Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dermalogica Ultra Calming Serum Concentrate

I have finished up my third piece of the Dermalogica Ultra Calming system, the Serum Concentrate. I must start by saying that this is the piece fo the collection that I was most skeptical about since I have been very happy with the Caudalie Vinoperfect Serum and have never found a product that I prefer to it. I have tried all different types of redness serums and I just can't find a product that I prefer to this Caudalie serum. I wanted to start off that way and throw this out there to set up that I didn't expect that this product would be earth shattering and that it wouldn't be a favorite of mine. I knew this was going to be a harder review to write since I know that I have another product that I will always love more.

First, I will go into the information that Dermalogica sent me when their PR company sent me the product line samples. All the products in the Ultra Calming Collection contain the Ultra Calming Complex, which helps reduce sensitivity, redness, irritation, and inflammation. The serum is the star product of this line and therefore contains the highest amount of the Ultra Calming Complex in it. The serum also five other active ingredients; Portulaca Oleraca Extract, Japanese Lilyturf, Evening Primrose, Sunflower Seed Extract, and Avocado Oils. Portulaca Oleraca Extrac is rich in vitamins which calms and adds moisture back into the skin. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant, and anti-allergy agent. Japanese Lilyturf helps to strengthen skin cell structure against water loss, helping to defend against dehydrations-induced aging and sensitization. Evening Primrose, Sunflower Seed Extract, and Avocado Oil all are rich in phytosterols and essential fatty acids. They help to fortify skin's natural defenses against assaults that trigger redness and itching. They are help to soften and smooth fine lines. Some more product benefits are listed as right here.

"A star product in the system, this silky, super concentrated serum helps treat, correct, and defend skin against inflammation and redness. Helps interrupt inflammatory triggers to prevent flare-ups. Best used everyday on sensitized skin while ideal for flare-ups on all skin conditions. Provides enough hydration for normal to oily skin conditions. Also can be used following cosmetic procedures for calming and soothing skin."

The good aspects of this product are first. The texture is lovely, it is smooth and easily sinks into the skin with no residue or fuss. I used this product twice a day after cleansing my skin and after a few weeks, I did see a reduction in redness but still nothing compares to my Caudalie serum. One day, I did suffer from a major redness flare and this product helped to calm my skin down but it didn't totally reduce the redness and wasn't able to really cool down the heat. One thing that I questioned was the claim that this product was enough hydration for normal to oily skin types. Did this mean that it could be used by itself to moisturize instead of with another product? My skin is drier so I didn't even want to try this out. I kept my skin moist but I did always have to layer it with an additional moisturizer.

I can't really come up with any really bad aspects of this product, it may not be my Caudalie serum but there was nothing wrong with it otherwise. I liked this serum and had I not already been obsessed with Vinoperfect, this one had the potential to be a holy grail serum for me. I like this line overall so far with the serum and the face wash being my favorite products so far and the mask being the last thing that I have yet to use.

 photo courtesy of Dermalogica

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bath and Body Works Select-A-Shimmer Body Lotion

Shimmer in body lotions is a rather dividing issue, some love it and others hate it. It's the sole reason to purchase a body for some, the major not to for others. What camp do I fall into? i fall somewhere into the middle, leaning more toward the non-shimmer products. Shimmer has a time and a place but I use it so sparingly that a bottle of it will last me for years. The major culprit for shimmer overload was the old Victoria's Secret Beauty Rush line, I was very happy when it was totally revamped. A bit of shimmer is wonderful with a dress for summer nights but too much sparkle is somewhat tacky. I have been known to walk away from a product that I otherwise liked if it has too much shimmer in it.

Bath and Body Works came out with a compromise for the shimmer camps this spring. They have created a new product called the Select-A-Shimmer Lotion, allowing the user to pick any finish from pure lotion to pure shimmer. Last year, I tried a self tanner from Bath and Body Works with the same type of nozzle and self tanner/lotion combination. I really loved being able to control what shade that I would use and this lotion and shimmer makes me happy in the exact same way.

Bath and Body Works provides the following product description, "From a sheer radiance to a dazzling sparkle, custom select the perfect amount of shimmer every time with this dual-chamber Select-A-Shimmer. With our nourishing Signature Body Lotion on one side and a fun, moisturizing shimmer gel on the other, go from fresh to flirty in the turn of a dial." The shimmer gel and body lotion are in separate containers so they won't mix unless you want them to. This product is currently available in four fragrances; Carried Away, Sweet Pea, Cherry Blossomand Japanese Cherry Blossom. I bought this in the Carried Away fragrance, which is a cool shimmer that seems to have a bit of blue tone. The Sweet Pea is more a cool pink and the Cherry Blossom is a warm pink. The Cherry Blossom would look great over warmer skintones or with a tan but the others would work best for cool toned skin. The Japanese Cherry Blossom is a more a gold toned shimmer and it another one that would work best with warmer skin.

I have never set this product on either the pure shimmer or the pure lotion setting, I already own the lotion by itself and I don't really do the pure shimmer finish. There are seven settings so I tend to keep it on the 3, 4, or 5 settings to even keep the finish well blended and even. I have been very happy with this product so far and I am glad that this company has introduced a product that allows me to come up with my own shimmer finish. I am hoping that this company follows suit with this product and brings this out in Dark Kiss and Secret Wonderland for the fall season.

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I apologize about the spacing issues in the YSL write up, I have been trying to correct them with no avail. Hopefully this will all be sorted out by the time I go to publish again tommorrow...

YSL Spring 2011 Collection

This is the last of my spring collection coverage, I can't believe that spring is over already and that summer is quickly coming upon us. This has been one of my favorite springs in the past few years and I think that I could call this one of my favorite seasons overall. I loved all the purples and designer collaborations that came out over the season and I had very few misses this season. YSL is my last collection this time around and still remains a collection that I admire every time that I see it at Sephora but just haven't purchased much of anything from it. I blame my MAC obsession for never trying this brand out...

 The YSL website states the following about their newest look for spring, "The Spring Collection is illuminated with sheer modern colors and pink hues against bright and saturated blue and indigos." The pinks I can do in this collection but I don't know how well the blue and indigo shades will be working for me. The model in this promotional picture is very pale skined so I bet that I will find some items for myself this time around.

The collection...

Creme de Blush - Unique cream to powder blush offers a luminous, radiant, and healthy look. The remarkably soft formulation feels like silk upon application, ensuring a seamless result. And because the non-waxy texture will not break through makeup, it is an excellent touch-up tool for use throughout the day. Suggested application: Using finertips, gently apply to the apples of the cheeks, blending up and outward toward the hairline. Gently tap into the skin for flawless blending.
- 2 Powdery Rose - medium cool rose
- 3 Silky Praline - pale peach
- 5 Fuschia Temptation - bright magenta pink
- 6 Rouge Passion - true red

Ombre Solo Smoothing Effect Eye Shadow - Certain to be a YSL classic, this silky-soft powder sweeps on vibrant, rich color that stays true from day to night. The radiance enhancing formula highlights eyes in every shade, which blend beautifully together, so any look is easy to achieve. Presented in an elegant gold compact with two applicators - a foam tip for blending and a brush for precision - ensure effortless color comfort.
- 15 Gold Leaf - bright shimmery gold
- 16 Topaz Blue - bright blue

Ombres 5 Lumieres 5 Color Harmony for Eyes - A versatile palette of monochrome shadows in four captivating colors and finishes, ranging from shimmer to sheen and metallic to matte - and one coordinating highlighter. All shades harmoniously blend to create any look you desire - soft and subtle or dazzling and dramatic; your options are endless. The silky long-wear formula with an optical smoothing effect that reveals breathtakingly radiant color that looks luminous in any lighting.
- 2 Indian Pink - medium cool purple/gold rose/pale white shimmer/pale pink shimmer/deep plum

Rouge Volupte Silky Sensual Radiant Lipstick SPF 15 - An object of desire, this award-winning lipstick is wrapped in a romantic, elegant gold case that exudes luxury. Each signature shade saturates lips in captivating color that's intensely pigmented, and imparts an incredible glossy shine. The long-lasting, comforting formula is highlighted with a unique Color-Shine Complex that leaves lips visibly smoother, plumper, and more radiant. Light, silky texture smoothes on a veil of satiny, sensual color that's altogether alluring. Companion mirror on top of case ensures easy application any time. SPF 15.
- 7 Lingerie Pink - pale cool rose
- 8 Fetish Pink - cool rose
- 19 Frivolous Pink - deep magneta
- 29 Opera Rose - deep pink red

Golden Gloss Shimmering Lip Gloss - Worth its weight in gold, this gorgeous gloss dresses lips in a sophisticated, high-shine shimmer that's truely precious. Sparkling 24 carat gold flecks (0.2%) create a mirror-like effect for guaranteed shimmer, while a complex of nourishing oils protect and hydrate for optimal comfort. Scented with a subtle hint of mango that's utterly irresistable.
- 40 Gold Impertinence - gold flecked magenta
- 41 Golden Isolence - gold flecked fuchsia
- 42 Golden Obsession - gold flecked medium pink
- 43 Golden Irreverence - gold flecked warm pink

Easy Liner for Eyes Automatic Eye Liner - Create dramatic eyes with ease with this foolproof liquid liner that's ultra-glamorous and exceptionally chic. Its perfection is in the precision of the calligraphy brush and its controlled, continous flow that deposits just the right amount of color at each application. Whether it's fine definition or a bold cat-eye look, this versatile pen promises gorgeous color and long-lasting wear all day and night.
- 1 Easy Black - black
- 2 Easy Brown - medium brown
- 3 Easy Blue - navy blue

Mascara Singulier - This mascara dares to do it all! Not only does it create glamorous volume, bold length, and voluptuous curl, but it saturates the root of the lashes like a stroke of liquid liner, creating an intense tupe of separation. The unique brush innovation combines the technology of a traditional brush with the structure of a moulded brush to further push the performance of the formula. The result: exaggerated lashes with "haute couture" precision.
 - 6 Deep Plum - deep dark plum

I love this collection, this is great way to end all of my spring 2011 coverage. My favorite piece in this collection is the eye shadow palette, as I have stated already, the eye shadow palettes overall this spring have been fantastic and I can add this one to this list. I love the pinks and purples, this palette is right on trend and will be perfect for my skintone. I also love the solo eye shadow in the new golden shades, I can live without the blue one.

