Monday, December 31, 2012

Too Faced Spring 2013 Collection - Boudoir Beauty

It is the last day of 2012 and I am looking forward so much to 2013, my New Year's resolutions are already written down and I am excited for my new classes this semester and of course I am excited for all the new beauty products and collections that will be coming at us this spring season.  For the last day of 2012, we are just going to start looking forward to 2013 instead of looking back.  Too Faced is one of the few companies that has their new spring collection up on the website and Boudoir Beauty is a collection of products that is calling my name right now!

Boudoir Beauty contains a mixture of palettes and single products.  I love when companies don't release entire collections full of just palettes and sets, I almost always dislike a product or shade so much in a palette that I have doubts about the purchase.  Too Faced are usually better than many other companies so I am doubly excited for these, I have never gotten a bad palette for Too Faced and I have several at this point in time.  When looking at this collection, I also see that Too Faced revamped their original Lip Injection formula.  This was one of the few plumpers that really worked, it produces the biggest, most swollen lips out of any lip plumper that I have ever tried.  Now for me, this product actually hurt and irritated my lips, they turned bright red and stung for the next few hours.  This actually was one of the lip plumpers that I could not use at all because the side effects of it were so bad for me, I wonder if they have managed to revamp the formula to make it as effective at plumping which not being quite so harsh.  Or they have made it even stronger...  We shall see!

Here is the Boudoir Beauty Collection from Too Faced!

Boudoir Eyes Eye Shadow Palette - Our new collection of eye shadows creates looks for the bedroom and beyond. Along with four Boudoir-worthy colors, we added five new shades just for this palette for a total of nine soft and sexy colors.  Includes our signature how-to Glamour Guide with three looks to get you started.
- In the Buff - shimmering pale taupe
- Fuzzy Handcuffs - shimmering medium bronze
- Voulez Vous - medium cool shimmering charcoal
- Satin Sheets - medium shimmering gold
- Sugar Walls - shimmering medium cool bronze
- Garter Belt - deep warm charcoal satin
- Birthday Suit - medium shimmering gold with a green cast
- Lap Dance - deep shimmering taupe
- French Tickler - deep black with gold shimmer

No Makeup Makeup Fresh and Flawless Face Palette - Our new multitasking face palette is your answer to creating the illusion of flawlessness. The collection is dedicated to complexion perfection, for a flawless, “I was born perfect” look any time of the day. The kit has everything you need to create a complete look so it’s great for traveling (or sleepovers.).  A complete palette of six products to create the perfect No Makeup Makeup look: Shimmer Veil/Crème Blush/Powder Blush/Concealer/Luminizer/Brightener.  Includes our signature how-to Glamour Guide with three looks to get you started.

Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush - Blush is like dessert, you didn't know you loved it until you had a taste of it. Our blush was developed with easy application and a no-fail color palette in mind—to take the guesswork out of creating a sweet, romantic flush. It's the little black dress of blushes.  With three perfect swatches, you can just swirl the colors together and apply, or use more of one shade for a custom flush or highlight.  Three swatches of rose, coral and peach packed into one pretty heart.  Baked color formula allows the blush to be applied as a beautiful buildable finish.  Blush works on all skin tones.
Tinted Beauty Balm Multi-Benefit Skin Care Makeup - Our innovative beauty balm offers multiple skincare and makeup benefits in one simple step. Our powerful, multi-mineral complex instantly achieves a healthy glow and improves skin's overall appearance. 
1. Light-diffusing pigments tint and add radiance (available in 6 shades).
2. Anti-aging, multi-mineral complex primes & prevents damage.
3. Moisturizes with oil-free hydration.
4. Hypo-allergenic and soothing for all skin types.
5. Broad-spectrum, chemical-free SPF 20.
Anti-aging, Multi-mineral Complex: Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc as well as Ginseng and Ginko Biloba.  Soothes & Nourishes: Vitamins A & E, as well as Chamomile soothe and nourishes while our oil-free hydrating formula moisturizes.  Blends easily: Four gorgeous shades, with luminosity and effortless blendability to suit individual skin tones and shades needs.   Sun Protection: Broad-spectrum, chemical-free SPF 20 offers optimum protection from the sun's harmful UVA/UVB rays. Multi-use: Can be used as a primer to prep skin for either foundation for more coverage, or powder for a lighter finish.
La Creme Color Drenched Lip Cream - Indulge your lips with rich creamy color, drenched with luscious, hydrating moisturizers including white lotus flower and power peptides. Moisture has never been so pretty!   20 Must-Have Colors: Something for every fashion and mood - curated in the most sought-after color families: nudes, spices, pinks, reds and NEW berries.  Lotus Flower Extract: Hydrating, soothing and lip-conditioning with environmental protection provided by antioxidants.  Power Peptides: Conditioning, smoothing and firming for the delicate lip area.  Indulgent color: Pigment-saturated, one-swipe formulas drench lips with sexy, pure color.
- Teddy Berry - deep cool plum cream
- So Berry Sexy - medium cool berry cream
- Bumbleberry - medium cool purple berry cream
- Loganberry - deep cool berry with a hint of brown cream
Lip Injection Power Plumping Lip Gloss - Get lusher looking lips in seconds. A revolutionary lip plumping formula that also hydrates and nourishes, with a rich blend of ingredients to invigorate the lips and create a rush of volume to the pout that lasts up to four hours.  Volume lasts up to four hours.  Marine Sponge: Adds the appearance of up to 20 percent more volume while moisturizing lips.  Botanical Cocktail: Avocado and Jojoba Oil smooth and soften the lips.
Lip Injection Extreme - A lip plumper for immediate satisfaction and long-term results; this is a day and night use serum that will become part of your daily routine. The tingling sensation tells you it’s working and lips appear full and pouty from your very first application and plumper overall, overtime. It glides on as a clear gloss with light reflecting shine and supreme moisture.  A revolutionary lip plumping formula that also hydrates and nourishes, the long-lasting effects of Lip Injection Extreme are created via our unique “20-40-60 Boost” breakthrough technology: Marine Sponge: Adds the appearance of up to 20% more volume while moisturizing lips; Collagen Booster: Increases collagen to plump lips up to 40% fuller, while increasing lip moisture up to 60% long-term.
I love the Boudoir Eyes Shadow Palette, I love all of these neutral shades and I will be able to use all of these with each other and then with both of the Urban Decay Naked Palettes.  This might be my early favorite from the collection and I will need to see this the next time that I head to Sephora, Too Faced usually releases very early to Sephora and therefore this palette should be out very soon.  I can see so many possiblities with this set, these aren't the most unique shades but I know that I will get lots of use from them and this palette will take me all the way through the spring and summer months.  The No Makeup palette interests me, I like the concept and the shades contained in it but I must see the shades of the concealer in it so that I can make sure that they will be flattering to my skintone.  I have included the picture with this post so you guys can see how pretty the blush shades are and why I hoping that the face shades are flattering for me.
I have never used a Beauty Balm before, I have heard all kinds of raves about them but I still get great results from my Stila and Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizers and I have never felt any reason to try something new.  Maybe I will need to this spring since BB don't seem to be a passing fad....
I still am afraid to try the new versions of the Lip Injections, it sounds like some of the more irritating ingredients have been traded out for hydrators but I too vividly remember how badly the first formulas made my lips feel.  I don't really love any of the new shades in La Creme so I will skip over them and stick to the reds and pinks in this formula.
Tomorrow begins 2013...Here we go!
photo courtesy of Too Faced

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Jaqua Beauty Cocoa Buttercream Frosting Shower Cream

I had loved the Jaqua Beauty company in years past and I am very excited to see that the company has re-opened their website and I can order all of my favorite products again!  I have raved about the Buttercream Frosting fragrance many times before on here and you all know that I will never fall out of love with those products.  The last time that I ordered from Jaqua, I picked out my favorite Buttercream Frosting Body Butter and then also order a scent that I had used years ago but hadn't seen since, Cocoa Buttercream Frosting.  And it is every bit as good as I remembered, this takes all the best aspects of the Buttercream Frosting fragrance but then adds hint of yummy milk chocolate.  What could be better?!

I have been using this fragrance almost every night for the past week and I love it more and more every single time.  I bought the fragrance in two products, the Shower Cream and the matching Body Butter.  The Shower Cream is a great choice for dry winter skin, it produces a rich lather and helps to avoid my skin having that "stripped" feeling after I get out of the shower.  "Our Signature Cocoa Butter Shower Cream is a rich and creamy shower wash filled with good-for-your skin ingredients such as Marshmellow Root Extract, Macademia, Evening Primrose Oils, and Vitamins B5, A, and E.  Turn your shower into a yummy indulgence!"  The fragrance notes are: Cocoa, Creamy Buttery Vanilla Bean, Hint of Honey. 

