Friday, September 30, 2011

Harajuku Lovers Super G

Is the Harajuku Lovers collection ever coming to an end?!  Super G is the newest fragrance release from this coming, G of the Sea was the summer release and there are rumors that a Christmas version of this fragrance is coming out within the coming weeks.  I was obsessed with the original G fragrance throughout the summer months but I feel that every single version of G since the original has been a let down and I always liked one of the scents for Gwen's back-up dancers instead.  However, we haven't been seeing any of the other fragrance personalities with the recent releases so now I either like the latest version of G or I skip over the line totally.  I only have a bit left in my original bottle of G and I am beginning to think that I may have to conserve it next summer.

I just began laughing when I saw Super G, I almost couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it on the Sephora website.  I couldn't figure out what the point of this version was, all of the other versions have followed the trends of the season but this one seemed to be somewhat out of place.  I was wondering if this was a cool weather version of G, perhaps a fragrance with the coconut and some more deep vanilla or musk notes.  Maybe I shouldn't say "wondering", "hoping" might be more accurate since I have been unimpressed with the past few versions of these fragrances.  Perhaps this fragrance will be the one to make my not judge a fragrance by the bottle...

"Have no fear, Super G is here!  A true superhero, she stops crime against fashion without getting a hair out of place.  This fragrance's sparkling top notes of yellow pineapple and tangerine give the fragrance an energetic flair.  The opening complements a bright, happy heart composed with touches of yellow freesia and banana nectar.  A warm musk joins hints of vanilla and raspberry, rounding out the fragrance and lending a unique signature."

The fragrance notes are: Tangerine, Yellow Pineapple, Pear, Tart Cranberry, Banana Nectar, Yellow Freesia, Coconut, Peach, Musk, Transparent Cedar Wood, Vanilla, Raspberry.

I was willing to give this fragrance a fair shot even though the notes sound like a combination that I would hate.  The strongest notes when I first tried it out were the tangerine and pineapple and then the freesia and peach came out before the whole fragrance died in about two hours.  This is one of those fragrances that caused me to gag when I first smelled it and then got no better as it wore.  This was a super generic fruity floral and reminded me of the rest of the awful generic fruity florals on the market today.  Cheap scented room spray from Wal-Mart came to mind when I played with this fragrance, it made me wonder if this fragrance was created for kids considering that it smelled cheap and the bottles looks like it was designed by a cartoon designer.

Harajuku would have been better off just skipping this whole idea and holding out until the Christmas release of the holiday G version.  The past few versions of these fragrances make me begin to wonder if Harajuku is going under and trying to release new fragrance quickly to grab as many sales as possible.  I hope the Christmas version is better because this version is one of the worst fragrances that I have ever tried.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Thursday, September 29, 2011

MAC The Art of Powder

The Art of Powder is one of the two new collections that have been released this week from MAC, MAC is currently in the process of a huge series of releases and new products are coming out faster than I can keep up.  I feel like MAC has been this way for the past few months, there are either so many products releasing that I can barely keep my head above water when shopping at the counter or nothing new is released for weeks and I pass the counter by since all the displays are half-empty.  I wonder if the releases could be a bit more regulated...

The Art of Powder is one of those collections that makes products that are so pretty most people cna't bear to use them.  I have found that when I do manage to force myself to dip a brush into the lovely powder picture that I sometimes get very disappointed in the product itself.  I am a sucker for packaging and all the bells and whistles but I can't even bring myself to consistently purchase products just because the design is lovely.  This collection only consists of three products so I can't imagine why this collection was released against the huge Fall Colour Collection, when confronted with the huge Colour Collection displays, many people will completely miss this collection at the counters.

From the MAC website, "The line between Fine Art & Makeup Art is undeniably blurry...explore illusion with the Op Art Optical Bronzer.  A Street Art Eye Shadow personalizes the eye with madcap graffiti & for those who love light & shade, as In The Abstract Highlighter."  I am not all that excited for this collection, the designs on the powders are very attractive but will be ruined as soon I try them.

Let's check them out and see how MAC has paired makeup and art this time...

Street Art Eye Shadow - Street Artists challenge art by situating it in non-art contexts...what better location for that than the eye?  Amplify your aesthetic with a bronzed, gold pearl, and neon pink eye shadow.
- soft pink base with yellow gold lines and lavender and mid-tone pink dots

In The Abstract Highlighter - Inspired by Abstract Expressionists, a highlighting powder with a soft pink base, yellow gold lines, and midtone lavender and pink dots.
- graffiti design with light brown, white, light cool blue, warm orange, pastel pink, and pastel blue

Optical Bronzer - Explore the depth, dimension, & sheer illusion of Op Art with a bronzer that's sheer, chic, & ideal for enhancing skin tone.
- bronze with gold pearl and neon pink with gold pearl

The Street Art Eye Shadow is very pretty but I can safely skip over it, if I feel in love with the pigment and texture at the counter than I would purchase it but I would save it until next spring since it is more of a pink and gold shade mix.  There is nothing really wrong with this collection but I am just not overwhelmed with any of ther products and I just see myself either not using the products at all or ruining the design with one use.  I really feel that MAC would have done better with this collection as a full release in the spring time and used these products as the hero products and had single shades to complement them in the release.  In addition, this would be better as a spring release, not a fall release...

photo courtesy of MAC

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Giorgio Armani Fall 2011 Collection - Jacquard

It may be hard to believe but after looking at fall collections for the past three months, this is my last fall collection.  If a company doesn't have it out by now then they are missing the boat since Urban Decay has just began to bring their holiday collections out and I am pretty much wrapping up buying fall shades and am looking forward to the holidays.  The last collection of this season is the Giorgio Armani beauty collection, a line that I never really get to see very much up in my area.  Hopefully I will be getting into New York City within the next few weeks to see some of these products for myself.

The newest collection is named Jacquard and this collection looks as though it will contain both dramatic eye and lip shades.  Many of the fall collections have been so eye makeup based that I really love seeing some lovely lip shades.  This collection is even better than many of the others in that it actually contains a face highlighter and new blush shades, two items that I feel like we haven't been seeing enough of this fall.  I am most interested in the blush shades in this line since I haven't bought any new blushes since the middle of summer but I am also really interested in the new lip shades in this collection.  Lipstick and blush are at the top of my current shopping obsessions and I have finally found a collection that will cater to both of these.
I found a description of the collection from the Nordstrom website, however the rest of the product descriptions are from the Armani Beauty website.  "Sophisticated Jacquard motifs woven into silk fabric are the inspiration for Giorgio Armani's Fall Collection 2011.  Colour, radiance, and sensuality are combined into gossamer textures.  Silky glints on a floating haze of colour."  This makeup look was seen on the Armani fall runway models and is the epitome of the best trends of the season.
Here is the new collection...

Jacquard Eye Palette - Includes a central eye shadow duo, a highlighter, and a deeper shade for emphasis.  Eye shadows are created with unprecedented color technology.  This fine film of vibrant eye color blends to produce incandescent color without creasing or fading.  The secret lies in a unique micronisation process applied to the pigments.  Color-Fil technology provides a radiant film of vibrant colour, a soft and smooth long lasting texture, so light that colours can be blended and layered with total freedom.  Pure colour, sheer perfection.  To create the Fall Look: The colours can be combined or blended at will for a restrained makeup for the day or more sophisticated and dramatic look for the evening.  For greater intensity they can be applied with a damp brush.
- Green Eye Palette - pale green/deep charcoal/forest green/beige
- Gray Eye Palette - pale white/mid tone gray/taupe/burgundy

Jacquard Face Palette - Two sculpting tones, an illuminator, and a translucent red blush.  The palette includes four shades that allow for a myriad of makeup options, to suit all complexions tones.  The secret to an instant glow: blend the three nude shades and apply to the whole face, highlighting the cheek bones with a touch of blush.  The blend of these four shades on the face results in a fresh complexion with a slight rosy tint.  The powders achieve maximum radiance through Micro-Fil technology.  Translucent, as fine as can be, the powders blend together perfectly, melting into the skin with no trace of artifically.  A glowing veil of silk that looks utterly natural.

