Monday, October 31, 2011

MAC Holiday 2011 Colour Collection - Glitter and Ice

Snow!  And no power for several days...and still no internet.  I have been cut off from the world the past few days thanks to a huge snowstorm hitting my area, I still have no internet...I am blogging from school to reach out to you guys.  So it will be a long week and so I think we all need some MAC holiday to brighten up the next few days!

This week, MAC has began their holiday releases, one collection of single color products and the other of gifts and sets.  The gift collection looks very similar every single year, there are always different products and shades but the basis premise is almost always the same so I tend to be more interested in the color collections, hence why we are looking at it before I get to going through all the gifts.  Last year, the the color collection was A Tartan Tale and it ended up being one of my favorite collections of both the holiday season and the entire year.  Glitter and Ice is this year's collection and I am envisioning pale, shimmery shades that will be easy to dress up for holiday parties.

The MAC counter always looks lovely at the holidays and I get very excited when I go there...too excited sometimes!  The displays are top notch and can make me want to purchase products that I skipped over when just reading the product descriptions.  Considering that I already get excited over the colour collection, it is sometimes in my best interests to only visit that counter when I am gift shopping or have some extra money to burn.

This year's color collection is named Glitter and Ice and all the products come in a limited edition white packaging.  "Glide quickly past the competition!  Morning frost or glam night out, here's the twirl, whirl, and winter-wonderful snow globe shades needed to send boys and girls into a double-spin.  What will the judges say?"  I am very excited for the eye makeup shades that will be coming with this collection and I see that some new Dazzleglasses will be coming out with this collection.  I'm not all that pumped about some of shimmer face products, these could go very quickly into unflattering and unwearable territory.

The holiday color collection from MAC...

Glitter and Ice Mineralize Eye Shadow - Fresh as ice, shimmering cooly, this winterscape of six exceptionally chilled-out shades.  High impact solos to dramatic frost-on-frost duets, when it comes to party-style and performance, all score.  Limited edition.
- Snow Season - soft taupe melange
- Hold That Pose! - pale mauve melange
- Frozen Blue - blue silver melange
- Shimmermint - pale green melange
- Winterized - dirty purple with silver, indigo, and pink melange
- Fresh Ice - white silver melange

Glitter and Ice Paint Pot - Paint Pots take to the ice!  Soft colours glide.  Frost sparkles.  Winterized shades add to the mood.  With its creamy application and smooth, melt-free shine, an ultra-modern display is promised.  The glossy white metallic cap - a fabulous twist!  Limited edition.
- Let's Skate - pale pink with pearl
- Morning Frost - shimmering champagne taupe
- For Effect - black with pearl

Opulash - Superlative style & state-of-the-art science merge.  A new formula in a more saturated intense black with extra-volumization, expansion, & curl delivered dramatically with our most bodacious brush yet.  Lasts 15 hours!
- Black - pure deep black

Glitter and Ice Technakohl Liner - With this winning streak of high-style colour, glamour leaps ahead!  Six dramatic go-for-gold shades including new ultra-cool silver.  Line or blend.  Glitter and Ice's dashing white and silver packaging makes this an absolute prize!  Limited edition.
- Silver Skates - silver with pearl
- Going For Gold - gold with pearl
- Seasonally Spicy - brown with pearl
- Fancy Moves - violet with pearl
- Practice Makes Perfect - navy with pearl
- Smooth Manoeuvre - black with pearl

7 Lash - Natural length.  Everyday glamourous.  MAC Lashes are handmade to exact specifications.  Each pattern and design is perfectly shaped and arranged to give a striking effect, whether the look is natural or dramatic.  Available in a variety of shapes and densities.  If properly cared for, lashes can be reshaped or adorned if desired.

Glitter and Ice Lipstick - Poised, ready, waiting - six championship shades.  Haute matte red to shimmering silver.  Double loops all round!  Lips have never seen such a performance!  All take their bow in the dazzling packaging of this limited edition collection.
- Double Spin - pale mauve pink
- Whirls and Twirls - sheer pink with gold pearl
- Soft Sable - cool frosted taupe
- Eloquent Air - sheer white silver
- Such Flare - true red
- What Joy! - deep berry

Glitter and Ice Dazzleglass - Outshing the competition in multi-shades of bedazzle-me pearl, this glamourous six are spectacular, colourful, and daring!  The silver packaging and white cap only adds to the excitement!  Limited edition.
- Pleasure Principle - clear white violet
- Dressed to Dazzle - pale dirty pink with red and gold pearl
- Glitter and Ice - light nude with white and gold pearl
- She-zam - sheer silver with silver and red pearl
- Love Alert - raspberry red with red pearl
- Spanking Rich - raspberry pink with red and gold pearl

Glitter and Ice Beauty Powder - Cool and frosted.  Soft and shimmering.  The Glitter & Ice spirit of the season in an ultra-luxurious pressed powder.  Graceful as all Beauty Powders should be.  The inspiration behind the silver-domed glossy white compact - a snow globe!
- Snowglobe - frosted pinky beige
- How Beautiful! - pale shimmering taupe

Glitter and Ice Nail Lacquer - Your festive finery is not complete without these!  Three limited edition shades that invite you to get noticed!  Bright red to a deep violet, and a sparkling white Unconditionally Fabulous frost!  Look for them in their Glitter & Ice white cap!
- Festive Finery - dirty midtone grayed violet
- Unconditionally Fabulous - super sparkle with ice
- Get Noticed! - true bright red

My favorite pieces of the collection are from the lip product lines.  I love the new Dazzleglasses, my favorite of these shades is the Dressed to Dazzle shades (dirty pink with red and gold pearl), this shade is very unique and will be perfect with my skintone.  I am going to use this against a gold or bronze eye look.  To round out the Dazzleglasses, I like Pleasure Principle (clear violet with lots of shimmer) and the deep pink Spanking Rich.  To continue my love of the lip products in this collection, I have to add the Lipstick shades Whirls & Twirls, Such Flare, and What Joy! to my shopping lists.  The first shade will be best against a more dramatic eye and the latter of the three shades will be the focal point of my face since they are more deeper and more pigmented.  Of course I couldn't turn a true red shade down...

All of the eye shadows in this collection are the Mineralize formula, this is either great or tragic for MAC fans.  I have long marveled at how lovely the Mineralize shadows look in the pan but have heard very divided opinions on how they apply and what they actually look like when applied.  Semi-Precious really tempted me but when I got to the counter every single shade that I wanted was sold out and I wasn't going to try the formula unless I was using a shade that I really love.  Maybe this time around MAC will have more of the shadows in stock and I will be able to actually buy a shade that I love.  I love the more neutral shades of this eye shadow shade range, Snow Season and Fresh Ice.  I am going to start out slow and if the neutrals work well than I will buy the more jewel toned shades in this product.  I like one of the Paint Pots, the For Effect shade (black with pearl), this will be perfect to get dressed up with this holiday.  The Technakohl Liners are the last of the eye makeup that I am interested in from this color collection, again I love the neutrals in this product.  Going for Gold is a great gold pearl and Smooth Manoeuvre is a black pearl, I am so excited about the Going for Gold shades that I am considering buying two of them, I love gold liners.

The last two paragraphs have accurately summed up what I want to buy from the collection.  I will be skipping over the rest of it, I don't need another mascara at the moment (not that I won't buy Opulash at some point later but it's not at the top of my list right now) and I don't like the false eye lashes.  The three nail polish shades are nice but none of them are special and I could find dupes of them from almost any company.  The Beauty Powder is too shimmery for me to really get any use from it, maybe I will change my mind when I go to the counter but I'm not putting it on my shopping list at the moment. 

This collection may not be plaid but I still love it and I am already plotting my next trip to the MAC counter!

photo courtesy of MAC

Friday, October 28, 2011

LUSH Holiday 2011 Collection - Body and Shower Products

Last post was the holiday bath product line and I found some wonderful products to shop for.  This post is about the shower products, including the famed Snow Fairy Shower Gel that I use throughout the whole year.  I already know that I will be buying at least one more bottle of the Snow Fairy and I will be looking at everything else in this part of the collection.  I do miss the year that LUSH did a whole line of Snow Fairy-based products since I would love to own this fragrance in as many types of products as possible. 

I have used both the Snow Fairy Shower Gel and the Angel's Delight Bar Soap and I love both of them.  They are back this year along with some other returning products.  I see some new ones too, including a candy cane-inspired soap that looks very promising. 
Time to check out the shower part of the LUSH holiday collection!

Snow Fairy Shower Gel - The Fairy is back again this year for her legion of fans.  The sweet bubblegum and cotton candy scent of this shower gel is mixed in with iridescent glitter, making her irresistable to those who love all things pink and glitter, making her irresistible to those who love all things pink and fluffy (and those who deny loving all things pink and fluffy too!).  Mark and Mo's daughter Claire asked for a sweet, shimmery shower gel when she was 15, so Mark came up with this fragrance.  We'd imagined it would be popular with girls, but never believed that it would be so popular with grown men too!  Use to wash your body and hair, and smell like a sweetie all day long.  Lathering up in mounds of sparkly bubbles always tickles us pink!  Being a vegetarian company, we use synthetic musk to give Snow Fairy her sweet vanilla-y scent.

Glogg Shower Gel - Get into a lather with Glogg (pronounced Glug), our limited edition shower gel inspired by a festive Swedish mulled wine.  While it may be tempting to take a swig, we recommend you save the warming effects of the organic red wine, brandy, and spice oils for the benefit of your body.  Wash up with these suds to get circulation flowing down to your toe-sicles and heat up those cold, sore muscles.  What better way to beat Father Frost than a steamy, revitalizing shower with Glogg?  Back again this year because we missed it so much!  Winter can chill you to the bone; Glogg spices things up and gets your blood flowing.  We use vegan red wine from a small organic winery in Canada to warm you up!

