and body cleansers that make any ice cream lover's dream come true". Further details are right here, "Bask in the scent of vanilla ice cream and irresistable toppings with this gentle cleansing and conditioning ensemble. These formulas leave skin and hair feeling soft, while satisfying your sundae craving. Enjoy each separately or mix and match to create your ideal indulgence."

This set contains three fragrances: Vanilla Ice Cream, Butterscotch Bliss, and Caramel Drizzle. Caramel Drizzle is my favorite of the three new fragrances, it smells exactly like sweet, creamy caramel candy. Butterscotch Bliss is dead on to the scent of the candy. Vanilla Ice Cream is a nice, sweet vanilla fragrance but is the lightest and most easily dupable of the three. I feel like Philosophy has created several vanilla based fragrances, all of which only have slight variations to them. To me, these are all fragrances that I would use in the fall so I will have to buy this set now and put it away for later.

That's ok though...I still have a whole summer of ice cream eating and people watching.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Monday, April 19, 2010

Clinique Summer 2010 Collection - Brandied Bronze

Here begins the Summer 2010 Collections! I predict we will see lots of bronzes and golds and many products that I would love if my skin wasn't so insanely pale. I have began to consider when I will start self-tanning this year and I have opened up my XL sized bottle of St. Tropez which should be ample to get me through this entire summer into early fall. I am considering setting a start date as the very beginning of May, early enough for me to work up a good tan and even application style by the time I begin showing more skin and late enough for me to not look totally unnatural. The first year that I bought St. Tropez, I was so excited to use it that I burned through half of a bottle...before St. Patrick's Day. I won't be repeating that again this year.

So onto our first summer collection. As a surprise this year, Clinique was the first company that I saw to put their collection up on their website, instead of the usual NARS or Chanel. Their newest collection is called Brandied Bronze and is described in one simple sentence, "Summer with a shot of sultry." I can already see bronzers and a very pretty eye shadow palette just be looking at the promo pic.

Let's start our summer!

Lash Power Mascara Long Wearing Formula - Mascara with staying power. Vows to look pretty for 24 hours without a smudge or smear. Lasts through rain, sweat, humidity, tears. Yet the formula removes easily with warm water. Unique brush reaches and beautifully lengthens even the tiniest lashes. Ophthalmologist tested.
- Black Onyx - black

Long Last Glosswear SPF 15 - Lip gloss juiced up with eight hours of lasting shine. Spends every minute comforting lips. In 18 glistening shades from sheer to full intensity. Moisture makes each one even more mouth-watering. Protects lips, too. Welcome to our juice bar.
- Fireberry - rich blue red with soft gold shimmer
- Air Kiss - midtone pink with gold shimmer
- Bonfire - burnished tawny red with gold shimmer
- Sunset - bronze with coppery gold shimmer

Defining Liner for Lips - Makes lips beautiful by definition. Modern precision pencil with built-in sharpner in the cap creates the look you want, anywhere. Creamy, non-feathering formula goes on smoothly, evenly, stays all day. Even helps lipstick stay in place.
- Sugared Fig - tawnied brown with shimmer

Colour Surge Eye Shadow Palette - Limited edition. Creamy, intense colour in one stroke. A summer-perfect palette of six smouldering shades to mix and match for naturally pretty to more dramatic looks.
- Brandied Bronze - pale beige/shimmering gold/shimmering bronze/teal/pale lavender/pale pink

Different Lipstick - Different because of its smooth, comfortable feel. One of the best, from our wide range of shades. Sheer, glossy, smile-rewarding lipstick.
- Bronze Leaf - frosted brownish copper

Eye Shadow Brush - Perfectly sized to apply the right amount of eye shadow to the lids. Essential for highlighting area just under browbones, too. Unique antibacterial technology helps ensure the highest level of hygiene, keep brush irritant-free.

Cream Shaper for Eyes - Creamy-smooth eyeliner pencil with a hint of shimmer. Shapes and defines with intense, stay-out colour. Non-smudging, water- and transfer-resistant. Easy to sharpen, too. Ophthalmologist tested.
- Chocolate Lustre - chocolate brown with bronzed pearl

True Bronze Pressed Powder Bronzer - Lightweight powder bronzer creates a natural-looking, sun-kissed radiance. Blends, builds easily to your desired level of bronze. Perfect for on-the-go glow. Long-wearing. Oil-free.
- Sunkissed - pink bronze

Lovely! A pink based bronzer sparks my interest immediately. Many bronzers look unnatural on me since they have wamr undertones. However, a pink one might be 100% perfect. This product is going to the top of my list of items to look out for this summer. I also love the Eye Shadow pallete in this collection, the only shade that might not work is the teal and I still think I can get it to work when blended with the bronzes and the golds. I would also like to get the Long Last Glosswear in Air Kiss. I think that I have had a shade of Clinique lip gloss with this same name several years ago in college and I really loved it. I hope this is the same product!

Great start to the summer!

photo courtesy of Clinique

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bath and Body Works Summer Vanillas

Bath and Body Works has come out with a new collection called Summer Vanillas, a limited edition series of fragrances for the beginning of the summer. One of the fragrances will only be carried online and the other three will be available in all stores. One of the fragrances, Lemon Vanilla, was an instant lemming created when I first smelled the small lotion when I went to test out Orange Sapphire in March. I love anything fragrance that reminds me of Hello Sugar and who else but Bath and Body Works could best recreate a scent that was their's to begin with?!

The first fragrance that is listed on the website is Apricot Vanilla, the online only fragrance and will be available in select stores. . This is the only fragrance of the collection that I have had no chance to smell, since the store that I went to didn't have any of it available. This fragrance could go either way, I have smelled amazing apricot fragrances and truly awful apricot fragrances. Bath and Body Works describes the fragrance as follows, "A mouthwatering blend of juicy apricot and cool vanilla that's the spirit of flirty summer fun". The key fragrance notes are: Juicy California Apricot, Tahitian Vanilla, Sugared Honeysuckle. I might like this fragrance in the shower gel but I bet that I will be passing on this one since I don't have a chance to smell it before I can buy it.

The second fragrance is the Berry Vanilla, the onle that I liked the least in the store. I don't really like berry fragrances to being with and the Black Raspberry Vanilla from this company never really smelled that great on me. Bath and Body Works describes the fragrance right here, "A juicy kiss of luscious berries and cool vanilla that's as addictive as summer". The key fragrance notes are: Wild Summer Blueberry, Madagascar Vanilla, Raspberry Sugar. This fragrance was the lightest of three that I smelled, I didn't really like it that much. It smelled vaguely of berry and wasn't that fantastic. I will be skipping this one totally.

