Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tarina Tarantino Holiday 2011 Collection - Aurora Collection

I see that Tarina Tarantino has released their holiday collection in a timely fashion, their fall collection came out so late that I was already in the middle of the holiday collections by the time that it hit the counters at Sephora and wasn't really able to go back and check it out.  I wish that they would have released that collection in the summer months when I have more time to blog and don't have to worry about classes.  Oh well...  The holiday collection looks gorgeous so I am willing to forgive the fact that I wasn't able to get my hands on anything from the fall collection.  This collection contains some great shades of purples and pinks and will work all the way from the holidays into the beginning of the spring months.

The holiday collection is named Aurora and reminds me of the main character of Sleeping Beauty.  I love the icy shades in this collection and they remind me of a Disney Princess waking up from a long sleep.  "Tarina Tarantino took her inspiration for this mesmerizing new collection from the luminous, colorful glow of the Arctic Northern Lights, magically icy landscapes, and wintery dreams.  The result?  A range of stunning products - from shadows to cheek color to eyeliner - that sparkles with opulence and whimsy."  I love the pink shades from this collection that are used on the model and I think that I can make this collection work for me since I have the same hair color and skintone.

Here is the collection...

Aurora Jewel Shadow Palette - A compact with five coordinating eye shadows to make your eyes sparkle like jewels.  These palettes feature five shimmery eye shadows in colors that call to mind the hypnotic nightime glow of the aurora borealis.  Each shadow includes crushed pearls, diamond dust, and silky porcelain for a glimmering effect.  These longwearing formulations feature ultra high intensity pigments and can be applied wet or dry.  The compact's oval shape makes it easier to see the whole surface of your face when applying makeup. 
- Diamond Dusk - pale champange/icy pale silver/medium rose/shimmering medium charcoal/deep shimmering black
- Violet Storm - pale champange/medium forest green/pale shimmering lilac/bright blue/deep shimmering plum

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

Fleur de Lash - A superior mascara formulation that thickens and lengthens lashes.  With Fleur de Lash, Tarina Tarantino has combined the best long-lasting formula and a luscious, thick brush to give you traffic-stopping lashes.  Fleur de Lash is like false lashes in a tube, for lashes so beautiful you want to bat them all day long.
- Black Opal - black

Sparklicity Pure - A microcrystal sparkle product to add luxurious shimmer to the eyes, cheeks, and lips.  Made almost entirely of a shimmery reflex material, Sparklicity Pure creates an incredible sparkling effect without binder materials getting in the way of its reflective properties.
- Pure Opal - white iridescent shimmer

Eyelicity Glitter Liner - A collection of sparkly liners.  These three vibrant shades provide smooth color payoff and excellent coverage.  Shades in pink and white highlight and brighten the eye.  Each color is easy to blend after application and is highly smudge-proof.
- Black Diamond - black liner with iridescent glitter

Pearl Glow Primer - A two-in-one primer that adds a luminous glow and primer in one step.  Tarina Tarantino's Pearl Glow Primer is like capturing beautiful light in a bottle and is the perfect shade of "glow".  It also gently moisturizes the skin and creates a perfectly prepped surface for makeup application.
- Pearl - opalescent glow
- Pearl Nude - nude tinted opalescent glow

Dollskin Cheek - A collection of smooth-texture high-definition blushes.  This micronized, high-definition powder features a silky, blendable, and buildable texture that imparts the collection with a natural glow.  It's true color payoff that wears all day long.  For every skintone.
- Carved Rose - cool vivid pink
- Charm - medium rose
- Feather - shimmering peach
- Neapolitan Lane - muted beige pink
- Parasol - shimmering bright pink coral

For the first time in quite a few collections, the cheek shades have caught my eye first instead of lipstick shades or eye shadow palettes.  I must try the Dollskin Cheek product, especially the Carved Rose and Charm shades.  I am forever on the hunt for new blushes and I love the look of very vivid pink cheeks against pale skin, I am so excited to try this product out!  The Diamond Dusk eye shadow palette is lovely however the shades are not very unique and I would only really be likely to purchase this is the pigmentation and formulation of the shadows is very special and unique so I will need to try this one out at the counter before I make a decision on it.  The lip gloss shade is pretty but since it is light pink with shimmer, I know that I already own a ton like it and can safely ignore it for the time being, maybe it will look amazing when I try it at the counter.  Last but not least, I am very intrigued by the primer from this company, this one will be going on my shopping list right along with the blushes.

I haven't used as much fromthis company as I would have liked to before checking this collection out.  The shades that are featured in it are lovely however somewhat generic but I have heard many raves about the pigmentation and textures from this company's products.  If the raves are correct then it would make all of these products worth a purchase since they would be unique in the beauty market.  This is a line of products that I will need to try at the store and can't just order online.  With the hustle and bustle of my Sephora at this time of the year, I may have to postpone this shopping trip until the new year...

photo courtesy of Sephora

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Smashbox Holiday 2011 Collection - Holiday Flash

Smashbox is mostly known for their palettes and sets when it comes to their holiday collection.  I did see many nice sets on their website that would make great gifts this time of the year however I was most interested in focusing on their color collection for the season.  I might be wrong but I seem to remember that the past few years, this company hasn't done any type of color collection and instead did a focus on the gifting collections for the holidays.  But this year looks very different and I am more excited to see what type of shades that they have come out with this time of the year instead of how they decided to update the types of sets that they offer almost every single year.

Holiday Flash is the name of the color collection for this holiday season and even though it is not very large, it looks like it will hit the big trends of the season and contain some shades that are perfect for dressing up for holiday parties.  In this collection, I see lots of metallics and reds, this looks like a very traditional holiday makeup collection.  "Turn on the studio sparkle with our megawatt favorites for the season.", states the Smashbox website in a description of the overall collection.  I am getting a glimpse of metallic liquid eye liners and I am thinking that they are ones that I have been seeing recommended in a bunch of this month's beauty and fashion magazines.  We all know that pen-style liquid eye liners are a favorite product of mine so I very well might need to take advantage of the new shades offered in this collection...

Holiday Flash from Smashbox!

Holiday Flash Longwear Liquid Liner - Amp up your eyes this season with a pop of gorgeous metallic color.  The long-wearing formula will take you from morning to holiday party!  For a dramatic, high-fash look, try applying black liquid liner to your upper lash line first, then layering the Chrome or 14K shade right above it.
- Chrome - metallic silver
- 14K - metallic gold

Holiday Flash Eye Lights Quad - Eyes will glimmer like a string of holiday lights with this quad of exquisite metallics!  All four shades can be worn wet or dry for ultimate versatility.  To create more intense color, simply dip your brush (preferably one with stiffer bristles) into water, squeeze out any excess, and press into the shadow.
- Gold/Pearl/Silver/Pewter

Holiday Flash Double-Ended Lip Gloss - This sparkling duo of glitter-infused glosses will get you ready for any mistletoe action!  Bring an old lipstick back to life by applying a coat of this glittery gloss over it.  Mix and match old and new to create glimmering custom colors!
- Star - sheer red with multi-color glitter
- Siren - clear with iridescent glitter

I love this little collection, it is very traditional holiday but there are some great choices in it!  My favorite item is the liquid liner in the gold shade, I will buy this the next time that I head up to Sephora.  The eye palette is very pretty too but the sahdes aren't unique enough for it to warrant a purchase.  I can skip over the lip gloss duo, sparkling red glosses aren't my favorite and I would rather wear red lipstick than red gloss anyday.  I hope that Smashbox continues to release more than just gift collections at the holidays!

photo courtesy of Smashbox

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bath and Body Works 3 Cheers Collection

December is almost here and it is really time for the holiday party invites to start coming fast and furious at us.  In addition to all the holiday parties that are coming up, New Year's Eve is on the way too and I will start looking for a party dress to wear for this year's celebration.  With all that in mind, Bath and Body Works has released a new line just for the holiday party season that is designed to get us all in the party mood and ready for the fun part of the holidays.  With all the extra work that goes into this season, it is often very easy to forget about all the fun that can happen this month and all the reasons to be excited about the season.  Bath and Body Works newest holiday product line helps us all to remember to have some fun this time of the year and to make sure that we do some celebrating in between all the shopping and gift wrapping!

This collection contains three new fragrances and I am willing to bet that it is limited edition since it is holiday-themed and contains very few products in it.  The collection is named 3 Cheers and it contains the following fragrances: Strawberry Sparkler, Jingle Bellini, and Vanillatini.  Small sizes of the lotion in these fragrances was available at the beginning of the month but sold out before I was able to do anything more than smell them in the stores.  From the beginning, Vanillatini was my favorite of the collection, it had a warn vanilla and coconut scent that I could wear from now all the way through next summer.  Since I hate winter and cold weather, I am perfectly happy to use summer fragranced body products all year round in hopes of bringing thoughts of the beach into my shower.  I liked the other two fragrances but since they weren't as strong in the bottle, I did pass them over until I was able to really try them when the full sizes of the products came out.  The two light fragrances are the Jingle Bellini and the Strawberry Sparkler and I was able to retest all the fragrances last week when the full sizes of the products became available in the stores. 

