Monday, May 31, 2010

DuWop Summer 2010 Collection

For the summer, DuWop has released four new products to help complement your summer activities. When clicking on the "What's New" page of their website, the slogan "Let Your Beauty Soar" is written at the top of the page so I am lead to believe that these are products that are good for a carefree natural look and to complement your best look when on vacation.

Here are the products...

Twilight Venom Blush - Continuing the successful partnership between DuWop, the creators of Lip Venom, and Stephanie Meyer's acclaimed Twilight saga, Twilight Venom Blush brings a softer and sweeter look to the biting lip stain made popular last year. Twilight Venom Blush is a shimmering pink lip stain suspended in a venom-laced liquid lip conditioner argan, avocado oil, and olive oils, as well as Vitamin E. Twilight Venom Blush should be shaken before use (to represent the blending of the human and vampire worlds). Apply to lips until desired intensity of color is reached OR dip the brush in the top without shaking for conditioning and plumping alone OR dip the brush into the bottom of the vial directly into the undiluted stain for a more potent look. Pick your poison.

Angel Washes - Angel Washes are the sheerest tint for lips, cheeks, and eyes in three angelic colors. The refreshing, water-based formula provides a delicate wash of long-lasting color. The three shades are packaged in adorable tubes for easy application. The golden color can also be used as a face highlighter and is the only Angel Wash formulated specifically for the eyes. the set of three includes the listed shades.
- Petal Pink - midtone pink
- Delicate Coral - midtone coral
- Shimmering Bronze Gold - deep gold

Clear Revolution - Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a self-tanner that actually tones and conditions your skin, was never orange or messy, and had a fantastic scent? if your answer to any of these questions is yes, have we got the product for you! Clear Revolution is a cooling ice blue gel that contains extracts of arnica and calendula to firm and tone and white tea and chamomile to soothe and refresh -all in an aloe base. The bluish hues fights any orange tendencies, giving your skin a completely authentic tan. Scented with a tempting blend of essential oils, including lavender, lemon, lime, and ylang ylang, Clear Revolution also provides natural sunscreen. If that's not enough the product gives you a safe, healthy, glowing tan that develops overnight. As with the original Revolution, Clear Revolution contains a hint of shimmer to bring a subtle sheen to the skin.

Flight Stick - Flight Stick is a skin-enhancing, hydrating stick created for the weary traveler or anyone who wants an instant pick me up. The product contains anti-oxidants to protect and hydrate. A touch of caffeine, a natural stimulant, wakes up the skin and enhances the appearance of dryness and damage. Flight Stick also contains a hint of tint to even out and perfect the complexion. The universal color can be used anywhere - on the face, under eyes, or on the neck - anywhere you need a boost! Packaged in a travel-friendly, roll up cylinder, Flight Stick is perfect to throw in your bag for touch-ups upon landing.

I love the concept of Flight Stick! This sounds as though it could become a go-to product for me during warmer weather or anytime that I stressed out over school and work. I also must keep with my Twilight theme and get the new shade of the Twilight Venom. I am curious about the Clear Revolution and will be keeping my eyes out for reviews to judge if it performs up to its description. I tend to not use gel tanners so I doubt that it would be a product for me, but you never know.

photo courtesy of DuWop

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Lancome Summer 2010 Collection - Bronze Riviera

I have been reading for several weeks now that many consider Lancome's Bronze Riviera Collection to be THE collection of the summer. Even though bronzed skin isn't my thing, I am very curious to chekc this collection out and see what products could work very for me. The Lancome website states, "A Playful Glow of Bronze. A Celeboratory Pop of Pink. Be lavished in shades of gold and bronze that jet you away to the beautiful places and faces of the Riviera. The most luxurious elements of nature all come together now to create this summer's hottest color collection - with pops of pink to add a happy play of color to any look".

Let's see if this is THE collection of the season...

Color Design Limited Edition Sensational Effects Eye Shadow Compact - Color Design Limited Edition Sensational Effects Eye Shadow, Bronze Riviera Palette, features 6 must-have, sparkling summer shades with a hint of pink to pop any look.
- Pink Party Pretty - contains pink, nude, bronze, and deep brown shades

Le Crayon Kohl Waterproof Dual Ended Eye Liner - Le Crayon Kohl makes a splash with a new waterproof formula. This creamy, smooth dual ended eye pencil perfectly lines, defines, and contours.
- Sassy in Sunrise - deep brown/midtone warm pink
- Sultry in Sunset - deep brown/bronze

Color Design Sensational Effects Lip Color - Dress your lips in new Color Design Lip Color for full coverage, smooth hold, and sensational effects in one coat. Creams, sheens, shimmers, and metallics - four modern finishes for custom lip styling. A range of 36 shades to create the perfect designer's palette for any lip tone.
- Summer Nude - midtone nude
- Sweetly Pink - bubblegum pink
- Pink Splash - bright pink

Juicy Tubes 100% Natural Origin Ultra Shiny Lip Gloss - Juicy Tubes 100% Natural Origin Ultra Shiny Lip Gloss is a sunny delight for the juiciest lips this summer. To celebrate the 10th birthday of this juicy original, Lancome presents this limited edition Juicy Tubes formula: 100% Natural Ingredients, 100% Natural Flavors and Fragrances, 100% Natural Coloring Agents, FSC Certified 100% Recyclable Material Carton.
- Pink Precious - pale pink
- Blushing Beauty - pale rose
- Rose Pretty - midtone rose
- Sheerfully Sweet - pink nude

Le Lipstique Lip Coloring Stick with Brush - Two tools in one: a soft, creamy, waterproof pencil for gorgeous, professional-looking lips on one end; and a brush for blending on the other. Worn alone or under lipstick, colour stays in place - no feathering or bleeding. Unique brush tip blends and applies lipstick beautifully.
- Sultry Nude - midtone nude

Le Vernis Divine Lasting Color & Shine - Its Lancome's most technologically-advanced nail polish. Your fingertips and toes will love the boost of color and lasting shine that stays put for up to seven days. Its cutting edge, soft-sculpt brush embraces the shape of each nail for perfectly even coverage in one coat with no clumps. Shiny and shock-free: Shield Plasticizers keep nails flexible, shiny, and more resistant to shock and abrasion. Chip-free for days! Strong and healthy: Methyl-Sulfonyl-Methane (MSM) is a naturally occuring substance known for its diverse health benefits including support for healthy nails. It is known to boost the production of keratin, a tough protein from which finger and toe nails are made. MSM paired with Shield Plasticizers make nails much stronger and more flexible.
- Ms. Perfectly Pink - bright pink

Tropiques Minerale Bamboo Bronzer - Tropiques Mineral Bamboo Bronzer Compact opens to reveal a silky, sun-kissed powder with a big, full-faced mirror for the golden, glamorous glow of tropical skin in seconds. Dust on cheek bones, forehead, nose, brow bones, chin, and decolletage to make bare skin look healthy and fresh.
- Temptingly Bronze - golden bronze

Tropiques Minerale All Over Magic Bronzing Brush - Tropiques Minerale Magic Bronzing Brush automatically releases powder onto its brush at the press of a button. Features 100% minerals from pure earth for a natural-looking, shimmering, bronze glow, head to toe. So convenient for sunny touch-ups on the go. One shade for all skin tones.

Ageless Minerale Blush - Ageless Minerale Brightening Mineral Powder Blush with White Sapphire Complex contains pure mineral pigments for soft, sheer color and a radiantly ageless look. 6-hour wear. Fragrance free, oil-free, talc-free, and safe for sensitive skin.
- Sparkling Sand - beige
- Brillant Berry - midtone berry
- Luminous Rose - midtone pink

Ageless Minerale Blush Brush - Ageless Minerale Blush Brush creates a soft, sexy, sculpted look. The velvetly, pampering touch of this hand-crafted brush shapes cheekbones naturally for controlled, even color application.

Ok, so lots to look at in this collection. I like this collection a lot but I don't think that it is the most amazing one that I have seen so far this summer. However, if I were more into bronzers I might take up a different viewpoint. There are some pieces that I would really like to get from this collection and some that I will be fine with skipping over. I adore the new eye shadow palette and will be able to create some fantastic looks with it. Also, this is one of the few palettes so far from the summer collections without any blue in it so I can safely say that I will use every single shade from this palette. I also love all the new shades of the Juicy Tubes Natural Origins and the new nail polish shade. Definitely some big hits from this collection!

photo courtesy of Lancome

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Kate Somerville Goat Milk Face Cream

It's warm and humid and several weeks ago, my thick face creams started to slide off my face. Normally, I turn to Caudalie for new face creams but I decided that for once, I was going to switch up my skincare preferences and try a brand that I have nothing from. I decided on the Kate Somerville brand of facial care products. Kate Somerville is one of the most respected names in the skincare industry and her famous spa in Los Angeles is regularly filled with many of the most beautiful faces in Hollywood. So I decided to give her products a shot and see what the result was.

