Saturday, March 31, 2012

Estee Lauder Mad Men Color Collection

I have been a fan of Christina Hendricks for a few years now even though I don't get to watch Mad Men near as often as I would like to.  Noting how obsessed I am her look, you can all imagine how excited I was to see that Estee Lauder was working with creative team on the show to create a limited edition makeup collection for the spring.  This collection began to show up about two or three weeks ago and it came out just in time for the beginning of the new season at the end of March.  This small makeup collection is inspired by the show and the looks of the decade that it is set in, I would love to get this dressed up for my job every day!

This collection consists of only lip and cheek products, all of which are housed in a jeweled compacts that are as lovely as the product housed inside them.  From what I have been told by my mother, this is the way that cosmetics were traditionally sold.  First you bought the case itself and then you purchased and repurchased the product to put inside.  Personally I love expensive packaging and I think that I would like purchasing makeup like this, visions of a Tiffany & Co lipstick case are coming into my head right now.  Perhaps some past trends needs to come back very quickly...

I believe that this collection will only be at the Estee Lauder counters and the company's website so I pulled all of the information from the website.  "The heart of the Mad Men Look: Lipstick and Creme Rouge in elegant, vintage designs from the legendary Estee Lauder '60s collections."  I already spy a deep red cream lipstick from this collection...

Estee Lauder and Mad Men!

Mad Men Lipstick - Inspired by the award-winning AMC drama Mad Men, the must-have classic makeup item that captures the iconic cherry red lips of the era.  Lipstick case and carton are inspired by vintage designs from the legendary Estee Lauder '60s collection.  This limited edition lipstick lavishes your lips your lips.  Cream satin finish.  Smooth, rich lip color.
- Cherry - deep cool red cream

Mad Men Creme Rouge - Inpisred by the award-winning AMC drama Mad Men, the must-have classic makeup item that captures the iconic rosy cheeks of the era.  Compact and carton are inspired by vintage designs from the legendary Estee Lauder '60s collection.  This limited edition blush is creamy, light, easy to blend.  Dewy, smooth, natural finish.
- Evening Rose - deep cool rose

I love both of these products, the females on Mad Men all have pale skintones and since these shades were made to use on the show, they will be so flattering on my skintone too.  I love both of the two new products, I really wish that more would have come out with this collection since I know that I would want all of it.  If I had to choose my favorite piece of the collection, it would have to be the lipstick shade, I love this red.  However if I am being practical then I would buy the blush since i know that Iw ould use it at least three or four times a week.

I need to both catch up on my Mad Men episodes this season and I need to head out to the nearest Estee Lauider counter and do some shopping.  This might actually be my favorite collection from Estee Lauder and I would have loved if this collection was much larger.

photo courtesy of Estee Lauder

Friday, March 30, 2012

Urban Decay Lip Junkie Lip Gloss

I have been talking about my current lip gloss obsession for the past few weeks and now I have been doing some shopping to grow my collection.  This is a great time of the year to add to my makeup collection, Sephora is currently giving all of their V.I.B.s 15% off all their purchases for the next week, I have already made one decent sized purchase and now am trying to avoid the temptation of going back for a second helping in the next few days.  Must remain strong...

I first tried the Lip Junkie Lip Gloss from Urban Decay when a small gloss came for free with the Naked 2 Eye Palette, the Naked shade was included with the palette to complement all of the possible eye makeup looks that this palette provides.  I was so excited for the eye shadow palette that I pushed this gloss aside and vowed that I would come back to it when I had some extra time.  I finally dug it out the other week and began using it for the next few days.  An old formula Urban Decay gloss (named Lip Gunk, I believe) and I fell in love with it back in college.  Alas, this formula is long gone but I still love Urban Decay products and they make up a huge percentage of my makeup collection.