Eyes To Kill Excess - Now available in a limited edition deep violet shade.  Eyes To Kill Excess full volume mascara thickens and separates the lashes with a striking. long lasting, black wet finish.  This clearly defined, denser lash fringe is the best weapon for daring volumizing lashes.  Oversized Brush: a unique formula with an oversized patent lash brush.  This unique high precision, supple brush weave design coats and texturizes each lash in fewer strokes.  Science Smart: The fusion of Wax Complex and the new texturizing agents create a fluid, creamy texture that glides onto the lashes for easy application.  Wax Complex contains a blend of hard and soft waxes to optimize the lashes with instanteous full volume.  From the root to tip, coating and grooming lash by lash, leaving them thicken yet flexible.
- 2 Night Violet - deep violet

Rouge d'Armani - New limited edition Rouge d'Armani is now available in Autumn colors.  Colour code: glowing nudes (beige, rose beige, or pink heightened with a touch of mauve to brighten the lips) providing a fiery contrast with the classic Scarlatto.  Rouge d'Armani's patented Color Fil technology creates a exceptional long wear formula that leaves lips feeling continously hydrated while delivering up to 8 hours of transparent, shine color without feathering or fading.
- 107 Sheer Beige - neutral beige
- 108 Pink Beige - rose beige
- 406 Scarlatto - deep blue red
- 525 Sheer Mauve - sheer medium mauve

Blushing Fabric - Crafted as a micro-blend of pure water-soluble pigments and lacquers, this cushiony formula delivers buildable color for cheek and face that is both imperceptible and long-lasting.  Artist Tip: Squeeze a small amount on the back of your hand and apply with fingertips to the apple of your cheeks.  Buff to perfection with the Blush Brush.  Blend to desired result using your middle and pointer fingers.  This season's collection unveils two versions: Camel and Scarlatto.
- 6 Camel - neutral beige
- 7 Scarlatto - brick red

Scarlatto is one of the best red lipstick shades that I have ever seen and this is an instant must-purchase for me.  I even love the name of it and I can't live without this shade, this might be one of my single favorite products that was released this season.  In addition to that piece being utterly spectacular, this collection is lovely and is one of my five favorite collections of the season.  I think the lipsticks are my favorite part of this collection, I love the Pink Beige shade and I know that I will get a lot of wear from it since it would work for a professional day look or against a strong eye look. 

As much I grumbled about all the eye makeup-based collections that came out over the past few months, I will admit that I love both of these eye palettes, the Green Eye Palette is my favorite but I like the Gray version also.  I am not interested in the violet mascara shade but I would love to try this mascara in the black shade.  Last but not lease, I am a bit disappointed in the blush shades, I don't really like either of them and could easily skip over both of them.  I find the highlighter to be very attractive and I am interested in trying some version of a highlighting product before my skin get gross and gray during the winter.

This is end of the fall beauty collections and we have seen some great collections this season.  Stand outs are Giorgio Armani, YSL, and Lancome.  And what do they all have in common?  Products for both strong lips and eyes!  Hopefully this holiday season will produce some more great red lip shades and I am also hoping for some great palettes both to keep and give as gifts.  I'm like a little kid, I still get excited for the holidays and the hope and promise of the season!

photo courtesy of Giorgio Armani

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tarte True Blood Palette - Vamp Glam

Vamp Glam is the last of the four looks that were included with the Tarte True Blood palette and is the other look that is best for night.  Vamp Glam is my other favorite look in the palette but ti was originally the one that I disliked the most when I first looked through the look book.  This is the most dramatic of all the looks and is another Pam at Fangtasia look.  This is a look that I never thought that I could pull off but I ended up loving it once I got it on and blended to my satisfaction.

- Apply a soft wash of Telepath (sparkling warm rose) on the entire lid, blending upward and outward into the crease and outer corner.
- Apply Fairy (shimmering pink) on the inner corner of the eye and blend up and outward along the brow bone.
- Line the eyes with Tarte for True Blood EmphasEyes Aqua-Gel Eyeliner in Black.  For a more dramatic look, widen the line gradually in the center and extend the liner just beyond the lashline at the outer corner.
- Using a smudger brush, apply "V" (sparkling crimson) along the lower and upper lashline focusing on the innermost corner of the eye.

Even though these shades are very dramatic, the shades were very easy to work with.  They are all very pigmented and the pale pink in the inner corner is the key to keeping the look from being too dramatic to pull off.  I blended the pale pink all the way up to my brow bone and blended it out to lighten the rose shade up.  I have never really like crimson eye shadow but somehow this whole look worked for me and I ended up falling in love with it the first time, this is the only one of the looks that I didn't have to play around with at all.

To sum it all up, my favorite shades from the palette are The True Death and Dawn, my least favorite shades are Nocturnal and Werewolf.

photo courtesy of Tarte

Tarte True Blood Palette - Vampy Vixen

Vampy Vixen is one the two looks that take this palette firmly into nighttime makeup territory, the other look is Vamp Glam.  Both of these looks remind me of Pam at Fangtasia and I reserved these looks for getting dressed up this fall and winter.  Vampy Vixen is a dramatic silver eye look that works well as a foiled eye look or a lighter version of the traditional smoky eye.  This look is an easier one for ladies who are unused to dramatic eye makeup to pull off, it only uses two shades and isn't difficult to blend. 

- Using a shadow brush, softly apply The True Death (sparkling silver) up to the crease of the lid for an iridescent wash of color.  Blend shadow into the crease.
- For intense definition, apply Tarte for True Blood EmphasEyes Aqua-Gel Eyeliner in Black on the upper lashline.
- To add depth to the outline of the eye, smudge Glamour (sparkling deep plum) lightly along the upper and lower lashline, blending upward and outward.

The True Death is a very pigmented shimmering silver, a very little bit of it create the foiled eye look.  This is my favorite shadow in the palette and might be the best silver that I have ever worked with.  The texture is that of butter and feels amazing going on and blends very easily.  This may be one of my top five favorite eye shadows of all time.  I used the NARS No. 15 Brush to apply the dark plum shadow over the line and to blend it right up to my lashes.  I am also considering trying this look and substituting MAC Black Tie or Tarte Moss, Nocturnal, or Immortal for the Glamour Me shade.  This is a very good eye makeup look and will get lots of mileage from me this fall and holiday.
photo courtesy of Tarte

Tarte True Blood Palette - Not Your Average Waitress

Not Your Average Waitress was my least favorite of the four looks.  This is the look that I had the hardest time with the first time that I tried it out and is the only look that I really had to rework the second time around since I found it unwearable the first time.  First of all, all of the shades in this look are mattes and I as stated in the last post, the matte shadows in this palette were the worst in both texture and pigmentation.  The first time that I did this look, I reproduced it exactly from the instructions and it just looked awful on me, I worked to soften it but it still didn't help at all.  So fiorst we will go in the instructions for the look and then I will go into how I had to change this look up to make it for out for me.

- Sweep a soft wash of Dusk (matte warm taupe) all over the entire lid.
- Apply Waitress (sparkling pink champagne) in the crease blending upward toward the brow bone.
- Create a wash of smoldering color all around the eye by blending Werewolf (matte chocolate) in to the outer crease and over lashline.
- Thickly line eyes with Tarte for True Blood EmphasEyes Aqua-Gel Eyeliner in Black, sweeping up and out at the corners.

So here were my big issues.  I just couldn't get the eye liner to create the matching outer corner sweep on each eye, one had more on than the other and each time that I tried to fix it by adding a bit more to the other side, it just got even worse.  The matte shades had much less pigmentation than the shimmers and therefore made the eyeliner look even more black and unblended.  The matte shades were harder to work with and the more that I tried to blend, it just got worse.  I tried to soften this look by taking Werewolf and using the NARS 15 Smudge Brush to cover the line and try to blend it in.  This helped a bit but still didn't make the look much more wearable.
The second time that I did this look I changed the eyeliner shade.  The black eyeliner was what I hated the most about this look so instead of blck, I tried it with dark brown instead.  I used the Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Liner that was included in the Naked palette, Whiskey.  This change lightened the look up a bit and it made it better but I still dislike it the most of all the looks.  The mattes just don't have the same quality that the other textures did and that pretty much ruined the whole look.

photo courtesy of Tarte

Tarte True Blood Palette - Luminous Fairy

I have finished up trying all of the looks that accompanied the True Blood eye shadow and have come a few conclusions.  The first thing that I realized is that not all of the shades that are in the palette are used in the looks, the shades in the palette all work well together and I am will to bet that some of the deeper ones can be used to change around the more dramatic eye looks.  Second, the shimmer shades are much nicer than the matte shades.  The shimmer shades had a great texture, very buttery and easy to work with.  The matte textured shadows were the worst of the palette and among the worst shadows that I have ever worked with.  They were had to blend and I wasn't impressed with the color payoff.  Last note, the dramatic looks are better than the more neutral look but I have gotten tons of wear from the more neutral shades already.  

The first look that I worked with was Luminous Fairy, an eye makeup look that just screamed "Sookie Stackhouse" when I first looked at it.  This is a very easy look to work with and works well in many types of environments. 

- Apply Dawn (shimmering gold dust) all over lids as a base and blend softly into crease then blend Bayou (shimmering gold tan) into the natural crease.
- Tightly line the upper lashline from the inner to outer corner using Tarte for True Blood EmpasEyes Aqua-Gel Eyeliner in Black.  Keep the line as thin as possible as you move out. 
- Using a smudger brush, smudge Charmer (sparkling burnt copper) into the upper lashline.

This is the look that is a closest to many of the eye makeup looks that I do on a daily basis.  The neutrals and golds work very well for me and I get the most use out of these shades.  I do this look with the eye liner for a more dramatic look and skip it when I pair these shades against a strong lip.  This was a pretty easy look to do especially since the shades blend so well together that any small mistakes can be blended away.  I have also found that this look works well with any of the shades from Urban Decay Naked Palette and it is very easy to sub in bronzes and dark golds.