This has also been a great spring for cream blushes and pink lip shades, this collection provides me even more to love in both of these categories. I love both the Powdery Rose and the Fuschia Temptation shades in this product. Pink cream blushes have been a favorite of mine for ages and I can't wait to add these to my collection. From the lipstick, I want Lingerie Pink and Fetish Pink. I haven't tried the Golden Lip Gloss yet so I have to fully try it out to see how the gold works with my skintone. I want to try the Golden Obsession shade for the daytime and the Golden Impertinence for the evening.

Spring is over so now onto summer and the search for good bronzers and tanners...

photo courtesy of YSL

Monday, March 28, 2011

Estee Lauder Spring 2011 Collection - Orange Crush

The day had to come, it was inevitable. The newest collection from spring from Estee Lauder is my least favorite of the whole season. It is named Orange Crush and I hate orange makeup shades, I can barely live with many of the coral shades that have been taking over the beauty world this season. My skin is much too cool to work with any of these tones so I will not be adopting this look or anything close to it for the rest of the season. This may not be my style, but the orange eye makeup in this new collection is very popular and was all over the runway collections. I might be in the minority with my dislike of these shades but I will try to keep an open mind about the collection itself and see if the lip shades that are used to offset the orange eye might still work in my favor.
"A flash of bold orange on lids offset by soft neutrals for the face", is the description of the new collection from the Estee Lauder website. The soft neutrals I can certainly live with, depending on how warm-toned they are. When looking at the individual products, I found out that this look was created by Tom Pecheux for the Spring/Summer 2011 Derek Lam show. A quote from Pecheux about the look itself; "The key to wearing vivid color is to create balance. Wear bold color on the eyes or lips, but not both. Balance the strong intensity woth soft, warm neutrals." Time to find out if any of this collection will work for me.

Orange Crush...

Bronze Goddess Soft Matte Bronzer - Give yourself a heavenly glow with this silky, luxurious powder bronzer. Works with virtually any skintone. Sweep it on and the smooth, oil-free powder gives face, shoulders, and decolletage a seductive bronze look. Unique oil-control complex keeps skin shine-free and comfortable. Works for all skintones.

Silky Powder Blush - Feather-light powder blush sweeps on silky sheer, builds to full color. Easily goes from barely blushing to full intensity, just like your natural cheek color. Highlights and defines your face with a bloom of fresh color. Never looks heavy or streaky. Natural-looking shades give cheeks a soft, healthy glow. Buildable, extended-wear color stays true. Make great color your signature.

- Nude Rose - neutral dusty medium rose

Pure Color Eye Shadow - Orange Crush Collection - Eye shadows inspired by the look created by Tom Pecheux for the Derek Lam Spring/Summer 2011 Show for New York Fashion Week. Get the look with a flash of bright coral on eyelids offset by white to frame the eye. The look gives new definition to modern beauty with intense, strong color worn in unexpected ways. The direction is clear. Take your color vibrant. Wear it bold. And always make a statement.

- Sugar Cube - pale shimmery white

- Orange Brush - bright warm coral

Sumptuous Extreme Lash Multiplying Volume Mascara - Lashes seem to multiply, magnify, grow to extremes. Three different high-volume fibers create audacious false-lash effects. Extreme Bold Volume formula is a blend of three high-volume fibers in a mousse-light base. Acts like lash extensions multiplying and growing the look of lashes. Fortified with conditioning Lash-Advancing Vitamin Complex. The three fibers: unique interlocking fibers build volume and length; hollow fibers create massive volume without weight; ball fibers fill in and fill out even the sparest lashes. Oversized Brush Comber Extreme with two types of bristles-flexible fibers carry maximum formula; solid fibers comb and separate for clump-free definition. Prismatic pearls intensify pigment and luster. Eyes look brighter, wider, more seductive. Outrageous volume, lift, and curves for an audacious, false-lash effect.

- Extreme Black - black

Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick - Color so incredible, it leaves your lips wanting more. True Vision technology takes ordinary color and makes it extraordinary. In a seductive spectrum of shades, from sublime to vivid. True Vision Color: maximized color impact; magnified vibrancy, clarity, and dimension; amplified brillance. Indulges your lips in seductive finishes: sating, lasting creme and lasting, lustrous shimmer. Medium-to-full, buildable coverage.

- Beige - nude rose beige

So we all know that the orange eye shadow is not for, I am just moving on to the other parts of the collection. I love that lipstick shade, I could wear this one everyday. The bronzer is a preview to the summer collection, Bronze Goddess, a huge hit in previous years for this company. I am very happy that companies have been releasing matte bronzers instead of the usual shimmer-spiked products that tend to look very unnatural on me. The Bronze Goddess collection is up on the website already so I need to visit my counter and start trying these out.

The spring look from this company is not my style so I might just be jumping into summer a bit early this year!

photo courtesy of Estee Lauder

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Banana Republic Wild Bloom

About a month ago, I was being the nice big sister that I am and took my brother to the mall so that he could buy books for his plane ride to Hawaii. After a visit to Barnes & Noble, I decided to head over to Banana Republic and look for some items for myself. Banana Republic is not where I go for fragrances, I usually get so distracted by the cashmere sweaters, fantastic dress pants, and purses usually distract me totally before I get to the small area where the fragrances are housed. However, this time around, Banana Republic had a brand new fragrance out so it rated a display at the very front of the store. After, one spray of this lovely fragrance, I totally forgot about shoes and purses. Quite a feat for anything!
This fragrance is a fruity floral blend but manages to not blend into the mix with all the others that are currently available. This fragrance reminded my first of Dior Addict 2 and then of Jo Malone's Red Roses, both favorites of mine. This scent is perfect for spring and is very light to wear in warm weather. I initially thought that there was rose in this fragrance (on first spritz) but the fragrance became more hydrangea and orchid as the fragrance developed. On me, this fragrance is more floral and not quite as fruity as it has on other people.

The fragrance top notes are: Guava, Pear Skin, Kumquat, Pink Grapefruit. The middle notes are: Watery Hydrangea, Hawaiian Pikake, Blue Orchid, Wild Camellia. The base notes are: Patchouli, Sandalwood, Tonka, Oud Wood, Radiant Musk, Pink Suede. The bottle also has a brown suede flower on the front of it, which I can't tell if it comes off and serves a purpose or is part of the bottle. The fragrance settled at the floral notes quite quickly and then went into the wood notes within about two hours of wear. It disappeared very quickly afterwards, disappointing me in the wear aspect.

This is a great spring fragrance for those of us which love florals. I recommend this fragrance to those who are sensitive to fragrances since this is one of the lighter ones that has come out this spring. I wish it would last longer and that is the major drawback of the fragrance. I am happy that I found a new fragrance note love in hydrangea and now I have a new note to find fragrances containing.

photo courtesy of herblog.com

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Shu Uemura Spring 2011 Collection - Morphorium Spring Mode

I still think that pulling Shu Uemura out of all the United States stores and counters was one of the worst beauty moves of the past few years for Estee Lauder. They have had some fantastic but this is one of the biggest lows in ages. The Morphorium collection consists of the brightest hues that I have seen so far this season, butterflies come to mind when I look at the promo picture of the model. Since butterflies morph throughout the seasons, I feel that this is where Shu got the idea for the collection.

From the Shu Uemura website, "'Morphorium' - metamorphose yourself with the mesmerizing glory of nature, just like a mysterious morpho butterfly landing softly onto your shoulder... 132nd Shu Uemura Mode makeup collection created by international artistic director Kakuyasu Uchiide, invites you to the world of untouched treasures in deep, tropical jungle. Unleash your curiosity and indulge yourself in inimitable, mysterious beauty by nature." I thought I was right and the descripition just confirmed it. This collection is quite small but it is very powerful and ranks as one of the top collections of the season.

Here is the newest collection from Shu...