If you have dry skin, this is a great formula for the fall and winter months.  Even if you don't have dry skin, you will appreciate how soft this product leaves your skin when you emerge from the shower.  I use about a nickel-sized drop of this product on a shower pouf and this amount produces more than enough foam to cover my entire body, I used too much the first time and felt like I was wasting the product.  Many creamier body washes don't foam very well unless I use at least a quarter-sized drop and I followed that assumption and therefore squeezed too much out of this product to begin with.  A nickel-sized drop is the perfect amount to use for this product (as long as you use a shower pouf, I don't know how much would be needed for a washcloth). 

I loved how this product left my shower smelling like chocolate cake batter, it drifted through my whole upstairs and creates a wonderful smell.  I am almost inspired to bake a real cake after I use this product.  This product doesn't leave quite as much fragrance on my skin though, I have to use with the matching Body Butter (a product that deserves its own post another day!), I wish that the fragrance lasted longer on my skin, this is one of my only two complaints with the product.

My other complaint is about the packaging, the squeeze tube could be a better quality.  Some of the product leaked out in my shower when I stored it as I normally store my tube shower gels and I was unhappy that I lost some of the yummy product inside.  I now store this tube upside down so that I can avoid this issue for the rest of the product life.  I miss the old packaging that was upright, I never had any problems when I used this line the first time.  I would love to see Jaqua improve the packaging quality of this product.

You will love this body wash if you like hydrating body washes and any type of body wash that smells better than cake batter.  I love this version of the traditional Buttercream Frosting fragrance but I still think that original is my all time favorite from Jaqua.  This company made my day when they reopened their website and I look forward to do even more shopping from them in the next few months.

photo courtesy of Jaqua

Saturday, December 29, 2012

China Glaze Spring 2013 Collection - Tranzitions

Today we are going to start with the spring collections and I am more than ready to begin shopping for the new season!  I have visions of pinks and all kinds of pastel nail hues running through my head and I am already trying to figure out how I am going to store all the new nail polish shades that I will end up purchasing over the next few months.  Storage of polishes is still the same issue for me that it was several months ago, I haven't been to a Bed Bath and Beyond with the holiday shopping season just ending and I have to visit this store and find some type of drawer or container that can store a polish collection that is very rapidly growing.  One of my goals of 2013 to start organizing my stuff better so that I can be ready to move out when I finish my degree.  I think a trip to Bed Bath and Beyond is order before the next semester begins...

The first of the spring collections of nail polish is China Glaze Tranzitions, this is the first of two spring collections that I believe this company will be coming out with.  Lately, the polish company has brought multiple collections out for each season, many of them have tie-ins to movie releases so I do wonder what else will be on the way over the next few months.

The Tranzitions collection contains series of new polish colors and then several top coats that can be layered over the shades.  The top coats change the shade of each polish and allow the user to create all different kinds of patterns and looks for the nail.  This collection of polishes will help create all kinds of nail art looks, this is one of the easier ways to work into a nail art look.  You can make these patterns as complex or simple as you wish, I would be more likely to start with simple dots or stripes and then try to work up to a more complex pattern (if I even could).  It looks to me like each base shade has it's own top coat color and I have yet to figure out if they can only be used together or if the top coats can be used on any base shade.

The Ulta website provides a full description of the formula for the China Glaze Nail Lacquer, this only applies to the traditional hues in the collection (the top coats are totally different).  "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."

Here are the shades in the collection...

- Altered Reality - medium teal with teal shimmer and a metallic finish, when used with matching top coat - bluish teal
- Duplicity - aqua with matte finish, when used with matching top coat - deep teal
- Metallic Metamorphosis - gray with a silver metallic finish, when used with matching top coat - dark charcoal
- Modify Me - medium periwinkle blue cream, when used with matching top coat - deep blue
- Shape Shifter - deep gray with purple flash, when used with matching top coat - deep purple
- Split Personality - light pink with cream finish, when used with matching top coat - dark pink

I love the aqua shades in this collection, I want both the Altered Reaility and Duplicity shades.  I will be using aquas and emeralds all spring and this will be a new way to wear the trend on my nails.  Modify Me is another great hue for spring, periwinkle would actually fill a hole in my polish collection since I don't own any shade like this already.  Lastly, Metallic Metamorphosis is a deep gray that I would use in the winter and then put away for next fall.  However I must buy and try one of these shades before I decide that I must have all four of the shades.

Most of my concern is that I might have issues using the polishes and creating designs.  It sounds very easy however China Glaze polishes are quite thick and I do wonder how control would be on creating the design, I have not seen much information on these polishes in any beauty blog or magainze so I will be watching out for some more thoughts and reviews on them.

Let's get spring started!

photo courtesy of China Glaze's Facebook page

Friday, December 28, 2012

Nails Inc The Crystallized Collection

We are moving on from the holidays and are beginning to head over to the spring collections that are beginning to slowly come out.  Of course, as soon as I am ready to get into spring, I spy a nail polish set on the Sephora website that would have been perfect for the holidays but either wasn't out or I managed to miss earlier this month.  I am going to put off spring collections for one day and reason with myself that we still have two and a half months of winter left and I can look at one more set that would be perfect for this time of the year.

I have been in love with Nails Inc ever since last summer and I have been all over many of the new shades and sets that they have brought out ever since.  I want to add many more shades from this line to my nail polish collection in the new year and I can't wait to see what comes out for spring.  I am already looking at some of the neutrals from this line to add to my collection, but first there are some jewel tones in The Crystallized Collection and I know that I would wear them for the rest of the winter and then again next fall!

What got my attention with these polishes?  The bling on the bottles of course - I don't know that I would have even noticed them without the rhinestones on the caps.  "A luxurious trio of limited-edition polishes adorned with beautiful crystal caps.  This festive nail lacquer wardbrobe features three rich colors perfect for holiday. Princess Gate Crystal is a rich toffee neutral, ideal for day or night, while Upper Brook Street is a beautiful metallic navy with a subtle sheen. Kensington High Street’s deep wine hue goes with any skintone or outfit."

The three shades that are in this set are:

- Kensington High Street - deep wine
- Prince's Gate - deep toffee
- Upper Brook Street - deep metallic navy

I don't know that I am in love with Prince's Gate, I want to see this shade in person.  This toffee hue could either be wonderful and a great neutral or just look awful on my skintone.  I love Kensington High Street and Upper Brook Street, something is telling me that these are permanent shades (I might be wrong but I really think so), so if I miss this set I can still ge these shades pretty easily.  I don't know that I must own this set just because I love the bottles, I would like to buy it but I could wait until next fall to buy the two shades that I want.  I will have to make a final decision when I see the toffee color at the store.

Now I am really done with the holiday bling and tomorrow we will look at the first collection of China Glaze spring!

photo courtesy of Sephora

Thursday, December 27, 2012

MAC Apres Chic

Apres Chic is the last of the four new collections that MAC just released, this is one of the two full color collections.  I found some great choices yesterday in Strength and I am now even more excited to check out this collection, I have shopped from MAC in several weeks now and I want some new items from them so much.  I am fairly certain that this collection will be at the counters, but I still have no answer on the Strength collection, I am still really hoping that both of them will be at my counter the next time that I visit them.

Apres Chic is a Mineralize collection, MAC seems to do one Mineralize collection for every single season and these are usually not among my favorite collections.  Mineralize is a not a product line that I love even though it has tons of fans in the MAC audience.  Maybe one day something in this series will make me fall madly in love with the formula.  I am most interested in a blush if I plan to try this formula, I find the eye shadows very pretty but the marbled colors don't allow me quite as much control of the product as I would like.  Perhaps a blush or a face highlighter will change my views of the formulas...

"Natural glamour appears effortless, and in its element with M•A•C's face and colour collection set to heat up winter looks. Features our coveted Mineralize Skinfinish, Blush and Eye Shadow, and Tinted Lip Balm. Also introducing Pro Longwear Eye Liner."  I am going to be looking for basics in this collection, I would love to find some new eye shadows that will work well with all the golds and bronzes that I own and some neutral lip hues to take me all the way into the spring months.  This collection looks as though the shades contained in it will be very easy to wear and I bet that it will sell very quickly at the counters.

The Apres Chic collection...

Mineralize Eye Shadow - Baked minerals refined into a powder formula provide exceptionally sheer and lightweight application. Colour builds lightly, layer after layer, without heavy coverage.
- Ice - light peach base with white veining
- Winter Pursuit - copper base with gray veining
- Silver Birch - gray base with peach veining
- Frost at Midnight - deep blue/gray base with purple veining
- Fireside - deep plum with gray veining

Zoom Waterfast Lash - The fast-to-act drama of creamy, velvety Zoom Lash in a tear/sweat/humidity/waterproof formula. Curls and lengthens with flexible, sculpted application - everything you love about the original is here. Provides up to 12 hours of smudge-proof wear!