I tried each look twice and this is the only one that applied pretty much the same every time, anyone could pull this look off.  This one is tied for my favorite of the four makeup looks.

photo courtesy of Tarte

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bath and Body Works Color Changing Lip Glosses

We have already looked the Treacherous Treats and Potent Potions lip glosses from Bath and Body Works and I have liked some of the them but most of them have been a miss in some way or another for me.  But now we are onto the Color Changing part of the Halloween lip collection, my favorite part of this collection and the only part that resulted in a purchase from me.  Color Changing is the smallest part of the collection, consisting only of two lip gloss shades, one light pink and one deep pink.  The names of these glosses were actually the first thing that attracted me to the collection, Good Witch and Wicked Witch made me laugh and might be two of my favorite lip gloss names for the season.

The first of the two glosses is the Good Witch shade, the one that I didn't purchase from the collection.  "Are you a Good Witch or a Wicked Witch? Try one of our new color changing glosses and find out!  This clear gloss turns light pink on lips and works with your natural lip color to create the perfect shade of pink.  Magically turns a light pink on your lips based on your body chemistry!"  This shade turns a light blue pink on the lips and really wasn't a huge shade change.  This would be a nice gloss for the spring time since it is a light, sheer glossy pink.  I liked this shade but I found it to be a generic pink lip gloss and therefore one that I could skip over this time around.  I like the gloss but there is nothing unique or fantastic about this gloss.  This one reminds me of the O Gloss from Smashbox and I skipped that lip gloss for the same reason. It is a nice gloss but there is nothing to set it apart from all of the other pink lip glosses that are on the market.

The second of the two glosses is my favorite of the whole collection and the one that I have been wearing almost three or four times a week for the past few weeks.  "Are you a Good Witch or a Wicked Witch?  Try one of our new color changing glosses and find out!  This clear gloss turns a dark pink on lips and works with your natural lip color to create the perfect shade of pink.  Magically turns a dark pink on your lips based on your body chemistry!"  I love this shade, it turns a deep cool pink and is actually a shade that didn't own before in my collection.  The funny thing about this gloss is that I had been looking for a deep pink lipstick shade to go into the fall and was going to head to the MAC counter to find the shade.  I was so excited when I tried this gloss out in the store and it was exactly the shade that I had to been looking for.  This shade is very unique and is nothing like any other lip gloss that I have ever bought from Bath and Body Works, this is truely the best lip gloss of the bunch and my favorite from them for this whole season.

The Color Changing collection was my favorite of the group for this season, Wicked Witch was perfect for me and has been a staple of mine for the past three weeks.  That shade is one of the few that I will wearing this whole fall and I am actually considering buying a back up tube of it for when this one runs out, a rare occurence with the size and scope of my lip gloss collection. 

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works

Bath and Body Works Potent Potions Lip Glosses

Treacherous Treats was quite a let down so we will just move right onto the new part of the Halloween lip gloss collection from Bath and Body Works.  Potent Potions is the next part of this collection and look as though they will be a bit more pigmented and are based on vampires and witches.  I can so get behind this collection much more than the candy-inspired glosses.  This collection consists of four gloss shades, some of which will hopefully be much better than the previous group.

The first gloss from Potent Potions is my favorite of the shades, Vampire Vixen.  This is another gloss that was very hard for me to pass by and would be another product that I would grab if I need to add it to a purchase.  "The perfect accessory for your Halloween costume!  Packed with high shine and flavor, this gloss has everything you need for a bewitching good time!"  This gloss is a strong black cherry scent, which was my only major reservation on it.  Lately I just have not been that into super-strong smelling glosses since I can't really use then in a more conservative atmosphere.  This shade is one of the most attractive of the group, a sheer merlot.  The gloss is rather pigmented and the combination of pigment, shine, and fragrance takes this shade firmly into night territory.  However, I mostly wear lipstick at night and lip gloss during the day so this one won't get used as much I would like to so I did pass it by in the first round.

Potent Pucker is the second of the shades in this collection.  This gloss is my least favorite of the group since it has a grape scent and I hate the scent of grape so I couldn't bear to really use this gloss.  Which is a shame since this is one of the nicer shades, it is a medium pink mauve and would be quite flattering for my skintone.  "The perfect accessory for your Halloween costume.  Packed with high shine and flavor, this gloss has everything you need for a bewitching good time!"  The scent is that awful grape candy scent that I just hate.  It isn't all that strong but I can't stand this scent in any form so I have to skip over, if the scent doesn't bother you the way it annoys me, then I recommend giving this shade a shot since it is quite attractive.

The third gloss is another fruit scent that I don't really like but is a great gloss shade.  This one is named Wicked Kiss, a great name (overall these names are so much better than the Treacherous Treats collections) and a great shade.  "The perfect accessory for your Halloween costume.  Packed with high shine and flavor, this gloss has everything you need for a bewitching good time!"  The strawberry shade is candy-ish and therefore is my least aspect of this gloss.  This is scent that I could at least live with if the shade was really unique.  The shade is a dusty rose, which is quite attractive but it is very close to the Chai Carumba shade that I bought earlier in the summer from Bath and Body Works and I don't need another gloss in this shade when I have only used the other one two or three times.  My issue isn't with the product itself, it is just that the product isn't unique enough to warrant an addition to my already huge lip gloss collection.

Bitten & Smitten is the laast of the glosses in this group, I love the vampire references since I have been really into True Blood recently.  This is my favorite of the flavors but not of the shades, nothing is just working for me with this grouping of glosses.  The flavor it great and the shade is off or vice versa.  "The perfect accessory for your Halloween costume.  Packed with high shine and flavor, this gloss has everything you need for a bewitching good time!"  This scent is a tart apple that reminds me a apple martin and I love that this gloss has a more tart scent instead of the traditional candy sweet flavors.  The shade is a shimmery baby pink but really just appears as a clear shimmer when applied to the lips.  If this one would have just had more pigmentation then this would have been a sure fire winner for me.  But I have other glosses that look like this one and so I skipped over it.

This part of the collection is much better than the first part.  This one actually looks as though adults could use it but the scents and shades are more of those that I would use as nighttime shades.  This is the group of glosses that I really wish would have been in a set, I like each of them (minus the grape) but none of them are unique enough to warrant the purchase of the full sized gloss.  But I would be all over them in smaller sizes. 

Next up...the Color Changing collection...

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works

Bath and Body Works Treacherous Treats Lip Gloss

Bath and Body Works Halloween collection is currently taking over my beauty routine, I blogged about the lotions the other day and now I am writing about the ten (yes TEN) new lip glosses that have been added to the Liplicious collection.  I just went crazy over the Paris Amour Lip Gloss set so I was very good and only bought one of the ten new Halloween glosses.  I would have loved if Bath and Body Works had done a Halloween lip gloss set of five or six small versions.  But, alas, my wish didn't come true so I had to decide which one that I liked the best in the full size and be very particular in my choice.  The lip glosses have been divided up into three series of shades: Treacherous Treats, Potent Potions, and Color Changing.  Of the three, the Color Changing were my favorites but I liked shades in each of the groups.

First we will look at Treacherous Treats, a series of glosses that are inspired by cookies and candies.  all of these contain shimmer with little to no tint.  There are four shades in this collection, some of which remind me of the Philosophy Lip Shines that come out each Halloween.  I can see where Bath and Body Works got there idea from for this series of glosses.
The first scent is the one that I find to be the most obviously inspired by Philosophy Lip Shines.  This one is named Crazy for Candy Corn and looks so close to the Philosophy Candy Corn gloss.  "Who doesn't love Halloween candy?  We've taken the flavor of Candy Corn you know and love, and created mouthwatering glosses.  Finally, guilt-free Halloween treats!"  This one is a pure candy corn flavor and will appeal to anyone who loves this treat this time of the year.  Which is pretty much...everyone!  The shade on this gloss is a sheer, shimmery combo of peach, white, and gold.  When I tried this gloss on my hand, it was mostly clear with a subtle gold sparkle to it.  It smelled very yummy but it was nothing amazing.  I can see this gloss having universal appeal but it just isn't unique enough for me to purchase it.

The second gloss is Cookies 'n' Scream, a name that just makes me groan a bit.  I would consider skipping this gloss for name alone so I don't mind that I didn't really care for the scent or the shade of the gloss.  "Who doesn't love Halloween candy?  We've taken the flavor of cookies and cream you know and love, and created mouthwatering glosses.  Finally, guilt-free Halloween treats!"  This one is super sweet and is very heavy on the sweet cream.  In fact, the scent was so strong that it irritated me a bit and is not anything that I think I could stand on a daily basis.  The shade is one that I could easily skip on, it is too warm for my skintone and won't be flattering on my skintone.  This shade is a bronze and white shimmer, too warm and too pale.  This is the worst of all the shades and the one that I will most definitely be skipping out this time.

The third shade is my favorite, this one is pigmented and apple scented.  It is actually a bit out of place with these other shades since it looks and smells very differently from them.  Forbidden Apple is just awesome and is the one in this group that seriously tempted me even though I did hold out.  "Who doesn't love Halloween candy?  We've taken the flavor of Apple Candy you know and love, and created mouthwatering glosses.  Finally, guilt-free Halloween treats!"  This gloss has a sweet candy apple scent that isn't super strong.  This gloss is a sheer red with a deep plum swirl to it however it appeared as a semi-pigmented red gloss when I applied it.  This one was hard to skip but I already own a gloss that looks exactly like this that I already love and I just don't wear bright red glosses enough to warrant having two of them.

