Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Trish McEvoy Fall 2011 Collection - Chic and Sheer Collection

Another brand that get so little love...  Yesterday, we looked at the latest collection from Shu Uemua and today we are looking at the newest little collection from Trish McEvoy.  I feel like this is another brand that so few people have heard of and yet carries some iconic products.  The No. 9 scent is the ultimate blackberry and vanilla combination and has been duplicated by many other beauty brands yet so few people seem to know where the original came from.  Of course, I have to drive at least an hour to get to a Trish McEvoy counter and even these are getting fewer and farther between unless I head up toward New York.  Lately, it seems like if your brand isn't carried at Sephora or Macy's, then there is little to no hope for many ladies to know what you offer.  And I love Sephora but I sometimes feel like they make certain brands popular that wouldn't be best-sellers because soley on product quality and other brands that they don't have/push get totally brushed by. 

But if you happen to be near a store that has a Trish McEvoy counter, then you will want to tune into this post about a little collection that they have offered for the fall season.  I do mean that it is small collection: two eye shadows,  a lipstick, a lip balm, and a makeup brush are the extent of the offerings.  However, for the first time in weeks, it looks like the lipstick is the star of this collection, which already separates from the rest of the herd this fall...  The collection is named Chic and Sheer, sheer is a quality that we really haven't been seeing this fall.  This collection will work well for the office or for someone who doesn't want to wear tons of color on a daily basis.

Chic and Sheer...

Deluxe Eye Shadow French Vanilla - Trish's silky smooth matte formula glides on evenly and blends seamlessly for a professional application while offering long wear and crease resistance.  Light, neutral-toned eye shadows offered in deluxe size for daily use.  Mistake-proof colors and silky smooth textures are the ideal eye shadow base.  Can be worn alone or other Eye Base Essentials for an ultra-neutral, purely pretty look.  Perfectly sized for Trish's Refillable Makeup Pages and Compacts.

Eye Shadow Soft Gray - Trish's silky smooth matte formula glides on evenly and blends seamlessly for a professional application while offering long wear and crease-resistance.  Perfectly sized for Trish's Refillable Makeup Pages and Compacts.

Brush 62 Fan - The latest addition to Trish's iconic collection of handcrafted makeup artistry brushes, the flat, arched shape and fine edge of Brush 62 Fan is precision-cut to deposit a whisper of color alog the features, a veil of finishing powder to the under-eye, or as a tool to gently fan away fallout for a perfect finish.

SPF 15 Lip Color Mulberry - Protect, condition, and add the perfect touch of color to your lips all-in-one with Trish's SPF 15 Lip Color.  Mulberry is a cool medium pink berry.

Beauty Booster SPF 15 Lip Gloss - Lip treatment, protection, and color all in one.  Beautify and optimally hydrate lips with the first application of Trish's lip quenching formula.
- Brightening Pink - bright blue pink
- Pretty Pink - light neutral pink
- Sexy Petal - pale cool blue pink
- Sexy Nude - medium neutral nude

Beauty Booster SPF 15 Lip Balm - Heal, hydrate, plump, and protect your pout with Trish's ultra-enriched Vitamin E-based Beauty Booster SPF 15 Lip Balm.  The advanced treatment formulation boosts anti-oxidants and superior moisturizers deep into lips to soothe and smooth even the driest lips while shielding their health and beauty from the elements.

Finally a strong lip collection!  I love the Mulberry shade of lipstick that is offered with this collection and I need to buy a tube the next time that I get into the city.  This is one of the best lip offerings that I have seen so far this season and I am just so glad that someone is offering collections that contains more lip products than eye makeup choices.  Mulberry will be perfect with all the eye makeup that I have been picking up over the past few weeks and will also work very well with my skintone.  I love both of the eye shadow products however I already own shades like them so I will want to play with the first to see if the textures are superior to products that I already own.

I love this little collection and I can see myself getting lots of use from these products and shades this fall.  On a final note, pink lip gloss choices for the fall just send me over the moon!  I love pink lip gloss but usually find that my choices aren't as good in the cooler months as they are in the warmer months.  Just another reason to head to this counter soon!

photo courtesy of Trish McEvoy

Monday, August 29, 2011

Shu Uemura Fall 2011 Collection - Novadiva

Novadiva is the newest collection from Shu Uemura, a company that produces some of the best quality makeup products but is among the hardest to find in the United States.  At this point, their products are available only on the company's website but they are so worth any type of shipping charge and the wait that has been involved when ordering from the company.  Novadiva is another strong eye makeup collection, I seriously feel that this is all that we are seeing this fall and I am hoping that just a few companies will release strong lip collections.  Especially since I read in this month's Allure that lipstick sales are up 11% in the last year and yet everything seems to be eye makeup this year...

"In the complete silence and darkness, her single gesture breaks the tension with her aura.  They see the diva.  Suddenly the stage lightens, the spotlight shines on her from different angles, her "face" and "role" diversity: coquettish, sweet, sensual, even evil, driving the audience to a different time and space.", states the Shu Uemura website when describing the overall collection.

Here is the Novadiva collection...

Prima Palette Quad Custom Case - For 4 Eye Shadow refills or 2 Glow On Blush refills or 2 Eye Shadow refills and 1 Glow On Blush refill.  Refillable empty custom quad, decorated with a delicate pattern of shimmering lace.  Play and customize the palette to create infinite looks, just like the diva diversifies her face on the stage.  An eco-concept, seeking a design without glue, plastic frames, or other elements that may end up in a landfill.  Shu Uemura's refillable palette is like a game, with one small movement you can change your eye shadow selection to match your every desire.

Shimmer Eye Liner - Accentuate the eye contour with a glittery line in a waterproof formula.
- Silver - light gray with silver shimmer

Tutu Laceflare False Eyelashes - Tutu-inspired lashes with waving layers of black lace.  With a touch of gold glitter, these lashes give sparkling winks.

Pressed Eye Shadow Refill - Experience infinite choice for your ever-evolving style.  Truest color-payoff and a non-fading finish.  Blends effortlessly for ideal coverage control.  The powders capture light, absorbing and reflecting it for a multi-dimensional effect.  Full color spectrum, 5 different textures.  Matte: a velvety, even finish gives vivid color with a smooth finish.  Pearl: a silky shimmer of light for luminous radiance.  Iridescent: captivating shades offer glimmering reflections of changing colors.  Metallic: smooth, liquid-like with a metallic glow.  Glitters: abundant sparkles for glistening glamour.
- P Dark Blue 696 - pearl midnight blue
- ME Medium Olive 472 - metallic golden khaki
- P Light Pink 125 - pearl delicate pink
- IR Light Beige 811 - iridescent nude
- IR Dark Blue 690 - iridescent midnight sky
- ME Medium Plum 761 - metallic reddish plum brown
- G White Rainbow - sparkling rainbow
- M Soft Brown - matte golden brown

Cream Cheek Refill - Glow On Blush in a extra smooth, creamy texture.  Capture the light and shadow to create a multi-facet dimensional face as if you are in the spotlight.
- Gentle Amber - tawny medium nude
- Radiant Pearl - iridescent pearl

Nail Color - Embellish your fingertips this fall with this rich colored nail polish.
- Coquettish Brown - deep plummy brown shimmer
- Mysterious Green - deep forest green shimmer

Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte - The debut of extremely matte yet comfortable lipstick.  A range of distinctive shades reveals the many facets of your personality.
- Evil Pink - light matte blue pink
- Angelic Pink - deep berry pink
- Darling Beige - neutral medium beige

Hang on, why is Evil Pink the lighter of the two shades and Angelic Pink the darker of the two shades?  I feel like most companies would reverse the names of the two shades.  My thinking is the Shu Uemura would pair the lighter of the two shades with the dramatic eye makeup that is shown on the model in this picture, making that the "evil" look and that the deep berry shade would be paired with minimal eye makeup, making that the "angelic" look.  That is only my theory though...  However the model looks as though she is wearing the darker of the two shades with the dramatic eye makeup.  I don't get this...

That being said, I like many products from this collection but find the model's look totally unwearable and the false eyelashes way too out there for me to ever pull off.  I really wonder how many of these lashes get sold and how people pull them off.  I love the Medium Olive and Medium Dark Plum shades, the others are nice but I already own something just like them and I don't need another version of the same shade.  Neither of the blush shades appeal to me so it looks like I will be skipping over these and the only Nail Polish shade that I like is the Mysterious Green.  However, Mysterious Green is not all that unique so I will skip it since I could find one close to it from China Glaze or O.P.I. (who really knows what it is going to look like in person anyway?).  I really hate not being able to see any of these shades in person since it is such a hassle to return product through the mail...

photo courtesy of Shu Uemura

Sunday, August 28, 2011

C.O. Bigelow Triple Task Eye Treatment

Hello everyone!  My full power and internet have just returned and so I am putting them to good use!  Everyone on my end got through the storm with no major issues and now it will just be a test of time to see how quickly we can get back to real life.  In my case, time to think about beauty products...

Earlier this season, I wrote about the Entre Derm Instant Lift eye cream and praised its hydrating qualities but noted that it was lacking ingredients to effectively combat puffy eyes and dark undereye circles.  I continued to use this product twice a day but it soon became clear that this was an eye cream best saved for nighttime.  I was considering repurchasing a favorite Caudalie eye cream however I really wanted to try something completely different and from a brand that I tend not to immeditately gravitate toward.  I intended to go to Sephora while I was out shopping one day however I went to Bath and Body Works first to pick up some Halloween items and decided to grab the Bigelow eye cream and see what happened.  Honestly, I figured that it couldn't be any worse than the Entre Derm for dark circles and puffiness.