The Lip Junkie Lip Gloss boasts a super shiny formula with a bit of plumping benefits.  From the Urban Decay website, "Get hooked on shine, without the sticky hangover.  Lip Junkie features a soft, luxe texture, stay-put shades and tastes like wedding mints.  Addicted yet?  You want a super-shiny gloss, but can't stand the sticky texture, right?  Wait till you feel the soft, cushiony texture of this gloss!  Lip Junkie stays put longer than other glosses, but never feels gummy or gooey.  It comes in a range of pretty amazing shades (if we do say so ourselves) and the color payoff is amazing.  Take your pick from sheer pretty neutrals, kick-ass brights, or glimmering near-black.  And the flavor?  Think yummy wedding mints...a sweet mint with a little zing that makes breath feel fresh."

This gloss is one of the less sticky products that I have tried over the years, this is a great formula is you hate stickiness on your lips.  The formula applies fairly well, it comes housed in a slant tip tube and I apply a few dots to each of my lips and then rub them together to fully distribute the product.  I saw a slightly plumped appearance to my lips but nothing major.  The gloss looks much deeper in the tube than it actually comes out on the lip, the shades are quite sheer and easier to wear than they look in the tube.  The mint flavor is nice, I prefer mint to most other flavors/scents of lip glosses.  The plumping ingredient didn't irritate my lips or turn them red.  This product is primarily a gloss with a slight plumper to even out lip texture.  This product lasts about one to two hours on the lips, pretty typical for a lip gloss.  It comes off as soon as I drink or eat anything, this product could be longer lasting.  I wish that this gloss lasted longer but I say that about nearly every single gloss formula that I review.

This lip gloss comes in a range of shades but I only really like two of them...a bit disappointing since I really like this gloss formula.  Many of the shades really didn't appeal to me; the pinks were too light and the black shade is just wrong for me.  I received the Naked shade with the Naked 2 Palette and I bought the Jilted shade earlier today.  Naked is a great neutral but Jilted is my favorite of the line, it is a standout deep pink shade.

Here are the available shades in the Lip Junkie Lip Gloss...

- Naked - pinky neutral
- Perversion - sheer black sparkle
- Jilted - deep pink sparkle
- Love Junkie - sheer dark red
- Crush - bright hot pink
- Peroxide - light pink
- Wallflower - nude creamy pink
- Midnight Cowboy - sheer nude sparkle
- Red Light - bright pinky red
- Heavy - dark neutral
- Runaway - medium peach shimmer

Naked has a cream finish and is one of those neutrals that flatters pretty much the whole population.  It is sheer and the best shade to pair with a palette of strong eye makeup shades, it complements virtually any look or skin tone.  This one has no shimmer in the formula so it can be worn easily during the day and in a professional environment.  I can see myself purchasing a full size tube of this shade after the small one that came with my palette runs out.  Jilted is a bit harder to wear, it is very cool and a deep pink sparkle.  It is more pigmented than Naked and is best for nighttime and makes my lips the focal point of my face.  This is a very unique gloss shade and I don't think that I have seen one like this from any other line, I just love this shade.

I was considering purchasing more glosses in this line since I like the formula.  Midnight Cowboy and Perversion were way too pale for me to find attractive, I might be able to pull them off in the winter but not anytime when my skin is tanned.  Red Light and Runaway were much too warm for my skin tone and Heavy was too deep.  Perversion is just not for me...I can't do the black lips look.  Wallflower was the only other shade that I find attractive but it wasn't in stock at Sephora so I will need to go back to look at it over the next few weeks. 

