Saturday, April 30, 2011

Chanel Summer 2011 Collection - Les Fleurs d' Ete

The Chanel collection for summer 2011 has been one of the most anticipated collections of the seasons and it continues the floral trend that we have been seeing so much of.  This collection moves away from spring florals and takes us into the bright flowers seen in the islands.  And who couldn't use an island vacation at some point in their lives?!  The most anticipated pieces of this collection are the new eye shadow quad, the new nail polish shades, and the new Glossimers.  All of the above are pieces that I look forward to in every Chanel collection so I especially excited to hear all the hype around them this time around.

Chanel describes the collection as, "A palette of flower-garden-inspired shades brings a fresh vibrancy to face and fingertips".  On first glance, this collection contains a fairly even mixture of bright shades and pastels.  Many of this shades appear to be pinks, almost equally split between warm and cool shades.

Here is the newest Chanel collection...

Soleil Tan de Chanel Moisturizing Bronzing Powder - The four go-together shades of this sun-kissed palette are all you need for a just-back-from-the-beach look.  Worn alone of blended together, they highlight or 'tan' skin for a subtle, natural glow.
- Bronze Coral - shades of corals and bronzes (best for warm complexions)
- Bronze Rose - shades of roses and bronzes (best for cool complexions)

Soleil Tan de Chanel Sheer Illuminating Fluid - Sheer, weightless liquid instantly brightens skin and evens out skin tone.  Light-reflecting pigments provide radiance and luminosity.  Botanical extracts soften, smooth, and moisturize.  Oil free.  Fragrance free.
- Sunkissed - bronze liquid targeted for light to medium skin tones

Les 4 Ombres Quadra Eye Shadow - One essential compact offers unlimited eye looks, with shade combinations that range from matte to satin to shimmer. Versatile smudge-proof formula can be applied dry for subtle shading, or dampened for more intense colour, all with long-wearing results - even in extreme climates.  Dermatologist tested.
- Lilum - deep warm burgundy/pale pink/cool gray lilac/medium cool taupe

Ombres Contraste Duo Eye Shadow Duo - This foolproof pairing of complementary shades - in two unique textures - is housed on one convenient compact.  The softly shimmering light shade is a creamy powder, which can be worn alone for a luminous effect, or as a base to extend the wear of the accompanying deep-toned shadow.  The dark shade has intense micronized pigments for true colour application, and a matte finish to create depth and contour.  Two applicators are included: a foam-tip to apply the shadows and a brush to blend.  Available in six essential shade harmonies designed to take the guesswork out of harmonzing and applying eye shadow.
- Khaki Discret - deep forest green/pale green shimmer

Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eye Liner - Waterproof, smudge-proof eye liner delivers long-lasting definition with a twist of the wrist: Colour winds up when you need it, winds down when you don't.  Gentle, soft, silicone enriched formula delivers a smooth, even lining.  A built-in sharpener at the opposite end detaches for quick refreshes.
- Rose Platine - rich khaki

Inimitable Waterproof Mascara - The mascara that delivers it all  - volume, length, curl, and precise separation - in a long-wearing, waterproof formula that won't flake or smudge.  Pro-Vitamin B hydrates and conditions lashes to keep them supple and healthy-looking.  A unique brush design provides perfect definition of lashes, even the finest.
- Noir - black

Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup SPF 15 - The tiniest drop of this new hybrid fluid creates a fresh, natural complexion.  Skin looks refined and feels refreshed, creating an exquisite makeup experience.  The fluid formula has a soft, water-light texture, and comes in ten shades that match perfectly to skin's undertones, whether pink or beige.  Dermatologist tested.  Non-comedogenic.  Oil-free.

Rouge Coco Hydrating Creme Lip Colour - Chanel introduces a modern interpretation of classic creme lip colour as a homage to the rich life and legacy of 'Coco' Chanel.  New lightweight lip colour glides on for easy application, and features a Hydratendre complex to help soften, soothe, and condition lips - even boosting their ability to hold in moisture - for a plumper, smoother, and healthier-looking appearance.  A range of wearable shades with full-coverage finish, from matte to pearl to shimmer.
- Sari Dore - bright pinky coral
- Gardenia - medium rose

Levres Scintillantes Glossimer - Gorgeous shimmer and a high-shine glow is delivered effortlessly to lips with just one stroke of this best-selling lip gloss. A wide range of shades, from sheer and natural to sparkling and rich, look beautiful on their own, or oever your favorite Chanel Lipstick.  Equally beautiful: the conditioning formula's comfort and long wear.
- Pensee - warm nude pink
- Aurore - light sheer pink
- Pink Peony - bright shimmering pink

Le Vernis Nail Colour - Classic and trend-defining shades from the runways of Paris.  State-of-the-art formula strengthens and moisturizes nails as it delivers long-wearing, high-shine, chip-resistant colour.  Applies evenly without streaking.
- Mimosa - bright yellow
- Morning Rose - rosy pink
- Beige Petale - sheer light pink

This is such a pretty collection and I can see why people were so excited about this one!  My favorite piece of the collection is the Glossimer in Pink Peony, the brighter pink shade.  I have read in several places that these Glossimers are very sheer so I bet that I could very easily pull this one off, even with all the shimmer in the formula.  I like the Eye Shadow Quad but it's not my favorite one that this company has done so I think I can easily skip it this time around.  I really like the concept of the Duo Eye Shadow, but the deep green combination would not be my first choice this time of the year.  I will be paying attention to this product and the shades that it is available in throughout the coming seasons. 

To finish off my sun-kissed look this summer, I want the Bronzing Powder in Bronze Rose.  For some reason, I have been obsessed with bronzing and self-tanners for the past week or two and I want to start getting color even though summer is weeks away (this is not my normal mood).  For the finishing touch, I love both the Morning Rose and Beige Petale nail polishes.

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Friday, April 29, 2011

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish SPF 15 Foundation

The foundation that I have been using the past few weeks is a newer formula from MAC and my first foundation from MAC.  I was recommended this foundation at the MAC counter several weeks ago.  I was running low on my last bottle of Prescriptives foundation and I wasn't able to find it on their website to try and order another bottle.  I had to come to the realization that I was going to have to head out and find another foundation to try and replace the Prescriptives formula.  I was using a mineral liquid foundation from that company so I decided to try and find a similar formulation. 

Knowing that I has never used a MAC foundation before, you might be asking why I decided to suddenly try MAC out instead of Clinique (which I have been using for years as foundations).  My interest in MAC stemmed from the many shades that they carry and I was quite confident that I could find a great match to my skin.  I loved Prescriptives service in which they would color match skin and the result of that service was the best foundation shade match ever.  MAC has one of hugest shade range around so this counter looked like a very good place to start.

I picked my shopping time wisely, I went early on a day where I knew that the people at the counter would have the time to help me out.  I started by describing the Prescriptives foundation that I had and how I was trying to find a close formula and a shade match.  I want a medium coverage foundation that was good for sensitive skin.  I wanted a liquid formula that would be good for normal to drier skin.  We were able to narrow it down to several formulas in their collection and then she asked me to describe the previous foundation that I had been using and she decided to start with the Mineralize Skinfinish SPF 15 Foundation and go from there.  This was the best experience that I have ever had at MAC and I was so happy that she took the time to really help me out.

The MAC website provides a description of the formulation.  "A fluid foundation that blends the natural light-reflecting properties of micro-minerals with a smooth satin finish.  Provides a low to medium buildable coverage with a slightly luminous look.  Contains antioxidants Vitamins C and E.  Provides everyday SPF 15 sun protection.  Long-wearing.  Suitable for normal-day skins".  I bought this product in the NC15 shade, the palest shade that this formula is offered in.  This is one of the few foundations that I have ever used that is a near perfect shade for me.

Formula-wise, this is a top-notch foundation.  I actually like this formula more than I liked the Prescriptives, making this my favorite foundation that I have used so far.  This formula is recommended for those who don't need heavy coverage, the description states that it is for light to medium however I place the coverage more at light.  This only gives slightly more coverage than your average tinted moisturizer, making this a great choice for those who don't need full coverage or dislike a heavy feeling on the face.  This product does appear to have a slight sheen (the luminosity, I presume), making it more flattering than a pure matte finish.  This formula wears for about 8 to10 hours and removes quite easily with my face wash at night.  I haven't experienced any redness or irritation from the product and it doesn't dry any area of my face out.  It controls oil for a few hours but I do have to touch up with blotting linens or powder every few hours.

I love the pump bottle of this product, I use exactly one and a half pump and it is enough to cover my whole face and blend down into my neck.  This style of bottle should help to reduce wasted product, since I often felt like I was wiping excess foundation off when I would use the pour bottles.

Are there people that I wouldn't recommend this formula for?  Of course.  Someone with normal to oily skin will not like this foundation and will not find it matte enough.  Also, those who prefer a matte finish instead of satin will not be a fan of this foundation.  With these few exceptions, this is a great formula and I can understand why it was described as a "top rated foundation" at the MAC counter.

photo courtesy of MAC

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Boscia Blotting Linens

The past few days the weather has been in the mdi to high 70s and the humidity factor is off the chart.  Practically overnight, my skin went from being dry after applying face lotion to any oily T-zone that hasn't needed lotion in a day.  In addition to my skincare and makeup, I use another product to help with the oilness in this area.  This product is the Boscia Blotting Linens, an easy touch-up for oily areas throughout the day.

Sephora categorizes this product as, "Handy blotting sheets for easy touch-ups".  A few more details from the company are, "Boscia Fresh Blotting Linens absorb excess oil and banish shine without disturbing your makeup.  These 100% natural linen, preservative-free facial blotting papers will keep you looking matte and lovely, all day long.  Their compact holder slips easily into your purse, pocket, or desk drawer."  They are ideal for all skin types including sensitive. 