I had used the C.O. Bigelow skincare line a very long time ago when I was in college.  I remembered only positive experiences with it, it was nothing fancy however the simple formulas actually worked as they were supposed to and never irritated my skin.  I decided that I could at least give it a shot and see what happens.  I bought the Triple Task Eye Treatment, an eye cream targeted for dark circles and puffiness that contains Haloxyl, Eyeliss, and the Bigelow Healthy Skin Complex. 

The C.O. Bigelow website provides a full product description for this eye cream.  "This multi-tasking, antioxidant-rich preparation is formulated to noticeably diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, puffiness, and dark circles.  A moisturizing, gentle eye preparation, it's specially formulated with clinically tested Haloxyl and Eyeliss to reduce the appearance of puffiness.  Noticeably diminishes the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, puffiness, and dark circles.  Treats the delicate eye area skin with soothing nutrients, helping to reduce signs of aging and fatigue.  Contains Haloxyl to treat undereye circles.  Contains Eyeliss to reduce the appearance of puffiness.  Consumer research results: Within 2 weeks, consumers saw a visible reduction in fine lines, wrinkles, and puffiness."

I have been using this cream in the morning for the past four weeks and so far I have seen an improvment in my eye area.  I am continuing to use the Entre Derm as my night eye cream since it is very hydrating and my eye area tends to get dry in the fall and winter months.  I really like this as a day eye cream, it brightens my eye area and makes concealer much easier to apply.  My under eye puffiness is also reduced along with the overall brightening of my eye area.  This cream both helps to reduce the amount of undereye concealer that I need and makes it much easier to apply. 

This eye product has a lightweight lotion texture that sinks in quickly.  I apply one dot of it to my finger and that is enough product for both eyes.  The results are not as dramatic as I would have seen from Peter Thomas Roth or B. Kamins but this is a well-made, good quality eye cream.  It doesn't completely get rid of dark circles, I will need a more potent product for that.  I find that it is better for reducing the puffiness in my eye area and helping my concealer glide on smoothly and easily.  I recommend this product someone who has more issues with puffiness than dark circles and who doesn't have very dry skin (as it is not hydrating enough to care for very dry skin.)

photo courtesy of C.O. Bigelow

Saturday, August 27, 2011

MAC MAC Me Over - Xee and Sharon

Xee and Sharon is the last part of the MAC Me Over collection, this one is another great fall collection and will have huge appeal based on the trends of the season.  Xee and Sharon is another collection that is focused the heaviest on eye makeup shades and the much-loved Shadesticks make one of their first reappearances since the Spring of 2009's Sugarsweet collection.  The Shadesticks were actually the first major reason that I got very excited for this collection since I haven't been super impressed with many of MAC's recent collections.  I missed out on the Shadesticks in the first round and I am so happy that I have a second chance to get this product.

"Play it cool-toned and style savvy in smoky grays, whites, and beiges.  An assortment of lightly icy, soft and grayed out shades in Eye Shadow x 4, Shadesticks, Lipglass, and Nail Lacquer that range from elegantly edgy to super sophisticated."  Oh Shadesticks!! 

Here is the last part of the MAC Me Over collection!

Lady Gray: Eye Shadow x 4 - A quartet of intriguingly icy, fashion-forward shades perfect for the season.  Includes All Races, Tendersmoke, Lady Gray, and Hazy Gray.
- All Races - cool light taupe (Matte)
- Tendersmoke - muted silver lilac (Frost)
- Lady Gray - light frosted green-gray (Satin)
- Haze Day - mid-tone gray (Veluxe Pearl)

Shadestick - A smooth and silky, rich and creamy eye shadow delivered in a stick-style format.  Provides rich colour overlaid by soft finishes of shine.  Glides on: works as a shadow - or a liner.  Builds up coverage from sheer.
- Butternutty - frosted light neutral beige
- Heirloom - light icy pink
- Tundra - icy silver
- Cakeshop - frosted pewter
- Street Cool - midtone gray violet taupe

Lipglass - A unique lip gloss available in a wide variety of colours that can create a high gloss, glass-like finish or a subtle sheen.  Designed to be worn on its own, over Lip Pencil or Lipstick, Tinte Lipglass is the perfect product for creating shine that lasts.  It's pigmented, very shiny, and can impart subtle or dramatic colour.  It contains Jojoba Oil to help soften and condition the lips.  Tinted Lipglass is packaged in a convenient bottle with a sponge tip applicator that provides a quick, smooth, even application.
- Wee Coquette - naked neutral pink
- Good Times - pale mauve
- Spite - muted plum-taupe beige

Nail Lacquer - Revolutionary new high gloss formula.  Three long-wearing finishes - Cream, Sheer, Frost.  Visibly different.  Provides no-streak/no-chip finish.  Contains conditioners and UV protection.  Go hi-lacquer!
- Quiet Time - beige nude
- Fatiques - army green

214 Short Shader Brush - Short, rounded, double-chiselled brush with soft, natural bristles.  Can be used with shadow to line and smudge around the lash line and very effective for densely shading lids.

I still think that the second part of the collection was my favorite even though this part contains the Shadesticks.  The Shadesticks look exactly like the offerings from Sugarsweet so I really do get a second chance at these shades.  I want the Butternutty and Cakeshop shades the most and I am so excited for these.  I would also love the have the Eye Quad, I like the lilac shades and all the grays in it.  Wee Coquette and Good Times Lipglasses are the last two pieces that I would like to own from this collection, I can skip out on the rest of the Lipglass shades and all the Nail Lacquers.

Overall, this collection is one of the best choices this fall.  It is very well rounded and offers some many products and shades that everyone will find something that will mkae them happy.

photo courtesy of Macy*s

MAC MAC Me Over - Shirley and Nicole

The MAC Me Over collection for Shirley and Nicole is the part of the collection that I think will be the most popular.  Shirley and Nicole's collection is more dramatic than Rachel and Ian and contains the products that would create a smoky eye, the most requested look from ladies getting makeovers.  This collection is the one that is the most traditional "fall" collection which is another reason that I think that it will sell out the fastest of all the collections. 

"Featuring runway-ready Lipsticks, strong smoky Eye Shadows, stylish Nail Lacquers, and new Fluidlines, this collection is the latest in pure blacks with hints of rich purples, plums, blues, and greens that MAC artists have been using backstage."  These new Fluidlines look fantastic as do the new Nail Lacquers.  I suspect that I will find a lot of items that I want to buy from this part of the collection.

Shirley and Nicole for MAC Me Over...

Evil Eye: Eye Shadow x 4 - From our artist backstage palettes to your reality, a foursome of darkly divine, rich shades ideal for creating smoky, sultry eyes.  Includes Evil Eye, Palace Pedigreed, Spellcaster, and Moody.
- Palace Pedigreed - deep berry with dark soft pink pearl (Satin)
- Spellcaster - blackened violet (Matte)
- Evil Eye - blackened green (Veluxe Pearl)
- Moody - deep yellow gray (Matte)

Fluidline - Ultra-smooth, Fluidline's gel formula provides the precision of a liquid liner with a silkier, softer finish.  Goes on "foolproof" with a brush in an easy dip-and-stroke action.  Long-wearing.  Smudge-proof.  Lines up in a rich array of colours and finishes.  Brush sold separately.
- Dark Envy - blackened green
- Dark Diversion - darkened plum
- Midnight Blues - blackened blue
- Avenue - charcoal black with gold pearl

Lipstick - Colour plus texture for the lips.  Stands out on the runway.  Simmers on the street!  What made MAC famous.
- Runaway Red - rich red-blue
- Rebel - vivid pinkish-purple (Satin)
- Prince Noir - deep blue-purple
- Smoked Purple - deep eggplant purple

Nail Lacquer - Revolutionary new high gloss formula.  Three long-wearing finishes - Cream, Sheer, and Frosted.  Visibly different.  Provides no-streak/no-chip finish.  Contains conditioners and UV protection.  Go hi-lacquer!
- Purple Majesty - deep purple
- Deep Sea - deep teal

211 Pointed Liner Brush - An extra-fine tipped synthetic fibre brush that delivers an exact, definite, even stroke when lining the eyes.  Perfect with any formula!

So far this is my favorite part of this collection, the shades are really unique and will be perfect for going into the fall season.  I love the whole collection but my favorite piece is the Runaway Red Lipstick, I love red lipsticks from MAC and I would love to add this shade to my collection.  This one looks a bit deeper than either MAC Red or Russian Red and looks more like Ruby Woo.  Since Ruby Woo isn't in my collection yet, this shade would be a great purchase for me.

My second favorite piece of the collection is the Avenue Fluidline, this black shade has a gold shimmer it to which will really bring out the blue in my eyes, I love black eye liners to begin with and the additional fleck of gold makes this one a unique pick.  The eye shadow quad looks good on the website, however two of the shades are Mattes and I don't tend to get along well with MAC's mattes.  I will have to swatch this at the counter before I make a decision.  Las but not least, I want both of the Nail Lacquers, though I think that I prefer Deep Sea if I had to make a choice.