Strawberry Sparkler is one that I had expected to like the least of the three, I don't normally like many berry scents in general and I find that a lot of the strawberry scents on the market tend to be very fake and cloying instead of light and fresh.  This is on the sweeter side, it reminds me more of a strawberry ice cream type of fragrance than the traditional berry fragrance.  "Our exclusive Strawberry Sparkler is a flirty cocktail of wild strawberries, sparkling mandarin, and pink jasmine."  The top notes of the fragrance are: Sparkling Mandarin, Fiji Apple, Wild Strawberry.  The heart notes: Pink Jasmine, Mirabelle Plum, Vanilla Orchid.  The base notes are: Sugared Musk, Blonde Woods, Tonka Bean, Vanilla Extract.  This fragrance really reminds me of strawberry ice cream and I fell in love with it when I gave it a second chance.  It is light and sweet and can be worn all year round.  This scent is much better than I originally thought that it would be!

The second fragrance is Jingle Bellini, a peach-inspired scent.  Many peach fragrances are either really good or really bad so I usually skip over most peach scents.  This scent is more complex than a simple peach, it combines the peach notes with a bellini-inspired group of notes, making the scent more complex and better than a simple, sweet peach.  "Our exclusive Jingle Bellini is a festive cocktail of peach champagne, apricot nectar, and powdered sugar."  The top notes are: Apricot Puree, White Peach, Sparkling Prosecco.  The heart notes are: Juicy Nectarine, Honeysuckle Blossom, Passionfruit Nectar.  The bottom notes of the fragrance are: Sugarcane, Golden Vanilla, Creamy Sandalwood, White Musks.  This fragrance smelled the lightest in the bottle and didn't really have a very distinctive scent until I tried it on.  Even applied, it is the lightest of the three fragrances and will be best for those who like very little fragrance.  This one reminded me of the scent of an actual bellini, I love how different this is from the sweet peach fragrances, I predit that this scent will have lots of appeal. 

The last fragrance is the Vanillatini and it was my initial favorite and still remains my favorite of the collection.  This one reminds of both the Coconut Vanilla and the Hawaii Coconut from this company (both of which I loved last spring) and therefore I knew that it was just a matter of the store getting the full sizes in before I would end up buying the products in this fragrance.  "Our exclusive Vanillatini is an addictive cocktail of fresh vanilla, creamy coconut, and lemon zest."  The top notes are: Juicy Bergamot, Lemon Zest, Watery Green Apple, Pineapple Sorbet.  The middle notes of the fragrance are: Blackcurrant, Sheer Musk, Jasmine, Creamy Coconut.  The base notes of the fragrance are: Exotic Vanilla, White Musk, Sandalwood.  I love this fragrance and I am so excited to find a new vanilla and coconut fragrance to wear all the way until next summer.  This one is a light mix of the two notes however it is more crisp than simply sweet since it contains a melange of the crisp fruit notes in it.  I love this fragrance so much!

All three of the fragrances came in the Shimmer Mist, the Body Lotion, the Shower Gel, and a Lip Gloss.  I was a bit disappointed that only the Shimmer Mist is offered since I don't normally wear any type of spray shimmer and that killed me buying the fragrance mist in any of the scents.  However, I did indulge in the body lotion and the shower gel in all three of the fragrances.  I was a bit surprised that I ended up liking the Strawberry as much as I did but I was very happy that I found three new fragrances to buy and ones that will last me well into next summer yet too.  I love this little collection and I wish that it was around longer than just the holidays!

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Harajuku Lovers Jingle G

I think that the Harajuku fragrances just keep getting worse and worse...  The Super G fragrance that came out this fall was one of the worst fragrances that I have smelled in the past few months and I must say that the newest fragrance from this company suffers from the same tragic fate.  Jingle G is the newest fragrance and of course it is themed toward the holidays even though I believe it came out in mid fall (right after the other fragrance from Harajuku).  This fragrance is more of an oriental fragrance than the others so I was hoping that it would be nicer than the past few.  I find that oriental fragrances are harder to craft than the simple fruity florals that this company has been churning out for the past years so this fragrance actually has the potential to be even worse than the rest of the collection.

Jingle G is the cutest little bottle and would be a great stocking stuffer for anyone who loves Harajuku fragrances or Gwen Stefani herself.  "Jingle all the way with Jingle G!  A warm, cozy fragrance, this fruity-oriental scent is perfect for nuzzling underneath the mistletoe.  Decked out in a festive red and white suit, Jingle G has a built-in hook in her cap that enables her to become a holiday tree ornament.  With a bright red hair bow and gold belt buckle to hold up her three-button suit, Jingle G is ready to celebrate the holiday dressed in festive style."

The description of this fragrance is very correct in that it is much warmer than the other fragrances.  This one reminds me of a version of Pink Sugar with a bit more of a floral note, I believe that this is close to one of the discontinued Victoria's Secret Pink fragrances.  The notes are: White Star Fruit, Gardenia, Tangerine, Honeysuckle, Orange Blossom, Jasmine, Vanilla, Cedarwood, Lace Benzoin Tears.  What are Lace Benzoin Tears?  I have never heard of this note or anything even remotely related to it. 

If I was a teenager or in the beginning of my college years, I might really like this fragrance but I can't make this fragrance work now.  This fragrance is a glorified version of a body spary that would appeal to a younger girl but I don't like this one at all on me.  The gardenia and vanilla notes are the strongest ones in this fragrance and this is combination that just doesn't work on me.

The Harajuku fragrances have been killing me lately and this is no expection.  I do wonder if this line is coming to an end since I feel like the fragrances are getting worse and worse.  I liked the originals but I feel like the new versions are beginning to get cheaper and cheaper.  This is really cute packaging and I love that it can be used as an ornament but I can't get past the fragrance inside the bottle.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Friday, November 25, 2011

OPI for Sephora Holiday 2011 Collection - Glimmer Wonderland

Everyone who has been reading this blog for the past few months knows that I have been obsessed with nail polish since the middle of the summer, nail polish was one o the few beauty items that I was never all that interested in until I discovered China Glaze from a friend's manicurist.  Ever since that happened, it is rare that I go two weeks without ordering or buying a few new shades of polish.  So far, we have looked at a bunch of holiday polish collections, all of which are focusing on glitter polishes in fun holiday shades.  The new OPI for Sephora collection, named Glimmer Wonderland, promises more of the same polish shades that we have been seeing all season. 

In the spirit of the holiday season, this collection is currently available in both single polishes and sets that are perfect for those on your gift list.  Personally, I am looking at the sets for myself if I find that I love a bunch of the shades in this collection.  "Inspired by all things bright and sparkly, Sephora by OPI's Glimmer Wonderland Collection captures the energy of the holiday season.  These shimmering, color-rich shades are like 'the instant glam you get from a sequin party dress or sparkly accessory you throw on to glam yourself up!' says Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI VP and Artistic Director.  Add glimmer to your tips and toes with Be-Claus I Said So, a red glitter, or Naughty is the New Nice, a light blue metallic.  Even better, these festive shades are long-wearing, chip-resistant, and free of dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, and formaldehyde."  The last thing that I could possibly need is more nail polish but I can't wait to check these shades out!
The collection...

Glimmer Wonderland Eighteen Piece Mini Nail Colour Set - An eighteen piece set of mini nail polishes.  Get your nails ready for any occasion with a collection of nail colours that that brings together best-sellers, trend shades, and basics.  A perfect treat for yourself, it makes a great gift too.  Sephora by OPI brings together Sephora's authority in beauty trends with the colour expertise and renowned quality of OPI.  Each long-lasting, chip-resistant polish ensures flawless results and its ingredient list excludes DBP, toluene, formaldehyde. 
- Dear Diary - sheer warm light pink
- How Cute is That? - opaque vintage pink coral
- Natural Environ-mint - opaque celadon blue
- It's Hippo To Be Square - opaque lilac
- Access 24/7 - opaque magenta
- Ms. Can't Be Wrong - opaque metallic deep mulberry
- Don't Feed the Hand Models - opaque pink beige
- Metro Chic - opaque dark smoke with a hint of purple
- Already Famous - sheer pewter with medium champagne and silver glitter
- I'm With Brad - opaque metallic wine over dark coffee
- Sample Sale - opaque deep red metallic
- Fiercely Fabulous - opaque poppy red
- Break a Leg-Warmer - opaque charcoal gray
- Bring On the Snowflakes - opaque silver foil
- Mermaid To Order - opaque metallic turquoise green
- I Don't Bite - opaque soft purple with fine holographic glitter
- Eve-y On the Eyes - opaque metallic red violet
- Just a Little Dangerous - opaque metallic amethyst

Glimmer Wonderland Six Piece Mini Nail Colour - A six piece set of mini nail polishes.  Get your nails ready for any occasion with a collection of nail colours that brings together best-sellers, trend shades, and basics.  A perfect treat for yourself, it makes a great gift too.  Sephora by OPI brings together Sephora's authority in beauty trends with the color expertise and the renowned quality of OPI.  Each long-lasting, chip-resistant polish ensures flawless results and its ingredient list excludes DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde.
- Bare To Be Different - sheer warm ecru
- Looks Like Rain Deer - opaque gold with fine and chunky iridescent glitter
- Sample Sale - opaque deep red metallic
- Never Enough Shoes - opaque black with multi-colour medium glitter
- No-el If I Know - opaque silver foil
- Already Famous - sheer pewter with medium champagne and silver glitter