The Jilted Elf Jelly - Inspired by a brilliant fig, honey, and vodka cocktail from New York City, the Jilted Elf brings a dash of pizzazz to our winter showers.  He's a verdant, sparkling jelly with the sophisticated and stimulating fragrance of ginger and cinnamon leaf oil.  If you're feeling like a bit of a Scrooge or if you just need a pick-me-up this holiday season, pop in the shower with the Jilted Elf.  He's sure to work his holiday charm on you!  Brilliantly uplifting and warming fragrance.  This spicy fellow warms up chilly bodies; perfect for winter showers.  Honey and fig infusions are wonderfully softening on the skin.

Snow Globe Bar Soap - When Mark and Mo went looking for Christmas inspiration last year, they happened upon a giant snow globe in the middle of Hyde Park that you could climb inside and be part of the festive scene!  Mo was instantly inspired and headed home to make an equally spectacular frosty globe of snow, with a refreshing lemon, herbal myrtle, and zippy grapefruit scent to lift your spirits on a cold day.  We loved it so much; we had to bring it back this year.  Brightens your day during dark, winter months.  Refreshes body and mind with a single citrusy lather.  Grapefruit oil is used in aromatherapy for lifting the mood and clearing the mind.

Snowcake Bar Soap - Smitten with almonds?  You're not the only one...  For the softest, creamiest, most luxurious suds imaginable, grab a great big slice of Snowcake and float away on a cloud of marzipan and rose absolute.  Snowcake smells exactly like our Smitten hand cream, and is an all time holiday favorite among staff and customers alike.  It softens and cleans your body and scents it with a long-lasting almond fragrance.  The blend of rose, cassie, and benzoin gives Snowcake its irresistable scent; but those oils are also great for the skin, too.  Your body will be silky smooth and ready to face the cold outside.

Northern Lights Bar Soap - Every winter, a handful of lucky LUSH UK creators travel around different countries gathering inspiration for our holiday products.  Last year, Simon and Jo saw the Northern Lights while visiting Finland and Norway.  Although Simon admitted it was a little tricky to smell anything in Finland (his nose was frozen, it was so cold!), he asked one of our Finnish perfumers to knock out a fresh, interesting fragrance.  If you like clean, pine, lime, cypress, you're in for a treat!  Every piece of Northern Lights soap is unique and colorful, no matter how we slice it!  A super, natural vegan soap that smells of a fresh forest.  Pine needle oil is used for it's fresh, woody scent and cleansing properties.

Angel's Delight Bar Soap - How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways...  Angel's Delight is one of our LUSH Christmas classics and a best seller every year.  It really is hard to say what we love most about our heavenly holiday creation.  There's the refreshingly fruit scent, bursting with tangerines and black currants.  And the beautiful iridescent glitter mixed throughout a sea of bright purples, oranges, blues, and pinks.  What about the adorable star and moon shapes throughout each slice?  Oh, we give up!  We love it all, and we have a sneaking suspicion you will too.  Angel's Delight has a fantastic new look!  Mark and Mo (LUSH co-founders) were inspired by a gigantic, golden moon-shaped picture frame they happened upon in Venice.  And we have to admit, we agree with her: Angel's Delight is stunning.  If you really want to impress the guests at Christmas dinner this year, why not place a whole Angel's Delight on the table as a centerpiece?  Sweet orange oil comes from the peal of sweet oranges.  Orange blossoms have been regarded as highly symbolic in many cultures, often being worn by brides as a symbol of fertility.

Australian Igloo Sugar Scrub - First of all, we know there aren't any igloos in Australia.  Our perfumer Simon went igloo building in Finland, and an Australian fellow in his group had major trouble makin his, so we made one for him!  Fair trade sugar polishes and exfoliates away dry wintery skin, while extra virgin coconut oil sinks in to moisturize and soften.  The refreshing blend of Siberian pine, Australian eucalyptus and sandalwood oils revitalize your mind as well as your skin.

The first two items that I need are more of the Snow Fairy Shower Gel and the Angel's Delight Bar Soap.  Both are fantastic and the Angel's Delight can be saved for use in the spring and summer since it is so citrusy scented, that fact might make me want to purchase more than one of them; one to use now and a few to save for later in the year.  I also must order Snowcake and Snow Globe soaps, I haven't tried either of them but I have heard so many rave reviews on them that I believe they are worth an order. 

I am considering taking a chance of Glogg, I am a bit worried that it might irritate my dry, sensitive skin with some of the spice oils in it but I love red wine so much that I am really tempted to try it.  Perhaps I will see what is the smallest size that I can order it in (or see if it comes with other products in a gift set) so I don't feel bad if it doesn't turn out to be a great product for me.  I know that I will be skipping over the two products that have a pine scent in them, I can deal with the scent of pine in small amounts for home fragrance but I couldn't stand to have it on my body for any length of time.

LUSH holiday products make me happier than any other products that come out throughout the year and I really recommend that everyone try this company out this time of the year.  The returning favorites are best sellers for a reason and Snow Fairy has now achieved cult status and I can't wait to replenish my stock of it!

photo courtesy of LUSH UK

LUSH Holiday 2011 Collection - Bath Products

The LUSH holiday product line is one that I look forward to all year round.  Ever since I received my first bottle of Snow Fairy Shower Gel about two years, I have been ordering tons of the products during the holidays and then rationing it into I can order more the next year.  I never seem to order enough no matter how many products I end up purchasing.  The line seems to get larger and large every single year and I will be dividing this collection up in order to not have a super long post.  First we are going to focus on the bath products that were made specially for the holiday.  I recognize some of the products from last year and some look brand new to me.  My favorite bath product from the previous year was a bubble bar that looked like a candy cane and smelled like the Creamy Candy Bubble Bar (one of my first LUSH loves), it looks like this one is backed again but under a different name.

This year's holiday bath product collection!

Magic Wand Bubble Bar - Where do we start with the Magic Wand?  There are just so many things to love about it.  Let's start with the looks, a sweet pink star atop a wand with ribbons and bell.  The beloved cotton candy fragrance is borrowed from our seasonal best-seller Snow Fairy.  Then, there is the pure genius of being able to use it over and over again for many bathes.  With Helen's invention of the amazing Bubble Bar mixture, this one can be swirled around in the tube to make mass amounts of bubbles, and then put aside to dry for the next bath.  For lovers of all things Snow Fairy!  Each Magic Wand creates multiple candy-scented bubble bathes.  It may not come with whistles, but it certainly comes with bells and ribbons!

Candy Mountain Bubble Bar - You must have a Candy Mountain in your stocking this year.  Its the Creamy Candy Bubble Bar all dressed up for the holiday party in pink and white stripes, and swirled into a majestic peak (the LUSH elves in our factory have quite the time getting these just right).  Crumble a Candy Mountain under running water and witness the eruption of mass amounts of the bubbles, along with an intoxicatingly delicious candy fragrance, thanks to vanilla absolute.  The sweetest bath since last Christmas.  Our irresistable, vanilla scent comes back every holiday season, this year in twisty mountain form.  Wash with Snow Fairy Shower Gel and moisturize with Vanilla Dee-lite, you'll smell good enough to eat!  Vanilla absolute (extracted from vanilla beans) gives this one its delightfully comforting fragrance.

Christmas Eve Bubble Bar - When you're too excited to sleep on Christmas Eve, the best thing to do is crumble one of these deeply relaxing jasmine and ylang-ylang scented Bubble Bars in your tub.  Sink into the skin-softening water (thanks to the Irish Moss powder) and lie back in clouds of twinkling foam.  You'll emerge a sleepy-head who's ready to nod off to dreamland and have some very sweet dreams indeed.  T'was the night before Christmas, and everyone was relaxing in a jasmine-scented Bubble Bath.  Soothes excited minds and prepares you for a good night's rest.  Irish Moss powder turns into a gel when it hits the water, softening skin and hair.

Gingerbread House Bubble Bar - Spicy, warming, and absolutely scrumptious, this Gingerbread House is strictly for bathing - no nibbling.  It looks good enough to eat, but trust us and crumble it up under running water instead.  We know you'll find the mounds of cinnamon and ginger bubbles just as satisfying as a gingerbread cookie.  Use this one after a long day of snow sledding to banish winter chills.  Sprinkles, snow, and a cinnamon stick for a chimney make this one an irresistable holiday favorite.  Ginger, cinnamon, and sugar make for a sweet and spicy bubble cuddles.  Powdered ginger will warm your entire body as you soak.

Golden Wonder Bath Bomb - Just like any good present under the tree, Golden Wonder rattles when you shake it!  Are you wondering what's inside?  Pop our big, fizzing, multi-layer invention into the tub and the first thing you'll notice is the sweet orange, lime, and cognac oils as they unfold for a seasonal celebration.  Then, as this golden gift slowly dissolves, watch the water magically change colour before your eyes.  What else could be inside?  You'll just have to try one to find out!

Abombinall Bath Bomb - Seeing as the Boog Bath Bomb isn't returning this year, we just had to have another snowman bath bomb one way or another.  Abombinall it is then!  He rattles when you shake him.  "What's inside?", we hear you cry - you'll have to drop him in the tub to find out!  We will tell you he's got a stunning vanilla, peppermint, and sweet orange oil fragrance, and a bit of froth in his fizz, making him bob gently around in the tub to comfort and delight you on a cold winter night.