This product comes in three versions: Green Tea, Lavender, and Original formula.  I purchased the Green Tea formula from Sephora because this is one of the ones that was recommended for sensitive skin.  The Original formula is suitable for all skin types.  Both the Green Tea and Lavender are recommended for senstive skin.  The Green Tea formulation is oil control for sensitive skin.  The Lavender version is formulated for calming and balancing sensitive skin. 

I am very happy with the Green Tea version of this product.  One blotting linen is more than enough to sop up all the oil on my T-Zone area and it has never irritated my skin so far.  I like that it doesn't remove my malkeup and leaves a smooth, oil-free finish on my face.  I keep this product in my purse at all times, the small package is easy enough to slip into a clutch so I really can carry this everywhere. 

I love the Green Tea version of this product however, I must say that I am interested in the Lavander version  and how different the "calming and balancing" aspect of that product will be on my skin.  Since this product is not absrobed into the skin, I can't see how effective this could be.  I am wondering if contains essential oils that can control pH or heat in the skin...

photo courtesy of Sephora

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

MAC Fashionflower

The MAC collections just keep coming and this is the one that I have been the most excited for since I first read about it earlier this spring.  Fashionflower is collection of shades that have been inspired by tropical flowers and are perfect to wear in both the spring and summer.  We all know that I love flowers and I am so excited that the flowers in my yard are finally blooming.  I can't wait to go to the MAC counter later this week and pick up some of these new items, new pinks are at the top of my list!

"A stylish fusion of the floral and the fashionable in a summer colour collection that evokes the cool side of the hottest season.  Join these rare blossoms and succumb horticulturally to a bouquet that's equally parts fleur and couture!", states the MAC website when describing the collection.  This collection is right on trend with all the floral designs and products we have been seeing the past few months.

Here is the collection...

Fashionflower Eye Shadow - Get a cultivated connection to the greenhouse and the fashion house with daisy-debossed Eye Shadows in scintillating summer shades perfect for every budding beauty!
- Fresh Daisy - frosty white yellow
- Aqua - aqua blue
- Lucky Green - frosted midtone lime
- Free To Be - bright true coral
- Groundcover - midtone warm gray
- Bows & Curtseys - metallic hunter green

Studio Fix Boldblack Lash - Fashionflower girls' confidence stems from petal-light lashes that sprout dramatically with a new Mascara that's intensely carbon.  A high-coverage, long-lasting formula matched with a molded brush.  Get lashes that are blacker than black!
- Boldblack - carbon black

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

Lipstick - Colour plus texture for the lips.  Stands out on the runway.  Simmers on the street!  What made MAC famous.
- Mlle - light white pink
- Summer Shower - light aqua
- Growing Trend - midtone taupe nude
- Ever Hip - bright creamy coral

Lipgelee - A soft-textured jelly glosser for the lips.  Fab to apply.  Squeezes on.  Distributes evenly and easily via its special slanted tip.  Moisturizes and conditions the lips - saps them up!  Makes them look wet, shiny, super-lush!  Comes in a wide range of sheer, soft tints.
- Fashionflower - pale pink
- Now in Season - pale yellow
- Budding Beauty - pale coral

Fashionflower Beauty Powder - Unfolding and flourishing, perennial prima donnas embrace the Growing Trend of faces lightly dusted with daisy-debossed Beauty Powder.
- Light Sunshine - pastel neutral pink with soft gold and pink sparkles
- Alpha Girl - soft peachy pink with gold nuances

I just love the flower imprints on the powders in this collection, reminds me so much of A Rose Romance!  I think my favorite piece of the collection is the Lipgelee in Fashionflower, the pale sparkly pink.  I have read that this formula of gloss is super shimmery but without much pigment.  For the lips, I also like the Mlle Lipstick shade, the pinks are only shades that I am interested in this collection.  I have a love/hate relationship with Beauty Powders, I often love the shades however using them as blush doesn't always give me the pigment payoff that I crave.  They usually work best on me in the fall and winter months when my skin is pale and I have to put them away in the summer months becuase they do not show up at all with a tan.  Knowing this, I still like the Alpha Girl shade but I am going to try to find a MAC Blush close to the shade itself.

I have heard very mixed reviews on the Eye Shadows, several were considering to be fantastic, others chalky and harder to work with.  I read about these shades on the Temptalia blog and I was happy to see that two of my favorite shades were listed as the better ones of the collection; Fresh Daisy and Lucky Green.  Free To Be didn't fare quite as well in her reviews but I still want to play with it at the MAC counter since it is a very unique shade.  I love all three of these shades for the warm weather.

What I can say?!  I just love flowers!

photo courtesy of MAC

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bath and Body Works Cherry Vanilla

Last spring (around this time), Bath and Body Works released a limited edition line of fragrances called the Summer Vanillas.  They consisted of three fragrances and became such a hit that Bath and Body Works has kept the line permanently in their stores.  Which is great for me, I stocked up on the original launch and was so happy to hear that they were permanent that I went out and bought even more.  The line started with Coconut Vanilla, Lemon Vanilla, and Berry Vanilla.  I have bought products in all of those scents already, with the Lemon being on of my favorite scents of all time.  Sadly, the Lemon was discontinued and so was the Berry but the company brought the Apricot Vanilla back (this was only in several stores with the original launch) and have brought out Cherry Vanilla.

A bit of background, I love the scent of cherry.  Cherry anything, whether it be candied cherry or natural bing cherry.  I flipped out over the Fresh Picked Cherries candle that Bath and Body Works brought out last month and I was so excited for this scent to come out when I was first told about it.  I was at the store the other day and was able to smell and play with it and I just loved the lotion and the shower gel! 

Bath and Body Works describes the fragrance as a "luscious burst of fresh cherry and creamy vanilla".  The top notes of the fragrance are: Strawberry Aquafresca, Sparkling Dewberry, Watery Tangerine, White Cherry.  The heart notes are: Almond Blossom, Luscious Peach, Pink Jasmine.  The base notes are: White Amber, Vanilla Extract, Sugared Musk.  This fragrance is available in the Body Spray, the Shower Gel, the Body Lotion, a Lip Gloss, and a Hand Soap and Lotion Caddy. 

My favorite pieces of the collection are the Shower Gel, the lotion, and the lip gloss.  The gel and lotion are the perfect blend of tart cherry and yummy vanilla.  On my skin, the cherry is the stronger note (unlike last year's Berry Vanilla, which was one vanilla on me than anything else).  The lip gloss is mixture of vanilla frosting and cherry, it's great if you love sweet lip glosses.  I tried out the Body Spray but I didn't like the way that worked on my skin.  I got the almond note very strongly and it almost began to smell like a cinnamon scent on my skin, which is not my cup of tea.  I bought the shower gel and the lotion and have plans to go back for the matching lip gloss.

Also, with my review of Cherry Vanilla, we are going to relook at the Apricot Vanilla since it is now part of the permanent collection (and so few people got to smell it last year).  Apricot Vanilla is a another great scent from the Vanillas collection, the Vanillas collection is so much to my liking at the moment that it is my favorite collection at Bath and Body Works and I have to resist the urge to stock up on more of them every time that I go by the store in my local mall.  This fragrance is described as a "mouthwatering blend of juicy apricot and cool vanilla".  The top notes are: Juicy California Apricot, Meyer Lemon, Dewy Strawberry Leaves.  The middles notes are: Waterly Cyclamen, Creamy Peach, Sugared Honeysuckle.  The bottom notes are: Airy Marshmellow, Tahitian Vanilla, Sugared Musk, Soft Woods.

Apricot Vanilla is available in the Shower Gel, Body Lotion, Triple Moisture Body Cream, Body Splash, and the Lip Gloss.  So far, I have purchased this scent in everything but the lip gloss so far.  This one is more on the apricot side than the vanilla (exact opposite from what I have heard about the Philosophy version of this scent).  The vanilla is lovely in that it softens up the fragrance and makes it a bit sweeter than just the fruit notes alone.  I have even bought the Body sprya in this scent, it will be a light and pretty scent for the spring and summer.  I have plans to buy the lip gloss next time that I go shopping since I just love this fragrance so much.

These are two great new choices for the warm weather, I am so excited to work these fragrances into my collection.  Lately, I have been loving fragrances that are sweet without being overwhelming (like Pink Sugar) and these are two great new versions of it.

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works

Monday, April 25, 2011

NARS Summer 2011 Collection

The NARS summer collection is looking like it is going to be my first let down of the summer season.  The model for the collection is wearing bright aqua eye shadow and I have heard all the hype around the new trio that contains that shade.  Since the bright blue/aqua eye look has never been for me, I am going into this collection hoping for some lovely new lip glosses and perhaps a new blush shade.  This new collection reminds me very much of the ocean and the French Riveria and is collection that I will love on other people but will get nothing for myself from it.

NARS states the following as the overall description of the new collection, "Summer arrives in a blaze of electrifying hues.  Strictly gorgeous: Cap Ferrat Trio Eye Shadow in cool sea foam, silver-green sheen, and turquoise.  Scorchers: Wonder Lip Gloss, mandarin glazed with gold; Carthage Pure Matte Lipstick in hot, hot pink.  Nails exhilarate in Kismet, a gleaming sunflower and Ecume, a modern matte white.  Edgy.  Evocative.  Strictly NARS".  Nothing in this collection is jumping out at me this moment but let's see if my mind changes a bit when I look at each product individually...

The new summer collection from NARS...