I decided to purchase the Goat Milk Face Cream (at Sephora) which is formulated for normal to oily skin types. Sephora places the product in this general category, "A nutrient-rich daily moisturizer". Sephora gives the following as the full product description, "Kate Somerville Goat Milk Cream calms and rejuvenates sensitive, dry, and combination skin, absorbing quickly with no oily residue left behind. It offers optimum moisture, balance, and overall well-being for a naturally healthy complexion. For years, Ancient Egyptians used goat milk to heal and nuture their skin; thier skincare wisdom bears following. This natural wonder continues the great tradition, lavishing skin with infusions of milk proteins, vitamins, and amino acids".

So far, I have loved this product when the weather is warm. It hydrates well and doesn't irritate my skin or cause any extra oiliness. Also, I have not broken out when using this product, a major plus. The only time that I wasn't thrilled when using this product was the few days that the temperature dipped down into the 50s, it wasn't hydrating enough and my cheeks felt tight and dry all day long. So this is not a product that I would use in the wintertime. Also, this is not a product that I would recommend to dry skin types, it is lightweight lotion and won't provide enough hydration even when used twice daily.

The packaging of this product is genius and I hope that other skincare companies jump on this concept. It is housed in a tub and when you press down in the top of the container (after removing the cap), the product comes up through a hole in the top. For myself, one pump is enough to cover my whole face and neck without wasting any product. I love the fact that I don't have to stick my fingers into this product to get it out and therefore, will always be putting clean product on my face.

I would recommend this skin cream to normal skin types in warmer weather and oily skin types all year round. Also, any of those with sensitive skin will not break out from this product and should see great results also.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Friday, May 28, 2010

Stila Summer 2010 Collection

The Summer 2010 Collection from Stila resembles a grouping of random products and shades thrown together and labeled as a new collection. I really prefer when new collections have some type of theme to the colors and products. But anyway, I digress. I usually have good luck with Stila products in general so I do want to see what they bringing out for me to try.

Here are the new items...

It Girl Palette - Brought to you first at! The It Girl Eye Shadow Palette is a great selection of the neutral eye shadows that enhance the eyes and will sparkle in the summer sun! At only $10, you can't beat this value. Please note that the pans are slightly smaller than our usual full size pans. The sleek design is ideal for on the go touch-ups. It is perfect for the purse, wallet, or traveling. The three shades that are included are: Kitten (shimmering champagne), Chloe (I think this is mid-tone brown shade), and Lame (I think this is pinky gold shade).

Raspberry Crusk Lip & Cheek Stain - The newest member of Stila's Crush family delivers a perfect pop of vibrant pink to your lips and cheeks. Packed with good for you ingredients and a touch of subtle shimmer, this sheer raspberry-rich formula creates a healthy, glowing flush of youth. Infused with naturally staining raspberry extracts, this sweetly scented wonder reacts to your personal pH levels to create your perfect vibrant pink shade every time. This juicy formula works as a blush and lip tint - leaving a pretty pop of color that compliments your fresh summer skin.

Smudege Stick Waterproof Eye Liner - Obsessed for Sumdge Pots? You'll go crazy for Smudge Sticks! This highly pigmented, waterproof eye liner glides on to deliver intense, vibrant color with staying power. These easy to apply eye liners have it all: long lasting, waterproof, easy to apply, several shimmer intense shades to make eyes stand out, vibrant colors, self sharpening propel pencil.
- Stingray - black
- Lionfish - brown with shimmer
- Purple Tang - purple with shimmer
- Moray - olive with shimmer
- Koi - metallic gold
- Silverdollar - metallic silver
- Peacock - cobalt blue
- Blue Ribbon - navy grey

One Step Makeup Primecolor - This revolutionary new formula combines primer, eye shadow, highlighter, lip color, cheek color, bronzer with mineral pigments to deliver an innovative, high performance, high definition, long wearing, all over color. One Step Primercolor is formulated with Stila's Youth Revival Bio-Available Mineral Complex that reads and reacts to skin zone-by-zone, visibly priming, balancing, correcting, and optimizing for a supremely flawless finish. Exclusive mineral and silicone complex. Mineral pigment, primer, problem solving, and mess free! Water-resistant formula perfect for humid weather. Adjustable and buildable coverage. Shades will include matte and shimmer finishes. Reduces the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Hydrates and balances. High definition, long wearing. Paraben and fragrance free.
- Per Suede - tawny
- Bronze Babe - bronze
- Pop of Pink - pale pink
- Capri Coral - coral
- Rosie Posie - warm rose
- Kitten - champagne shimmer

Pro Artist Palette - You can't go wrong with this set of six eye shadows. Created and designed by Stila Pro Artists, this palette features our award winning eye shadow formula in six carefully chosen colors. Wear shades individually or combined for countless combinations and an endless amount of looks (check out the tips and tricks tab for a couple of suggestions). Includes the following top selling shades: Kitten (shimmering nude pink), Prize (soft gold shimmer), and Sparkle (golden bronze shimmer). Includes three exclusive new colors: Grand (taupe shimmer), Lucky (deep teal shimmer), and Moxie (vibrant purple sheen).

Bronzing Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 - Stila's best-selling Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer has gone golden! Bronzing Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 - infused with genuine 24 K gold - contains the perfect ratio of pigment to pearl, providing a beaming, flawless face in an instant. The anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant properties of gold leave the skin with a youthful, vibrant summertime sheen, while SPF 15 ensures that the skin is protected from harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Stila Sun Highlighter - Highlight the skin with Stila Sun Highlighter. This subtle shimmer will work with any of the three shades of Stila Sun to reproduce the look of a truly terrific tan.

Summer Glow Set - Create the perfect summer glow with this three piece set. Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer makes your skin radiate in the sun, while protecting you from its harsh rays. Add a little warmth with the Illuminating Finishing Powder in Bronze. Finally the concealer helps cover up the minor flaws so that your skin looks perfect all summer long. This set is available in Fair, Light, and Tan.

I really like many of the new products in the little "collection". My favorite of the new products is the Smudege Stick Eye Liner. I am dying to try Koi, Stingray, Lionfish, and Moray. I also would like to get both the new eye palettes, I already own Kitten and use it in many eye looks, so I have no problem owning several backups of it. I am also really curious about the One Step Primecolor and I will have to try this one out next time that I go to Sephora. I think that I should have no problem finding some winners here...

photo courtesy of Stila

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Peter Thomas Roth Buffing Beads

My latest scrub obsession is one of the top rated scrubs available on the skincare market today. The last scrub that I was using was slightly too harsh for my liking, however this one is the opposite and therefore makes it one of the best and most widely recommended skincare items. This is not the first time that I have used this product, like Benefit's BadGal Lash, I use this product then purchase something different, miss my favorite and come right back to this one. The product that I am talking about to day is Peter Thomas Roth Buffing Beads, a face and body scrub that has several times won Allure's top honors and is said to be used by Bill Clinton (in addition to a ton of others).

Sephora states that this product is "A gentle exfoliating scrub with ultra-fine jojoba beads and botanical nutrients". They continue with a more detailed description of the scrub right here, "This delicate exfoliant's non-abrasive jojoba beads remove dead surface cells and help open clogged pores, allowing treatment products and moisturizers to pentrate better. The jojoba beads partially dissolve as they come in contact with warm, wet skin, minimizing the risk of irritation. The skin is left smooth, clean, and refreshed". I also pulled some more details about the benefits of this product off the back of the bottle itself. In addition to what was stated from Sephora, the jojoba beads also help to emulsify sebum and clear up and prevent blackheads and whiteheads.

The blue version of this product is the original bestseller. However, this product is so universal and effective that Peter Thomas Roth released an entire line of Buffing Beads all with different properties, benefits, and that are targeted toward certain skin types. Myself, I prefer the original that is pictured here. I love that the beads are fine and gentle. This scrub is unique in that it still performs very well but has never caused my skin even a moment of irritation. A very impressive moment occured when I forgot that I had gotten an eyebrow wax the day before and used this product and still no irritation or redness occured. This is one of my favorite skincare products and I would recommend to any skin type and either gender.

I bought this product at Bath and Body Works before they stopped carrying this brand. Right now, I would recommend purchasing it at Sephora since they are running their skincare challenge. When you purchase a product from one of the specified brands (most of their brands are included), you are given a card with space for four punches on it. When you fill it up by purchasing four skincare products, you get a free full sized gift. Personally, I don't find it difficult to purchase four skincare products and I bet that I will have several cards filled up before this is over.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

MAC To The Beach

It is finally the official release of MAC's To The Beach! I have been seeing pictures of this collection in blogs for the past two weeks and the other week when I was at MAC, the manager was nice enough to pull out the testers of the collection. Seeing the testers only made me go even crazier for the collection, the manager and I spent about ten minutes drooling over everything. This collection is amazing and I am so excited to write about it!

MAC states that "The seaside has a kind of golden, sexy alchemy we're all drawn to. This collection encapsulates it with the most soothing, sultry shades of summertime. A safe way to bronze, beautify, and get colour that looks sun-kissed. Close your eyes, and go To The Beach!"

To The Beach we go!

