Saturday, July 31, 2010

Smart Girls Who Surf Suncare Products

As I mentioned earlier this week, this is a beach weekend at the Jersey shore (GLT anyone?!) and I need sun protection products that are going to stand up to the elements. I am not the girl that just lays on her towel when I go the beach. I'm the girl that is in and out of the water and who is always running around and playing in the sand. So I heavy duty suncare and Smart Girls Who Surf is right up my alley. Now, I cannot surf but have always wanted to go to Southern California and learn so this line also allows me to pretend that I am California girl (cue the Katy Perry music).

Smart Girls Who Surf is a natural skincare line based out of Laguna Beach and they pride themsleves on using natural and organic products that will not hurt the environment. A unique aspect of this line is that they are aware that anything that is on your skin when you go swimming will end up in the ocean so they strive to make products that do no harm the fragile ocean environment and ecosystem. Man, I need to move to Southern California...

The first product that I want from this company is the After Sun Soothing Lotion. As I said the other day, my skin always feels dry after I get in from outside and I need products that can help correct this issue. "Hydrate and nourish your overexposed, dry skin. Smart Girls Who Surf hydrating body lotion will revitalize your overexposed dry skin after a long day at the beach or pool. Specially enriched with organic aloe, green tea extract, and anti-oxidants (vitamins A, B5, and C), this all natural formula will leave your skin feeling hydrated and nourished. You will once again have healthy skin! This is the best lotion for dry skin. Paraben free. Water resistant and sweat resistant. Hypo-allergenic for face and body. Perfect for sensitive skin. Light kiwi scent". I need to add this to my collection. I am also wondering if after sun lotions will help my fake tan since I feel like the DHA in some formula drys my skin out. Time to experiment...

The next item that I need from this company in order to no become a lobster at the beach is the SPF 30 Chemical Free Sunblock. Chemical free means that it shouldn't irritate my skin and that I will actually want to use it. "Our Smart Girls Who Surf Chemical Free SPF 30+ Sunscreen has broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and is formulated with Zinc Oxide (5%) and titanium dioxide (7%) and fortified with green tea extract, provitamin B5, C, and vitamin E. This sunscreen is sweat resistant, water resistant, won't sting your eyes and is chemical free and paraben free. This is the best sunscreen for your body and it is environmentally friendly!"

I have never even thought about the products that I swear on my skin getting into the ocean and about the effect that they might have on it. I need to try these out and get away from my chemical sunscreens. So I am going to take a chance and order them and hope they are as amazing as they sound!

photo courtesy of Smart Girls Who Surf

Friday, July 30, 2010

NARS Fall 2010 Collection

Oh how I have been obsessed with NARS lately! Ever since I discovered the palettes on their website, I want anything and everything NARS. So what is better than their Fall 2010 collection debuting and giving me even more reasons to buy products from them?! The muse for this collection is Daphne Guinness, the legendary heiress to the whole Guinness fortune. The NARS website states the following about the collection, "Whether it is avant-garde or A-list, the NARS woman is simply irresistable. Perhaps no one fits that description better than Daphne Guinness. Francois Nars' mesmerizing muse and inspiration this Fall. Sexy, sultry, daring, and decadent, Daphne 'is the ideal icon to capture Fall 2010's old-Hollywood meets futuristic look,' says Francois".

Here is the new collection...

Blush - Made with transparent pigments for a soft and sheer look. Imparts a natural, healthy glow for any skin tone and may be worn alone or layered together for more depth and intensity. Provides a sheer, natural hint of color. Made with transparent pigments to avoid heaviness. Broad selection of shades.
- Douceur - soft pink-brown

Eye Shadow - Longwearing, crease resistant color in sheer wearable formulas. All NARS eye shadows can be applied sheer or layered for a more dramatic effect. These richly pigmented powders blend effortlessly and can also be used wet for precisely lining the eyes. Richly pigmented, micronized powder formula provides improved wear and feel. Effortless blending. Multifunction: use as eye shadow, eye liner, and on eye brows.
- Coconut Grove - deep taupe brown
- Daphne - deep violet
- Mangrove - soft yellow-green

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. One you start wearing NARS Lipstick, you won't want to wear anything else.
- Rouge Basque - brick red

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.
- Strawberry Fields - bright strawberry pink

Soft Touch Shadow Pencil - Soft Touch Shadow Pencils provide easy, portable, longwearing application. These jumbo sized pencils have versatile functionality to shade the lid, line, or highlight the eye. Smooth, creamy texture delivers a smooth, velvety feel to the eye and make for easy blending and an ideal base for layering with a powder shadow for increased color intensity. Portable application. Smooth, creamy, longwearing formula. Easy and seamless blending. Ideal base for layering with powder eye shadow to increase color intensity.
- Palladium - turquoise with silver glitter

Duo Eye Shadow - Shades to inpsire and desire. The same longwearing crease resistant formula as NARS Single Eye Shadow, in uniquely paired color combinations. Worn together or alone, all duo eye shadows can be applied sheer or built up for a more dramatic effect. All powder eye shadows can be used wet or dry. Richly pigmented, micronized powder formula provides improved wear and feel. Effortless blending; coordinated in fashionable pairs. Multifunction: use as eye shadow, eye liner, or on eye brows.
- Rajasthan - metallic beige/blue-black charcoal
- Tzarine - platinum gold infused with gold and silver reflections/steel gray

This wasn't quite the amazing collection that I was hoping for. I am only really excited about one product, the Duo Eye Shadow in Tzarine, I think I am in love with the platinum gold shade in the duo. Otherwise, the only other item that I want to get is the Strawberry Fields Lip Gloss and that's a shade that I either already own something close to or there are a million dupes out there for it. I'm rather disappointed...

photo courtesy of NARS

Thursday, July 29, 2010

California Baby Suncare Products

I know that I have been looking ahead to fall and am enmeshed in the fall makeup collections. However, that doesn't mean that I can ignore the fact that I still need my sun protection to perform to the standards required in the height of summer. Last weekend, I spent the whole afternoon in the sun at the Phillies games, this weekend I might be going down the shore. Sunscreen is not my favorite product to use since one that is too strong will really irritate my skin. Therefore, I decided to try a different approach this time. The California Baby company makes skin and suncare that is perfect for a baby's skin, so my will be safe in the hands of these products. Their products are natural and environmentally friendly.

The first product that I am considering is the Aloe Vera Cream. I didn't get burned last weekend at the game but my skin always feels very dry after being in the sun and I wanted something that would hydrate and soothe it. This can be used on either the body or face. "Nature's first aid! Botanically based, this light and fluffy non-greasy cream contains 100% Aloe Vera infused with herbs and essential oils known for their soothing and healing properties. Recommended for eczema, rosacea, and other skin sensitivities. Ultra hydration...aids dry, irritated, or parched skin. Use to heal, soothe, and repair stretch marks, scars, sunburned, or just shaved or waxed skin. Use it as a great year-round moisturizing lotion for all ages...newborn and up." I need this product for my body and face! I am especially excited to try it post waxing, last time I went to the salon, I didn't get my usual stylist and my eyebrows were red and irritated for a day after the wax.

The second item that I really want from this company is a sunblock stick. It often seems that no matter how well I put on my sunscreen, I always miss a few tiny areas. Like the top of my ears and right around my forehead. Then I get really strange looking burned patches that look horrid. The product that would suit me well for this purpose is the No Fragrance SPF 30 Sunblock Stick. "Pop this convenient PABA-free, non-chemical, fragrance-free sunblock stick into your pocket, purse, or diaper bag. The whole fmaily will love this easy-to-use stick that gives those "hot spots" a boost of extra protection. Our non-chemical sunblock stick employs a highly micronized, non-whitening titanium dioxide that scatters and reflects dangerous UV rays, offering UVA-UVB broad-spectrum protection. Non-staining formula. It glides on smoothly for easy application. May be used in combination with our SPF 30+ sunscreen lotions."

These products can easily be found at Whole Foods and Target year round. I will be heading out to my local Target before I hit up the beach this weekend.

photo courtesy of California Baby

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

MAC Dare To Wear

Dare To Wear is the newest collection of eye and lip shades from MAC. It is a small collection, consisting only of eye shadow shades and lipglass shades. Since I don't Dare To Wear very often, I don't know how well this collection will suit me. I am going to challenge myself to find at least one shade from each group and try to adapt it to my look with the shades that I already own.