Glimmer Wonderland Four Piece Mini Nail Colour - A four piece set of mini nail polishes.  Get your nails ready for any occasion with a collection of nail colours that brings together best-sellers, trend shades, and basics.  A perfect treat for yourself, it makes a great gift too.  Sephora by OPI brings together Sephora's authority in beauty trends with the colour expertise and the renowned quality of OPI.  Each long-lasting, chip-resistant polish ensures flawless results and its ingredient list excludes DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde.
- Just a Little Dangerous - opaque metallic amethyst
- It's Bouquet With Me - sheer violet with silver and holographic chunky glitter
- Let Them Eat Fruitcake - opaque metallic dirty lilac
- Dear Diary - sheer pale pink

Nail Colour - Fashion forward, wearable nails colours for the modern woman who is looking for an effective, safe, environmentally conscious brand.  Sephora by OPI Nail Colour, a line of 54+ trend-setting shades, puts the final touch on fingertips and toes with a top quality formula you have come to expect from OPI.  The long-lasting, chip-resistant polish ensures flawless results with each application, and its green ingredient list excludes DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde.  Sephora by OPI coombines the quality and color expertise of OPI, the world leader in professional nail color, with Sephora's reputation for the latest in beauty and sophistication.
- Be-Claus I Said So - clear with medium and chunky red glitter
- Chest-Nuts About You - opaque pink champagne with fine glitter
- Don't Be Eggnogious - clear with medium and chunky copper glitter
- Stop Stocking Me - opaque metallic gold plum
- Sugar Plum Fairies Gone Wild - clear with medium and chunky purple glitter
- Naughty Is The New Nice - opaque ice blue with fine silver glitter
- Countdown to the Kiss - opaque royal blue with medium glitter
- Keep Me On My Mistletoe - opaque champagne gold with fine glitter
- New Year's Red-Solution - opaque metallic golden red
- Good Tidings We Bling - clear with fine and chunky red and green glitter

I thought that the sets were going to be the Christmas shades since they are all part of the Glimmer Wonderland collection, not sure why they would be labeled as part of this collection and not contain any holiday themed shades at all...  Anyway, I still love both the six and four piece sets and will be adding both of them to my nail polish wardrobe soon.  The single shades are very traditional holiday with what we have been seeing so far this season, lots and lots of glitter!  The shades that are clear with the color glitter will be skipped over, I already dismissed many of them with the traditional OPI holiday collection and I don't like them any better this time around.  Chest-Nuts About You is my favorite shades of the collection, it is great neutral basic with a bit of gold shimmer in to make it something special.  Stop Stocking Me and Countdown to the Kiss are my other choices from this collections, both are great deep shimmer hues that will work this whole holiday season and the rest of the winter months.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Thursday, November 24, 2011

MAC Gareth Pugh for MAC

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I am currently biding time before football comes on so I have some time to update and perhaps do a bit of reading for class.  I think that a look at the newest MAC collection is in order before I try to do any type of school work today.  The newest collection is another one in the series of collaborations that MAC has done over the past few months.  I have been really liking many of the collaboration collections lately, I feel like this is really when we are seeing different looks and shades instead of the same ten shades that we see all the time in collections.  This collection was made with Gareth Pugh, a British fashion designer with a taste for the subversive and avant-garde.  His work is often compared to that of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano, many of the items that go down his runway are a combination of both art and fashion.  This makeup collection looks very much like what I would expect to see from a company like Illamasqua, a refreshing change from all the holiday collections that we have been seeing over the past month.

"London-based style subversive Gareth Pugh infuses his shadowy, esoteric vision into an exclusive collection for MAC.  Shades, accessories, and design - as stylistically daring as his reputation!"  I see lots of deep shades in this collection with a large emphasis plum hues.  All the shades in the collection are very dramatic and I hope that they have the high quality pigmentation to back up how amazing they look in the pan!

Gareth Pugh for MAC...

Gareth Pugh for MAC Pigment - Limited edition Pigments exclusively shaded for Gareth Pugh for MAC.  The square jar and black outer packaging features the collection's marque.
- Guise - frosty gray
- Deceit - blackened plum with pink pearl

Gareth Pugh for MAC Metal X Cream Eye Shadow - Gareth's Pugh's futuristic vision takes on a striking metallic shine.  On the skin, this creamy powder formula melts into a vibrant liquid metal finish.  The designer's signature style is articulated in the black compact.  Limited edition.
- Ardent - frosted blackened burgundy
- Obscura - frosty gunmetal gray

Flight Lash - A limited-edition lash designed to amplify the geometric intensity of Gareth Pugh for MAC.  Highly sculptured, this dense, dark, triangle-shaped lash is designed for stylish drama.

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

Gareth Pugh for MAC Technakohl Liner - Gareth Pugh knows the power of bold.  Soft enough to smoke the eye, firm enough to define a line, Technakohl Liner is the perfect fit for his vision.  Stylishly presented in the glossy black of the collection.  Limited edition.
- Grayprint - rich pewter gray with frost
- Graphblack - rich graphic black

Gareth Pugh for MAC Lipstick - Limited edition Lipstick in shades reflecting Pugh's trademark drama.  His impeccable high style is evoked by the lipstick's glossy black square casing and signature marque.
- Restrict - creamy grayed nude
- Fervent - glossy blackened berry

Gareth Pugh for MAC Lipglass - Unconventionally shaded, pearl infused; shades as deliciously cultish and fancinating as any Gareth Pugh design.  A square vial with sculpted glossy/matte black cap and the collection's signature detail adds to the impact.
- Vacant - sheer light lavender gray with violet pearl
- Outrage - sheer berry with gold pearl

Gareth Pugh for MAC Powder Blush - Keying into the look of Gareth Pugh for MAC, this midtone nude offers a paler yet profound approach to cheek definition.  The defining touch makes this so stylishly Pugh - a dramatically chic square black compact.
- Strada - midtone nude

Gareth Pugh for MAC Beauty Powder - A shade as soft and enigmatic as its name - Etude.  The black compact, a juxtaposition of matte and shine with the collection's signature marque on the lid.  On the powder's surface, an intricate mix of patterns.  This is form, content, and beauty, Pugh-style.  Your entire order ships for free with this item!
- Etude - translucent neutral beige

Gareth Pugh for MAC Nail Lacquer - Shade and finish, this limited edition Nail Lacquer sums up the entire sub-culture mood of Gareth Pugh for MAC.  The square glass bottle features the collector's signature marque.  Limited edition.
- Inert - creamy midtone grayed nude
- Ascension - gray with blue violet reflective pearl
- Hyper - deep blue with violet purple

Gareth Pugh for MAC Square Handled Buffer Brush - Dense, extra-soft; this ultra-full, dome shaped Powder Brush adds polish to all Powder and Pigment applications.  The glossy black short handle with the collection's signature matte marque is distinctly and stylishly Gareth Pugh!  Limited edition.  your entire order ships for free with this item!

Gareth Pugh for MAC Makeup Bag - Dramatic, dark, edgy.  Everyone will know it's a Gareth Pugh for MAC!  Organized with loops on the inside.  Glossy black with matte on the outside.  The key accessory of the collection.  6" x 6" x 2".  Limited edition.  Your entire order ships for free with this item!

Off the bat I can already state that my favorite part of this collection is the Nail Lacquers!  This a great series of shades for those of us who are beginning to get sick of glitter finishes and red shades, I love deep jewel tone polishes in unusual shades so I will be putting Ascension on the top of my shopping list.  My second favorite part of this collection is the eye makeup products, I love both the liners and the eye shadows.  The Grayprint shade of Technakohl Liner looks as those it will be great to create a gray smoky eye, alook that I am looking forward to wearing this holiday season.  I want both shades of the Metal X cream shadow, I want to use them as both shadows and liners, the grays in this collection are simply stellar.  To end out my list on this collection, I want the berry shades in both the Lipglass and the Lipstick, both of these will work very well with my pale skin. 

MAC, thank you for creating a collection that looks like nothing else on the market today and that contains a large range of beautiful shades.  This is the best collection from MAC in the past few months and this type of collection is what I love about MAC!

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

MAC Black Friday Exclusive

I may not brave the crowds and the rush every year to get the best deals on black Friday but I do know lots of poeple who look forward to this day every single year.  I prefer to spread my holiday shopping out a bit and get it done in chunks throughout the end of November and December.  But this is one black Friday special that I can completely embrace.  Starting at midnight on Friday morning, MAC will re-release their limited edition Black Knight Lipstick shade in limited quantities.  The best part about this is that it is online only so I can do it from the comfort of my desk chair. 