Shine Mystique Eye Color - Loose powder eye color with extraordinary shine and outstanding color-traveling effect, to morph your eyes into the beauty of mysterious morpho butterfly wings. The olive khaki and silver reflection go in harmony with both morphorium limited edition palettes. Play with earthy colors and feel the power of nature.
- Khaki Silver - olive khaki shimmer with silver reflection

Morphorium Blue Palette - Pressed Eye Shadow/Cream Eye Shadow-Liner/Powder Blush. Unleash your curiousity and indulge yourself in inimitable, mysterious beauty of nature with this limited edition palette. Transform yourself with fascinating, vibrant hues of the blue morpho butterfly for wild, mystic beauty. The vivid blue shadow layered over the deep purple shadow will reflect the vibrant surface of the morpho butterfly's wings. Add a hint of delicate light sparkle on the eyes with the cream shadow and finish the look with a swipe of the fresh pink blush to the cheeks for an enticing beauty look. The palette is complete with three Pressed Eye Shadows, one Cream Eye Shadow/Eye Liner and a Powder Cheek Blush as well as two applicator brushes.
- Pressed Eye Shadow in M Deep Purple - deep matte purple
- Pressed Eye Shadow in P Vivid Blue - bright pearly blue
- Pressed Eye Shadow in IR Fresh Green - iridescent lime
- Cream Eye Shadow in P Light Brown - pearly bronze
- Glow On P Pink - pearly true pink

Sunset Gold Palette - Pressed Eye Shadow/Cream Eye Shadow-Liner/Powder Blush. Unleash your curiosity and indulge yourself in inimitable, mysterious beauty of the nature with this limited edition palette. Warm sunset tones of the gold shadow matched to the fertile field of the brown shadow embodies the seductive beauty of the wildlife. A touch of shimmering white shadow is added as accents to emphasize the glow of the sophisticated earthy spirit. The look is finished with a swipe of the warm peach blush to emulate the warmth of the rising sun. This palette evokes a fertile forest with its enchanting wildlife. The palette is complete with three Pressed Eye Shadows, one Cream Eye Shadow/Eye Liner, and a Powder Cheek Blush as well as two applicator brushes.
- Pressed Eye Shadow in M Deep Brown - matte deep chocolate brown
- Pressed Eye Shadow in P Brick Gold - medium pearly gold
- Pressed Eye Shadow in IR Creamy White - iridescent warm white
- Cream Eye Shadow in P Beige Pink - warm pearly pink gold
- Glow On P Peach - pearly pink peach

The Morphorium palette is way too much for me. The blue eye shadow in it would be one of teh worst possible shades for me and throws the whole palette off. I do like the other shades in it and I really like the pink blush but I don't think this one is the palette for me. The Sunset Gold is a much better choice, I love the all the eye makeup shades in it and initially thought the blush was too peach for me. But when I saw the picture on the website, the blush appears to be more on the pink side. It reminds me of NARS Orgasm, the way the pink and peach are combined. Hopefully the shade won't let me down and be too warm for my skintone. Last but not least, I love the Shine Mystique Eye Color in the Khaki Silver shade, this will work with tons of eye shadows that I already own.

This is collection that only Shu Uemura could create and turn art into makeup. This eye makeup is right on trend with much of the makeup that went down the runways this season.

photo courtesy of Shu Uemura

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tarina Tarantino Spring 2011 Collection

Last week, I was at Sephora and I was able to stop at the Tarina Tarantino counter and work on figuring out what the new products for spring are. The website isn't all the clear on what is what, with the exception of the new eye palette. I found out at the store that the eye palette is the main piece of the collection, with two other products contained in the collection too. The following quote from Tarina Tarantino herself was on the Sephora website and I thought it was a great lead-in to the new collection. '"On a trip to Europe, I discovered a forgotten treasure dating back many years: delicate hand-painted resin flowers in an endless rainbow of colors. These exquisite flowers became part of my jewelry collections and have now inspired my new Floriculture Palette. These eight full-size shadows have a velvety soft texture and intense color payoff that will create gorgeous makeup looks for day and night.' - Tarina Tarantino, jewelry designer and makeup artist".

The new products...

Floriculture Palette - A palette of eight high-intensity shades. This palette of velvety soft shadows makes your eyes radiant as jewels. For intense, shimmery payoffs, each formulation includes ultra-intense pigments and the powder of crushed pearls, diamonds, and smooth porcelain. Quality ingredients assure long wear and can be applied either wet or dry.
- Hollycock - pearlized brown
- Trumpette - golden apricot
- Night Hopper - pearlized taupe
- Taurella - creamy vanilla
- Secret Pond - mossy green
- Deep Dahlia - deep purple
- Poppycock - shimmery bright purple
- Tiny Pansie - pearlized dusty rose

Fleur de Lash - A superior mascara formula that dramatically thickens and lengthens lashes. Fleur de Lash enhances and magnifies each lash for seductively long, sexy-looking lashes. The long-lasting formula will not flake and the hair-conditioning properties nourish the lashes so they remain soft and supple. The extra-thick and extra-long brush has many levels of bristles, so that it captures every lash.
- Black Opal - black

Sparklicity Lip Gloss - A hydrating gloss that adds color and sparkle to your lips. One of the most innovative products on the market, this gloss contains gemstone powders to create dazzling glimmer effects on the lips. Lip staining pigments add color that increases with each additional coat. Natural oils and butters provide hours of non-sticky hydration. Wear alone or over other lip products.
- Kosmonaut - plum wine with iridescent shimmer
- Nouveau Nude - bronzed peach with iridescent shimmer
- Opaline - translucent with iridescent shimmer
- Paiette - sheer light pink with iridescent shimmer
- Parade - hot pink with pink and iridescent shimmer
- Tulip - vivid fuchsia with iridescent shimmer

Gosh, I just love that eye shadow palette and it is headed to the top of my shopping list other the next month. I can honestly say that I will love and use all of the shades in the palette, which is a rarity these days. I love that the company has combined all of the neutral shades with shades of purples and roses to add a pop of color to the eyes. I have to try out the mascara to add to my mascara collection, so I will be picking that up soon. I also loved the new lip gloss formula when I was playing with it at Sephora and I am impressed that a company has released a slant tip gloss instead of the usual sponge tip applicator. I love the Paiette and Parade shades for the spring time.

The palette in this collection might well be in the top ten list of best products that came out this spring. We are seeing lots of great palettes this season and I know that I will be buying many of them...
photo courtesy of Sephora

Amika 20% Off Facebook Promotion

Right now, you guys can get a great deal on all Amika products through Facebook. The first thing that you need to do is go on the Amika facebook page and "Like" the company. After you do this you will receive a coupon code for the following deal: code for 20% off your purchase on the Amika, free shipping, AND 2 free products when you then shop at their website (http://shop.loveamika.com/). Wow! This is one of the best deals that I have ever seen.

The two free products that you will receive are a 2-in-1 styling spray and a styling mat. I recommend the curling irons from this company. I did a review on one several months ago and I assure that it is tops for creating perfect curls, whether you like them loose or tight. This curling iron is even strong enough to work with my super thick hair. I love it and recommend to it to all of you.

Go on facebook, like this company, and do some shopping this weekend!

photo courtesy of Amika

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bath and Body Works Design Your Own Pocketbac Contest

With the success of the theme and seasonal Pocketbacs that have been coming out lately, Bath and Body Works is expanding on this with a new contest. The company is having a contest that allows everyone to design their dream Pocketbac and submit it. To check this out, log onto myPocketbac.com and start reading about the rules and options.

You pick your favorite scent and then get creative with the bottle design. Winning this contest has major perks, you will receive a $500 (!) shopping spree in the store and have your design displayed in the store. The first three winning designs will be chosen by fan popularity and announced in April, with the top three designs hitting stores in July. New winners will also be chosen in May and June.

I went on the website to play around and I came up with an apple scented Pocketbac with red checks and baseballs on it. Perfect for my Phillies!
Head over and check it out! And think of all that shopping you do with a $500 Gift Card!

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works

Bath and Body Works Royal Wedding Collection

You can't turn on the news or read a magazine without hearing something about the upcoming royal wedding. So it was only a matter of before companies began to jump on the bandwagon and produce products that celebrate the event. Bath and Body works is once such company and for this spring, they have introduced a limited edition line of lip glosses and Pocket Bacs. Each of the products are decorated with the British flag and jewels that remind me of those that are housed in the royal collection. I love England and their culture so these realy appeal to me. Personally, I prefer HArry over William but I wouldn't turn any of the royal men down. I recommend that you guys head over to Bath and Body Works and pick theseup while they are in stock since they are out this spring only.

First the three new Pocket Bacs. All the fragrances in this product contain Tahitian Palm milk to leave your hands feeling conditioned while the other ingredients are killing the surface germs. The first of the new collection is called Princess in Training and is a candy apple scent. The scent reminds me of Winter Candy Apple from holiday and is a mixture of crisp apple, candied orange, and rich cinnamon spice. This is my favorite of the three new scents, since I love Winter Candy Apple and now have a reason to carry a bottle of it around that isn't covered in snowflakes and reindeer. If the Tiara Fits is the second of the new collection and it is the Berry scent. The scent is a juicy mixed berry scent and reminds me more of blueberries than any other. The last of the new fragrances is Royal Pucker and is one that I love for the name alone. The scent is grape, which I hate so that doesn't attract me to the product. This one is a just a regular fruity scent. The one that I want the most in this group is the Princess in Training scent and I will pick a bunch of those up quite soon.