The next fragrance is the Coconut Vanilla, which I think is the most summery of the fragrances. I have a Coconut Vanilla fragrance already from both Bath and Body Works and Victoria's Secret. Both these fragrances smell the same and this new version of the fragrance smells exactly the same as the other two. So even though I enjoy this fragrance, I have little to no need to purchase more versions of the same thing. Bath and Body Works describes the fragrance right here, "A tropical twist of coconut milk and cool vanilla that's the perfect summer escape". The notes are: Creamy Coconut, Pineapple Sorbet, Exotic Vanilla. I really like this fragrance but as I said above, I don't need to purchase any more versions of the same fragrance from this company.

Now to the one that I am the most excited about. The Lemon Vanilla is my favorite of the new fragrances and may indeed be my favorite scent that Bath and Body Works has brought out in the past few years. This is Hello Sugar all over again and I need to stock on this one while it lasts. The website gies the following as the description of the fragrance, "A bright blend of refreshing lemon and cool that's the essence of sparkling summer sun". The fragrance notes are: Burst of Fresh Lemon, Sparkling Citron, Whipped Vanilla. This product is available in the shower gel, the lotion, the body spray, hand soap, some type of lip product, candles, and what appears to be a cooling body mist. I want the shower gel and the lotion for sure and depending on the strength of the body spray, I might actually purchase that one too (and I never buy the body sprays anymore!). I will also get a bunch of the hand soaps and candles so that I can keep this fragrance all over my house.

I love the Bath and Body Works has done a bit of a departure from their usual collections of spring/summer florals and has brought back Hello Sugar!

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works

Saturday, April 17, 2010

MAC Prep For Colour

Prep For Colour is MAC newest collection. It consists of two primers and several makeup items that would create a polished yet more natural look. MAC states that, "For flawless colour and a radiant finish, go discretely undercover. To protect your complexion and prepare it for long-lasting colour, two state-of-the-art primers: Prep + Prime Skin Brightening Serum and Face Protect SPF 50. Fast absorbing. Applies under makeup without affecting its look, texture or wear." Hmmmm...I want to know more about both of these primers. I have never tried any of the MAC primers, so maybe this collection would be a good place to start.

Here we go...

Eye Shadow - Highly pigmented powder. Applies evenly, blends well.
- Prepped for Glamour - ashy/dirty brown (Frost)
- Hey - warm mid-tone beige (Veluxe Pearl)
- Sorcery - reddish mid-tone brown (Satin)

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.
- Just Add Colour - fushcia pink (Frost)

Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF 50 - A skin-protecting cream with SPF 50. Applies under makeup to prime the skin for the sun. Featherweight, fast-absorbing, oil-free, invisible. Will not affect the look, texture, or long-wear integrity of your makeup. Specially formulated with an oil-absorbing powder, helps prevent oil breakthrough. Provides high-level broad spectrum sun protection. Worn daily helps guard the skin against discolouration, premature aging, dryness, and other effects of sun exposure. Suitable for all skin types.

Prep + Prime Brightening Serum - A serum formulated to instantly brighten, smooth, firm, and hydrate the skin while providing a plumper, more evenly toned complexion. Natural antioxidants help to strengthen the skin against UV-related damage, while MAC Charged Water ensures deep, long-lasting hydration.

I really want both of these two serums! I am vigilant about wearing a high SPF on my face everyday in warmer weather and this one seems to have added oil control and smoothing benefits. The Brightening Serum also looks like an item that I must have. During the changing of the seasons, my skin always suffers from dullness and I am always on the look out for more products to get rid of the gray pallor. I also love that it has antioxidants in and the Charged Water for hydration. Honestly, my skin needs all of the above so I am seeing some great potential for these two products.

I have been more into testing out new skincare lately then getting into color but I do want to pick up the Eye Shadow in Hey. It should work well with many of the shades that I already own.

photo courtesy of MAC

Friday, April 16, 2010

Freeze 24/7 Ice Crystals Anti-Aging Prep and Polish

Freeze 24/7 Ice Crystals Anti-Aging Prep and Polish is my current facial scrub. This product is the closest to a professional microdermabrasion that I have ever felt. I originally received this product ages ago as a thank you from Freeze 24/7 for selling for much of their product when I was at Bath and Body Works. I chose this product from their line becuase this is heavy duty scrub that I was promised would help even out some of the acne scarring on my forehead. I have had mild acne scars since the summer after my freshman year in high school and the marks aren't bad enough that I feel it necessary to go to a doctor or to get on a prescription. But I still notice them and when the offer was made for me to pick any product from Freeze 24/7 for free, I jumped on one that would help to fade them away.

Freeze 24/7 is skincare line that specializes in products that provide both instant gratification and long term effects. This product is not quite as much an instant gratification product as it is long term product since I didn't begin to see changes in my skin texture until using it for well after two months.

The product is described as follows, "Our rejeuvenating polish instantly resurfaces and retextures your skin all in a matter of minutes. Works to eliminate blotchy, discolored skin to reveal a natural, radiant glow - right at your fingertips. See (and feel) the difference in minutes." On the website, Freeze 24/7 provides the clinical testing results (the tests were performed over a 28 day period however this is all the information that is given". According to Freeze 24/7, the following statistics were observed. 55% saw a reduction in age spots, 35% saw a reduction in scar intensity, 41% saw a reduction in surface roughness, and 37% saw a reduction in sebum content.

The website also lists more features and benefits of the product. They are as follows...

- Retextures skin to reveal a smooth and even appearance with uniformly calibrated diamond-shaped crystals that provide precise and even skin resurfacing.
- Illuminates and rejuvenates dull, dry, lifeless skin, restoring a healthy glow
- Improves circulation and the production of elastin and collagen with Active Massage Beads encapsulated in Jojoba, which helps repair skin damage due to aging, sun exposure, and environmental aggressors.

- Decongests acne-prone skin and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, sun spots, blemishes, hyper-pigmentation, and enlarged pores.

- Resurfaces and smoothes hands to help reduce age and sun spots.

- Non abrasive and void of irritation.

- Allows for rapid and effective absorption of Freeze 24/7 Age-Less Skincare products and/or your daily skincare regime.

The company recommends that this product be used daily for all skin types except senstive. Sensitive skin should only use this product 2 to 3 times per week. I found that that is much too frequent for my skin and I use it once a week only. The texture is said to be non abrasive but I found that it was much more abrasive than any other facial scrub that I have ever used. I don't mind the texture but I cannot use it frequently enough to see full results in only 28 days. And I must hydrate my skin after using this product to calm down redness from the scrubbing action.