The last of the shade is the Strawberry Boonilla, another groan-inducing name for a lip gloss.  This one is strawberry and cream fragrance that reminds me strongly of strawberry candy.  "Who doesn't love Halloween candy?  We've taken the great flavor of Strawberry Candy you know and love, and created mouthwatering glosses.  Finally, guilt-free Halloween treats!"  This scent is pure sweet strawberry candy and is one of the stronger gloss scents.  The shade is a mixture of pale pink and white shimmer that I didn't find all that flattering.  I was able to easily skip out on this shade too.

All in all, this is the weakest of the Halloween gloss collections.  These glosses have no pigment (with the exception of the Apple) and give the lips a generic shimmer.  The scents are too strong to wear in any type of work environment.  I honestly feel like these shades were designed to appeal to children and teenagers, they are just too sweet and shimmery for adults to use.  I was strongly tempted by the apple shade but I skipped over it for the above listed reasons, if it still there one day and I need a little extra to my purchase for a coupon then I would grab this gloss.  Let's see if the Potent Potions and Color Changing collections are a bit better for me...

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Make Up For Ever Fall 2011 - Smoky Couleur

The fall collections are beginning to draw to an end and we just have a few more left to go over.  Hints of the holiday collections are beginning to come out and I shudder to think about how soon they will be upon us.  But don't worry, we have lots of fall collections and products to go over in the next week or two.  Today we are looking at another strong eye makeup collection for this fall, Make Up For Ever's Smoky Couleur.  This look is focused around a smoky eye and this collection contains one palette that will contain all the eye shadow shades needed to create multiple shades of smoky eyes.  I can't say that I am overwhelmed with need for this palette since all we have been seeing this fall is eye palettes that promise to help create the perfect smoky eye.  But we will see how this palette stacks up to the rest of the products that have been released so far this fall.

From the Make Up For Ever website, "It's back, hitting the catwalks once again and this fall it's in full color.  Inspired by the fall 2011 fashion shows, the Smoky  Eye is a must-have makeup look this season.  More colorful than ever, it's a wonderful Smoky story that contains after the great success of Make Up For Ever's Smoky Lash Mascara.  One concept, 4 Smoky Looks.  Eyes that speak color: Purple, Green, Blue, and Brown.  There is now a Smoky look for each and every one of you."
Let's see how this version of the smoky eye stacks up to the dozen other versions that we have seen so far this season...
 
Smoky Palette - Smoky flirts with color with this limited edition palette that brings together the most beautiful, intense, and smoky colors of the fall season.  The Smoky Palettes contains a complete color range of 8 eye shadows in smoldering fall shades.  A matte black and 7 iridescent or satiny eye shadows: Deep Plum Shimmer, Metallic Navy Blue, Peacock Green, Metallic Copper, Metallic Taupe, Yellow Beige, and White Shimmer.  Intense and enchanting colors to try on their own or together to create 5 smoky makeup looks.  The Smoky Palette also contains two exclusive brushes with natural bristles, specially designed by Dany Sanz to facilitate smoky eye makeup application.

Smoky Lash - Smoky Lash enhances lashes, for exceptional volume, infinite length, and ultimate curl.  Its formula is rich in ultra-fine mineral pigments to create the perfect smoky look: saturated lashes and smoldering eyes.  Its ultra wide and dense new generation brush holds a maximum amount of product for instant spectacular lashes.
- 03 Brown - deep warm brown
- 01 Black - deep dense rich pure black
- 04 Green - medium forest green
- 05 Blue - bright navy blue
- 06 Plum - medium cool plum

Kohl Pencil - Especially adapted to sensitive and thin skin around and inside the eye, the Kohl Pencil gives depth and intensity to the eyes.  Its particularly gentle formula is tolerated by the most sensitive eyes, its soft and smooth texture blends effortlessly and keeps the skin around the eyes hydrated.
- 2K Matte White - matte pure white
- 4K Intense Pearly Green - forest green pearl
- 3K Pearly Turquoise - bright aqua pearl
- 5K Pearly Night Blue - bright blue purple pearl
- 1K Black - deep true black
- 7K Metallic Gold - bright true metallic gold
- 6K Black With Metal Highlights - deep black with warm copper flecks
- 8K Pearly Deep Blue - deep navy blue pearl
- 9K Matte Mocha Brown - deep matte brown
- 10K Pearly Black Purple - deep purple black pearl

Do I like this palette?  Yes but the better question is do I need this palette?  I would answer that in the negative since none of these shades are all that unique and I could live without it.  I would be more likely to purchase one of the mascaras or the Kohls.  The only mascara shade that I want is the black one since I only wear black mascara to begin with.  From the Kohls, I love the Black With Metal Highlights shade the most since I can still wear black but it will have flecks to brighten up the blue in my eyes.  I also want the Metallic Gold shade too since I have been looking to find a shade to replace my beloved Urban Decay 24/7 Pencil in the Honey shade.

I must say that I am officially sick of all the eye makeup heavy collections that came out this fall, they are all blending together and even the most devoted eye shadow junkie only needs so many shades of shadows to create a smoky eye.  I am so hoping that some of the holiday makeup collections are more based toward lip products and not just another group of eye makeup palettes.

photo courtesy of Make Up For Ever

Friday, September 23, 2011

MAC Styledriven

Styledriven is the latest collection release in MAC's pile of September releases.  With all the new collections that are being released in the next few weeks, I fully expect that my local MAC counter will be full of products for me to buy the next time that I head over there.  Styledriven is a huge collection from MAC and consists only of products that fall into the "long-wear" category.  I love to see that there is full range of both lipstick and lip gloss shades to buy and a whole new version of their beloved eye shadow, I am really looking forward to seeing this collection in purchase and using some of the shades in it to fill in the few holes in my makeup collection.  

Here is the overall collection descrption from the MAC website.  "Long-lasting Lip Pencil and Lipglass with six extended hours of lasting shine, along with a creamy new Eye Shadow...experience future forward Pro Longwear technology!"  So is this new eye shadow a powder or a cream?  If it is a powder then I am very interested in it, I can't tell completely from the picture on the website but the shade swatches of it look like they are powder (but don't hold me 100% to this!).  I am most excited for the long-wearing Lipglass since I feel like some of the Lipglasses wear off much too quickly.

Here is Styledriven!

Pro Longwear Eye Shadow - A unique long-wearing Eye Shadow with a silky, creamy texture formulated for maximum colour impact.  Easily blendable and buildable; lids are visibly smooth no matter how intense the application.  Lasts 8 hours.
- Carefree - pale white gold
- Pink Frontier - soft golden pink
- One To Watch - light warm brown
- Sweet Satisfaction - soft neutral beige
- Lie Low - dark frosted golden brown
- Weathered - dark blue gray
- Keep Your Cool - dark gray brown
- Styledriven - pale white blue
- Sunny Outlook - bright golden yellow
- Tease With Eas - bright fuchsia
- Fresh Flare - bright kelly green
- Plush - vivid purple
- Hot Paprika - mid-tone burnt red
- Thru the Night - deep navy
- Make Your Mark - deep chocolate
- Legendary Black - warm almost black

Pro Longwear Lip Creme - Lightweight texture, creamy finish, and comfortable longwear combine in this has-it-all pro-class lip colour.  Slick in use, applies without need of a top coat - and still lasts up to 12 hours.  Won't feather or transfer, and the colour stays true.  Helps lips stay soft and hydrated.
- Soft Sell - light yellow pink
- Dress It Up - light blue pink
- Til Tommorrow - grayed mauvy brown
- So Very Good - mid-tone plum with pearl
- To The Future! - dirty neutral pink with pearl
- Good To Go - loudmouth orange
- Love Forever! - bright blue pink
- Extended Play - blackened brick red
- Prolong - true red
- Positively Dashing - mid-tone "berry" blue red
- Endless Drama - deep "berry" blue red
- Soulfully Rich - deep dirty purple with red pearl

Pro Longwear Lipglass - A longwearing Lipglass that goes on smooth and lasts for up to six hours!  Envelops lips with shine and colour and pro-longs the hours between re-application.
- Patience, Please - light pink blue
- Ready Or Not! - neutral light coral with slight pearl
- Infinitely Lickable - light pink
- Show Me! - mid tone neutral plum
- Whoops! - bright coral
- Full Speed Ahead - bright pink magenta
- Driven By Love - red blue with a slight pearl
- Lasting Achievement - mid tone purple with slight pearl
- Dark As Night - deep dirty purple with slight pearl

Pro Longwear Lip Pencil - A new generation of long-wearing lip pencil technology.  Glides on fluildy and adheres instantly.  Defines the lips with an instant release of rich, saturated colour.  Pro-longs the hours between reapplication.  Transfer-proof.
- Etcetera - cream beige
- Nice 'n' Spicy - pink cinnamon stick
- Staunchly Stylish - pinky beige
- Morning Coffee - dirty rose
- Absolutely It - soft burgundy
- In Anticipation - soft yellow pink
- What a Blast! - bright orange
- Kiss Me Quick - yellow red
- More To Love - intense bluish pink
- Bittersweet - intense brown

239 Eye Shader Brush - Soft and dense to shade or blend eye shadow or emollient-based products.  This brush has a tapered, rounded edge with smooth, firm, fine fibres.  It can be used to build intense colour on the eyelid.  MAC professional brushes are hand-sculpted and assembled using the finest quality materials.  They feature wood handles and nickel-plated brass ferrules.