Offers like this get me more excited for Black Friday shopping than marked down TVs, a cult classic that is available for a limited time only on one day of the year?!  This is worth fighting the crowds for!

photo courtesy of MAC's Facebook page 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Rooney Mara's Curls

Happy Thanksgiving week ladies!  This will be a crazy week for me so updates might be a bit more spaced out than usual so I apologize in advance.  However the holiday season and end of semester craziness is coming quickly so I will post as much as possible but I can't promise a new post every single day for the next few weeks.  One thing that I am most looking forward to in the ext month is the opening of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, being a huge fan of both the books and the Swedish movies. 

The star of this version is Rooney Mara, normally a fair haired and pale skinned redhead is turn into Lisbeth Salander, a top level computer hacker with a punk sense of style.  This is one of the biggest movie makeovers that I have seen in years and it makes me even more excited to go and see this movie.  This picture is of her normal look, I love those curls and might consider test driving a look like that when my hair gets a bit longer...

photo courtesy of Google

Monday, November 21, 2011

Aquolina Pink Sugar Glossy Shower Gel

Pink Sugar is a scent that takes me all the way back to college, I used it non-stop right after I turned 21 and then all the time for the next two or three years.  I went through multiple bottles of it over the years but now I can barely spray it on myself in a store without getting sick of it in ten minutes.  I have moved on to a beauty place where the EDT in this fragrance is no longer for me and I can't wear it at all.  I still like the fragrance itself but there is something in the EDT that makes it not work with my skin.  A bit sad since I did love this fragrance for years.  But at least this fragrance comes in a full array of body products....

I have been using the Glossy Body Gel in this scent on and off for a year or two now since I bought a tube of it from Sephora, even with the lighter scented shower gel, I still go through phases of loving and hating this scent.  I tend to prefer it in the colder months since it one of the stronger scents gels and it produces a very rich, creamy foaming lather.  "Ideal for a fresh and mouth-watering wake up call, cleansing the skin to perfection by delivately embracing it in a sensual fragrance.", states the Nordstrom website for a product description.  The notes of the fragrance are: Lily of the Valley, Candy Floss, Licorice, Fruits, Strawberry, Woody Notes, Powdery Musk, Vanilla, Caramel.

The fragrance itself smells more of cotton candy but the shower gel is more of a yummy vanilla and caramel mixture, being very heavy on the sweet vanilla.  This shower gel's fragrance reminds me very much of the Vanilla Bean Noel scent from Bath and Body Works, just add a slight cotton candy note to it and you will have this exact scent.  This shower gel produces a thick, creamy lather; it lathers well enough but doesn't produce the masses of lather that many shower gels do.  Which is one of the major reasons that I really like it, it doesn't strip or dry out my skin and helps to keep it hydrated in the cooler weather months.

My favorite aspect of this shower gel is that it can be layered with so many types of fragrances.  I have used it with so many types of scents, from the matching Pink Sugar lotion to any type of cotton candy scent that I have ordered from etailers.  There are very few washes that the layering and matching works so well and it is fun to play with this scent and see how many combinations that I can come up with.

I may not use the EDT anymore but I still love the body products in Pink Sugar and will continue to layer them with all kinds of other sweet fragrances.

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Saturday, November 19, 2011

MAC Miss Piggy for MAC

Earlier this week we looked at the O.P.I. collaboration with The Muppets to celebrate the new movie that is being released this holiday season.  I stated then that I was really excited for the collaboration that MAC was doing with the movie too.   I was envisioning bright pinks for lipsticks and glosses and lots of fun eye shadow shades.  I have been stalking the MAC website for the past few days and finally I found the collection up when I got home from work Wednesday night.  And it turned out that there was NO reason for me to get excited about this collection.  It is a total of three products, an eye shadow, a set of false lashes, and a Penultimate Liquid Eye Liner.  Three products?!  One of the three is a permanent product that I can get all the time, what is the point of this collection?!  ARGH!
From the MAC website, "To celebrate the supremely talented Miss Piggy's return to the silver screen, she and MAC have created a limited edition, online exclusive collection for Eyes featuring Miss Piggy Pink Eye Shadow, Penultimate Eye Liner in Rapidblack, and 36 Lash."  This collection is online only so it will never hit any of the counters and I won't even be able to play with the eye shadow unless I order it now.  So disappointing...

Miss Piggy for MAC collection...

Eye Shadow - Known for her bedazzling blue eyes, silky blond hair, and sensationally shapely measurements, Miss Piggy was kind enough to collaborate with MAC on the universe's most perfectly pink eye shadow.
- Miss Piggy Pink - midtone blue pink

36 Lash - Originally launched as Sultress Lashes, Full Lash, creates a naturally dramatic look: 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 adornedc if desired.

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

What is the point of this collection?!  The eye shadow shade that was released for this collection is lovely and I would like to buy it but I don't see the point of the rest of the products.  I was at leat hoping that they would be in a special packaging, since I already love Penultimate I would buy another tube of it in a special Miss Piggy packaging.  However the permanent products in this collection are nothing different that the normal products that MAC sells all the time.

This could have been such a great color collection but what was released is just such a disappointment to me...

photo courtesy of MAC

Friday, November 18, 2011

My Current Favorite Products

The last time that I talked about my current favorites it was all about fall and the new shades and products that I have been using for the change of the seasons.  It is still technically fall and leaves are falling to the ground but we are all beginning to look toward to the holidays.  I am still wearing my fall makeup shades and fragrances but I am beginning to think about what products I will be switching over to for holiday parties. 

My current favorite shade is red, both for lips and nails and it plays a large role in my favorite products of the moment.  These reds have been working out very well for me all fall season and will go right into the holiday season and the winter months...

MAC Lipstick in Russian Red - "Colour plus texture for the lips.  Stands out on the runway.  Simmers on the street!  What made MAC famous."  Russian Red is described as an "intense bluish-red" and it has a matte finish.  This is the classic red lipstick and I see it on every blog and magazine.  It imparts a cool bright red lip with a long-lasting matte finish and I use it every single season.  This is the most flattering red shade that I have ever used and I recommend this shade to everyone that asks me about red lisptick shades. 
China Glaze Nail Lacquer in Heart of Africa - "China Glaze is a professional-level nail enamel made with a special balance of polymers and resins that combine to create a nail lacquer that is long-lasting, chip-resistant, and resistant to color and shine fading.  Will not thicken in the bottle, no thinners necessary."  Heart of Africa is a deep cherry red with a bit shimmer to it, I just tried this one a few days ago and I fell in love with it right away.  It applies as a full coverage deep red in two coats and the shimmer finish is very attractive.  It stayed chip-free and shiny for about three days before I needed to touch it up.  The only drawback to this shade is that it didn't remove as well as I would have hoped and it left a bit of a red stain on my nails.  This is another one of those shades that works great in the fall months and will go right into the holidays.

MAC Plushglass in Ample Pink - "Sheer lip colour in a pearlized high-shine gloss finish.  Comfortable to wear: lush, multi-dimensional.  Gives a cool-warm, vanilla buzz to the lips.  Moisturizes, soothes, and visibly plumps the lips to make them look luxuriously healthy and well-conditioned.  Contains Vitamin E for added environmental protection."  Ample Pink is one of those lip glosses that works with any eye look and I originally purchased to work against a smoky eye.  This is a favorite gloss of mine and I pull it out all the time, this is one of the only products that I am in a position to need to repurchase within the near future.  This color is a "full soft rose" and it is perfect match for my skintone.  The plumper in it makes my lips looks like soft pillows and I always see guys looking at them when I wear it out on the town.  This is one of the best lip glosses that I have ever made.

Bath and Body Works Creamy Body Wash in Dark Kiss - "Our Dark Kiss Creamy Body Wash is the ultimate luxuriously hydrating body cleanser.  With rich, creamy moisture and a gentle kiss of fragrance, this pampering treatment works hard to nourish the skin while you shower.  With natural soybean oil and our exclusive Triple Moisture Complex of milk proteins, rice bran oil, and acai berry.  It leaves your skin feeling deeply moisturized and soft as silk.  You have to feel it to believe it.  Our exclusive Dark Kiss is a seductive blend of dark berries with a kiss of vanilla to unleash your most primal passions.  Key fragrance notes: Sensual Incense, Mirabelle Plum, and Night Musk."  My favorite Bath and Body Works fragrance is a creamy, hydrating body wash that helps my skin to hold moisture in it in the shower.  My skin gets dry in the fall and winter and I always need to change to body washes and bar soaps that are made to not strip moisture from the skin.  This is a revamped formula from Bath and Body Works and is available in a wide range of fragrances to appeal to everyone.

Thymes Kimono Rose - "Kimono Rose is a modern floral collection that revels in true feminine sophistication.  Sheer and romantic, its vital essence is at turns playful and passionate,  a fragrant dance that glides easily from day to evening.  Effervescent clementine and voluptuous cassis tumble together on a creamy blend of satiny rose, white peony, and jasmine petals.  A gentle kiss of vanilla leaves a sheer, sensuous finish."  This is modern rose scent that works best in the cooler months, the base note of vanilla and the cassic note make the fragrance a deep, spicy version of rose.  This one is very unique and will appeal even to those who don't think that they like rose fragrances.  A few sprays of this lasts all day long and well into the evening.  It is a lovely way for me to bring my beloved rose fragrances into the fall and winter.