This product was originally packaged in a jar (which is the version that was given to me) but now has been updated to a much more convenient (and less wasteful) squeeze tube.
This product is much more abrasive than the company claims however the other claims made by the company are much more accurate to its performance. My acne scars are much lessened and less noticeable. I would recommend it to anyone with this type of scarring but I would caution them to only use it once or twice a week in order to avoid irritation.

photo courtesy of Freeze 24/7

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Harajuku Lovers Sunshine Cuties - Lil' Angel

This is last of the five new fragrances, Lil' Angel. From the original collection, this is one of my least favorite fragrances since it is another one that is fruity and sweet, not quite as sweet as Music so I like it a bit more than that one. However, the new version of this one? It is my favorite of the entire collection! I first read about it on the Musings of a Muse blog where she compared it to the long discontinued Bath and Body Works Hello Sugar scent. That I LOVED! This was the first one that I had to get my hands on in Sephora and I wasn't disappointed.

First, the original. "Lil' Angel is a woman who is compassionate and caring toward others, but is no saint. She sports a classy, yet sexy, schoolgirl outfit complete with a plaid pleated miniskirt, white knee-highs, and shiny black Mary Janes. Her scent is a citrus floral with notes of pineapple, candied violet and lollipop accord". The notes are: Raspberry, Cranberry, Blackberry, Pineapple, Pear Blossom, Violet, Rose, Lollipop Accord, Hinoki Wood, and Crystal Amber. I didn't even know that rose was a note in the original, this fragrance smells nothing like a floral at all.

Now for the new one that is my new perfume obsession. "Inspired by the summer, Lil' Angel is feeling sunny with a tan, a new outfit, and a citrus-gourman twist on her original scent." The notes are as following: Meyer Lemon, Mandarin, Touch of Blackberry, Pink Rose, Vanilla Orchid, Tropical Sampaquita Blossom, Sugared Patchouli, Vanilla Bean, Skin Musk, and Golden Amber.

I love this one so much! This is the perfect new fragrance for me! I don't smell the rose note in the new version either but the rest of the notes more than make up for it. It smells just like Hello Sugar and now I can finally have a perfume form of this fragrance. I think out of all the fragrances, this is one where the new version is the least like the original and is more unique than any of the others.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Laura Mercier Secret Camoflage

My skin tone insists on me always having a fantastic concealer in my makeup arsenal. All the redness that is in my cheeks demands a high quality, well performing product. I am forever researching concealers from many different brands and will ask the sales associates about the products that they sell when I am buying any type of cosmetic or skincare products at their counter. Laura Mercier's foundations and concealers were recommended to me by a former coworker and this was the choice of the sales associate when I went to the counter at bloomingdales. This product is one of their best sellers and has been a winner in the Allure Best of Beauty.

After a demonstration with the different concealers from this company, I purchased this one and the matching brush. Laura Mercier states that "Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage completely camouflages dark circles, minor imperfections, and discolorations. A unique two-shade system, one to match the skin's depth of color & one to match the skin's undertone. Custom-blend your own perfect shade. High level of pigment requires very little product to achieve complete coverage. Always apply after foundation. Use an an under-eye concealer only if you have darker than average shadows by mixing with Eyedration Firming Eye Cream for a creamier, more emollient consistency". The shade of this product that is best for me is SC-1, which is the palest of the shades. This concealer is made in six shades and the shade to match the undertone can really change the pigmentation of the skin color shade.
I use both the brush that was sold to me with this product and the concealer brush from Bare Escentuals to use this product. I use the brush from Bare Escentuals to do my undereye area and to cover the redness on my cheek area. I always use this product after foundation so that my skin is better hydrated, allowing the concealer to go on easier and not cake. Also with using any concealer after foundation allows you to use less of it because foundation covers much more than many people actually think it does. The first thing that I do when using this product is to dip the flatter Bare Escentuals brush and dip it into undertone matching shade then mix it in with the skintone matching shade. After using this product many times, I have created the perfect mix of the two parts of the product. I dab the product on with the brush then blend it in to fully cover the dark or red areas. For acne, I use the Secret Camouflage brush to dip it right into the skintone matching shade and dot it right on the blemish. I them tap it until it blends in fully.

I have been using this product for about a year and I am maybe 2/3 done with it. So it has lasted a long time and I have gotten lots of use out of it. I have recommended to several people who have been looking for products that deliver great coverage. I recommend this product to anyone who needs a higher level concealer, it would perform for someone which mild skin issues but it would be overkill since that isn't what this product was made for. I do recommend buying the matching Secret Camouflage brush and a flatter concealer brush to use this product properly.

photo courtesy of Laura Mercier

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Harajuku Lovers Summer Cuties - Baby

Baby is lightest of the original fragrances and one that is the easiest to wear. This fragrance is very powdery and not near as strong as the other fragrances. This is very easy one to wear if you are sensitive to fragrances or you have someone around that it. This one also contains a rose note so it my second favorite of the original group.

Baby is described as "One bat of her lashes and Baby has all the boys in the palm of her hand! Pretty in pink, Baby steps out in a short baby doll dress and sweet Mary Janes. Her scent is a powdery floral with notes of white rose, orange flower, and sweet musk". The notes of the fragrance are: Freesia, Bergamot, White Rose, Orange Flower, Tiare, Jasmine, White Musk, Soft Woods, Heliotrope, Vanilla, and Violet.

The updated verison of this fragrance has a floral twist on the powdery original. "Inspired by the summer, Baby is feeling sunny with a tan, a new outfit, and a dewey-floral twist on her original scent. The notes of the new summer version of this fragrance are: Crisp Mandarin, Wet Neroli, Bright Sunflower, White Poppy, Living Valencia, Orange Flower, Jasmine Absolute, Soft Musk, Rich Vetiver, and Creamy Birch Woods.

I tried this fragrance out twice and both times I noticed little to no difference between the original and summer fragrances. I like the new version but I see no point in purchasing it since it is so close to the original and it would be like purchasing two bottles of the same fragrance.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Monday, April 12, 2010

Harajuku Lovers Summer Cuties - Music

Of the five original fragrances, Music is tied with Lil' Angel for my least favorite of the fragrances. It's very fruity and sweet and I find it to be overwhelming after very few sprays. I can wear it better in the solid fragrance format since I can control the scent a bit better.

The original fragrance is the fruitest of the five and smells very strongly of pears. Sephora describes the original Music as follows, "Always looking to make someone laugh, charismatic Music has no qualms telling it like it is! Stylin' in a smocked sailor outfit and black lace-up boxing boots, Music marches to the beat of her own drum. Her scent is a fruity floral with notes of pear, sweet pea, and sleek wood". The notes are: Clementine, Pear, Jasmine Sambac, Sweet Pea, Honeysuckle, Vanilla, Skin Musk, and Sleek Woods. Since the sweet pear and pear are the main notes, this fragrance very much of Bath and Body Works and why I stopped wearing Sweet Pea.