I looked these eye shadows up on the Temptalia blog and I am leaning toward them being a very soft powder texture instead of a traditional cream.  They are bigger in size than traditional MAC eye shadows so I am really looking forward to buying some of these.  My favorite shades are: Carefree, Keep Your Cool, Sweet Satisfaction, and Make Your Mark.  All of these shades are neutrals and I will use them with lots of other shades that I already own.  I am confident in buying this larger size in the neutral shades because I know that I would use them all the time. 

The lip products also really have me excited.  I would skip over all the lip pencils, since I have never used them and don't plan to start any time soon.  Lipglasses that will wear all day get me really excited, I can't wait to have lip glosses that last more than two hours!  Infinitely Lickable is the light-medium pink shade and is my favorite of the group.  I would wear this one against dramatic eye makeup and I love that it could last all night and I wouldn't be reapplying after every drink.  I could skip out on the other shades but that one is a keeper for me.  Onto the lipsticks...   My first picks are the red shades, I love both Prolong and Extended Play.  Til Tommorrow is a great cool pink mauve shade that will look great for a natural look at work or against a strong eye look, this one would be a staple for me this fall and winter.  Dress It Up is a great light blue pink and reminds me of the original Viva Glam Gaga, I love this shade and I can't wait to pair it with cat eyes or black eye makeup shades.  Lastly, Pro Drama is a great deep cool berry shade and it would great with my cool pale skin, this is another winner for the fall and winter shades.

The eye shadow shades are nice and I am very excited to try the new formula however the lipsticks are what get me the most excited about this collection.  The new shades in the Pro Longwear formulation are a wide range of shades and I have found a bunch that I know will work out for me.

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bath and Body Works Halloween Body Products

Yesterday we looked at the Philosophy Halloween collection and today we are looking at the same type of products from Bath and Body Works.  From Philosophy, the products were released in 3-in-1s but from Bath and Body Works, all the products are released only in lotions.  Wouldn't it be great if I could find some layering options between the two collections?!  This is the first year that Bath and Body Works has released Halloween-inspired body products and so they are only in the small lotions this years, not the full body product range.  I bought three of the lotions and tried all six on at the store and I would love if next year an entire body product was released.  We can wait and hope...

The lotions seem to be divided up into two collections, one group is in black packaging and the other is in clear packaging.  The black packaging group seemed to be stronger scented and the clear packaging scents are lighter.  I will divide the collection up the same way as I describe them in this post.

The Bath and Body Works website provides all the information we need about the lotion formula itself and all six of the fragrances.  "Our exclusive Signature Body Lotion, fortified with powerful ingredients like super conditioning Shea Butter, fast absorbing Jojoba Oil and protective Vitamin E, hydrates skin with moisture that lasts all day.  Our non-greasy formula absorbs quickly and completely to leave skin feeling incredibly soft, smooth, and nourished, making it the perfect daily moisturizer."  The newer formula in the lotion is much better in both hydration and texture than the old formula and I really prefer the way that it feels on my skin.

The first group that we will cover is the clear bottles with the lighter scents.  I bought one of the fragrances in this group and two in the black bottled group.  The scent that I bought from this group is the Sinful Vanilla.  "Our exclusive Sinful Vanilla is an indulgent blend of vanilla bean, whipped marshmellow, and vanilla cream."  This scent is a light sweet vanilla scent that reminds me more of a vanilla bean scent with a slightly musky bottom note.  The second scent is Spider Cider, a more fruity scent than the others.  "Our exclusive Spider Cider is an intoxicating blend of juicy red berries, mouthing watering lemon, black sugar." This one was really light and smelled mostly of the berry scent.  I was really hoping that this one would be more of a apple cider scent and I was really let down with both this scent and the Warm Harvet Apple in this regard.  The last of the lighter scents is the one that I was most confused by.  Scream-a-Colada is a coconut scent which just didn't really fit in with fall or the other scents.  "Our exclusive Scream-a-Colada is a tantalizing blend of creamy coconut, juicy pineapple, and a hint of rum."  This one reminded me so much of the Coconut Pineapple from the summer that I really liked but I skipped on this one since I bought several bottles of Coconut Pineapple over the summer.  I also skipped on the Spider Cider since it just wasn't what I expected.

The second group of fragrances are the ones in the black bottles.  My favorite of these is the Plum Potion of which I bought two bottles and I also bought the Black Candy Apple scent as a bit of an afterthought.  Wicked Spiced Pumpkin is the first scent in this group that I tried, I was wondering how close it would be to Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin.  "Our exclusive Wicked Spiced Pumpkin is an addictive blend of white pumpkin, fresh ginger, and whipped vanilla musk."  This one was very pumpkin scented, a scent that it not my cup of tea so this wouldn't be one that I would purchase.  Black Candy Apple is the scent that suprised me the most, I disliked it on cold sniff but it smelled really great when I tried it out.  "Our exclusive Black Candy Apple is a tempting blend of juicy apple, caramelized sugar, and irresistable vanilla."  In the container, I got a black licorice scent from it but the sugar and vanilla notes come out on the skin, I am so glad that I tried this one or I would have skipped over it completely.  The last scent is the Plum Potion, the one that I loved so much that I bought two bottles of it.  "Our exclusive Plum Potion is an enticing blend of sweet plum, blood orange, and black raspberry."  This one smells like Dark Kiss without the musk, it is very lovely blend of plum and vanilla.  It is really sweet and reminds some people of Pink Sugar blended with Dark Kiss.  This was my favorite of all the scents and the one that I hope comes back the most next year.

As I mentioned above, these scents are only available in the small-sized lotions and there are no matching shower gels.  I had to get a bit creative when I was layering these and I was able to come up with some greast combinations with shower gels that I currently owned.  For the Black Candy Apple, I layered it with the Red Delicious 3-in-1 from Philosophy.  For the vanilla and the plum scents, I layered them with the Dark Kiss shower gel, a favorite fragrance of mine for the past year.  I would love shower gels in these scents, perhaps even more than I would love lotions in these scents.  What I would really love is if Bath and Body Works came back with their Temptations line and did the 3-in-1s in these fragrances.  We shall see what next year brings...

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Philosophy Halloween 2011 Body Products

Maybe it is just me but I feel like it got cold really fast this year, usually I am longing for cooler weather and wearing flip flops until the end of September but I am already in sweatpants right now and am grabbing my trench coat when I leave the house in the morning.  Fall came up on fast and therefore I went from summer body products to fall body products within the blink of an eye.  And with the traditional fall body product scents come the Halloween scents that I look forward to every single year.  I never used to be a big Halloween fan until I started getting into beauty products and now I scoop up all the Halloween inspired beauty products that come out in the early fall. 

Every year, Philosophy releases some version of the same few Halloween inspired treat scents, Candy Corn and Caramel Apple scents come out every year from them since they are consist top-selling fragrances.  This year is no exception, the Halloween collection consists of full sized products, lip shines, and a set that combines the best of the products.  I have loved the Caramel Apple ever since I first smelled it and I look forward to it coming out every single year, I can't imagine a fall without this scent being released in some type of product.
The full sized products that have been released are 3-in-1s in the I Love Candy Corn and Caramel Apple scents.  First the I Love Candy Corn scent.  "An oh-so-sweet caramel candy corn shampoo, shower gel, and bubble bath.  Back with a caramel twist, this oh-so-sweet caramel candy corn shampoo, shower gel, and bubble bath is everything you love about candy corn with a rich, creamy layer of caramel.  Its moisturizing formula provides a rich, foaming lather to gently cleanse and condition, leaving skin and hair feeling soft."  I smelled this one in Sephora and it smells exactly like candy corn, a favorite Halloween treat of mine.  However, my favorite fall treat of all time are caramel apples.  "A delectable caramel apple shampoo, shower gel, and bubble bath that cleanses and conditions skin and hair.  You won't be able to resist bath time when you dip into the delectable scent of caramel-coated apples.  Its moisturizing formula provides a rich, foaming lather to gently cleanse and condition, leaving skin and hair feeling soft.  The delicious blend of red delicious apple and creamy caramel makes this shower gel the perfect bath treat on a crisp fall day."  I love the Caramel Apple scent and I could use this one every single day so this would be my choice from the full size products.  The Candy Corn smells great but I just couldn't use it enough to justify the purchase of the huge 3-in-1 so unless I can find it in a smaller version in some type of set, I will just be purchasing the Caramel Apple.