The second part of the collection is four new lip glosses from the Liplicious collection. All of the Liplicious lip glosses contain Vitamin E and Jojoba Oil to help hydrate and smooth lips with providing a high gloss finish and fantastic flavor. The first of the new glosses is named If the Tiara Fits and is a shimmery, sparkly sheer gold shade that has a pineapple flavor. This one is my favorite flavor of the new collection and I think that the gold sheen from this product will look great this summer against bronzed skin. The second shade is named Royal Pucker and is my favorite shade of the collection. This gloss is a shimmery, sheer dusty rose with a spiced berry flavor. I love this shade, it will work with a natural look or against dramatic eye makeup. This one will be coming home with me. The next shade in the collection is named Kissed by a Prince and is another good choice for my skintone. This shade is a shimmery, sheer pink with a melon flavor. All of the comments that I made for Royal Pucker will apply to this one too so this one is another must-buy for me. The last of the new lip glosses is named Princess in Training and is my least favorite of the group. This one is a shimmery, translucent peachy-pink color with a creamy orange flavor. In the tube, this one appears more peach than pink so I think this one will be to warm for me and I don't really like orange scents for my lip glosses.

This collection contains some really fun items to pick up this spring to celebrate the big event. Everything is limited edition but I can see myself using the lip glosses all summer and into next fall against different eye makeup looks. Time for me to add some more English flair to my train case this spring...

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tarte Spring 2011 Collection

Tarte is a newer brand for me, I have always heard great things about the brand and played with some of the products while at Sephora. The blushes in particular have always held interest for me and are the main reasons that I usually check the brand out. But it now time for me to look more into this collection, especially since I always drool over many of the palettes that come out throughout the year. Since spring is a favorite season of mine, now is the best time of the year for me to begin checking out the collections that they release every season.

This collection consists of six new items and does not appear to have any type of theme to it. This reminds me of many of the Stila collections in which it appears that random items are released each season without any rhyme or reason. This is the type of collection that I like the least so I wish that this was a bit different but I guess that I can't always get my way.

Here is my first look at a Tarte collection...

Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Illuminating Serum - This natural skin brightener is infused with Amazonian clay, vitamins, and tea extract to moisturize and replenish your skin as it adds a hint of glimmer. No matter your skin concern Amazonian clay completely neutralizes it so you are left with a radiant complexion. Oily skin? Amazonian clay minimizes oil in and around pores to balance skin and keep product in place. Dry skin? This nourishing clay hydrates skin naturally to restore moisture. Combination skin? Amazonian clay will intuitively identify your skin concerns and deliver benefits to restore harmony. The result is makeup that wears better, longer, and truer!

Dark Circle Defense - Get your eight hours of sleep in a compact. Unlike concealers that just lay on top of the skin, this undereye corrector is clinically proven to help reduce the appearance of eye puffiness in just 4 weeks. Finely milled light refracting minerals actually brighten skin to help camoflage dark circles, puffiness, redness, fine lines, and wrinkles. Includes concealer brush. Available in four shades to match every skintone.

Lip Surgence Natural Lip Luster - As a follow up to Tarte's best-selling Lip Surgence Natural Lip Tints, these shimmering lip lusters give a high dose of color and shine in an easy twist-up stick. Just like the original, Tarte's Lip Surgence technology delivers a surge of moisture on a cellular level for a naturally plumped up appearance while natural peppermint adds a refreshing burst of flavor with each application.
- Frisky - bright pink
- Pouty - berry
- Adored - light pink
- Glisten - peach
- Fever - red
- Buff - nude

EmphasEYES Inner Rim Brightener - The ultimate in "wakeup makeup", the soft fine tip of Tarte's Inner Rim Brightener gently glides along the inner lower rim and inner corner of the eyes to instantly brighten for a wide-awake effect. This multi-tasking pencil can even be used to highlight the brow bone for an even more eye-opening experience.
- Nude - suitable for all skin tones

NeutralEYES Natural Eye Shadow Palette - All of your eye essentials in one chic, compact case! Tarte's versatile palette contains 10 neutral and universally flattering Amazonian clay shadows, a full size EmphasEYES Aqua-Gel Eye Liner in Brown, a double-ended eye shadow brush and a free sample of Lifted Natural Eye Primer with Firmitol. Lifted Eye Primer lays down a long-wear shadow base while the proprietary Firmitol complex the decreases the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by 51% in just 10 minutes. The full size double-ended brush allows these softly milled Amazonian clay shadows to blend smoothly and with 10 shades the looks are truely limitless. Complete your look with Tarte's revolutionary EmphasEYES Aqua-Gel Eye Liner. The proprietary formula of this butter soft liner encapsulates rich pigments in a 50% water concentration. By a process of hydrous pigmentation, colling and refreshing pure water absorbs into skin to hydrate and replenish the delicate eye area, leaving behind an intense, long-wearing, and pigment-rich color.
- Eye Shadows - beige shimmer/pale pink gold shimmer/matte taupe/shimmery champagne/deep mushroom brown matte/deep chocolate brown/medium gold/deep plum/deep forest green/matte black

Provocateur Amazonian Clay Shimmering Powder - Add luminosity to your complexion with Tarte's shimmering pressed powders. These finely-milled powders are infused with Amazonian clay, nature's most perfect ingredient, and can be applied to cheeks, brow bones, and decolletage for a completely customizable glow - add a little for a soft, subtle sheen or add more for a lavishly enhanced radiance. Nutrient rich and intuitive Amazonian clay universally benefits all skin types. Oily skin? Amazonian clay minimzes oil in and around pores to balance skin and keep product in place. Dry skin? This nourishing clay hydrates skin to naturally restore moisture. Combination skin? Amazonian clay will intuitively identify your skin concerns and delivers benefits to restore harmony. The result is makeup that wears better, longer, and truer!
- Champagne - for light to medium skintones
- Rose - for medium to deep skintones

My favorite piece of the collection is the eye palette, it may be neutral shades but it looks as though it contains shades that are different enough from the palettes that I already own. This is worth buying and I can see myself using this one for seasons to come. My second favorite piece is the Lip Lusters, I must have the Pouty and Adored shades to add to my lip color collection. The Amazonian clay as a major ingredient in many of these peices has me very interested and I will be looking up more on this and looking for more reviews on these products. The new serum has really caught my eye.

I think I will be now doing some extreme shopping from this brand...

photo courtesy of Tarte

Monday, March 21, 2011

Juilanne Moore's Red Hair

Falling into a hair rut again...

I still love my Katy Perry haircut and bangs and actually I am loving it even more as it is growing out and the bangs are becoming more side swept. That is the mark of a great haircut. But I have a dye appointment coming up and now am deciding what to ask for this time around.

My skin is still the same pale shade that it has been all winter but I am a bit hesitant about the red since I will begin my self tanning season in the beginning of May and I don't want the color to look strange against my bronze skin.

Give me some feedback please, I have a awful head cold and right now all my decisions are being tainted by my DayQuil regime that has been going since Saturday.

Thoughts? Feedback?
photo courtesy of Google

Friday, March 18, 2011

Givenchy Ange ou Demon Le Secret

My newest perfume obsession is one of my first from Givenchy. My past few fragrance loves have all been florals and have all been light enough to wear in this spring. I have been looking fragrances with notes of roses, violets, and cherry blossoms. Normally, I don't go for jasmine fragrances this time of the year and had I not been given a sample of this fragrance last time that I was at Sephora, I might not have even noticed this fragrance. Jasmine is a favorite note of mine and I usually have to reserve it for the cooler weather months but with this fragrance, I can bring it into spring.

This fragrance is placed into the class of "florals" from Sephora. It also mixes it up a bit with a tea note, lessening the sweetness of the florals. "Fresh and luminous, the secret of this caressing, fruity floral is its "jasmine tea" theme. The fragrance faithfully reflects its in inspiration's transparency and delicacy. The result is an unimistakable signature, very Givenchy."

The notes of the fragrance are: Cranberry, Green Tea, White Peony, Sambac, Jasmine, Blond Woods, White Musks.