This is a great gloss choice is you like a bit of a plumping effect and lots of pigment.  I love that this product isn't sticky but wish that it stayed around longer.  I am hoping that Urban Decay releases this product is more shades over the next few seasons since I love the formula but don't really like the rest of the shade choices.

photo courtesy of Urban Decay

Thursday, March 29, 2012

B. Kamins Soothing Day Cream SPF 15

Earlier this week, I wrote up about how much I loved my new face cream from Korres.  I still love it, it actually is one of my favorite things that I am using right now.  While I was thinking about how much about this product, I realized that I spaced out on writing up a review from a bit earlier in the winter.  I had been using a day cream from B. Kamins that I forgot to write about (I blame stress and Valentine's Day for this one!).  Before I forget again...let's check out this face cream from B. Kamins!  I have been using B. Kamins for years and it is another line of products that is getting harder and harder to find since it has been dropped from the Sephora line up.  I really hate that Sephora has dropped this and the Vincent Longo line but I know that business is business and there is nothing that I really can do other than try to find these products online.

B. Kamins has the Booster Blue line of facial products that I swear by for my dry, red skin in the winter and early spring months.  Booster Blue was my first experience with this brand and I still think that it is one of the best redness treatment lines available today.  Booster Blue is made for dry to very dry skin types so I can't use this line all year round and I still think that this line needs some version of a lighter moisturizer so that I can reap the benefits of the redness reducing all throughout the year.

The product description comes right from the B. Kamins website.  "A gentle, emollient day cream to help moisturize dry skin conditions associated with rosacea and related couperose skin complexions.  This hydrating, anti-oxidant formula helps to protect skin from UVA and UVB sun rays, which are known to be harmful to rosacea-type skin.  A high-performance daily moisturizer to help diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  A perfect primer for makeup."  This product is developed for normal to sry skin, especially those of us with major redness issues

This product is made to both hydrate and calm the skin, helping to both reduce the redness itself and to makeup application easier and smoother.  This product is fragrance-free, a fact that I love since so many lines add unneeded fragrance to their facial products.  In this case, this line is targeted to those with very sensitive skin and usually fragrance irritates the skin. 

Some additional features and benefits of this product were provided with the product description.  "Adds resilience and firmness to the skin with soluble collagen.  A perfect primer for makeup.  May also be reapplied over makeup without smudging or distortion.  SPF 15 sunscreens provide protection against harmful UVA/UVB sunrays that may aggravate rosacea-type skin and contribute to premature skin aging."

This is good basic face cream, I noticed very little redness reduction unless I used this product with the serum from the Booster Blue line.  I liked the texture of this product, it is creamy and hydrating without being greasy.  The cream is thick enough that I can only really use this product in the cooler weather, the humidity in the summer would make this cream slide right off my face.  I would only ever recommend this product to someone with normal to dry skin and has concerns about dryness.

I wish that this product contained a better SPF or none at all.  My skin tone is way too pale for a meager SPF 15, I need something closer to a 30 or above.  I actually prefer products with no SPF since then I can layer my own SPF underneath it and I can control the level of SPF as I need. 

I like this face cream and I wish that it wasn't quite so hard to track down.  With the difficulty of tracking this line down, I really don't know that I will be repurchasing this product.  I would be more likely to jump through hoops for the more targeted skincare products.  I would also rather have a product with a higher SPF or no SPF so I can control the level of it.

photo courtesy of B. Kamins

My Favorite Products at this Time!

The spring is now here and I am breaking out of all my favorite new seasonal products!  Currently my city is in a bit of a cool weather wave but the warm, sunny spring will be back by next week and I am not giving up any of my current loves just becuase I have to wear my trench coat every single day now.  Come to think of it, my trench coat is also one of my favorite pieces of this spring!

All I want is pinks and pretty lip glosses!

My favorites right now!

Bath and Body Works Signature Vanillas Lemon Vanilla Body Lotion - "Our Siganture Vanillas Body Lotion takes pampering to the next level.  Fortified with powerful ingredients like super conditioning Shea Butter, fast absorbing Jojoba Oil, and protective Vitamin E that hydrates skin with moisture that lasts all day.  Our non-greasy formula absorbs quickly and completely to leave skin feeling incredibly soft, smooth, and nourished, making it the perfect daily moisturizer.  Smooth over body to lightly fragrance and quench parched skin.  A bright blend of refreshing lemon and cool vanilla."  I love that Bath and Body Works brought their Vanillas collection back this spring, the Lemon Vanilla is the perfect light gourmand fragrance for the spring.  This one reminds me of lemon merinque pie and I had to go out and pick up a few more bottles of this lotion and matching shower gel!