Rocketeer Bath Bomb - For an out-of-this-world bathing expedition, pop a Rocketeer Bath Bomb in the tub.  The blue rocket pack shoots around your tub, leaving a wake of froth, fizz, and the sweet scent of candy sticks.  Watch the water change from blue to yellow to green as the yellow "flames" push the rocket around the tub.  We made this one to entice our little ones into the tub for an exciting adventure, but it turns out (as usual) we like using it ourselves too!

Three Golden Rings Bubble Bar - Our most luxurious Bubble Bar this Christmas, Three Gold Rings shares the rich vanilla fragrance of our Creme Anglais Body Lotion.  Named for its three shimmering gold rings, this beauty is a sophisticated bath time treat.  With soya milk powder to soften skin, fluffy, cozy bubbles and a delightfully rich fragrance - a mixture of vanilla absolute, sweet orange oil, and myrrh, Three Gold Rings is pure indulgence - 'tis the season!  The creme de la creme of Bubble Bars.  Mounds of richly scented bubbles and golden waters make this a bath fit for royalty.  Vanilla absolute (extracted from vanilla beans) gives this one its delightfully comforting fragrance.

Superstars Bubble Bar - Truly a slice of summer in the wintertime, Superstars smells like fresh strawberries and a hint of herbel refreshment.  Helen has told us she's good at making strawberry fragrances, so she made a sweet and delicious scent especially for this holiday bar.  Enjoy the fragrance and feel of summertime, as anjelica root oil helps soothe the mind and black pepper oils warms up chilly bodies.  Now the only decision you have to make is red and yellow, or yellow and red...  Fruity fiends will love the strawberry scent Helen created just for these bars.  A Superstars bath will brighten your mood and warm you up when the winter blues are getting you down.  Black pepper oil is used in aromatherapy for poor circulation, headaches, and aching muscles.  Perfect for a winter bath!

Satsumo Santa Bath Bomb - Lift your holiday spirits with this jolly fellow.  Abundant with mandarin oil, bergamot oil, and orange flower absolute, Satsumo Santa rivals the zesty scent of real orange.  Winter can feel long and dreary, but we make it through with bright treats such as these.  Inspired by the tradition of putting an orange in Christmas stockings, we thought it would be more delightful to wake up Christmas morning and find a fresh and fragrant mandarin scented Bath Bomb.

The Melting Snowman Bath Melt - This cute little snowman is a bath melt - and he's melting!  He's the first Luxury Bath Melt made with our new fast-melting formula (those how have tried our melts know they dissolve very slowly), so the gorgeous essential oils, icing sugar, and skin-softening butters can disperse into your bath water more easily.  We just had to give him the beloved Snowcake fragrance, an almond icing, marzipan scent that leaves your skin smelling like dessert.  Pair The Melting Snowman up with Snowcake Soap for delectably soft, marzipan-scented skin!  Melt tension away in a hot bath with our Snowman.  We use a blend of cocoa and shea butters to soften and moisturize your whole body.

Cinders Bath Bomb - The moment Cinders drops into the bath, it begins to snap and pop thanks to a smattering of fizzing candy.  Inspired by crackling fairytale hearths, this sweet and spicy treat is meant to warm and relax you.  Cinnamon leaf oil heats things up when the weather outside is frightful, and since you've got no place to go, stay for a while and let the almond oil soften up your skin.

Li'l Lush Pud Bath Bomb - Sinking into a Lush Pud bathis like curling up next to the fire on a freezing winter evening.  Clove powder warms you up when you're chilled to the bone, while aloe vera extract and rose absolute soothe dry, winter skin.  Inspired by traditional British Christmas pudding made of figs (and often served flaming), our Lush Pud is more satisfying than dessert (although, admittedly we don't serve ours aflame).  Oh, did we mention it has the scrumptious almond-icing scent of our beloved Snowcake Soap?  Yum!

So White Bath Bomb - Simon worked hard to create the perfect apple fragrance - there is no such thing as real apple essential oil, you see.  A blend of bergamot oil, neroli oil, and orange flower absolute create a sweet, crisp scent.  He added a hint of romantic and fragrant rose absolute to care for sensitive winter skin.  So White is the fairest in all the lands, with grated Bubble Bar mixture to create a frothy, snowy white blanket on the water.  And we bathed happily ever after.

LUSH holiday is so exciting - I can't wait to go shopping and get some new items to play with.  I will be buying another Candy Mountain, I love the design of it even though I can buy Creamy Candy all year long.  The new product that I am the most excited about is the Magic Wand Bubble Bar, I love the Snow Fairy fragrance I love that it was designed to use multiple times.  And it's pink and girly, making me want it even more.  I will be ordering more than one of these for myself and I am thinking of having a few on hand to throw into gifts for friends.  I want to try Golden Wonder, it sounds like it will be fruity and I am wondering if it has another surprise inside it.  Three Golden Rings sounds lovely and I will be adding it to my shopping list, the vanilla fragrance sounds lovely and it will be a decadent treat for a snowy night.  Last Bath Bomb on my shopping list is So White, the apple and rose mix sounds fanstatic.

The Melting Snowman might end up on my shopping too, just for the fact that the Bath Melts have been reformulated.  I have grumbled before that there Bath Melts took so long to fully melt that I was down with the bath by the time that it finally finished melting.  I have to try this one and see if the melting time is much shorter, if so I might be tempted to go back to using this product.

Bath products are done and now we are onto to the Bar Soaps and Shower Gels!

photo courtesy of LUSH

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Kevyn Aucoin The Essential Eye Shadow Singles

Good things come to light when I begin cleaning.  Tonight when I was getting ready to go out for dinner, I was determined to dig through my whole traincase and use something that was on the very bottom and most likely hadn't been used in months.  On the very bottom I found two Kevyn Aucoin Eye Shadows that look like they have barely been touched.  When I really thought about it...I don't think that I have used them in almost a year and a half.  I remember using them a lot and then for some reason, I just completely stopped.  I don't really remember if I disliked the shade or the texture but there was something about them that just turned me off.  So time to try them again and see what the whole issue was...

I have two of the eye shadows, I remember purchasing them at the C.O. Bigelow in King of Prussia about two years ago and they were bought to be used against a strong lip (Lipstick Queen Sinner in Wine, I think).  I believe that I paired them with that lipstick for one night and then wore them a few more times but then I moved on.  I bought two of the neutral shades that paired easily with other shadow shades or against a strong lip. 
"This gorgeous shadow is designed to compliment any look, whether your goal is an angelic glow or a devilish smoky eye,  Packaged in a slim, sleek compact with a mirror, this soft finish formula may be applied with gorgeous intensity or playful sheerness, making it easy to take your look from day into night.  With a super soft texture and a lasting crease-free finish, The Essential Eye Shadow Singles are a must-have for any makeup bag."  This eye shadow is currently available in 14 shades, most of which appear to be neutrals or medium plums, blues, and greens.  I don't see any deep blacks or any really dramatic shades.  The shades are very wearable in many situations but I don't see many of the artistry shades that I have come to associate with the genius of Kevyn Aucoin.  Maybe he preferred to save the artistry for the runways and have shades in his collection that are more versatile.

Whatever his decision was in picking out the shades for this eye shadow line, he made some great choices and it was hard for me to just purchase two of them.  I bought Tusk and Oro, two of the more neutral shades, one of which is matte and the other is a shimmer finish. 

Here are the shades carried in the Essential Eye Shadow Singles...

- Patina  - deep olive green (shimmer)
- Passion - rich plum (shimmer)
- Platinum - light silver (shimmer)
- Tusk - soft ivory (matte)
- Chrome - deep silver (shimmer)
- Whisper - ultra soft pink champagne (shimmer)
- Oro - soft golden champage (shimmer)
- Midnight - rich deep navy blue (matte)
- Bronze - warm gold brown (shimmer)
- Blush - soft dusky pink (matte)
- Copper - warm reddish bronze (shimmer)
- Fawn - warm chocolate brown (matte)
- Goddess - deep copper (shimmer)
- Aubergine - rich burgundy (matte)

I own one of the matte shades and one of the shimmer so I can comment on both formulas.  The Matte formula goes on highly pigmented and stays color true.  It is not the easiest formula to blend so I have be precise when I apply it.  It lasts all day (I always use an eye primer underneath it) and doesn't fade or smudge.  This is a great shadow for an eight hour workday and then to go out right after work.  Once this one is on, I can completely forget about it.  Tusk is a soft ivory with a neutral undertone and it works with any neutral or warm neutral shadow shade.  I use it as a highlighter only, it is too pale for me to use on the lid.  Oro is the shimmer shade that I have, I have one way to describe it.  Imagine if Stila's Kitten and Urban Decay's Midnight Cowboy combined into one shade.  The shade itself is closer to that of Kitten, it is a golden champage.  The shimmer in it is much more like that of Midnight Cowboy, it is larger and there is tons of fall out potential.  This shade needs to be used with the Urban Decay or NARS eye primers, a tackier formula is needed to keep the shimmer in place.  This is another shade that that is high maintence to put on but once it is on, it stays in place all day.  It remains color true and very pigmented the entire day.

Both of the formulas of this shadow seem to be higher maintence but it worth the extra time in the morning to know that your eye makeup will stay in place and look great all day.  The shimmer formula makes more of a statement but that is a norm with a shimmering finish.  Even though I am having a harder time finding some of these shadows, I still want to buy Patina, Chrome, Bronze, Copper, and Goddess.  All of the shades that I want are warm or neutral shimmers that will work very well with the eye shadows that I already own.

photo courtesy of Kevyn Aucoin

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Deborah Lippmann Holiday 2011 Collection

Nail polish has been my obsession recently and I have been finding new companies and products to try for the past few months.  However even as I find new companies to try, I never forget my favorites and the companies that made me first start loving nail polish - Chanel and Deborah Lippmann.  We already looked at the Chanel holiday collection and saw the new nail polish shades in it and therefore today we are going to look at the new holiday shades from Deborah Lippmann.  This holiday season we have been seeing an abudance of glitter polishes and this new collection follows right along with that trend.