This is a very distinctive fragrance because of the cranberry and green tea notes. I don't own any other floral fragrances that smell even close to this one. I smell the cranberry and the green tea more than I smell any of the floral notes which is surprising since jasmine usually is one of the strongest notes in any fragrance. This fact in itself makes this fragrance appropriate for spring and very different than any other jasmine fragrance that I have used before. This fragrance has a light to medium intensity and will not overwhelm anyone standing next to you. This fragrance has a lasting power that is on the weaker side and I only get about two to three hours of wear from it. Maybe in humid weather this is will change but it is another aspect that makes this fragrance appropriate for warm weather (though I really prefer a longer lasting fragrance, I was not impressed that it was almost totally faded within two hours).
I like that I can wear jasmine in the summer with this fragrance and I like how unique it is. The green tea note sets it apart from all the other florals that have been released so far this saeaon (and last year too, I feel that this was first released sometime last year). This fragrance is one of the weakest lasting ones that I have worked with in quite a few months. The lasting power might have to do with the fact that most of the notes listed in this fragrance are considered as traditional top notes in fragrances. Therefore, these wear off the fastest and normally do not have the lasting power that ambers, woods, and musks do.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Stila Spring 2011 Collection - Light Up The World

Last holiday season, I covered Stila's limited edition collection and was very unhappy that the whole collection was a group of palettes and sets and some mismatched single products that lacked a theme. My hope for the spring collection was that it would be an actual collection and not a repeat of the holiday theme. I am very happy to see that this time around, Stila has relreased an actual collection of individual products that revolve around a theme. Light Up The World sounds as though it will be a collection of products that will help skin glow and will contain lots of shimmery, glowing makeup shades. This collection contains one product that was themed around Valentine's Day but I think that it will also be very pretty with spring makeup.

Here is the new collection from Stila...

Make Me Blush Palette - A lovely multi-color blush inspired by Valentine's Day Conversation Hearts. The Make Me Blush Palette is embossed with a cute Conversation Heart design. The top layer is sprayed with the gold shine for visual and once dusted off with brush you are left with all over glow pressed powder that will add warmth, soft color, and sheer luminosity to cheeks and complexion. Great for all skintones, the micro-fine powder if velvety and blendable and instantly enhances the complexion with a tint of pinks and corals. You look and feel radiant from within, just like when that someone special makes you blush.

Garden Bliss Set - Just in time for spring, get beautiful, natural makeup with flushed, floral cheeks with Stila's Garden Bliss Set. The set is travel-friendly and is perfect on-the-go! The Garden Bliss palette shades include: pale ivory with shimmer, golden beige with shimmer, grass green with gold shimmer, deep aubergine with shimmer, cheek powder in rosey pink. The set also includes: deluxe sample size of Glamoureyes Mascara, deluxe sample size of Lip Glaze in Guava, gold makeup clutch.

Prime Pot Waterproof Eye Shadow Primer - Introducing Stila's new Prime Pot, a waterproof eye shadow primer that promises flawless, creaseless eye shadow wear. A revolutionary ploymer adheres to eye shadow and allows for shadow to wear all day and night. This innovative waterproof formula is crease resistant and extends eye shadow wear all day. Prime Pot also creates flawlessly smooth lids and keeps excess oil at bay. The two lightweight eye shadow primers are matte and universally flattering for all skintones.
- Taffy - soft beige pink
- Caramel - warm tawny beige

Eye Shadow Trio - Three eye shadows in one - base, crease, and liner - make your eye shadow a breeze and create a complete eye look in minutes! Wear colors alone or together for countless combinations.
- Gilded - golden shades
- Ethereal - shimmery grays

Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner - Finally a waterproof liquid liner that glides on with ease, won't smudge or run, and stays in place until you say when! The thin marker-like tip is easy to use even for the least experienced, and delivers a defined thin line to a dramatic bold line with precision. Goes on smoothly without skipping, smudging, or pulling, and lasts all day! Benefits: waterproof and easy to use, goes on smoothly without skipping, lasts all day long!
- Dark Brown - a perfect brown for all skintones
- Indigo - cool midtone blue

Coconut Crush Lip & Cheek Stain - Stila's newest crush creates a beautiful bronzey, rose gold shade for your lips and cheeks! Plus - this gorgeous crush is infused with coconut extract. This revolutionary stain creates a pearlized blush and pout with one click. The nourishing formula contains potent antioxidants, vitamins A, C, and E to moisturize and coconut extracts, which is know to slow the degeneration of collagen - this supporting the skin's natural structure and slowing premature aging. Also, coconut is celebrated for its high level of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. A must-have long-wearing lip & cheek stain for a naturally beautiful, bronzey glow.

Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 - Stila's iconic tinted moisturizer got a makeover! Introducing the new and improved Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 20 that is now WATER-RESISTANT! It's more than just makeup; it's sheer luminous color infused with light diffusing pigments to help diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles, plus it includes skin enhancing ingredients such as ginger root extract, ginkgo biloba leaf extract, and chamomile for antioxidant protection. This revolutionary, oil-free tinted moisturizer multitasks as a skin hydrating, skintone perfecting, SPF protecting complexion enhancer. The micro-fine light diffusing pigments create a sheer wash of natural color and help diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles. It's oil-free formula melts right into the skin and dries down, creating a gorgeous glow without the tackiness or greasiness. Available in a range of 12 shades to suit all skintones.

Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 - Stila's best selling Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer got a makeover! Introducing the new Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 20 infused with light diffusing pigments to help diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles and hyaluronic acid to increase elasticity and increase hydration levels of the skin. Plus it includes good-for-you ingredients such as ginseng root extract, gingko biloba leaf extract and chamomile for antioxidant protection. This revolutionary oil-free, water-resistant, tinted moisturizer multitasks as a skin hydrating, skintone perfecting, SPF protecting complexion enhancer. The micro-fine light diffusing pigments create a sheer wash of natural color and help diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Its oil-free formula melts right into skin and dries down, creating a gorgeous glow without the tackiness or greasiness. Available in two shades.

Bronzing Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 - Achieve a healthy, sunkissed glow with Stila's new Bronzing Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20! This new and improved formula is infused with light diffusing pigments to help diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles and hyaluronic acid to increase elasticity and increase hydration levels of the skin. Plus it includes good-for-you ingredients such as ginseng root extract, gingko biloba leaf extract and chamomile for antioxidant protection. This revolutionary, oil-free, bronzing moisturizer multitasks as a skin-hydrating, skintone perfecting, SPF protecting complexion enhancer. The micro-fine light diffusing pigments create a sheer wash of bronze color and help diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles. It's oil-free formula melts right into skin without the tackiness or greasiness.

All Over Shimmer Powder in Kitten - Introducing a gorgeous all over shimmer powder with Kitten and a pale iridescent pink. This multi-purpose powder instantly enhances the complexion with a fresh, radiant glow. Inspired by light, Stila's All Over Shimmer Duo in Kitten creates a luminous, youthful glow. Packaged in a convenient compact with mirror, this powder can be used as an eye shadow, highlighter, cheek color and decollete.

Silk Shimmer Gloss - Pure shimmer and glossy delight! The silk proteins make for smooth, moisture-rich wear, while ultra-fine pearl provides high shine and maximum comfort. Vitamins A, C, and E supply antioxidant protection for the healthiest lips.
- Kitten - golden pink
- Sunlight - bronzey golden

Kitten Glitter Eye Liner - Inspired by Stila's bestselling, award-winning Kitten Eye Shadow, this new Kitten Glitter Eye Liner instantly lights up your eyes with twinkling multi-pearl glitter. Kitten Glitter Eye Liner gives lids a touch of sparkle with a unique combination of glitter in champagne, rose gold, bronze, gold, and pink.

I am so excited! This is the collection from Stila that I have been waiting for the for the past few seasons! My favorite piece from this collection is the Garden Bliss Set, I love all the pinks in it and the neutral eye look that I will be able to create. And I don't own a gold clutch yet so I would actually use the set that it comes in this time around. All of the styles of tinted moisturizer have me interested and I want to try all of them out next time I hit the counter in Sephora. The blush palette is adorable and I love all the shades of pink in it, this is out of stock but I am hoping that Sephora will have it in stores. I need to see how shimmery the Kitten Powder is before I decide to buy it or not, I like it but if it is too shimmery then I will be passing on it.

The Kitten Glitter will be a great choice for my blue eyes, the Kitten Eye Shadow works wonders for my eyes and this will do exactly the same. This liner will take that great shade and bring it into the night scene. Continuing on the eye makeup wish list, I want the trio in Gilded and I will be trying out the primer in Taffy (the pinker shade). I can skip on the Liquid Liner until a black shade comes out in that product. Lip-wise, I think the Coconut stain will be too bronze for me which is sad because I love coconut and want this one to work. I love the Kitten Silk Shimmer Gloss, but I can pass on the other shade.

This collection from Stila will be able to transition seamlessly from spring into summer and I like that both warm and cool shades are included instead of duplicates of the same shades from multiple companies. I hope that Stila continues on this trend of individual products around a theme...

photo courtesy of Stila

Bath and Body Works I Love Fragrance Event

This Saturday, March 19th, Bath and Body Works is having an fragrance event in all of their stores in the country. This is a huge event and a great time for every single one of you ladies to visit your nearest store. Taking place from 1 to 5 p.m. this Saturday, the I Love Fragrance event is dedicated to identifying your perfect scent in the Signature Collection. Whether this is your first time trying this line out or have been using it for years, this is great time to try a new fragrance. Bath and Body Works will be providing their fragrance experts with the materials to discover your fragrance personality and the right scent to suit your style. Say I Love Fragrance and find your perfect scent at Bath and Body Works this Saturday afternoon.

Some of the activities that will be occuring at the event...

- Take the Bath and Body Works fragrance personality quiz to find your Signature Collection fragrance personality.

- Visit the Bath and Body Works Moisture Station to try out assorted Signature Collection moisturizers.