Fall is ending and now we are going to head into the holidays, the reds will still be a prominent part of my look through the month of December and all the sweet holiday body products are going to begin to work their way into my rotation.

photo courtesy of MAC

First Look at Nicki Minaj and Ricky Martin Viva Glam!

This is the first promo picture that was released for next year's Viva Glam release, I was so excited when I heard that Nicki Minaj was the model for it this year and this ad doesn't disappoint! 

That lipstick that he is holding looks like it almost the exact same shade as the original Viva Glam Gaga, a shade that I love and have been searching for a back up tube of for months now.  I was hoping that the shade would be a brighter pink but I will be really happy if it is similar to the original Viva Glam Gaga. 

So excited to see more photos as they are released!

photo courtesy of Daily Mail UK

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Laura Mercier Holiday 2011 Gift Collection - Colour Palettes and Sets

Earlier today we looked at the Laura Mercier holiday color collection and now we are going to look at the gift set and palette collection that they are offering in conjunction with the color collection this holiday season.  I dont know what I am more excited about, the pretty plums that I saw earlier in the color collection or these wonderful palettes that I am seeing.  Personally, I would love to unwrap a Laura Mercier palette this holiday season and I bet that lots of other ladies would love to do exactly the same.  Most of these palettes are focused around eye shadows, with a few lip shades mixed in and a set of just Laura Mercier's top rated brushes.

Here is the gift collection from Laura Mercier...

Petite Eye Colour Trio - New limited edition Petite Eye Colour Trio is available in three shade specific sets.
- Smoky Neutrals - Coffee Ground (matte), Bamboo (Luster), Stellar (Sateen)
- Smoky Mauves - Kir Royal (Sateen), Wisteria (Luster), Sparkling Dew (Sateen)
- Smoky Taupes - Twilight Gray (Matte), Sable (Sateen), Mica (Luster)

Baked Eye Colour Palette - Enhance eyes this holiday season with Laura's stunning new Baked Eye Colour Palette.  In shades of warm bronze, cool pink, and smoky lilac, this beautiful palette features a range of five Baked Eye Colours, plus a mini Double-Ended Eye Colour/Creme Eye Detail Brush for flawless application.  The 5 mini Baked Eye Colours can be used wet or dry.
- Sienna (deep chocolate brown), Terracotta (bronze shimmer), Ballet Pink (pale cool pink), Pink Petal (light cool pink), Lilac (pale cool lavender)

Luxe Colour Portfolio - Perfect for home and travel, this beautifully packaged faux snakeskin organizer includes six Eye Colours, three Tightline Cake Eye Liners and two Cheek Colours, along with three mini expert Brushes to create infinite colour combinations.
- 6 Eye Colours including Primrose, African Violet, Merlot, Truffle, Topaz, and Stellar
- 3 Tightline Cake Eye Liners including Ground Expresso, Black Ebony, and Burgundy Wine
- 2 Second Skin Cheek Colours including Rose Petal and City Pink
- 3 Mini Brushes including Ponytail, Crease, and Flat Eye Liner

Luxe Eye Portfolio - Perfect for home or travel, this beautifully packaged faux snakeskin organizer includes a collection of twelve new, exclusive and top selling Eye Colour shades, plus three mini professional Brushes that allow you to mix and match shades to customize your look.
- 12 Eye Colours including Rich Sienna, Morning Dew, Black Coffee, Rosewood, Pink Crystal, Sable, Royal Gold, African Violet, Mica, Golden Cream, Fig, and Sparkling Night
- 3 Mini Brushes including Ponytail, Crease, and Smudge

Mini Lip Glace Set - Laura Mercier Lip Glace is a high-shine, perfectly pigmented lip gloss with rich, long-lasting colour and brilliant shine that creates the appearance of fuller lips.  With the unique blend of moisturizing, anti-aging, anti-oxidant, and plumping ingredients provided by the Laura Mercier Lip Complex, the non-sticky gloss formula applies smoothly without feathering or bleeding.  Available in a variety of coverages and finishes.
- 5 Lip Glaces including Rose, Blush, After Hours, Sparkling, and Quartz

Kohl Eye Pencil Set - Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil is formulated specifically for lining the inside of the eyelid and the base of the lashes.  The soft, creamy formula glides easily along the eyelid, creating a smooth and well-balanced line.  The luxurious texture allows anyone to achieve the perfect "smoky eye" with maximum wearability.  Each pencil contains a thicker diameter than the Eye Pencil to create a more pigmented, dramatic effect.
- 5 shades include Stormy Gray, Black Violet, Brown Copper, Black Gold, and Black Navy

Travel Brush Set - These Laura Mercier travel-friendly set of tools for face, cheek, eye, and brow may it easy to perfect your look wherever you may be.  The sleek, snakeskin case includes a removable mesh pouch and collection of four mini Double-Ended Brushes and one full size Brush.
The Lip Glace set will be the perfect gift for many of the ladies on my gift list and I will be grabbing one for myself also, the shades that have been included in this set are so pretty and I really want to try this formula out.  I want to pick up the Luxe Colour Portfolio for myself, it contains great shades and a range of products from me to play with.  This is a wonderful gift collection and you have lots of great choices to give and receive.

photo courtesy of Laura Mercier

Laura Mercier Holiday 2011 Collection - Moonlight Collection

I haven't been very interested in the past few Laura Mercier collections, a bit surprising since before that I was a huge collection of Laura Mercier and I was always finding new products and shades that I wanted to buy from the company.  I have always loved the face makeup and the body products from this company the most, with a few hits and misses from many of the eye and lip products.  The holiday collection haas just been released, a color collection along with a palette gift collection and a collection of body product gifts.  Today we will look at the single product color collection, a new collection called the Moonlight Collection. 

This collection looks as though it is based around lovely highlighting shimmers, deep plum and pinks shades.  This collection doesn't look like your traditional holiday collection, I see no reds or golds and the shades seem to be a bit more subtle than we often see this time of the year.  I am very interested in this collection and I can't wait to see the purples in it and I am interested in adding a few of these shades to my eye shadow collection.

The Moonlight Collection from Laura Mercier...

Face Illuminator - Limited edition.  A beauriful face illuminator with a soft rose gold shimmer perfect for highlighting.

Luster Eye Color - Laura Mercier Luster Eye Color is a luxuriously smooth eye shadow that imparts pure dynamic iridescence with a sophisticated frost finish providing amazing adherence for a freshly applied look throughout the day.
- Pink Pearl - medium cool pink shimmer
- Crystal Beige - light champagne shimmer
- Deep Garnet - deep cool plum with plum shimmer

Tightline Cake Eyeliner - Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Eyeliner is an easy-to-use, cake eye liner that delivers long-lasting colour payoff that doesn't fade throughout the day for flawlessly defined eyes.  Now available in 6 smudge and transfer-resistant, colour true shades, the formula glides on the lash line smoothly and stays all day long.
- Orchid Shimmer - deep plum with plum shimmer

Lip Glace - Laura Mercier Lip Glace is a high-shine, perfectly pigmented lip gloss with rich, long-lasting colour and brilliant shine that creates the appearance of fuller lips.  Any skin tone is virtually enhanced by creating a subtle contrast in texture.
- Bare Beam - nude with pink shimmer
- Nude Lilac - lavender with gold sparkle

Creme Lip Colour - Laura Mercier Creme Lip Colour delivers ultra-rich colour in an irresistibly lightweight formula.  Its unique blend of moisturizing, anti-aging, anti-oxidant, and plumping ingredients enchance the lips leaving a smoother, healthier appearance.  One swipe of colour provides hydration and prevents moisture loss ensuring fresh and flawless lips.
- Rose - warm nude pink

Shimmer Lip Colour - Laura Mercier Lip Colour - Shimmer now changes the way you feel about lipstick in one swipe in the newest, revolutionary lip colour formula.  The wide range of shades and finishes enchances your lips' appearance, protects them from the elements, provides hydration and cares for your lips like skincare.
- Raspberry Sorbet - berry rose shimmer
- Evening Pink - bright fuchsia pink

Nail Lacquer - A deep violet nail lacquer with long-lasting, high-shine finish.  The ultra-smooth formula provides chip-resistant color and intense shine for lasting results.
- Twilight - deep violet with shimmer

My favorite pieces of this collection are the deep plum shades, I must have the new Nail Lacquer shade even though I am way over the Twilight craze.  I wasn't aware that Laura Mercier even really made polishes, I have never used any shades from this line but I would love to try them out.  I have been on a major nail polish kick lately and now I have yet another brand to add to my obsession.  The other product that I love is the Cake Eye Liner which is also in the deep plum shade.  Both of these products will be added to my shopping list when I next head over to Sephora.

The rest of the collection is very pretty but most of the products can be skipped over.  I really like the face highlighter however I wonder how warm the shade is since it is laced with gold shimmer.  It is also is totally out of stock on the website so I will make a decision when/if the product comes back into stock.  The lipstick shades are great pinks and I am more interested in the Creme formula than the shimmer but I would be more likely to purchase a bright pink shade with a cream finish.  The last pieces that I am interested in are both of the lip gloss shades, I am hoping that the lavender shade is not too warm with the gold shimmer in it.