Time to see what else is waiting for us in MAC Me Over.  So far, this collection has huge universal appeal and it should go over really well.

photo courtesy of Macy*s 

MAC MAC Me Over - Rachel & Ian

MAC's newest fall colour collection is named MAC Me Over and is one of the most unique concepts of the whole season.  This is a huge collection and will be a big hit for this company, after a series of semi-disappointing collections, this is just what this company needed to really make a splash this season!  The concept of MAC Me Over is as follows; MAC hosted an online casting call for the face of their Fall Colour Collection and choose six brand new faces from this group.  The MAC artists worked in teams with the winners and created three brand new colour collections for the fall.  Each collection creates a different type of makeup look so I am confident that everyone who loves MAC will find at least half a dozen products that will work out for them.  This may be the best rounded collection of the fall season...

This post will be divided into three parts as this is a huge collection.  Rachel & Ian is the first look that was available on the website so I am just going to start out with this group of products and shades.  "A must-have assortment of MAC Artists' favorite Nudes and Pinks, featuring confirmed classics, new limited-life shades and essential brushes: a tapered 116 Blush Brush and the 190 for Foundation."  Nudes and pinks are something that we haven't been seeing in huge amounts this fall so I am excited to see what MAC has to offer in this shade range.

The Rachel & Ian collection for MAC Me Over...

Eye Shadow - Highly-pigmented powder.  Applies evenly, blends well.
- Creamy Bisque - dirty ivory with pearl
- Moleskin - nude brown
- Outre - dirty mustard
- Satin Taupe - taupe with silver shimmer
- Mythical - frosty coppery red
- Carbonized - frosty dark brown

Eye Kohl - A soft-on pencil liner that lines, defines, and shades with rich colour and a silky-smooth, matte/pearl finish.  Ophthamologist tested.
- Teddy - intense bronze
- Smolder - intense black

Lipstick - Colour plus texture for the lips.  Stands out on the runway.  Simmers on the street!  What made MAC famous.
- Secret Lover - pale pink with yellow frost
- Peachstock - creamy beige peach
- Offshot - midtone neutral pink
- Oh, Oh, Oh - plum bronze with pearl

Lipglass - A unique lip gloss available in a wide variety of colours that can create a high gloss, glass-like finish or a subtle sheen.  Designed to be worn on its own, over Lip Pencil or Lipstick, Tinted Lipglass is the ideal product for creating shine that lasts.  It's pigmented, very shiny and can impart subtle or dramatic.  It contains Jojoba Oil to help soften and condition the lips.  Tinted Lipglass is packaged in a convenient bottle with a sponge tip applicator that provides a quick, smooth, even application.
- Illict - creamy neutral pink
- Social Light - neutral pink with pearl
- Curvaceous - light gray pink
- Plum Fun - neutral plum purple with pearl

Lip Pencil - A pencil designed for shaping, lining, and filling in the lip.  Lip Pencils have a smooth, creamy texture that is perfect for lining the lips or filling them in.  They are long-lasting and available in a wide selection of colours that each work well with many different lipstick shades.
- Spice - pink cinnamon stick
- Chestnut - intense brown

Studio Finish SPF 15 Concealer - A lightweight, creamy, discreetly opaque concealer.  Provides a smooth, long-wearing invisible coverage for all skin blemishes.  Water-resistant, fragrance-free, and non-acnegenic.  This emollient-based, lightweight concealer is so concentrated that a tiny amount can provide opaque coverage of the skin's imperfections and discolourations.  It effectively covers dark circles, blemishes, moles, tattoos, and birthmarks.  Enriched with anti-oxidants (derivatives of Vitamin A and Vitamin E), it also contains silica to help absorb the skin's oils.  Concealer has an SPF 35 and is available in a wide range of colours.  It can be applied with a medium to firm fiber brush (try the 242 Brush), a latex sponge, or the fingertips.

Cream Colour Base - Versatile and multi-purpose, Cream Colour Base can be applied directly to bare skin or layered over foundation, moisturizer, or powder.  Apply with a brush, sponge, or fingers.  Colour effects range from a light veil to highly dramatic, depending on method of application.  Fragrance-free.
- Seaside - soft peach rose
- Take Root - rich red brown

Powder Blush - Colour for the cheeks and face.  Various formulas.  Different looks.
- Stunner - light coral pink
- Equilibrium - light bronze

Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation - A one-step application of foundation and powder.  Gives skin a smooth, flawless, all-matte, full coverage finish.  Long-wearing; lasts for up to eight hours.  A real all-in-one.  The choice of pros and a longtime favorite of MAC fans.  Available in a wide range of shades to suit all skintones.

Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 - A modern foundation that combines a natural matte finish and medium-buildable coverage with broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 15.  Comfortable and long-wearing; lasts for up to eight hours.  Applies smoothly, builds coverage quickly and easily.  Contains specially treated micronized pigments and soft-focus powders for a super-smooth look that helps minimize the appearance of imperfections.  Absorbs and disperses oil.  Contains special skin-conditioning ingredients.  Oil-free.  Available in a wide range of shades to suit all skintones.

190 Foundation Brush - Pro-quality.  A foundation brush designed to create a smooth, even finish, flawless look.  Works well with any MAC foundation, including Studio Fix and Studio Tech.  Use to apply, distribute, and blend foundation into all areas of the face.

116 Blush Brush - Tapered for shading and highlighting cheeks and face with blush.  The bristles on this brush are soft and form a full, rounded shape.  MAC professional brushes are hand-sculpted and assembled using the finest quality materials.  They feature wood handles and nickel-plated brass ferrules.

I love a lot of the shades that are offered with this collection, MAC has always done neutrals well and this collection is no exception.  The shades that I want to purchase from this collection are from the eye shadow line and the Lipstick and Lipglass line, I pretty much can skip over everything else.  From the eye shadow line in this collection, I want Creamy Bisque, Satin Taupe, and Mythical.  There are all permanent shades so I can confidently add these to my Holy Grail rotation of eye shadows and know that I can purchase them for years to come.  Offshot and Secret Lover (Lipsticks) are both neutral pinks that can be paired with a strong eye for evening or for a more natural look in the daytime.  Finally, I want the Illicit and Social Light shades from the Lipglass, both of which are neutral pinks.

These shades don't have the WOW factor that many of the other MAC collections have however this collection will go over very well since the shades are easy to work with and will blend with any other neutral shades that you all ready own.  I love the lip shades in this collection, I love neutral pinks on my lips and this is the ideal round-up of these shades from MAC.  The first part of MAC Me Over holds major potential for me...

photo courtesy of Macy*s 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Purr by Katy Perry

Katy Perry is one of my favorite celebrities and one of my favorite fashion icons right now.  Her first fragrance, Purr, was released late last fall to Nordstrom only and I was so excited to hear about it that I was considering ordering a bottle totally unsniffed from the company's website (since I live slightly too far from a Nordstrom to drive there just to smell a fragrance, I need to make it a whole day trip to the King of Prussia mall).  I was very hyped over it but I continued to hold off a bit in hopes that Macy*s or Sephora would begin to stock it after the initial Nordstrom launch.  Well, my hopes for those two stores still haven't been granted however I was in Ulta the other day (continuing my obsessive search for China Glaze polishes) and lo and behold, there was a huge display of Purr by Katy Perry.  After grabbing my nail polishes and a Benefit They're Real! mascara (still haven't opened yet but can't wait to review), I stopped by the fragrance display to this perfume out.  Thank god I DIDN'T order this perfume unsniffed!!!

My first thoughts were that the bottle was huge and completely juvenile.  I guess that it just didn't look as childish in the pictures that I saw of it because I initally liked it.  It also didn't help that it was sitting right by the Justin Bieber perfume and nowhere near the other fragrance counters....  The bottle just felt odd in my hands and didn't like that it was plastic and not a heavy glass (I was holding the 3.4 oz size for reference).  I could never put this out next to my Chanel, Creed, and Jo Malone perfumes, fragrances that are half the price of this product have nicer bottles and aren't plastic.

My next issue with the fragrance occured when I sprayed it.  I first tried a bit on a card and really hated it.  I then decided to be open minded and sprayed a bit on my fingertips in hopes that it would smell better on my skin.  Well it most certainly did not work any better when I tried it out on my body, something in my chemistry just threw this whole scent.  So sad since I love Katy Perry and one of the middle notes of the fragrance is Bulgarian Rose...

I will provide the fragrance description and the notes from the Nordstrom website.  "Purr by Katy Perry Eau de Parfum begins with an aroma of peach nectar and forbidden apple, evolves with a distinct floral bouquet of jasmine blossom, Bulgarian rose, and vanilla orchid, and slowly reveals accents of sandalwood and musk.  Like the singer herself, Purr, is playful yet sophisticated.  Katy Perry transcends barriers with her music - so does her new fragrance."

The major issue that I have with this fragrance can be summed up in one statement: it smells cheap.  And the bottle just looks cheap.  This fragrance smells like something a junior high school girl would be all over.  The top notes lingered on me the longest, the apple and peach stayed on and never softened.  They stayed sharp and sour and then the musk came out.  I got no floral from this fragrance which is a shocl for me since my body chemistry works perfectly with florals and I have more problems with fruit and citrus notes.  This leads me to comclude that this fragrance was made on the cheap and the floral notes aren't high enough quality or there isn't enough of the perfume oil in to make the florals pop.  This is one of those few bad fragrances that begin with a top note and then hit the base notes and just remain flat the whole time.

I was so glad that I didn't purchase a bottle of this without smelling it because it would have been heading right back to Nordstrom after one usage.  I love Katy Perry and I was just so hoping that this fragrance would work for me but it was not to be.  If the middle notes would have been more prominent and the top notes less sharp, I think that this fragrance could have been a lovely scent.  Honestly, both the scent and bottle are over the top and need to be toned down...