While we are wondering what will be offered in the sets this year...  Two new sets are being released, one with body products and the other with lip shines.  The body product sets contains two 3-in-1s, "A set of scented shower gels, including the falvors of Crispy Marshmellow Bars and Caramel Apple.  No tricks, just treats.  This seasonal set features two shower gels, each a shampoo, shower gel, and bubble bath.  The spirited, irresistibly sweet scents include Crispy Marshmellow Bars and Caramel Apple.  Each moisturizing formula provides a rich, foaming lather to gently cleanse and condition, leaving skin and hair feeling soft."  I wish the Candy Corn scent was being offered in the set since I won't buy it in the full size, it looks like I will be completely skipping over it this time around.  However, this bring set raises the question of whether or not I want to purchase the full size in the Caramel Apple or buy the set and get both of the fragrances at the same time. 
The second of the sets that came out this year is the lip shine set.  The Trick or Treat Lip Shine Duo contains two lip shines in the exact same fragrances as the body product set.  "A set of two high-gloss, high-flavor lip shines.  There's nothing spooky about these delicious lip treats.  Philosophy's Treat or Trick calls to mind the scent of Crispy Marshmellow Bars and the delectable scent of caramel-coated apples.  Both are made with emollient formulas that hydrate soothe and soften lips to leave a sheer, beautiful shine."  The Crispy Marshmellow Bars Lip Shine is a champagne shimmer and the Caramel Apple Lip Shine a sheer dark cherry shade.  I love the Caramel Apple shade but the Crispy Marshmellow Bars is nothing special, I would rather purchase the Caramel Apple by itself.

The last part of the collection is the single Lip Shines.  We just talked about the Caramel Apple shade in the set so I will not be labor that point here.  "A high gloss, high flavor lip shine.  Sweeten lips with a flavorful fall fusion.  Philosophy's Caramel Apple is a lip shine infused with the scents of red delicious apple and creamy caramel.  It's lip-loving formula features natural emollients and Vitamin E to help hydrate, soothe, and soften lips.  It leaves a sheer, lustrous finish and a sweet caramel apple flavor that stays delicious on lips."  The Lip Shine is also found in the I Love Candy Corn scent.  "A high gloss, high flavor lip shine.  It's everything you love about candy corn, combined with Philosophy's lip-loving gloss formula, for deliciously soft lips.  This product's naturally emollient ingredients and Vitamin E help hydrate, soothe, and soften lips.  It leaves a sheer, lustrous finish and sweet candy corn flavor that stays delicious on lips.  It's the perfect lip treat for fall."  I can skip the Candy Corn flavor too since there is nothing special about the color.

The Caramel Apple products are really going to be the big hit for me this fall, I love both the body and the lip products in it.  I still haven't decided if I will purchase the full size in the 3-in-1 or go for the set, it will depend a lot on what it left when I go up to Sephora this week.  I just love the Philosophy Halloween scents!

photo courtesy of Sephora

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bath and Body Works Paris Amour Lip Gloss Set

I waxed poetic about the new Paris Amour scent from Bath and Body Works last month and now there has been a late addition to the fragrance collection.  For the past few new fragrances, Bath and Body Works has released a new, limited edition lip gloss with the same name as the scent that picks up some of the fragrance notes.  I own the Dark Kiss and the Secret Wonderland glosses from last year but I had skipped out on the spring releases this year since none of the shades really appealed to me.  However the gloss that came out with the release of Paris Amour more than made up for the other shades that didn't work for me.  The single gloss was the main release when the collection first launched however several weeks later, I found another little gem on the Bath and Body Works website - a whole set of mini lip glosses that are based on Parisian desserts.  I bought this set within the next week...

Five small lip glosses are contained in this one set and I can honestly say that I really like every single one of them.  "Five French dessert-inspired lip glosses are the ultimate sweet treat for your lips.  These decadent and rich glosses glide on effortlessly, while the moisturizing formula delivers the perfect combination of high shine and sheer sparkle.  Pucker up and enjoy your favorite treat, without the guilt!"  Four of the five glosses are clear with a sheer shimmer and the other gloss has a rose pink tint with a sheer sparkle. 

The four clear glosses are the Rich Toffee Truffle, Wicked Creme Brulee, Sinful Apple Crepe, and Guilty Peach Tart.  The Rich Toffee Truffle is clear with a bit of a gold sparkle and smells strongly of toffee.  Wicked Creme Brulee has a bit of a silver and sheer lilac sparkle and reminds me of the old Tutti Dolci Creme Brulee lip gloss expect that the scent is a bit lighter.  Sinful Apple Crepe is a very light pink shade that comes out completely clear on the lip with a cool toned shimmer.  It is exactly the same scent as the Tutti Dolci Apple Torta gloss.  Guilty Peach Tart is a bit warmer than the other shades and just has a hint of warm peach shimmer with a strong peach jam fragrance.  Of this group, my favorites are the Rich Toffee Truffle (for the fragrance mostly) and the Wicked Creme Brulee (for the cool shade and shimmer).  I like the other two shades however the Sinful Apple Crepe is so sweet that it can get sickening after a few hours so I tend to use this one the least of the group.  The Guilty Peach Tart is a nice gloss too but I don't like peach fragrances as much I like others so this can get sickening for me too.

The most tinted of the lip glosses is the Paris Amour lip gloss itself.  This gloss appears bright pink in the tube but applies to be a sheer rose with a silver shimmer.  This is my favorite gloss in the set and looks the best when applied.  As I stated above, this gloss is available by itself in the full size and I was initially tempted by it but I did skip over it because I have so many lip glosses at this point, most of which are half used and are showing no signs of getting used up any time soon.  I was so happy when I saw this gloss in the set since I love small lip glosses to put in clutches.  I was considering purchasing the full size gloss in addition to this set since I love this shade however I don't need anhy more gloss and am going to skip over it. 

I love this little set and I hope that we see more lip gloss sets from Bath and Body Works this holiday season.  I was really hoping that some version of the Halloween lip glosses would have been offered in a set like this since small lip glosses are the best for me to buy since I never use up full sized glosses and buy way too many to begin with.  This is such a good gift too, I have already purchased a few of them to set aside for Christmas for a few of my friends. 

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works

Monday, September 19, 2011

Clarins Fall 2011 Collection - Colour Definition

Clarins is another company that I have only used a feew products from but have been getting more and more interested in as the time passes.  When I was researching my last French Week, I bought their superstar primer and fell in love with it within several uses.  While I was at the counter, the sales associate gave me several samples of skincare to start trying and I am looking forward to learning more about this line.  The fall color collection has just released and I am looking forward to checking it soon.  This collection is named Colour Definition and it is another one of the group that focuses mostly on eye makeup.  It is right in line with many of the other collections that we have been seeing this fall, however they are all beginning to blend together since they are all for dramatic eye makeup and contain very few great lip shades.

The Nordstrom website states the following as a description of the collection.  "Clarins has everything it takes to prep your eyes for perfection.  A new lash-defining Mascara with fringe benefits, there's no end in sight.  Fashion-perfect Eye Shadow Quartets that shade, define, illuminate, and line in the season's most coveted colours."  I am really excited to try out a new mascara and the eye shadow quartets look amazing so I want to try these out too.

Here is the collection...

Eye Quartet Mineral Palette - A wet and dry mineral formula that provides softness upon application.  Long-lasting hold.  Includes an inner layout to guide application.  Six fashion-perfect eye shadow quads in sleek, tres-chic compacts.  Clarins' crease-free powders glide on wet or dry to shade, line, illuminate, and define in the flirtiest new palettes: Pastels, Nudes, Rosewood, Indigo, Violet, and Graphite.  Colors with real wear-with-all, from classic tones to unexpected twists.
- Rosewood - glamorous pairings of sheer chocolates and pinks for a casual kind of chic
- Nudes - a must-have mix of sophisticated cream and woods paired with shimmering coral
- Indigo - a rich palette of cool, smoky blues keep eyes in perfect fashion focus
- Graphite - a modern merger of soft pink, silver, gray, and charcoal create the perfect smoky eye
- Violet - a jewel-tone palette of shimmering lilac, plum, and amethyst with a touch of pearly white
- Pastels - a painterly palette of delicate neutrals, with a hint of cool mint, for a flirty eye

Instant Liquid Eye Liner - An easy-to-apply liquid eye liner that ensures a precise, long-lasting line, ideal for enchancing the eyes.  Includes a soft, supple foam applicator that delivers just the right amount of product.
- Black - deep dark black

Instant Definition Mascara - A dual-purpose, ultra-volume intense color mascara with a rich formula that enhances the beauty of all types of lashes.  Features and benefits: three innovative ingredients from seaweeds protect, repair, and strengthen lashes; glycoproteins thicken and coat lashes; brush fibers instantly thicken and coat lashes; revolutionary patented brush with elastomer bristles reach even the shortest lashes.
- Black - deep black

Joli Rouge Color Definition Lipstick - The perfect shine, sheer lipstick combines the transparent color and shine of a gloss with the creamy texture of a lipstick in eight beautiful permanent shades.  The long-lasting formula also provides the benefits of a balm with lip care products to soften and smooth lips.
- Fig Brown - medium neutral brown
- Grenadine - medium berry shimmer

Color Definition 3D Radiance Face Powder - An exceptionally soft lightweight powder that melts onto the skin for a naturally radiant complexion.  The color combination of beige, pink, and peach gives the face a radiant boost.