Five new polishes have been released, four that are glitters and one that is a shimmer.  I used to hate glitter polishes but ever since I bought China Glaze's Ruby Pumps last summer I have fallen in love with a few of them.  There is a red glitter in this collection that I am very attracted to but I want to see how different the shade is from Ruby Pumps since I can't see how many red glitter polishes that I will be needing in my collection.

First we will start with the one non-glitter polish.  This shade is named Glamorous Life and is described as a "Rolex rose gold".  Rose gold Rolex watches have been all over the pages of Vogue and In Style the past few months so I wasn't surprised to see that they have inspired a nail polish shade.  Rose gold jewelry overall has been very popular the past few months since it is flattering to many different skin tones and works with many hues of clothing.  This shade could be a staple of mine, it is flattering for my pink toned skin and is professional which still attracting attention.  This is the easiest of all the shades in the collection to wear.

The first of the glitter shades is the red that I was talking about in the introduction to this post.  Do Ya Think I'm Sexy is named after the Rod Stewart song from the late 1970s, I believe that the girl in the music video is wearing some type of red lipstick and has matching red nails.  This shade is a "risque red sequin" with a true glitter finish.  This one looks as though it will be more a true red glitter instead of the red glitter suspended in red polish like the Ruby Slippers.  This one seems as though it will need several coats to build all the way up to the a pure glitter red finish.  This one looks as though it will be brighter and more glittery than the Ruby Slippers shade.  I'm still not totally convinced that I need a second red glitter shade in my collection though.  I am considering using it more as a red glitter top coat and painting a sheer coat over a black or silver chrome nail polish.

The second of the glitter shades is a bright gold.  This shade is named Shake Your Groove Thing and this is the brightest shade of the collection.  This one is "full-on flickering gold" with a glitter finish.  This is one of the brightest glitter finishes that I have ever seen and is also one of the truest gold nail polishes that I have ever seen.  This one will get attention but needs to be paired with the corrent outfit and occasion, this is not an office friendly shade.  This might be too bright in many situations but for holiday parties, this will be the perfect gold shade.  I am thinking about using this polish as I was the red glitter shade, a thin coat over a deep navy or purple shade.  I think that the only way that I would really wear this polish to use it as a top coat but I don't really know that I can purchase it just for that.

The third of the glitter polishes is one that I would be more likely to purchase than the two previous.  Stairway to Heaven is a silver glitter that is a bit more subtle than the rest of the collection and will be one of the easier shades to pull off.  This is a glitter that a more conservative person could wear to a holiday party and not feel like people are spending the evening stareing at her nails.  Stairway to Heaven is named after the classic Led Zeppelin song is the only iridescent shade of the group.  This is an "iridescent icicle" and is the most subtle glimmer of the collection.  This one reminds me of sparkling snow and will be great to wear all winter long, this one is not quite as obvious "holiday" as the the previous two in this collection.  This is a polish that I bet that I will ordering within the next few weeks.

The last polish in the collection is my favorite shade of the group.  This polish is named I Love the Nightlife and is another very unique shade.  I don't own any shade like this in my collection and I can't even really think of many other polishes that are comparable.  This polish is a "groovey graphite" and is a deep charcoal gray glitter.  This polish is the most cutting edge of the group, it is a break from the traditional holiday shades and could be worn all winter and I would get the bottle out again next fall.  I want the shade the most and I will be ordering this one.

I Love the Nightlife is one of my favorite nail polish shades that has come out so far this year, I will be ordering this one very soon.  I want to purchase Stairway to Heaven and Glamorous Life since I will get lots of wear from both of them.  This is a lovely holiday collection and at least one of these shades will work with any type of party outfit.

photo courtesy of Deborah Lippmann

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fresh Sugar Plum Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15

Several years ago, Fresh had a very successful lip balm called the Sugar Lip Treatment, it is hydrating and clear while also smelling like homemade cookies.  It is still one of their top selling products as are many of the products in the Sugar line.  Within the past few years, that lip treatment has spawned a series of balms made with the same great formula yet contain a tint in order to match the makeup trends of the seasons.  We have already looked at the first version of the tinted lip balm, the Sugar Rose which contains a sheer rosy red hue.  Today we are looking at the Sugar Plum tint, the one that is most suited to the fall and winter seasons with its deep berry hue.

I have always been a fan of tinted lip balms, my lips get dry very easily throughout the whole year and this is one of the few ways that I'm not trying to deal with the use of two products throughout the day.  If I wear a deep lipstick shade, I have to bring a balm with me in my bag and reapply it delicately throughout the day (over whatever lipstick shade I am wearing) in order to keep my lips hydrated and nice looking.  Tinted lip balms are also a great product to use in the morning when I am running late and don't have the full amount of time to spend getting ready.  A neutral eye shadow and a tinted lip balm are really great ways to quickly create a polished, professional look that can get me to work on time.

"A lip treatment that moisturizes, repairs, and protects the lips while imparting a deep plum tint.  Fresh Sugar Plum Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15 offers sheer coverage or buildable color and is the perfect partner to the best selling Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15.  It's formulated with sugar, a natural humectant that prevents moisture loss, and a superior blend of nourishing oils and protective waxes to soften and smooth dry lips.  Anti-oxidant rich vitamins also work to defend against wrinkle causing free radicals.  It also provides essential year-round protection from damaging UV rays with SPF 15.", states the Sephora website. 

The Sephora website also provides the inspiration for the product, right from the Fresh co-founder, Alina Roytberg.  "'On a recent summer vacation, we spent time on a farm in France where there was a magnificant plum orchard that stretched to the horizaon - plum trees as far as the eye could see.  At first light, the sun would stream through the orchard, warming the irresistable, juicy plums.  Ripe for the picking, I tasted one and was surprised at how at the deep, dark skin of the plum gave way to a translucent burgundy pulp.  Inspired by this unveiling, I created Sugar Plum Lip Treatment SPF 15, a dark bullet that delivers a mysteriously sheer and utterly sensuous tint.'"

I have played with all of these at the Sephora counter and this is the one that I ended up buying the last time that I was there.  It goes on smoothly and keeps my lips hydrated all day.  With one coat, the shade is a soft berry tint but after multiple coats, it can build all the way to a true plum tint.  I usually try to keep it soft but as I reapply it throughout the day, I have built it all the way up without even realizing it.  This shade is the most pigmented of the whole line so this is a best one for a lipstick lover to try first, the others could be a bit disappointing if you prefer more of a tint on your lips.

My least favorite part about this product is that it does need to be reapplied more frequently than many other forms of lip products.  However, that is the nature of a tinted lip balm, they are not long lasting and will need to be reapplied throughout the day.  Personally, I still find a tinted lip balm formula to last longer than many of the lip glosses on the market today. 

Tinted lip balms are a great choice in the fall and winter months when my lips get dry and chapped and adding lipstick or gloss can only make them worse.  This one is one of my favorites since it quite pigmented and can still create a polished professional look without much effort. 

photo courtesy of Sephora

Sunday, October 23, 2011

LUSH Avobath Bath Bomb

LUSH Bath Bomb's are among my favorite bath products, in fact they are among my favorite beauty products that I have ever used.  I tried a new one last night that I ordered from the LUSH website when I bought my Shark Fin Soap.  I couldn't just order a single, lonely soap, I had to try a few other new products out.  One of the ones that I ordered was the Avobath Bath Bomb, I had been wanting to try this one out for a few months now but I didn't get a chance to order from LUSH until the very end of the summer.  I am so glad that I decided to add this bath bomb to my cart since it quickly ended up being one of my favorites.

The first reason that I was attracted to it was the color.  As you can see from the picture, it is the prettiest shade of kelly green.  Kelly green happens to be my favorite color and the thought of having my bath water turn that shade was more than enough to entice me to purchase the product.  An added plus is that it smells like avocado and citrus, making it a pleasure to lie in. 
"Sharp citrus refresher that grabs you by the nose and sends you rocketing into the day.  It's our fruitiest Bomb with avocados mixed in to soften you up.  The bright green bomb turns the water into a shimmering haze.  As you inhale the invigorating fragrance, you'll find yourself ready to take on the world.  Each Avobath contains plenty of fresh avocados to rehydrate and moisturize dry skin.  The scent of lemongrass captures your mind and gives you a much needed boost."

The product is used exactly like ever other LUSH Bath Bomb; drop it in a warm bath and then let is fizz and melt.  Within minutes, my bathwater was turned into a bright green shade that made my entire day.  The scent is definitely citrus, it reminded me a stronger version of green Fruit Loops.  I can smell both the avocado and the lemon notes but I also thought that I smelled a strong lime note in it also.  The scent is very pleasant and isn't too strong.  Some people have complained that LUSH bath bomb scents are too strong to lay in for more than a few minutes but I can't see many people being able to complain about this one.  The scent could also be considered unisex, there is nothing girly about it and I could this being very refreshing after a run or other type of workout.  This is one fo the few Bath Bombs that doesn't leave a ring around my white tub in spite of the bright hue that it turns the bath water.