The new version of this fragrance is a little less sweet than the original but still not a favorite of mine. "Inspired by summer Music is feeling sunny with a tan, a new outfit, and a sensuous-floral twist on her original scent." The notes of this fragrance are: Juicy Pear, Granny Smith Apple. Dewy Freesia, Tiger Orchid, Jasmine Petals, Honeysuckle, Cashmere Woods, Creamy Musk, Precious Woods. This version is considered to be a floral instead of a fruity floral but on me this fragrance develops more on the crisp side and the pear and palle notes come out the strongest.

For this fragrance, I prefer the newer version of it since it is less sweet and on the crisper side. However, this still isn't one of my favorites and not one that I think that I will be purchasing a bottle of.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Phyto Phytokarite Ultra-Hydrating Masque

I really should have just stuck to my original favorite masque from Phyto, the PhytoCitrus Masque. But no, in my quest to find and try nevery beauty product on the planet and especially every product for my hair type from Phyto, I decided to give this masque a shot. The Phytokarite masque is specially formulated for ultra-dry and unruly hair so I thought that this product would be a god send for me. Ignoring the rather lukewarm and somewhat negative reviews on Makeup Alley, I decided to purchase this masque and I had very high expectations for it.

"Phytokarite is an intensive that helps rejuvenate and repair very dry, damaged hair by providing it with the essential elements it lacks. Brimming with naturally rich agents, including Shea Butter, Cashew, and Pastel oils, filled with essential fatty acids, Phytokarite nourishes the hair from within. A wood-cellulose derivative with water-binding properties helps maintain the hair's moisture balance. Hydrolyzed keratin coats the hair and makes it easier to detangle, while Tocopherol (Vitamin E), a known anti-oxidant, helps protect hair from external stress factors. The hair is replenished from within, regaining its original softness, suppleness, and shine."

Phyto classified ultradry hair as hair that has been weakened from within with both a dual deficiency in both mositure and lipids (sebum). This dual deficiency alters the hairs' elasticity and suppleness. As a result, it becomes porous and loses certain elements, such as keratin (amino acids). Ultra-dry hair becomes difficult to detangle, is coarse and brittle, and requires replenishing with both nourishing and restoring agents.

The reviews on this product from Makeup Alley are very divided, some love it with a passion and others hate it with equal passion. I really thought that I would love this product for my dry and damaged hair. Well...first I totally hated it but over time, I grew to a slight like and tolerance of it.

The first time that I tried it out, I still had my long hair. It didn't rinse out fully and left me clumpy, tangled hair. I decided to give it another shot. The second time I still had issues with the rinsing and my hair was never improving. I pretty much gave up on the product then. Several months later, I decided to retry the product with my shorter hair. It was much easier to rinse out and made my hair softer but was no miracle product. I didn't notice any real difference in the feel of my hair or its shine level. This deep conditioner isn't the greatest but I like it enough to finsh up the tub that I have and just not repurchase it. I still prefer and would recommend the PhytoCitrus Masque instead.

photo courtesy of

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bath and Body Works Orange Sapphire

A sensual scent that is a citrus?! This is Bath and Body Works' latest fragrance for the spring and the beginning of summer. I am not a fan of citrus fragrances, the worse is Biotherm's Eau Vitaminee, it just smells sour on me and it is awful. In the promo image of this fragrance, Bath and Body Works states this fragrance has florals in it, so maybe they will some out on my skin and make this fragrance better for me. I was able to try this fragrance out the other day and I will put forward my thoughts on it after Bath and Body Works' description.

I looked up the EDT online to get the full description of the fragrance and the inspiration behind what the company was going for. Originally, I had thought this fragrance might be based on the oranges and other fragrances found in Italy but this one is based on the fragrances found in Brazil. Bath and Body Works is billing this as a sexy fragrance and either location works well for creating sexy atmosphere. Personally, I don't find anything citrus to be sexy but that might be becasue I smell like a sour lemon in it. Bath and Body Works states that, "Master perfumers have layered exotic blood orange with tantilizing notes of white jasmine, golden honey, and citrus sangria to create a sexy new fragrance inspired by the fiery passion and sunswept beaches of Brazil".

The top notes are: succulent Blood Orange, Tarocco Orange, Sparkling Grapefruit, Silician Bergamot, Vibrant Mandarin, Davana, Black Currant Buds, Juicy Raspberry, and Sparkling Peach. The middle notes are: White Jasmine Flower, Sheer Orange Blossom, Chinese Magnolia, Orchid Petals, Freesia, and Muguet. The base notes are: Intoxicating Musk, Light Patchouli, Soft Vetiver, White Amber, Vanilla Infusion, brush stroke of Golden Honey, Cognac, and Myrrh.

First of all, I wasn't really all that excited about this fragrance since I am not a person that pull citrus fragrances off. I read over the notes of it and began to hope that the florals in the middle notes would change the fragrance enough that it won't smell sour on me like all others do. I also began to hope that this fragrance might actually be more on the floral side and could end up working out for me.

I tried this fragrance out in both the lotion form and the EDT form. I found that the EDT form was too sharp for my skin and I wasn't a fan of it. The citrus notes were just too strong and overwhelmed the other notes and turned the fragrance semi-sour. The lotion I liked much better. I got none of the floral notes from it but the fragrance turned out to be light and smelled like a sweet orange. However, on my skin, this fragrance is not sexy at all. I just get a sweet orange fragrance that doesn't offend my nose but doesn't turn me into a Brazilian goddess. I would like to get this fragrance in the body lotion and the shower gel for lightly fragranced products for the warmer weather coming in the next few weeks.

photo courtesy of Google

Friday, April 9, 2010

Benefit Confessions of a Concealaholic

I used to be a conceal-a-holic. I couldn't leave my house without full foundation and tons of concealer covering up all the "flaws" that I insisted were all over my face. I went through concealer like water. And this was in college so it wasn't all that long ago. Now I am more enlightened and have realized that the tons of concealer that I used to pile on just made everything worse and appear worse too. But even though I am using much less now, I am still interested in finding and trying the best concealers on the market today. Benefit's new set, Confessions of a Concealaholic puts all their best concealing and brightening products all in one set.

Sephora states that "Embrace your inner conceal-a-holic! Why fight it when you can hide it, conceal it, camouflage it, and cover it? This concealing and brightening kit has EVERYTHING you need to live happily ever after!" This kit contains both primers and concealers so a step by step application can be done and a flawless face can be achieved no matter what the original problem is.