The MAC website describes the collection as follows, "Join the brigade of loud-and-proud who daily dare to declare their own individuality. High-powered pigment and holographic pearl create a crazy-intense, shine-saturated gloss, combined with eye shadow shades as over-the-top as Lady G live! Not afraid to DARE TO WEAR? Bravo!"

Here we go...

Eye Shadow - Highly-pigmented powder. Applies evenly, blends well.
- Aqua - subdued, pale grayed aqua (Matte)
- Crazy Cool - pale frosty lavender (Veluxe Pearl)
- Free To Be - bright true coral (Matte)
- Sky Blue - robin's egge blue (Matte)
- Winkle - midtone cornflower blue (Satin)
- Lime - lime green (Matte)
- Going Bananas - soft lemon yellow (Frost)
- Zingy - bright sky blue (Matte)
- Atlantic Blue - bright violet blue (Matte)
- Louder, Please - bright fuchsia (Matte)
- Shock-a-holic - deep purple (Matte)
- Sassy Grass - bright grass green (Matte)

Dare To Wear Lipglass - An out-to-shock Lipglass that combines bold, high-impact pigment colour with holographic pearl for a multi-dimensional effect that helps shape, shine, and dynamically dazzle the lips! Creamy smooth: easy and comfortable to wear - if you dare! Limited edition.
- Dare to Dare - light blue pink with multi pearl
- Wind Me Up - dirty bronze with pink and gold pearl
- So Bad - midtone coral orange with pink and gold pearl
- Gimme That! - bright fuchsia pink with pink pearl
- Bold & Brash - bright red with multi pearl
- Ban This! - deep purple with multi pearl

Ok, none of the lip shades are a go, all of them are too pigmented and bright for my taste. I want to get only two of the eye shadow shades, but I am only confident that one of them will work. The shade that I am condident will work with what I already own is Crazy Cool, the pale lavender. I really like the Sassy Grass shade but I must see how bright it comes out in real life. I am thinking that I could work it into my current eye routine by doing it as a pop of color in the crease when paired with golds and bronzes.

photo courtesy of MAC

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Katy Perry's Pink Makeup Look

This picture of Katy Perry shows a look that I am working on pulling off for the wedding that I am going to soon. I love the pink cheeks, they give her a pretty, girly look. The eye liner that is used in this look is a black liquid eye liner and her makeup artist winged it out a bit at the end of the eye to give her a subtle cat-eye. For the wedding, I might do a more dramatic cat eye but this techique will be a good starting point to perfect the eye look. Her lips look as those a rosy color was used but I am thinking that I am going to try using Lady Gaga's Viva Glam Lipstick and seeing how it works with the pale pink roses on my dress.


photo courtesy of

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bare Escentuals Buxom Lash Mascara

While we all know that I am not a fan of the Bare Escentuals face makeup, I have a huge weakness for their Buxom line of lip glosses, mascaras, and other fun items. Barely a Sephora trip goes by without me drooling over something in this collection and considering whether or not to add it to my already overflowing shopping bag. Several weeks ago, I bought the mascara from this collection and so far it is hitting the top of mascara love list.

This mascara is a super volumizing formula and makes my lashes huge and very flirty. Sephora puts this products into the category of "A paraben-free, lash-volumizing mascara". The website gives a further description of the product as follows, "Bare Escentuals Buxom Lash - Blackest Black holds the style of your lashes for a continous 12 hours with no flakiness. The silky, vitamin-rich formula darkens, lengthens, and thickens from root to tip without ever clumping. Its patented, hourglass-shaped brush is designed to lift and separate every lash while delivering the perfect amount of antioxidant-rich mascara needed for bigger, fuller lashes. It intensely volumizes lashes up to 300%".

This mascara is available in two shades currently; Blackest Black, a true black, and Blue Noir, a bright blue. I have the Blackest Black and I love it. It is one of the best black shades that I have ever tried, super dark and inky.

This is a great mascara choice for volumizing! The brush is hourglass shaped and huge. It is a bit hard to work with the first few times but I quickly got it down. The shape of the brush allows every single little lash to be picked up by the brush and covered in mascara. It makes all of my lashes look huge, lighting my eye ups and making them look huge. Also, the brush has little rubber bristles on it to continue to help picking up every lash. I get fanstastic, thick, defined lashes without any flaking or clumping. To remove this product, soap and water is not enough, you will need eye makeup remover. However, with the proper product, removal is not difficult.

The easiest way to apply this product to puch the brush right down at the bottom of the lash and wiggle it up to the end. This technique makes sure that every lash is picked up and evenly coated without creating a mess.

I highly recommend this mascara and am very glad that I bought it. This mascara might acutally be higher ranked on my mascara list than BadGal and the only other one that it will go up against is Diorshow Iconic.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Sunday, July 25, 2010

MAC Prep + Prime

I have been on a huge primer kick lately. I went from not using it at all to needing it everyday and feeling naked without it. The latest primer that I have been trying is MAC Prep + Prime and let me tell you that I love it! I was first shown this product when I was buying foundation at MAC and the manager used this primer underneath to both show me the primer and how well it works with the foundation. I was really happy with the combination so needless to say, I bought both of the products after trying them out.

The MAC website states, "An ultra fluid lotion formulated with special-effect silicones. Calms and soothes the skin, blots away excess oil, and evens out skin redness. Improves the laydown and application of foundation or powder." This formula is much creamier than the Make Up For Ever formula and I still like both of them. The Make Up For Ever one since be better suited to warmer weather because I got a slight cooling effect on application which I did not experience with the MAC. The MAC formula is much creamier and I find that it is easier to apply than the other one. This one might be better for when my skin is drier in the winter.

This primer is also housed in the pump formula and one pump is all that I need to cover my whole face with it. I have tried this product both alone and under makeup. Under makeup, it evens out my foundation application and allows me to use much less product. Alone, it mattifies my skin, reduces redness, and evens out the texture. I really like it alone on days when I want a natural but still put together look and I either don't havethe time or the motivation to pull it off.

I recommend this product to anyone with normal to dry skin and who wants to anchor their makeup and be able to use less overall. This product makes me want to try some of the others in this collection.

photo courtesy of MAC

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bath and Body Works Forever Sunshine

We may be in the height of summer right now but this won't last much past Labor Day. Personally, I stop buying summer beauty products and fragrances right around the Fourth of July since I know that they might not even make it out of the box into next summer. The latest fragrance from Bath and Body Works is one that is light enough to be worn in the heat but has some muskier notes to take it all the way into fall. I love this concept since I could buy it and wear it tommorrow if I pleased or not get it out for two more months.

Bath and Body Works provides the following description about this new fragrance, Forever Sunshine. "Master perfumers have blended golden apricot, pink peonies, vanilla musk, and a hint of praline to create this fresh fragrance that captures the romance of warm days that linger into cool autumn. Wear it when you crave the essence of summer".

The top notes are: juicy tangerine, golden apricot, sparkling mandarin, exotic berries. The middle notes are: gardenia petals, freesia, pink peonies. The bottom notes are: vanilla bean gelato, creamy sandalwood, nuzzly musks, a touch of sweet praline. This fragrance is available in the usual products; the EDT, body splash, shower gel, body lotion, and several home fragrance items.

I like this scent in the bottle but I don't know how much wear I would give it. I got a lot of the spicier notes and little to none of the top and mid notes except for the apricot. This isn't a bad thing but that wasn't what I was expecting from it and this is not a fragrance that I could wear in warmer weather. On myself, I put this fragrance firmly in the cold weather category. It almost reminds me a slightly lighter version of the Classics fragrance Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin but not quite as spicy. If I were to decide to buy this one, I would most likely get the shower gel and the lotion but I think that I would pass on it in the other fragrance forms.

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works

Friday, July 23, 2010

Urban Decay Fall 2010 Collection - Face and Lips

Most of the Urban Decay collection this fall seems to be eye products. There was only one new face product, which is a set of makeup brushes that I saw several days ago on both Urban Decay's and Sephora's websites but now cannot find on either. So I'm not exactly sure what is going on with this set so we are only going to look at what I can find information on. Only one new lip product was introduced for fall, the Lip Junkie Lip Gloss. I love their lip glosses!