This Bath bomb is yet another winner for LUSH, all the hype that surrounded it was true and it is now up there with the rest of my favorite bath bombs.  I think that this might actually be up there with Big Blue for me, it is wonderful to lay and relax in and the scent is light enough to not annoy anyone.  This product is yet another reason that LUSH continues to be one of my favorite companies!

photo courtesy of LUSH United Kingdom

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Burberry Body

Burberry had one big fragrance release this season, their new fragrance Body.  The company had been hyping this fragrance on Facebook and Twitter for several weeks before it can out, including sending out very generous amounts of sample to friends and followers.  Most of Burberry's fragrances are light and floral, with the new release being the individual of the line.  I have a feeling that is why the fragrance was so hyped, it will bring a completely new fragrance customer to the Burberry line of perfumes.  This fragrance is described as a chypre with fruity notes in it.  I do believe that this is the first time that Burberry has even attempted any type of chypre and therefore I am very interested to see what they did with this fragrance.  I was very happy when Burberry sent me a small bottle of this fragrance to try out and really decide what I thought of it. 

The perfume is available at Sephora and that is the website where I found the best description of the fragrance itself.  "Wrapped around a woman, the iconic Burberry trench evokes sensuality, feminity, and luxury.  In this fragrance, an eclectic composition of fruity-chypre notes envelopes the body, creating a suggestion of effortless seduction.  The fragrance opens with a fresh, green note of absinthe and bright hints of peach and freesia.  Elegance emerges in the heart, where cool notes of natural rose absolute and iris are set against the subtlety and warmth of sandalwood.  In the base, woody cashmeran and creamy vanilla join the sensuality of amber and musk." 
The notes of the fragrance are: Freesia, Green Absinthe, Peach, Rose, Iris, Sandalwood, Cashmeran, Musk, Amber, Vanilla.  Maybe it's just me, but I feel like many of the notes in this new scents are very many fragrances do you own that contains at minimum three to four of the above notes?!  That isn't saying that they are bad notes to have in a perfume (quite the opposite in fact) but I just don't think that this fragrance shows as much originality as some of their earlier fragrances.  I am happy that I see a rose note in this fragrance however I am not surprised since I feel like many English fragrances contain some type of rose note. 

I have been wearing this fragrance for the past few days and I have finally began to form my thoughts around it.  It isn't one of those fragrances that I fell in love with instantly, it isn't unique enough for me to grab it from my collection more than two or three days in a row.  It is pretty however it reminds me very much of a slightly lighter version of Elizabeth Arden's Mediterrean with a bit more sandalwood in it.  When I first spray it on, the peach and the green notes come out right away but quickly fade into the vanilla, sandalwood, and musk notes.  I also get no rose from this fragrance which is very disappointing for me and a major reason that I wouldn't buy a bottle of this after my current one is finished. 

One of the hardest parts of this fragrance was placing it into a "wear" category.  It took me until last night to decide wear and how I would wear this fragrance.  Let me explain my logic quickly - I have certain fragrances that I wear in professional settings, others that are just for going out, and a few that are very casual and work best on lazy weekend days.  I quickly decided that this fragrance is not a professional fragrance, the sandalwood and vanilla are too sensual to carry off.  This isn't a light and casual fragrance that I would wear when walking down to the farmers market.  This leaves only a going out fragrance, however I found it too light to work with a black dress and heels.  I concluded last night that this fragrance is best worn for small gatherings at casual restaurants or informal dinner parties.  Considering that this is all that I could come up with wear times, my small bottle from the company will last for ages and I won't need a new one any time soon.

One last note on the wear of the fragrance - it doesn't last near as long as I was expecting with the heavy emphasis on the base notes, I only got about three hours from it before I needed to reapply.  If you are looking for a warm, easy fragrance to wear out for relaxed bistro dinners, then this is a great choice for you.  Personally, I liked it but i can skip over buying a new bottle.  My current bottle will last me for quite a bit since I won't be wearing it on a daily basis.  This fragrance is a big change from Burberry's previous scent offerings and I think that it will attract a new customer to the company, however it is very similar to many other scents that are currently being sold and is easily dupable.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Friday, October 21, 2011

Most Wanted Allure Best of Beauty 2011

I know, I know!  This post is way late, I actually received the magazine in the mail almost a month ago but with everything going on between school and work, all of my magazines sat in a pile in the corner of my bedroom until the past few days.  But I am pretty much caught up on the pile and I was most excited to see the October issue of Allure, the Best of Beauty list in an eternal favorite of mine and always gives me some great new items to buy.

My Most Wanted from this year's Best of Beauty...

- Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner in Birthday Suit
- Smashbox Eye Shadow in Obsidian
- Burberry Beauty Lip Cover in Nude Rose
- NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella
- Clarins Beauty Flash Balm
- Kate Somerville CytoCell Dark Circle Corrective Eye Cream
- Rescue Beauty Lounge Nail Polish in Moulin Rouge
- NARS Pro-Prime Multi-Protect Primer SPF 30
- Living Proof No Frizz Conditioner
- Maison Martin Margiela (Untitled)

This is one of my more rounded list, I have eye products, lip products, skincare products, and one fragrance that I want to try from all these top rated products.  I was very happy to see that the Make Up For Ever HD line won multiple awards, I agree with the editors that these are fantastic products.  I am glad that NARS is well represented but I am not happy that there is no representation from MAC or Urban Decay since both lines have some wonderful products.  There's always next year...for now I will be adding to my NARS collection.

Tarte Holiday 2011 Collection

I feel like Tarte went right from summer to holiday, did I miss fall somewhere?  Was it QVC or Sephora only?  Or was is the True Blood products and I wrote it up without realizing it?  Well I have no clue but I remember going on their website about a month ago and seeing the summer collection and now I went on and the holiday gift collection is front and center.  Not that I am surprised to see that there holiday products are up early since it seems like most of their sales come from all of their great gift sets and palettes, I was just a bit surprised that I saw next to nothing for fall.

The holiday collection from Tarte consists only of sets and palettes, like so many of their collections always do.  While I love their sets, I caught myself wishing the other day that they sold some of the different products and shades individually, I am obsessed with a few of the shades in the True Blood palette and I would love to have a back up of them without having to go out and purchase the palette a second time.  I would love you forever people at Tarte if you could make this dream a reality for me...

This collection consists of four sets and palettes, one that is lip based, one that is eye based, and two that are a combination of products.  I have to say that I am more excited about this company than I have been in seasons past since I have loved so many aspects of the True Blood palette, I now want to try everything from this company and see if it as high quality as I would expect.

The holiday gifts collection from Tarte...

Lip Service Limited Edition LipSurgence Collection - When it comes to perfecting the classic Hollywood kiss, leading ladies know a bold lip is sure to steam up the silver screen!  This limited edition LipSurgence collection pays tribute to some of the most iconic shades seen on Tinseltown's most adoring smiles.  Whether for your mother, your sister, or friend (or for yourself!), you're sure to be the star this gift-giving season thanks to the superb variety of shades in this pout-perfecting set.  Like all Tarte LipSurgence lip tints, each emotive lip shade smoothly glides on lips for natural color that lasts all day and delivers a surge of moisture on a cellular level for naturally plumped-up appearance while natural peppermint adds a refreshing burst of avor with each application.  A look back to the Golden Age is the best look this holiday, so feel like a starlet and blow a kiss as you travel back in time to an era where glamour was paramount, the kisses were in the rain, and the pouts were perfect.
- Perky - soft carnation pink tint
- Swank - light cherry tint
- Ashy - bright iridescent fuchsia luster
- Dazzled - pearly coral pink luster
- Glitzy - antique pink luster

Puttin' On The Glitz Limited Edition Color Collection & Clutch - This holiday season shine like a screen siren with Tarte's Puttin' On This Glitz Limited Edition Color Collection & Clutch.  Inspired by the iconic glamour of Old Hollywood and this season's most sought-after accessory, this silver carry-all is truely something to marvel at.  Featuring a slim row of gold-tone links and stunning metallic python leather (faux, of course), this clutch is bound to turn heads this season and is sure to inspire a chain reaction of oohs and ahhs.  Even better: this perfectly portable gift has three interchangable palettes and a universally flattering, maracuja-infused lip gloss inside so it can easily transition throughout the day, making it the ideal versatile option for your accessory wardrobe.  This sets includes the following: 3 palettes that contain a total for 18 eye shadows, 1 Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush, 1 Amazonian Clay Shimmering Powder, and 1 Park Avenue Princess Amazonian Clay Bronzer.
- A Walk In The Park - features a mix of cool and warm easy-to-wear natural shades including Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush is Darling (a soft shimmering coral pink)
- Girl's Night Out is a mix of vivid mattes and silverspun shimmers complete with Amazonian Clay Shimmering Powder in Champagne
- Nine-To-Five featuresn not-so-quiet colors paired with traditional neutrals and Tarte's best-selling Park Avenue Princess Amazonian Clay Bronzer inside for a fresh faced healthy glow

Shining Stars Limited Edition Best Sellers Collection - Give the gift of good-for-you glamour this holiday season with this ensemble cast of best-selling products that have shot to stardom and become super stars in their own right. 
- A deluxe Cheek Stain in Flush (sheer berry) for a natural glow - like someone just pinched your cheeks.  There's no business like glow business and this gel blush is Tarte's most iconic stain because it's harmonious hue blends on smooth and delivers skin-restorative benefits with each application.
- For the first time,  a deluze Lip Surgence Lip Tint in Enchanted (rose tint) is included inside a for high dose of color and hydration.  Lipsurgence technology delivers a surge of moisture on a cellular level for a naturally plum appearance; natural peppermint oil adds a refreshing burst of avor with easy application.
- Line and define eyes with a full size EmphasEyes Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner.  High-performance natural Amazonian clay deepens the intensity of pure black color pigments while nourishing skin for a truer, bolder color that lasts.
- Complete your look a with a deluxe Lights, Camera, Lashes! Clinically Proven Mascara.  Prepare to flaunt lashes worthy of a freeze frame, this 4-in-1 (lengthening, curling, volumizing, and conditioning) mascara creates dramatic, thick, sexy lashes and is clinically proven to increase the appearance of lash volume by 424% and lush curl by 90.2%. 
- All perfectly sized for stashing in your clutch for a fabulous night on the town, this limited-edition collection of little luxuries (and on full size liner) is irresistibly giftable.