Here is what the kit contains. It contains "That Gal" which is a brightening primer. It contains two shades of the "Boi-ing" industrial strength concealer. The offered shades are a light shade and a shade that can be used for medium complexions. My best results have come from mixing concealers so I am very happy that Benefit puts two shades in so the user can create their own best match. This kit also contains "Erase Paste" which is a brightening camouflage for eyes and face. This kit offers it in the shade that medium complexions would use. Another brightening product that is offered in this set is the "Lemon Aid" which is a sheer yellow color correcting primer. I have wanted to try this product out for my undereye circles but haven't gotten around to it yet. On the other side of the shade spectrum of brighteners, Benefit includes "Eye Bright", a pale pink brightener.

In addition to the above products, this collection includes concealer brushes and step by step instructions for all of these products. I love that Benefit includes instructions in how to best use the products. Benefit almost always includes some type of instructions in their sets and I hope that other companies will jump on this bandwagon. This is great kit for someone that needs to try different concealing products and learn how to use them correctly. I don't have any of these products though I have heard great reviews on most of the individual products in this kit. This will a welcome addition to my collection of products.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Harajuku Lovers Summer Cuties - Love

Love is my favorite of the original Harajuku Lovers collection. This one has rose in it and is a pretty light floral that is very easy to wear all year round. I bought this one in 2008 when it first came out and somehow with buying both a set and individual products, I ended up with two bottles of this fragrance. However, I wear this one pretty often so I will use through both of them before they go bad.

Sephora states that "Sweet, caring, free-spirited, Love is always off in her own little world. Stepping out in a cute, striped mini-dress and fashionable red kicks, Love wears her heart on her sleeve, or rather, in her hair! Her scent is reminiscent of a floral bouquet, with notes of pink pomelo, rose, and creamy vanilla orchid." The notes of the original are: Bergamot, Pink Pomelo, Peach, Bamboo Leaf, Watery Peony, Living Hydroponic Lace Rose, Jasmine Sambac, Nectarine Blossom, Creamy Paperwhites, Egyptian Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, Vanilla, Musk, and Blonde Wood. This scent is the girliest of the set and I think it is one of the better selling fragrances since I never seem to find this one on the shelves of Sephora.

The Summer Cuties version of Love retains the original floral base but adds several notes of exotic fruits into the mix. "Inspired by the summr, Love is feeling sunny with a tan, a new outfit, and an exotic-fruity-floral twist on her original scent. The notes of this new fragrance are: Nectarine, Passion Fruit, Lemon Blossom, Plumeria, Osmanthus, Rose Petals, Vanilla Orchid, Coconut Water, Sensual Musk, and Sandalwood. It still has rose in it so of course I still love it.

This is another new version of the fragrance that I want to buy for this summer. I love wearing rose all year round and it will be nice to have a rose fragrance that is more on the fruity and exotic side.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

MAC Art Supplies

MAC's newest collection is called Art Supplies and based on your ability to use your face as a canvas to create a beautiful image. I am a bit of a klutz so I hope that this collection is not hard to work with since I am not the professional who can create artistry with makeup. This collection appears to be a grouping of pencils and markers that can easily draw on a great look.

MAC states that, "Pencils, markers...stylishly sharp, loaded with flare. They're all you need to create that fashionable self-portrait. These Art Supplies are limited, and likely won't last. Stock up today!"

Let's check this all out...

Greasepaint Stick - A smooth and creamy black eye crayon with an opalescent sparkle finish specially formulated for maximum eye drama. Easily provides ultra-high-level coverage. Versatile. Use as a soft but intense liner or blend out to create a smoke-like shadow. Long-wearing. Transfer and water-resistant. Limited edition.
- Zinc Zone - dark gunmetal
- Greengrease - blackened forest green
- Slick Black - true carbon black
- Charred Mauve - blackened violet
- Brown, Now - blackened burgundy
- Below Ground - blackened bronze
- Uniformly Blue - blackened navy
- Dirty - blackened taupe with pearl

Pearlglide Intense Eye Liner - An eye pencil that provides rich, luxurious colour with a touch of shimmer and sparkle. Soft, smooth, creamy formula glides on for a perfectly intense line, yet its soft texture allows you to blend. Long-wearing. Smudge-proof.
- Industrial - periwinkle gray
- Almost Noir - dirty plum
- Designer Purple - iridescent violet
- Black Line - true black
- Undercurrent - blue teal
- Petrol Blue - dark navy

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.

Pro Longwear Lip Stain Marker - A lightweight lip stain featuring the look and delivery of a colour marker. With its felt-tip nib, it goes on with precision to deliver a sheer, instantly absorbed flush of colour that can last all night. Fills, defines, and layers for more colour when wanted. No need for lip liner.
- Stylesetter - hot pink
- Full of Flare - bright yellow coral
- A Classic - rose red
- Purposefully Red - dirty red coral
- Sunset - coral brown
- Point of View - light neutral
- Tommorrow's Coral - mid-tone blue red
- Runway Ripened - berry plum red
- Modern Mocha - light brown

So this does look like a collection that I could handle working with. First off, I would like to try out the Pro Longwear Lip Stain, this could very easily be the lowest maintence lip color that I own and should get me through the whole day and night. I want to get Stylesetter, A Classic, Tommorrow's Coral, and Runway Ripened. I love lip stains and I need to get more red and berry stains to complement my collection. As we all know, I am already obsessed with red lipstick and now I am making the move into sheer red lips. I haven't tried the Greasepaint Sticks but the Muse says that they can be used alone or under over eye makeup products. I want Zinc Zone, Greasepaint Black, Charred Mauve, Below Ground, and Dirty. To top my whole look off, the Pearlglide Eye Liners are a must. I want to get Black Line, but I feel that the others might have too much blue in them for me. And I have to top everthing off with the Clear Lipglass. I cannit wait to get to MAC to get this collection.

photo courtesy of MAC

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bobbi Brown Color Strips

In addition to her Coral Cabanas line for this spring, Bobbi Brown has released Color Strips which is a palette of all the shades that are needed to make up the perfect spring look. It appears that each palette is based around one bright shade and then contains complementary shades that make it wearable in real life. The palette contains both eye shadow shades and complementary Pot Rouge shades. Pot Rouge first sparked my interested in the Coral Cabana collection and now it is appearing prominently in another new collection.

Time to look at the palettes...

Aquamarine Palette - A complete spring eye, lip, and cheek wardrobe - designed by Bobbi. Palette has one bright eye shadow (Aquamarine) plus four coordinating shades that make it wearable. For lips and cheeks, there are three cool shades of Pot Rouge. Imagine the possibilities. The Eye Shadow shades are: Ivory (creamy white), Lightening Sparkle (medium grey sparkle), Aquamarine Metallic (bright blue shimmer), Grey Sky (cool pale grey), and Storm (deep navy black). The Pot Rouge shades are: Powder Pink (light pink), Pale Pink (bright pastel pink), and Sand Pink (medium sandy pink).