Laura Mercier has finally broken their record of collection misses for me, this is a great collection and I love how different it is from the rest of the traditional looking holiday collections.

photo courtesy of Laura Mercier

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

OPI Holiday 2011 Nail Polish Collection - The Muppets

One of the biggest movie releases from this season is actually not a holiday themed movie!  The newest Muppets movie comes out on November 23rd and promises to be one of the biggest hits of the season.  I have loved watching The Muppets ever since I was a child and I am actually planning on braving the crowds to go out and see this movie, this will be the perfect cure for the stress of the holidays and getting ready to study for finals.  One of my favorite aspects of this movie is the collaborations with the beauty companies, I have heard hints of a MAC and Miss Piggy collection that will be coming out soon.  Until that one is released, we will look at The Muppets collaboration with nail polish giant O.P.I. 

This collection consists of twleve new shades, six of which are shimmer finishes and the other six are glitter finishes.  This looks like a traditional holiday collections, lots of color and glitter.  I can see this collection flying out of store this season, it will make great gifts in addition to being a great way to dress your nails up for all kinds of parties and events.  I wonder if this collection will only be sold in individual bottles or if the company will offer little sets in these shades too..

First we will look at the shimmer finish polishes, the more wearable shades from this collection.  The shimmer finishes offer some of the more traditional holiday shades, lots of reds and silvers that are very festive.  Animalistic is the first of the red shades in this collection, it is a very warm coral red with red shimmer in it too.  This color can best be described as a tomato color, it is very likely that this shade is too warm to be really flattering on my skin.  The next of the red shimmers is Meep-Meep-Meep, this is one is cooler shade of red that is a bit more of a berry than a true red.  This one is a easy to wear berry with pink and red shimmer in it, this is then better of the two reds for my skintone.  Wocka Wocka is the last of the red shades and the least interesting of the group, this one is more of a cream finish than a true shimmer.  This is a true cool blue red shade with almost imperciptible shimmer.  I am betting that this one will look very different in different lights and could be very beautiful in the right light, I really like this shade and it will be very easy for me to pull off this season.

The next group of the shimmers is the non-red shades; we have a purple, champagne, and a bronze shade.  The first shade is named Pepe's Purple Passion, a very deep warm plum shade that contains a fine gold shimmer to make the shade more interesting.  I love this shade, it is very unique and this one will be great for the fall and winter months.  This might be my favorite shade of the collection and I will be trying this out. Better is the next of the shimmer shades.  This one is the champagne shimmer that I described in the beginning of this paragraph.  In pictures,  it is a champagne base with very sparkly coppery shimmer.  It looks too warm for my skintone, if it was a champagne with a silver shimmer then I would be all over this shade but since it is a warm than I have to skip over it.  The last of the shimmer shades is Warm and Fozzie, a deep shimmering copper.  This one borders between gold and bronze and is absolutely beautiful in pictures.  Sadly, this shade is not for me since it is very warm and would be awful for my skintone, this is another one that I wish was cooler toned and I would be all over it.

The shimmers were the more wearable part of this collection, the glitters are bright and funky and totally unwearabe in any professional environment.  One group of these are the more traditional holiday shades, we have some reds and pinks and the other group are bright colors that remind me of The Muppets themselves.  Gettin' Miss Piggy With It is a clear base with lots of big red glitter pieces in it, it looks great in the bottle but the pictures of it when applied are not quite as lovely.  I prefer red glitters that are more like China Glaze's Ruby Pumps, a red base with red shimmer/glitter mixed right into the formula.  I will skip over this one and just keep using my bottle of Ruby Pumps.  Excuse Moi! is a red-pink even though it looks more pink in many lights.  This is a bright pink base shade with lots of multicolored glitter in it and I just love this shade.  The color base with the glitter in it looks so much nicer than just suspending glitter in a clear base, I will be buying this shade very soon. 

The rest of the glitters are all the more unusual of the O.P.I. shades.  Divine Swine is a warm plum with a bit of a reddish cast.  This is another polish that has a clear base and glitter suspended in it.  The glitter is both plum and silver, with the silver being a much larger size than the plum.  Gone Gonzo is a bright glitter that will also work very well in the summer months.  This is yet another shade with a clear base and bright blue glitter pieces in it, the glitter is a very pretty color and I would love the color if it was the base color and the color of the glitter.  The name of the next polish is my favorite, Fresh Frog of Bel-Air, O.P.I. does a great job naming their polishes and bringing some fun to the salon.  It is a shame that I don't like this shade more since I would giggle everytime that I used the polish.  This polish is a clear base with bright kelly green glitter pieces in it, I would love this polish to use next St. Patrick's Day but I have a feeling that I would need to layer it over another shade.  The last polish of the collection is Rainbow Connection and this one looks very much like Deborah Lippmann's Happy Birthday shade.  It is a clear base with chunks of multicolored glitter in it, I see shades of blues, reds, greens, silvers, purples, and several other shades.  I only need one shade that looks like this and I will be sticking with my bottle of Happy Birthday since I am quite pleased with it already.

I love the tie-in with The Muppets movie but I am sad that I will be skipping over most of this collection, I really like only two of the shades.  I like one from each of the finishes, a shimmer and a glitter.  From the shimmer finishes, I love the plum shade with the gold shimmer it, Pepe's Purple Passion.  It is so pretty and unique and I will get lots of use from it.  The glitter shade that I like is one of the few that isn't a clear base with glitter suspended in it, that finish just kills most of the glitter shades for me and will cause me to skip over a huge part of the collection.  I want the Excuse Moi! shade, I love the pink and the glitter combination. 

photo courtesy of OPI

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Make Up For Ever Wild & Chic Collector Case

Oh my!!  Look at this new set from Make Up For Ever, it is rare that something beauty related can really take my breath away but look at this set!  Look at that case and all the makeup products inside it!  This is the one and only beauty gift that I really want to see under my tree on Christmas morning!  This set really contains everything that I would need from this company and it is in a full traincase - I even need a new traincase anyway!

"A limited edition makeup kit piled high with Make Up For Ever's best-selling products, handpicked by Creator and Artistic Director Dany Sanz.  Perfect for every occasion and look, this wild makeup case features a combination of Make Up For Ever's most iconic products and newest additions for the complexion, eyes, and lips.  As a bonus, these must-haves come in a fashionable, faux snakeskin case."  I love faux snakeskin and that makes me want this set even more than I already do!

This set contains...

- Travel Mist & Fix
- HD Microperfecting Primer
- Lip Line Perfector
- Aqua Lip in Red 8C (true red), Light Rosewood 14C (muted dusty rose)
- Aqua Eyes in Blue with Green Highlights 12L (metallic teal blue), Mat Black 0L (black)
- Aqua Liner in 8 Iridescent Electric Purple (bright purple sheen), 13 Mat Black (matte black)
- Faux Lash 156 Genevieve (natural black with dense outer corners), 113 Betsey (extreme criss-cross flairs with glitter strip)
- Smoky Lash in Black (black), 6 (plum)
- Brow Seal
- HD Kabuki Brush
- HD Elixir
- Travel Sens'Eyes
- Uplight in 23 (pearly golden flesh)
- Aqua Cream in 1 Anthracite (silvery charcoal shimmer), 13 Warm Beige (champagne shimmer)
- Metal Powder in Honey Gold 3 (tannish gold shimmer)
- Star Powder White/Orange 940 (iridescent golden pearl)
- Diamond Shadow in Diamond Burgundy 311 (burnish mauve with copper shimmer), Diamond Beige 306 (peachy tan with gold shimmer)
- Rouge Artist in 43 Moulin Rouge (satin vibrant red), 34 (satin light raspberry)
- Lab Shine Diamond Collection - D16 (shimmering beige), Metal Collection - M10 (chrome morello cherry)
- HD Microfinish Powder
- Double Pencil Sharpener

The picture really speaks for itself with this toy - just look at all this makeup beauty!  I can't even describe how much I want to find this under the tree this Christmas morning!

photo courtesy of Sephora

Saturday, November 12, 2011

C.O. Bigelow Lip Butters

Earlier this season, C.O. Bigelow added a series of lip butters to their extensive lip balm selection.  For those who shop at The Body Shop, these lip butters will look very similar to those classics from this company.  I love the Mango Lip Butter from The Body Shop so I was very interested in this version from C.O. Bigelow.  C.O. Bigelow has made some of my favorite lip glosses (Mentha line) and moisturizers (Rose Salve) over the past few year so I get very excited every single time that they release a new product.  I have been using the Rose Salve for years every winter since my lips get so dry and chapped and this is the best formula that I have ever found to soothe them.  However, the new Lip Butters come in both Coconut and Mango!  I love these scents and would love to take the fragrances from summer into the winter.  These products really remind me of the lip treatments from The Body Shop...even down to the fragrances, all of these are classics from The Body Shop....