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Thursday, August 25, 2011

LUSH Lip Scrubs

I tend to go through phases with companies and products and right now my big obsession is trying out LUSH skincare.  I started with the hand cream a few weeks ago and now have tried out one of the new lip scrubs that they released about two years ago.  I ordered this product from LUSH the exact same way that I order all of my other fun LUSH products, what color is it and what does it smell like?  I must confess that the lip scrubs didn't hold my interest as a skincare product, instead I saw that they were candy scented and that one of them was bright pink.  When a product is bright pink and from LUSH, I can't resist and I ask no questions before I purchase it.  Thank god that this is a high quality line and I haven't gotten any major duds this way...

The LUSH website gives an overall description of the lip scrubs and then a detailed description of each product.  "Ro created the scrubs because she feels that people don't take enough care with their lips.  There are perfect for scrubbing and moisturizing your lips before you put your lipstick on."  The main ingredient in all of these scrubs is castor sugar, a fine-grained sugar that dissolves in water very easily.  It is used in these scrubs and it is also used in baking.  Every lip scrub that I have ever used contains sugar so I wasn't surprised at all when it was the main ingredient in this line of lip scrubs.  I wonder what other types of ingredients could even be gentle enough to use on an area such as the lips.

The first of the three new scrubs is the one that I purchased, Bubblegum Lip Scrub.  "This one will make your lips smell like our best-selling Snow Fairy shower gel.  Bubblegum is made with exfoliating castor sugar and our delicious vegan flavor to gently scrub away rough skin, keeping your lips smooth and kissably soft with the help of jojoba oil."  I loved the Bubblegum Lip Scrub from the very first time that I used it, the scent itself was the Snow Fairy scent that I love every single holiday.  I couldn't live without Snow Fairy and it continues to be one of my favorite LUSH fragrances ever.  The product melted quickly on my lips and a fingertip-sized ball was enough to fully cover my lips and get all the dead, flaky skin off. 

Sweet Lips is the second of the LUSH scrubs and is the other one that smells yummy enough to eat.  Sweet Lips smells exactly like a bar of milk chocolate and this one uses vanilla and jojoba in addition to the sugar to keep lips soft and smooth.  "Our fabulous lips scrubs are here tio keep your kissers sweet.  Ro created the scrubs because she feels that people don't take enough care with their lips.  These are perfect for scrubbing and moisturizing your lips before you put on your lipstick.  Sweet Lips is the lip scrub for chocolate fanatics, it smells like a bar of creamy milk chocolate."  The jojoba oil is a favorable alternative to petroleum-derived lubricants due to their emollient properties and biodegradability.  Jojoba oil is both softening and light-textured at the same time and therefore will absorb quickly and fully hydrate the lips.  Milk chocolate sounds great and I would consider buying this one when I finish up the Bubblegum scrub.

The last of the three scrubs is the Mint Julip flavor, a slightly less sweet version of the scrubs.  This scrubs is described on the LUSH website as being a "refreshing mint scrub".  "When you use Mint Julips, you'll find yourself craving a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream.  It's made with refreshing peppermint oil, which will make your lips feel soothed and tingly, and jojoba oil to moisturize."  This one is a better choice for you if you don't love the super sweet scents of the other two.  This one is a bit more of a herbal mint than a very sweet mint chocolate chip scent and the peppermint oil will leave your lips tingling after you wipe it off. 

The Bubblegum selection from this company is a great lip scrub though I must confess that I don't find many lip scrubs to differ all that much in formulation.  Most of the differences between the individuial products occurs with the scent and types of moisturizers included in the formula.  Every lip scrub that I have tried so far is made with sugar and none of the formulas really differ all that much.  As far as I am concerned, as long as the company uses a combination of sugar and an oil, the scrubs will not differ all that much and will perform at about the same level.  That being said, I don't want a plain product when I could have a bright pink lip scrub that tastes like bubblegum!  Of course the bubblegum would be my favorite of the products and would be the one that I would order first.  When I need to repurchase this product, I wouldn't have anything against purchasing the chocolate or the mint but I bet that I would buy the bubblegum since I love it so much.

photo courtesy of LUSH

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Philosophy Fall 2011 Body Products

Several weeks ago, we looked at the Philosophy snowcone products to finish out the last of the summer products and now we are heading into the fall season for them.  I have been looking forward to the Pink Cotton Confection since I first saw previews of this scent on the Philosophy website.  It is finally here and I have been able to smell it at Sephora and I can say that it was worth the wait.  The fall products from Philosophy were inspired by carnivals and the treats that are eaten there.  This group of products and the snowcone products could have been released at one collection, they are all treats from fairs and carnivals.  These are some of the greatest candy-inspired fragrances that I have smelled in the past few years and I love these new releases.

The fall collection consists of the typical product range from Philosophy; a set of three products, full sized 3-in-1s, and matching lip glosses.  I am most excited that the Pink Candy Confection is now offered in a body lotion and that this is a trend that we are continuing to see from Philosophy.  I would love if the line went back and released moisturizers to mtach some of their best-selling 3-in-1 fragrances.

The set that is included in this collection is named Under The Big Top.  It contains three smaller sized 3-in-1s.  Over the years, if I like all the fragrances in the set, this is how I really prefer to purchase Philosophy 3-in-1s since it often takes me ages to use through the full-sized products.  This is a set that I would purchase since I love the fragrances in it.  "A trio of multi-tasking Shampoo, Shower Gel, and Bubble Bath in the sweet scents of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Frosted Animal Cracker, and Pink Cotton Confection.  These luscious gels sweeten any day with their extra rich and creamy formula that gently cleanse and condition, leaving skin and hair feeling ultra soft."  The three products in this set are 6 oz each, providing you with both variety and a product size that is large enough to get many uses out of them.  This is a great set for yourself or for someone else who loves to use sweet scents.

The full-sized 3-in-1s come in the Pink Cotton Confection and the Frosted Animal Cracker fragrances.  Pink Cotton Confection is my favorite of the fragrances though I really like the Frosted Animal Cracker too.  Sephora gives the following product description of Pink Cotton Confection, "A multitasking Shampoo, Shower Gel, and Bubble Bath in the sweet scent of cotton candy.  This luscious gel sweetens any day with its extra rich and creamy formula that gently cleanses and conditions, leaving skin and hair feeling ultra soft."  I love cotton candy and this product is one of the best cotton candy scents that I have ever smelled.  Frosted Animal Cracker is yummy too.  "A multitasking Shampoo, Shower Gel, and Bubble Bath in the sweet scent of frosted animal crackers.  This luscious gel sweetens any day with its extra rich and creamy formula that gently cleanses and conditions, leaving skin and hair feeling ultra soft."  Both of these are great scents for someone who loves to smell like sweets.  The Pink Cotton Confection is my favorite since I love cotton candy though I must say that the Frosted Animal Crackers is much more unique.  They are both dead on fragrances, Philosophy did a great job on these scents.

Pink Cotton Confection is the only scent that is offered in the body lotion this season, I am very happy that Philosophy is starting to offer matching lotions and I wish that it was offered in the Frosted Animal Crackers too.  "A moisturizing body lotion in the sweet scent of pink cotton candy.  This body lotion features nurturing shea butter and natural olive and macadamia nut oils to help soften skin and aid in moisture retention, while anti-oxidants help soothe and protect skin against environmental attack.  The luxurious formula melts easily into skin for a non-greasy feel."  I tried this lotion once at Sephora and it is a lighter formula that absorbs into my skin quickly.  I don't find it to be a superior hydrator for very dry skin but it will work fine for normal to semi-dry skin.

The last part of this collection is the lip glosses that match the 3-in-1s.  It looks like only the Frosted Animal Cracker fragrance is the only one that is offered in the lip shine.  Which I find very surprising since the Pink Cotton Confection would have made a great pale pink gloss and seems to be the fragrance that Philosophy is focusing on the most in this season.  "A high-gloss, high-flavor lip shine for kissably sweet lips.  Go wild over this Frosted Animal Cracker Lip Shine.  Its hydrating formula nourishes, smoothes, and softens lips while providing a sheer shine and scrumptious frosted cookie flavor."  This gloss has a sheer ivory tint with a shimmer, I am betting that it will appear as almost a clear shimmer on the lips.  I hope that Philosophy will release the Pink Cotton Confection as a lip shine becuase that one would be fantastically yummy!

Pink Cotton Confection is one of my favorite scents that I have ever smelled from Philosophy, I hope that isn't a limited edition and that I can buy it for years for to come.  Frosted Animal Cracker is another hit for this line and is one of the more unique scents for body products that have been released this season.  This collection promises to be great for those of us who love sweet scents but I do think that Philosophy needs to release something a bit less sweet to appeal to the rest of the market.

photo courtesy of Sephora 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

O.P.I. Fall 2011 Collection - Touring America

The major theme of the O.P.I. seasonal polish collections this year seems to be the United States and colors that have been inspired by areas of the country.  So far this year we have already seen a collection based totally on Texas and now we are going to see shades that have been designed for all different areas of this country.  I feel like O.P.I. is always doing collections based on different areas of the world and it was just a matter of time before they found shades that were based on the United States.  I wasn't all that excited by the Texas collection and I am hoping that this collection is a bit better.  I tend to be more into collections based on areas of Western Europe but I will give this collection a fair shot. 