To The Beach Eye Shadow - An Eye Shadow whose shade and packaging reflects the beach side glamour of our To The Beach collection. Presented in a chartreuse compact with a shell motif in cream screened on the see-through window. Limited edition.
- Sand & Sun - light peach (Matte)
- Firecracker - frosted mid-tone red orange (Veluxe Pearl)
- Sweet & Punchy - bright yellow green (Veluxe Pearl)
- Shimmermoss - green with green pearl (Veluxe Pearl)
- Humid - intense green with shimmer (Frost)

To The Beach Eye Kohl - An Eye Kohl whose shade and presentation pays its own colorful tribute to the beach side glamour of our To The Beach collection. The coral motif screened on the barrel does double-duty as a whimsical shade indicator. Limited edition.
- Rosemary & Thyme - mid-tone olive gold with shimmer
- Float On By - dark green turquoise

To The Beach Lipstick - A Lipstick that in shade, finish, and overall glamour of look and packaging becomes a fitting part of our To The Beach bronzing collection. Features a coral-coloured case with a shell motif in cream. Limited edition.
- Beachbound - sheer frosted pale peach (Glaze)
- Lazy Day - light dirty blue pink (Lustre)
- Thrills - rosy copper with gold pearl (Frost)
- Funbathing - mid-tone bronzed plum (Cremesheen)

To The Beach Tinted Lipglass - A Lipglass whose style, design, and shade could only belong to our To The Beach collection. Its iconic touch: the seahorse motif screened onto the coral-coloured cap. Limited edition.
- Easy Lounger - light baby pink with multidimensional pearl
- Flurry of Fun - sheer sparkly peach
- Splashing - mid-tone blue pink with soft gold pearl

To The Beach Lip Pencil - A Lip Pencil featuring all the rich colour and sunny-day glamour you would expect from our To The Beach collection. The coral motif screened on the barrel does double duty as a whimsical shade indictor. Limited edition.
- Life's a Breeze - soft pink
- Temperature Rising - loudmouth orange

To The Beach Powder Blush - A brillant beach-bound part of our To The Beach collection, this blush is presented in a marine-green compact with a starfish motif screened on the window. Limited edition.
- Hipness - intense coral with soft white pearl (Frost)
- Get-Away Bronze - mid-tone suntan

To The Beach High-Light Powder - The superfine, lightly pearlized shimmer of our To The Beach collection High-Light Powder flaunts a whimsical seahorse motif embossed into the powder. Stylishly presented in a marine-green compact with see-through window. Limited edition.
- Marine Life - suitable for all skintone

To The Beach Creme Bronzer - Ultra-creamy and simple to apply, this uniquely formulated bronzer glides weightlessly onto the skin to provide sheer, sun-kissed colour. Builds effortlessly and evenly. Presented in a green compact with a shell motif screened on the see-through window. Limited edition.
- Beach Bronze - golden glow with soft gold finish
- Weekend - mid-tone deep orange brown with soft pink pearl

To The Beach Bronzing Powder - A Bronzing Powder as glamorous to look at as it is to wear. Superfine formula provides shimmering, sun-glitzed highlights for face and body. Mirrored compact and carton both feature the collection's signature coral-reef motif. Limited edition.
- Golden - muted golden tan-beige with golden shimmer
- Refined Golden - finely spun golden with soft pearl finish

To The Beach Lustre Drops - Glamour in a drop! This essential summer highlighter makes a welcome return specially packaged to our To The Beach collection. Provides sheer, natural-looking highlights with a luminous, shimmering finish. Use on face or body. Limited edition.
- Pink Rebel - blue pink with gold pearl
- Sun Rush - peachy bronze with gold pearl

To The Beach Bronze Body Oil - A shimmering body oil formulated to bring a sheer sheen and sexy gleam to skin. Soothing, naturally emollient. Its fusion of three botanical oils helps soften, smooth, and moisturize skin. Limited edition.

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!
- In The Buff - muted taupe avocado
- Scorcher - creamy bright coral red

130 Short Duo Fibre Brush - A short, round, flat-topped brush ideal for the smooth, easy application of foundations, creams, emulsions, and select powder products. Features a blend of natural bristles and synthetic fibres.

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

To The Beach Bag - A capacious cream-coloured canvas bag detailed in the signatre coral colour of the To The Beach collection. Features a large coral-reef motif, two braided-rope handles, and a green ID tag with a starfish motif on one side and the MAC logo on the other. Measures: 16" x 6.5" x 16". Limited edition.

I love it all and I already know that much of my Most Wanted List will be coming from this collection. And I am not alone in my love of it, several of items are already sold out on the website and it hasn't even hit the stores yet. So what do I love the most from the collection? I must have two of the new shades of the To The Beach Tinted Lipglass, Easy Lounger and Splashing. I love the To The Beach Eye Kohl in Rosemary & Thyme, I am excited to create a whole new eye look with this product. I also must have the To The Beach Eye Shadow in Sand & Sun, I have been obsessed with it ever since seeing it in person at MAC. I have never tried a cream bronzer so I am excited to see how they work. To finish the whole look off, I want the bag to carry with my green bikini.

To The Beach I go!

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sarah Jessica Parker SJP NYC

With the Sex and the City 2 movie coming out very soon and starting off the summer blockbuster season, I was only appropriate to look at the fragrance that is being releaased with this movie. I don't know about anyone else, but I certainly prefer a new fragrance or makeup collection release with a amajor movie than just about any other type of promotional activity. That being said, I do put this fragrance down to being almost solely a promotional product and one that I doubt that Sarah Jessica would ahve created without the inspiration of this new movie. But, it's Sex and the City and that means for both myself and a million other ladies, that we will buy it and wear it faithfully. I bet the movie theaters are going to reek of it after opening weekend.

This new fragrance is called SJP NYC and this is the first Sarah Jessica Parker fragrance that I have shown any interest in, I have never liked Lovely and have ignored her other releases. Though, clever marketers that are out there, I would not have picked this fragrance up had it not been for the tie in to the Sex and the City 2 movie. In comparison to her previous fragrances, this fragrance is a light fruity, floral that is a great choice for the summer season. The packaging of the product is something else, I have included a picture of it since I don't know that I could fully describe it in words.

This fragrance was made to bring the character of Carrie Bradshaw to life. I do see much of Carrie in this fragrance, it is light, fun, and very unique. At first spray, this fragrance reminded me a lighter version of my beloved Marc Jacobs Daisy. And there is a good reason for that, some of the notes are exactly the same in the two fragrances and they are of similar type. The top notes of the fragrance are: Italian Mandarin, White Osmanthus, Wild Red Strawberries. the heart notes are: Gardenia, Honeysuckle, Mimosa, Red Rose Damascenia. The base notes are: Sandalwood, Vanilla Absolute, Rum Flavor, Creamy Musks.

The fragrance is a good choice for warm weather, it is light enough to not be overpowering. I have read some reviews on this fragrance on the Macy's website and some have been disappointed with the lasting power of it. I know that I will buy this since it is Carrie Bradshaw but had it not been for the movie tie in, I might have walked right by it in the store.

photo courtesy of Macy*s

Monday, May 24, 2010

Urban Decay Summer 2010 Collection

The new Urban Decay collection combines both new color products and a lot of new warm weather skincare products. The theme of the new color additions is "The Summer of Love", it is very bohemian inspired and contains quite a lot of nice neutrals. Also, there are two new additions to one of my favorite guilty pleasure products, the Pocket Rocket Lip Gloss. the skincare products are targeted toward treating oil and shine during the warm and humid weather that always comes with this season. I am super excited to check this whole collection out!

Here are the new skincare additions...

De-Slick in a Tube - Shine Control Gel - It's time to take control of your oil and put your matte face forward. Our lightweight gel performs anywhere, anytime: dab it on all day for touch-ups without ruining your perfectly applied makeup. It's completely color neutral, so it works great on naked skin, under foundation, or over makeup. Formulated to help tighten pores for a youthful, shine-free finish. De-Slick even works to keep skin matte under hot studio lights and in the muggiest of heat (so you know this addocting formula provides fierce absorbing action).

All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray - This groundbreaking formula mists on, ensuring that your makeup won't budge for 16 hours. Really. Weightless but powerful, All-Nighter's temperature control technology keeps your makeup from melting down when it's warm and humid, or dehydrating when it's cold and windy. What's that mean for you? All Nighter prevents loss of color, melting, sliding, caking, cracking, excess shine, fading blush, drooping eye shadow, and lip color disappearance. AND it's formulated to resist moisture, so you can fearlessly sweat, cry, or get your Jacuzzi on... You're guarenteed makeup that always look just-applied, without ever feeling sticky or tight. Imagine the possibilites. It's the new final step to your makeup routine. Just a couple sprays on top of your makeup and you're out the door. This seemingly weird extra step suddenly becomes the one step that you can't do without. Backed by years of science, All Nighter is simply unlike any other product available and keeps you looking...flawless.