Rouge Prodige Color Definition Lipstick - Discover the kissing power of Rouge Prodige - our long-lasting, moisturizing lipstick that offers intense color and glossy shine.  A unique, moisturizing lipstick with a texture that melts onto the lips and leaves a veil of perfectly even, intense color.  High Fidelity Pearl technology ensures that color and shine stay true for hours, while the rich, creamy texture provides nourishing skincare benefits to lips.
- Tender Rose - sheer neutral rose
- Paradise Pink - warm coral medium pink
- Miami Pink - bright cool blue pink
- Subtle Rose - medium neutral rose
- Natural Rose - deep neutral rose

I love this collection and I wish that many of the other eye makeup heavy also contained a group of lip shades.  The eye shadow palettes are very well crafted and I love the shades that have been put together in them.  My favorite shades are the Rosewood, Graphite, and Violet.  The Rosewood will work well for a daytime neutral eye look, the Graphite is perfect to create a silvery smoky eye, and the Violet will create a very trendy plum eye.  After this fall, the last thing that I need is yet another eye shadow palette but I still want to buy these very soon.

I love the Rouge Prodige shades that are included with this collection, neutral pinks and neutral roses work very well with my skintone and are great paired with any eye look that I can come up with.  My favorite of the shades is the Tender Rose which is the most my-lips-but-better shade that is in this collection.  I also love the Miami Pink shade which looks closer to Viva Glam Gaga (the original shade), I will use this shade both right now and all next spring.  Last but not least, I must try this new mascara to add to my mascara collection.

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Guerlain Fall 2011 Collection - Mirror Mirror

There are very few companies that can hold a candle to Guerlain in the lipstick market.  As we all learned this summer, Guerlain actually created lipstick as we know it today back in the 1800s.  all those years of practice have lead to a series of stellar lip products and we are seeing one of the best in the fall collection.  Along with top quality lipsticks, Guerlain also has a series of wonderful eye makeup products.  For fall, Guerlain is giving us a small collection that consists only of lip and eye makeup products.  A bit sad, since their blushes and face products also have obtained cult status however no one can ever go wrong with any type of Guerlain product.

This collection is named Mirror Mirror and I have found a description of it on the Nordstrom website.  "It's easy to become a legend with a luminous complexion, intense eyes, and unforgettable lips.  Discover the fall collection and become a classic beauty.  This fall, invent your own fashion!"  Since I can't find anything about this collection on the Guerlain website, I have turned to the Nordstrom website to find all the colors and descriptions that I need (I also checked out the Temptalia Beauty Blog to ensure that my shade information is correct so I musst give her credit too).  I can't understand why this isn't on their website, this is a lovely collection and no other company can describe products in the same romantic style that Guerlain does.  Oh well...

Let's check this little collection out...

Ecrin 4 Couleurs Eye Shadow Palette - The essence of color: one palette, four shades.  Create, have fun and dare to wear color as an accessory.  These palettes were specifically designed to be used together and can be mixed, matched, and blended with no fear of mistakes.  Application is extremely simple, intuitive, fun - and risk-free!  Choose your range: each palette offers iridescent, matte, satin, and metallic shadows.
- Les Violets 01 - shades of lilacs and plum
- Les Bleus 02 - shades of bright and deep blues
- Les Verts 03 - shades of olives and browns
- Les Bois de Rose 04 - shades of warm roses and browns
- Les Gris 05 - shades of grays and charcoals
- Les Fumes 06 - shades of cool medium and deep browns 
- Les Cuirs 07 - shades of golds and bronzes
- Les Perles 08 - shades of whites, pinks, and pale grays
- Les Noirs 09 - shades of blacks and cool pink

Rouge G by Guerlain Lipcolor - A jewel lipstick compact with a white gold shimmer designed by Lorenz Baumer, a young and talented jeweler in the Palace Vendome.  A horizontal design with feminine curves that houses a secret: a mirror automatically appears when the compact is opened.  The lipstick has a purely elegant, contemporary design and closes magnetically.  This exceptional object boasts a comprehensive, premium formula containing a star ingredient: ruby powder, which acts as an optical whitener to bring out the color and shine of the shades.  The blend of natural active ingredients (Tiger Grass, wild mango butter, Gugul resin used in Ayurvedic medicine) completes the formula to plump up, smooth, and bring moisture and softeness to your lips.
- Garconne 25 - bright true blue red
- Gigolo 70 - deep rich cool berry
- Girly 71 - warm brick red

Eye Pencil - Glide-on eye color that stays put!  Formulated with unusually high pigment content and a creamy gel, these cushiony, silky eye pencils take on unrivaled intensity and depth, and can withstand wind and tide - including extremely hot, humid climates!
- Kohl Me Navy (20) - deep blackened navy cream
- Kohl Me Ebony (30) - deep dark black cream
- Kohl Me Jungle (40) - deep blackened forest green cream

Liquid Eye Liner - Guerlain Liquid Eye Liner has been designed like a calligraphy tool for precision and simplicity of use, with an ultrafine brush, long handle, and impeccable line.  From the thinnest to the heaviest contour, it provides flawless application.
- Brun Cendre (05) - deep black brown

I love these lipsticks and the eye shadow palettes!  My favorite piece of the collection is the cool red shade of the Rouge G de Guerlain, the packaging enough on this product is more than enough to make me fall madly in love with it but the lovely shades and amazing formula take this lipstick well over the top.  I have always been a sucker for elegant packaging and this lipstick is among the best that I have ever seen, I now want it in every single shade that I like and can see this becoming quite dangerous to my Visa. 

The other aspect of this collection that I am most excited about are the eye shadow palettes.  If I had to choose, my favorite shade is the Les Noirs 09, I love the variety of the blacks and the pale pink highlighter to create a slightly different version of a smoky eye.  My second favorite of the shades is the palette of purples, Les Violets 01.  This is another palette that I would use at night and I can use it to create the plum smoky eye that I have been interested in trying since I saw something like it last spring in an issue of Allure.  Les Verts 03 and Les Cuirs 07 contain warmer shadow shades and would work well for a daytime eye. 

The fall collection from Guerlain is lovely and very wearable for almost anyone.  I am hearing hints about the holiday collection and I am adding a side trip to the Guerlain counter at Saks next time that I get into New York City.

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Saturday, September 17, 2011

MAC Posh Paradise

Posh Paradise is newest release from MAC, there are a group of releases for this month and this will be the first of a series.  Posh Paradise is a line that consists only of three products; Paint Pots, Mattene Lipsticks, and Nail Lacquers.  This is one of the smaller collections that I have seen from MAC recently and is one of the few that consists of only new color products.  This is the type of collection that immediately pops into my head when I think of MAC, the shades are bright and pigmented and can be combined to create a dramatic fall makeup look.

"Nail Lacquers are lavishly lush, Mattene Lipsticks are light on the lips as lust and Pearlized Paint Pots blend smoothly over lids.  Indulge yourself with a plush and provocative collection of hypnotic hues!", states the MAC website in an overall description for the collection.  I am on the fence about Paint Pots, I like the one that I have but I don't know that I would purchase any more of the them and I have never tried the Matten Lipsticks since they are no offered in the permanent collection.  So I have high hopes for the nail polish shades but I don't know what else from this collection will end up on my shopping list.
Let's check the collection out because I want to see details about this new lipstick formula...

Paint Pot - A highly pigmented eye colour that goes on creamy but dries to an intense, vibrant finish.  Long-wearing, colourfast.  Creates seamless coverage without weight or caking.  Blends smoothly over the lids.  Cream-based, can be mixed with MAC shadows and liners.
- Treasure Hunt - light pearled yellow
- Nubile - light pinky nude
- Idyllic - mid-tone copper bronze
- Pure Creation - midtone frosty blue
- Genuine Treasure - reflects antique gold
- Half-Wild - mid-tone purple
- Hyperviolet - deep violet
- Imaginary - blackened navy

Mattene Lipstick - With its streamlined design, this new slimline lipcolour, features the traditional glamour properties of a matte lipstick - intense colour and semi-matte velvety finish - while offering a creamier, softer, more glide-on application.  Non-caking, non-drying.  Moisturizing and incredibly wearable yet absolutely matte.
- Fresh Amour - light lavender
- Naked Bliss - neutral light pink
- Delectable - orange beige
- Rare Exotic - bright mid-tone blue pink
- Eden Red - bright blue red
- Deliciously Forbidden - mid-tone berry
- Legendary - brick mid-tone red
- Unknown Pleasures - deep red blue
- Potent Fig - deep blue grape
- Seeds of Desire - deep brown plum

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!
- Immortal Gold - pale gold
- Rain of Flowers - blackened violet with sophisticated violet shimmer

My favorite piece of the collection is the Nail Lacquer in Rain of Flowers, this is one of the most unique shades that I have seen recently and I don't believe that I own or have seen anything like it recently.  This shade will be perfect for fall and is one of the best that MAC has released in the past few years,  it is coming home with me the next time that I go to the counter!  From the new Paint Pot shades, I like the neutrals the most.  I haven't had the greatest of luck with Paint Pots so until I find a better way to work with these, I will be skipping out on any shade that is highly pigmented or looks hard to work with.  I only want two shades from this group, the Genuine Treasure and Idyllic shades.