O.P.I. isn't a consistent favorite collection of mine since many of their limited edition shades are just repeats of their permanent collection and they are never as unique as some of the shades from other companies.  However, I know that I can always find any type of shade from this company.  O.P.I has some really nice shades but I can't say that I would purchase the majority of the shades (like I would China Glaze).  "O.P.I. takes to the American road with a palette of shades that brings a new spirit of classic style to life."

Here is the new collection...
- Are We There Yet? - light coral with gold shimmer
- A-Taupe the Space Needle - warm taupe cream
- Color to Diner For - warm deep cranberry shimmer
- French Quarter for Your Thoughts - light gray cream
- Get in the Expresso Lane - deep neutral expresso shimmer
- Honk If You Love O.P.I. - deep grape cream
- I Brake For Manicures - deep gray purple shimmer
- I Eat Mainly Lobster - coral with gold shimmer
- My Address is "Hollywood" - warm rose cream
- Road House Blues - deep navy cream
- Suzi Takes the Wheel - pale gray with a green cast
- Uh Oh, Roll Down the Window - deep olive green cream

As with any O.P.I. collection, there are a few shades that I like from this collection and will plan on purchasing but there is nothing that I am completely in love with.  There is nothing super-unique in this collection but it is a good, solid collection that will appeal to many women.  I feel like O.P.I. is running out of both names and shades at this point and the company is beginning to repeat products. 

The being said...I still have a few shades that I will be seeking out from this group of products.  I love Road House Blues since it is a deep navy.  I also like Suzi Takes the Wheel, I can see myself using this pale gray a lot over the next few months.  French Quarter for Your Thoughts is another gray that I will be using this fall too.  I really only like the blue and gray shades from this collection, the corals are awful and many of the other shade are just too warm for my skintone.

Final thought, the name I Eat Mainly Lobster made me gag, this is not a polish for vegetarians...

photo courtesy of hotbeautyhealth.com 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bath and Body Works Slatkin & Co Holiday Preview

We all know that I love a good Slatkin candle and that I can barely shop at Bath and Body Works without purchasing at one a week.  Right now, I am building my fall candle collection (Creamy Pumpkin and Apple Crumble, yummy!) and looking forward to their full fall release to grab a Pumpkin Caramel Latte and a Hot Chocolate.  To top all this excitement off, I have been sent a preview of the Holiday candles and matching accessories.  It is never to early to start thinking about the holiday season since the best products and fragrances usually are sold out by Black Friday.  If there is something that I fall in love with, I have to buy it in the beginning of November of else it wouldn't be there when I return in December...  The holiday collection is divided into three major categories; Winter Cabin, Merry Mistletoe, and Holiday Treats.  Holiday Treats has my name written all over it!

"The spirit of the season, captured in festive scents for the home.  Scented candles inspired by the season's most joyful scents.  Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.  Mulled cider wafting through the air.  Warm pie baking in the oven.  These are the scents of the season captured in the new Slatkin & Co Holiday Candle collections.  Created to evoke the warmth, togetherness, and merrymaking of the holidays, Slatkin & Co candles fill your home with the scent of celebration.  This season, transform your home into a winter wonderland with your favorite scented candle, or give candles to loved ones on your list to spread holiday cheer.  The season's collections include the Winter Cabin collection, Merry Mistletoe collection, and the Holiday Treats collection."

The Winter Cabin collection...

Winter Cabin - A warm, comforting blend of creamy chestnut, crisp cedar and pine, infused with cinnamon and spicy cloves.

Winter Wonderland - A sparkling blend of cool peppermint and fiery cinnamon with notes of crisp apple and creamy nutmeg.

Winter Night - Fir tree, warm cyprus and clove bud blended with cedar and a touch of incense.

Spiced Apple Toddy - A warming blend of apple brandy and spiced plum, infused with mulled cider and tart cranberry.

Cranberry Cider - Bright fresh cranberries mulled in warm brandy and infused with cinnamon stick.

The Merry Mistletoe collection...

Merry Mistletoe - A magical blend of frosted cranberries, blue spruce, and iced citrus.

Sleigh Ride - Frosted juniper, green noble fir and rosemary blended to evoke a morning sleigh ride.

Deck the Halls - A blend of fresh green balsam, red berries and cinnamon bark, infused with honey and sandalwood.

The Holiday Treats collection...

Dark Chocolate Mint - A luscious blend of dark chocolate shavings and pure peppermint, layered with rich vanilla cream and a touch of caramel.

Gingerbread - The perfect blend of spicy ginger, rich buttercream, and brown sugar topped with whipped vanilla frosting.

Holiday Gumdrop - A bright blend of cinnamon stick and peppermint bark infused with vanilla and a touch of anise.

Candied Sugar Plum - Rich, sugared plums and boysenberries blended with sweet orange, cinnamon leaf and a touch of apple.

Marshmellow Peppermint - A delicious blend of sweet peppermint, fluffy marshmellow cream and rich vanilla cupcake.

These fragrances will be offered in candle of three sizes; 14.5 oz (my favorite!), 4 oz, and 1.6 oz.  There will also be decorated candle sleeves in holiday screens and quilt designs to add some pizazz to your decorating or take your gift giving above the top. 

Personally, I'm not a big cinnamon and spice person as I tend to get sick when these fragrances are too strong so my favorites will come from the Holiday Treats collection.  I am loving the sound of the Marshmellow Peppermint, Dark Chocolate Mint, and Candied Sugar Plum.  Spiced Apple Toddy and Cranberry Cider also sound wonderful and I want to smell these too.

We still have to finish summer out and then all of fall is ahead of us but the holidays are simmering on the back burner and will be here before we know it.  These candles are available in October, I don't have an exact date at the moment but I know from previous years that it is normally more toward the end of the month since Halloween and fall items will still be out in the beginning.

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Dior Fall 2011 Collection - Blue Tie

I can never resist a Dior collection, especially one that is for fall.  Fall and spring are Dior's best seasons and I look forward to the collections at the beginning of each season.  Dior has always been able to make at least one or two products that end up at the very top of my Most Wanted lists.  And the packaging itself is normally so lust-worthy that I would purchase the products just to gaze at the lovely compacts.  I have often come to the conclusion that Dior does packaing better than anyone else in the beauty industry and at times, they do the packaging better than the actaul products themselves.  I know that I can trust this line to bring me a lust-worthy product this fall but I am really hoping that I lust for the product itself and not just the stunning compact that it is offered in...

The new collection from Dior is named Blue Tie.  My initial thoughts were that I would hate the eye makeup in this collection and that I will need any nail polish that comes out in it.  "'Midnight blue is the only color that can ever compete with black.', - Christian Dior.  Both black and color, light and smoke, masculine, and feminine, discover the ultra-chic midnight blue by Dior."   I love the nail polish shade that has been offered with this collection, I first saw a hint of it over the summer and I am so happy that I can finally get my hands on a bottle!

The Blue Tie collection...

Blue Tie Palette - Dior has created luxury with the Dior Blue Tie palette, audaciously blending feminine glamour with masculine edge, and harmoniously modernizing the House codes.  This quartet of multi-pressed eye shadows combines matte and shimmering textures in a reflection of the tuxedo fabrics, reinterpreting the couture, embossed Dior camework motif.  This quartet provides a myriad blue hues for a strong, densely smoky eye.  Beneath the CD stamped silver door lies a nude pink lip gloss to complement.

5 Couleurs Designer - An ultra-professional and totally new version of the 5 Couleur Eye Shadow palette.  Five different textures have been brought together in a single case to create eye shadow styles through layering.  1 - Base (light), 2 - Color (iridescent), 3 - Shade (satin), 4 - Shine (pearlescent), 5 - Linder (mat) represent the 5 essential steps used by professional makeup artists to draw attention to the eyes and create ultra-graphic eye makeup looks.
- Navy Design - pale white shimmer/pale silver shimmer/medium gray matte/deep charcoal shimmer/deep navy shimmer

Diorblush - Dress your cheeks in color and light!  Dior presents the first blush that plays on color intensity and a variety of finishes to create a natural, healthy glow with a subtle sparkle.  A matte finish enhances the natural skin tone, while a pearly finish highlights the planes of the face.  Silky and lightly scented, this Couture blush comes in a wide range of colors to suit all skintones.
- Passionfruit - medium warm pink/light neutral pink

Serum de Rouge - Dior creates Serum de Rouge, an elixir of youth with exquisite radiance.  A sublime alliance of skincare and color benefits, the serum texture literally melts onto your lips for absolute comfort with a wonderful sensation upon application.  The formula, with 10 times more concentrated skincare ingredients than classical lipsticks, provides moisture, volume, and smoothing benefits for your lips, immediately after application and day after day.  Directions for use: turn pen with a single click to obtain the perfect amount for ideal makeup results.
- Raspberry Serum - deep berry cream

Rouge Dior - Rouge Dior is a wardrobe of 32 sublime shades directly inspired by the deep, luxurious colors of Dior Haute Couture gowns to reveal all the beauty and triumphant and radiant feminity!  Instantly and day after day, this exceptional lipstick offer the lips the extreme splendor of full, smooth, and perfectly defined youthfulness.  The secret?  A new generation of plumping hyaluronic acid microspheres.  Generously coated with pigments in the lip surface, they help boost the radiance and depth of color.  In a midnight blue Haute Couture case with the canework motif dear to the brand, unveils the "Haute Couleur" stick, made even more extraordinary due to its unique shine and its engraved CD signature.
- Pisanelle Pink - medium neutral pink cream