SmolderEyes Limited Edition Amazonian Clay Waterproof Eyeliner Collection - Get eyes ready for opening night with this limited edition SmolderEyes Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner Collection.  The captivating set includes 6 naturally pigmented SmolderEyes Liners to create a variety of versatile eye looks inspired by the starlets of yesteryear.  With a wide array of jewel-toned colors, including Golden Beige, Moss, Violet, Expresso, Smoke, and Golden Black; the all-so-enchanting eye looks are endless.  Go-lightly with rich expresso shade by softly smudging liner along the lash line to recreate the mod cat eye made famous by the cinema's most famous dripped-in-diamonds socialite or blend the silver black liner out with precision and line the inner corner with golden beige for a sleek bright cat eye.  Regardless of how you choose to wear this versatile liner, Amazonian Clay works to nourish lids, reduce surface oil, and improve overall texture for easy application and better, truer, longer wear.  The rich, pure pigments are boosted by Amazonian Clay for bolder beautiful color with no chance of running, bleeding, or budging with each completely waterproof application.  Take a trip down the Red Carpet this holiday season and transform from simple to sultry in an instant aas you channel the sexy smoldering style of Old Hollywood's most glamourous girls!

I love the Puttin On The Glitz palette, the variety of products is fantastic and so is the shade variety.  These are the types of palettes that I love to see, there is really something for everyone and this would be a great gift for a close friends this season.  I will also be picking up an extra one for myself.  My second favorite from this collection is the Shining Stars set.  Again this is everything that I want in a set and I enjoy being able to try all kinds of new products in the smaller sizes.  If I got a chance, I would like to buy both of the other sets but I could live without them for the moment as long I buy the two that I was discussing above.

Collections like this are why I am falling in love with Tarte.  The products are fantastic and they put together some of the best palettes and sets that I have ever seen.  I love the little extras that make these perfect for gift giving, the little bags and the application instructions make them perfect to gift (and receive!).  Tarte is quickly becoming one of my favorite makeup lines and I want to buy a lot from this collection!

photo courtesy of Tarte

Thursday, October 20, 2011

NARS Holiday 2011 Collection

I love NARS Holiday!  Every single year, it contains lots of lovely shimmering eye shadows and nail polishes, along with some of the best lip shades of the year.  So many companies should look to NARS to see how it is done best for the holidays.  Last year, the collection has a faint Lady Gaga theme to the name of the products which made me love it even more than I already did.  So far, I have only looked at the promotional photo for this collection and the model looks amazing.  I see that NARS has an option on their website to simply put the whole collection in your shopping cart and I am very tempted to do just that right now.  I already see shades for my lips, eyes, and nails that I must have this season and will be heading very quickly toward the top of my Most Wanted list for the next month...

"Haute couture Holiday style.", states the NARS website in a description of this collection.  This collection picks up so many of the trends that we have been seeing on the runways over the past few months.  Dramatic eye makeup is at the front of this collection, along with red lips and jewel toned nail polishes.  This may be one of the best collections of the entire year, as was the NARS holiday collection from 2010.  Now let's see this collection product by product!

Here is the new collection from NARS!

The Multiple - Capture the rapture with NARS' new signature gold-infused rose hue.  The Multiple, Francois Nars' iconic innovation, features a unique creamy formula that blends effortlessly to eyes, lips, and cheeks.  Apply with fingers: the skin's warmth allows for perfect blending.  Mistake-proof color, quick and easy to apply.  Enriched with Vitamin E and acai oil for antioxidant benefits.
- G-Spot - rich gold-infused rose

Trio Eye Shadow - A trio of harmonious, color combinations of eye shadow shades.  Worn alone or together, all Trio Eye Shadows feature micro-fine powders that are highly pigmented, longwearing, and crease-resistant.  Color glides on smoothly, evenly, and blends effortlessly.  True color application.  Can be applied dry or with a dampened brush for stronger intensity.  Multi-function: use for shading, lining, and highlighting the eyes.
- Arabian Nights - black with red pearls/black with purple pearls/black with gunmetal shimmer

Semi Matte Lipstick - A modern semi-matte lipstick that provides full-bodied, velvety color in a highly pigmented and non-drying formula.  Long-wearing, full coverage finish.  Rich, vivid shade range from neutrals to high fashion hues.  Patented blend of conditioners and antioxidants hydrate, nourish, and protect lips.
- Joyous Red - amber red

Higlighting Blush - Illuminating highlighting powders that give the skin a light-reflecting, luminous glow.  Wear alone or pair with other cheek products to create beautiful dimension on the skin.  Creates instant radiance.  Made with transparent pigments to avoid heaviness on the skin.  Universally flattering shades.
- Miss Liberty - soft shimmering peach

Duo Eye Shadow - Modern, unique, sometimes unexpected color combinations of eye shadow shades.  Worn alone or together, all Duo Eye Shadow shades feature micro-fine powders that are highly pigmented, longwearing, and crease resistant.  Color glides on smoothly, evenly, and blends effortlessly.  The effects can be subtle or smoldering - the options are endless.  True color application.  Can be applied dry or with a dampened brush for stronger intensity.  Multi-function: use for shading, lining, and highlighting the eyes.  Classic, neutral, and fashion-forward shade pairings.
- Mandchourie - gold-infused denim/rich navy

Cream Eye Shadow - Vivid.  Lightweight.  Easily blendable.  Apply lightly for a subtle wash of color or layer to achieve deeper intensity.  Can be worn alone or paired with a NARS powder eye shadow for longer-lasting wear and added dimension.
- Ponderosa - mink

Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner - Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner takes liner to the next level.  Rich, creamy color that glides on smoothly with a completely budgeproof finish.  Incomparable 12-hour wear with no smearing and no caking.  Deeply dramatic shades named for the most iconic streets in the world.  Achieves rich, intense color.  Twist up delivery and built-in sharpener.
- Campo de' Fiori - antique brass
- St. Marks Place - bright violet

Nail Polish - Fashion-forward and classic NARS Nail Polish shades impart incredible luster and prolonged gloss retention with UV protection to prevent polish discoloration.  An advanced polymer system provides extended wear and a durable, chip-resistant finish.
- Endless Night (Opaque) - black grape
- Space Odyssey (Shimmer) - aluminum

Lip Gloss - Inspired by NARS' signature Highlighting Blush, Albatross Lip Gloss gives lips a high-gloss, golden shine.  Wear alone or over any other lip products to create new effects.  Ultra-smooth, non-sticky, comfortable wear.  Enriched with Vitamin E to help lips feel supple and hydrated.  Iconic NARS shades.
- Albatross - luminous glow

I love the Trio Eye Shadow in this collection, it is my favorite piece and the piece that is going to the top of my shopping list!  All three of these shades are lovely and perfect to wear at night for the rest of the fall and into the holidays.  The only shade that I own like any of these is MAC Black Tied, a black with silver shimmer, I don't own anything like the violet or red shimmer shadows in this palette.  My second favorite piece is the Endless Night Nail Polish.  I really like the Space Odyssey color but I already own a platinum foil and they aren't so different as to warrant the purchase of this shade also.

I really liked the Joyous Red shade of lipstick until I really started to look at it in the model, it nows looks a bit too warm for me to carry off.  I prefer blue-based or true reds and this one doesn't really catch my fancy.  I will try it again at the counter in Sephora but I betting that I can skip over it.  I am willing to try out this shade in The Multiple, this one is rose gold so I might be able to make it work out for me, I am especially interested in using it as an eye makeup shade.  I like the new Cream Eye Shadow shade but I do need to see how unique it is since I already own tons of bronzes and neutrals already and I might be able to skip over it.  The Duo Eye Shadow is a complete wash for me, way too much navy and blue in it for me to carry it off.  I am also on the fence about the eyeliner shades, I like both of the them but I already own shades from Urban Decay that appear very close to these (at least on the computer) but I may revise my opinion once I see them in person.  I really like St. Marks Place and I might be this one anyway since it is so lovely. 

I just love this whole collection and I love that this collection actually contains something for everyone.  Whether you like a smoky eye or a more graphic liner look, this collection contains products for you.  The same with both nails and lip products, this is one of the best collections that I have seen so far this whole year.

photo courtesy of NARS

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Holiday Body Products

In addition to all the of traditional holiday scented Signature products and candy scented candles, Bath and Body Works has brought out two new fragrance blends in their Aromatherapy line.  Vanilla Cinnamon and Nighttime Tea are the two newest, limited edition fragrances in their Sleep line.  The two current fragrances in the Sleep line both contain lavender and I already love both of them and I couldn't wait to try these new fragrances out after I first saw them on the company's website.  The packaging on these is what first drew me to the products, the bottles are among the most beautiful that I have ever seen from Bath and Body Works and just made me think of the holidays right when I saw the beautiful shimmering bottles.

Aromatherapy products help the user to create a mood, whether it be creating a restful atmosphere to help promote sleep or to help the user get ready to go in the morning.  Sleep and Relax have traditionally been my favorite blends from this company and I first tried them out when I was in college and have been using them ever since.  I feel like very few new fragrances ever come out in this line so I get extra excited when new products and blends come out since I often feel like I just end up buying the same products over and over again.  This holiday season I get extra spoiled since I have not just one new fragrance, I have two new ones to buy.