Bonfire Palette - A complete spring eye, lip, and cheek wardrobe - designed by Bobbi. Palette has one bright eye shadow (Bonfire) plus four coordinating shades that make it wearable. For lips and cheeks, there are three warm shades of Pot Rouge. Image the possibilities. The Eye Shadow ashades are: Bone (off white), Cafe Cream Sparkle (brown gold sparkle), Bonfire Metallic red brown), Cognac Metallic (copper), and Caviar (black brown). The Pot Rouge shades are: Tawny (medium pinky brown), Fresh Melon (warm coral), and Calypso Coral (bright coral).

Orchid Palette - A complete spring eye, lip, and cheek wardrobe - designed by Bobbi. Palette has one bright eye shadow (Orchid) plus four coordinating shades that make it wearable. For lips and cheeks, there are three cool shades of Pot Rouge. Image the possibilties. The Eye Shadow shades are: White (pure white), Dusty Plum Metallic (grey silver pink), Orchid Sparkle (bright violet sparkle), Mulberry (dark purple), and Caviar (black brown). The Pot Rouge shades are: Powder Pink (light pink), Pale Pink (bright pastel pink), and Sand Pink (medium sandy pink).

So, with the Aquamarine Palette, I like the cool toned Pot Rouge shades but I dislike the bright Aquamarine shade and the shades are designed to complement it. The opposite exists with the Bonfire Palette, I love the eye shades but I don't really think that any of the warmer toned Pot Rouge shades will work out for me. Now, the Orchid Palette is the hit of this collection for me. I love the eye shades and the Pot Rouge shades are perfect for me. I can't wait to get to the counter and test this one. This palette will do double duty for me, I love the shadows and I can try out the Pot Rouge shades that I have been wanting to get my hands on.

photo courtesy of Bobbi Brown

Monday, April 5, 2010

Harajuku Lovers Summer Cuties - "G"

I bought all of the Harajuku Lovers fragrance when they first were released in the early fall of 2008. It seems that every single season, another group of these fragrance are released in different bottle. Same scents, just limited edition bottles matching whatever season we happen to be in. This time around, I saw the Harajuku Lovers Summer Cuties and just assumed that they were the same fragrances in bikinis. However, this time around, the company has decided to surprise us and change the fragrance around to make summer versions of the five fragrances. These aren't even just lighter versions of the originals, they are all new blends of the original.

First, we are going to look at "G", the fragrance that was made for Gwen herself. First we will quickly look at the original fragrance. "G" is know as the leader of the pack and I think is the strongest of the five original fragrances.

"Never one to get lost in the crowd, G leads her crew in a white, corseted top and a blue miniskirt a la Alice in Wonderland. Quirky, unique, and undeniably cool, G is the leader of the pack. Her scent is an oriental, fruity, gourmand fragrance with notes of fresh coconut, jasmine, and cotton woods". Here are the notes: Mandarin, Coconut, Apple Skin, Jasmine Sambac, Freesia, Magnolia, Coconut Cream, White Sandalwood, and Cotton Woods.

Now for the Summer Cuties update on this fragrance. "Inspired by the summer, "G" is feeling sunny with a tan, a new outfit, and a creamy-musk twist on her original scent. The notes of this fragrance are: Coconut Water, Mandarin, Bergamot, White Peach, Heliotrope, Exotic Tiare Flower, Orange Flower, Vanilla Bean, Tonka, Skin Musk, and Creamy Sandalwood.

This is one of the two Summer Cuties fragrances that I really like, this one reminds me a higher quality version of Bath and Body Works Coconut Lime Verbena. I love the addition of the exotic florals to the coconut notes in this fragrance, florals work better with my skin chemistry than just a plain fruity fragrance. I like the original "G" also, however it is very coconut based and that and the sandalwood notes take the whole fragrance over. I really like this fragrance and will be wanting to wear it this summer.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Sunday, April 4, 2010

MAC Trip

MAC Trip is a new collection that consists only of sets and palettes, no individual products have been offered in it. I don't think that this collection will be offered at counters but I might be wrong about that even though I didn't see it the last time that I was at Macy*s. MAC states that, "A collection of black-and-white graphic compacts, trios, and glossy patent bags with sleek, sharp stripes is the simple, sophisticated way to expedite effortless eyes, long-lasting lips, adn cheeks. Around-the-world chic is now so stylishly state-of-the-art, it's trippy!"

Here is the new collection...

Trip: 5 Cool Eyes - The ready-for-anything benefits of five cool shades of Eye Shadow in one slick, good-to-go, glossy black mirrored compact. The shades: Prismique, Springtime Skipper, Water Nymph, Flashtrack, and Knight Divine. Presented in the distinctive outer carton of the MAC Trip collection. Includes the 213SE Brush.
- Prismique - off-white tinselled with silver frost (Lustre)
- Springtime Skimmer - mid-tone minty green with gold pearl (Veluxe Pearl)
- Water Nymph - soft teal with emerald pearl (Frost)
- Knight Divine - carbon black with silver/blue reflects (Veluxe Pearl)
- Flashtrack - bright midnight blue with silver reflects (Veluxe Pearl)

Trip: 5 Neutral Eyes - The ready-for-anything benefits of five neutral shades of Eye Shadow in one slick, good-to-go glossy black mirrored compact. The shades: Bisque, Mineralism, Sable, Bateau, and Say, Yeah. Presented in the distinctive outer carton of the MAC Trip collection. Includes the 213SE Brush.
- Bisque - soft muted pinky-beige (Matte)
- Say, Yeah - softly sunny peach with yellow frost (Veluxe Pearl)
- Sable - muted golden plum brown with bronze shimmer (Frost)
- Mineralism - softly tarnished silver with crystalline frost (Lustre)
- Bateau - wood brown (Satin)

Trip: 4 Bronze Eyes & Cheek - Colour for eyes and cheek in one slick, good-to-go, glossy black mirrored compact. Features Eversun Beauty Powder and Eye Shadows Magic Dust, Elite, and Smut. Presented in the distinctive outer carton of the MAC Trip collection. Includes the 213SE Brush.
- Eversun - neutral peach bronze with gold pearl
- Magic Dust - soft white gold (Frost)
- Elite - brillant bronze with pearl (Veluxe Pearl)
- Smut - muted black flecked with red shimmer (Velvet)

Trip: 4 Neutral Eyes & Cheek - Colour for eyes and cheek in one slick, good-to-go, glossy black mirrored compact. Features Shy Beauty Powder, and Eye Shadows Sunday Best, Girlie, and Agate. Presented in the distinctive outer carton of the MAC Trip collection. Includes the 213SE Brush.
- Shy Beauty - pastel apricot with gold pearl
- Sunday Best - ivory (Frost)
- Girlie - soft muted rosy-pink with subtle shimmer (Satin)
- Agate - mineral brown sparkled with red frost (Lustre)