Pro Longwear Eye Liner -  Pro Longwear's long-lasting eye liner delivers creamy, dense colour that glides on smoothly. 12-hour waterproof formula stays put and smudge-free.
- Black Ice - rich black
- Rich Experience - true brown
- Mountain Air - vibrant teal
- Night Trail - deep navy blue
- Snow Shadow - purple violet

Lipstick - Colour plus texture for the lips. Stands out on the runway. Simmers on the street! What made M·A·C famous.
- Warm Companion - beige with gold pearl
- Cozy Up - deep caramel
- Haute Attitude - midtone blue pink
- Apres Chic - pinky brick red
- Hot Chocolate - dirty plum

Mineralize Tinted Balm - A liquid lip balm that adds moisture while providing the right pop of color and mirror-like shine. Enriched with a special, nourishing 77 Mineral-Rich Complex. Can be worn alone or over other Lip products.
- Stay Warm! - creamy light pink
- Slightly Nude - nudey coral with subtle pink pearl
- Pure and Tender - plumy creamy nude
- Nice and Simple - bronzy gold with multi dimensional pearl
- Rosy Romance - bluish plum with subtle pink pearl

Mineralize Blush - Baked minerals refined into a powder formula to provide exceptionally sheer and lightweight application. Colour builds lightly, layer after layer, without heavy coverage. Veils and enhances the cheekbones with a luminous, pearlized shimmer.
- Amber Glow - warm peach
- Alpine Bronze - midtone caramel
- Gentle - raspberry with gold pearl

Mineralize Skinfinish -  A luxurious velvet-soft powder with high-frost metallic finish. Smoothes on: adds buffed-up highlights to cheeks, or an overall ultra-deluxe polish to the face.
- Porcelain Pink - sofy pinky coral with gold veining
- Stereo Rose - coral with golden/bronze shimmering nuances

Nail Lacquer - Revolutionary new high gloss formula. Three long-wearing finishes - Cream, Sheer, and Frosted. Visibly different. Provides no-streak/no-chip finish. Contains conditioners and UV protection. Go hi-lacquer!
- Hangin' Loose - dirty pink nude
- Dangerously Fun - berry tone blue red

287 Duo Fibre Eye Shadow Brush - A rounded, medium sized, double-chiseled, paddle-shaped brush. Perfect for applying and blending Eye Shadow. Made from a blend of soft, natural bristles and synthetic fibres, allowing for a light wash of colour.

187 Duo Fibre Face Brush - A large full circular brush used for lightweight application and blending of face powder or pigments. Use to create soft layers or add textures. Made from a soft blend of goat and synthetic fibres.

Just as with the Strength collection, my favorites from this collection are the lip products!  The Lipsticks contain several solid offerings, these are more neutral shades than the other collection.  Haute Attitude is a sheer blue pink that will be great for my skintone and I will be able to wear this shade all year long, I must seek this color out the next time that I go to the counter.  Apres Chic is the other lipstick shade that I want is Apres Chic, of course I would want yet another MAC red lipstick shade.  I wonder if their is a contest for who loves MAC red lipsticks the most in the world...

I am not into the Mineralize Eye Shadows in this collection, this is not going to be the collection that will convert me to using this formulas.  I don't like any of the shades and won't be trying any of them.  Perhaps if I can find a collection with shades that I prefer, I will be more likely to try them out.  The eye shadows are extremely sheer and will need to be built up to create color.  Maybe the spring color collections will have a better selection of the Mineralize Eye Shadow shades. 

I might consider trying one of the Mineralize Blushes, Gentle is a pretty raspberry shade but I will need to see how warm it is.  It has gold veins in it and therefore I hope it doesn't wash me out.  I must try this one as the counter, I can't order it online.  I am not really interested in either of the Mineralize Skinfinishes, I would be more likely to purchase one of these if the makeup artist at MAC recommended a great shade for me.  I will need to ask some questions the next time that I go to counter, I have two artists that I completely trust at MAC and I will get some opinions on how they think these products will work for me.

To round out my shopping list, the Nail Lacquer in Dangerously Fun will be added to my order.  I have been all over red nail polishes lately and this one is slightly more pink than the last few that I have bought. 

I think this collection will have more universal appeal than Strength, the shades are much easier wear and will work for more skintones than those.  I wish that the Mineralize Eye Shadows work be more appealing to me since I would be interested in trying one or two out but I dislike every single one of these shades.  Maybe next time...

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

MAC Strength

Strength is the first of the two full color collections that MAC came out with this week, we will look at Apres Ski tomorrow.  I heard a rumor that only Apres Chic will be coming to the counters and that Strength will be an online and free standing store only release however I have not been able to reach my local counter and get the rumor confirmed or denied.  I am hoping that this rumor is very wrong since this is my favorite of all the collections that were released in this round of MAC collections.  Whatever happens, I do know that I will be ordering some of the products from this collection from the website, I am so excited for the lipsticks in this collection and I will order them as soon as possible!

This collection consists of a bunch of new eye makeup products and then a few selections for the cheeks and lips.  This collection has more of the Eye Shadow x 4 product in them, I have had some very mixed reactions to these quads.  I have one from a limited edition collection from late 2010 that had a quad that I loved (the collection had something to do with cats and all the shades were neutrals) but so many of the other quads have questionable quality of the shadows.  Almost every single limited edition quad that has been released recently has had one or two good quality shadows but one or two that are horrid.  Also, many of the quads have not contained only limited edition shades but are a combination of permanent and limited edition shades, but the limited editions shades are the lower quality shadows.  Therefore, it makes no point to purchase any of the quads since I could buy the regular shadows themselves if I like the shades that much.

Strength is described on the MAC website as follows, "Flex your femininity with a colour collection that's fearless, elegant and strong. Strike a powerful pose, stand out, redefine the notion of beauty - and do it with strength too irresistible to ignore."  I am all about strong lip and nail shades for the winter and then into the spring so I am excited to do some shopping from this collection!


Eye Shadow x 4: All Woman - An Eye Shadow Quad in four shades: Flawless Figure, Brains and Brawn, All Woman and Black Magique. The highly pigmented powder formula applies evenly, blends and builds beautifully.
- Flawless Figure - pale warm shimmering white (Veluxe Pearl)
- Brains and Brawn - midtone taupe (Matte)
- All Woman - greenish dark gray (Satin)
- Black Magique - deep dark black with warm tones (Velvet)

Eye Shadow x 4: Inner Strength - An Eye Shadow Quad in four shades: Lithe Spirit, Inner Strength, Fabulous Fit and Heatherbelles. The highly pigmented powder formula applies evenly, blends and builds beautifully.
- Lithe Spirit - palest white pink (Satin)
- Inner Strength - light cool mauve taupe (Matte)
- Fabulous Fit - midtone cool gray (Matte)
- Heatherbelles - deep charcoal (Satin)

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!

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.

Technakohl Liner - A mechanical pencil-style liner. In formula, soft and creamy, with an intense, rich, colour deposit. Blends on application: dries quickly to a long-wear, non-smudge finish. Versatile. An easy way to line the top and lower lash line of the eye. When applied at a 90 degree angle, provides a thin precision line. For thicker application, apply at a flat angle.
- Graphblack - rich graphic black

Kohl Power Eye Pencil - A kohl pencil that has all the intensity and colour power of ultra-soft carbon. Specially formulated to provide deep, fully opaque coverage, provides an intense, smoked finish with duo-chrome pearl. Versatile in application: blend or smudge.
- Feline - rich black

Lipstick -  Colour plus texture for the lips. Stands out on the runway. Simmers on the street! What made M·A·C famous.
- Pink Pigeon - bright cleanest pink
- Party Parrot - bright red-pink
- Strong Woman - bright violet
- Absolute Power - rich red
- Firm Form - gilded black with gold pearl

Lip Pencil - A pencil designed for shaping, lining or filling in the lip. Lip Pencils have a smooth, creamy texture that is perfect for lining the lips or filling them in. They are long-lasting and available in a wide selection of colours that each work well with many different lipstick shades.
- Lasting Sensation - bright coral
- Embrace  Me - vivid pinkish fuchsia

Powder Blush - Colour for the cheeks and face. Various formulas. Different looks.
- Taupe Shape - satiny taupe
- Poised - muted pinkish brown

Nail Lacquer - Revolutionary new high gloss formula. Three long-wearing finishes - Cream, Sheer, and Frosted. Visibly different. Provides no-streak/no-chip finish. Contains conditioners and UV protection. Go hi-lacquer!
- Muscle Tone - pale neutral nude
- Triumphant - midtone cool brown

275 Medium Angled Shading Brush - For applying and blending eye shadow. This brush has soft, smooth fibers and a full, angled design. M·A·C professional brushes are hand-sculpted and assembled using the finest quality materials. They feature wood handles and nickel-plated brass ferrules.