Guardian Angel Spray Moisturizer - Face the day with an innovative, ultra-fine, mist-on appliocation of ethereal moisture. Guardian Angel answers your prayers for purity as it carefully moisturizes even oily, combination, or break-out prone skin. Time-release technology hydrates your skin up to 24 hours as the hygroscopic formla miraculously attracts moisture to your skin, yet always feels weightless. Guardian Angel gives your face a smooth, moisturized surface, which helps extend makeup wear. Boasting an infusion of SPF 8 and completely vegan ingredients, we'd say this is the most perfect Angel ever!

Dew Me Moisturizing Makeup Setting Spray - Wake up, makeup, and Dew Me! Finally, the perfect antidote for drier and combination skin that moisturizes and holds makeup flawlessly for 16 hours (Yes, really.). Without feeling dry or tight, this weightless makeup setting mist keeps foundation from settling into fine lines and prevents powder from becoming cakey. Your complexion looks dewy, younger, and more glowing! With impressive temperature control technology, Dew Me keeps your makeup from melting down when it's warm and humid, and dehydrating when it's cold and windy. There is no other makeup mist available on the market that can do what it does. Maintain your makeup quality by preventing loss of color, melting, sliding, cracking, fading eye shadow, and lip color feathering, no matter what the circumstances. Wanna know a secret? Dew Me is also the BEST thing to happen to our moms, and more shall we say "experienced" lady friends. Dry skin and hot flashes will no longer disrupt your pretty face!

Now for the color items...

Urban Defense Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 - Hate fussing with heavy foundation, but need soemthing that really performs? Seek protection with our Urban Defense. This formula is free of parabens and fragrance, is loaded with our multi-mineral complex, battles free radical damage, AND also has SPF 20! Even better, its light-diffusing pigments dminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, providing a youthful finish. Since it's buildable, Urban Defense always has just the right amount of tint...wear it alone for light coverage (great for warm outdoor weather) or under powder for an extra polished look. Apply Urban Defense after your cleansing/toning ritual and you're ready to face the day with moisture, sheer coverage, and SPF 20 at your service. Available in a range of four shades for light to dark complexions.

Summer of Love Shadow Palette - Say goodbye covered shoulders, hello sexy, when you wear these three golden neutrals together for a summery bronzed look. Our mix of textures gives you layers of silky-soft shimmer and flashy bits of gold. Play with how you blend them; from an au naturel glow, to a smoky eye with a bright pop. Bold against a tan. Feel the love in this palette, which includes a travel-sized Sin Eye Shadow Primer Potion (to keep your look going strong on those long summer nights) and 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil... an addicting treat for any free spirit. Complete with mirror and magnetic cover (and some groovy vintage photos inside), you'll want to host your own love-in. 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil comes in Bourbon (brown with teeny gold glitter). Eye Shadows come in the following shades: Chopper (copper fawn with silver micro-glitter), Maui Wowie (medium glod with silver glitter), Smog (deep coppery bronze), and Flash (lavender).

Summer of Love Nail Kit - Hard to choose which shade of polish you want? Celebrate free love with all of them! More arousing than full-size single bottles, this kit of IT girl polishes delivers punchy, offbeat shades of teal, orange, pink, and orchid that will drive you absolutely mad. Your healthy inner hippie will appreciate that all of our colors are formulated without toluene, formaldehyde, or DBP and your analytical left brain will appreciate the 220-strand brush for highly detailed application of color. Fit them all into a purple faux suede zipper case and you'll be ready to swing.
- Shine On - beige sparkle
- Woodstock - radioactive pink
- Love Light - baby pink sparkle
- Hashbry - bright orchid
- Magic Bus - emergency orange
- Aquarius - electric teal
- Psychedelic Sister - bright coral

24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil - The best eye pencil ever, ever, ever! Never before has a pencil this creamy and brillant been waterproof, too. Velvety-soft, this never-before-seen formula stays soft and creamy for blending (about 30 seconds), then dries down to long-lasting finish that WILL NOT budge. Line eyes with a hint of color or go for the full artistic, multi-hued effect with the wide selection of lush tropical hues, deep metallics, and unusually vibrant neutrals. Created with 50% moisturizing ingredients suspended in a sophisticated waterproof formula, 24/7 Eye Pencils offer long-lasting color and a dreamy, creamy feel when applied. With Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E, and Cottonseed Oil.
- Eldorado - gold

Pocket Rocket Lip Gloss - Undress our men with a flick of your wrist! Inside the cap of our custom tube is a photo of a yummy man. Tilt the tube back-and-forth to strip them to their undies! (We've even included front and rear photos.) Whether you swoon for a future senator or a tree-hugger, one of our men is sure to please you. Our guys make awesome gits for bachelorette parties, baby showers, or b-days. And the gloss? This formula is so slick and cushiony, you would love it in a plain ol' tube. Each shade varies in opacity and finish, but all have a sweet creme brulee flavor. The formula contains Hyaluronic Spheres, known to improve cellular function, prevent dehydration, and fill in lines and wrinkles. The brush applicator is ideal for blending. Need to lure a real man? Give the tube a rub to release pheromones into the air! Undetectable to the smell, pheromones enhance mood and sexual attraction. The flat tube slides right into your pocket!
- Colin - orange-red
- Max - pinky-nude

Wow! There is a lot to this new collection and most of it will be making my Sephora Wish List! the item that I want the most is the Summer of Love Eye Shadow Palette followed closely by the new Tinted Moisturizer. I also want the Pocket Rocket Lip Gloss in the Max shade and the new Eldorado shade of my favorite eye liners. I want three of the four new face products, I think that all of them will be really great additions to my skincare arsenal. I want to get the Guardian Angel Spray Moisturizer, the All-Nighter Long Setting Spray, and the De-Slick in a Tube.

I love this collection! Another winner from one of my favorite companies!

photo courtesy of Urban Decay

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bath and Body Works Deep Aqua

For their last new release of the Summer Vanillas, Bath and Body Works really hit the ball out of the park. All the fragrances became immediate sell-outs and are rumored to be becoming part of the permanent fragrance line from this company. Their newest fragrance and the last release before their sale in June is named Deep Aqua and is a member of the floral family of fragrances. However, this fragrance reminds me more of an Island Micheal Kors type of floral with tropical flowers and a bunch of water and ozonic notes instead of just a straight up flower market fragrance.

Bath and Body Works states the following in the description of the fragrance on their website, "Indulge your senses with our exclusive Deep Aqua, the pure and refreshing fragrance of ocean drenched flowers inspired by a beautifullworld underwater". The key fragrance notes are: Crisp Melon, Water Blossoms, Dewy Gardenia, and White Woods. This fragrance is available in the standard forms as well as some newer items. The three standard items are the typical Shower Gel, Body Lotion, the Body Splash, and the new Cooling Mists that many of the Signature fragrances has been released in. There are two new items that are exclusive to this fragrance and these are the two that we are going to look at today.

The first new item is the Skin Smoothing Shower Gelee. "With exflioating beads and skin-nourishing marine nutrients, our limited edition Skin Smoothing Shower Gelee is gentle enough to use every day, leaving skin feeling super soft, noticeably smooth, refreshed, and conditioned." The other new product is the one that I am the most excited about. This product is the Cooling Body Souffle, a gel-like hydrator. "Our limited edition Cooling Body Souffle is water-light and brekas on skin for a refreshing and cooling sensation. This unique formula is enriched with nourishing marine nutrients that help condition and soothe skin, leaving it feeling refresh and revitalized".

I am more excited about these new items than I have been in a quite awhile. Several years ago, Bath and Body Works had a French based line called Aquatanica Spa, which didn't sell very well and was quickly discontinued. However, I happened to be one of it's only fans and I loved the products to pieces, especially a hydrating body gel that looks exactly like this new one from the Deep Aqua line. So I hope that these are very similar formulas to the old gel cream and foaming body scrub. Here's to hoping that I can get to the mall within the new few days and everything isn't sold out already.

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Lippmann Collection Summer 2010 Shades

Lippmann Collection has released two new shades of nail polish for this summer. Last season, I fell head over heels in love with the Happy Birthday shade, I would love it if that would be repeated with one of more shades from this collection. The collection for summer consists of two new shades, both of which pick up the trend of brightly colored manicures and pedicures. I am thinking that these shades are not going to be quite as wearable as the shades that came out for spring. Let's find out.

The first shade is named Between The Sheets and is a bright fushcia with a creme finish. I really like the cream finishes that I have been seeing on the brighter shades so far this season, a shimmer finish and bright colors and get overwhelming pretty quickly. That being said, I like this shade but I don't really know how much wear that I would get out of it. I could see myself using it for beach pedicures in the summer but I can't picture myself using it very often for manicures or at all in any other seasons. I might pass on this shade.

The other shade is named supermodel and was created with supermodel Dree Hemingway. This color appears to be a bright coral red creme on the picture on the Lippmann website but is described as a sheer shade. With my past experiences with Lippmann sheers (Rehab), I have found that they are sheer for about two coats but it you have the time and the patience, you can build them up with several more coats and you will achieve a full coverage finish. I find that this shade has too much coral in it for it to be very flattering to my skintone. Oh well, I will just have to use Happy Birthday more and wait to see what comes out in fall...

photo courtesy of Lippmann Collection

Friday, May 21, 2010

MAC Prep + Prime Eye

This is my first non color product purchase from MAC. I was running low on Urban Decay's Primer Potion and was shopping on the MAC website and needed another item in my cart to get free shipping or something like that. So I decided to give this product a whirl and see if it was comparable to Urban Decay. So far, it hasn't lived up to what I expect from an eye shadow primer.