Trip: 3 Neutral Lips - The ready-for-anything benefits of three shades, three finishes of lip colour, in one slick compact. Enjoy Lipstick shades in Expensivo and Plastique, and lip gloss in Poetic License. Stylishly presented in the new look: square, glossy white mirror compact and distinctive outer carton of the MAC Trip collection. Includes 316SE brush.
- Poetic License - clean coral rose
- Expensivo - luxe nude enriched with low level white pearl (Lustre)
- Plastique - soft muted peachy-bronze with golden bronze shimmer (Frost)

Trip: 3 Warm Lips - The ready-for-anything benefits of three shades, three finishes of lip colour, in one slick compact. Enjoy Lipstick shades in Tempt Me and Strange Hybrid, and lip gloss in En Pointe. Stylishly presented in the new look: square, glossy white mirror compact and distinctive outer carton of the MAC Trip collection. Includes 316SE brush.
- En Pointe - pastel pink with white pearl (Frost)
- Strange Hybrid - silver mid-tone pink with silver pearl (Frost)
- Tempt Me - seductive berry plum with pearl (Lustre)

Trip: 3 Pink Lips & Bag - White patent zippered wallet with a stylishly fresh zipper detail. Features Creme de la Femme and Flashtronic Lipsticks, and a promo sized Lipglass in Heartthrob. Wallet measures: 4.5" x 4" x 1.5".
- Creme de la Femme - baroque pink laced with gold (Frost)
- Flashtronic - an intense flash of fuschia (Lustre)
- Heartthrob - pink-kissed lilac (Frost)

Trip: 3 Rose Lips & Bag - White patent zippered wallet with a stylishly fresh zipper detail. Features Mischievous and Fresh Moroccan Lipsticks, and a promo-sized Lipglass in Mouthwatering. Wallet measures: 4.5" x 4" x 1.5".
- Mishchievous - innocent light peach (Frost)
- Fresh Moroccan - a real rich brick with a golden shimmer (Frost)
- Mouthwatering - light neutral beige with pearl (Frost)
Trip: 3 Coral Lips & Bag - White patent zipper wallet with a stylishly fresh zipper detail. Features Festivity and Eager Lipsticks, and a promo-sized Lipglass in Prrr. Wallet measures 4.5" x 4" x 1.5".
- Festivity - mid-tone coral pink with gold pearl (Frost)
- Eager - blushed coral (Lustre)
- Prrr - soft pinky-peach with icy shimmer (Frost)

Trip: 5 Basic Brushes - Black patent zippered wallet with dashing double black stripe detail and wristlet handle. Featured brushes include the 129SE, 190SE, 224SE, 242SE, and the 266SE.
black stripe detail and wristlet handle.

Trip: 5 Advanced Brushes - Black patent zippered wallet with dashing double white stripe detail and wristlet handle. Featured brushes include the 168SE, 187SE, 212SE, 219SE, and the 275SE.

This is another collection that I really love from MAC. Their little sets are always tops and I have tons of items that I want from this collection. From the eye palettes, I love the Neutral Eyes Palette and would get tons of usage from it. I also want the Neutral Eyes and Cheeks Palette and the Pink and Rose versions of the Lip Bags. I love when they do this little collections and put their core products together in sets.

photo courtesy of MAC

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sekkisei White Powder Face Powder

Sekkisei is another brand that falls under the Kose name, along with the Awake skincare line that I adore so much. Awake is based on Japanese skincare theories, Sekkisei is based on Chinese herbs and botanicals. Both lines are used for facial brightening and contains high amounts of botanicals to accomplish its purpose. The first product that I have tried from Sekkisei is the White Powder Face Wash. So far, I must say that I prefer Awake to Sekkisei but I have only used one product from this line versus all the products I have tried from Awake. Also, as a sidenote to Kose, having most of the descriptions and usage instructions in Chinese on this package is not only unhelpful, it put me off buying this product for a very long time.

This line used to be part of the expanded skincare available at Bath and Body Works which has been eliminated from their stores. I bought this face was when it was on sale last summer right before it was to be exited from the stores. During the sale in which they were getting rid of the clinical skincare and color products, I bought piles of product and stumbled across some great items that I might never have tried. But now, I can barely find them at all in order to repurchase. But I digress away from this purpose of this column...

Sekkisei White Powder is face wash is among the most unique of skincare products. This product starts out as a powder then when a bit of warm water is added to it and mixed in then it forms a thick, white foam. "A foaming powder wash that effectively brightens the complexion with each use, while restoring skin's natural moisture barrier and preventing inflammation. On a wet palm, place powder about the size of a quarter. Using lukewarm water, work into a lather. Wash face and rinse well." I followed the instructions on the website exactly with the exception of the recommended amount. I can get away with using a nickel sized blob of this product. This foam that it creates is rich and thick and gets all of my facial makeup off. I don't use it to remove eye makeup but I love how it gets everything else off my face. The biggest challenge that I have with this product is that I wash my face in the shower and I have to be careful that I get no water in the container when I am pouring the powder out. I haven't had problems so far so I doubt that it will turn into a big issue.

As I stated earlier, Kose uses botanicals in every line of skicare that they make. This product contains botanicals to whiten and brighten the complexion. The following ingredients are found in this product: Peony Root Extract, Perilla Root, Coix Seed Extract, and Angelica Extract.

So far I am happy with this product but I don't know that I will be purchasing any other products from this line for two major reasons. The first is that this line is getting harder and harder to find in brick and mottar stores and so I can't play with the different products. The second is that I hate how so much of the packaging is written in Chinese and I will not be totally sure what I am purchasing unless someone can help me out with it. One example is that in English, a lotion is a hydrator however in Asia, a lotion is a toner and an emulsion is a lightweight hydrator. I'm sure that's not the only difference between the cultures and products.

photo courtesy of Kose

Friday, April 2, 2010

Giorgio Armani Spring 2010 Collection - Nude Contrasts

Hard to believe it but this is the last Spring collection that I am going to be looking at this season. I saved Giorgio Armani's newest collection for last, this promises to be a classic collection that can be worn for several years to come. This collection is called Nudes Contrasts and will be a nice change from all the pinks that we have seen so far this season.

Here is the collection...