The Urban Decay website states the following about this new lip gloss. "You want a super-shiny gloss, but can't stand the sticky texture, right? Wait till you feel the soft, cushiony texture of this gloss! Lip Junkie stays on longer than other glosses, but never feels gummy or gooey. It comes in a range of pretty amazing shades (if we do say so ourselves), and the color payout is amazing. Take your pick from sheer pretty neutral, kick-ass brights, or glimmering near-black. And the flavor? Think yummy wedding mints... a sweet mint with a little zing that makes breath feel fresh. Our bonus ingredient, Maxi-Lip, even plumps lips and average of 40% when used daily for a month. (Maxi-Lip is a non-irritant plumping ingredient that doesn't sting or inflame your lips like other short-term plumpers can.) Our superstar ingredient can actually help your lips become better defined, super hydrated, and full. YES, PLEASE! Our sleek gloss tube is molded, not crimped, no more worrying about lip gloss explosions in your bag. (Finally!) We finished it off with a soft angled tip that lays down a smooth, precise application without mess. This gloss will hook even you jaded junkies."

Here are the shades that we have to choose from...

- Crush - bright hot pink
- Heavy - dark neutral
- Jilted - deep pink sparkle
- Love Junkie - sheer dark red
- Midnight Cowboy - sheer nude sparkle
- Naked - pinky neutral
- Peroxide - light pink
- Perversion - sheer black sparkle
- Red-Light - bright pinky-red
- Runaway - medium peach shimmer
- Wallflower - nude creamy pink

I am hoping that Runaway is close to the old Lip Gunk shade Burn Out, I finished off my tuber several months ago and it hasn't been available in years. Otherwise, this really looks like a lip gloss that I end up buying several of. I like the promise of no stickiness, since I hate when it get caught in my hair. The shades that I like the most are Love Junkie, Midnight Cowboy, Naked, Peroxide, Runaway, and Wallflower.

photo courtesy of Urban Decay

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Urban Decay Fall 2010 Collection - Eye Products

It is time to start looking at what is upcoming for Fall. We are still in the middle of a heat wave and the long range forecast shows no signs of it letting up anytime soon. I am ready to think ahead to fall and there is no better company to get me excited than Urban Decay. Last year, the new products for fall were so high in number that they required three entries just to hit all of them. Just looking at all the new products available on the Urban Decay website, I have decided that we are going to follow that same format this year.

The first part is going to cover all of the new products for eyes, which are two eye shadow palettes and a ton of new false eye lashes.

Let's begin our fall right now...
Naked Palette - THIS is how Urban Decay does neutral! Far from a group of boring beige eye shadows, this long, lean, seductive case is packed with TWELVE gorgeous neutrals. Shades range from delicate champagne to dark, gritty gunmetal, and feature FIVE NEW shades with names like Darkhorse, Virgin, and Buck. We've also included a range of textures: everything from glitter to shimmer to matte. The chocolaty velvet case is emblazoned with the word "Naked" in gold foil lettering. (Just wait 'til your friends see you pull this sexy thing out of your bag. Jealous!) The mirrored case also includes our first double-ended 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil, featuring Zero (our award-winning black) and Whiskey, a NEW deep brown shade. We've also included a travel-size Eye Shadow Primer Potion in our original formula. This is a shadow palette EVERYONE can use, and a truly spectacular gift.. Experiment with office-appropriate neutrals, summertime bronzy looks, or sultry smokiness. With such a diversity of neutral shades at your fingertips, you'll show there's more to neutral than meets the eye.
- Virgin - nude satin
- Sin - champagne shimmer
- Naked - buff matte
- Sidecar - beige sparkle
- Buck - brown matte
- Half Baked - bronze
- Smog - golden brown shimmer
- Darkhorse - bronze-plum shimmer
- Toasted - taupe-bronze
- Hustle - mocha shimmer
- Creep - near-black metallic
- Gunmetal - dark grey metallic

Vegan Palette - Six of our best-selling shades also just happen to be vegan. Herbivore or carnivore, you'll swoon for this palette. Sure, everything at Urban Decay is cruelty-free (meaning we don't test on animals...ever!) but this palette is dedicated to our fervent vegan fans - those who "just say no" to using animal by-products of any kind. We have tons of vegan shades - over half our cosmetic line is vegan, but this is the first time we've created a palette using exclusively vegan Eye Shadows. Enjoy! Throw away any misconceptions that a vegan palette would include ho-hum shades of drab shadows...NOT FROM US. Check out these vibrant teal and a silvery money-green eye shadows, in addition to four rich neutrals. We've even included travel-sizes of Eye Shadow Primer Potion in Sin and 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero. A closer look revels intricate artwork of our favorite creatures big and small, all printed with soy-based inks on recycled packaging.
- Minx - blue-green shift with glitter
- Urb - metallic celadon green with lots of silver/gold microglitter
- Gunmetal - gunmetal gray with silver glitter
- Twice Baked - brownie brown with gold glitter
- Smog - deep coppery bronze
- Half-Baked - subtle. lustrous bronze

Urban Lash - Urban Decay lashes aren't just for proms, raves, and runways. They're for real life. With 18 styles designed exclusively for Urban Decay, we have a lash to suit every mood or occasion. We even made lashes in 1/4, 3/4, and full lash widths for a variety of effects and ease of application. Go coquettishly beautiful, uber sexy, or downright fierce. Every pair of lashes is handmade with cruelty-free synthetic fibers. (Who wants to wear someone else's hair on your eyes anyway?). With proper care, your lashes can be worn 2-3 times. The latex free adhesive applies with a precision-wand in an easy-to-see iridescent shade, then dries clear for clean results. And, it comes with a re-sealable push-top cap. Each pretty little lash box is printed with confidence-enhancing tips so you can apply like a pro. You've got no excuse to avoid false lashes.
- Babydoll - thick, spiky, and doll-like
- Come Hither - thick, universal lashes with intricate layers
- Darlin' - girly spikes of full lashes
- Enigma - graduated, long flared spikes
- Girlfriend - demure, center only lashes
- Groupie - multi-length with purple underlayer
- HBIC - heavy, feather-shaped with purple and black
- Hoax - long, thick, well-defined hairs
- Hot Number - lush and thick with lots of layers
- Instaglam - 4 pairs of 1/4 lashes
- Little Wing - long feathered navy/black flare
- Lure - partial lash with long, battable flare shape
- Minx - cat-like shape, multi-length lashes
- Plush - extra thick with dramatic fan shape
- Queen - ultra long, shiny black foil lashes
- Tease - 3/4 partial lashes with spiky shape
- Vamp - long, spiky lashes with shorter criss-cross hairs
- Instaglam Technicolor - 4 pairs of 1/4 lashes in blue, purple, pink, and black

Lots of goodness for this fall! I love the Naked Palette, it is one of my favorite items that I have seen all month and it will being going right to the top of my shopping list. I have a feeling (based on rumors that I am hearing) that finding it is going to be finding the Alice Book of Shadows. I can only hope that it a bit easier this time around! I like the Vegan Palette but I already own most of those shades and the Sin Primer Potion so I will be passing on it.

I don't have the greatest track record with false lashes so I am unsure about spending any more money on lashes that I will not be able to get on right. However, I must say that they have tried to make it as easy as possible for non-experts with having the glue that changes color when the lash is applied. That in itself might make my whole experience much better. Also, on the Urban Decay website, 8 styles that are the easier for beginners are listed. So I will pick the ones that I like the most from that list and try to master those. I want to get Girlfriend and Lure so we shall see how this goes.

Tommorrow, face and lips!

photo courtesy of Urban Decay

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Beauty Blogger Goes to the Movies...

The other night I went with my boyfriend to see the new Tom Cruise movie, Knight and Day (his choice). Good special effects, story was ok, but I kpet noticing throughout the movie how great Cameron Diaz pulls off her "natural" look. And in one scene, we see her reapply her Korres Lip Butter in Guava. Lovely natural lip look that can stand up to chase scenes...

This is what I notice at the movies!

photo courtesy of Sephora

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

NARS Bridal Palette

Among most of the people that I know, I am one of the few with the littlest amount of excitement for weddings. I go and try to have a good time but usually get bored or depressed right around the middle of the service and can't shake the feeling until the end of the reception. However, this time around, I have been asked to go to my new boyfriend's friend's wedding in Fire Island at the end of this summer. A nice wedding and reception in Fire Island can totally change my views on weddings and the wedding season. So I thought it only appropriate to get into the spirit by looking at the NARS Bridal Palette that was just released at the beginning of the summer.