Vanilla Cinnamon is the first of the new fragrances and the one that I am really on the fence about.  I don't like strong cinnamon scents but I wondered how the vanilla would tone it down and make it a wearable fragrance.  "Warm comforting nutmeg and cinnamon essential oils promote restful sleep."  This fragrance is really warm and just a bit too spicy so I will be skipping out on this one but I can see that lots of ladies will love it in the winter months.  Nighttime Tea is a whole different ballgame though, I just love this fragrance and this one is one of the most unique fragrances that I have ever smelled from Bath and Body Works.  "Soft and soothing cedarwood and orange essential oils help calm and comfort like tea before bedtime."  Nighttime Tea is wonderful and one of the best fragrances that has ever come out in the Aromatherapy line.

This limited edition line is available in the best products in the Aromatherapy line; the Dream Bath, Body Lotion, Body Wash and Foam Bath, and large 3 Wick Candles.  I have bought and loved all of these products so I know that I will be investing in all of them in the Nighttime Tea scent.
The Dream Bath is one of the most luxurious bath products that I have ever tried.  "It's dreamtime!  Our ultra-luxurious, ultra-pampering Bubble Bath moisturizes and nourishes the skin for the ultimate bathtime ritual.  Our formula contain aloe to nourish and rejuvenate skin."  This product is not a traditional bubble bath, it doesn't create the huge bubbles that are traditionally associated with this type of product.  It makes tha water milky and creamy rather than over-the-top bubbles.  It fills the whole bathroom with fragrance and is one of the best ways to unwind after a long day. 

The Body Wash in this Aromatherapy line can also double as a foam bath, this is the better of the two products is you prefer more of the intense bubbles found in traditional products.  I have never used this product as a foam bath in all the times that I have used but I can say that the foam bath properties make it a very effective shower gel.  A small drop of this completely foams up on my bath pouf and rinses completely clean, this is a favorite body wash of mine.  "Birch and bamboo, precious botanical extracts known to purify and soothe skin while pearl powder conditions skin.  For a calming bubble bath, add a couple of ounces to warm, running water."  Maybe one day I will try this out as a bubble bath but for right now, I am very content with how it performs as a body wash.

The last of the body products that came out in the limited edition Sleep fragrances is the Body Lotion.  The Aromatherpay Body Lotion is a bit of thicker texture than the traditional lotion in the Signature Collection and seems to have a bit more of a oiler texture.  This is a great lotion to use in the winter, it is very hydrating and sinks in quickly without leaving a residue on the skin.  "Our ultra-creamy, nourishing Body Lotion formula contains white water lily and malachite, precious botanicals and minerals, known to soothe skin so it looks and feels its best."  I have bought this lotion over and over again for both myself and many other people because I love it so much.

From these new additions to the Sleep line, I skipped over the Vanilla Cinnamon but completely indulged in the Nighttime Tea products.  I bought all of the products in this collection including the matching candle, this is will be the perfect group of products to combat holiday stress and to use throughout the whole of winter.  I wish that these were a permanent part of the collection since I love the Nighttime Tea soooo much...

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Murad Acne Spot Treatment

My skin is sensitive to many anti-acne ingredients so I have found that many of them only make my skin even worse than the blemish itself.  When the cure is even worse than the problem, it ends up in a very frustrating problem and the problem made the one or two blemishes that I get each month a huge disaster instead of a minor annoyance.  Most of the acne treatments that I have tried will rid me of the blemish but make the area around it dry, red, and flaking; making the whole area even worse to conceal and worse looking.  I tried to get around that isse by applying the treatment only exactly to the blemish and it reduced the issue but still couldn't rid me of the problem all together.  I mentioned this problem to the sales associate at Sephora several months ago and she recommened that I try something completely different than the traditional acne medication ingredients. 

She recommened the famed Murad acne products, some of the best-selling and top rated skincare products in thie store.  The Murad line contains sulfur as an active ingredient,  a more gentle anti-acne ingredient that is said to be better for sensitve skin that doesn't agree with other ingredients on the market today.  I decided to give it a shot since it couldn't really be any worse than most of the other products that I have tried.  I decided to buy the Acne Spot Treatment to start out since my skin doesn't have enough blemishes to warrant the purchase of the full Acne line.

"A fast-acting formula that minimizes acne breakouts.  This targeted formula eliminates and clears active breakouts and helps speed healing on contact.  Clinically proven in over 90% of users to reduce blemishes in just four weeks.", states the Sephora website by way of a product description.  This sport treatment contains four major active ingredients: Sulfur, Salicylic Acid, Zinc Oxide, and Licorice Extract.  Sulfur is used to help control and prevent breakouts.  Salicylic Acid is used to help exfoliate dead skin cell buildup.  Zinc Oxide and Licorice Extract both help to reduce the redness associated with the blemish.  Most of my product reactions occured when using benzoyl perioxide so I was ok with the amount of salicylic acid in this product. 

So why is sulfur different than many of the other ingredients on the market and is it as effective as others?  I found my answer on  Sulfur helps to promote the peeling and drying of the skin and also works the same as salicylic acid to promote cell turnover.  Any type of cream that is applied to a blemish will help to dry out the blemish (hence why many ladies still use toothpaste on blemishes) however sulfur appears to be a more mild active ingredient.  I can't state how it will work in higher amounts than a spot treatment, I have never used it in a mask or in any type of face wash (nor do I think that I really need to).

The best part about this product is that it didn't dry out or irritate my skin.  It helped to heal the blemish but didn't make the whole area look worse as it is working.  I could see that ingredients that helps to reduce redness were included in this formula, they helped to make the area look a bit better and therefore easier to conceal.  What is the downside of using sulfur instead of other acne ingredients?  It takes the blemish about twice or three times as long to heal as other products that I have tried.  This is fine for me since I only get about one blemish a month and can completely deal with taking those extra few minutes to cover it up.  But I can't imagine that this ingredient is the best choice for those who have moderate to severe acne (unless a much more intense version is prescribed by a doctor).  I am perfectly fine with the product taking a bit longer since it doesn't dry the area out and makes it easier than normal products to cover up.

I recommend this spot treatment for those of us with more sensitive skin than don't have the greatest reactions to some traditional acne ingredients.  I don't recommend this product for someone with moderate to severe acne and if you have more a more oily skin type then you will get better results from a traditional benzoyl peroxide formula. 

photo courtesy of Sephora 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Too Faced Holiday 2011 Collection - Only In Your Dreams

I am on vacation from my job this week and the only things that I want to think about are beauty products and homework.  I think that I will be starting with beauty products first today...

I loved the Too Faced fall collection and I am hoping that the holiday collection will be of the same caliber.  Last holiday season, Too Faced produced some of the prettiest sets and palettes for holiday and I am so excited for this season.  I already own a pile of eye shadow palettes and they are beginning to take over my whole traincase but the thought of the new ones from Too Faced still get me excited to by at least one or two more.  The new collection is named Only In Your Dreams and it reminds me of the collection from last year when I first look at the promotional picture on the Too Faced website.  Last year's reminded me of an enchanted garden and this collection also looks full of pretty pinks and grays.  This year's collection consists of three palettes, all of which appear to contain products for eyes, lips, and face.  I love that all the palettes contain multiple products and not just tons of eye shadows.

Here is the newest holiday collection from Too Faced!

In Your Dreams - This gorgeous palette contains three full face looks in our fabulous signature holiday theme.  Thanks to Too Faced, dreams really do come true!  Our fabulous Face Palette Trio contains three complete looks each offering three eye shadows, a luminous blush, and a perfect lip shade.  Adjacent, step-by-step face charts allow any beautiful dreamer to transform her look into Natural Beauty, Feminine Flirty, or Seductively Smoky.  Now that is the perfect gift of glam!  Delightfully designed: Three complimentary color combinations offer the perfect shadow, cheek, and lip ensembles for a feminine and flawless face for every occasion.  Signature Get-The-Looks: Each dreamy combination includes application instructions and a face chart.  Incredible value: Includes nine eye shadows shades, three must-have cheek colors and three luxurious lip glosses - a gorgeous $155 value for only $39.  Fanciful formulas: Our ultra silky formulas are the perfect blend of texture and tone.  Top-Notch traveler: Portable and ready to go wherever your dreams take you.
- Silk Stockings Eye Shadow - matte ecru
- La Cage Eye Shadow - golden brown
- Rapture Eye Shadow - chocolate brown
- Pink Peacock Eye Shadow - pale pink
- Swing Eye Shadow - plum brown
- Fishnet Eye Shadow - silver black
- Full Moon Eye Shadow - silver
- Dream On Eye Shadow - dark purple
- Seduce Eye Shadow - dark black navy
- Wanna Play? Blush - soft pink
- Girly Show Blush - cool mauve
- You Hold the Key Blush - natural peach
- Give It Up Lip Gloss - pink sugar
- Pink Ice Lip Gloss - mauve shimmer
- Heart On Lip Gloss - pink velvet

Glamour To Go - Dream Edition - Get your glam-on-the-go with our new, pocket-sized beauty palette filled with a dreamy collection for the eyes, face, and lips.  Our new vintage-inspired, feminine palette holds eight versatile shades, one silky lip gloss, a best-selling bronzer, and soft, sheer blush.  Stunning shadows: Eight captivating shades in the perfect mix of textures - a true dream-weavers delight.  Flawless and flushed: Achieve instant complexion radiance with a sweep of our soft golden bronzer; give cheeks a delicate dusting with the sheer coral blush.  Your dreams come true as gorgeous skin appears.  Glamourously glossed: Our ultra-shiny, bright pink lip gloss is all you need for gorgeous lips everyday.  Sweetly sized: Tucked into a pocket, tiniest clutch or luggage, this small treasure of neutral yet flirty shades are all the savviest glamour girl needs to mesmerize him under the mistletoe.
- Eye Shadow Shades: peachy beige, metallic gray, champagne sparkle, black shimmer, matte brown, purple, light brown, plum brown
- Blush Shade: sheer coral
- Sunny Bunny Bronzer Light - best for pale to medium skintones
- Lip Gloss Shade: bright pink