168 Large Angled Contour Brush - For expert application of cheek contour. This brush is a large angled contour - the fibres form a buffed edge and are soft and firmly bundled. M·A·C professional brushes are hand-sculpted and assembled using the finest quality materials. They feature wood handles and nickel-plated brass ferrules.

My favorites pieces are the lipstick shades, as we all knew that they would be!  My first choice if the bright pink matte shade, Pink Pigeon.  I want to see how this shade compares to Candy Yum Yum, I still haven't gotten a tube yet (website is sold out and there is no way that I would visit the mall right before Christmas) and I want to see if I need both of them or if one is better than the other.  Absolute Power is another great MAC red shade, so I will want to add this to my collection and Party Parrot is a red and pink hue that will be a great red for the warm weather months.  Those are my three favorites from the collection and it looks like my lipstick collection is going to get larger within the next few days. 

I am on the fence about the Inner Strength Eye Shadow x 4, I love these silver and lavender shades.  My concern is that the quality range is so all over the place on these products and if the product is not at the counter, then I will have no way to try it out before I order it.  I will have to find as many reviews as I can over the next week.  If the quality is there, then this will be a great palette to create muted silver and lavender smoky eyes and will contain come new highlighter shades for strong charcoal smoky eyes.  I wish the quality was more consistent on these products because this color combination has such potential...

The rest of the eye makeup is nothing that I must have right now.  I will buy the mascara at some point and I love the Penultimate formual however all of these products are permanent and I can buy them whenever I need to.  At the moment, I have no need of any of these items so I will just put them on the back burner for now.  Nothing in the rest of the collection really excites me, I would wear any of the blush or nail polish shades and I will just skip right over them this time around. 

Tomorrow is the Apres Chiccollection, the last of the new MAC collections and then we will see of Strength is still my favorite or if Apres Chic can catch my eye even more!

photo courtesy of MAC

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

MAC Pressed Pigments

Merry Christmas!  Yesterday we looked at the first of the four new MAC collections, the updates to the best selling Studio collection.  Today we are looking at the second of the more targeted collections, MAC has added a new product to the Pigment line of products.  Regular Pigments are sold loose and then can be used several ways.  They can be patted right onto the skin, this is how I typically used them as eye makeup.  Or they can be mixed with a number of liquid mediums in order to use them as eyeliner, hair glitter, lip gloss, etc.  The new version of the Pigments are sold pressed and therefore I imagine that they will be best used directly on the skin.  Let's see if I am right in my initial thoughts...

"Gorgeous eyes, from sheer and ethereal for day to intense and illuminating for evening. Shadows in complementary tones offer pigmented effects for a season of creative colour play. 12 stunning shades spotlight the eyes making them glow with brilliant accents. "  Unlike traditional Pigments, these appear to targeted only for use on the eyes.  I assume that they can be worn wet or dry, depending on the effect that the user is craving.  Both the description and the packaging remind me of Wet Diamond from Vincent Longo, a formula of eye shadow with more shimmer in than almost any other that I have tried.  I will have to buy one or two of these and see how the formulas compare.

Pressed Pigments!

Pressed Pigment - An intensely creamy highlighter offering extreme pearlescence and versatility of finish. Apply dry for a high shine, or on damp skin for a dramatic wet look. Provides eye-catching sheer-to-moderate buildable coverage and natural dimension finish.  Pressed Pigment is delicate. Please handle with care.
- Angelic - off white
- Light Touch - high pearl powder in W10 shade
- Flicker - pastel yellow
- Blonde Streak - light cream
- Day Gleam - high pearl powder in NC30 shade
- Enlightening - deep silver
- Blue Willow - light icy blue
- Sweet Acting - midtone pink
- Amethyst - purple with silver undertone
- Smoky - deep silver blue
- Deeply Dashing - high pearl powder in NW55 shade
- Jet Couture - charcoal black

215 Medium Shader Brush - A paddle-shaped brush with short, extremely dense, natural bristles. Pro-preferred for smoothly shaping/defining the eye with colour. Flawlessly applies both powder and cream eye shadows.

This formula sounds as though it will be much creamier than the Vincent Longo formula, however I am not sure that I am fully confident in stating that this is a cream formula since it can be applied wet or dry.  I have never heard of wetting a cream formula and that makes me think that this is a powder formula however the rest of the description doesn't really back that up.  I think that this will be a very unique it could either so fantastic or simply awful.  MAC has done this in the past with eye makeup and the formulas have been wonderful or horrid and I will buy some of these to see where this formula fits into.

I love the Amethyst shade and this is on my Most Wanted List for the upcoming month, this shade is a lovely lavender and it contained lots of silver shimmer.  I will use this shade all spring and I just really hope that the formula doesn't let me down.  I think that I will also purchase the Angelic shade as this off white will make a great highlighter shade for many of the eye shadows that I already own.  If the formula is good then I will want the following shades: Light Touch, Blonde Streak, Enlightening, and Sweet Acting.  I am think about spring shades at this point and I will be leaving the deep charcoals for buying next fall.

I am very interested in the brish that is recommended with the formula, I have a brush from NARS (No 15 Smudge) that looks very similar to this and I have never used it to apply a cream eye shadow (if this is a cream eye shadow!) and want to try using it in this fashion. 

This new product sounds as though it could be great...or could be a total dud.  I am confident that it will be one or the other, this is what typically happens when MAC tries to release any new formuls of eye makeup.  It makes me a bit nervous that I can't immediately tell from the description if this is a cream or powder formula, I will need to buy the two shades of this product that I want and report back!

Onto the Strength collection for tomorrow!

photo courtesy of MAC

Monday, December 24, 2012

MAC Studio

It is Christmas Eve and that pretty much means that we are coming to the end of the holiday season.  But while everyone else seems to be slowing down as the holidays are arriving, MAC has been speeding up and four new collections have been released on the website today and should be in the stores/at the counters by the day after Christmas.  Boy I hope that I will be getting some MAC giftcards under the tree tomorrow...  Four new collections releasing on one daymight even be a record for MAC, two of the collections are full color collections and the other two are slightly more targeted to specific areas of the face.  I am most excited for the Strength collection, I loved the first photos that I saw of the model and of the products in the collection and that will be the collecti
on in which I know that I will spend the most money!

We are going to start with the Studio collection, a collection that I don't need anything from right now but will investigate later on as I begin to run low on my foundation and loose powder.  I have really liked every single face product that I have used from MAC and it is one of the few companies that offers a shade pale enough to match my skin! 

"Developed with the professional in mind, a new collection that delivers the highest level of studio-quality performance, exceptional colour and coverage. Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation's one-step application gives skin a smooth, flawless, full-coverage finish in 7 new shades. Studio Fix Fluid Foundation, in an enhanced spectrum of shades, combines a natural matte finish and medium-buildable coverage to deliver healthier, fresher looking skin."  I will be looking closely at both of the powder and the foundation very soon.

Here are the new offerings in the Studio line...

Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation - A one-step application of foundation and powder. Gives skin a smooth, flawless, all-matte, full-coverage finish. Long-wearing: lasts for up to eight hours. A real all-in-one. The choice of pros, and a long time favourite of M∙A∙C fans.  Available in seven shades to suit all skintones.

Studio Fix Fluid SPF Foundation - A modern foundation that combines a natural matte finish and medium-buildable coverage with broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 15. Comfortable and long-wearing: lasts for up to eight hours. Applies smoothly, builds coverage quickly and easily. Contains specially treated micronized pigments and soft-focus powders for a super-smooth look that helps minimize the appearance of imperfections. Absorbs and disperses oil. Contains special skin-conditioning ingredients. Oil free.  New packaging is being phased in for this product. Your shipped product might look slightly different than the one shown on this site.  Available in five shades to suit all skintones.

193 Angled Foundation Brush - A Pro-quality foundation brush created to achieve a silky, flawless finish. Ideal for any M·A·C foundation, including new Matchmaster SPF 15 & classics like Studio Fix & Studio Tech. Use to apply, distribute and blend foundation into all areas of the face.

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

I didn't realize that this powder was actually a foundation too, I would still like to try it out even though I rarely use powder foundations.  My skin is too dry in the winter for this type of product so I am thinking that this product would be best for me in April and May, my skin won't be so dry but I won't have gone over to self-tanner and bronzer yet.  I will start looking at the liquid foundation a bit earlier, I still don't need a new bottle but I should start getting ready for when my current bottle of NARS dies and this formula sounds fabulous so I will head to the counter and try this formula on my skin.