NARS Bridal Palette contains eye, cheek, and lip shades that are perfect to make a beautiful wedding day look. They are actually so beautiful together that I would be more than happy to have this palette for myself even though I will not be getting married anytime soon.

Let's see how NARS would create the beautiful big day look.

Eye Shadow - Longwearing, crease resistant color in sheer wearable formulas. All NARS eye shadows can be applied sheer or layered for a more dramatic effect. These richly pigmented powders blend effortlessly and can also be used wet for preceisely lining the eyes.
- Edie - cream with shimmer
- Nepal - rose with shimmer
- Night Fever - black with red pearls
- Ondine - plum with gold shimmer

Blush - Made with tranparent pigments for a soft and sheer look. Imparts a natural, healthy glow for any skin tone and may be worn alone or layered together for more depth and intensity.
- Orgasm - peachy pink with shimmer

Highlighting Blush Powder - This truely versatile highlighting product may be worn on its own or layered over other color products for added highlight and dimension. The soft shimmering color will add instant radiance to any complexion, and may be used on the face and body.
- Albatross - universal shade

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.
- Mitzi - sheer muted strawberry pink with shimmer
- Sexual Healing - shimmering pink blossom
- Roman Holiday - delicate pastel pink

Lip Lacquer - High shine formula with sheer pigments of color for luscious lips day or night. This super-shiny formula can be worn alone or over other lip products. Unique texture prevents color from bleeding. Transparent pigments with sexy shine.
- Baby Doll - sheer cotton candy pink with a pearlized finish

I love this whole palette. The only shades that I do not understand is Night Fever, the black eye shadow with red pearls. This doesn't seem to match the other shades and wouldn't be my choice to use with them. If NARS wanted to put a Night Collection shade in, I would have done Night Clubbing to match the gold shimmer in the other shades. I think that this palette would also be a geeat choice for myself to make up a sheer, pretty wedding look to match my Betsey Johnson party dress.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Monday, July 19, 2010

MAC Look in a Box

The MAC Look in a Box collection is one that comes out every year for the Nordstrom Beauty Event. It consists of three separate "looks" and smaller versions of the MAC products that would be needed to create it. I find that this isn't really a collection that appeals to the MAC junkie, instead this is a collection that appeals to those who don't have tons of experience with this company and don't already own half of the products that they offer. My favorite part of this collection is the mini-sized Lipglasses since I usually end up wearing Lipglass when I go out and these would fit well into my little clutch.

"MAC Look in a Box offers one perfect, complete makeup look. Fancy yourself a fabulous Frisky Girl, a vehement Miss Violet, or a totally Tawny One. Simply follow the how-to guide therein, et voila! Simplicity without duplicity - three personalities any girl who want to try on. A gift for all those wanting to make a great look, easy. This stylish box set features a face chart and the key products needed to create the look".

Here are this year's looks...

Miss Violet - This gift contains the following products: Rose Beauty Powder, Desert Rose Powder Blush, Lovestone Mineralize Eye Shadow, Lovechild Lipglass, and Zoom Fast Black Lash.

Tawny One - This gift contains the following products: Refined Gold Bronzing Powder, Coppertone Powder Blush, By Jupiter Mineralize Eye Shadow, Love Nectar Lipglass, and Zoom Fast Black Lash.

Frisky Girl - This gift contains the following products: Pretty Baby Beauty Powder, Well Dressed Powder Blush, Mercurial Mineralizer Eye Shadow, Nymphette Lipglass, and Zoom Fast Black Lash.

Of this three kits, there is only one that I would purcahse for myself and that is Frisky Girl (the photo shown here). I only like pieces of the Miss Violet look, namely the Eye Shadow and I already own the violet shade from A Rose Romance so I have no reason to purchase this. I think that Tawny One will be too warm for my skin and few, if any, of the shades will work out. Frisky Girl is all pink prettiness and this looks like something that I can pull off easily with my skintone. And I already own nothing from the Frisky Girl set so I won't be buying repeats.

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Sunday, July 18, 2010

French Week 2010 Day 7 - L'Occitane Shea Body Products

Today is the last day of French Week. So far, we have looked at fine French fragrances and skincare, now today we are finishing by checking out the L'Occitane Shea body products especially their famous hand cream. L'Occitane has long been a Provencal staple and uses many ingredients and formulas that are native to that region. The climate of this region is warm and sunny but also has strong winds (called mistral winds) that blow for a decent amount of the day. This region is based very heavily on agriculture and farming so products needed to be invented that could be used when working outside. The ingredient that proved the most successful against this is shea butter, a fantastic hydrator and skin protector.

The L'Occitane website talks about the fruit's origins in Africa and how it is used all over the world. "The landscape of Burkina Faso is interspersed with majestic karite trees - the source of shea butter. In this region, the hot winds carry dust and fine sand, and can be very drying for your skin. The women of Burkina Faso traditionally protect their skin - and that of their children - against harsh environmental by applying shea butter daily. Organized into cooperatives, they use traditional methods to harvest the fruit of the sacred tree. They extract and dry the nuts, grind them to make a fine paste, and transform the paste into shea butter - a universal and irreplaceable beauty product. This explains why their skin remains so beautiful, supple, and elastic..."

The best selling product in this collection is the Shea Butter Hand Cream. Hands are one of the most affected body products by harsh conditions so it would make sense that if there is one area that needs to be treated the most, this is it. "A super-smoothing - and best selling - synergy of 20% Shea Butter, honey, and sweet almond extract, blended with the light and alluring aromas of jasmine and ylang-ylang essences. Texturally pleasing balm glides on and absorbs to help heal and protect dry or dehydrated skin. Anti-oxidizing Vitamin E helps nourish. Invites the even the most hard-working hands to a fresh beginning."

In addition to the high concentration of Shea Butter in this product, it also contains Marshmellow and Rosemary to aid in the healing and protecting properties of the cream. Marshmellow in used in skin care products to help heal internal and external inflammations. It helps to hydrate and draw the moisture from the air and bring it into the skin. The ingredient also protect the skin from the external elements. Rosemary adds a slightly herbal scent to this product, making it ideal for either gender.

I have tried this product out at Sephora. The texture is thick and creamy. It initially takes a bit of time to work it into the hands but it is well worth the effort. It hydrates very quickly and helped my hands to stay moisturized for the rest of the day. Even after I washed my hands to take off some of the makeup that I was playing with, my hands retained the hydration for the next few hours.

The Shea Butter body product are available in several different forms. I personally want to get the hand cream and the shower cream. I would also get the body lotion and cream for when my skin dries out in the wintertime. The bar soaps are another most wanted items, both for myself and as little gifts around the holidays.

I hope that you all enjoyed this little foray into French beauty and culture. It is now time to get moving on all the new fall collections that are being released as I type this!

photo courtesy of L'Occitance

Saturday, July 17, 2010

French Week 2010 Day 6 - Cle de Peau

Today we are going to look at the Cle de Peau skincare line. I have not had the luxury of trying this brand since it is the ultimate in luxury skincare and therefore available nowhere near me. However, I have never read a bad review of any item from this line so I feel confident using it in my latest theme week. My first stop when looking at these products was the Bergdorf Goodman website and their rewrite of the brand.

"As a fusion of the most sophisticated technology and exquisitely refined aesthetics, Cle de Peau Beaute is not just the key to flawless skin - it is transforming experience. First introduced by Shiseido in 1982 and considered the world's first haute couture cosmetics collection, Cle de Peau Beaute is unique in its ability to translate scientific research on skin functionality into products of such pure perfection that they are the very essence of luxury and French refinement". Pure Parisian beauty...

The product that I have decided to look at is La Creme Face Cream, one of the premier products in their line of skincare products. This is one of the best skin creams available on the market today and is one of my most lusted after products.

"La Creme is an exceptionally luxurious revitalizing cream that brings unparalleled age-defying benefits to your complexion overnight. For beauty that endures time, Cle de Peau Beaute has always been committed to scientific advancements that optimize skin's very nature. Three major forces create a superior La Creme: Powerful anti-aging benefits: La Creme is newly formulated with scientifically advanced ingredients that comprehensively diminish the appearance of wrinkles, dark spots, and sagging. Overnight results: Texture, elasticity, and dullness are visibly improved overnight. Skin awakens to remarkable clarity and smoothness. Cutting-edge emulsification technology: A special emulsification technology creates the ultimate texture that not only delivers ingredients more deeply , quickly and effectively, but also enhances tangible benefits.