Trio Eye Shadow - Features color cooridinated shades in a stylish palette.  Complete with a large mirror the travel-ready palettes are ideal for easy makeup application anytime.  Limited availability.
- Cap Ferret - icy sea foam/silvergreen/icy turquoise

Duo Eye Shadow - Shades to inspire and desire.  The same longwearing crease resistant formula as NARS Single Eye Shadow, in uniquelt 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 applied wet or dry.  Richly pigmented, micronized powder formula provides improved wear and feel.  Effortless blending; cooridinated in fashionable pairs.  Multifunction: use as an eye shadow, eye liner, or on eye brows.
- Dogon - metallic taupe with icy green sheen/charcoal black
- Exotic Dance - metallic white with silver sheen/metallic gold

Soft Touch Shadow Pencil - Soft Touch Shadow Pencils provide easy, portable, long-wearing 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.
- Queen - citrus gold glitter

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

Pure Matte Lipstick - Bright.  Bold.  Vividly matte.  This innovative, matte lipstick has intense, stay-true color so lips look lush and vibrant.  An exquisitely blended formula strikes a perfect harmony between optimal color, an ultra-matte finish and hydration.  A super-rich, super-pampering, super-sexy lipstick in six sumptuous shades.  Pure drama.  Glides on effortlessly, without drag or resistance.  Defying traditional long-wearing lipsticks, Pure Matte will not dry out lips.  Wild Mango Butter's advanced moisturizing properties work to repair lips from dryness and scaling, leaving lips supple and soft.
- Carthage - hot pink

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.
- Wonder - sheer mandarin orange with pink and gold shimmer

Velvet Matte Lip Pencil - The convenience of a pencil with the application of a lipstick in a jumbo-sized crayon.  Instantly coats lips with rich pigment, imparting a velvet matte finish for seamless color.  The long lasting yet non-drying is enriched with special emollients for creamy texture, while a combination of unique silicones ensures long lasting, velvety color for hours. Enriched with Vitamin E.
- Bolero - pink cantaloupe

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.
- New Order - soft pink with gold and silver shimmer

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

The trio is just so pretty but it isn't for me, so will just be passing over it and moving onto to the other eye products in the collection.  I don't like the Dogon shade but the Exotic Dance shade and the Soft Touch Pencil in Queen have my name written all over them.  My favorite of the lip products is the new shade of Lipstick, Mayflower is a sheer raspberry and will look fantastic with my skintone.  The other shades are either too bright or too orange for me.  The New Order Highlighting Blush Powder will look great either day or night this summer.  Last but not least, I want the Kismet polish shade, Ecume (the matte white shade) is not my taste. 

Strong collection overall and I think that the Eye Shadow Trio will do really well, but this one just doesn't contain very many hits for me...

photo courtesy of NARS 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

LUSH Japanese Relief Support Efforts

We were all horrified to learn of the devastation in Japan last month and the continuning nuclear issues surrounding the country and the world.  LUSH has just released two products that are in line with the relief efforts and the culture of Japan. To help in the efforts of so many already, LUSH is releasing both a limited soap and a variety of Charity Pots, all of which benefit different organizations that are currently helping to relief some of the disaster in the Pacific Ocean.

"We are heartbroken over the devastation and destruction in Japan.  For us it is very personal, as LUSH has over 145 shops, a factory, and 1,600 staff in Japan.  Some of these staff and their families have lost everything.  Knowing our connection to Japan, many customers have contacted us asking how to help.  We're just what we do best; we've created a limited edition soap and Charity Pots, with 100% of the proceeds going directly to grassroots organizations in Japan.  Thank you for your help."

First we will look at the variety of special Charity Pots made for this cause.  LUSH has stated that they are making 24,000 Charity Pots and are hoping to raise $24,000 for the cause.  "LUSH North America has launched three limited edition Charity Pots, with funds going directly to those working on the immediate humanitarian and animal welfare needs of Japan."  Your purchase will benefit one of three charities.  The first is Rescue Stock Yard, "A Japanese domestic disaster releif non-profit, has started emergency relief and preparation for long-term support for thousands of survivors".  The second charity to benefit is NGO, "The NGO Collaboration Center for Hanshin Quake Rehabilitation staff members have been in Miyagi Prefecture providing support for the victims of the Tohoku Pacific off shore earthquake".  The last charity is Animal Peace, "A grass-roots organization providing medical care, spay and neutering services and collecting food and blankets for displaced animals".  At this time, LUSH doesn't have the option of which Charity Pot you can pick, they ship any one of the three (but they still state that the full amount goes to charity whichever Pot you receive).

The second of the new items is a soap that resembles the flag of Japan.  It is named The Rising Sun and the proceeds from the sale go directly to the Peace Boat organization.  "Peace Boat is a Japan-based non-profit organization that works to promote peace, human rights, equal and sustainable development and respect for the environment.  Since the earthquake, they have been organizaing volunteers, transporting aid, and providing meals to those affected by the disaster.  Your purchase of The Rising Sun soap will aid in their continued efforts to support people in need.  Soap up with sweet cherry scented suds and support Peace Boat in their continued efforts to aid people in need".  I just love cherry scented products so the fragrance just adds to the allure of this soap for me.

I want to order both of these products, possibly two or more of the soap.  I highly recommend that all of you guys check these out and make a little LUSH order to help benefit those in need of your help...

photo courtesy of LUSH

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Lipstick

A Chanel lipstick launch should be a national holiday all around the world.  Rouge Coco Lipstick was released last spring and became an instant hit with the beauty world.  Every shade was an instant sell-out at every Chanel counter near me so it took a month or two before I could even get my hands on a tester to play with the formula, I wasn't even able to find it in a color that I really liked.  I thought nothing could out do that launch and the subsequent media hype of the product.  But this spring, Chanel has done it yet again with the release of the Rouge Coco Shine line of lipsticks.  Rouge Coco was a cream finish with an incredible color payoff, Rouge Coco Shine takes these benefits but lightens up the formula a bit with a sheer finish.

I went right to the Chanel website to obtain the information about this new formulation and the shades that it is offered in.  "Rouge Coco Shine Hydrating Sheer Lipshine provides lasting moisturizing shine in a water-light texture.  The formula glides on for easy application, and a unique Hydratendre complex hydrates and softens lips, giving them a healthier and fuller appearance.  Available in a complete range of shades, from delicate beiges to dazzling berries, with a hint of shimmer to enhance a glossy finish."  Many of these shades were inspired by Coco Chanel's home of France and other areas that were dear to her heart.

Here are the shades of this new lipstick...

- Boy - pale cool pink
- Elise - mid tone mauve
- Aventure - bright blue pink
- Unique - mid tone cool plum
- Bonheur - mid tone cool fuchsia
- Fetiche - medium dirty neutral pink
- Romance - cool bright pink
- Chance - light cool pinky mauve
- Canotier - light cool beige
- Liberte - warm light coral
- Sari d'Eau - medium warm peachy coral
- Biarritz - medium cool neutral beige
- Evasion - medium pinky nude
- Bel-Ami - medium dirty plum
- Cavaliere - deep brown shimmer
- Deauville - medium cool brown with a bronze hint
- Monte-Carlo - medium blue red
- Rebelle - medium yellow red

This new formula reminded me very much of the Clinique Butter Shine formula and finish, but with a higher overall quality and better packaging.  The formula is very emollient when applied to the lips and stays cramy throughout wear.  Wear is shorter on this formula then on other Chanel formulas, this one's wear is much closer to that of a lip balm than a traditional lipstick  I tried the tester out on my hand and left it alone to wear off naturally and I got about 2 to 3 hours of wear from it and it rubbed off quite easily and didn't leave any pigment behind.  This is very easy lipstick to ease a lip gloss/lip balm junkie into the realm of lipstick.  The finish is quite sheer and many of the shades can be worn universally. 

My favorite of the shades is Boy, the pale cool pink shade.  This shade was sold out but the sales associate was nice enough to oull out the tester for me to play with and see the color on my hand.  Elise, Evasion, and Chance were also good pink picks for me, however none of the shades were all that unique.  I like both of the red shades but I think that I will only be purchasing Monte-Carlo since that is the blue red shade and I don't own any shades like it currently.  I like Rebelle however I own MAC Ladybug, a sheer yellow red already so I would have to swatch the two shades next to each other to see how alike they are and if the Chanel shade is worth a purchase.  The Monte-Carlo will be since the only blue red that I own is MAC Red, a true cream, full pigment shade. 

I was hopeful that some of the neutrals would work well for me, however I never found that perfect shade the day that I was at the Chanel counter.  I will be keeping my eyes pealed for more nudes from this formula since these shades could be perfect everyday, work-ready lipstick shades.  Chanel lipsticks are always a classic and this new line is no exception...

photo courtesy of Chanel

Saturday, April 23, 2011

MAC Packed To Go

Packed To Go is small collection that was just released on the MAC website this week, a collection of palettes that are perfect for the upcoming summer vacation season.  These have been released only on the MAC website (according to the email that I was sent this morning from the company) so I wouldn't bother looking for these at your local counter and just order straight from the website.  It doesn't appear that MAC has released any new shades in these palettes so I am guessing these palettes combine some of the best selling and most universal shades already in the collection.

"Ready, Set, Jet!  Then grab these connecting flights - Look in a Box: Girl Next Door, Look in a Box: A Very Stylish Girl, or Look in a Box: Rocker Chic.  Also includes Eye Shadow, :Lip/Powder compacts and Brush Kits...all great portable palettes for touching up on-the-go."  There are several selections in each category; eye, lip, face, and brushes.  I have been all about lip lately so that is the cateogory that I am most excited for.

Here are the new palettes...