This new formula is waxier and less soft than the Rose Salve, waxier formulas usually stick on the lips longer and help to protect them when they worn outside in cold winter air.  My lips get really bad in the winter months so anything that can help protect them when I go outside is needed.  I am thinking that I can use the soft Rose Salve formula at night to really hydrate and this waxy formula to help protect in the daytime.  "Our new C.O. Bigelow Lip Butter is infused with intensely hydrating ingredients that offer comfort and moisture to dry, damaged lips.  It leaves lips soft, smooth, and deeply conditioned.", states the Bath and Body Works website. 

This formula is offered in four new fragrances; Coconut, Mango, Cocoa, and Shea.  The Coconut and the Mango promise to be my favorites of the collection since I love both fragrances and the Cocoa Butter is one that I will skip over since I am not a fan of the natural scent of cocoa butter.  I wasn't aware that shea butter has much of a natural scent since I already own a pure shea product and it has little to no natural scent. 

The Coconut Lip Butter is described as a "creamy rich coconut flavor" and it smells lovely indeed.  It is a true, rich, warm coconut scent that reminds me of the summer months and the beach.  I was really considering buying this one but I decided to try only one to begin with and decide how much I liked the formula before I bought several of them.  The debate was really between the Coconut and Mango and the Mango won out since I have less choices for a natural mango scent.  The Mango is the product that I bought, it is a "tropical, refreshing mango flavor".  It is the perfect natural mango, both sweet and crisp.  I love this scent and was so excited that I could find it somewhere other than just The Body Shop.

The Shea Butter product has next to no natural scent, this wasn't my favorite of the bunch and was an easy choice for me to skip over.  "A nourishing, rich shea flavor" is the description on the website but it has little to no fragrance.  However that is what I have come to expect from natural shea so I wasn't disappointed with the fragrance, this is light enough to make it a great choice for someone who wears no makeup or a man that needs help with his chapped lips.  The Cocoa Butter one smelled awful and I actually liked it even less than I thought that I would, this one didn't appeal to me at all and will completely be skipped over.  It is a "comforting, rich cocoa flavor", this one just smelled slightly sour and wasn't for me.

I wanted to love these Lip Butters, I really really wanted to love these Lip Butters and make up reasons to buy both the Mango and the Coconut.  However, this formula just didn't work out for me, I much prefer the Rose Salve formulation and the less waxier texture.  This texture was hard to apply and didn't spread as well as I would have liked on my lips.  I had more issues than I would have liked in spreading it and it actually made my lips worse to begin with.  The texture didn't hydrate as well as I would have liked, it would be better in a stick formula to spread and apply.  I bet that it will help protect my lips but it was so hard to work with that I would prefer to find another formula that comes in a stick instead of a pot.

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works

Friday, November 11, 2011

Adele's Bangs

My latest haircut obsession - short bangs!  I have been shying away from them since they will be so hard to grow out if I don't like them but I just love this picture of Adele.  I just got my haircut a month ago and I love the length and how the new color but I am still thinking about those bangs...mine are side-swept and long at the moment.  This is a bit more long-term at the moment (like after the holidays)...  Thoughts?

photo courtesy of Google

Thursday, November 10, 2011

MAC Holiday 2011 - Dazzlespheres

Throughout the holiday season, MAC will continue to release new collection every few weeks.  Come of the collections (like the one that we will look today) are based on gifting and others are based more on individual shades to create a great holiday party look.  Dazzlespheres is the collection that was released this week and it contains a series of ornaments that house small products from the company.  As of right now, I have been looking for small gifts for some of my coworkers and I am hoping that a few of these might fit the bill!

From the MAC website, "Holiday giving goes outrageously festive with Dazzlesphere!  Mini kits for lips, eyes, and nails are packed in clear, couture-future ornaments!  Opulent and sure to satisfy all the nice (and naughty) girls and boys on your list!"  It looks like some of the ornaments contain Pigments, some contain lip products, and one contain small nail lacquers.  I am most excited for the lip gloss ornaments, I love MAC Lipglasses and small lip glosses in general so I considering picking up one of these ornaments for myself along with all the gifts that I need to order!

Here is the new gift collection from MAC!

Dazzlesphere! Smoky Blue Ornament x 4 - Silver Sleet, White as Snow, Winter Sky, and Dark Moon - 4 cool and smoky Crush Metal shades to shake up those holiday - and spring - looks!  Tucked inside our couture-future ornament ready to give.  Limited edition.
- White as Snow - snowy white
- Silver Sleet - medium gray
- Winter Sky - purple blue
- Dark Moon - charcoal

Dazzlesphere! Plum Ornament x 4 - A futuristic ornament packed with four limited edition, mini-sized, stackable Crushed Metals in a passionately perfect array of sultry, sweet, and sophisticated plums.  A dazzling gift for all.  Limited edition.
- Misty - pale silver
- Seasonal Cool - sparkle taupe
- Light Violet - light violet
- Grape - grape

Dazzlesphere! Berry Ornament x 4 - Adding spice to our couture-future ornament: two shades of Roasted Chestnut and Spicy Smoke.  Add Pearl and Rose Light to this mini-set of four stackable Crush Metals and see how brilliant your looks can be.  Gift yourself!  Limited edition.
- Pearl - pearl
- Rose Light - light rose
- Spicy Smoke - dark strawberry
- Roasted Chestnut - deep chocolate with gold pearl

Dazzlesphere! Neutral Ornament x 4 - Our ornament is ready, filled with holiday twinkle and shine!  2 Dazzleglass and 2 Cremesheen minis reveal the dash, dazzle and desirability of neutral.  Limited edition. 
- Boy Bait - light neutral beige with pearl (Cremesheen)
- Bare Necessity - apricot with red and gold pearl (Dazzleglass)
- Overindulgence - neutral brown (Cremesheen)
- Get Rich Quick - warm yellow brown (Dazzleglass)

Dazzleglass! Coral Ornament x 4 - Festive coral!  These 2 mini Dazzleglasses and 2 Cremesheen mini glosses offer opulent variations with spicy, icy shimmer and shine!  The couture-future ornament is dazzling and decorative.  Limited edition.
- Phiff! - sheer yellow peach (Dazzleglass)
- On the Scene - light coral beige (Cremesheen)
- Richer, Lusher - peach coral (Cremesheen)
- Euroblast - peach coral with gold pearl (Dazzleglass)

Dazzleglass! Pink Ornament x 4 - Caught up in a silvery sphere of glam - 2 Dazzleglass and 2 Cremesheen minis in top seasonal shades of pink.  The opulent couture-future inspired ornament in a gift in itself!  Limited edition.
- Fashion Scoop - pale cool baby pink with light pearl (Cremesheen)
- Petite Indulgence - mid-tone bright blue pink (Cremesheen)
- Like Venus - bubblegum pink with red pearl (Dazzleglass)
- Rags to Riches - plum-pink with teal and red pearl (Dazzleglass)

Dazzleglass! Mini Nail Lacquer Ornament x 4 - A must have for that wish list!  Inside the couture-future ornament, four mini-sizes of Nail Lacquer in seasonally-fabulous shades of Mistletoe, Dark Angel, Style Tip, and Much Adored!  Who can resist?  Limited edition.
- Much Adored - sheer white pink with pearl
- Style Tip - soft pink nude
- Mistletoe - pale gold
- Dark Angel - goth romantic dark lilac

I must have two of the ornaments for myself - forget gifts at the moment!  I love the Pink x 4 and the Nail Lacquer Ornaments.  I would buy any of those shades in full sizes and therefore that make both of these sets completely worth the purchase, in fact I could see myself buying the lip shades in the full sizes and then keeping the ones in the ornament just for my bag.  I love the Nail Lacquer in Dark Angel, I might order a full size backup of this one too.

Now as for gifts for everyone else, I might skip over most of this collection.  I'm not a fan of the pigments since they aren't the most giftable item.  I would only buy Pigments for someone that really works with makeup and would know the best ways to use the Pigments.  Which is only about one or two people on my list, the lip gloss and nail lacquer sets are a much better girl option.

photo courtesy of MAC

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Clarins Holiday 2011 Collection - Passion

The Clarins holiday collection has just appeared on their website and now I can check out some of the neew colors when I head off to the counter to buy skincare.  I have really been into the primer that I have been using from them and have been trying out some of the samples that the counter manager gave me the last time that I was there.  So far, I am very impressed with the skincare from this company and I am hoping that I get the same types of results from trying their color collection, normally companies have great makeup and fair skincare products so I am really hoping that this company has spectacular makeup products.

Passion is a very small collection, consisting of only four products.  In addition, I believe that only one of them is brand new to the line and will be limited edition (do not quote me on this though), the Passion Face Palette.  When I look at the model for this collection, she appears to have reddish pink eye makeup on, a odd choice for holiday makeup looks.  I'm honestly not sure what I think of the eye makeup in this collection, I have never found red eye makeup to be very flattering on my skintone.  I can't say that I am all that excited about the eye shadow palette in this collection however I find the lip shade that the model is wearing to be quite lovely.
The newest collection from Clarins...

Passion Face Palette - An incredibly light compact powder for a perfectly even and luminous collection.  The palette contains warm shades of pinks with gold veining on them. 