The Mattene Lipstick is extremely interesting to me, I already love MAC's matte lipsticks and now I get to try more shades and a new formula out.  I love MAC's matte reds, so my first picks from this lipstick collection would be Eden Red and Legendary.  The last thing that I need is more MAC red lipsticks but I love every single shade that I buy so I always continue to purchase new shades as they come out.  Naked Bliss looks like a great My-Lips-But-Better shade and would be one that I would use all the time so this one also tops my shopping list.  Rare Exotic and Deliciously Forbidden are also on my shopping list since I have been wearing deep berry and pinks this fall too.

This collection is very classic MAC and I can see so many of these shades working well this fall.  This is a great collection and I am confident that it will sell out quickly at the counters.

photos courtesy of Nordstrom

Friday, September 16, 2011

Gen Art Fresh Faces in Fashion Show - Korres for Ann Yee

Now it is for the second of my two favorite makeup looks from the Gen Art Fresh Faces in Fashion Show.  The first look was better for a professional or more casual weekend day look however the second look is pure fun and the one that is my personal favorite of the group!  This look is named "Lush, Dewy, Naked Skin with Strong Pops of Color" and this look is best for the spring and summer seasons.  If you would want to take this into the fall season, it would require a bit of a less bright lip shade.  I laugh to think that I am already starting to think about a look for next summer but summer is my favorite season and I could live in an area where it is warm all year round.

Lush, Dewy, Naked Skin with Strong Pops of Color...

- Prepare skin with Korres Wild Rose Brightening Serum - for extreme dewiness, mix in Korres Wild Rose Mineral Illuminating Powder and stipple into skin with fingertips.
- Skip foundation; use Korres Quercetin & Oak Antiaging and Antiwrinkle Concealer to cover discoloration and blemishes as needed.
- Prime eyes with Korres Quercetin & Oak Antiaging Eye Primer.
- Apply Korres Eyeliner Pencil in Brown to provide a strong, defined brow.
- Apply Korres Eyeliner Pencil in Black on water line (lower and upper area) and smudge.
- Apply emerald green eyeliner to inner corner of eye and drag to outer corner - keeping as close to lower lid as possible and then smudge.
- Finish with Korres Provitamin B5 & Rice Bran Mascara in Black on upper lashes only.
- Prime lips to provide opaque canvas for color, then apply Korres Mango Butter Lipstick #45 (Coral) and top with Korres Lip Butter in Mango - blot with tissue to remove sheen and create a matte look.

Personally, the shades that are used in this look are too warm for my skintone but I would do the same type of look with golds or champagnes on the eyes and then a berry or deep pink on the lips.  Changing up some of the shades would make this look work any time of the year otherwise I would save this look for the summer months only.  I love these brights, I have been really obsessed with pinks and berrys lately and reworking this look fits perfectly into the looks that I have been doing lately.

photo courtesy of Korres 

Gen Art Fresh Faces in Fashion Show - Korres for Jennifer Chun

All last week and last weekend, Fashion Night Out's activities were the toast of New York City and all kinds of shows and events took place in celebration of this time period.  One of the major shows was the Gen Art Fresh Faces in Fashion Show and the Korres makeup artist team created all the looks that were used in that show.  In fact, Korres was the official makeup and skincare sponsor of the whole show.  I have been providing with several of the looks from the Korres PR team and I wanted to share two of my favorites from the show with you all.  All the credit for the looks belongs to two people; Korres Director of Education, Deb Svarc, and Celebrity Makeup Artist, Jim Crawford.   

The first look that I loved from this show belonged to the model for Jennifer Chun and is called the "Bold but Neutral" look, a look that is neutral enough for the daytime but still contains enough pigment to create a look with pop.  This look could be used for any type of daytime activity, from workdays to casual breakfasts on the weekend.  This is a very easy and universal look, so most of you will be able to draw some type of inspiration from it.

Bold but Neutral...

- Prepare skin with Korres Yoghurt Instant Soothing Gel and Quercetin & Oak Antiaging Primer.
- Prime eyes with Korres Quercetin & Oak Antiaging Eye Primer.
- Apple Korres Wild Rose Liquid Foundation to the face only where needed (spot check).
- Highlight cheekbones, bridge of the nose and forehead with Korres Quercetin & Oak Antiaging and Antiwrinkle Concealer.
- For cheeks, use fingers to stipple Korres Lip Butter in Quince along the hollow of the cheekbone and drag to the center of the cheek.
- Apply Korres Eyeliner Pencil in Brown to the waterline (upper inner eye) and finish with Korres Provitamin B5 & Rice Bran Mascara in Black.
- Apply Korres Mango Butter Lipstick #38 (Cinnamon) and top with Korres Lip Butter Glaze in Raspberry.

This is a great look for any time of the year, you would just have to slightly change up the lip colors.  I don't know that I would recommend using the Lip Butter on your cheeks if you have oily skin, it might be too heavy in texture (any powder blush that has this same type of tone would work instead).

This is a great, easy look the can be pulled off at work or at play on the weekends.  It could be played up with extra eye makeup or a deeper lip tone if you want to take it into the evening.  This is the first of the two looks that I really liked from this show, the second one is coming up next!

photo courtesy of Korres

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Benefit They're Real! Mascara

Benefit has a great track record for me with their mascaras.  I have used BadGal Lash for years and it is one of the very few that I repurchase time after time.  In fact, I still compare every new mascara that I try to this formula and see how it stacks up.  BadGal Lash has been a clear winner in almost every single case so when I found out that this company was releasing a new mascara, I was both excited to try it out and very curious to see how this one compares to BadGal Lash.  I couldn't imagine a better formula and I quickly bought a tube of it the next time that I went to Ulta.  I had to finish up my tube of Clinique Lash Power in the humid days of the summer but as soon as the weather didn't call for a formula that stays in place through a hurricane, I quickly switched over to this product.  I have only read great reviews of this product and my one friend is completely in love with it, so I was very excited to use this for the first time.  And this is one of those products that really does live up to all the hype!

Sephora states that this is "A jet black mascara that lengthens, curls, volumizes, lifts, and separates lashes for a spectular "out-to-here" look."  This is one mascara that does it all, most mascaras do the work of two or three of the functions of this product. 

"This mascara features an exclusive brush specially designed to maximize the performance of the long-wearing, glossy formula revealing lashes you never knew you had!  Staggered bristles grab close to the root, boosting length and volume beyond belief.  The precision bristles on the custom-domed tip lift, define, and curl even your tiniest lashes.  The end result is luxurious, silky lashes that won't smudge, clump, or dry out."  Since this is a very different looking brush, Sephora has also provided usage instructions to help ladies use this product to the best of its ability.  The brush should be positioned first at the base of the lash horizontally and then the brush needs to be wiggled from side to side, from the base all the way to the tip.  This product than needs to be stroked from base to tip to fully coat and separate the lashes. 

Clinical trials proved that this is a great mascara in all aspects.  "94% saw dramatic length and volume.  90% saw base-to-tip curl.  94% saw visible lift.  100% saw long-wearing results."  How did my experience coincide with the trials results?  I agree with the dramatic length and volume, the lift provided by the product, and the all-day wear that I got from the product.  The curl aspect is where I have a bit of a differing opinion.  As I have stated earlier on this blog, mascara is not made to curl the lashes, it is made to hold the curl that is already in place.  So this mascara will not curl my lashes if I don't use a separate curler before use.  I can state that it works very well to hold the curl that my lash curler creates.

The brush is such a unique aspect of this product.  It reminded me a bit of a combination between that of the Dior DiorShow Iconic brush and the Givenchy Phenomen'eyes ball brush.  It is a rubber brush with spikes, think of the DiorShow Iconic brush style with longer rubber spikes.  This brush is much bigger than the one that I had been using with the Clinique mascara and that took a bit of getting used to.  The first time that I used it, I poked myself right in the eye but I quickly got used to it.  Luckily, the technique that was suggested on the Sephora website is very close to how I normally apply mascara so I didn't have any issues using it the correct way from the very beginning. 

I have to conclude that this mascara is as good as BadGal Lash but there is a difference between the two products and I can't pick one over the other.  BadGal Lash creates huge lush lashes but does not lengthen, this product is best used to create major volume at night or anytime major drama is wanted.  They're Real! defines lashes more than BadGal Lash and lengthens them.  It creates a great amoutn of volume but it doesn't have the over-the-top look of the BadGal Lash.  I could place They're Real! as a daytime mascara for ladies who love high volume lashes and BadGal Lash is better for use at night.  This mascara definitely falls into my Top Ten mascaras and might even fall into my Top Five over time.

Wow...They're Real!  (sorry I couldn't resist!)

photo courtesy of Sephora