Dior Vernis - The ultimate accessory for this blue collection comes in the shape of 2 new, extremely audacious, nail varnish shades.  Tuxedo, a deep and intense blue, attracts attention with its magnetic presence.  Blue Denim has a more urban vibe, gleaming like a bolt of electric lightning at each fingertip.  A must have for all fashionistas.
- Tuxedo - deep navy shimmer
- Blue Denim - bright blue cream

Oh this collection actually makes me wish that I could pull off blue eye makeup!  I love the Blue Tie Palette but I can't buy it only for the lip gloss shade contained in it.  Since none of the eye makeup in this collection will not work for me, I am going to prefer the lip and nail products from this collection.  My favorite piece of the collection is the Rouge Dior in Pisanelle Pink, this will be the perfect neutral pink for me.  I also love the berry shade that is offered in the Serum de Rouge, I will wear this one a lot this fall too.  The new blush product is also very interesting to me and I want to head to the counter and try this product out too.  I am a bit worried that the paler shade in the palette might be too light for my taste, I want to try and find this product in a deeper rose shade.  To finish it up, it goes without saying that I must have both of these nail varnishes since they are both blues

photo courtesy of Nordstrom 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Bath and Body Works Liplicious Cafe Collection Lip Glosses

Cafe Collecition is yet another group of new lip glosses that Bath and Body Works has released for the fall.  Seriously, if you haven't checked out the lip table at this store than I strongly recommend that you do since they have released so many new lip glosses over the past month and so many of them have been hits.  I have been adding them to my lip gloss collection at a more rapid rate than every before.  I think today's collection might be my favorite of the lip gloss collections so far.  This collection is named Cafe Collection and the flavors of it remind me of my morning trip to Starbucks, I am a sucker for anything that smells like coffee and I have long wished that Starbucks would have their own body product line.  Since that doesn't seem to be happening any time soon, I will have to go with this lip gloss line for my coffee-scented fix.

This lip gloss collections consists of two warmer brown tones, a cool rose, and a pale neutral shade.  The two brown tones will be too wamr for my skintone so no matter how much I like the fragrance of them, I can state up front that I will end up skipping over them.  The rose shade is my favorite on first glance and I have to see how sheer the neutral shade is, it might be too warm for my skintone also.

"Add a jolt to your day with this fun gloss coffee lovers will adore!  Our moisturizing formula, now with conditioning B12, delivers the perfect combination of color and high-glistening shine.  Delicious mouth-watering flavor and high shine in a moisturizing formula."

The first of the two brown tones is Bean Me Up, the deepest of the shades.  This shade is a neutral bronze shade, however I found it to be more of a warm bronze than a neutral.  This shade was very unflattering in my pale, cool skin.  It would be better suited for someone with a warm skintone and has a deeper skintone than me.  I wish that this shade would have worked out better for me since I love the scent of it.  It is caramel latte-scented, a favorite drink of mine.  If the shade would have been better for my skintone, I would have been all over it but since it will look awful on me, I had to skip over this shade.

The second of the brown/warm shades is the one that I saw the least of in the stores, I only ever saw this shade once and it was only at one of the stores that I was at, it was missing from three others.  That being said, I only got to try this shade once and never saw it again.  This shade is named Thanks a Latte, a warm nude shade.  This shade would be best for a warmer complexion since it it more of a peachy tone.  This is a medium nude peach and is another one that wouldn't work for my skin tone.  Which is a shame since it is a vanilla latte flavor, yet another favorite drink of mine.  These warm shades are just killing me since I love these flavors...

The next shade is the rose tint, which is the Chai Carumba flavor.  I have only ever ordered one chai in my whole life so I find it amusing that this is the only shade that I really love.  From what I remember from my one drink, chai is more cinnamon than coffee but I might be a bit off in my description.  A friend of minet old that this smells exactly like a chai latte from Starbucks so it must accurate since that is all that she ever drinks from there.  Whether or not the scent is accurate, this is the best shade of the collection.  It is a dusty rose shade that is much better for cool-toned skin than any of the other shades.  I love this shade on my skin and this was my top pick of the collection.

Mocha My Day is the last shade of this little collection.  Bath and Body Works used to have a scrub with the same name that I loved when I was in college and was sadly discontinued.  This lip gloss smells exactly like this scrub and I was so hoping that this one would work for me.  This shade is a nude cream and is another one that just didn't work for my skin.  It was really pale and warm and it was just bad overall.  The pigmentation of it was uneven, it was sheer in some areas, full pigmentation in others.  I tried blending it out on my lips and it didn't really make it any better.  This was another shade that I had to skip on since this shade just wasn't for me.
I love the fragrances of these glosses, however the Chai is the only shade that works out for me.  I wasn't surprised that many of these shades were too warm for me since most coffee products are different shades of browns.  I do love the rose shade and this is the only one that I purchased of the glosses.  This shade is great for me since it a semi-pigmented rose shade that works perfectly on its won or paired against a stronger eye look.  I will be wearing this one against all the strong eye makeup that we have been seeing this fall.

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works

Friday, August 19, 2011

MAC Prime Focus

Prime Focus is a new collection of three primers that MAC has released this week.  MAC Prep + Prime is already a favorite primer of mine so I am so looking forward to seeing what else MAC has to offer now in the primer category.  The traditional Prep + Prime is already a fantastic product that has never let me down so I am interested to see how MAC has improved on this product and what they have done to enhance it.  I am wondering if I would like this product in a tinted formula to reduce some of the redness in my cheek area, especially as my skin gets drier and redder in the wintertime.

"Three multi-tasking, high performance Primers that are must haves for every makeup kit: MAC Prep + Prime Fortified Skin Enhancer SPF 35 and MAC Prep + Prime Translucent Finishing Powder, now in both Loose and Pressed form.  Perfection has never been so easy!"  So now we have two finishing powders in this collection and tinted versions of the traditional primer.  Have I died and gone to heaven?!  I am also looking for a new loose powder to use once I have finished up my summer bronzer so this little group of products is just right in line with what I need to buy right now.  And I say "need" because a purchase from here will be replacing products that I ran out of, not adding another pink lip gloss to my already huge collection!

The new additions to Prep + Prime...

Prep + Prime Translucent Finishing Powder - A silky finishing powder that provides an invisible way to set makeup.  Reduces skine while optically minimizing the look of pores, lines, imperfections.  Available in one universal color that suits all shades.  Wear over makeup or on bare, moisturized skin.

Prep + Prime Translucent Finishing Powder/Pressed - A silky, colourless finishing powder suitable for all skintones.  Reduces shine while optically minimizes the look of lines and imperfections.  Wear over makeup or on its own.  Now in a pressed compact for ease and portability.

Prep + Prime Foritified Skin Enhancer - A tinted skin primer fortified with soft-focus powders to help even out skin tone and add radiance.  Lightweight and invisible, it goes on under foundation or powder for a naturally perfect look and subtle glow.  Helps protect against pollution and UV rays.  Available in four tints: Illuminate adds radiance to a sallow complextion; Neutralize calms a red, blotchy complexion; Adjust brightens dull skin; and Recharge adds a little "boost" to any dull complexion.  Fragrance free.

I need both of these powders!  I can't wait to see how using both the primer and the finishing powder together helps to even out my complexion.  I will buy the loose powder to use in the morning to set my makeup and then keep the pressed powder in my bag to keep the complexion prefection going on throughout the whole day.  From the primer collection, I need to buy the Neutralize shade and I would also like to add the Recharge tint to use when my skin looks awful in the cold weather. 

It looks like I need to visit the MAC counter and pick up a couple of these products before the cold weather hits this fall.  MAC Prep + Prime is a group of very high quality products and I am very happy that MAC has continued to release new products in this collection.

photo courtesy of MAC

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Kat Von D True Romance Eye Shadow Palette in Poetica

Everyone know that I love a good Kat Von D eye shadow palette and that I'm not exaggerating when I state that I really use every single shade in the palette and use them until there is no more product left in the container.  It seems like Kat Von D has been releasing a new True Romance Eye Shadow Palette either once a season or once every other season.  I wasn't really into the summer release, Angeles, for the simple fact that it contained several blues and brights, none of which are my top choices for eye makeup.  Poetica is her newest palette for the fall and winter and I am going to go out on a limb and state that this might be her best palette since the initial collection release.  Since these are great palettes overall, this is big accomplishment.  Poetica contains the traditional shades that Kat puts in almost every single palette, with two lovely lavender additions. 

"A palette with eight eye shadow colors and an eye liner pencil.  Create a smoky eye or try a rocker chick look with this True Romance Eye Shadow Palette.  Designed especially for Sephora by tattoo artist and reality television star Kat Von D, this artistic spectrum of shades includes neutral nudes and browns with purple highlights to bring a sense of edgy-glam to your look.  Plus, get a mini version of Kat's waterproof Puro Amor Black Autograph Pencil Eye Liner."  Is this the first palette to contain an eye liner or have I been missing something?!  My Ludwig palette certainly doesn't contain an eye liner and since I often use the shades with one, I wish this I had one in there that was hand-picked by Kat! 

I also read on the Sephora website that each of these eye shadows is formulated with rose extract, an ingredient with superior hydrating properties to help the eye lids stay soft and moisturized.  I wonder if that is the secret ingredient in her eye shadows, since every single one that I have tried so far is soft, buttery, and very easy to spread onto the lid.  If this is so than I hope that other companies with use this ingredient or that Kat will contain to grow her eye shadow line, I still would love to see duos and single eye shadows instead of just the palettes.