Beautiful Dreamer - Our magical makeup collection is the perfect gift to satisfy the beautiful dreamer on your list.  Our heavenly, pink patent bag is filled with an Exclusive Eye Shadow Quad, shimmering pink Lip Gloss, and softly illuminating Blush/Bronzer Duo.  In addition, our full-sized Lashgasm Mascara and deluxe Shadow Insurance Candlelight are Too Faced favorites that will fulfill any Christmas fantasy.  Beautiful value: Our Christmas collection offers a $128 value for only $46 -  a gift that dreams are made out of.  Exclusive compacts: Limited edition compacts make this set a must-have for the daydreamers on your list.  Eye dream must-haves: Prime with Shadow Insurance Candlelight for crease-proof, fade-proof intense color pay-off with a subtle warm shimmer.  Complete your look with our full-sized Lashgasm for the lengthiest lashes imaginable.  Glassy lips: Our exclusive, full-sized lip gloss provides a sexy, crystal pout.  Exclusive makeup bag: Ultra-feminine design envelopes all your decadent indulgences.
- Eye Shadow Quad - Teddy Bear (deep chocolate brown)/Blonde Ambition (shimmering beige)/Totally Toasted (shimmering bronze)/Satin Sheets (shimmering champagne)
- Who's Your Poppy Blush - bright pink rose
- Sun Bunny Bronzer Light - suitable for light to medium complexions
- Lashgasm Mascara - deep pure black
- Shadow Insurance Candlelight - sheer gold
- Pink Swan Lip Gloss - pink crystal

Oh I love all these sets, I can't decide which is my favorite!  If I have to choose, it would have to be the In Your Dreams set (the palette that I have pictured), I can make many more looks than the three that they suggest with those shades and I would use all but the deep navy eye shadow on a regular basis.  I would try the navy shadow wet as an eye liner and see how that worked with my eye shade.  Beautiful Dreamer looks as though it contains shades from the Neutral Eye Palette that I already love and I am glad that I can get them in smaller cases now instead of taking the whole palette around with me.  I love, love, love that Too Faced is doing a combination of all types of products in these palettes, I just can't express that enough!  I love the pink blush and lip gloss shades and I am so excited to add more to my makeup collection. 

I want all three of the palettes, they are all well-crafted.  The combination of the products types are great and really let the user try all types of products from Too Faced.  The shade combinations for all areas of the face are great too and I always enough trying out the looks that are provided by the Too Faced makeup artists.  I have never had a dud in all of the Too Faced palettes that I have purchased and I am betting that these palettes will be the same high standard that I have come to expect from this company. 

photo courtesy of Too Faced

Sunday, October 16, 2011

B. Kamins Soothing Cleanser

I first used the B. Kamins Rosacea facecare line several years ago and loved a few of the products (the serum) and wasn't as impressed with some of the others (the face cleanser), however I found Caudalie soon after and had been taken with that line ever since.  However I promised myself that I would attempt to branch out with my skincare products this year and would keep an open mind as I tried as many new skincare items as I could.  I found out that B. Kamins had repackaged and reworked some of their facecare line so I decided that I would try the cleanser again and so I ordered it from the company's website.  But a new package doesn't always mean a new or better product...

First we will look at the company's description of the product and then we will go into both of my experiences with the face wash.  "A soothing cleanser to gently remove dirt and impurities while helping to soothe reddened, inflamed skin.  Anti-inflammatory bisabolol to restore smoothness while calming and cooling rosacea-type skin.  Particularly formulated for reddened skin associated with rosacea."  The features of this cleanser are as follows: "Completely oil and fragrance-free to minimize irritation.  Gentle soothing cleanser to calm and cool redness and inflammation associated with rosacea-type skin.  FDA approved blue tint cosmetically neutralizes redness.  Contains anti-inflammatory bisabolol to relieve irritated skin.  Formulated with mild corn-derived vegetable skin surface cleansers."

Based on the product description, this sounds as though it would be the perfect product for sensitive, red skin.  The texture of both of the washes was exactly the same, it is a thin, runny gel texture that doesn't foam at all when used on the skin.  I found this very surprising, since normally gel cleansers are made to foam and cream cleansers aren't made to foam.  That was a bit off-putting the first time that I used the product but it didn't really affect what I thought of the product.  The cleanser rinsed off completely but I felt that it left my skin dry and stripped of moisture, precisely what a cleanser made for red skin should not do. 

The first time that I used this product was several years ago and the redness in my face was worse than it is today however it wasn't quite as dry as it is now.  My major issue with this cleanser was how dry and tight it left my skin.  This was not at all what I thought the face wash should do since it made my skin even worse than before I used it.  With my skin being left tight and dry, the redness in my cheeks actually got even worse and really dried the area out.  The blue tint in this product did nothing to reduce cheek redness in the least and added nothing to the overall product.  I was so disappointed with this product the first time that I used it.  I really wanted to like this product since the serum and face cream in the line were great quality but I just couldn't get this product to work well for me.

The second time around was no different.  I was hoping for a bit of a reformulation of this product to match the redoing of naming and packaging. however the product is exactly the same.  The texture and issues that I had with the product the first time were exactly the same this time.  This product might be better for someone with skin than is more oily than mine but it still did nothing for the redness in my cheek area. 

I have to conclude that this product was just not for me, however I really liked the face cream and serum in this line.  I will be sticking to my Caudalie cleanser when using the other products in the B. Kamins Rosacea care line.

photo courtesy of B. Kamins

Saturday, October 15, 2011

C.O. Bigelow Merry Mentha Mentha Lip Shines

Last holiday, I fell in love with the C.O. Bigelow limited edition Mentha Lip Shines and therefore I began stalking the Bath and Body Works website at the very beginning of the month to see when and if they would be released this year.  I feel like it took forever but I have finally found them and I am so excited to try them all out!  Last year, there was a gloss that reminded me of the Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice and I quickly fell in love with it and bought so many of them that I still have unopened tubes of it in my lip gloss collection.  Not that that little fact will stop me from buying a bunch more this year if that same scent is offered...

This year, the holiday Mentha collection is named Merry Mentha and consists of four yummy, limited edition glosses: Peppermint Mentha, Gingerbread Latte, Spiced Vanilla Chai, and Sparkling Apple Cider.  Yay!  There is another apple cider scent, I can't wait to buy more tubes of this product!
The first gloss (Peppermint Mocha) instantly reminds me of one of my other favorite treats from Starbucks.  I love their holiday Peppermint Mochas and I order these all the time as soon as November rolls around.  "Treat your lips to a delicious new flavor that will remind you of one of your favorite winter treats.  Our Merry Mentha Lip Gloss combines the high shine, incredible moisture, and breath-freshening benefits of our Mentha Lip Shine with the delectable flavor of one of your favorite holiday drinks."  I can't wait to buy of these glosses for myself and give them as gifts, I give all kinds of Menthas every single year and everyone on my gift list always loves them.

Of course, I am very excited about the Sparkling Apple Cider.  Last year, this gloss was the perfect apple cider scent that was combined with hints of the lovely mint that is found in all of these glosses.  This is one of my favorite glosses of all time and this year's version doesn't disappoint me.  I smelled it when I was at a store and it is pretty much the same gloss as last year.  This year, the packaging is so much prettier and therefore I am even more excited to give them out as gifts this year.  I will be stocking up on this scent again for myself since I loved it so much last year and will use it for the rest of the winter and at the beginning of next fall again.

The Peppermint Mocha is the other lip gloss in this collection that I got really excited about the first time that I heard about it.  I had a Chocolate Mentha a long time ago that smelled great and I have been missing it for the past few years.  This scent reminds me more of the drink from Starbucks that I was raving about at the beginning of this post, the older version of the lip gloss was more of a chocolate malt (I believe) and I like this version even better.  This is another gloss that I will be grabbing a bunch of to both give and keep for myself.  This is the perfect chocolate mint scent and gets me really excited for both lip gloss and Starbucks.

Gingerbread Latte is one of the newer scents for this year, I'm not a huge fan of the scent of gingerbread to begin with so this won't be a top choice of mine.  When I first smelled this gloss, it sort of reminded me of the Gingerbread Latte drink that is also offered at Starbucks around the holidays.  It smelled spicy and the cinnamon note is a bit too strong in this gloss for me to use on a daily basis.  I have never liked cinnamon so this is one that I would skip over for myself.  I can see this one being a really popular gloss since gingerbread is such a classic at the holidays but this isn't my favorite of the collection.

The last of the new lip glosses is named Spiced Vanilla Chai.  Chai isn't normally what I order but I began to like it when Bath and Body Works introduced the Chai Carumba gloss in the middle of last summer.  I have been using that lip gloss faithfully for this whole fall and this gloss is just another extension of it.  This one has the addition of the vanilla note so I actually like the scent a bit more since it isn't quite as spicy as the other version.  I will buy this one right along with the Peppermint Mocha and the Sparkling Apple Cider glosses but I don't think that I stock up on this flavor quite the way that I plan to on the others.
I love Mentha Lip Shines and I was so happy when this holiday collection came out.  Sparkling Apple Cider is going to be my favorite gloss again and I can't wait to buy a bunch of them to add to my collection.  Peppermint Mocha is going to be another gloss that I will be adding multiples of to my collection and I will also be buying more than enough to give out to friends and family.  Holiday versions of the Mentha Lip Shines are among my favorite of the year and I also think that Menthas are the best lip glosses that Bath and Body Works has ever released.

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works