The Bergdorf website lists the key ingredients of this product. This skin cream is a mixture of some of the best anti-aging ingredients that are know to the skincare community. The first ingredient listed is one that is exclusive to Cle de Peau, 4MSK, which is a superior brightening ingredient that works to inhibit melanin activation. Retinol ACE improves skin's ability to counteract wrinkles. W-TC Complex is able to improve skin's epidermal cell metabolism. Cornflower (Centaurea Cyanus) Extract promotes the production of the protein that is the main component of the basement membrance. Wintergreen (Pyrola Incarnate) Extracts prevents damage to the basement membrane. Chai Hu Extract is known to increase the production of collagen and hyaluronic acid. Lastly, Saxifraga Extract is known to stabilize free radicals and inhibit the activation of enzymes that cause melanin formation.

The composition of this product seems like it would be too heavy for me to use right now and would be better in cooler weather. This does offer lighter weight hydrators so I can find one that will over the next two months. I am very hopeful that this face cream and also this company's cosmetics will give me the perfect French women skin.

photo courtesy of Bergdorf Goodman

Friday, July 16, 2010

French Week 2010 Day 5 - Hermes

Hermes is one of the French design houses that has been around for years and just the name itself brings to mind luxury and a feeling of exclusivity. Their top selling Birkin bag requires at least a two year wait and the list to get them gets longer and longer all the time. I feel that this line is one that is ingrained in Fremch culture so well that wearing a Hermes scarf brings the wearer to a whole new level of elegance. A Birkin or a scarf is not in my immediate future at this moment so we are going to check out their perfumes that allows my to spray myself with a bit of elegance.

This company was founded in 1837 and has delivered top quality product in over 10 lines ever since. The 1930s was the biggest decade for this brand, it first produced the now iconic Kelly bag and the first scarves were in production. This brand continues to grow and product goods at a rate much slower than the Hermes hungry public can get their hands on them.

The perfume that I liked most from this line is actually unisex. It is called Un Jardin en Mediterranee. For those of you who do not speak French, it translates out to "garden in the Mediterranean". This area of France is in the Riveria region and it has a climate that is warm and sunny throughout the year. This region grows huge fragrant gardens and this fragrance is both fruity and woody, drawing on the fragrances of this region. Hermes describes it as "a waslk through a Mediterranean garden".

This fragrance is a great warm weather fragrance. It is light and not overbearing. The fruit notes come out first and then the fragrance settles down into the wood notes. This fragrance is very unique and you will not smell it on anyone else when you wear it. This fragrance is one of the ones that I really want to purchase once I get some of my current bottles used up. At the moment, this is one of the few products that I can get from Hermes to boost my French style.

photo courtesy of Hermes

Thursday, July 15, 2010

French Week 2010 Day 4 - Caudalie Vinoperfect Serum

Last year, I talked about the Caudalie skincare line and how their patented active ingredients work to help repair and protect skin. I will not repeat all of that information here again. Today, we are going to look at my favorite product from Caudalie and the one that I have repurchased the highest amount of times since I was initially given one from the Caudalie rep about 4 years about. The product that I am referring to today is the Vinoperfect Radiance Serum, a product that contains a high amount of anti-oxidants to improve the clarity and overall radiance of the face.

Vinoperfect is one of the few brightening serums that doesn't contain bleaching agents and therefore can be used by everyone, even expectant mothers. The Caudalie website states, "This satiny serum is a remarkable formula for smoother, brighter-looking skin. Vinoperfect boosts the complexion's radiance and appearance. Your skin is moisturized and luminous. Your complexion looks even and beautifully radiant".

This product is ideal for all skin types and is formulated for those who wish to enhance their skin's radiance, tone, and clarity. This product was recommended to me from the Caudalie rep to help even out my skin tone and reduce the appearence of the redness in my cheek area. This product is able to do all that effectively while not irritating my sensitive skin or drying any areas of my face out.

This product really was able to reduce the redness in my cheek area and made my skin look much better overall. The clarity was much improved and I was getting compliments on my fantastic skin, even when I didn't put makeup on.

This product contains a very high amount of viniferine, 1000 ppm, to improve the tone and clarity. it also contains olive squalene, mint, caraway, and galbanum. The product smells like wild mint leaves so using it is a pleasure. It is recommended for use morning and night on freshly cleansed skin. however, if you are also using another Caudalie serum (anti-aging), then this product is to be used at night and the other serum used in the morning.

This product is unique to the areas in France that can support vineyards and wine production. The French have long know the benefits of grapes and wine before it became popular in the United States. I have nothing but amazing things to say about how this product affected my skin. Caudalie has enhanced the results of this product and had made it into an entire line of skincare for normal skin. With or without the whole line of skincare, this product is a stand alone star.

photo courtesy of Caudalie

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

French Week 2010 Day 3 - Creed Love In White

Happy Bastille Day! Yesterday, we talked about an iconic fragrance house and today we are going to talk about another. My last perfume purchase was about a month ago and it was a bottle of Love In White. This was another fragrance that has sniffed months before I had finally given in to the urge to buy it. This may be the pinnacle of my perfume collection so far...

The House of Creed has been around since the year 1760. I went on the Creed website to find a full background on this perfume house. "Creed is the world's only privately held luxury fragrance dynasty. Founded in 1760 and passed from father to son since then, Creed has served more than 10 royal house and the discerning public for 250 years. Indeed, Creed is one of the 100 oldest family businesses in the world. Based in Paris, Creed today is led by the legendary Oliver Creed, sixth generation master perfumer and company chief. Working alongside is his son, Erwin, 29, rising seventh generation and future head of house. A house of tradition, Creed adheres to unrelenting high standards in fragrance creation and client service. Creed uses methods of hand production, including maceration and filtration, instituted at the company's founding. Creed is the industry's strongest proponent of natural ingredients in fragrance. For these reasons, Creed has a loyal clientele that includes royalty, political leaders, legends in business, sports, music, and the fine arts as well as discerning members of the public who value beauty and quality in scent".

Just trying and purchasing fragrances from this brand made me feel smart and stylish. I tried Love In White on one wrist and Spring Flower on the other. Needless to say, I was swarmed by the sales associate fawning over me and reassuring me that I made a great choice in trying Creed fragrances. It was close, but in the end, I eventually decided that Love In White was more unique and would be my first fragrance purchase from this company.

I went to Bergdorf Goodman's website to obtain a detailed description of the fragrance itself. "Blended with ingredients of rare quality from five continents, Love In White includes orange zest from Spain, rice husk from Tonkin, white jasmine from Italy, daffodils from France, magnolia from Guatemala, Bulgarian Rose, sandalwood from India, and ambergris. On the evening of Love In White's debut, the exterior lights of the Empire State Building radiated pure white. Love In White was the first Creed fragrance to debut in the USA as opposed to France. The fragrance has become a favorite of First Ladies of the United States."

This is one of the most unique fragrances that I have ever owned, the combination of the florals and the orange gives it a twist that sets it apart from all the other floral fragrances. This fragrance to me is much more than a perfume, it symbolizes the day that I decided that I wanted to fall in love with an a wonderful, caring man. Love In White is pure love that isn't corrupted or shadowed.

photo courtesy of Bergdorf Goodman

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

French Week 2010 Day 2 - Chanel Coco Mademoiselle

The iconic Chanel brand needs no real introduction, indeed there is little that I could say right now that I have not already said at some point in this blog. To me, Chanel in Paris and Paris is Chanel. For many girls, when they first understand the concept of perfume and have the ability to remember brand names, Chanel is what they come to think of when they think of fragrance. Last year, I talked about my history with Chanel No. 5 but this year, we are going to look at my favorite fragrance from Chanel and one of my favorite fragrances overall.

I first tried this fragrance out one day when I was in college. However, being a semi-broke college student meant that this perfume was going to have to wait for another day even though it was love at first sniff. I obsessed over it for a month then was able to pick up some extra hours at my part time job and purchase a bottle of the fragrance. I still have that bottle and it still smells wonderful. It remains the fragrance that I get the most compliments on. And not compliments about my perfume, compliments about how beautiful I smell. This fragrance was perfect for me from the day that I first tried and it remains so every single time that I use it.