MAC describes this product as, "A light textured cream to wear on the eyes as an undercoat to eye makeup. Primes the lids. Smoothes textures, neutralizes lid color. Use under eye shadow, pigments, paints, and concealers." This primer is available in three shades; Light, Medium, and Medium Dark. For myself, I chose the lightest shade. This product is packaged in a flat, round container and the user uses their finger to apply the product.

The texture of this product is very different than that of Primer Potion. Prep + Prime Eye is much creamier instead of the somewhat tacky feel of the Urban Decay Primer. I prefer the feel of the Primer Potion becuase I really feel that this formula is too creamy and thin to really keep my eye makeup from budging. The creasing that I experience with using this primer is more than I would experience with the use of the Urban Decay Primer (though my less than if I applied no primer at all). I don't find that I get the highest amount of pigment payoff when I use this primer as compared to the Urban Decay product.

Since Urban Decay slightly revamped the applicator on the Primer Potion, my only complaint with that product has been mollified. I can get the perfect amount of product out of the Urban Decay tube but I find it harder to do so with this product because of the flat tub. The first few times that I used it, I ended up applying way too much product which made my eye makeup cake worse than ever. I got the application down to a science but I still prefer the applicator of the Primer Potion.

The only aspect that I really love about this product is the fact that it neutralizes color on the eyelid and still looks very natural. On low maintence days, this product could be used alone to get rid of color and shine to the lid. I much prefer my Primer Potion to this product and doubt that I would buy it again but I like it enough to work through the tub that I have already purchased.

photo courtesy of MAC

Thursday, May 20, 2010

LUSH Yummy Yummy Yummy Shower Gel

My life is not complete without LUSH in it! This time, I decided to try out the Yummy Yummy Yummy Shower Gel that the sales associate in one of the New York City stores showed me the last time that I stopped in. I bought a bottle of it that day and also recieved a second bottle of it in a Christmas gift last holiday season. I loved the product the moment that I tried it out in the store so I am more than happy to have a backup bottle. I often forget that LUSH carries shower gels, since I usually fixate on their bath bombs and soaps. However, they make shower products just as well as they do bath products!

The LUSH USA site gives the following description about the Yummy Yummy Yummy Shower Gel, "We really do put the whole fruit in, and in this case, it's fresh strawberries. We put heaps of strawberries into our newest shower gel to calm skin and get it glowing. Honey water and almond oil moisturize and fine sea salt gives you an ever-so-gentle scrub. Wash with this shower and moisturize with Strawberry Feels massage bar to smell like strawberries 'n cream all day. The fragrance will whisk you away to the carefree days of strawberry smoothies in the summer time".

The featured ingredient in this product is strawberries and LUSH gives us a bit of background about this ingredient and why it was chosen for this product. "Strawberries are considered one fo the world's healthiest foods. They are a natural source of minerals, folic acid, omega 3 fatty acids, and powerful antioxidants. They contain a higher concentration of Vitamin C, per weight, than oranges". Strawberries are my favorite fruit and I am super pleased to reap their benefits on my skin too.

This product gets very mixed reviews, you either love it or hate it. The texture is very watery and it doesn't foam at all. When you try and squeeze it onto a pouf or sponge, you will still get no foam and feel as though youare wasting product. Believe me, I tried it. I found that the best way to use this product to squirt some out right into wet hands, rub them together, and then rub the product directly onto your body, and then rinse. After rinsing, my skin is soft and yummy smelling. The scent does not linger on your skin very long after your shower but the fragrance will leave your bathroom smelling nice all day long.

I am hoping that this product will be a good type of wash to use when I am self-tanning. There are times that I feel that my shower gels and poufs take half of tan off and slow the whole process down. Regardless of how it performs with the tanner, I know that I will also love the product when my skin is very dry in the winter since normal shower gels tend to dry it out even more.

photo courtesy of LUSH

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Laura Mercier Summer 2010 Collection - Sun Drenched Collection

As I stated when I wrote about the earlier Laura Mercier Summer products, I knew that there would be a second collection and I was right. I just went on the company's website and the Sun Drenched Collection is up and ready to be purchased. This collection is your very typical summer fare, lots of bronze makeup and items ready to get you glowing. The Laura Mercier website gives the following as the collection's overall description, "Our new Summer Color Collection gives your skin an all-over healthy glow, with pops of tropical color. Skin is sun-kissed and radiant, eyes shaded in new neutrals, and lips are drenched in bold fushcia and corals."

Let's check it out...

Bronzed Pressed Powder - Laura Mercier Bronzed Pressed Powder is a silky smooth bronzing powder that glides on evenly, giving the skin a soft luminosity and healthy, sunny glow without looking natural or heavy. Velvet composition adheres to the skin providing longer wear. Special pigments blend evenly into the skin. Oil-free. Mistake-proof application provides the perfect 'back to beach' look.
- Sun Bronze - deep bronze
- Dune Bronze - medium toned bronze
- Golden Bronze - medium light bronze
- Matte Bronze - light bronze

Luster Eye Color - Laura Mercier Luster Eye Color is a luxuriously smooth eye shadow that imparts pure dynamic iridescence's with a sophisticated frost finish providing amazing adherence for a freshly applied look throughout the day. Long-wearing and crease-resistant. Microionized pigments deliver deep color in the release of one stroke. Offers true color and brillance. Ultra-refined for a soft, luxurious feel. Pop each shade from its compact case and place in a Custom Compact creating a customized eye color palette.
- Sandbar - pale sandy beige
- Marina - light blue
- Sundown - deep bronze

Long Lash Mascara - Laura Mercier Long Lash Mascara extends and precisely separates the thinnest, shortest, hard-to-reach lashes by expertly scooping up and lengthening each lash wile delivering the right amount of product. Perfectly engineered brush, designed to meet Laura's specifications, dramatically lengthens and defines lashes while enhancing the eyes. An innovative stretch formula lengthens, separates, and curls each lash making lashes appear longer in just two strokes. Long-wearing, water-resistant, and smudge-proof. The formula contains rich dark pigments to enhance lash color for maximum drama. Clump-free, fiber-free, parabe-free, and ophthalmologist tested. Suitable for contact lens wearers.
- Black - black

Lip Glace - Laura Mercier Lip Glace is a high shine, perfectly pigmented lip gloss with rich, long-lasting color and brillant shine that creates the appearance of fuller lips. Any skin tone is virtually enhanced by creating a subtle contrast in texture. Contains the Laura Mercier Lip Complex which hydrates and protects lips leaving a wonderfully smooth surface. Lip Complex is a unique blend of moisturizing, anti-aging, anti-oxidant, and plumping ingredients to boost the performance of the lip glace. Non-sticky gloss formula plumps and conditions lips. Lays down evenly without featering or bleeding. Adds a glamorous touch without looking too heavy. Available in a wide variety of coverages (sheer, medium, and full) and finishes (shine, sheen, and shimmer).
- Glistening Sand - pale shimmering nude
- Heat Wave - warm toned coral
- Bon Bon - pale cool pink

Body Bronzing Makeup - Laura Mercier Body Bronzing Makeup instantly reveals healthy, radiant, bronzed skin without long-term commitment. Satiny smooth formula with light reflective particles helps disguise imperfections. Adds a subtle, all-over sheen. Lightly scented with the Almond Coconut Milk. Streak-free, transfer-resistant, and easily washes off when ready. Available for a limited time only.

Bronzing Gel - Laura Mercier Bronzing Gel is a lightweight gel bronzer that smoothes on evenly and blends perfectly leaving the skin refreshed and hydrated. Sheer formula enhances a tan and adds a warm glow. Pigment blends flawlessly into the skin. Best used on clean skin. Can be applied light over Tinted Moisturizer or Foundation. Should not be used after powder. Works for all skin types.

I only want a few products from this new collection. I would like to try to Bronzed Pressed Powder in the lightest shade but I don't think that I will be getting any of the other bronzers. I would also get the Lip glace in the Bon Bon shade but the others are too warm for my skin. I have tried the Luster Eye Shadows yet so I will be looking into these also, I want to get the Sandbar and the Sundown shades.

photo courtesy of Laura Mercier

Monday, May 17, 2010

Phyto Phytosesame Conditioner

This is yet another product from Phyto that feeds my loyalty to this wonderful French company. However, this must be one of their less popular products since everyone that I have met that uses this line has either never heard of or has ever tried this product. It's not had to find, it is available any place that Phyto products are sold and is one that I have purchased quite a few times over the past few years. This conditioner is called Phytosesame and is part of their collection aimed at dry hair.