Packed To Go: 6 Cool Smokey Eye Shadows - If you like it cool, intriguing, with a waft of smoke, then make this your get-away choice.  Enjoy the sultry impact created by Satin Taupe, A Brown Suit, Beauty Marked, Carbon, Tendersmoke, and Seedy Pearl.  Brush.  Includes the 213 SE Mini Brush.
- Seedy Pearl - chilled lavender pink (Frost)
- Tendersmoke - muted silver lilac (Frost)
- Satin Taupe - taupe with silver shimmer (Frost)
- A Brown Suit - rich deep red (Frost)
- Beautymarked - black/red with silver pearl (Velvet)
- Carbon - intense black (Matte)

Packed To Go: 6 Warm Smokey Eye Shadows - A coordinated palette of six shades offering you the variables you need to create that warm and smoky look.  Features: Shroom, Stormy Love, Naked Lunch, Greensmoke, Tempting, and Showstopper.  Includes the 213 SE Mini Brush.
- Shroom - soft beige with shimmer (Satin)
- Naked Lunch - minimal pink with shimmer (Lustre)
- Tempting - sinfully rich coco (Lustre)
- Greensmoke - tarnished olive (Frost)
- Stormy Love - dirty brown with green frost (Frost)
- Showstopper - deep blackened brown (Matte)

Packed To Go: 3 Assorted Black Liners - To line the eye, a choice of three very different eye liners, all of them black.  The versatility lies in the application and the graphic quality of the line.  For cognoscenti of the cat's eye and beyond: Engraved Powerpoint, Feline Kohl Power, and Penultimate.
- Engraved Powerpoint - black
- Feline Kohl Power - black
- Rapidblack Penultimate - black

Packed To Go: 3 Lipsticks - A triple mix array of Lipstick that conveys the potential of pink in three amazing lustre-finished shades.  This packed-to-go assortment contains MAC must-have shades of pink: Pretty Please, Plumful, and Hug Me.
- Pretty Please - blossoming rose pink (Lustre)
- Hug Me - flesh pink (Lustre)
- Plumful - pale pink pearl (Lustre)

Packed To Go: 3 Lipglasses - MAC Lipglass C-Thru, Lust, and Cultured boxed to go - anywhere!  Carefully selected to be universal and glamorously good for all, this is a mix that works every day, everywhere, on everyone.
- C-Thru - peachy beige with shimmer
- Cultured - opalescent mauve pink
- Lust - soft muted pink

Packed To Go: 3 Cremesheens - Triple the Cremesheen!  This three-in-a-box does just that!  The utter indulgence of this fabulous creamy shine found in popular shades of Boy Bait, Overindulgence, and Double Dare.
- Boy Bait - light natural beige with pearl
- Double Dare - coral red
- Overindulgence - neutral brown

Look in a Box: Girl Next Door - She's fresh, natural, the Girl Next Door.  This is her look, and how she achieves it.  This Look in a Box provides neutral through peach colourways in two Eye Shadows, an Iridescent Powder, Cremesheen Glass, and Zoomlash.  Limited edition.
- Eye Shadow in Grand Entrance - soft peachy nude
- Eye Shadow in Smoke and Diamonds - silver taupe
- Zoom Lash Mascara in Zoomblack - black
- Cremesheen Glass in Deelight - mid tone neutral
- Iridescent Powder in Belightful - gilded peach bronze

Look in a Box: A Very Stylish Girl - For the high-style girl who understands the art of bronzing.  An all-in-one Look in a Box featuring two Eye Shadows, Bronzing Powder, Cremesheen Lipglass, and Zoomlash.  Limited edition.
- Eye Shadow in Dreamaker - light gold (Starflash)
- Eye Shadow in Glamour Check - deep copper (Starflash)
- Zoom Lash Mascara in Zoomblack - black
- Cremesheen Glass in Looks Like Sin - sheer deep beige
- Bronzing Powder in Refined Golden - finely spun golden powder with soft pearl

Look in a Box: Rocker Chick - The powered-up eyes and shocking pink lips of the contemporary Rocker Chick given an all MAC twist in this one-of-a-kind Look in a Box.  Features Dazzle Lash, two Eye Shadows, Eye Kohl, Lipstick, and Lipglass.  Limited edition.
- Eye Shadow in Electra - silver with icy shimmer (Pearl)
- Eye Shadow in Black Tied - black with silver sparkle (Velvet)
- Dazzle Lash in Black Dazzle - black
- Eye Kohl in Smolder - intense black
- Lipstick in Hue - soft pale pink (Glaze)
- Lipglass in Oyster Girl - freshwater pink

Packed To Go: 4 Lips & Pressed Powder - A double-decker compact featuring an all-you-need selection for the lips and face.  On the top, poured versions of Lipglass Rosehips, Quick Change, and Rivera Ready and Lipstick, Poetic License.  On the bottom, Iridescent Pressed Powder in Belightful.
- Iridescent Pressed Powder in Belightful - gilded peach bronze
- Lipglass in Rivera Ready - warm light nude
- Lipglass in Rosehips - mid tone rosey pink
- Lipglass in Quick Change - mid tone cool blue rose
- Lipstick in Poetic License - pale apricot

Packed To Go: 5 Shape & Perfect Brushes - The five brushes required to shape and perfect your look in one packed-to-go box.  An essential everyday mix!  Includes 168 SE, 187 SE, 212 SE, 219 SE, and 275 SE.

Packed To Go: 5 Define & Blend Brushes - The five essential brushes needed to perfect the define-and-blend of makeup.  Eyes, lips, face, these brushes have them covered.  Includes 129 SE, 190 SE, 224 SE, 242 SE, and 266 SE.

I like many of these sets however one got my hopes up and let them down about five minutes later.  I was most interested in the Cremesheen Glass set since I don't own many of these and was hoping that this would give me a chance to work them and try them out.  However, I dislike all the shades that are in this set so this one isn't a choice for me.  I was very disappointed with this one.  My favorite piece of the collection is divided into two; the Rocker Chick set and the 3 Lipsticks set.  Three pink lipsticks fit my mood and look of this season and I love MAC pinks on top of it.  I already own two pieces of the Rocker Chick, the Eye Shadow in Black Tied and the Eye Kohl in Smolder, and I love both of them and actually use them together.  I really love the Lipstick in that collection (yet another MAC pink!), that is worth me buying this whole set for new shades and back ups.

The Warm Smokey Eye Shadows are also on my radar from this group, Naked Lunch is almost always sold out at my local counter and I am beginning to wonder if buying this set is one of the only ways that I am going to get my hands on this shade.  The good news is that I also like every other shade in that set and I will get lotes of use from the palette.  The last piece that I really want from this collection is the set of the black liners. 

The major pieces that I am skipping are the other two Looks (one is too warm for me and the other is too bronze).  I also don't put much faith into the brush sets since I prefer to buy a brush or two as it is recommended with my color purchase.

photo courtesy of MAC

Friday, April 22, 2011

Tanda Zap

Several months ago, I wrote about the Tanda Skincare systems, one for anti-aging and the other one for anto-acne.  Both systems use light to change skin for the better, the anti-aging uses red for protein stimulation and the acne uses blue to kill the bacteria that causes breakouts.  This month, Tanda has released a new device in their acne line that also the blue light technology.  This new piece of technology is called the Tanda Zap and it is a targeted device for acne clearing.  The Tanda acne devices are great in that they deliver the light to a targeted area on the skin and won't affect all the healthy skin around the blemish, as many medications do since they cannot be applied with such accuracy.

Tanda states that this product is, "Clinically proven to clear or fade acne blemishes within 24 hours".  It "eliminates acne bacteria, helps prevent future breakouts, starts clearing blemishes immediately".  Unlike many types of ance spot treatments, this device has been cleared for usage on all skin types.  This device contains a powerful blue light that destroys the bacteria that cause acne.  This device also contains a gentle vibration and warming action that help open pores so that the light can effectively reach the depth of the pores.  The Tanda website also states that the vibration increase microcirculation to help the swelling, inflammation, and redness that are associated with acne breakouts.  This device is great alternative for those who have dry or very sensitive skin as there are no chemicals in it to worsen these skin conditions.

I have included a link to this company's website so you can the product lines.  I recommend that you guys read all the technology and science that this company has provided about their product lines, they are very informative and I learned a lot when I read these areas. Here is it -  If you have had any type of problems with ingredients in acne medications before or simply wish to try a new type of technology, I strongly suggest that you check this company out and give the Zap device a try!

photo courtesy of Tanda

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Versace Bright Crystal

When people talk about the perfume bottle attracting them to fragrance...  Bright Crystal is one of the most distinct bottles and it attracted me to the bottle from all the way across the beauty department of Macy's, even distracting me from the MAC and Chanel counters.  The large crystal on the top of this bottle is very classic Versace and reminded me of the jewels that Dontella Versace is always draped in.  This bottle is 100% Versace and is the perfect bottle design for this company.  The face that this scent is a winner too is the icing on the very lovely cake.

Bright Crystal came out initally in 2008 and caught my eye the first time that I saw it.  It reminded me very much of Dior Addict 2 and I had a bottle of that open at the time so I pushed this one off until that bottle was done.  I finished my Dior and then by the next spring, I had so many bottles of perfume open that I had no reason to every buy another one.  I still ahve no reason to buy another one this time around but since I have nothing like this in my collection now, I will be picking up a bottle next time that I get to the perfume counters. 

"Inspired by a mixture of Dontella Versace's favorite floral fragrances, Bright Crystal is a fresh, sensual blend of refresing chilled yuzu and pomegranete mingled with soothing blossoms of peony, magnolia, and lotus flower, warmed with notes of musk and amber", states the Sephora website when they created a description for this fragrance.  The fragrance is very much the fruity floral blend, combining the florals with crisp notes so it doesn't become too sweet.

The notes of the fragrance are: Iced Accord, Yuzu, Pomegranate, Peony, Magnolia, Lotus Flower, Acajou, Vegetal Amber, Musk.  Peony and Yuzu are two of the major notes of Dior Addict 2 so it very easy to see the similarities in this fragrance and the major reason why I didn't need this fragrance when it first came out. 

Bright Crystal smells almost exactly the same on me as Dior Addict 2 so my purchase will come down to one aspect of the fragrance: length of time it stays on my skin.  I will do the Dior on one wrist and the Versace on the other and just see which one lasts longer.  Something in my memory tells me that it will be the Versace since I remember that it stayed on very well when I first tried it out.  Bottle-wise, the Versace is the clear winner.  The Dior bottle has nothing on the Versace, it is one of a kind and would look fantastic on my bureau.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Stila Summer 2011 Collection - Sparkle and Glow

Over the past few years, the temperature has reach 70 degrees twice, I think the winter thaw has officially occured and that means that I am excited to get outside and begin having some fun.  I am now breaking out my Lancaster bronzing powder and have gotten a new Clinique one to try out too.  Stila's newest collection is named Sparkle & Glow and it reminds me of the long summer nights at the shore.  And now it time to look at some new makeup to complement so soon-to-be self tanned skin and beachy glow.