Here are the shades that make up the Poetica palette...

- Forgiveness - pearlized butter-cream
- Sand Timer - pearlized sand
- Chandler - pearlized copper
- Tijuana - brown and black with gold sparkle
- Wonderland - burgundy with gold pearl
- Skiba - purple with gold pearl
- Babe - lavender
- You Alone - matte vanilla
The left half of the palette (Forgiveness, Sand Timer, Chandler) look exactly as many of the other Kat Von D shadow palettes, none of these shades are that unique but I guarentee that you will get tons of usage from them as highlighters.  Skiba is the most unique of all the shades, it is rare to find a good purple with a gold vein, I am hoping that this one is easier to work with then the version that I have of it from MAC (name escapes me at the moment, it was limited edition and came out in A Rose Romance).  That would be awesome because this palette could very easily be used to create a fantastic purple and gold gilded eye. 

I love that Kat Von D has changed her palette style just a bit to get away from the smoky eye look that seems to have dominated her last few palettes, they are all lovely but how many versions of a smoky eye palette does one person need?  This one will help to create the gilded eye look that will be so popular going into fall and helps to break the smoky eye palette trend.

This one is going on my Most Wanted List...

photo courtesy of Sephora

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

LUSH Helping Hands Hand Cream

Most people think about hand creams in the winter and fall months.  I don't know about anyone else but my hands take a beating all year round; working, blogging, and constantly changing my nail polish shades really dry them out.  Now that my China Glaze obsession is starting and both of my orders came in, I have been changing my polish almost every single day to try new products out.  And WHAM!  My hands feels like they normally do in January...
I am still using my Rich Girl Hand Cream from Lippmann Collection but since that one contains an SPF 25, I decided to save that for during the day and try something different out at night.  I wasn't even quite sure what I had left in collection of products so I decided to do some digging around.  Lo and behold, I found a hand cream in the Think Pink LUSH gift set that I purchased on year on my birthday and I somehow managed to forget about everything that didn't fizz or explode.  I mostly associate LUSH with bath products even though I know they create top quality skincare items too.  Time to move beyond the bubble bars!

The hand cream that was in this set is the lesser of the known products from LUSH.  Their Lemony Fluffer and Charity Pot products usually get the most attention and Helping Hands is never really featured in the LUSH Times or in a prominent place on the store shelves.  Had this product not been included in my giftset simply because the lotion is pink, I doubt that I ever would have really noticed it.  LUSH categorizes this product "for over-worked hands" and a "heavy duty moisturizer".  This is exactly what my skin needs at the moment...

"Miracle working, softening hand cream.  You might be a person who thinks that hand cream is merely one more non-essential thing to spend your money on.  This was created for people that work there fingers to the bone and have suffering hands.  Mark wanted to create a cream that would protect and care for those hands in particular.  It soothes and softens with a powderful mixture of marigold and lavender; shea butter and almond oil are emollient and we've added softening linseed and glycerine.  Give your hands a little help."

Linseed is an ingredient that I have never seen in a body product until now.  "The outer coating of linseeds swells, producing a gel when exposed to water.  They are rich in protein, oil, vitamins, and minerals.  The seeds are nutritious and aid digestive health."  I can see how they play a role in this cream since linseed is rich in oil.

This is one of the most hydrating hand creams that I have ever tried!  The texture is more that of a lotion instead of a tradition cream and therefore, it sinks into hands right away without leaving any type of greasy afterfeeling.  For that alone, it is worth purchasing the small purse size of this cream right along with the full size since you will want to carry it with you wherever you go.  I have been lending my tube of this cream out to my coworkers and it has been getting rave reviews from everyone who tries some of it.  LUSH has never disappointed me and this product is no exception!  LUSH has proven themselves beyond the bath bombs and the bubble bars...

photo courtesy of LUSH 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Clinique Fall 2011 Collection - Black Honey

Black Honey from Clinique is one of the collections that I was most excited about at the beginning of the season, this one might actually be up there with Chanel and the new Urban Decay products.  Considering that I really like Clinique but rarely get as hyped about their new collections as I do about the above-mentioned companies, that is a huge feat!  This collection is based on their cult-favorite, best-selling Almost Lipstick shade in Black Honey, a favorite shade of mine for the past three or four years.  This collection releases limited edition Black Honey shades that are now for cheeks and eye now.  Black Honey can now be worn all over your face this fall!

Clinique states, "It's not just for lips anymore.  Cult-favorite Almost Lipstick in Black Honey now shares the love with eyes and cheeks."  I'm not sure that I would wear this whole look on my face at once, especially if the eye makeup is very pigmented.  Black Honey lip products may be sheerer than it appears in the tube but it stills leaves a very noticeable stain on the lips, I wouldn't pair this with strong eye makeup unless I wanted to make a very dramatic statement.

The Black Honey-inspired collection...

Lipgloss/Lipstick Duo - Cult favorite Black Honey gets even more seductive in an exclusive 2-in-1 lip duo.  One side brings you original, emollient-rich Almost Lipstick; the other features a coordinating, can't-buy-it Long Last Glosswear SPF 15 for extra shine.
- Black Honey - deep blackened raisin

Almost Lipstick - Sheer, glossy slip of lightweight lip color in our exclusive Black Honey shade.  This best-selling lip colour is universally flattering yet looks a little different on everyone.  Emollient-rich formula gives lips a sleek, moist finish.
- Black Honey - deep blackened raisin

Colour Surge Eye Shadow Quad - Four coordinating shades of velvety colour in a limited-edition Black Honey-inspired palette.  Create the look you want, from natural to dramatic.  Creamy, intense shadows build quickly, blend easily for long-lasting colour.
- Black Honey - pale champagne shimmer/medium berry pink shimmer/deep berry shimmer/deep raisin shimmer

Brush-On Cream Liner - Creamy eye lienr brushes on deep, smoky, eye-defining colour.  Long-wearing, waterproof formula comes complete with a mini Eye Liner Brush.  Ophthamologist tested.
- Black Honey - deep blackened raisin

High Impact Mascara - Kicks up the volume and length of each and every lash for a look that's lusher, plusher, bolder.  Pure, deep colour only adds to the impact.  Wear it once and you'll feel naked without it.  Ophthamologist tested.
- Black/Brown - blackened brown
- Black - deep rich black

Gradient Powder Blusher - Versatile powder blush creates the look you want, from a subtle glow to a cheek-sculpting intensity.  Brush on all shades, or use lighter shades alone to highlight.
- Black Honey - gradient of a pale rose to a deep berry

Blush Brush - Perfectly sized and softly tapered to deposit the right amount of powder blush on apples of cheeks and cheekbones.  Highlights temples, bridge of nose and chin.  Unique antibacterial technology helps ensure the highest level of hygiene.

This collection will appeal to a very specific customer, in order to really wear this collection well, you will need to have a cool skin tone that looks good in berry and plum toned shades.  This collection does really leave out the warm-toned customer, I doubt that any of these shades will work on warm toned skin.  But this collection will be great for my cool-toned skin so I am just going to go with it.

My favorite piece of the collection is the blush, I love the gradient of it and every single hue found in the gradient will work for my skintone, I am so excited to try this product out.  I hope that it is highly pigmented because I will be very disappointed if the lighter hues don't show up well on my skin.  The same applies for the eye shadow quad, love the shades and I hope that they are as pigmented as they appear in the picture.  Unfortunately, Clinique has not been known in the past for top quality pigmentation so I am slightly nervious that the blush and eye shadows are going to look much sheerer when I have them on.  Which will destory the look completely.  If this collection was from NARS, I wouldn't worry about pigmentation but Clinique is not a leader in the pigment-intense arena.

The eye liner in this shade is very intriguing, it was already sold out on the website and Clinique's cream products always have great pigmentation and true to color on application.  The last item that I want from the collection is the Almost Lipstick/Lipgloss combination, this shade will also be great in a gloss to add a bit of berry tint to the lips.

I love Black Honey and I love that Clinique has recognized how great this shade it and has created a line inspired by it.  My only regrets on this collection?  I would love this shade in a nail polish and a full pigmentation cream lipstick....

photo courtesy of Clinique

Monday, August 15, 2011

Smashbox Fall 2011 Collection - Girls On Film

As I have stated as lot so far, we have been seeing a lot of fall collections that are very heavy on the eye makeup products.  The newest collection from Smashbox, named Girls On Film, is no exception to what seems to be the rule this fall however they do balance it out a bit better than some other companies in that they offer both lip gloss selections and a new blush.  I have been big on blush lately so I am excited to see something new in this area.  This is a special collection that is designed by the Smashbox makeup artists to look as lovely in real life as it would being photographed.  I'm not photographed all that much however I am perfectly happy to look amazing in real like!
"We're bringing you on set with this film-worthy collection all about the magic that happens when you capture that perfect shot.  Get in on the studio party.  YOUR close-up is calling!", states the Smashbox website when they give a brief description of the collection.  This collection contains two full eye palettes and then lip gloss and a new blush selection.  I am the most excited for the blush but I can't wait to see this whole collection!

Smashbox Girls On Film...