Sephora places this product in the category of "fast-acting, lightweight conditioner for dry hair". Further details about the product have been provided. "Packed with exotic ingredients to ensure optimum hydration levels, this formula fortifies hair and adds body. Sesame oil, and cocoa and shea butters hydrate, nourish, detangle, and impart luminous shine. Hibiscus flower strengthens and adds body." This product comes in a pump bottle for the perfect application.

What do I love about this product? This is my favorite conditioner that I ever used, followed by the Smoothing Conditioner from Oscar Blandi. This product hydrates really well, rinses clean, and hasn't caused any problems with build up. I do feel that I burn through this product, but I don't know if that's because I love it so much or because I am using slightly too much. I think it is that I love it so much since I have gotten much better at rationing exactly how much I need to cover my hair. I am fine with a pump and a half for my thick, medium length hair. My hair is really soft and shiny and I get lots of compliments on it when I go back to using this product.

What do I not love about this product? I have a love/hate relationship with the pump bottle. I have to put it all out and shake the bottle to get the last few uses out of it. Usually the pump goes when only a little bit of product is left and I have learned to shake it all out and I can get about six to eight more uses from it. The other aspect of this product that I don't love is the scent of sesame oil. It is really strong in the shower and it does tend to linger in my hair after rinsing. It's not as bad as the Ojon but I have found that it lingers longer. However, these are not serious enough to make me not want to use this product.

I really recommend this conditioner to anyone how has dry/color treated hair and doesn't want it to be weighed down. I have used this conditioner following the Phyto PhytoCitrus Shampoo in the first four weeks after I color my hair and following the MOP Gisten Shampoo anytime after the first four weeks.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Sunday, May 16, 2010

MAC Superglass

Pret-a-Papier consisted of neutral shades all built to make a pretty natural look. The newest collection, Superglass, is the total opposite. Superglass is a new formula of MAC Lipglass and is an extension of the famed Dazzleglasses. Personally, I love to look at Dazzleglasses and own two of the lighter shades but can't always pull off the more pigmented shades without feeling out of place. So, I don't know how much Superglass is going to appeal to my practical side. However, I bet that the shades will be mind-blowingly beautiful.

The MAC website states, "Shattered, decimated, blinded by a fantastic, intergalatic lip light! Lips have gone big bang, explosively dimensional, a rare eclipse. Extreme innovation that's a good reflection on MAC...and the seductress lucky enough to strike upon it".

Superglass - A lip gloss blended with small, medium, and large pearls to create three distinct dimensions of jewel-like flash and overwhelming dazzle. Provides sheer medium coverage. Adds sexy shine and lustre to the lips. Helps lips stay smooth and hydrated. Features MAC's vanilla flavor. Limited edition.
- Cherry Electric - bright cherry pink
- Sugar Overload - white beige
- Sweet Tart - pale baby pink
- Superflash! - midtone yellow pink
- Disco Blend - light tan
- Gift Wrap - light pinky peach
- Totally Bang! - fushcia
- Fab Brenzy - deep blue purple
- Tunnel of Love - deep blue brown

I think that many of the shades are really pretty and edgy, but a bit too edgy for my look. I think that I could get away with the following shades: Sugar Overload, Sweet Tart, and Superflash!. All three of these shades are close to the Dazzleglass shades that I already own. At the same time, I really like the Cherry Electric shade and want to give it a test run at the MAC counter so I can determine if I could ever get up the courage to wear it.

photo courtesy of MAC

Saturday, May 15, 2010

England Week Day 7 - Molton Brown Heavenly Gingerlily

For the last day of my theme week, I have saved one of the most well known English brands. In fact, this one is the brand of products that is used in Buckingham Palace. If it is good enough for the Queen...

The brand that I am referring to is the luxury bath, body, and home brand called Molton Brown. Molton Brown started as a salon back in the early 1970s and was a pioneer in natural products and creating natural hairstyles designed to flatter the wearer. As time went on, the line grew to include all of the product types that are available today. Now, the Molton Brown brand of products is for sale in only the highest quality of stores throughout the world.

We are going to look at my favorite scent from this house, the Heavenly Gingerlily, a best seller for this house. I was first introduced to this fragrance several years ago when staying at the Bryant Park Hotel in New York City. Using high quality bath products in a marble bathroom is a still a favorite memory of mine and hopefully will become my everyday reality at some point. I later purchased this fragrance in both the body wash and the matching body lotion.

The Molton Brown website provides the following information about the body wash, "A feminine, indulgent, and exotic shower gel; our Heavenly Gingerlily Moisture Bath and Shower transports you to faraway shores. Our tuberose, ginger, and cardamom infused body wash is a firm favorite among customers and staff alike". Also, here is the company's description of the matching body lotion. "Bring a taste of the exotic to your daily routine with our Heavenly Gingerlily Body Cream. Perfect for use before an evening out, this moisturizing body lotion also leaves your skin with a glowing shimmer. Essentials oils from the Polynesian islands will ensure the exotic aroma stays on your skin".

I love this fragrance, it is so beautiful and unique. I also love the the lotion has enough staying power to make a light perfume during warm weather. I have never noticed the glowing shimmer from the body lotion and now I cannot wait to give it a run over my soon to be bronzed skin.

I don't know about anyone else but I am very happy with the way that England Week turned me onto some new products and brands. I really think that it is high time for me to plan my next vacation...

photo courtesy of Molton Brown

Friday, May 14, 2010

England Week Day 6 - Crabtree & Evelyn Rosewater

England is famous for it's roses and rose gardens. The rose has been a longtime pride and symbol of England. So it only fitting that we must hit a line of products that are rose scented and all based on roses. Besides, it never hurts for me to find another line of rose products to lust after and buy. So, today we are going to look at the Rosewater line from Crabtree & Evelyn. This line is carried in Crabtree & Evelyn shops in the United States and I have found some of the products in specialty stores and department stores but never the full line of products.

Crabtree & Evelyn was started as a small soap company in 1972 and now has evolved in an internatonal business, offering everything from fragrances, body products, gourment foods, and all types of gifts. Crabtree & Evelyn were pioneers in the field of natural products, creating lines that contain fruit, flower, and plant essences. They have lines of fragrances that range from the traditional English Rose to the Island Living by India Hicks.

The Rosewater line comes in all forms from a perfume, body products, home fragrance items, and all full line of gift baskets. Crabtree & Evelyn states the following about their Rosewater collection. "The simple distillation of rose petals and pure water is a classic English beauty tonic for the skin. Our rosewater bath and body care collection uses a distillation of Rosa centifolia - the fabled hundred petaled rose, cherished for its clear, sweet fragrance". The Rosewater fragrance is described as "clear, fresh, and sweet with light notes of violet and leafy greens". I really think that this is the first rose fragrance that I smelled somewhere as a child and it sparked in interest in roses.

This product line encompasses the following items: hand creams, a scrub cleanser, a creamy cleanser, a perfume, two kinds of soaps, a shower gel, a hand and body lotion, a hand wash, a body powder, drawer papers, a body cream, room spray, fragrance oil, and all types of lovely giftsets. I want everything from this collection but if I had to narrow it down a bit, I would purchase the perfume and the body products and then all of the home fragrance items so that I can make my home into my own little English garden.

photo courtesy of Crabtree & Evelyn

Thursday, May 13, 2010

England Week Day 5 - Eve Lom Face Cleanser

Today we are going to look at a luxury skincare brand from England. The Eve Lom brand is yet another that is revered by its fans but not very well known to the general public. I know little to nothing about this line of products except that the most famous product is the face cleanser and that I only remember seeing the products in Neiman Marcus (and maybe Saks, I'm not totally sure). I started reading the informational part of the website and have decided to put it all in here so everyone can get the same background that I did.

"Eve Lom is one of the most respected and sought-after beauty professionals alive today. Born in Czechslovakia, Eve met the renowned skin specialist Georgette Klinger in Hollywood in the early 1980s and began her career as a facialist. It was here that she acquired a devoted following for her now legendary facial. Eve subsequently relocated to London where she studied anatomy, nutrition, massage techniques. In China, she trained in accupuncture. In 1984, the first Eve Lom salon opened in London. Today, Eve Lom skincare products and the signature Eve Lom facial are available in stores and spas around the world. The Eve Lom skincare range evolved from her cult cleanser, which Vogue called 'probably the best cleanser in the world'. The pared-down regime Eve recommends is based on deep, through cleansing and the philosophy that less is more when it comes to effective skincare".

Today we are going to look at that famous face cleanser and see what all the hype is about. This cleanser is available in the regular 100 ml size and a 200 ml size for it's die-hard fans. I have a feeling that most people get the small size first then end up always reordering the larger size after they fall in love with it. This is the overall description from the Eve Lom website. "Cleansing is the most important part of skincare and the Eve Lom Cleanser once described by Vogue as the "best cleanser in the world" is the basis of the Eve Lom skincare regime".