So these are the new additions to the Studio collection, next we are going to looked at the Pressed Pigments collections and then save the color collections for after.

photo courtesy of MAC

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Vincent Longo Large Eye Shadow Brush #22

I have mostly been talking about product themselves lately but today I want to turn the tables and talk about one of the brushes that works to make my makeup great.  After all, makeup only looks as good as the user can apply it and a good brush arsenal is the best way to get a flawless makeup appliction.  Most of you will remember that I tend to rave about NARS Eye Makeup Brushes and these are still my favorites on the market, you can get nothing better than a NARS eye makeup brush.  Today we are going to look a little-known jewel in my collection, the Vincent Longo Large Eye Shadow Brush #22, this is a huge eye shadow blending brush.  This one is even larger than the NARS #3 Eye Shadow Brush,  a Holy Grail of mine.

The Eye Shadow Brush #22 is best used for blending, this is just too large to deposit pigment and it will create a bit of a mess if you insisit on using it in this fashion.  "This eyeshadow brush should be used to apply your lightest shade of eyeshadow across your lid. Its large size and softness facilitates blending all shades of eyeshadow together at the end of your application for a seemless finish." 

Vincent Longo suggests that this brush can used to apply the highlighter shade of eye shadow or to apply your eye shadow if you like a sheer wash of color.  Maybe my eyes are much smaller than the ladies that this was designed for, but I find this brush to be too large to deposit pigment in any organized fashion.  "Dip the brush into the #1, Sun, or Sex shade of your trio shadow. Use small circular motions to apply the color over your lid from the lash line to the brow bone. When all eye color has been applied, gently sweep the brush over the whole lid to blend everything together."  Blending and bringing the look together is where this brush excels and I recommend that you use it in this fashion, one or two sweeps of it will quickly blend all your eye makeup and provide the perfect finishing touch for any eye look. 

How is this brush different from NARS #3 and do you need to own both?  No I don't believe that you MUST own both but it certainly would be helpful to own both sizes.  The NARS brush is slightly more all purpose, this brush is small enough to deposit highlighting shadow but is still a good enough size to blend all your eye makeup after application.  If you can only own one, then I still recommend that you buy the NARS brush, you will get more overall use from it.  The Longo brush is larger and fluffier and I cannot apply eye shadow with it, it works very well to blend but using it to apply pigment can create a huge mess on the eyelid.  This brush is a nice to own but you could get by without it...but I don't recommend it!

I ordered this brush from the Vincent Longo website when I wanted another eye shadow brush for blending.  I have been doing many bronze and gold eye looks and blending is very important to pull these eye makeup looks off.  Also, blending is really important when I try to mix rose and gold shades to create a rose gold gilded eye look, both of the Longo and NARS brushes will provide the result but the Longo brush provides a quicker blending experience and the overall effect is slightly softer.

photo courtesy of Vincent Longo

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Benefit Erase Paste

It is officially winter and between holiday stress and the end of the semester stress, my skin is looking worse than ever.  In addition to how pale and dull I fear that it looks, my dark undereye circles seem to be more defined and darker than ever before.  The MAC concealer that I have been using for the past few months now doesn't seem to be doing anything and I need a product with a thicker texture and much more pigmentation for this area.  I was considering ordering another tube of Amazing Concealer, a product that has done a great job for me in the past but I wanted to read the reviews of all kinds of concealers on the Sephora website and see if there is a gem that I haven't tried yet.  At this point in time, I am over the holidays and just want the fuss to be over with so that I can battle winter head on and go right into a very hard next semester.

Ignoring all the holiday gifts and glitz, I went right to the Makeup area of the website.  There is no point in me going to the store this time of the season, I will not get anywhere near the counters with all the holiday shoppers trying to get the last few people crossed of their lists.  Based on the fact that I had to order online and cannot try shades or formulas, I wanted to stick with a vrand that I have used many items from before and have trusted for a few years now, when Sephora is empty at the end of March, I can try something totally off the wall and from a brand that I have never tried anything from.  Also, I wanted to find a product that I could trust and that I knew would work the first time that I used it and I wouldn't then have to find another product to order.

Based on the brand's reputation and the reviews that I found on the Sephora website, I decided to order the lightest shade of Benefit's best selling concealer, Erase Paste.  "A brightening camouflage for the eyes and face.  Benefit Erase Paste is a concentrated, creamy, blendable concealer that instantly brightens and camouflages all-in-one. It has an innovative formula which makes sure signs of stress and fatigue are a thing of the past. These three brightening neutral shades give every gal correction perfection.  Erase Paste includes a step-by-step concealing and brightening lesson and a handy little spatula."

This concealer comes in three shades; one for fair skin, one for medium skin, and then one for darker skin tones.  Of course, I ordered the fairest shade in this product, my skin is at its palest in the winter and I won't get any color until I begin self tanning next summer.  The lightest shade is the best for my skintone, it is pretty light and I would think that most ladies will use the middle shade in the range.

Benefit suggests the following usage for this product, "Scoop a tiny amount out of jar with spatula. Dot with ring finger onto any shadowed areas under eyes or on face.   Blend evenly and smoothly."  The first time that I used this product, I dipped my concealer brush right into the jar and barely any product stuck to it, I then tried to put the brush in on its side and still got next to no product sticking to the brush.  The next time that I used the product, I decided to actually follow the directions provided by the company and this time around it worked much better.  I used the spatula one time to get the product out, however I also found out that I can dip my fingertip right into the product and then dot the product onto my undereye area.  Either way works, but I don't recommend trying to dip the brush right into the product itself.  The concealer is thicker than many other formulas, so once I get out it, I have to warm it up in between my fingertips in order to best apply it.  Once I have it dotted in place, then I can blend it with a flat concealer brush and set it with loose powder. 

I use the product mostly for dark circles, I have not yet had any blemishes that have needed to be covered.  I bet that it will work very well for blemishes since it it so thick a formula.  I would not recommend this formula for those with very oily skin, since it has the potential to only make it worse.  This formula is best for normal to dry skin that is in need of good spot coverage.  The light reflecting particles may this product recommended more for use on dark circles, they help to conceal them and improve the overall appearance of the area.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Friday, December 21, 2012

Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb

One of my newest perfume obsessions is one that has been on the market for several years now and has been a consistent best seller at Sephora, Flowerbomb by Viktor and Rolf.  I remember vaguely when this fragrance was first released, I tried it sometime in the warm weather and passed over it since I then decided it was too strong and spicy for that time of the year.  As it often happens, I wanted to go back and try it again when it is would be more appropriate but I ended up passing over it for all the new fragrances that had been released in the fall months.  I remembered that it was a spicy floral, not a top choice of mine so I often skipped over it for fragrances that were more on the pure floral side.

I ended up trying this fragrance out again last fall, a sample was included with an order that I made from Sephora.  I first tried it right after Labor Day and it was still too strong to wear at that point.  In October, I returned to the sample and used it every day for about a week.  Yet I was still undecided on my opinion of it.  Obviously, I loved it enough to keep wearing, if I would have hated it then it would have ended up in the trash can after three wearings (I always try to wear a fragrance three times before I decide if I will purchase a large bottle or not).  After using through the whole sample, I knew that I really liked it and wanted to get my hands on at least another sample or a small bottle of the fragrance.  Right around this time, Sephora offered a good sized bottle of this fragrance as their 100-point BI perk and I jumped at the chance to get more of this fragrance.  I have been using this small bottle for the past month and now I have collected my thoughts and made decisions on this fragrance.

Flowerbomb is the type of fragrance that it took me a longer amount of time than usual to fall in love with, but I fell harder for it than I have had for many fragrances on the market.  The spice notes in this fragrance set it apart from the rest of the florals on the market and make it much harder to wear, this fragrance is on the stronger side and works best at night or in a professional environment.  This is not a floral that I would wear with a sundress on a casual day.  This is fragrance that works best with stilettos...

The Sephora website carries all the sizes of this fragrance and many matching body products.  "This floral explosion releases a profusion of flowers that has the power to make everything seem more positive. Magically evocative notes immediately awaken your deepest senses, giving you the impression of living life in your own secret garden, away from reality. Sambac jasmine, centifolia rose, cattleya orchid, and ballerina freesia bloom on a base of patchouli."

The notes of this fragrance are: Sambac Jasmine, Centifolia Rose, Cattleya Orchid, Ballerina Freesia, Patchouli.

This fragrance starts out soft and floral, the first few sprays of it are very similar to many other floral fragrances and it made me wonder why this one was considered to be so unique.  After the initial drydown, the Jasmine, Rose, and Patchouli notes come out and settle on the skin.  The Rose fades out after several hours and the Jasmine and the Patchouli are left and these are the two notes that I can smell on my skin the rest of the day.  The fragrance becomes much spicier and more unique as the heart notes come out and it dries down. 