Stila states, "Enjoy the simple things with Stila's feel good summer collection, a healthy sun kissed glow with vibrant pops of color will make a big poolside splash this season", when they describe the collection on their company website.  I am personally the most excited for new shades of their famed Lip Glaze and their new liquid eye liners.

Here is the new Stila collection...

Lip Glaze - Want lips that get all the attention they deserve?  Turn on the shine and you'll be turning heads with Stila's most popular lip gloss.  Choose from an array of delectable shades that add a splash of color and fabulously matching flavors and scents in one easy click of this famous pen. 
- Angel Food - pinky nude
- Cotton Candy - pale pink
- Amaretto - medium warm bronze
- Honeysuckle - medium nude
- Bubble Gum - medium cool pink
- Mulberry - medium cool berry

One Step Bronze - Swirl your way to the perfect bronze in one step!  This innovative triple-swirled helix serum instantly illuminates, bronzes, primes, and nourishes the skin.  One Step Bronze immediately improves the skintone, evens out your complexion and helps smooth fine lines and wrinkles.  Stila's new One Step Bronze is oil-free and melts right into the skin and dries down, creating a gorgeous glow.  This revolutionary new formula contains three illuminating bronze shades.  This primer, illuminating, bronzing, color correcting skincare serum contains Stila's Youth Revival Bio-Available Mineral Complex that instantly: reduces imperfections; improves skin texture; diminishes the look of fine lines & wrinkles; minimzes pores; hydrates, balances, and nourishes the skin; controls oil production.
- Matte Bronze with Copper Undetone - to bronze
- Bronze with Pink Undertone - to enhance skintone and illuminate
- Kitten - to brighten, illuminate, and help diminish the appearance of sun spots

Sparkle Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner - Introducing Stila's new Sparkle Waterproof Liquid Eye Liners, color-rich, vibrant, easy-to-use waterproof eye liners infused with twinkling multi-pearl micro-glitter that stays on all day and night.  These amazing new pigment-rich liquid liners contains a special polymer that adheres the glitter and pigment to the eyes for all-day, waterproof wear.  Sparkle Waterproof Liquid Eye Liners are packaged in a uniquely designed long handle, pen-like component for precision and ease.  The thin sponge tip applicator also ensures perfect application every time.  Key benefits: perfect blend of pearls and intense pigment; waterproof and long-wearing; easy-to-use, long-handled pen-like component with soft sponge applicator.
- Sequins - black pearl
- Curacao - bright blue pearl
- Flash - khaki pearl
- Rock Candy - warm plum pearl
- Starry - navy pearl
- Bora Bora - teal pearl
- Electric - bright green pearl
- Royal - purple pearl

Perfect & Correct Foundation - Swirl your way to a youthful and luminous complexion!  With an advanced emollient system to hydrate and moisturize the skin, a unique multi-mineral complex and an array of skin soothing ingredients, skin perfection has never been easier to achieve.  Perfect & Correct Foundation offers lightweight, buildable coverage while improving the look and feel of skin.  This innovative foundation delivers one high performance, high definition, long-wearing, complexion-perfecting product.  Perfect & Correct Foundation is energized with Stila's exclusive Youth Revival Bio-Available Mineral Complex.  Key benefits: swirled with an advnaced emollient system; unique multi-mineral complex; contains potent antioxidants & skin soothing chamomile; helps diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles; helps hydrate & balance; helps minimize pores & control oil; high definition, high performance.  Available in a range of shades for all skintones,

Forever Your Curl Mascara - Stila's new revolutionary Forever Your Curl Mascara "perms" your lashes immediately and over time!  You no longer need an eye lash curler.  Forever Your Curl Mascara contains an encapsulated raw ingredient that enhances lash-curl memory and a proprietary styling resin that dries down and holds the curl of the lashes.  A film forming polymer also wraps lashes and lengthens without fibers.  Plus, a patent-pending brush coats and extends each lash, from base to tip, dramatically lengthening and curling the lashes.  Key benefits: curls your lashes instantly, this innovative formula perms your lashes the more you wear it; encapsulated raw ingredient penetrates the hair follicle and enchances lash-curl memory; special polymers lengthen the lashes; carbon black pigment for the blackest lashes; long-wearing, water-resistant, melt-proof.
- Black - carbon black

Stunning in Sayulita Palette - Brought to you first on  The Stila girls are back and this year they are heading to the beach!  Introducing the limited edition Stila Girl Beach Palettes!  Follow the five Stila girls as they travel across North America and get five complete looks (launching each month).  The first of this series is Stunning in Sayulita inspired by Kylie's trip to this surfer's paradise.
- Starfish Eye Shadow - light beige shimmer
- Sandbar - medium pink gold shimmer
- Getaway - deep plum shimmer
- Palm Trees - pale green shimmer
- Playa Cheek Colour - bright pink
- Banderas Bay Highlighter/Bronzer - beige shimmer

Well, it looks like I haven't seen the end of the Stila Summer Palettes yet so I will keep you guys up to date as more palettes are released this summer.  I love the Stunning in Sayulita Palette and now can't wait for summer to get here so I can go to the beach.  I really like the new Liquid Eye Liner especially in the Sequins and Flash shades, I love liquid eye liner in the humid weather and I can dress both of these shades up for long summer nights.  The Lip Glazes from this companty are actually a product that I own/use very little of so I think I need to check these shades out at Sephora; I really like all the pinks and the nudes in this collection - Angel Food, Cotton Candy, Honeysuckle, and Bubble Gum.  I'm not all that interested in the liquid bronzer since I usually prefer the powder formulas but the new foundation might end up on my shopping list that next time that I need a new one.

Forever Your Curl Mascara is a very interesting concept (and that name now has a Paula Abdul song stuck in my head) and I will be interested to read more about it and see what some of the reactions are as people tyr it.  I do wonder what happens when you finish up the tube of the product?  I would assume that the curl effect begins to fade when another product is used instead, how fast is more my question.  This bears more research. 

photo courtesy of Stila

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bath and Body Works Country Chic

We are now firmly into the spring season and it is finally warming up enough to wear all the new fragrances that I have been lusting over the past two months.  Bath and Body Works has just released a new fragrance called Country Chic the past week, a light floral scent for both the spring/summer season and Mother's Day.  Country Chic takes me all the way back to high school when Bath and Body Works was Midwest and gingham print stores.  The best part about this throwback is that the fragrance will still be the high quality that Bath and Body Works has been releasing over the past few months.

Bath and Body Works describes the fragrance on their website as follows, "Our exclusive Country Chic is an effortlessly sexy blend of sparkling lemon, bright wildflowers, and spring woods to create this effortlessly sexy fragrance inspired by the fresh air and natural beauty of America's countryside".  The top notes are: Sparkling Lemon, Grapefruit Zest, Juicy Pear, Crushed Leaves, Marigold.  The heart notes of the fragrance are: Fresh Raspberry, Jasmine Petals, Day Lily, Gardenia, Orange Blossom.  The base notes are: Peach Nectar, Vanilla Orchid, Cedar Wood, Amber Wood, Skin Musk. 

This fragrance is available in the full range of bath and body products, along with the EDT and fragrance mist.  This fragrance is not available in any form of home fragrance, which I find disappointing since I was looking forward to a large candle in this scent.  Oh well...  For in the shower, this product is offered in the traditional Shower Gel and Triple Moisture Shower Cream.  These two products are two of my favorite in the entire Bath and Body Works store and I always have a hard time deciding which of the two to buy when shopping.  For moisturizers, this fragrance is available in the Body Lotion, the heavier Body Butter, and the Shea Cashmere Hand Cream.  The Triple Moisture Body Cream wasn't on the website in this product so maybe it won't be offered though I find that very odd since it is available in every fragrance in the Signature Collection.  The last item available in this fragrance is the Bubble Bath.

I have mixed feelings on this fragrance, this is the first one since Dark Kiss that isn't a total hit for me.  Overall, fragrances that evoke the "country" or "outside" feelings are not ones that I tend to gravitate toward.  I ruled the EDT out once I sprayed it on since the lemon and grapefruit top notes reacted the way that most citrus fragrances tend to, it was too sharp and held a slightly sour note.  I much prefer the body products in this fragrance, the Shower Gel is my favorite product and I would also pick up the matching lotion next time that I hit the store. 

This just isn't the fragrance for me, the citrus notes just didn't work.  I can see this fragrance being very popular since it is lighter and will have broad appeal. I guess that I am just more of a Dark Kiss girl at heart.  However, I am not alon in my love of Dark Kiss, it was nominated for Fragrance of the Year at FiFi (check out the Bath and Body Works Facebook page for full details).  Hoping for the win!

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works

Monday, April 18, 2011

Lancome Summer 2011 Collection - Bronze Azure

The summer collections are beginning to show up through the beauty industry.  The past few days have been gray and rainy so I could use a trace of summer to look forward to.  Bronze Azure is the newest collection for the summer from Lancome and the French roots of this company are very evident in this one.  The Cote d'Azur is summer playground for the European elite and a place that I would love to visit on vacation one year.  This collection is a mix of bronzes and vibrant blues for the eyes.  The lip look in this collection is pink and shimmery.  The blue eye makeup may not work for me but the pink lips will, so hopefully I will find some new shades to investigate in this collection.

The new collection from Lancome...