Eye Quartet Mineral Palette - Highly concentrated in mineral pigments, these eye shadows light up all eyes.  Their wet and dry texture is extremely soft on application.  Easy to blend and shade, their colours are both subtle and even.  Harmonies of satin and iridescent shades offer a variety of effects.  For a superb, long-lasting makeup result.
- 07 Smokey Passion - deep cool rose/shimmering silver/black with silver glitter/deep warm plum with cool shimmer

Instant Definition Mascara - A dual-purpose, ultra-volume, intense colour mascara with a rich formula that enchances the beauty of all types of lashes.
- Black - true black

Rouge Prodige True Color and Shine Lipstick - An unrivalled formula that delivers long-lasting lip colour, shine, and hold that lasts for hours.  High Fidelity Pearl technology ensures that colour and shine stay true for hours while the creamy, rich texture provides nourishing skin care benefits to lips.  A wide range of colours to choose from to create your own glamorous look.
- 131 Passion Rose - cool medium rose
My first thought when I looked in detail at these products surrounded the eye makeup on the model for the collection and what shades are actaully contained in the eye palette for this collection.  I can tell that the model is wearing the rose shade but when I looked at the picture, it becomes evident that she is wearing an additional shade that is not in the palette.  I can only assume that the makeup artist used the Passion Face Palette on her eyes with the rose shade in the palette, that is the only combination of the products in this collection that would get that reddist shade on the eyes.  Needless to say, I won't be trying to figure out how they did it since I don't want to replicate it.

All my thoughts on the makeup that was done on the model aside...  This is a lovely eye palette and I wish that the model's look was based on this palette since the options for a sultry eye are infinite.  I am looking forward to trying it out at the counter and combining the silver shade with all the of the others.  I can safely skip over the face palette, especially if it really appears that red hue on the skin.  Lastly, the lipstick shade in this collection would be a great everyday neutral to wear in professional environment or against a strong eye look.

photo courtesy of Clarins

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

MAC Select Cover-Up Concealer

After finishing up a stint with Amazing Concealer and Laura Mercier Secret Camoflage, I decided that I had two great options for concealers and I wasn't interested in trying any other brands.  However when browsing at the MAC counter and my favorite makeup artist comes up and offers to do my makeup, I can never resist picking out a few things that she tries on addition to the pile that I already came to the counter for.  Ever since I liked the Mineralize Skinfinish SPF 15 Foundation, she has been trying all kinds of face products out on me since she feels that MAC has one of the best ranges of foundations and concealers.  Since I agreed with her for that foundation formula, she wanted to show me one of her favorite concealers the last time that I went to the counter.  I can never turn her down so I let her try it out on me.

The concealer formula that she prefers for my skintone and type is the Select Cover-Up, a liquid formula that comes in a tube that reminds me very much of the Amazing Concealer.  Perhaps that is why I was open to it, I doubt that I would have been interested in any type of stick concealer.  I wanted a product that is full coverage and is easy to blend.  I have tried several formulas that are full coverage and work well when applied right to the area but are hard to blend (therefore increasing the redness in my skin when I try to blend them).  She assured me that this formula was very easy to blend and wouldn't make my skin redder when I tried to work with it.

"Liquid camoflage for the skin.  Texture-free, virtually invisible.  Comes in a blend.  Blends in.  Brightens and lightens dark areas, erases spots, evens-out skin tones.  Makes skin flaw-free.  Use pre-foundation or on its own.  Don't reveal it, conceal it!", states the product description from the MAC website.  This concealer is available in 15 shades to suit a range of skintones, my shade is the NC20 (the lightest shade of course). 

This is a very soft liquid concealer, it reminds me very much of the texture of the Amazing Concealer.  Based on the thin liquid texture, I initially squeezed way too much of this product out, dipped my brush into it and applied it to my face.  It took me about 10 seconds to realize that I applied way too much of it to my undereye area and wiped off the excess.  Very little of this product is needed for full coverage especially in the undereye area.  This is another one of those concealers that are best used when you squeeze a dab on the back of your hand and then dip the very tip of your brush in it.  I then placed the tip of brush on the area to be concealed and repeated the motions until I had a line of small dots on my undereye area.  To conceals imperfections and blemishes, the same type of motions need to be used, however the brush tip needs to be placed right on top of blemish.  After getting the correct amount in the correct area of my face, I then use my ring finger to softly pat the product into my skin until the blemish or affected area is well covered.  This product needs to be used with a concealer brush in order to ensure exact placement of the product, I would not try to use this product with only a finger application.  This concealer provides medium to full coverage when used with the above application method.

This product performed the best in the undereye area since it is both easy to use and contains brightening agents in order to improve the appearance of this area.  The softness of the texture allows it to be patted in very easily and without tugging on this area.  The brightening agents really make a difference in this area and allow me to use less of the product to achieve the same result with the Amazing Concealer.  This is one of the easiest blending concealers that I have used in quite a long time so this is one that I really recommend if dark undereye circles are one of your skin issues.  This formula conceals blemishes well but I feel that a thicker, waxier formula is a better choice for blemishes.  I don't have a major need for concealing blemishes, I only have about one or two a month so this doesn't bother me but I wouldn't recommend this for someone who has more moderate acne.

This concealer is a great formula for normal to dry skin types and it works well for concealing my redness issues.  I recommend this concealer for someone whose major skin issues involve undereye circles and don't have issues with acne.  This product needs to be used with a brush so if you aren't willing to work with the brush every morning, then this isn't the type of formulation that you would like.  This type of formula takes a bit longer to work with in the morning then your traditional stick formula however I find the payoff to be much nicer and it is well worth those extra few minutes.

photo courtesy of MAC

Monday, November 7, 2011

China Glaze Holiday 2011 Collection - Let It Snow

Let It Snow is the newest color collection from China Glaze, I have been loving China Glaze since the beginning of the summer and therefore I get really excited when the new collections come out.  After the last weekend, thoughts of snow make me gag but I am still excited for the new shades from China Glaze.  I am hoping that snow will hold off for the rest of the month and that fall will hold out for at least a few more weeks.  Personally I hate snow and I would love for it to never snow again but since that isn't a reality, I will try to embrace snow and winter a little bit for the next few months...

This collection reminds me very much of the Lippmann Collection holiday colors since it contains lots of glitters and reds.  Glitters are huge this holiday and I might have to splurge on a few from this collection even though I don't wear them on a regular basis.  I am even starting to shed my Grinch image about the holidays when I see these lovely nail polish shades and I really want to wear some bright reds and glitters this season!
Here is the newest China Glaze collection...

- Snow Globe - clear base with large silver glitter that can be used as a top coat or alone
- Twinkle Lights - clear base with gold, red, and green glitter
- Champange Bubbles - light gold metallic base with shimmer
- Holly-Day - deep green with a cream finish
- Glittering Garland - dark green base with green microglitter
- Velvet Bow - deep berry cream
- Winter Berry - medium cool red cream
- Ring in the Red - medium cool red base with red glitter
- Poinsetta - bright cool red cream
- Blue Year's Eve - deep cool blue shimmer
- Tinsel Town - mixture of charcoal and silver glitter
- Icicle - silver shimmer

All of the shades are offered for purchase in the single bottles and China Glaze has also created gift sets of the sets that are perfect if you love the whole collection or want to give China Glaze as gifts.

- Carry Me Away For the Holidays - Velvet Bow/Poinsetta/Tinsel Town/Icicles
- Deck the Halls - Champagne Bubbles/Glittering Garland/Poinsetta
- Belle of the Ball - Champagne Bubbles/Tinsel Town
- Holly Bear-y - Holly-Day/Winter Berry
- Berry Sweet - Velvet Bow/Ring in the Red
- Seasonal Sparkles - Twinkle Lights/Holly-Day/Poinsetta
- Let it Snow - Snow Globe/Blue Year's Eve
- Holiday Spirits - Champagne Bubbles/Glittering Garland/Icicle
- Baby It's Cold Outside - Poinsetta/Blue Year's Eve/Icicle
- Meet Me Under the Mistletoe - Glittering Garland/Velvet Bow/Ring in the Red
- Winter Ice - Snow Globe/Blue Year's Eve/Tinsel Town/Icicle
- Santa's Little Helpers - Twinkle Lights/Holly-Day/Velvet Bow/Ring in the Red

I love this collection especially the glitter shades.  My favorites of the new polish shades is Blue Year's Eve and Tinsel Town.  Since i really love both of these two shades, it makes sense for me to purchase the Winter Ice set (I also like the Snow Globe and Icicle shades) and I will get lots of wear from these shades since I prefer blues and silvers over any other new polish shades.  Ring in the Red is a really pretty red glitter however it looks almost exactly like Ruby Pumps which I already own and don't need a second bottle of at this time.  The last shade that I love in this collection is the Velvet Bow, this one can be worn in both fall and winter. 

There are a few shades in this collection that I know that I can skip out on.  The Twinkle Lights is too holiday for me, the mixture of those three glitters is too much and I would never be able to pull it off.  Champagne Bubbles is the other shade that I really dislike, the gold would not work with my skintone and is a garish shade anyway.

If it has to snow than let's at least do it in style this holiday...

photo courtesy of China Glaze