This fragrance is a combination of white and pink florals, the pink florals smell the best on my skin but the white florals makes the fragrance last for more than 12 hours on me.  This combination is the best of both floral worlds for me and I love how this fragrance was crafted and came together.  this fragrance will be one that I wear in my current profession and then later on when I graduate with my my masters degree.  I will need to buy a full bottle of this, however once I finish up my large sample of this, we will be heading into spring and I wouldn't be wearing this fragrance at that time of the year.  I am aiming to buy a new bottle of this next July or August and to have the room cleared off on my bureau to start wearing it at the end of September.  I may have found a new fragrance to introduce into my elite list of ten favorite fragrances!

photo courtesy of Sephora

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Phyto Huile d'Ales Pre-Shampoo Intense Hydrating Oil Treatment

I haven't posted about Phyto in months now, I still love this haircare line however it is getting to the point where I own almost every single product in the line and I have reviewed most of the them.  I do wish that this company would release more new products than they currently do, I have loved lamost every single product that I have used from this French company and I would buy as many new products as they would bring out.  The other week in Sephora, I repurchased a product of theirs that I had first used in college and itis just as good as I remembered it from all those years ago.  Winter is the perfect time for me to use hydrating skin and hair products as this is when I will reap all the benefits that they have to offer.

The Huile d'Ales Pre-Shampoo Intense Hydrating Oil Treatment is actually the first product that I ever purchased from this company, way back in 2004.  I bought this hair treatment when I was an associate at Bath and Body Works and I visited the King of Prussia store for the first time and I got all the exposure to brands other than their house brands.  This was even before King of Prussia had a Sephora in the mall and this was one of the few stores that I could play with all kinds of beauty brands and find out all kinds of information about brands that I had never heard of.  I am still waiting for King of Prussia to get a Space NK or a Blue Mercury...

Huiles d'Ales is one of those products that you will either love or hate, it is one of the most intense hydrating treatments that I have ever used and is great for someone with dry, thick, and/or coarse hair.  If your hair is oily or fine, then this product will be the kiss of death for any volume that you are attempting to induce into your hair.  This is a product that is very similar to the Ojon Hydrating Treatment but without the awful smell...

"A moisturizing pre-cleansing ritual for dry hair.  Created in 1967, this original rejuvenating formula is named after the Phyto founder himself. Its unique blend of essential oils revitalizes the tresses, restoring healthy radiance to dry hair.  This water-soluble complex can be safely mixed into the coloring process to protect hair and scalp from damage."  I have never mixed this into any type of hair color but I will bring this product to stylist and see what she thinks about this and how/if it could be done.

I have used this product in two different ways.  In each case, I use one entire vial of the oil and pour it into the spray bottle that is provided with the product.  I spray the oil all over my hair (mostly from the ear level and down) and then wrap a towel around my hair and let it sit for about half an hour.  I have used it with the just the towel several times and other times I have used a hair dryer blowing directly on my head for most of the half hour in order to keep the product hot.  Most stylists and chemists believe that the product will penetrate deeper if continous heat is applied and then I reap more rewards from this product.  I prefer to use a hair dryer with this product but I haven't always had the time to simply devote half an hour just to my hair.  I am more likely to use this product and wrap up my hair while doing homework or blogging.

This product is a very intense hydrator and you will see results from it, my hair is much softer and very shiny after use of this product.  However, I do not recommend using this product right before you plan to go out, it left my hair worse before it started to get better.  Let me explain fully.  Right after I use this product, I need to wash my hair twice to get all the excess oil out and then I condition my hair like I normally would.  With this method, I usually cannot get all the excess oil out and my hair will look awful for the rest of the next/the next day (if I do it at night).  My hair acts like it is pouring outside and behaves like the humidity is 100%, lots of frizz and hard to style.  As soon as I wash and condition it again at night, it straightens perfectly the next day and garners me tons of compliments on how pretty it looks.  I prefer to use this product at night and then only before a day where I know that I will be going nowhere for about 24 hours.  I am going to try to get my hair into a top knot the day after using this product and see if I can improve the appearance a bit of my "day after treatment" hair.  I will report back as to how this works.

The smell of this product is so much better than the Ojon treatments, this product has a very strong herbal smell but it is still very pleasant and does not detract from the formula.  Everyone knows that I cannot stand the scent of the Ojon product and it is a trial for me to ignore it while it is working wonders on my hair, this product works the wonder but doesn't make me gag while it is sitting on my head.  I use this product once every two weeks, Phyto suggests using it once a week but with the time that it takes for my hair to improve after the treatment, I cannot devote one day every week to not leaving my home.  I really don't believe that it needs to be used once a week unless your mix chemical treatments and your hair is really bad, once every two weeks is enough to reap all the benefits without wasting product. 

My only thoughts on improving this product is the packaging, the vials are pre-measured as to the amount that Phyto thinks should be used.  The amount is best for medium hair, if your hair is long then you need about two vials and if your hair is short then you are wasting product by having to use the whole vial.  If it was up to me, I would prefer this product to be contained in a regular size bottle and the user can decide how much they wish to pump out.  This is my only complaint with the product and it isn't that much of one (at least for me).  One vial is pretty much perfect for my hair, I wouldn't mind using a bit more but two vials would be too much for it and I only use one. 

This product is a great deep treatment for dry or chemically treated hair, it will hydrate any dry areas and improve the shine factor and the overall appearance of the hair.  This was my first love from Phyto and continues to remain a favorite treatment of mine.  If you love the effect of the Ojon products but hate the smell, this product will be a favorite.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

MAC Candy Yum Yum is Permanent!

Earlier this year, MAC allowed their fans to pick from some of the best shades that had been discontiued or only part of limited edition collections.  Candy Yum Yum was my choice for the Lipstick category, this lisptick shades was originally released in the spring of 2011 with the Quite Cute collection.  This collection contained all shades of pinks and other candy-inspired pastels and was a best selling collection for MAC.  If my memory serves me, I wanted Candy Yum Yum right when it came out but it is one of those products that sold out within hours of hitting the website and was completely done after the pre-order at the counters.

Candy Yum Yum easily won the Lipstick category in the By Request collection and the same fate befell this lisptick shade.  It sold out in minutes and I never got to the counter in time to buy the shade.  I just kept waiting for a restock and then started trying to match a picture of it to shades in the regular MAC Lipstick collection.  But I now can stop obsessing...because as of today Candy Yum Yum is permanent!

""The Lipstick dreams were made of" is back so you can get your fix of the vibrant, matte pink of Candy Yum-Yum. The colour most coveted by Makeup Artists and enthusiasts alike in M∙A∙C By Request is now available to you permanently. Enjoy!"  One of the biggest trends for this spring is bright neon matte lips so I would have wanted this shade even if I hadn't spent so much time trying to find it earlier in the year.

Lipstick - Colour plus texture for the lips. Stands out on the runway. Simmers on the street! What made M·A·C famous.
- Candy Yum Yum - neon pink (Matte)

Already this lipstick is out of stock but I am much more content with having to wait this time around since I can get it anytime.  I am so excited to finally get a tube of this shade for the spring months and to be able to wear it!

photo courtesy of MAC

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Essie Repstyle Nail Polish Collection

We are well past the holiday nail polish collections but not yet to the spring nail collections.  Right now is the time of the year that I tend to use reds and jewel toned shades every single day and dream of the pinks and neons that are coming in the next few months.  Essie has just released another winter collection, one that is not really holiday but that we can wear for the rest of the cold weather. 

Nail art and textures have been very popular for the past few months and after looking at the Spring Trend Report from Allure, nail art will not be going anywhere over the next few months.  I have decided that I will try some simple nail art looks using some of the half moon and French manicure ideas that I saw on the spring runways.  I will also consider trying the magnetic and sprinkle finish polishes, these don't bother me the way that traditional nail art does.  Essie has now given me a different type of textured nail art to try with the release of the brand new Repstyle collection for the end of the winter.  Repstyle reminds me more of the magnetic look, it is one shade and then a different type of print appears on the nail. 

"My Repstyle is magnetic enough to attract anyone." is the quote behind this collection from the founder of the Essie polish collection.  This description makes it appear that this polish collection works exactly like the magnetic polishes that we saw from Nails Inc and China Glaze earlier in the year.  Those polishes worked with a magnet that was sold separately from the polishes, I can't tell whether or not the magnet is in the lid of the polish or sold by itself, I am sure that I find the answer to that question when I visit the counter at Ulta.

This collection is a combination of neutral shades and deep jewel tones.  First we will look at the neutrals as I think that these will be the easiest of the shades to wear.  The neutrals will allow anyone to ease into the nail art trend and will be the best to wear in most circumstances.  Repstyle is a "hypnotic desert bronze" with a shimmer finish.  This is a neutral bronze hue and will be able to be worn by any skintone, I rarely find bronzes that I can easily carry off but I think that this one is the exception.  Lil Boa Peep is a "copperhead titanium", this shade is a deep cool bronze that will be a great neutral for the cold weather months.  I love this shade and I think that this will be favorite of the neutrals.  Snake Rattle and Roll is the last shade in the neutrals part of the collection, this shade is a "venomous oxidized silver".  This is the deep charcoal with a shimmer finish and I love this shade also.  I think that Lil Boa Peep and Snake Rattle and Roll are my favorites in the neutral part of the Repstyle collection.