Color Design Limited Edition Sensational Effects Eye Shadow Quad Smooth Hold - Limited edition designed compact in metallic azure and bronze.  Color glides on smoothly and blends easily for a professional finish every time.  Color stays true and looks beautiful all day. 
- Molten Shore - cool palette with shades of beige, teal, metallic plum, and brown
- Heat Wave - warm palette with shades of soft gold, peach, copper, and brown

Artliner Waterproof Precision Point Eyeliner - Long wearing waterproof liquid eyeliner.  Emphasize your eyes with this easy-to-handle, liquid pen featuring a uniquely shaped foam tip that lets you line, shape, and define eyes to create any look you like.  Rich, deep, luminous pigments offer the most intense, dramatic color.  Glides on smoothly without scratching, tugging, or skipping and lasts all day.
- Scorched - brown with gold sparkle
- Beach Gem - metallic teal

Color Fever Gloss Limited Edition Sensual Vibrant Lipshine - A gloss that drenches lips in captivating color and mega-watt shine that's downright dazzling.  With one gliding stroke, lips look more sensual and voluptuous, thanks to Lancome's Vinyl Shine System that keeps color vibrant, and shine luminous and lasting without any sticky or tacky feeling.  Moisture-boosting ingredients ensure lips feel soft, smooth, and comforted all day.  Application is always flawless with the unique Lip-Sculpt applicator that contours the curves of your lips perfectly in a variety of gorgeous shades.
- Hibis - Kiss - bright sparkle pink
- Paradise Peach - soft peach with golden shimmer

Color Design Limited Edition Sensational Effects Lipcolor - If your lips long for full, fade-free color in tempting textures, and a shade selection that would inspire any makeup artist; the search is over.  This luxurious lipstick is infused with soothing ingredients, so lips feel soft and comforted all day.  Choose from five fabulous finishes: cream, sheen, shimmer, metallic, and matte.
- Femme Fire - medium pink
- Hot Nights - bright sparkle pink

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

Desert Rose Blush Subtle Shimmering Blush - Desert Rose is an all-over powder  that gives subtle shine.  A new mix between shaded tones of summer bronze, berry red, soft rose, and light pink.  Apply with Powder Brush, mixing all the shades for an all-over glow.
- Island Horizon - a mix of bronze, berry red, soft rose, and light pink

Hypnose Drama Waterproof Instant Full Body Volume Mascara - Get instant lash drama in a single coat with this ultra-volume boosting mascara that'll take lashes from so-so to show-stopping.  The full contact brush, with its S-shaped curve, grasps and loads lashes for a fanned out, full body fringe.  Lancome's luxe Texturizing Complex features highly saturated waxes and intense black pigments for maximum lash volume.  The triple coating system delivers a fluid and creamy application to quickly and easily build big, battable lashes that won't clump or flake.
- Excessive Black - deep black

Aroma Blue Revitalizing Body Treatment Fragrance - A burst of well-being in a Vivifying Body Freshness, filled with Mineral extracts.  The ginger essence meets blossoming peony for a Deep feeling of inner-strength and Vibrant sensuality.

Star Bronzer Long Lasting Bronzing Powder Natural Glow - This sheer silky-light powder delivers a natural sun-kissed glow in any season.  Exceptional light-reflecting pigments ensure a radiant, tanned makeup result.  Smooth and comfortable texture blends effortlessly and evenly into the skin.  Skin feels silky soft and even toned.  Result: radiant, yet natural-looking, for a bronzed complexion that stays fresh and color-true throughout the day.  Suitable for all skin types.  Oil-free.  Fragrance-free.  Non-acnegenic.  Non-comedogenic.  Allergy-tested for safety.
- 01 Lumiere - suitable for pale to medium skin
- 02 Solaire - suitable for medium to medium-deep skin
- 03 Riche - suitable for deep skin

Le Stylo Waterproof Long Lasting Eyeliner - At last, an eyeliner that's here to stay.  Formulated for an intense eye look to withstand everything from tears to inclement weather, this waterproof eyeliner has a unique twist that never needs sharpening.  Won't skip, smudge, or streak.  The easy-glide, creamy texture helps you create any look you like.
- Noir - deep black
- Fumee - smokey colonial gray
- Minuit - deep navy
- Cafe - deep chocolate brown
- Bronze - deep brown-ish bronze
- Prune - deep plum-y purple

I love the pinks in this collection!  The Desert Rose Blush might actually work for me, especially against my soon-to-be tanned skin.  I love the nail polish shade, Sarong, I actually don't think I own a bright pink shimmer polish so I could even justify this purchase easily.  From the lip products, I would like the lip gloss in the pink Hibi-kiss shade and the new lipstick shade, Femme Fire.  This one is the more medium shade with a shimmer instead of an all-out sparkle. 

I really like two of the eye products in this collection for myself.  I think the aqua shades are really pretty but I couldn't pull them off with my eye shade.  I really like the quad in the Heat Wave shade, however I already own shades just like and they are not very unique.  The eyeliner is a different story, I don't own a bronze liquid liner so I will be all over Scorched.  I could wear this all year round, for either work or play. 

Lastly, I am so excited to try this fragrance out next time that I go to the Lancome counter.  I don't know that I have ever smelled a mixture of ginger and peony and I can't wait to try something new.

photo courtesy of Lancome 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Illamasqua Intense Lip Gloss

During my England Week last spting, we looked at one version of the Illamasqua Lip Gloss.  Their lip glosses are divided into two formulas and finishes, Sheer and Intense.  I have the Sheer Lip Gloss in my collection now, after ruling the Intense Lip Gloss out as slightly too intense.  The Sheer Lip Gloss has color payoff that is really rare in the lip gloss market and the Intense has an even more pigmented finish.  This initally wasn't a product for me but since I have been the queen of pink lip glosses this spring, I want to relook at the product and the shades and see if I can change my mind on this product.

"Come out of the shadows with high-shine, colour-rich Illamasqua Intense Lip Gloss in a wide range of bold colours.  Create lips that look full and glossy, without feeling sticky.  Draw attention to your lips, and to you", states the Illamasqua website for the description of this product.  The finish and color payoff of this product is much more than most people even expect from lip gloss, this product looks as though a full pigment lipstick was applied and then a matching lip gloss was applied on top.  This lip gloss is unique in that this one product provides the look of using two (from all other makeup lines).

The shades available in this product...

- Hermetic - deep wine red
- Indulge - bright hot pink
- Perform - bright blood red
- Move - deep purple
- Mistress - bright coral orange
- Temper - bright tangerine orange
- Gender - brigth sky blue
- Fume - deep rose red
- Frenzy - hot fuschia pink
- Follow - bright red pink
- Fierce - bright blue purple
- Femme - bright coral pink
- Drag - bright flame orange (available in the EU only)
- Besotted - rich scarlet red
- Absorb - creamy biscuit nude
- Torrid - lime green
- Galactic - molten shimmering pewter
- Repulse - pure black
- Petulant - hot magenta pink
- Embroil - neutral sand
- Rage - pure white
- Succubus - blood red

Looking at these shades, I do need to remind myself that Illamasqua was designed to be nighttime makeup and that I shouldn't be expected to pull any of these shades off in the daytime.  Actually though, I don't expect that I could pull any of these shades at any time of the day or night. I have to begin by ruling out any of the black, blue, pewter, or green shades.  These are not my style and I could never pull them off.  Many of these shades are listed as " hot" or "bright", which also will end up being too much for my skin.  That pretty much leaves a few shades that I could even consider pulling off.  I would like to try the deeper red shades, especially Succubus and Hermetic.  I would also like to try Embroil and Absorb, both of which are lighter nudes that might be the easier to pull off. 

I really wish that Illamasqua was in all the Sephora stores, with shades this intense I really would much prefer to try these shades out before I order them in case I get something that I really can't pull off.  I love that a company has finally offered a lip gloss that is as pigmented as lipstick with the fantastic shine of a gloss.

photo courtesy of Illamasqua 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Entre Derm Skincare Technology

Several weeks ago, I was sent an Entre Derm kit from a PR company that represents them.  This is new brand for me, so I have been trying it out over the past few weeks and am seeing the results so that I can share my knowledge with everyone.  First of all, I have decided to start with an introduction to the line itself and over the next few weeks, I am going to feature each product individually.  This company uses their exclusive Somazone technology, which I am going to feature today in an overall introduction to the brand and their product line. I am pulling all of my information off the company's website so we can see how these products should be performing and to what standard we should be holding them to.

Here we go with the technology and the background of this line...

"The Cause of Wrinkles - As you age, your natural levels of collagen drop which cause wrinkles in your skin.  Put simply, the less collagen available within your skin, the more wrinkles you will develop."

"How Your Skin Functions - To understand how Entre Derm's creams help reduce wrinkles, it is first important to understand how your skin retains collagen and why it lets smaller molecules such as water out, while keeping larger molecules such as collagen in.  Let a net, your skin allows small molecules, such as salts out when you perspire.  The skin also allows water to escape in order to keep you cool.  Hence, larger molecules, such as collagen, are too big to pass through this net - hence they remain inside the skin where they belong."

"How Your Skin Retains Collagen - Collagen is a much larger molecule than water.  If your body simply allowed collagen to escape through your skin, you would lose all of it in your infancy.  Fortunately, your body is good at keeping larger molecules inside - therefore your collagen is retained and depletes slowly as you age.  However, just as skin functions to prevent larger molecules from escaping, the same system makes it a challenge to enable larger molecules to enter the skin as well.  As a result, trying to inject additional collagen into your skin in order to reduce wrinkles has historically required a needle."

"The Entre Derm Advantage For Providing Collagen - Entre Derm's unique advantage is the patent pending Somazone process.  The Somazone process allows molecules to actually squeeze through the tight space of your skin cells, bringing with it ingredients it can bring directly through the skin's surface.  This means that Somazone can enable larger molecules to enter into your skin - without the need for a needle!  This includes an abudance of anti-aging ingredients such as collagen, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid that can delivered to the skin.  Saturated with these revitalizing ingredients - the skin immediately looks younger and healthier - youthful contours are restored, wrinkles are softened and smoothed and it helps to achieve a flawless clarity and radiant glow."