The website goes on the further describe what it does and how it works. "With a powerful blend of Egyptian chamomile, hops, clove, and eucalyptus oil, together with cocoa butter, the Eve Lom Cleanser cleanses, tones, exfoliates all at once. Even the most stubborn make-up and eye make-up is removed. The specially woven muslim cloth (100% cotton) is used with the Cleanser to improve skin circulation while cleansing and exfoliating the skin in minutes. The result is clean, perfectly balanced skin and a radiant complexion. Suitable for all skin types".

This product appears and sounds as though it is a cream cleanser (being that is housed in a jar and can be used on all skin types, I am almost positive that it has a creamy texture). The Eve Lom site goes on to further recommend the use of this product with her specially designed cleansing cloths. The use of the two items together is what helps the exfoliation and the closing of the pores after cleansing. I would imagine that this regime could be used everyday for those with normal to oily skin but may be better for use every other dry for those with dry or sensitive skin.

I must get my hands on a jar of this product. I am willing to bet that once I finally do, I will be buying two of the large sized tubs at a time.

photo courtesy of Eve Lom

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

England Week Day 4 - Jo Malone White Jasmine & Mint

Jo Malone is a classic English perfume house. My obsession with their Red Roses fragrance is very well known and all those that know me well are able to pick it out from all my other rose fragrances because I wear it so often. Jo Malone states on their website that they make "lifestyle" fragrances. I am not totally sure if I understand what this means other than that each family of fragrances fits somewhere into a person's life and experiences. If anyone else knows more about this, please let me know.

The latest fragrance that I want from Jo Malone is a newer one that I think came out one or two summers ago called White Jasmine & Mint. This fragrance is a crisper version of a floral, I find that it reminds of both notes from the floral and green families. This is light fragrance and i find it best suited toward the late spring and summer months.

Jo Malone states that, "This enchanting essence, inspired by a sun-drenched morning in an English country garden, perfectly captures the scent of jasmine, lily, orange flower, and rose on the morning breeze. An unexpected twist of soft and sensual wild mint stimulates the senses and teases the palette in this elegant and eccentric fragrance". Elegant and eccentric are the two perfect words to sum this fragrance up. It is soft and beautiful. However, it is very unique and even some such as myself with a vast perfume collection has never smelled any other fragrance like this one before.

This fragrance is a unique gem and I believe it is a welcome addition to anyone who is s fan of floral fragrances. I have also had people who dislike florals smell and try out the tester bottles at Neiman Marcus and they have had no problems with the fragrance. The mint really tempers down the florals and opens this fragrance up to a whole new group of perfume wearers. Of course, since I love it, there is a rose note in it. I wonder if my nose can unconsiously pick up rose notes now...

Now back to my daydreams of English country houses and long weekends...

photo courtesy of Jo Malone

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

England Week Day 3 - Illamasqua Sheer Lip Gloss

"Makeup for your alter ego" is the catch phrase of the niche line Illamasqua. This brand takes their inspiration from nighttime makeup, the 1920s club scene, and a heritage of film and theatre. This British makeup brand has only recently become available in the United States, carried on the Sephora website and in select stores (I have found in only in the store on Fifth Avenue in NYC so far). This is line that I was semi-curious about but mostly ignored since none of the makeup looks like anything that I could pull off. Also, with the lack of product available at my local Sephora, I was never able to get my hands on some testers to check out the shades. Last winter, I went the store on Fifth Avenue, walked in, and saw this giant display of Illamasqua. Needless to say, I ran over to it and purchased two products before leaving the store that day.

Both of the products that I purchased are "safer" products, less color and pigmentation than many of the others in their line. This company currently makes two lip glosses, the Sheer Lip Gloss and the Intense Lip Gloss. If you follow this blog, then you can guess that I purchased the Sheer Lip Gloss to try and ease myself into their "look".

This is the description of the product from the Illamasqua website, "Super glossy, with a sensual sheer designed to enhance your lips. Use Illamasqua Sheer Lip Gloss on its own or with Illamasqua Lipstick for added pout. Add a little more sexiness to your smile". At the moment, I use this product on its own since I have never really worked up to using a lip gloss on top of a lipstick for more of an impact.

Here are the shades that this product is available in (the website does state that some of the shades are only available in the European Union)...

- Brilliant - clear
- Divine - deep fushcia pink
- Electrify - iridescent baby pink
- Enchant - warm pink nude
- Lily-Rose - warm raspberry pink
- Mina - shimmering berry purple (EU only)
- Provoke - warm caramel nude
- Rouse - cool candy pink
- Tantrum - deep berry pink
- Torture - warm coral peach
- Soul - shimmering champagne nude
- Explode - iridescent creamy pink

I bought Electrify when I was at Sephora, which is the iridescent baby pink shade. My first impression when playing with the testers of these glosses in the packaging. The gloss is housed in a plastic slant tube with a very small hole to release the product. It is impossible to overdo the product with this package design and I have found that a little of this lip gloss goes a very long way. Electrify packs a punch in the shine department and still has quite a lot of pigment for a product that is considered "sheer". I put the pigmentation of this product up with the NARS Lip Glosses, I get more of a punch from this product than I do from Urban Decay, MAC, Lancome, Clinique, and almost every other lip gloss that I have used. Even those who don't do sheer lips will find that this product has enough pigment to suit them.

With the amount of pigment that is already contained in the "Sheer" formula, I don't know that I could handle the "Intense" formula. But, I love this lip gloss and am now curious about the rest of the products in the collection, especially the Lipsticks and Blushes. I have a feeling that as I try more products from this line, it will take its place among NARS and Urban Decay in my favorites list.

"Illamasqua is for the bolder person hiding inside all of us. It is an act and an attitude. A symbol of tolerance. A celebration of idiosyncrasies. A confident statement of self-ownership."

photo courtesy of Illamasqua

Monday, May 10, 2010

England Week Day 2 - The Body Shop Mango

The Body Shop is one of England's first body product brands that still inspires copycats the world over. The philosophy of the company and how their use of natural and fair trade ingredients is revered by both their fans and competitors alike. Mango is the first body butter that this company every launched in 1992 and still to this day remains a top seller.

Of all of the products from The Body Shop that I own, Mango is the line of products that I have repurchased the most and done so usually right after I finish up the container. I first tried the Mango products in my junior year of college and quickly got hooked on the Mango Body Butter (even as I was still working at Bath and Body Works). I loved the natural fragrance of the mango and how it wasn't candy sweet as many mango fragrances on the market today turn out to be. From this collection, I have purchased the Mango Body Butter, the Mango Shower Gel, and the Mango Body Scrub.

The Mango Body Butter is meant for very dry skin, however I have no problems using it all the year round becuase it is not greasy to the touch on my skin. I have also found many hidden benefits of this product. It soothes burned/sunburned skin and helps to hydrate and calm my skin when my self tanner is wearing off (skin can get itchy at this point in the tanner cycle). It has also soothed rashes and works great on my sensitive skin, this is the product that I turn to when something else is making my skin flare up. One of the key ingredients of this product is the mango seed oil, which is the hydrator of the product. It also contains cocoa butter to help hydrate. The sweet almond oil in this product provides essential fatty acids to help repair, hydrate, and protect the skin.

The Shower Gel for this collection has many of the same features and benefits as the Butter. It also is formualted for very dry skin and therefore does not contain many of the soaps and detergents found in traditional formulas. I have found that this product is runnier than many other gels that I have tried and doesn't lather as well on my shower pouf. But I can live with that since it doesn't dry my skin out in the colder weather and I still love the fragrance of it.

The Mango Body Scrub is my least favorite of all the items that I have tried in the collection. It is a salt scrub and I prefer sugar scrubs overall. I also always felt like I still had a film on my skin anything that I rinsed this product off and I hate scrubs that aren't clean rinsing. It states in the description of this product that some sugar is contained in the formula but it feel too much like a salt scrub for my liking. This product also contains organic soy oil to help repair skin and maintain the natural moisture barrier. I most likely will not repurchase this product unless the products are on some type of special (that's how I ended up with this one in the first place).

The only products from this collection that I haven't tried yet are the Whipped Body Lotion (lighter version of the butter), a clear soap (not really interested), and a clear lip balm (really want to try this one out). The Mango Body Butter is a staple for both myself and many more women around the world so if you haven't given this one a shot, I highly recommend getting yourself to a Body Shop store soon.

photo courtesy of The Body Shop

Sunday, May 9, 2010

England Week Day 1 - Burberry Brit

The first brand that we are going to look at in this Theme Week is Burberry. Very fitting, most people think of England right away when they see the iconic Burberry plaid. The House of Burberry has been around for decades, starting first with raincoats and other gear that is suitable for the wet climate of England. They slowly expanded into becoming a full design house, with lines for both men, women, children, home, etc. Several years ago, they launched their first fragrance, the now iconic "Brit", a fragrance that reminds some of Gin and Tonics, others of a garden, but all of England.

Sephora gives a brief introduction in the brand itself. "The Burberry brand, created in 1856, has a rich history behind it. Known throughout the world, Burberry's classic trenchcoats are complemented by women's and men's ready-to-wear. sportswear, and fine leather accessories. Inspired by the image, elegance, luxury, and style of Burberry apparel, the fragrances are a classic and prestigious extension of the ready-to-wear and accessory collections".