Now onto the jewel tones in this collection!  Sssssexy is a "striking, scintillating sanguine" or a deep red hue with a shimmer finish.  I don't own a deep red hue that I can create a texture with and I think that this polish shade needs to make its way into my collection the very next time that I go to Ulta.  I will wear this shade all throughout the rest of the winter and then I know that I will pull it out next fall when I get right back into deep red hues.  The second of the jewel tone shades is a deep green shade.  Crocadilly is a "croc hunter green" or a deep forest green with subtle shimmer.  This shade would work really well with all of my Eagles gear and I would pair this hue and Snake Rattle and Roll as an accent manicure on game day.  I want this shade also now...  The last of the jewel tones is another shade that I am totally in love with.  Snake It Up is a deep charcoal blue and one of my favorite hues from the collection itself.  "Pewter Pave Python" is the color description and I think it looks more like a deep navy with a charcoal shimmer finish.  We all know how much I love navy hues and this one is no exception.

My favorite shade is the deep namy but I must say that I want every single shade in this collection and I really wish that Essie would have brought this collection out much earlier in the season.  I should not be buying any more polishes until the spring collections release and I would really only wear some of these shades for about two months but I would put them away from next year and hope that the nail trends of this year continue into the fall of 2013...

photo courtesy of Essie's Facebook page

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sephora Collection Bubble Bath and Shower Gel

Sephora Collection originally had a bath and body collection several years ago and I had a bunch of products from this line, the Almond and Coconut was one of my favorite scents and I was so disappointed when this line was no longer made.  I haven't seen any body products from the Sephora house brand for several years now and I was just buying from Bath and Body Works and The Body Shop instead.  However it appears that Sephora has decided to re-launch their house body line and I first saw some of these products at the beginning of the fall/holiday season.  It doesn't appear that the scents are same but I am hoping that few changes have been made to the formula, I will have to buy a few fragrances in each product and find out. 

The Bubble Bath and Shower Gel was my favorite product from the original line with the Body Butter being a close second.  Also with these tow products, I believe that I see a Creamy Body Wash and a Body Scrub that were not part of the original line, I also believe that the original line had some type of lighter body lotion that I do not see in this collection.  I will be more than happy if the gel and butter formulas haven't changed and now I want to try the other two products.

"A moisturizing two-in-one cleanser that kisses skin with a delicate scent.  Refresh and de-stress with this multitasking bath and shower gel formulated with deliciously fragrant flowers, algae, and fruit extracts. Vitamin E softens and protects skin, while glycerin moisturizes and replenishes for a silky smooth finish. The sleek, modern bottle provides a burst of color that will brighten any room and your mood.  This formula is dermatologist-tested and safe for all skin types.  According to a satisfaction test conducted with 59 women: 95% liked its texture and 97% found its foam to be pleasant to the touch."

This product contains all of the typical ingredients that are found in most shower gels; SLS and Glycerin.  There will be nothing special that sets this formula apart but it performs well.  In the past, this formula always rinsed clean and never left my skin stripped (expect in the winter, which is to be expected from me), I grabbed one of the old bottles that I have of the original product and the ingredients are almost identical so I am betting that this formula works just like the other.

The fragrances that are available from the relaunched product...

- Coconut - warm creamy coconut
- Cotton Flower - clean cotton
- Lagoon - ocean air and tropical flowers
- Mango - juicy mango
- Monoi - coconut and tropical flowers
- Vanilla - sweet vanilla
- Lemon Verbena - herbal lemon

I am hoping that the Coconut fragrance is similar to the Almond Coconut, that was one of the best almond fragrances that I have ever used.  In any case, I know that I will purchase the Coconut fragrance in all the products since I love coconut scents and use them all year long.  Lagoon looks exactly like another fragrance that I had from this original line, I do not recall the name of the fragrance but they look very similar. 

In addition to repurchasing the Coconut and the Lagoon fragrances, I also want to buy the Mango, Cotton Flower, Monoi, and Lemon Verbena fragrances in the body products.  I am really excited and hoping that nothing has changed from the original line!

photo courtesy of Sephora

Sunday, December 16, 2012

NARS Makeup your Mind: Express Yourself Through Cheeks

About a week ago, we looked at the first of the two Makeup Your Mind sets from NARS, that day we looked at the eye makeup set and today we will look at the cheek set.  I was very excited about the eye makeup collection and therefore I doubt that I will be as excited about the blush set.  I love NARS Blushes however this set contains the Orgasm hue that I have owned for years now.  Orgasm was my first NARS Blush and my first NARS product in general and therefore it still holds a place in my heart even though I don't wear it near as much as I wear other shades from this company and from other companies.  Orgasm will always occupy a place in my heart...

Orgasm is one of the best sellers from NARS so I wasn't surprised that it is contained in yet another set but I do wonder how many more ladies do not own this product and would actually purchase it.  At some point, I would think that the market is getting completely saturated of this blush shade and all the spin-offs that have occured since its release.  I find that Deep Throat is actually more flattering to my skin and I have heard this from many ofhter ladies who have cool toned skin, I wish that a few more sets were done around Deep Throat as I would buy a set that contained a back up of this shade before I would buy another one with Orgasm in it...

This set is exclusive to Sephora and is still available on their website.  "A trio of products to illuminate your cheeks.  Turn the other cheek…to shimmering highlights and pops of color! Go beautifully bronzed one day and try a flush of blush the next. Released in conjunction with François Nars' must-have beauty manual, "Makeup Your Mind: Express Yourself," this set features everything you need to get your cheeks pinched. "

This set contains the following products...

Bronzing Powder - Nars Bronzing Powder is a true brown-based bronzer with a gold shimmer fusion that's excellent for creating or enhancing the look of healthy, glowing, tanned skin.
- Laguna - brown with golden shimmer

Blush - A soft, sheer pressed powder blush.  NARS Blush offers a range of translucent, natural shades, each with a subtle pink for natural blush undertone, created to highlight the complexion.  Designed to be worn alone or layered together for more depth, NARS Blush provides a healthy glow to flatter any skintone.
- Angelika - cotton candy
- Orgasm - peachy pink with shimmer

The Multiple - An all-in-one, cream-to-powder, multipurpose makeup stick.  NARS The Multiple beautifully highlights, sculpts, and warms the eyes, cheeks, lips, and body in an array of shades, from sheer accents to mauve and bronze.
- Copacabana - glistening pearl

We all know that I already own Orgasm and that I prefer Deep Throat so we aren't going to get any further into that.  I do not own Angelika and this is a shade that I would wear pretty often.  It is a bright cotton candy pink, a shade that I would find very flattering on my skin.  this might be one of my next blush purchases, I haven't bought a blush in months now and I think that it is time that I invest in another shade.  The Multiple is one of the few products that I have never used from NARS and has never really appealed to me, many of the shades would be best for tanned skin and I would need to use the product in the summer months only.  I would be more likely to use it on eyes and cheeks only, I played with one tester at Sephora and the formula felt too chalky for me to consider using on my lips.  This is not really a product that I will be going after anytime soon.

Laguna is the top rated and best selling bronzer from this company, I have been using MAC bronzers for some time now and next spring I should buy at least one or two more formulas from companies other than MAC.  This would be one that I would really consider buying, it has won Allure Best of Beauty Awards in years past and is always featured at Sephora.  I guess that I will begin bronzer shopping again this May...

I wouldn't buy this set, I would only purchase the bronzer and the Angelika blush hue.  I do love NARS products and this company puts together some of the best palettes and sets that I have ever seen.  I am much looking forward to the spring collection from this company and I know that I will be spending even more money than ever from NARS this year!

photo courtesy of Sephora

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Philosophy Miracle Worker Miraculous Anti-Aging Moisturizer

I have been working my way through the Sephora Beauty Insider Skincare Smaple bag that I received last fall, so far I have been very happy with the Lancome moisturizer that I tried first from the set and I had already bought a new jar of it by the time that I did the review.  I am now on the second product from the bag, Philosophy's Miracle Worker Miraculous Anti-Aging Moisturizer.  Many people who read this blog will remember that I love Philosophy skincare products and have used many of them over the years, Purity Made Simple still remains one of my favorite face washes that I have used.  Miracle Worker is a product that I had not used before but had always wanted to try and I jumped on the chance to try a huge sample of it when I decided to place my Sephora order so that I could qualify for the sample bag.

There are two formulas of the Miracle Worker face cream, the traditional and then a lighter, oil-free version.  I received the traditional version in the sample bag and this is a light textured lotion to begin with and I wouldn't even consider using the oil-free version until the spring and summer months, my skin is much to dry to use a light lotion in the winter months.  I actually wish that this product was offered in a third formula, a really rich and hydrating cream for those of us with dry skin.  This being the case, even though I do like this product a lot, I will not be purchasing the full size product until the spring months.