China Glaze Nail Lacquer in Sweet Hook - "Unleash your inner color with China Glaze...your long wearing professional nail lacquer choice!  Long wearing formula with hardeners features great coverage and DBP free.  China Glaze Nail Lacquer makes nails look spectacular and dries in seconds.  China Glaze offers the latest technology in formulas and color selection."  Sweet Hook is a pretty pale lilac cream that is my polish this spring.  The formula is a bit on the thick side so the first few times that I used this, I really screwed it up and had to completely redo my manicure.  This polish hue takes some extra time to get right but look great once I have it on.  i have gotten so many compliments on this color and it might be one of the favorites for the spring.

Illamasqua Powder Blusher in Nymph - "Illuminate, radiate, make your face come alive with the colour and drama of Illamasqua Powder Blusher.  Colour-intense and highly pigmented, use it to shade, brighten, enhance, and define the shape of your face.  Be bold, be daring, be the centre of attention."  Nymph a "warm candy pink" with a matte finish.  Nymph is one of the lesser pigmented Illamasqua Blushes but it still packs a punch when applied to the cheeks.  My skin is still pale and I love how well this shade flatters my complexion while still be appropriate for all situations.  I love Illamasqua's Blushes and this is one of the best shades that they offer.

Korres Pomegranate Balancing Cream-Gel Moisturizer - "A lightweight moisturizer that provides a matte finish and pore-minimizing properties while leaving skin soft, hydrated, and balanced.  This pore-minimizing and mattifying moisturizer delivers immediate and lasting hydration while simultaneously balancing oil to combination complexions.  The unique lightweight cream-gel texture is formulated with a blend of 15% pomegranate water, pomegranate extract, alpine willow herb, and contains tannins and polyphenols.  These ingredients help reduce the appearance of pores and rejuvenate the look of skin while providing a matte finish.  Hyaluronic and salicylic acids combine to offer an immediate moisture boost while conditioning skin for an overall smooth appearance."  This hybrid product is a great product for the warmer weather, providing a bit of moisture to my dry areas while not making my T-Zone any worse.  It provides a bit of mattyifing benefits, just enough for those of us with combination skin.  I will be getting good results from this day cream all throughout the trest of the spring.

China Glaze Nail Lacquer in Sea Spray- "Unleash your inner color with China Glaze...your long wearing professional nail lacquer choice!  Long wearing formula with hardeners features great coverage and DBP free.  China Glze Nail Lacquer makes nails look spectacular and dries in seconds.  Chins Glaze offers the latest technology in formulas and color selection."  This shade is actually from the spring of 2011 collection, Anchors Away.  I first tried White Cap from this collection and now I have found another hit from it, Sea Spray is a very pale blue with a cool gray cast to it.  This shade looks like what rain would be if it was assigned a color.  This shade is one of the best hues for spring!

Spring is finally in full swing and I am loving it!

photo courtesy of Illamasqua

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Giorgio Armani Spring 2012 Collection

It is the last week of March and this spells the end of the spring collections, the summer collections are beginning to trickle out and I am actually on my last of the spring collections.  I saved the Armani beauty collection for last since I often lust after these collections but have very few chances to get my hands on any of these products, I have to order online or pick them up when I get into New York City.  Otherwise, nothing from this makeup line is really available anywhere around me.  I do feel somewhat bittersweet every single time that I review the seasonal collections from this company, I often end up falling in love with at least one piece of the collection and then I have a very hard time getting my hands on it and I have to decide how important the product actually is to me...