Girls On Film Photo Op Eye Palette - Softbox: always be camera-ready with this pretty-as-a-picture palette of everyday that can work anytime, anywhere.  Smokebox: Smolder like an A-list starlet with this sultry palette of dramatic shades, perfect for creating any smoky eye look.
- Softbox - pale champagne shimmer/medium matte taupe/deep matte plum/pale white shimmer/champagne gold shimmer/deep brown shimmer
- Smolder - pale pink white shimmer/medium gray shimmer/deep black with silver shimmer/light gray shimmer/deep matte plum/medium navy shimmer

Girls On Film Cream Eye Liner & Travel Brush Set - Create the perfect frame in a flash!  Precision definition is a snap with our cult-fave liner and go-everywhere brush.  The smooth formula allows for completely customizable application, whether you want a perfectly lined or more smudged look.
- Sepia - midnight brown with gold pearl
- Blacklight - black with blue pearl

Girls On Film Blush Rush - Get cover-worthy cheekbones with an instant rush of color, courtesy of our ultra-luxe, long-wearing blush.  The compact also features a cool swivel mirror for easy touch-ups on the go.
- Pose - rosy pink
- Silhouette - soft nude

Girls On Film Lip Enhancing Gloss - A picture-perfect pout is just a swipe away with our beloved, award-winning formula for soft, smooth lips.  Choose from two new universally flattering shades of pink.
- Overexposed - soft milky pink
- Underexposed - rusty pink

Finally I have found a collection that contains lip and blush shades that are better than the eye palettes!  Don't get me wrong, these are very nice eye shadows but I just love the other products in this collection.  I must have both of the lip glosses, I think that I prefer the Underexposed shade for the fall and I would put the light Overexposed shade away for next spring.  Overexposed is closer to the Viva Glam Gaga Lipglass (original) and will be best on pale skintones however the Underexposed will work for all types of skintones.  Underexposed is an overall winner of a shade. 

I do expect that both eye palettes will sell very well for this company, Smashbox eye shadows are very high quality and the texture is normally quite easy to work with.  Both of the palettes contain lovely shades, I prefer the Softbox palette with the neutrals and golds.  Lastly, I love the Pose shade of blush and this will be on my shopping list next time that I hit up the Smashbox counter at Sephora.

photo courtesy of Smashbox

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bath and Body Works Paris Amour

A few days ago, I posted about Bath and Body Works big fragrance event on Saturday and the fragrance, Paris Amour, that was going to be released at that time.  When I wrote about the event itself, the Paris Amour fragrance wasn't up on the website so I didn't have access to the fragrance details themselves.  However, the fragrance collection is now available on the website and in the stores.  Ladies, if you love floral fragrances, then this one is a must for you!  I am a floral girl and this one is pure perfection, it is actually my first tulip fragrance too!  I liked this when I first smelled it in the lotion at the store and was able to buy an EDT slightly early and just continued to fall more and more in love with the fragrance. 

"Master perfumers have blended French tulips, apple blossoms, and sparkling pink champagne to create this beautiful fragrance inspired by a romantic stroll through the streets of Paris."  This new fragrance falls in the Romantics collection, the line of light spring florals.  The top notes of the fragrance are: Sparkling Mandarin, Petite Strawberry, Cassis, Pink Champagne, Apple Blossom, Dewy Freesia.  The heart notes are: Luscious Peach, Jasmine Petals, French Tulip, Water Lily, Frangipani.  The base notes are: French Vanilla, Coconut Milk, Amber Wood, Sandalwood, Creamy Musk. 

The lotion smells mostly like a light floral, the tulip comes out very strong in it, followed by the apple blossom.  The pink champagne note comes out only in the EDT.  The fragrance smells very strongly of the pink champagne when it is first sprayed onto the skin and the fragrance is very tart at that time.  After about twenty minutes, the pink champagne note dries off the skin and the tulip, apple blosson, peach, and jasmine notes occur.  The sandalwood slowly comes out after about two hours and it very subtle, the fragrance stays a floral and does not turn into a chypre.  I put this fragrance in the Floral Oriental category, since it contains the floral heart and has the Oriental dry down. 

This fragrance is ladylike and lovely.  It would be perfect for a dressed-up night out but isn't so strong that you couldn't wear it to the office.  This is not a tee-shirt and jeans kind of fragrance (not that we have been seeing many of them this fall anyway), it has a certain elan that just doesn't work with dressing down.  This is a very girly fragrance and will appeal to the higher maintence lady.

This fragrance comes in the typical line of products from Bath and Body Works.  The EDT is the best procut in the line but if you don't wish to wear that strong of a fragrance, you still have a full line of products to choose from.  The traditional Body Spray and newer Shimmer Spary are both available if you prefer to wear a lighter version of the fragrance.  The following body products are available in this fragrance - Body Lotion, Shower Gel, Triple Moisture Body Cream, Body Butter, Dial-A-Shimmer Lotion, and Bubble Bath.  Of course, I will buy my normal products from this line, I love the Shower Gel and the Triple Moisture Body Cream.  I am also considering the Shimmer Lotion since this fragrance is nice enough to wear out at night.  As a bit of a surprise, I really want the Bubble Bath from this fragrance, I would find soaking in it to be perfect for a relaxing, girly evening.

My last thoughts?  Look at that bottle!!  I loved the Into The Wild EDT bottle and thought that that would be my favorite Bath and Body Works EDT bottle ever and then I saw this one!  Pink and the Eiffel Tower combined on one bottle of perfume?!  Pure perfection!

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sephora Collection Allure Beauty Editor Palette

In the August issue of Allure magazine, there was a full page write-up on a new makeup collaboration that Sephora did with the Allure Beauty Editor team.  The full palette itself actually contains five smaller palettes, each of which is designed to fully create one "look" such as bold eye makeup or bronzed skin.  The Allure editors combined their collective knowledge to cut through all the products available on the market to put together perfectly matched eye shadows, a face product, and a lip gloss.  Each of these palettes make it really easy to create one look and are a great choice for a makeup beginner or for trying a new look. 

Sephora states the following on their website, "A collection of makeup created in collaboration with the beauty editors of Allure Magazine.  This extensive collection includes five fashionable color palettes selected by Allure Editor-In-Chief Linda Wells and her team of top beauty editors.  The main component holds all five palettes and a portable compact.  The compact in interchangeable, so choose any palette, snap it in, and go!  Each palette contains six eye shadows, one blush or bronzer, and one doe foot lip gloss.  These high-payoff eye shadows are totally blendable.  Each lipstick is non-sticky and can be swapped among palettes."

In Allure magazine, it states that the motivation behind the palettes was that every single shade was usable.  The beauty editors wanted to avoid a common issue among eye palettes; you use one or two shades all the time and then the rest of the shades go to waste in your traincase.  I agree with this issue since I have very few palettes where I use every single shade consistently.  But to play devil's advocate with this palette collection, I am sure that there are very few people that will use every single shade in this palette collection (and they are all sold together it seems since I can't order specific shades on the Sephora website).  So I understand the logic that went into putting these shades together but I still don't find this collection to be the end-all among all the palettes on the beauty product market today.

Here are the palettes (with details provided by Allure Beauty Editors)...

All Fun No Sun - A palette of coppers, bronzes, and browns.  "Bronze makeup is an easy (and safe) way to look sunkissed, but the key is incorporating other colors.  This palette holds a matte bronzer and shimmery bronze shadow as well as metallic shadows - shell, taupe, copper, deep brown, and purple - plus a rosy gloss.", states Catherine Devine, editorial assistant.

Color Theory - A palette of sharp jewel tones like violet and green.  "If you like bold colors but aren't quite sure how to where them together, we've made it easy: Wear any two of the strong eye shadows (teal, violet, blue, pink-purple) together, or layer the brown or matte brown on top.  Pink-y nude gloss and blush keep the rest of the face soft.", states Sophia Panych, associate editor.

Beauty 101 - A palette of soft nudes and taupes.  "With office makeup, you want to look pulled-together but not boring.  Get that effect by blending a bit of the champagne or shimmery lavender eye shadow with the browns and grays here.  You won't look too neutral with peachy pink blush and gloss." states Daisy Shaw, assistant editor.

Sparkles Fly - A palette of black, bold gold, and orange.  "This kit contains all the ingredients for a party look: sparkly gold, copper, and purple shadows, plus a scarlet gloss.  Blue-gray and black shadows offset the shimmery colors and can be liners if you wet them; gold and pearl are highlighters, and the tan blush balances the look.", states Dina Mekawi, producer.

Where There's Smoke - A palette of smoky charcoal and grays.  "The building blocks for the ultimate smoky eye: an intense black, a pearly white, and two shades of gray.  As an alternative, swap the black and gray for the eggplant or forest green shadow.  The berry gloss amd rosy blush complete the sexy theme.", states Jennifer Yee, associate market editor.

As I stated in the beginning of this post, this collection of palettes is great for someone just getting into makeup.  This would be the perfect present for a girl in her late teens or early twenties but I am willing to bet that many people already own over half of the shades in this palette.  I like every single one of these palettes and there are some great shade choices in all of them but I know that I own most of these shades already and if I don't own it than there is a reason for that (like the tan blush - I would never wear this shade on my cheeks).  All Fun No Sun and Where There's Smoke are my favorite of the collection but I can safely skip this whole thing since there is nothing that unique about any of the shades.

I understand the concept of why these are in palettes and I hail Allure for putting together palettes that real people can use but I feel like they left a big part of there audience out since many women already have these shades and have mastered at least two of three of the looks that the palettes create.  I would be more interested in seeing a collection of individual products picked out by the Allure editors and then they show us how they work together to create the looks.  Just my thoughts...

photo courtesy of Sephora