Sephora states, "A rejuvenating, age-fighting hydrator that softens, firms, and brightens the complexion.  This luxurious cream treats signs of aging and fortifies the skin's natural moisture barrier, maximizing moisture-retention capacity for healthy, soft, smooth results. Loaded with vitamin C and glutathione, this revitalizing essential helps enhance natural collagen production, promote longevity, and imparts radiance.  This easily absorbed, satiny formula is comfortable for all skin types." 

This product contains reservatrol, an important anti-oxidant that is being used more and more in face care products.  This ingredient was used heavily first by Caudalie and now other companies seem to be jumping on the bandwagon.  Vitamin C and Glutathione are both anti-oxidant ingredients and will help to enhance the effects of the reservatrol as they both help to enhance collagen production.  Aging bascially occurs when cells and proteins break down faster than they can be produced by the skin and this product will be helpful in reversing some of the signs of aging by protecting the skin from free radicals and helping to skip collagen production.  That being said, I don't have the visible signs of aging that this product is made to combat so I can't really comment on the full benefits of this product as I cannot reap them.

This face cream works very well to help hydrate my skin, it could be richer and I would only purchase this product from spring to fall.  My facial skin will get a bit dry a few hours after application and I do need to reapply it or use it with the hydrating face primer from Clarins.  This product is very much like the other skincare products from Philosophy, simple formulas that perform well without going above and beyond to change the skin.  This product hydrates well enough for normal and combination skin; I wouldn't recommend it for dry skin and I would recommend the oil-free version for oilier skin types.  The lotion absorbs quickly and doesn't leave any type of residue on the skin, I still wish that it was a bit thicker but that is my only complaint about the product and it simply means that I will not use the product in the winter months.

Miracle Worker is a nice face cream, but one that I don't really reap all the benefits of.  I would be likely to try more face creams from this company as I don't need all the anti-aging benefits that this product provides.  I still like that the formula is simple and doesn't contain excess ingredients that will only irritate my skin.  I do find Philosophy skincare products to be very good for skin that is sensitive or easily irritated and I think that this is one of the reasons that these skincare products always sell well. 

photo courtesy of Sephora

Friday, December 14, 2012

Spring 2013 Trend Report

In my last post, we looked at the Pantone Color of the Year for 2013 and now we are going to dive right into the Trend Report for spring.  Every December, Allure magazine gets us ready for the spring reason by publishing their Trend Report of the top trends that we spotted all over the runways.  I am already excited that I have been reading about bright pink lipstick being very popular and I want to work on perfecting a top knot before the spring months.  I just can't wait for the spring makeup collections and I have been doing this Trend Report earlier and earlier every single year but I just get so excited about all the new items that I am going to want to buy over the upcoming months.  So if you prefer to think about winter instead of spring collections, than just skip over this post and come back to it in two months...

So what are we going to be seeing this spring?  In a nutshell, we are going to be seeing bright eyes or bright lips.  All kinds of updos were on the runways and hair is bascially going to be worn up for the next few months.  Lastly, nail art and wearing a full range of shades for both night and day is going nowhere and I will be adding even more shades to my polish line up.  I think that some of the trends from the runways will be toned down a bit for real life, some of the hairstyles verge on the unwearable in daily life but I bet that we will see lots of these trends when the spring makeup collections are released.  I included one of the first pictures that I have found of the Chanel spring collection since that has been one of my favorite makeup companies throughout 2012.

The Spring Trend Report for 2013!

Evening Eyes - You know what's pretty?  Big, wide eyes.  You know what's prettier?  Bigger, wider eyes.  At Gucci, Pat McGrath used not one but two strips of false lashes on each ye to give modela a Bambi-like gaze.  Brown shadow and a healthy dose of mascara created the doe eyes at Cavalli and Lanvin.  Trick of the Trade - To get the look without gluing on fakes, curl lashes, apply mascara, comb through, reapply, and comb.  Then do it all one more time.

Day-Glo Lips - These lips are so hot, they're almost illegal.  (No, seriously - true neon pigments are actually banned in the U.S.).  To create the supersaturated, fluorescent red at Jason Wu, makeup artist Diane Kendal mixed red, pink, and magenta pigments, applied it, then topped it all with a sprinkling of orange powder.  "It's like cosmic couture." said makeup artist Lucia Pieroni of the Day-Glo melon lips at Missoni.  Trick of the Trade - These shades are already so bright, you don't need any more shine - so please skip the gloss.  "A glossy finish makes it look trashy.", said makeup artist Stephanie Marais.

Sculpted Updos - With patience, practice, and a small reservior of hair gel, stylists crafted intricate updos.  At Gucci, Luigi Murenu used shellacked extensions that looked like fans; at Altuzarra, Paul Hanlon modeled the hair into a precise loop; and Murenu's low, tight buns at Givenchy looked like blown glass.

Gym Hair - Now this is a look we can get behind: It's sexy, it's chic, and you really can't mess it up.  "The hair is meant to look disheveled." said Hanlon of the rumpled updos at Marni.  After prepping hair with a thickening spray, he made a deep side part, then gave all 26 models a slightly different variation of a ponytail-knot hybrid.  Trick of the Trade - Put down your brushes - but not your styling products.  You need a little hold to keep your knot from slipping out.

Outside the Lines - "Enough of the minimalism already!" was the message many makeup artists were sending this season as they exaggerated the natural shape of the models' brows, eyes, and lips.  Brows: Asked to create a look worthy of an Andy Warhol muse, Francois Nars used brown shadow to beef up brows until they looked like Edie Sedgwick's.  Eyes: Peter Phillips spread platinum cream around the eyes all the way to the brows, which were elongated to accommodate even more shadow.  Lips: McGarth tracted outside the natural lip lines with pencil, filled in the mouth with matte red lipstick, and then drew a white curve along the Cupid's bow.

Disruption - Floating eyeliner at Michael Kors, misplaced headbands at Balenciaga - things were a little off-kilter on some of the spring runways.  "It's just way more fun to be abstract and to do the unexpected." said makeup artist Dick Page.  Case in point: Those "bangs" at Prada were in fact the ends of the hair flipped up and over the forehead.

Blue Period - A memo apparently went around to just about every makeup artist: You can blend, smudge, or wing eye shadow, and liner can be on top or bottom - but it has to be blue.  At Stella McCartney, McGrath traced teal along the lower lashes, then left the rest of the face bare.  At Giorgio Armani, Linda Cantello layered shimmering sky blue over a wash of navy and slate.  Trick of the Trade -  Try a sheer aqua if you have pale skin, or a deeper cobalt for olive or darker skin.  Just be sure not to overdo it - pairing blue shadow with blue liner gets too costumey.

Digital Arts - It's time to admit that nail art might be more than just a passing trend.  In New York, we saw simple color blocking (Peter Som, Tracy Reese) and abstract design like the dripping paint at Prabal Gurung.  Trick of the Trade - French-manicure and moon-manicure stencil stickers are ideal for beginners looking to create crisp lines between colors.

Arts and Crafts - Eye shadow, lip gloss, rhinestones...bathing suits?  Makeup artists' shopping lists are getting weirder and weirder.  And as much as we love looking at these crazy-cool creations, no one is suggesting you try them at home.  Rhinestones: McGrath glued Swarovski crystals on top of brightly colored, shimmery shadows to create what she called "techno butterflies".  Neoprene: Philips cut up a bathing suit to create tiny strips of fabric eyeliner that he glued under the lashes.

I can already say that Arts and Crafts and Blue Period will not be looks that I plan to embrace this spring season!  Arts and Crafts is completely out, I might try a very sheer aqua eye shadow and see how the shade works for me but I know that I will not be diving into to either of these looks.  Disruption is another look that I don't think that I will be doing this spring, I am not very avant garde and I don't think that I would like any of the looks in this category. 

My favorite of the looks is the Day-Glo Lips, as we all thought that it would be.  I can't wait to use more of my bright pink and magenta lipsticks and I now know that I will be adding more of these hues to my collection, I can't wait to see what is in store for us this season with lipstick releases!  My other favorite look is Evening Eyes, I will be using lots of mascara and neutral eye makeup to create this look.  I am already so excited that I have both a lip and eye look that I love going into the season.  I am on the fence about Digital Arts, I have not been a huge fan of nail art but the creations for this spring are much similar and crisper than some of the designs that I have been seeing on Pinterest...I will NEVER do snowman nails!  I will try to remain open minded and buy one of the French or moon manicure stencils and see what I can create using only two shades of polish.  More to come...

I am so excited for the spring and I can't wait for the spring collections to start arriving!

photo courtesy of Chanel