Sephora classifies this fragrance in the family of the orientals. The fragrance is described on their website as follows, "You might want to call her Miss - but she prefers Coco Mademoiselle. With the creation of Coco Mademoiselle in 2001, Jacques Polge reaffirms the modernity of the young Coco Chanel, who overturned convention with the pure and simple lines of her inimitable style. Coco Mademoiselle is the fragrance Coco Chanel would have worn wear if she were 21 at the dawn of the 21st century."

The top notes of the fragrance are: orange, bergamot. The heart notes are: jasmine petals, morning rose. The base notes are: patchouli, vetiver. Of course there is a rose note to this fragrance, how else would I fall madly in love with it?!

I have the EDT spray in this fragrance, I originally wanted the EDP but I had to be somewhat practical and it was either the EDT or nothing at all. I really like the EDT but I prefer the EDP and when I finish up my current bottle, I will invest in the EDP. Through the Chanel website, this fragrance is also available in a pure parfum and a variety of body products and giftsets.

This fragrance is for the younger Chanel girl, one who is embarking on the beginning of adulthood and has her life in front of her. A young Coco is how I would love to think of myself...

photo courtesy of Sephora

Monday, July 12, 2010

French Week Day 1 - Biotherm Source Therapie

The first day of French Week is going to be devoted to Biotherm skincare and their hero product, their Source Therapie serum. Biotherm is a company that produces a wide range of skincare that is available only in the European Union and online for Americans. Several years ago, it was available in the United States and that is when I got hooked on many of their products. It is no longer sold in the United States but this doesn't stop me for ordering pieces of their unique, high quality skincare items.

First a bit of background on Biotherm since I don't know how many people have heard very much about them. Here is the background story from the company's website. "Fifty years ago in the mountains of France, a biologist discovered a unique element in the mineral-rich thermal spring waters that soothes, balances, and rejuvenates the skin, so it looks and feels healthier. Today, this purified and patented ingredient - Vitreoscilla Ferment - is the scientific key to the effectiveness of our products. It enables each formula - skin and body care, color and men's treatments - to work in sync with skin's own nature, bringing it back to its optimal state so it can better resist stress and damage. That's the basis of healthy skin."

Biotherm's hero product and the product with one of the highest concentrations of Vitreoscilla Ferment is the Source Therapie Superactiv Concentracted Skin Perfecting Serum. This serum is suitable for all skin types and it takes the Biotherm skincare system that you have chosen for your skin type and kicks all the products up a notch. This serum is light enough that it can be used with the oily skin and acne regimes and won't make the existing conditions worse.

Biotherm gives the following as the description of the product, "A healthy dose of perfection! This super charged perfector helps skin feel stronger, balanced, and more refined. In just 5 days, you'll see radiant results. Over time, your skin will look healthier and be more resistant to the signs of premature aging". This product can be used alone on bare skin or under any moisturizer if the user needs an added dose of moisture. I love using this product to make my skin look clearer and more radiant. I have used this product with both the normal skin and dry skin regimes from Biotherm and it really does work with every skincare product for every skin type.

photo courtesy of Biotherm

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Le Commencement...

It is the time of the year for my second annual French Week. I am going to do the same premise as last year, seven French companies, all of which are different in origin and product lines. Bastille Day is this week so this is the ideal week to examine French culture and lifestyle.

To start...a photo of the French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.

photo courtesy of Google

Saturday, July 10, 2010

MAC In The Groove

This is the last of the new MAC releases this week. In The Groove is the largest of the collections, featuring all full collection of products with new shades. The Mineralize products feature huge in this collection and I am betting that this collection will go over quite well. The MAC website gives the following as a description of the collection, "A modern, flowing, and fabulous way with bold, kaleidoscope colour combined with boho charm and up-to-the-minue catwalk style. Shadows are matte, sans glitter, and in the trio format. Creamy lips play perfectly off Mineralize satin-smooth eyes. Turn on and groove out!"

Let's see this collection!

Mineralize Eye Shadow (Trio) - A matte Mineralize Eye Shadow debuting with the MAC In The Groove colour collection. Three coordinating shades baked together in a single pan help create an exceptionally sheer and lightweight Mineralize application with a rich velvety-matte finish. Limited edition.
- Fresh & Easy - satin pink/pearly burgundy/satin gray
- Soften the Mood - satin light blue/pearly rose/satin light brown
- Calm, Cool, & Collected - satin beige/pearly green/satin deep green
- Togetherness - satin lavender/pearly purple/satin gray
- Making It Easy - satin dark beige/pearly beige rose/satin red brown
- Love to Love - satin beige/pearly bronze/satin brown
- In the Groove - satin green/pearly burgundy/satin coral
- Style Influencer - satin silver/pearly deep blue/satin mauve brown
- Blue My Mind - satin light blue/pearly deep teal/satin black

Powerpoint Eye Pencil - Waterproof. Longwearing. Metallic, shimmer, and matte finishes. Smooth to apply. Won't transfer, smudge, or budge... Draws the line: powers your eyes. Makes its point. Lasts.
- Navy Stain - royal blue with shimmer
- Permaplum - deeply plum with pink shimmer
- Stubborn Brown - deep rich brown

Zoom Lash - Major drama. Lasts all day. Creamy, velvety formula builds density and conditions. Feels light, supple. Ultra-sculpted brush has three-sided fibres to embrace and separate each lash, hugging every curve. Coats in one stroke from root to tip. No smudging.
- Zoomblack - rich black

Lipstick - Colour plus texture for the lips. Stands out on the runway. Simmers on the street! What made MAC famous.
- Creme d'Nude - pale muted peach beige (Cremesheen)
- Jazzed - bright coral pink (Cremesheen)
- All Styled Up - bright yellow pink (Cremesheen)
- I Like It Like That - deep blue pink (Cremesheen)
- Go For It - midtone blue purple (Cremesheen)
- Call My Bluff - midtone creamy coffee (Cremesheen)

Cremesheen Glass - A lip finish that fuses the creamy, sheen-filled nature of Cremesheen Lipstick with the shine of MAC Lipglass. Soft, comfortable, non-sticky. Applies with a doe-foot applicator. Use as top layer to its namesake Lipstick or on its own.
- Fashion Whim - light beige
- On The Scene - light coral beige
- Right image - midtone blue pink
- Going Casual - sheer lilac
- Chillin' - light white blue
- You've Got It - dirty silver gray

Mineralize Blush (Duo) - A limited-edition Mineralize Blush featuring two shades swirled into an abstract pattern. Delivers the sheer colour and soft, dimensional pearl finish of all MAC Mineralize powder formulas.
- Happy Together - satin caramel/pearly beige
- Hang Loose - satin bright pink/pearly lavender
- A Little Bit of Sunshine - satin light brown/pearly beige
- Band of Roses - satin blue pink/pearly light plum
- New Vibe - satin deep rose/pearly bronze

Mineralize Skinfinish - A luxurious, velvet-soft powder with high-frost metallic finish. Smoothes on: adds buffed-up highlights to cheeks, or an overall ultra-deluxe polish to the face.
- By Candlelight - golden pink
- Stereo Rose - coral with golden/bronze shimmering nuances
- Comfort - golden bronze
- Petticoat - pale rose with gold and amber veining

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

I'm not bowled over by this collection. I actually have never used anything from Mineralize by this collection has tempted me into trying it out. I don't really find any of the lipsticks or glosses to be to my liking so I will be looking for a couple universal eye and fave shades from this collection. I would really like to get Love to Love and Togetherness from the new eye shadow trios. Facewise, I want the Mineralize Blush in Band of Roses and from the Mineralize Skinfinish, I want By Candleight and Petticoat.

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Friday, July 9, 2010

C.O. Bigelow Mentha Vitamin Body Wash

We are currently in the midst of one the worst heat waves ever. The heat index is over 100 almost every day this week and people are doing anything to cool off. Looking at fall collections is causing me to dream of sweaters and caramel apples. But, I still have to survive this heat wave that is my current reality before I can get to candy corn and pumpkins. So I need something cooling and refreshing right now. Time to break out the mint...

Currently, I am trying out the C.O. Bigelow Mentha Vitamin Body Wash, which is great way to start my morning shower with. It's cool, tingly, and really helps to wake me up and get me ready to start my day. Also, the product is green, making me love it every more.

Here is the description of this wash from Bath and Body Works. "Our mint-infused body wash provides an invigorating sensation while cleansing and refreshing skin. Wake-you-up formula deeply nourishes with vitamins A, C, and E to keep skin extra-healthy and looking its best."