Nudes Contrasts Palette For Eyes - Experience the perfect harmony of eye shades that contour the eye, featured in Giorgio Armani's Spring fashion show. A play on color and contrast, this Armanio signature palette helps achieve a modern and smoky eyelook.
- 1 - light blue/bare bronze/jet black/silver
- 2 - nude pink/bare bronze/jet black/light gold

Sheer Blush - Extremely soft and light, sheer blush enhances the complexion with a flush of natural color. Sculpts the face delicately and naturally. Cheeks are left with a warm, radiant glow. All skin types. Soft, lightweight texture. Sheer, natural color. Universal range of shades.
- 2 - pink
- 3 - beige rose
- 5 - beige violet
- 6 - light rose
- 10 - beige

Eyes To Kill Mascara - Dress the eye with powerful, plush, voluminous lashes. Fine, fluid Microfil technology creates intensely captivating lash texture. Micro-waxes combined with a fineness agent allow for smooth and easy application, revealing weightless volume and length.
- 1 - steel black
- 2 - brown copper
- 3 - gun metal gray

ArmaniSilk Lipstick - Multi-faceted creamy color provocatively clings to the curves of your lips for luxurious, lasting comfort. An exceptional blend of Micro silk powders creates a sensual, finely woven veil of rich color that glides onto lips - dressing them like silk. High color cream lipstick. Exquisite silk finish. Luxurious lasting comfort.
- 2 - grapefruit
- 3 - fuchsia
- 6 - rose
- 7 - dusty rose
- 10 - cranberry
- 12 - pomegranate
- 14 - red coral
- 16 - champagne
- 17 - mocha
- 18 - mauve
- 20 - red-orange
- 22 - frozen coral
- 23 - rose
- 27 - pink latte
- 28 - rose toffee
- 30 - deep raspberry
- 55 - latte
- 93 - rose mauve

Lip Shimmer Lip Gloss - Embellish lips with this iridescent sparkling gloss. Lavishes lips with a sultry veil of color. Leaves a shimmering elegant finish. Paint your lips with the precise brush applicator. Sophisticated, shimmering translucent gloss. Unique high precision brush applicator.
- 1 - peach
- 2 - warm peach
- 7 - raspberry
- 9 - shimmer pink
- 16 - dusty rose
- 22 - golden champagne
- 26 - dark rose
- 45 - sandy beige
- 48 - dark brown
- 61 - festive gold patina

Smooth Silk Eye Pencil - This silky soft formula allows for precise, easy application and versatile looks. Use it to subtly define or intensify your eye look. Glide the smudger over eyeliner for a sexy, smoky result. Available in a subtle palette from pale taupe to soft black. Silky-soft and rich color pencil. Precise application. Smudge for smoldering effects.
- 3 - navy
- 4 - black
- 5 - eggplant
- 6 - emerald
- 8 - gray
- 12 - brown black

This collection contains shades that I would get a lot of use out of. First and foremost, I want to get the Nudes Contrast Palette for Eyes in the 2 shade. I want the Blush in 2, 3, and 6 shades. The Armanisilk Lipstick looks very interesting and now I really to try it out. I want the shades 6, 7, 10, 16, and 93. The Lip Gloss in 16 looks as though it would be flattering for my skin so I am adding this to my list.

Spring collections are long until the Summer ones come?

photo courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Chanel Rouge Coco Lipstick

Chanel's newest lipstick offering is called Rouge Coco and is a replacement of a cream lipstick that they used to offer. Rouge Coco has been a hit so far and was sold out at the Chanel counter in Macy's that I visited the other day. This has been a very hyped launch (as is almost every single Chanel product launch) and so far it hasn't disappointed anyone in the beauty industry.

Chanel states that "Chanel introduces a modern interpretation of classic creme lip colour as a homage to the rich life and legacy of 'Coco' Chanel. New lightweight lip colour glides on for easy application and features a Hydratendre complex to help soften, soothe, and condition lips - even boosting their ability to hold in moisture - for a plumper, smootheir, and healthier-looking appearance. A range of wearable shades with full-coverage finishes, from matte to pearl to soft shimmer". Pretty much every single shade was sold out at the counter so I can only go by the selections that I am seeing on the Chanel website and how those shades are appearing on my computer (so forgive me if I am not totally 100% accurate).

Here are the new shades...

- Mademoiselle - mid-tone pink beige
- Muse - deep pink brown
- Camelia - deep rose
- Rouge Orage - very deep rose
- Orchidee - mid-tone pink
- Organdi Rose - mid-tone pink brown
- Legende - deep cool red
- Ruban Rose - mid-tone rose
- Taffetas Rose - mid deep rose
- Rose Comete - pale pink
- Cambon - deep brown red
- Satin - mid tone pink beige
- Teheran - pale warm beige
- Egerie - mid tone beige
- Beige Felin - deep warm brown beige
- La Pausa - mid tone brown
- Perle - pale frosted brown
- Secret - deep frosted brown
- Cashmere - mid tone beige
- Lune Rousse - deep red
- Paris - mid tone cool red
- Gabrielle - mid tone brown red
- Rouge Noir - deep dark plum
- Rivoli - deep red
- Bel Respiro - mid tone brown red
- Vendome - deep brown red
- Talisman - deep brown with a hint of red ton
- Ballet Russe - deep plum with a hint of red tone
- Venise - mid tone warm brown
- Sycomore - lighter mid tone brown
- Bois des Iles - mid tone mahogany

I was able to play with some of the testers from this collection and I was very impressed with my limited exposure to the products. The lipstick went on soft and creamy. It provided full coverage without feeling dry on my hand. I can't comment onhow it feels and wears on the lips since I wouldn't try the testers on my lips. After rubbing it on my hand, it took soap and water in the bathroom to get it off and still a stain was left on my hand so this product should wear well in the real world. The sales associate told me that this lipstick is considered to be in the long-wearing category so this was to be expected. I was also told from the sales associate that this lipstick goes on sheer with the first swipe and can be built up for truer color. I am going to assume that the shades as pictured on the Chanel website are several swipes of color since none of them appeared on the sheerer side.

So what shades did I like from this collection? Gabrielle, Rivoli, and Paris are all shades of reds and I loved all of them. This is the type of formula that I require in a red lipstick shade. i also like Ruban Rose for a bit more of a natural look for the daytime.

Ladies go and test this lipstick out and if you find a counter with a assortment of shades, drop me a comment.

photo courtesy of Chanel

Most Wanted April 2010

Here is the list of my most wanted items for the month of April...

- Philosophy The Color of Grace Angel Kiss Lip Gloss
- Philosophy The Color of Grace Amazing Grace Coloring Book
- Too Faced Brightening Blush in La Vie En Rose
- Dior Poudrier Dentelle Highlighter
- Illamasqua Nail Varnish in MILF
- Bobbi Brown Color Strips Palette in Orchid
- Harajuku Lovers Summer Cuties in Lil' Angel
- Origins Brighter By Nature High-Potency Brightening Peel
- Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Blush in Quickie
- Lancome Color Design Matte Lipstick

T. S . Eliot once said that "April is the cruelest month". Not in my mind...