- Bath and Body Works fragrance experts will offer insider tips and tricks for new ways to wear Signature Collection.

- Enjoy exclusive offers and special gifts.

- Vote on the next summer scent launch from Bath and Body Works.

Bath and Body Works currently offers four fragrance families in their Signature Collection; the Freshes, the Cuddlers, the Sexys, and the Romantics. Most of my fragrances are from the Sexys but I have favorites in the all the families. The newest fragrance release for this spring is the Romantic scent Carried Away. I very much suggest that you all try this one out at the event since it perfect to take us into the spring season.

Head over to the Bath and Body Works website or call your local store for more details or if you have any further questions.

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

O.P.I. Spring 2011 Collection - Texas

So far this spring we have looked at the O.P.I. for Sephora polish collection and now it is time for the regular O.P.I. collection. These collections couldn't be any more different, the Sephora one is all pales and modern shades. This collection is based on Texas and the big, open country. As far as I am concerned, this is not a collection for me. Texas has given us cowboys, ten gallon hats, and one of my least favorite football teams ever. This collection is as far it can get from the Gris City collection from Dior that I fell in love with much earlier this spring. Hopefully there might still be some worthwhile shades in this collection even though I dislike the overall theme.

"Get ready for modern American style, as O.P.I. comes "home" to the USA with the Texas Collection. A fresh and refreshing facet to an effortlessly chic, very unique, and colorful original style season. Includes 6 unique shades with a "sorbet-like" finish". This company doesn't really describe what the "sorbet-like" finish is but looking at the shades it appears that they are a cream with a shimmery finish. I would imagine they almost have more of a jelly-like finish when they dry on the nail. If anyone has anymore information about this, please leave me a comment about it.

The "sorbet-like" shades are...

- Do You Think I'm Tex-y? - medium cool toned magneta
- Houston We Have A Purple - medium fuchsia
- Too Hot Pink To Hold' Em - bright blue pink
- Y'All Come Back Ya Hear - bright orange coral
- Big Hair...Big Nails - bright warm coral pink
- Guy Meets Gal-veston - medium cool blue pink
The rest of the shades in this collection...

- Don't Mess With O.P.I. - deep forest green cream
- Suzi Loves Cowboys - deep warm brown
- San Tan-tonio - warm medium beige
- Austin-tatious Turquoise - bright aqua shimmer
- It's Totally Fort Worth It - pale shimmery silver
- I Vant To Be A'Lone Star - frosty white

None of these shades are very unique, O.P.I. must have released shades like this tons of times before hand. My favorite shade is Austin-tatious, the aqua shade that will look great against all the silvers and grays that have been popular so far this spring. The other two shades that I like are It's Totally Fort Worth It and I Vant To Be A'Lone Star. I don't know if I really dislike any of the other shades but I don't find them unique enough to warrant purchase this time around. I am also not a fan of the names so I'm not even swayed by the marketing of this collection.

photo courtesy of O.P.I.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Clinique Long Last Glosswear SPF 15

Ahhhh...the joys of spring cleaning! I feel like I am forever cleaning out my body product stash but this time around, I started working on my makeup box. My major cleaning target was my collection of lip glosses, I collect lip glosses like no one that I have ever met and I knew that I needed to go through what I already owned and what shades I won't need to buy anymore of. Maybe... More of what happened is I was able to get a better idea of what I have that is half used up and I want to finish up before it goes bad. Like anything could stop me from buying more lip gloss...

The best part of cleaning is that I always find items that I already own and had forgotten about. This time around, I found some favorite Clinique lip glosses, some of which dated all the way back to college. I had forgotten all about my Clinique lip gloss collection, one o the few brands that I have bought from ever since I was in high school. Long Last Glosswear Lip Gloss is one that I first used in college and have been using ever since as it has evolved new shades and formula updates. This formula first started out without SPF and I am glad that they have added it to already nice lip gloss formula.

"Lip gloss juiced up with 8 hours of lasting shine. Spends every minute comforting lips. In 18 glistening shades from sheer to full intensity. Moisture makes each one even more mouth-watering. Protects lips, too. Welcome to our juice bar."

All of the shades in this product have a sheer finish to them. This lip gloss is moderately sticky, helping it to last for the full 8 hours. Eating or drinking will speed up the wear time of the product but I have found that drinking a cup of coffee or eating a snack/light meal will not cause the product to come fully off. This is very low maintence lip gloss in regards to wear however if it windy out, your hair will get stuck in it and create a sticky mess. I found that as the lip gloss is wearing off, the color will remain on the lip and glossy finish is the first to fade off. As stated in the product description, this product comes in 18 shades, without a dud among them. Many of the classic Clinique lip shades are offered in this product and there is one or more for every customer of their brand.

The shades are...

- Clearly Pink - sassy vibrant pink shimmer
- Knockout Nude - muted midtone brown with gold shimmer
- Tenderheart - sheer tawny nude
- Bamboo Pink - mid-tone silvery pink shimmer
- Sunset - bronze with coppery gold shimmer
- Stellar Plum - golden pearlized plum shimmer
- Air Kiss - midtone pink with gold shimmer
- Juicy Apple - red punch
- Bonfire - burnished tawny red with gold shimmer
- Cabana Crush - vibrant tawny pink with shimmer
- Whisper - frosty soft pink shimmer
- Guavagold - golden tawny peach shimmer
- Fireberry - rich blue red with soft gold shimmer
- Brandy Twist - chocolate bronze shimmer
- Mystic - bluish purple with silver shimmer
- Kissyfit - bluish pink with shimmer
- Rock Violet - blackened violet with shimmer
- Goldspun - pearlized golden champagne

I own three of the current shades of this product, I received them as a gift one Christmas in a Clinique lip gloss gift set. I own Air Kiss, Whisper, and Mystic. Air Kiss and Whisper are not that different, they are very, very sheer and gives the slightest hint of pink tint to the lips with the shimmer being the more dominant feature of these shades. In that regard, these shades have lower staying power than many of the others since they contain little pigment to begin with. I also own Mystic, which appears in the tube as a deep blue purple. However scary it might look in the tube, it becomes a very sheer plum on the lips. This one is a great choice in the fall and winter against a more dramatic eye look.

Even though I have been cleaning out my lip gloss stash, I have a shopping list of shades from this product line. I must have Bamboo Pink for this spring and then Rock Violet for next fall. I would love some more shades to be released in this formula...

The one major drawback of this product is the smell. It is a very plasticky scent that I find is pretty strong and noticeable on application. I have found that the older lip glosses have a more prominent scent and it seems to have been reduced in the newer version but this fragrance is so far removed from many of the yummy fragranced glosses that can be found. I would rather have no fragrance at all instead of the scent of this lip gloss. This may seem like a small fault in an otherwise great product, but when you are putting this one your lips and can smell it all day, you will agree with me on the fragrance aspect of the product.

With the exception of the smell of this product, I love this lip gloss and I highly recommend you all try it out. You won't be disappointed in the least...

photo courtesy of Clinique

Monday, March 14, 2011

Murad Redness Therapy Recovery Treatment Gel

Several months ago, I posted on the moisturizer that I had bought and used in this line of redness reducing skincare. I had initially bought the entire line of Murad Redness Therapy and was happy with the moisturizer but not enough to warrant another purchase unless the formula was changed or a new formula was made with a texture for dry skin. Now for the serum, I was hoping for the exact opposite in terms of texture. I dislike thick serums during the day since I have to layer them with my regular moisturizer and then another layer of sun protection. If the serum is too thick, I have found that I simply cannot wear it during the day time and then cannot do the twice daily usage recommended by most skincare companies. So I am very hapy to report that the serum texture is as thin as the moisturizer and in this case, it is the perfect texture.

The Murad Redness Therapy line is made for skin that is of any type and suffers from redness and sensitivity. We all know that my skin falls into this category but lately I have the added problem of heat. Several times, my cheeks have gotten so red that they have heated up and I can feel hot (think a sunburn that randomly pops up only in some areas). I am hoping that as the extreme weather of this winter leaves us behind, that beauty woe will disappear as well. Here's to hoping...

But in the meantime, I decided to pull this product out of my skincare collection and get it a run and see how it fared against my very unhappy skin. First, a full description from Sephora to give you an idea of how this product is designed to perform. "A patented, lightweight gel that penetrates to relieve redness and irritation. Treats and reduces the appearance of redness and the feeling of sensitivity by fortifying delicate skin with cooling agents and retexturizing skin for all day comfort." The four active ingredients are Azelaic Acid, Goji Berry Extract, Zinc Oxide, and Peppermint Leaf Extract. Azelaic Acid improves hydration and calms flushed skin. Goji Berry Extract hydrates and rejuvenates dry, flaky skin. Zinc Oxide and Peppermint Leaf Extract both soothe and help reduce stinging and sensitivity.

My favorite aspect of this product was the texture, it allowed me to use it morning and night to fully reap all the redness reducing benefits. The product is very lightweight, sinks in easily and quickly and will never feel heavy or cakey. I used this product for four weeks straight, twice a day on clean, dry skin. It helped to reduce redness but wasn't the best that I have tried. This line is better for mild redness and skin that is normal to oily. The texture will be fine for those who suffer from oiliness and acne so perhaps that should be the target audience for this collection. It didn't irritate or dry out my skin but I didn't really feel that it had any amazing moisturizing benefits.