This wash was provided to me by a PR company along with the matching body lotion and body buffer. I haven't gotten the chance to try the other two products so reviews on them will be forthcoming. However, I love this wash so I bet that I will love the other products in the line. Based on the great experience this wash provides in the shower, I also that the bar soap will be great too.

The peppermint oil in this wash cools my skin off and smells great. The tingling feeling doesn't last after the shower so if you want it to linger, you will want to layer the products in this line. The vitamins in this product help to protect skin that may have seen too much sun at the beach or park. I would recommend this to anyone, male or female, in the warm weather months. However, the sensation will not have same effect in the winter and I will be putting away for warm weather.

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Most Wanted Nordstrom Event 2010

The yearly Nordstrom Beauty Event starts at the end of next week but you are able to pre-order pieces on their website right now. After looking at the exclusive products that are available, I highly recommend pre-ordering as this is one of the best events that I have seen in the past few years. I made a list of the products that I want the most and those that I recommend that you guys all check out.

- Chanel Quatuor Boutons de Chanel
- La Mer 'The Signature' Collection
- Philosophy 'Celebrate Life' Lime Blossom High - Foaming Shower & Bath Gel
- Dior 'Ready-to-Wear' Palette
- Laura Mercier Portable Beauty Collection
- Philosophy 'Amazing Grace' Gift Set
- Kate Spade 'Twirl' Eau de Parfum Rollerball
- Leaf & Rusher Rejuvenating Cleansing Kit
- Shu Uemura Eye & Cheek Palette
- Kate Somerville Ultimate Exfoliate Kit
- Lippmann Collection Nail Polish in Bad Romance

Normally I try to choose my ten favorite products but I did have to pick eleven products this time. I had to add on the polish in Bad Romance...of course! My recommendation is to pre-order your top picks, I doubt that many of these special products will last very long.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

MAC Alive + Olivia

The first of the two new MAC color collections was created with design team Alice + Olivia. This collection consists of new shades of three current products and these are shades that I feel work best on the runway and would not for my real life. However, I can see these shades picking up a huge cult following and leading the way for many of the things we will see this fall. Many of the shades are bright and punchy enough that they can be worn from now all the way until the temperatures begin to turn cooler.

MAC describes the collection right here, "A frump-fighting, pro-pixie, anti-seriousness collection of colour is in the house! Including new takes on Dazzleglass Creme, So Rich So Pretty Nail Lacquer, and Partylicious Pigments...Hip + happy = alice + olivia for MAC."

Let's check it out...

Alice + Olivia Pigment - A limited edition Pigment specially shaded and packaged for the MAC alice + olivia collection. Reflecting the influences of this hip-to-be-haute fashion label, the outer and inner sleeves feature a collage of elements from the label's Fall '10 mood board.
- If It Sparkles... - white with transforming pearl
- Partylicious - turquoise with silver pearl
- Later. - black with transforming pearl

Alice + Olivia Dazzleglass Creme - As dazzling as the MAC alice + olivia collection, this limited Dazzleglass Creme sets itself up to be the perfect accessory. Sending the outer package into full a + o orbit, a collage of elements from the designer's Fall '10 mood board.
- Sparklicious - creamy pale pink white
- I.Want.Candy - hot yellow
- If it's pink - hot pink

Alice + Olivia Nail Lacquer - The all-out pretty-yet-edgy spirit of MAC alice + olivia collection gets captured in this one-of-a-kind Nail Lacquer. a + o aficionados will be hip to the graphic look of the outer packaging inspired by designer Stacey Bendet's seasonal mood board. Limited edition.
- So Rich So Pretty - bright purple with pearl (Frost)
- Morning.After - creamy turquoise
- Military - black matte with silver suede pearl

I love the three new nail lacquer shades, especially the So Rich So Pretty shade. These will be on the top of my shopping list. I also want the get the Pigment shade If It Sparkles..., I can see this working with tons of items that I already own and will be great to create some outstanding eye looks. The Dazzleglasses in this collection are not for me but I can see them being a craze, I am dying to see how the yellow shade looks on and I will be combing beauty blogs for pictures of this shade on.

photo courtesy of MAC

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

MAC Haute & Naughty Lash

This is pretty big week for MAC. They are starting the fall collections off right with a new mascara release and two new collections coming out this week. This is the first major release since To The Beach and will help to fulfill my MAC obsession. This is the first MAC mascara that is double sided and I am looking forward to trying it out. Right now, this product is not yet at MAC counters except for those at Nordstrom.

The MAC website gives a great description of this new product. "This two-in-one mascara is an innovative way to customize your lashes. Select and shimmy brush from root to tip for desired effect - naturally defined, or full-on dramatic! State-of-the-art conditioning and hydrating formula prevents parching and flake-outs."

The website goes into more detail on this product. "A two-in-one mascara that lets you choose if you want lashes to be naturally defined, or instantly combed and loaded for full-on drama. Easy to use dual-wiper system allows this lightweight formula to go on either way. One wiper refines the application for a clean sweep, while the other loads the lashes for greater impact."

This product currently is available in only shade named Haute & Naughty Black which is a true black. MAC certainly has been bringing out the mascaras quickly within the past few months, it was only about a month and half ago that Opulash was released and became a hit. I need to get to Nordstrom for their beauty event and get myself a tube of this product. And I love the name of this product though I feel like it was inspired by BadGal.

photo courtesy of MAC

Monday, July 5, 2010

Clinique Butter Shine Lipstick

I bought one of the first Butter Shine Lipsticks several years ago when I was a senior in college. I used it a lot that year but then sort of forgot about it and just found the tube last winter. This is combination of great color and a soft lip balm. I was using it last winter since my lips were so chapped that I thought that they would crack off any minute. I consider this product to be less of a hydrating lipstick and more of a tinted lip balm. However, I might reconsider that position once I look at all the shades that it is available in, my tube is a medium rose color that isn't all that different from my lip shade.

The Clinique website gives the following product description, "The creamiest, richest, smoothest lip colour you can imagine. Our revolutionary gel formula delivers the shine of a gloss, the comfort of a lipstick. Drenches lips in moist, lush colour that glides on buttery-soft, feels luxuriously smooth." The coverage is considered sheer to moderate.

Here are the shades for you to choose from...

- Delovely - soft beige-y pearlized nude
- Adore U - sheer golden copper brown
- Rum Kiss - rich pearlized rum
- Pink-a-boo - sheer golden pink
- Pink Beach - muted neutral pink with a golden glow
- Perfect Plum - soft shimmering plum
- Berry Berry - soft muted berry with silver shimmer
- Baby Baby - sheer nude pink with a hint of shimmer
- Raspberry Rush - raspberry with hint of gold pearl
- Pink Goddess - rich pink with golden shimmer
- Chocolate Ice - sheer dark chocolate with icy shimmer
- Water Violet - soft heathered violet with shimmering pearl
- Apple Brandy - tawnied apple
- Pink Toffee - midtone tawnied berry
- Fresh Watermelon - hot juicy pink with a shimmer
- Cranberry Cream - a rich deep burgundy
- Ambrosia - rich peachy golden red orange
- Crushed Grape - a rich wearable plum

The shade that I bought is called First Love and is not longer available. The closest shade to it is the Fresh Watermelon, the bright pink. My favorite aspect of this lipstick is how well it hydrates my lips. I have also found that the sheer shades are great for a natural look and are very easy to wear. The other shades from this line that I would like to buy are Cranberry Cream, Pink Toffee, Baby Baby, Pink Beach, and Delovely.

This is fantastic lipstick to use during colder weather to hydrate and protect my lips and one that I hope gets some new shades in Clinique's upcoming fall collection...

photo courtesy of Clinique

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Clean Outdoor Shower

Clean is a company that is well known for their fresh and easy to wear fragrances. The company was first launched in 2003 by Randi Shinder who desired a fragrance that was reminiscent of pure soap, the universal fresh out of the shower scent. Unable to find a fragrance of this type to her liking, she developed the original Clean fragrance. Thie line of perfumes are formulated in very small quantities to ensure that all ingredients are fresh, pure, and very high quality. The brand has since expanded with several more fresh fragrances and Outdoor Shower is one that has been released in the past few months.