"The Science of Somazone to Deliver Collagen - Somazone is a process that utilizes a biopolymer.  It is the result of years of research in transdermal delivery.  In Entre Derm Skincare's Night and Day Creams, active ingredients such as collagen, are attached to the Somazone molecule which enables the direct delivery of these ingredients through the surface of the skin.  Somazone allows large molecules to squeeze through the outer layers of the skin and be delivered to where they are vitally needed.  In Entre Derm Skincare's Night and Day Creams, active ingredients such as collagen, ultilizes the Somazone process which enables the direct delivery of these ingredients through the surface of the skin."

"Patent Pending Technology Behind Somazone - The technology behind Somazone was originally developed from research into the transdermal delivery of insulin for diabetics.  Our parent company, Transdermal Sciences PLC, holds a patent for this transdermal drug delivery system.  Somazone is our patent-pending process that combines this biopolymer backbone with active ingredients.  Somazone's interdermal delivery of these ingredients, such as collagen, ceramides, and hyaluronic, ushers in a future of increased effectiveness to the world of cosmetics.  Entre Derm Skincare is proud to bring the power of biotechnology, the power of Somazone, into the field of anti-aging research."

"Clinical Trials - Two sets of clinical trails have been conducted.  The first was at a leading Universaity and the second was performed by Stephens & Co., an independant firm that specializes in product safety evaluation and toxicology based in Dallas.  Both trials were double blind randomized studies, with a placebo (a leading competitive product) appiled on one side of the face and Entre Derm Night Cream on the other.  The trial lasted 4 weeks and a representative sample of women completed the clinical studies.  The women in the first study were scheduled to undergo facial plastic surgery and Entre Derm was applied to those portions of the skin to be removed.  The skin was biopsied before and after the trial and the results analyzed by an independant pathologist.  The trial demonstrated that the collagen ingredient had been transported to the skin.  In the second study, 20 women were also treated with Entre Derm Night Cream and a placebo.  The results of the test showed that the side of the face treated with Entre Derm was less wrinkled, presented better pigmentation, felt smoother, and fresh looking."

To condense down all of this information is the next step of the process.  The Somazone technology is exclusive to this company and it works to replenish collagen into the skin.  Since we know that collagen itself is too large to penetrate alone, this technology helps to bring the molecule into the skin easily and effectively.  Over the next few weeks, I will go into detail about each of the products that I was sent in the kit and how this technology is present and working in all of them.

photo courtesy of Entre Derm

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bath and Body Works Scent Stackers

A latest obsession of mine - Bath and Body Works Scent Stackers.  This product allows me to stack my body products, meaning that I can now store three products in the space that I used to only be able to store one.  And we all know how much room I have for products at this point, I own so many products that space is at a minimum in my house right now. 

Each of these little products are three ounces each so they can easily be taken on an airplane for a summer trip or stored in a beach or tote bag to carry with you on the go.  The Scent Stackers are currently available in five of Bath and Body Works top selling fragrances: Japanese Cherry Blossom, Sweet Pea, White Citrus, Twilight Woods, and Moonlight Path.  This week they were also just released in the new Country Chic scent, an easy way to try this one and decide if this is scent for you.

I think I will be indulging in the Moonlight Path series for the spring and picking up some of the Twilight Woods and Japanese Cherry Blossom for the cooler months.

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works

Chanel Chance Eau Fraiche

Chanel Chance is now becoming one of those fragrances that is spawning different versions based on the seasons.  The original Chance became so popular that they company began releasing new versions of it to satisfy customer demand.  Eau Fraiche was the first version of this scent to be released and is one of those rare fragrances that I bought on first sniff (joining Stella and MAC Dejarose).  When I bought this fragrance, Lord and Taylor only had the huge, 3.4 oz. bottles left so I had to buy the largest size of this scent.  It's a very good thing that I love this fragrance since the last thing that I needed to add to my fragrance collection is another giant bottle of perfume. But I bought it and it has been serving me very well ever since.

Sephora states, "Chance Eau Fraiche, the newest incarnation of the unexpected fragrance, now takes on a sparkling freshness.  The unexpected floral bursts with a lightness and zest as notes of citrus, Water Hyacinth, and Jasmine Absolute are highlighted and energized with woody notes of Amber of Patchouli and Fresh Vetiver."  The original fragrance is more floral and spice so this one is much lighter overall, with the Fresh Vetiver and the slight Amber of Patchouli notes replacing the spice notes. 

This fragrance opens on me with the water and the citrus notes.  The notes that are the strongest on my skin are the Water Hyacinth and the Jasmine.  The jasmine note is lighter than many other jasmine fragrances and when blended with the lighter floral, water, and citrus notes, is completely wearable in the warmer weather.  This fragrance is very long-lasting on me, as are all the Chanels that I have tried.  There is something about the fragrance formulation in this brand that makes all the fragrances last forever on my skin, I wish other companies would figure out this secret but until they do I will keep going back to Chanel scents. 

Chanel has now released another version of the Chance fragrance, called Eau Tendre.  I haven't gotten to smell this one yet and try it out.  I do have to do this soon since I have had great luck with the original Chance and the Eau Fraiche version.  Of the two so far, I actually don't know which one is my favorite since they have such different notes in them.  Eau Fraiche makes me think of the warm days of spring and summer since this is the time of the year that I break it out. 

photo courtesy of Sephora

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bath and Body Works Signature Naturals

Bath and Body Works has released a collection this spring that takes their top selling Signature Collection products and changes the formula in order to reduce the chemical components and replace them with nature-based ingredients.  This line was released to the website and several select stores only, this seems to be a line that Bath and Body Works is trying slowly to see the customer reactions.  Only one store around me has this collection so I had to take a bit of a journey to try this three new fragrances out.  The three fragrances in this collection are Fresh Lemon, Lotus Flower & Mango, and White Tea & Lavender.  The Fresh Lemon I have no interest in but the other two are a whole different story.  I have been looking for body products other than Body Shop that contain less chemicals.  This line looks like a combination of C.O. Bigelow body products and Signature Collection, making this something that I must try since I love C.O. Bigelow.

The first scent is Fresh Lemon, a light, summery citrus scent.  "Fresh Lemon, a bright citrus blend of fresh hibiscus, sunkissed lemon, and orange oil".  This top notes of this fragrance are: Citron Lemon, Watery Apple, Green Fig Leaves.  The middle notes are: Orange Blossom, Jasmine, Lily of the Valley, Hibiscus Headspace Accord.  The base notes are: Cedarwood, Vanilla, Musk.  This scent is mostly lemon and is really not for me but I bet that anyone who likes a citrus will love it.  I don't like citrus scents since they tend to sour on me (in the perfume form, not the body product form).

The second fragrance is Lotus Flower & Mango, a lovely blend of mango and light florals.  "Lotus Flower & Mango, a beautiful blend of passionfruit, white lotus, and bergamot oil".  The top notes are: Pink Grapefruit, Tangerine, Passionfruit Accord.  The middle notes are: Jasmine, Muguet, Velvet Tuberose.  The base notes of the fragrance are: Musk, Soft Woods.  This fragrance contains some of the same notes as Velvet Tuberose but this is much lighter version of the scent with warm fruit notes in it.

The last fragrance is my favorite of the three, White Tea & Lavender.  This fragrance remins me a bit of White Tea & Ginger but is very different overall.  This one is light herbal floral and is a great ligth scent for the summer months.  "White Tea & Lavender, a fresh blend of tea leaves, lavender petals, and mandarin oil".  The top notes of this fragrance are: Sparkling Green Tea, Bergamot, Lavender Petals.  The middle notes are: Water Lotus, Jasmine Blossoms, Muguet.  The base notes are: Creamy Sandalwood, White Musk, Sheer Vanilla.  This is my favorite of three since I have been into tea fragrances since I tried out Givenchy's Ange ou Demon Le Secret.  This one is another combination of tea, florals, and herbs.  This isa the most unique fragrance of the three and my favorite of the collection.

In this special collection, both the Shower Gel and the Body Lotion have been reformulated.  The new formulation of the body lotion is described by this company as follows, "Our exclusive formula with natural Shea Butter, Aloe, Vitamins C & E, and essential minerals, is 95% natural and leaves skin feeling luxuriously soft, moisturized, and beautifull fragrant.  Smooth over body to moisturize and lightly fragrance skin with our most natural scents yet."  The new formula shower gel contains the same combination of Shea Butter, Aloe, vitamins, and minerals to gently cleanse the skin while not stripping it of moisture. 

I would buy the body products in all three fragrances but body mists are another story.  The citrus one won't work for me at all.  I liked the Lotus Flower & Mango but I don't think that I would wear it in a fragrance.  The White Tea & Lavender is a different story, I would buy it in the fragrance along with all the body products.  I like the concept of this collection and the light fragrances will appeal to those that are sensitive to fragrances or don't like to wear a heavy scent.  I hope that this line sells well and then Bath and Body works brings this out to all the stores and in more fragrances.

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bare Escentuals Buxom Swinger Girls

The Buxom line from Bare Escentuals has long been my favorite part of this company.  And I have recently learned that I am not alone in this love.  My local Sephora has expanded their Buxom area to an entire aisle as some other companies are getting their's axed to about half the aisle or even less.  New products from this comnpany are coming out practically everytime that I go to Sephora and Buxom Lips is fast becoming a favorite lip gloss of mine (second only to MAC Plushglass).  It is rare that a company delights me with everything that they come out with and it is making me want to collect one of everything from this company. 

Buxom has just released a new lip gloss set that drove me wild from the first moment that I saw it when browsing on the Sephore website.  Four pink and rose lip glosses in one of my favorite formulas?!  This set, called Swinger Girls, has my name written all over it and I am so excited to head to the store to buy it.