I like the anti-oxidant benefits that this product has to offer. It will help to protect my skin against aging and free radicals and help to give it a healthy glow. This serum has a bit of a green hue to it but not enough that it would be of any help to camoflage the redness in my face. I didn't see any major difference in the "cooling" of the skin on the days that it was really inflamed. Based on the product description and the way that it worked so me, I almost wonder if this product would be better off with their acne collection to play down the redness that is caused by ance break outs. I don't find it strong enough to effectively treat and reduce redness in large areas, which is a same since Murad hit the perfect texture on this serum.

photo courtesy of Murad

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Illamasqua Spring 2011 Collection - Toxic Nature

Illamasqua has become a recent favorite company of mine, from their cult products to their politically motivated collections and releases, I have been following this collection very closely and they have now just released their newest collection for spring, entitled Toxic Nature. Toxic Nature is a color collection that was inspired by nature and the current destruction of it. These shades are based on what we will find if the world becomes a toxic wasteland. The collection photos have been described as "creepy" but looking back on my botany classes for my undergraduate degree, they could become reality if the world continues down the path it is going.

Illamasqua states the following as the description of the collection. "In retaliation against the genetically modified society that plunders it, the landscape has issued forth a torrent of hybrid shades. Corrupted hues glister amongst muted tones - extreme, intoxicating versions of their original selves. This is an atomic-botanical environment where survival is key and camoflage by colour is the path to existance. We scoured the abandoned toxic wastelands of the world to create an eclectic selection of corrupted hues for the eyes, lips, nails, face, and body. Flitting effortlessly from poisonous pastel to hazardous neon, this cataclysmic mix of brave new tones take your look to the outer limits of nature's palette. Become a herald of the new age of Toxic Nature with uncharted night-time makeup."

Here is the new collection...

Handmade Toxic Claw - Following the phenomenal sellout success of the Nail Quills, we've once again teamed up with visionary manicurist, Mike Pocock, to bring you a unique artefact that embodies the essence of Toxic Nature, the handmade Toxic Claws. Individually crafted, each original piece is a miniature work of art that transforms your look. Designed to be worn on either thumb, customize your Toxic Claws with Illamasqua Nail Varnish for a versatile and truly unique finish. False nails will never be the same again!

Cream Pigment - The Toxic Nature collection has spawned a wild array of corrupted colours and poisonous pastels in an intensely colour-rich, crease resistant, matte formula that introduces a brand new product to the Illamasqua range. Six neo-toxic colour mutations create the ultimate in textures on your face, eyes, lips, or body. Apply with an Illamasqua brush or simply use your fingers for a buildable, water resistant, highly pigmented finish. Layer under Powder Eye Shadow and Pure Pigments for intensity. Illamasqua Cream Pigment: camouflage by colour for the neo-generation.
- Bedaub - matte mint finish
- Mould - matte grape finish
- Dab - matte lilac finish
- Emerge - matte peach finish (available in EU only)
- Hollow - matte toffee finish (available in EU only)
- Delirium - matte rose taupe finish

Toxic Duo - Bacterium and Purity - From toxic pastels to unmissable neons, Toxic Nature introduces a clash of extremes to our award-winning Nail Varnish range. The new Toxic Duos combine two of the collection's intensely pigmented and chip-resistant shades, in Bacterium (pearlescent ash ochre) and Purity (peach). Perfect on their own or for creating "Toxic Tips" - Illamasqua's daring and fatally attractive reversal of the French manicure that combines two contrasting shades for a toxically shocking look.
- Bacterium - pearlescent ash ochre
- Purity - peach

Toxic Duo - Radium and Stagnate - From toxic pastels to unmissable neons, Toxic Nature introduces a clash of extremes to our award-winning Nail Varnish range. The new Toxic Duos combine two of the collection's intensely pigmented and chip-resistant shades, in Radium (acidic lime shimmer) and Stagnate (gray mauve). Perfect on their own or for creating "Toxic Tips" - Illamasqua's daring and fatally attractive reversal of the French manicure that combines two contrasting shades for a toxically shocking look.
- Radium - acidic lime shimmer
- Stagnate - gray mauve

Toxic Nature Lipstick - Two toxic tones, Atomic and Flare, have evolved our intense, highly pigmented Lipstick into the ultimate urban survival tool for the neo-generation. Glides on smoothly, creating lips that entrance.
- Flare - bright orange
- Atomic - fuchsia violet

Toxic Nature Nail Varnish - Leave your mark with unexpected claw. Choose from either toxic pastels or unmissable neons. Toxic Nature has spawned a quintet of new, hybrid colours to challenge mediocrity. Hardwearing and chip-resistant, the new colours create a great alternative to the French manicure. Simply replace the white with a "toxic tip".
- Purity - peach
- Stagnate - gray mave
- Gamma - neon orange
- Radium - acidic lime with shimmer finish
- Bacterium - pearlescent ash ochre

Toxic Nature Precision Ink in Glister - The opalescent shine of Glister, the newest member of the Precision Ink family, is set to break the mould with a daring, nude coloured alternative to the classic liner. Create striking looks with attitude and stand out from the crowd. Precision Ink's fine tip allows for defined application, making it perfect for use anywhere, on the face or on the body. It dries within seconds and stays true for hours, so whatever your scrawl on your skin, you know your creation will last until dawn.
- Glister - opalescent nude

Toxic Nature Sheer Lip Gloss - Come out of the shadows with a high-shine punch of sheer corrupted colour. Toxic Nature sees the rebirth of candidly intoxicating elements of Illamasqua Sheer Lip Gloss: Torture and Divine. Layer over Lipstick for lips that mean business.
- Divine - deep fuschia pink
- Torture - warm coral peach

I love many of these shades and this is the most unique collection that I have seen so far this spring. Even if I have given that title to another one this season, this collection totally eclipses that and is the most unique collection. I do agree that this is night makeup and I doubt any of it could be used during the day or in any type of professional environment (except maybe a few of the Nail Varnishes). My favorites are divided almost equally between the Nail Varnish and the Cream Pigments. From the Nail Varnishes, I want both of the duo sets, with my favorite colors being the shades Bacterium and Stagnate. From the Cream Pigments, I want Bedaub, Dab, and Delirum to use as eye makeup shades. If I could get my hands on the EU only shades, I would want those too but I will have to live without them at the moment.

For myself, all of the lip shades will be too much. Also, the Toxic Claw is a great idea but is totally not my style. All in all, we needed a break from the norm this spring and Illamasqua provides it in this collection.

photo courtesy of Illamasqua

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Guerlain 2011 Spring Collection - Sur Noire

I am very disappointed with the Guerlain spring 2011 collection, it consists of only two products. To top it off, none of the products are from the eye shadow collection, a star product in their makeup collection. I am sure that these two products are very high quality and worth their starring roles in the collection but I can't help but wish for more products in this collection. Two new products seems like a bit of a robbery for their fans who eagerly await their newest collections each season. The blush in this collection has appeared in many fashion magazines so far so I am sure that this product is very high quality and will be a top seller for the company.

Guerlain's newest collection...

Blush G Serie Noire - A mix of four complementary translucent and natural shades. Each with a subtle pink for natural blush undertone. Created to highlight the complexion. First, a black suedette pouch lined in fushcia satin. Inside is a case that jealously guards its secret. Shiny, smooth, and lacquered black, the case nestles in the palm of the hand. One click. The cover opens and the most ravishing of coloured stripes sppear in full light, stamped with a G in elegant calligraphy. When Rouge G becomes a powder, Guerlain invents the most luxurious of blushes. Energized orange, intense fuchisa, delicate pink, and pearly pink: four shades that make your cheeks flush pink. These healthy glow boosters harmonize perfectly to revive the complexion and give it energy and vitality. Apply with its black and fuchsia blush applicator, adorned with the Guerlain signature.

Rouge G Serie Noire - All the voluptuousness of Rouge G now declined in a temptress, black lacquered collection. This collector's edition hides its colours in a precious case, dressed in black lacquer and the seal of Guerlain. What's inside? The formula of the famous Rouge G in a light and creamy version. The rich and voluptuous texture adorns the smile in an ultra-sophisticated coloured caress. Lips are deliciously shiny, subtly tinted in springtime colours.
- Rose Desir 71 - medium red rose

My favorite piece of the collection is actually the piece that I have heard the least about, I love the new lipstick shade and would purchase it before the blush compact. I like the blush compact and find the combination of shades very interesting. My major problem with shopping for this company's products are the availabilty of product. My local Sephora only carries the basics of the Terracotta collection so I either need to go to King of Prussia or New York City to buy any more than that. My favorite counters in the Saks in New York so next time that I am heading up that way, I will try to hit up Saks and try the blush compact out.

photo courtesy of Guerlain

Friday, March 11, 2011

Bobbi Brown Spring 2011 Collection - Peony & Python

Clinique and Milly teamed up this spring and now Bobbi Brown and Tibi have joined up for their spring collection. Clinique and Milly's didn't do that much for me but I have been crazy for the Tibi and Bobbi Brown collaboration since I first saw the picture of the eye palette in In Style. This collection wins the award for the best packaging of any collection for this season. This collection features some amazing purple eye shadow shades and all cool tones for the lips and cheeks. Spring has been too good to me for far cool toned shades so I am imagining that summer will be all warms and bronzes. The palette in this collection has already shown itself to be a hit for me so I am very excited to see the rest of this collection.