Sephora places this fragrance in the family of floral orientals. I believe that this fragrance has been a consistent top seller for them ever since its initial release. "The Brit girl embodies the playful British spirit of individuality, but always charming and unpredictably sexy. Fresh and playful, the fragrance is a classic, green-oriental blend of lush fruits, sweet nutty esscences, and soothing amber, vanilla, and Tonka Bean." This fragrance is very light and great for warmer weather. It is also quite easy for anyone to wear since it isn't heavy on the florals. I have yet to meet anyone who cannot tolerate this fragrance.

The fragrance notes are as follows: Italian Lime, Icy Pear, Green Almond, White Peony, Sugared Almonds, Amber, Mahogany, Vanilla, Tonka Bean. On myself, the Italian Lime, Icy Pear, and the White Peony come out the strongest on myself. This fragrance never overpowers but is always able to be detected.

I would expect nothing less from Burberry other than for this fragrance to be housed in a top notch bottle. A bottle that is printed with their signature plaid is just icing on the cake with this product. Not only do I love the scent and can wear it all the time, but the bottle looks amazing sitting with my perfume collection.

Burberry is the quintessential British brand and has now expanded to include several fragrances for both genders. This company now has classic fragrances for both genders and allow a person to be covered in plaid from head to toe.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Saturday, May 8, 2010

England Week 2010 - Beauty From the British

Cheerio loves! With the success of my last theme week (all products from France), I have decided to do the same concept with a slight variation. This time around, all the products have been developed and made in England. I am 100% Anglophile, from my love of Prince William, to English literature, to my morning cup of tea, my never ending Elton John playlist, and my obsession with the Burberry plaid. Oh and my wishing upon a star that I could actually attend Hogwarts!

I have narrowed my choices down to seven beauty brands and one product/line from each brand. Let me just say that this was much harder than French Week, England has much fewer beauty brands and some of the brands that many assume are English are not. One example is LUSH. Everyone seems to know the LUSH U.K. site and how the brand came much slower to America. However, LUSH is from Canada so I did have to rule out products found on LUSH U.K. Also, I really wanted to talk more about Stella McCartney since she is a favorite of mine. But I have covered so many of her products already that I have very little left to talk about and will just have to wait until more items come out.

I thought that lovely Emma Watson would be very suitable to start our week off. This is a picture from one of her recent ads for Burberry. Without further ado...England Week!

photo courtesy of Burberry

Friday, May 7, 2010

MAC Pret-a-Papier

While my computer was having it's issues, MAC released a bunch of new items that I am now going to quickly go over. The newest full product collection is called Pret-a-Papier and contains products in all shades of beiges. This looks like a collection that would be appropriate for anyone in any situation. I am betting that I will find a slew of shades that I will want from this collection.

"Craft paper couture - an inspired idea cut like a pattern and whipped up into a seamless spectrum of parchment-to-vellum beiges with an occasional, clever colour spill, coral among the most au courant. Avec Pret-a-Papier, a new couture star is born!"

Let's check it out!

Paint Pot - A highly pigmented eye colour that goes on creamy but dries to an intense, vibrant finish. Long-wearing, colourfast. Creates seamless coverage without weight or caking. Blends smoothly over the lids. Cream-based, can be mixed with MAC shadows and liners.
- Coral Crepe - soft coral (Satin)
- Groundwork - mid-tone netural beige (Satin)

Eye Shadow - Highly-pigmented powder. Applies evenly, blends well.
- Tissueweight - frosted pale peach (Frost)
- Bamboo - light beige with peach (Matte)
- Cut to Fit - frosted red bronze (Frost)
- Gazette Grey - dark green grey with gold pearl (Velvet)
- Memorabilia - dirty purple (Matte)

Studio Fix Lash - Innovative, mousse-like formula gives superior definition, volume, and lift by filling in sparse lashes for a dramatic effect. New moulded brush prevents clumping. Rich in pigments. Long-wearing polymers quickly coat from root to tip. Keeps lashes light, lifted, supple, and full. No clumping.
- Black Fix - black

Chromagraphic Pencil - A highly pigmented wood-clenched pencil with a firm lead and silky soft application. Use for outlining, defining, and drawing. Creates an intense line that blends down for a softer, diffused effect.
- NC15/NW20
- NW25/NC30

Impeccable Brow Pencil - A classic, creamy, long-wearing brow pencil, with an easy-to-sharpen point. Fills in, defines, and colours with precision. Provides a natural matte finish. Makes the brows look impeccable.
- Taupe - mid-tone dirty taupe
- Dirty Brown - cool light brown

Lipstick - Colour plus texture for the lips. Stands out on the runway. Simmers on the street! What made MAC famous.
- Archetype - sheer light gold (Lustre)
- Dressmaker, Dressmaker - creamy light peach coral (Lustre)
- Made to Order - creamy midtone dirty coral (Lustre)
- Kraft - creamy midtone brown (Amplified)

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, 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.
- C - Thru - peachy beige with shimmer (Cream)
- Fold and Tuck - midtone bright coral with soft pearl
- Pret-a-Papier - dark reddened bronze with pearl

Powder Blush - Colour for the cheeks and face. Various formulas. Different looks.
- Instant Chic - midtone muted coral (Sheertone)
- Garb - light golden suntan (Sheertone)

Mineralize Blush (Duo) - A Mineralize Blush featuring soft-shimmer super-shine pearl in pretty tricolour veining to enhance and glorify cheekbones, followed with the pop and dimension of solid colour shimmer without an overly frosted look.
- Light Over Dark - orange yellow melange/deep brown

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!
- Brown Bag - midtone warm dirty beige (Cream)
- Originality - sparkly copper brown (Frost)

I am little concerned that many of the shades in this collection might be too warm for my skin, especially the lip and blush shades. The only lip shade that might work is the C-Thru Tinted Lipglass, I will have to try this one out at the counter. The eye product shades are a very different story though. From the Paint Pot shades, I want to try the Groundwork shade. The Eye Shadow shades that I want to try are Tissueweight, Bamboo, and Gazette Grey. I honestly am not sure that understant the point of the Chromagraphic Pencils, the purpose and use of these go right over my head. Nice collection for some new basics!

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Some Picks for Mother's Day - Bath and Body Works

My third pick is from Bath and Body Works and fits in nicely with the cake that I am going to bake for her. At one point in time, she had a giant collection of Bath and Body Works items but now that is dwindling down, so she would be more than happy to receive some newer items from them.

This little set is perfect for those of us who like to tinker around in the kitchen and can do so without setting the whole house on fire. She falls into this category, I do not. I inherited many traits from her but her love of cooking and baking is not one of them. So the fact that I am actually going to make her a cake this year instead of buying one as a I do every other year. Pray for me...

However, this giftset is great for those of use who love to cook and can spend hours in the kitchen. The products are housed in a medium sized mixing bowl, which is both cute and functional. This set contains three of the new formula Anti-Bacterial hand soaps in the following fragrances: Fresh Lemon, White Citrus, and Nectarine Mint. In addition, this set contains a hand towel and kitchen gloves.

My mom's favorite Bath and Body Works' fragrance is the Aromatherapy Stress Relief blend of Eucalyptus Spearmint. She loves every product in this fragrance so I throw in a Body Wash and a Body Lotion. I would also add the candle and the home fragrance oil since she goes through them so fast.

Well I have talked about my ideas on what I will be getting my mother. What are some ideas that that you will pondering for your mother?

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works

Some Picks for Mother's Day - Thymes

Now onto gift idea number two. This one is from the Kimono Rose collection from Thymes. As many of you might recall, this is favorite fragrance of mine and one that she has often commented on when I wear it. So what could be more fitting than maybe getting several products from this collection for her? My mother is who I got my love of roses from so it is fitting that I give her a rose scent that she will love.

I have this fragrance only in the roll on form but I would purchase her the perfume and some of the body and home fragrance products. This fragrance is slightly heavier than the L'Occitane Peony and for myself, the jasmine and vanilla notes comes out very heavily and makes the fragrance deepier and spicier than my other rose fragrances.

As I stated above, I would start with the perfume for her. I would get her the largest bottle of the EDT since she prefers to only have one or two fragrances open at one time and use through those before she buys anymore. The notes of this fragrance are: clementine, cassis, rose, peony, jasmine, and vanilla. I don't know if the fragrance will be as rich on her skin as it is on mine or it will will turn out to be lighter and rosier.

To start off with this fragrance, I would purchase her the filled candle and the bar soaps for her to decorate with. As stated before, she loves fragranced soaps and the filled candles would be a great extension of the fragrance. The ancillary collection for this fragrance is larger than the other one so I actually have some different choices of what I would pick out for her. Instead of just doing body products this time, I would get her the hand soap and matching lotion caddy. also, since she is an avid gardener and therfore wrecks havoc on her hands this time of the year, I would get her the hand cream from this line. This product contains shea butter and Vitamin E and I can see her using through this cream really quickly.

That was gift number 2, gift number 3 is up next.

photo courtesy of C. O. Bigelow Apothecaries