"A four-piece collection of pout perfecting lacquers.  These four lip lacquers take soft shades to a whole new level of luscious.  The tingling, cooling sensation creates the look of enticingly voluptuous lips, while a deep infusion of Vitamins A and E helps keep lips soft, smooth, and protected."  Along with the overall description of this set, Sephora also provides some of the impressive results of the clinical trials of this lip gloss.  "In clinical trials for Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish: 86% of women experienced an immediate increase in lip fullness, 75% of women felt lip moisture increased, and 96% of women were satisified with the overall improvement in their lips."

The four shades in this set are all lovely and perfect for the spring season.  I can easily take them into summer too since they will all work with tanned skin later on.  The shades are...
- Emily - rosy nude
- Heather - champagne sparkle
- Lauren - pink cupcake
- Marissa - pink blush 

My favorite shades are the Emily and Marissa, both of which are more on the deeper pink side.  I will get lots of use from them since they can be worn with a more professional look or against strong eye makeup.  Lauren is bright pink and is a very fun shade but this one is best for going out.  Heather appears more on the champagne side and has the most sparkle of the four.  This one might also be best for going out, depending on the glimmer factor of it. Either way, the formula of these glosses is fantastic so I know that I will love all of them.

Buxom has me sucked in yet again...

photo courtesy of Sephora

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Urban Decay Summer 2011 Collection

We went from spring to summer quite quickly!  Almost as soon as I had the spring collections wrapped up, Urban Decay puts it summer collection up on the website.  I have been pretty stalking this brand this year since it is their 15th anniversary and they are releasing one very special product each season to celebrate.  Spring, it was the giant box of their best selling eye liners.  This time around, the special release is the Quinceanera Bag.  Quinceanera is the fifteenth birthday of a Hispanic girl, the version in that culture of a 16th birthday in American culture.  Along with this special product, the summer collection also includes bronzers, a new packaging of primer potion, a new tinted moisturizer, a new lip gloss, and many other new items.

The Primer Potion now comes in a tube this time around.  A common complaint about Primer Potion is that you can never get all of the product out of the container.  I had this complaint too so I am so grateful that Urban Decay is actually listening to their customers and trying to rework this package.  Honestly, I would get to the end and then just repurchase the whole thing so Urban Decay is actaully helping us get more out of the current product.  I stand by my statements that Urban Decay is one of the most amazing beauty companies in the industry today.

The new Summer 2011 products from this company...

The Quinceanera Bag - Spacious, fun, and lined with our limited edition 15 year anniversary logo!  The three sided zipper makes opening easy, and interior gussets hold your stash in.  In honor of our big 15, here's a makeup bag they named after the 15th birthday extravaganzas thrown for girls in Latin American cultures.  Large but not huge, its open shape holds plenty of makeup.  The interior features a clear, zippered pocket for your most sacred items.  A double gold zipper opens on three sides, so you won't spend forever rifling through your bag, and satin inserts keep your makeup from falling all over the place.  You don't have to be 15 and primping for the object of your desire to appreciate its sparkly purple-ness or cool 15-Year Anniversay ticking pattern on the lining, but whipping it out might make you feel as blissed out as if you were.  It packs easily into just about any suitcase, so take it with you on your next adventure.

Urban Defense Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 20 - Urban Defense battles free radical damage and arms you with moisture, sheer coverage, and SPF 20 in a squeeze tube.  A must if you crave a bare, dewy look.  Who says you can't achieve a luminous, even-toned complexion without full-on foundation.  Urban Defense gives you the sort of dewy radiance that usually only comes from a tryst in Fiji.  The light-diffusing pigments in this wonder product diffuse the look of fine lines and wrinkles for a natural, youthful finish, while the buildable coverage it offers lets you wear it alone (great for warm weather) or under powder for a more polished look.  This paraben and fragrance-free tinted moisturizer contains SPF 20, as well as a multi-mineral complex the battles free radical damage.  Available in four shades to suit all skintones.

Meltdown Makeup Remover - You love our longest-lasting products, but how do you take them off?  This nourishing formula will ensure that makeup removal doesn't throw you into fits.  Sometimes you need a makeup remover that's as mighty as the most powerful beauty products in your beauty arsenal, which is why we created Meltdown!  This stuff can take down our longest-lasting products, and it's good for your skin, too.  Sea Fan Extract combats inflammation, while Beta Carotene (a source of Vitamin A) and Gatuline In-Tense (harvested from the South African Rain Forest Peekabo Plant) revitalize collagen production.  Cranberry and Raspberry Seed Oils, along with Kukui Nut and Oat Oil, moisturize and replenish.  The 2.5 oz squeeze tube is easy to use, as well as small enough to take on an airplane (after a long grueling flight, you'll be so glad you brought it with you).

Baked Bronzer for Face and Body - Baked has a factory full of motherly Italian women to thank for its streak-free finish.  But we're not responsible for any Italian-style stares you attract.  We're all for the joys of baking - just never in the sun - which is why we created Baked Bronzer.  Explore the tantalizing range of shades and finishes if your objective is alluring sun-kissed that looks totally natural!  This super fine powder is baked on a terra cotta disc for 24 hours and then hand-finished by a factory full of motherly Italian women.
- Baked - bronze shimmer
- Gilded - bronze shimmer with veins of gold
- Toasted - matte - no shimmer

Rollergirl Palette - For the girl who works and plays hard - easy daytime neutrals, one vivid bright, and a portable lip gloss ready for the office or an impromptu happy hour.  With its sexy neutrals and captivating brights, this fun four-shadow palette can roll with you from the office right into your next hot date.  Smoldering brown Darkhorse shadow was previously featured in the much sought after Naked Palette, and the coppery Suspect triumphed in the Book of Shadows.  Verve is a pale oyster shimmer that also makes a great highlighter!  Woodstock, a hot pink best-seller, is as perfect at the beach as is it at a bar.  This tantalizing collection makes a great gift and also comes with a Lip Junkie Lip Gloss and a 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil, our #1 selling (and award-winning!) liner.  The slim pink and gold foil case, adorned with photos of our Rollergirl, is easy to tote around and features a magnetic closure so that the contents don't wind up in your purse.  Take it everywhere you go!
- Darkhorse Eye Shadow - deep brown shimmer
- Suspect Eye Shadow - copper shimmer
- Verve Eye Shadow - pale oyster shimmer
- Woodstock Eye Shadow - bright pink
- Whiskey 24/7 Glide-On Eye Liner - very deep brown
- Crush Lip Gloss - sheer bright pink

Lip Love Honey-Infused Lip Therapy - Show your lips some love with this nourishing tint.  Vitamin C boosts collagen, natural oils replenish and the honey flavor is perfect for sharing with a special friend.  If you're looking for a product that will make your lips kissably soft while also feeling and tasting great, trust us when we say this stuff is a whole lot of "ahhhhhhh yeah" in a tube.  The smooooooth feel and enticing honey flavor will inspire addiction in both you and your makeout partner, but that's okay - it's good for you, so feel free to apply it liberally and often.  Its healing powers come courtesy of a few ingredients that are rejuventating heavy hitters.  Antioxidant Vitamin C boosts collagen and evens out skin tone.  Millet, Jojoba, and Apricot Kernel Seed Oils work together as a powerful lip-healing trifecta to moisturize, replenish, and promote cell turnover.  Our squeeze tube features a soft, wide-angled tip that applies color smoothly.
- Drizzle - nearly clear pink
- Failbait - peach
- Lolita - bright punchy pink
- Stung - berry
- Taunt - nude

Rollergirl Nail Kit - Here it is: a collection of THE six nail shades you've got to have this season.  Do your own nails or get them done - just don't go without this set.  Sexy shimmer, shocking vibrancy, and funky glitter - it's all in this kit of 6 stunning, must-have shades (formulated without toluene, formaldehyde, or DBP).  Elevate your "at the office" look with Fame, Superfreak, and Love Train, and then be amazed how sexy these arresting neutrals look when paired with your favorite cocktail dress and strappy heels.  Miss T and Woodstock are striking brights that add an element of daring to both casual and nightime looks, while Xanadu gives your nails a full-throttle dose of rockstar edge.  Wear Xanadu alone, or layer a coat of this dynamic purple glitter over your favorite nail polish to add texture and make it pop.  These pocket-sized bottles are highly portable and a great value, because let's face it - by the time you're even close to finishing them, you'll be asking us for next season's hot new colors.  Larger bottles just end up going to waste!  The collection comes housed in a box adorned with a 70s-inspired pink and gold foil design and a picture of Rollergirl.  Yes, it's fantastically gift-ready...but you'll want to gift yourself with this set first.
- Fame - shimmery beige
- Superfreak - gold glitter
- Xanadu - purple glitter
- Miss T - pearly fuchsia
- Woodstock - hot pink
- Love Train - iridescent white

I'm so ready to start the summer off on a high note!  It is finally beginning to somewhat warm up and I have about a month of classes left and now I am thinking about the beach and long days.  My favorite piece of this collection is the Rollergirl Palette, even though I already own Darkhorse shadow and the Whiskey liner.  I love both of those products and they are worth a rebuy anyway so this is great product for me.  I can't wait to try the Woodstock shade of shadow and see how I can pull a bright pink shade off.  I love the sound of the new lip gloss with honey in it and I must have the Drizzle and Stung shades.  I want to see how creamy the texture of it is and I hope that's it's not on the sticky side.

Other products that I would like include the Baked shade of the new bronzer, the nail polish set, and the tinted moisturizer.  One thought - how did the industry decide that tinted moisturizers all contain SPF 20?  Where did this magic number come from?  The only item from the collection that I am not at all impressed with is the 15 th anniversary product in this collection.  I feel that ths bag has nothing on the eye liner set that was offered last season and I can only hope that fall's product is much better than this one.

photo courtesy of Urban Decay