Bobbi Brown and Tibi's newest collaboration...

Peony & Python Palette - Runway to real life. Inspired by lush peonies & the playful, feminine chic of the cult label Tibi. Bobbi introduces the NEW, Limited Edition Peony & Python Palette. Soft pink lilacs play off cool grays to create a distinctive eye that's equal parts lovely & edgy. Palette includes six beautifully wearable shadows including, lid & liner shades, as well as a mini Eye Shadow Brush and mini Eye Smudge Brush. Comes in a gorgeous Peony & Python case, designed by Tibi exclusively for Bobbi Brown.
- Eye Shadows - Cool Cashmere - cool taupe/Angora - white shimmer/Lavender (Metallic)- metallic pale lavender/Silver Chain - silver shimmer/Plum Orchid - deep matte plum/Eclipse - deep matte charcoal

Rich Lip Color SPF 12 - Bright, get-noticed color. Introducing Rich Lip Color SPF 12. Lightweight, yet intense, Bobbi's latest formula combines pigments with a clear base to deliver pure, crisp color with just one swipe. Plus, it's creamy and moisturizing, so lips feel as good as they look. Available in three 13 beautifully wearable shades.
- Bare Pink - beige
- Bikini Pink - soft white pink
- Cosmic Raspberry - bright pink fuchsia
- Crimson - rich red wine
- Guava - bright pink coral
- Lilac - light pink tint
- Mod Pink - bright pink
- Old Hollywood - bright cherry red
- Plum Rose - rich plum
- Rose Blossom - pink rose
- Soft Coral - pale peach

Rich Color Gloss - Rich Color Lip Gloss offers triple benefits: the full color coverage of a lipstick, the soft shine of gloss, and the luxurious feel of a balm. Moisturizes, conditions, and laasts throughout the day without feathering. Doe foot applicator applies color smoothly and evenly.
- Pale Peony - sheer white pink

Lash Glamour Extreme Lengthening Mascara - Bobbi's new gold standard for ultra-long, perfectly separated lashes. The secret? An upgraded good-for-your lashes formula working in perfect synergy with a unique brush. In just one sweep you get noticeably longer lashes & perfect separation. And because it's enriched with olive-derived emollients, Vitamin B and humectants, this long-wearing mascara conditions lashes while staying smudge & flake-free. You'll be lash obsessed.
- Black - jet black
- Plum - rich brown plum

Peony & Python Beauty Case - Bobbi's must-have accessory. Designed exclusively for Bobbi Brown by cult label Tibi's Amy Smilovic, this take-anywhere zip-sround case in a runway-inspired Peony & Python print fits all your makeup essentials from brushes to palettes.

Long-Wear Gel Eye Liner - This award-winning liner gives you the look of liquid liner with the ease & feel of a gel formula. Long-wearing, water-resistant color glides on & lets you get it right before it dries - then stays without a smear or crease.
- Black Ink - jet black

Ultra Fine Eye Linr Brush - Easy to hold and control, this slim, tapered Ultra Fine Eye Liner Brush creates a flawless line. The brush hairs are firmly pointed and tightly packed for precise application.

Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks - This cream-based formula is great on both lips and cheeks for a sheer, stained finish. Available in wide array of color choices for a variety of skin tones. For all skin types. Creamy and easy to blend - pat on lips and cheeks for a pop of color.
- Blushed Rose - brown pink
- Cabo Coral - pink nectar
- Calypso Coral - bright coral
- Chocolate Cherry - red brown
- Milk Chocolate - chocolate brown
- Pale Pink - bright pastel pink
- Pink Truffle - red pink
- Powder Pink - light pink
- Velvet Plum - red plum

Very excited for this new collection, I can't wait to get my hands on the palette. The Peony & Python Palette is one of my top picks for spring and might even end up in my top five favorite products of this season. I love all the shades in it and I can even see myself getting use out of it next fall and winter. This is a complete winner from Bobbi Brown!

I love pretty much everything in this collection. I am very interested in the new lipstick formula and can't wait to get to the Bobbi Brown counter and try it out. The new lip gloss shade (Pale Peony) looks like a shade that I would love and should work with pale skin. I would pick out the Lipstick in Bare Pink to wear with the eye palette. A new mascara will always get my attention even though I prefer volumizing over lengthening formulas. The beauty case in the same pattern also gets my attention and is an accessory that I will use for years to come.

photo courtesy of Bobbi Brown

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh

Marc Jacobs Daisy has been a top seller in the woman's fragrance industry ever since it was first released in 2007. Now it has spawned a second version of the fragrance, one that is similar enough to grab the fans of the original fragrance but it still unique enough to warrant a purchase of both. Dasiy has been a favorite of mine since the beginning and I love that I can dress it for warm nights or wear it equally well with a sundress. This version appears to be a lighter version so I feel that it will be more of a day fragrance than one that I would choose at night.

Sephora classifies this fragrance as one in the floral family. "A whimsical interpretation of the original Daisy fragrance, this scent is more fruity, more bubbly, more fun! Open the bottle and you'll be transported to a field of sunshine that bursts with the flirty scent of flowers and the cheerful sweetness of fruits. Its light, woody base infuses a subtle but sharp glimmer of musk for an unexpected twist of radiance. Fun to look at, touch, and open, the gold top of the weighted glass bottle is covered in six soft-to-the touch daisies with petals in white, pink, and yellow."

The fragrance notes are: Natural Raspberry, Grapefruit, Pear, Violet, Wild Rose, Apple Blossom, Musks, Cedarwood, Plum. The notes of the original (for comparison): Strawberry, Violet Leaves, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Gardenia, Violet Petals, Jasmine Petals, Musk, Vanilla, White Woods.

It is easy to see that the new version will be much lighter and much fruiter. The violet note is still present but it appears to be greatly reduced and the jasmine note is gone and replaced with rose and apple blossom. The strawberry has been replaced with raspberry so that explains why the fragrance is slightly more tart than the original. Since the fragrances are so different, I can justify buying myself a bottle of the new version and not feel like I am buying the same fragrance twice.

I predict that this fragrance will become a top seller for Marc Jacobs just like the original.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Clinique Spring 2011 Collection - Pretty in Prints

Over the past year, Clinique has ranked up there with MAC and Urban Decay in my shopping list. From skincare to new lip products, this company held me as a captive audience all throughout 2010 and I am hoping that 2011 is more of the same. I primarily look to this line for lip glosses and the Almost Lipstick lip stain and not eye makeup but maybe this year will change that yet too.

The Spring 2011 collection from Clinique is named Pretty in Prints and was designed in collaboration with the design team at Milly. "Accessorize with colour inspired by one of fashion's biggest stars. Milly designer Michelle Smith brings a stylish touch to our spring makeup wardrobe. Our limited-edition Pretty in Prints Compact features a versatile eye shadow quad in browns and pinks plus a coordinating cheek colour. For glossy lips, Milly's limited-edition signature pink shade. Frilly lashes complete the look." Quite a small collection but this looks like a good one, especially the new palette that is the major item of the collection.

Clinique and Milly's collaboration...

Pretty in Prints Compact - Silvery mirrored compact inspired by fashion's own Milly features a versatile eye shadow quad in rich chocolate browns and delicate pinks plus coordinating cheek colour. Comes in its own Milly drawstring pouch with applicators and how-to card
- Eye Shadows - matte deep chocolate brown/medium cool pink/medium bronze shimmer/ivory
- Precious Posey (Blush) - medium cool pink

Long Last Glosswear SPF 15 - Lip gloss juiced up with 8 hours of lasting shine. Spends every minute comforting lips. In 18 glistening shades from sheer to full intensity. Moisture makes each one even more mouth-watering. Protects lip, too. Welcome to our juice bar.
- Milly Pink - medium pink shimmer

High Impact Mascara - New richly pigmented shade gives eyes instant brightening power - it's clinically proven. Kicks up the volume and length of each and every lash for a look that's lusher, plusher, bolder. Pure, deep colour only adds to the impact. Wear it once and you'll feel naked without it. Ophthamologist tested.
- Black - rich black

I really like this collection however the palette looks very close to last winter's Strawberry Fudge palette, which was also pinks and browns. I like both palettes but no one needs both of them and neither is all that unique anyway. Clinique has gone a bit overboard with the pinks and browns lately and they are not really inspiring me to buy any of the new shades. The limited edition lip gloss falls into the same boat for me, really like the shade but don't even sort of need it since I already own several of almost the exact same shade.

I love the collaboration of Milly and Clinique however, I wish it would have given me reasons to buy all the shades. If Milly and MAC paired up perhaps...

photo courtesy of Clinique