I was initially attracted to Outdoor Shower because its bottle is a beautiful shade of green. This is what caused me to pink up the bottle at Sephora and the fragrance inside is what caused me to want to buy it. The Sephora website states that, "Fresh, green, dewy, and exhilarating this floral scent is inspired by the experience of showering al fresco, secluded by nature. Heady exuberance and feel-good freedom have been captured and bottled in this crisp, clean, leafy-green scent. Extracts of water lily, violet leaves, and sparkling bergamot with hints of tropical rain accord and sandalwood blend into a refreshingly simple fragrance". This fragrance is both green and floral and the water notes come out very nicely upon application.
The notes are - Aquatic Accord, Bergamot, Violet Leaves, Muguet, Water Lily, Tropical Rain Accord, Musk, Sandalwood.

None of the Clean fragrances have much staying power therefore I highly recommend them during the hottest days of the summer. This one is one of the more complex ones, in that it contains the rain and floral notes. The green notes in this fragrance really come out and make it a crisp, pleasant fragrance for casual days.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Friday, July 2, 2010

Burberry Brit Sheer

Several weeks ago, we looked at the beauty products of England and one of the fragrances that I wrote about was Burberry Brit, the light zingy scent for warmer weather. Well I guess that I might be in the minority when I think that that fragrance was light enough for warmer weather because the company has released a summer version of this fragrance, called Brit Sheer. Just based on a first whiff of this new version, it seems to me like this one has more floral notes in it and it a bit softer than the original.

Sephora places the original fragrance in the "floral-oriental" category while placing the new edition purely with the florals. Sephora describes the fragrance right here, "Burberry Brit Sheer is a fresh, fruity, light-hearted floral fragrance that embodies the youthful spirit of Burberry Brit". This fragrance is described as "seductive, hypnotic, sparkling". Personally, I like the Brit Sheer better with it having more floral notes but I more inclined to purchase the original because it is still light enough for the summer and it smells like nothing else in my perfume collection.
A comparison of the fragrance notes will help to tell the two fragrance apart. The original Brit has the following notes in it - Italian Lime, Icy Pear, Green Almond, White Peony, Sugared Almonds, Amber, Mahogany, Vanilla, Tonka Bean. The Brit Sheer version has these notes in it - Yuzu, Pineapple Leaves, Litchi, Mandarin, Grapes, Pink Peony, Peach Blossom, Nashi, White Musk, Blond Woods.

Without the Lime note in the new version, it is much softer and the addition of the florals continues to soften the fragrance. My only dislike of the new version is that it seems to be more generic since it is now a fruity floral. I mean, how many fragrances this spring and summer contained peony and peach blossom?!

photo courtesy of Sephora

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Fall 2010 Trend Preview

It's the perfect summer day. No humidity, not a cloud in the sky. A wonderful write up a preview of the trends that we will be seeing this fall season. Based on the Backstage Beauty Trend Preview in Allure, it looks like there will be a look for everyone this fall, which is something that I felt was lacking with many of the summer collections. This season's collections were not about cookie-cutter beauty, many of the models on the runways were larger than average or older than 25. We have five major trends for this season and each one contains little ways for every female to make it her own.

Subversively Sexy - Makeup artist Pat McGarth described the trend this way: "It's womanly beauty but with a dark twist".
- Strong Brows & Tight Hair - The spiky, darkened eyebrows and slick updos were purposely exaggerated at the Prada show. For dramatic - but less extreme - brows, fill them in with pencil (powder is too soft), then dab clear lip gloss on top for a shiny finish, McGarth says.
- Messy Shadow - At Chanel, black cream eyeliner was stippled on the lids in a crosshatch pattern.
- Glossy Red Lips - It took multiple layers of red - lip liner, lipstick, and gloss - to create the siren mouths at Donna Karan and Gianfranco Ferre.
- Intense Eyes - Black bobbed wigs and heavy charcoal eye shadow looked poerful at the Lanvin show.

Minimalism Returns - Pared-down did not mean casual. Instead, the elements - lined eyes, flawless skin, slick ponytail - were carefully composed.
- Easy Eye Makeup - The eye makeup was eitehr soft, such as the veil of taupe shadow at Calvin Klein, or austere, as in the crisp black eyeliner at Celine. For a precise look, trace a nonsmudgy pencil as close as possible to your upper lash line, then draw it along the inner rim of your lower one.
- Spotless Skin - Foundation, concealer, and powder were meticulously layered to give the skin an immaculate finish. At some shows, McGarth even put it on the models' ears. For a "hyperperfect" finish, McGarth applied Cover Girl Clean Makeup with a brush, then tissued some off.
- Sleek Ponytails - Smooth on the front, straight or curled in back, fall's tight ponytails - at Jil Sander, Calvin Klein, and Louis Vuitton - were highly groomed. "The shine makes this basic style look luxurious," said Guido. For the smoothest, glossiest ponytail, hairstylists flatironed the tail, which seals the hair's cuticle.

Romantic Gestures - The most charming looks at the fall shows: Vibrant but feminine makeup and lush, untamed hair.
- Flirty Shadow - Here, makeup artist Dick Page mixed fushcia shadow with gray so it didn't look too girlie. To help a strong shadow blend evenly on the lids, makeup artist Diane Kendal pats foundation on them first.
- Soft Hair - Even the season's softest hairstyles had an edge. Hairstylists teased curls to the extreme, creating a slightly frizzy finish that formed a halo-like effect around the head. At Michael Kors, hairstylist Orlando Pita teased the hairline to "create wispiness without too much volume."
- Flushed Cheeks - "There's a lot of blush - more than usual," said McGarth at Dolce & Gabbana. For the prettiest glow, makeup artists often customized color to each model's skin tone. Try a bluish pink blush shade for pale skin, or a peach or bronzy color for olive or dark skin.

Grunge Revisited - The grown-up version of the grunge trend had all the cool - disheveled hair, smudgy makeup - without the grittiness.
- Fuzzy Hair & Smoky Shadow - "The idea is that the hair is undone, but not a total mess," said Guido of the difference between this fall's disheveled hair and the original '90s dirty grunge. Smoky eyes were also more refined, with chocolate and burgundy shades replacing heavy black, and a touch of gold brightening the inner corners. To straighten hair in a loose, casual way, hairstylist Sam McKnight suggests blow-drying while pulling the hair with your fingers instead of a brush.
- Berry Lip Stain - When dabbed on with a finger, rich crimson and plum lipsticks look sensual, not goth. A dark lip color works best with polished skin and a little blush. "If the rest of the face is bare, the look becomes raw," said Kendal.

Bright Future - The pros created their own spink on futurism with neon makeup and architectural hair.
- Space-Age Makeup - The clearly not for everyone, the candy-colored brows at Balenciaga and the electric streaks on the eyes at Giorgio Armani and Miu Miu had an otherworldy appeal. At Balenciaga, McGarth bleached the brows, then covered them with greasepaint that echoed the sorbet hues of the clothes and jewelry. At the Giorgio Armani show, makeup artist Linda Cantello swiped red and gray stripes above the lids, then left the rest of the face bare.
- Sculpted Hair - Asked to create something worthy of an android, hairstylist Jimmy Paul molded the hair at Prabal Gurung into a swooping, Mohawk-like style. "It's a linear, futuristic shape," he said.

Bright Future is not for me...or really for anyone. The other four looks really work for me and there is some aspect of each one that I can get behind. I think that my favorite look is the first one since I have been getting into strong eye makeup recently and i have been into red lipstick shades for over a year now. Time to begin the collections...

photo courtesy of

Most Wanted July 2010

It's hot, it's humid the past few days. It is better today but that won't last for long. The best place to spend my free time is in an air conditioned mall. This is the list of what I want the most this month (and will be on the watch for while I am spending my days in the super air conditioned Sephora).

- Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb La Vie En Rose
- MAC In the Groove Mineralize Eye Shadow in Togetherness
- Philosophy Lemon Salt Water Taffy 3-in-1
- Shu Uemura Gem Glam Pressed Eye Shadow in G gold
- Chanel Fluid Iridescent Eye Shadow in Delta
- Dolce & Gabbana The Lip Gloss in Innocence
- YSL Fard Lumiere Aquaresistant Water Resistant Cream Eye Shadow in #5 Golden Sands
- Burberry Lip Cover in Tea Rose
- Korres Wild Rose Brightening Serum
- LUSH Absolute Delight Bath Bomb

Next month... I begin my fall shopping...