This collection consists of four key products for spring and doesn't focus in only on one feature.  This collection doesn't have a name or a description, something that I found a bit on the surprising side since Armani's collections normally have a theme that ties them together.  My early favorites from this collection look like they will be one of the eye shadow palettes and the new bright pink blush shade.  I am currently only looking for products and shades that will be able to see me all the way through the rest of the spring and then well into the summer months. 

Here is the last of the spring color collections!

Eye Palette - The new secret of radiance, the precious "Luce d'oro" pigment gives a special luminosity to the eye.  Two are the must-have products for the season: a palette that combines soft pastels with the luster of antique gold and one that presents a harmony of gold and copper accented with a moonlight silver.
- Eye Palette #1 - pearl violet/jade green/sheer gold/greige
- Eye Palette #2 - gray/metal fiber/copper pigment/crystal brown

Tourmaline Pink Blush - A subtle blush softer than the classic formulas where white, beige, and pink replace the classic white powders.  Micronized to the extreme, this blush leaves a translucent glow that illuminates every complexion.
- 1 - series of pinks and beiges

Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil - Pure wave of light in an exquisite texture.  Offered in two versions, antique gold and copper, this exceptional pencil brightens eyes with metallic definition.  Remarkably soft and creamy upon application, the formula is as precise as a kohl, as intense as an eyeliner.  It creates long-lasting, water-resistant outline which stays intense for hours.
- 4 Antique - antique gold
- 5 Copper - bright metallic copper

Gloss d'Armani Lip Gloss - Thanks to the exclusve Color-Fil Shine Technology, Gloss d'Armani has the abilty to form a supple mesh that traps pigments and pearlscent particles.  A supple, silky weave of shine, Gloss d'Armani stays radiant for over eight hours.  Four unique colours: Greige d'Armani, Caffeine, Wild Rose, and Blush.
- Greige d'Armani - cool gray beige
- Caffeine - medium brown
- Wild Rose - medium cool rose shimmer
- Blush - cool medum pink

I really only love two pieces of this collection, the eye shadow palettes.  I tried to choose one of the shades to call my favorites but I love both of them equally so I just can't decide.  I have heard many raves about the Armani eye shadow pigmentation and texture and both of these palettes possess a great range of shades.  Other than that, I like all of the other products but I don't find any of them special enough to chase down.  The blush wasn't quite as pretty as I thought that it would be when I looked at the picture in detail, it has too many beige hues in it for it to have that cool bright pink hue that I have been into this whole spring.

Well I can't believe that I am done with the spring collections!  Now it is time for the summer collections to begin rolling out!

photo courtesy of Giorgio Armani

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

MAC Perennial Pinks

I have been going crazy for pink shades the past two you guys all know!  I am not the only one though, the whole beauty industry has been very focused on pink hues this whole season and have been releasing so many great collections around this range of shades.  I am so happy that MAC has brought together a collection that is full of their best pink hues, I have been looking forward to spending some time at my local MAC counter and picking up a huge haul of new products.  Some of the best pinks that I have seen all season are from MAC collections and many of them sold out within days of hitting the website and counters.  This collection is named Perennial Pinks and it is a group of pink shades that are in the permanent collection and therefore shades that I have get much easier than the limited edition hues.

"It's Springtime...and colour is in full bloom.  Shop this online selection of our favourites."  I will be making a list of these shades and visiting my closest counter very soon!

Here are MAC's favorite pinks!

Eye Shadow - Highly pigmented powder.  Applies evenly, blends well.
- Pink Venus - washed pink (Lustre)
- Sushi Flower - pinky coral with pink shimmer (Satin)

Sheen Supreme Lipstick - Combining the colour impact of a Lipstick with the shine sheen of a Lipglass, Sheen Supreme creates the perfect hybrid - with no compromise.  Lightweight, non-sticky, slick to apply and comfortable to wear.  This is a must-have for all those who have created this kind of fusion.
- Behave Yourself - light blue pink
- Blossom Culture - soft pink with pearl

Cremesheen Glass - A lip finish that fuses the creamy, sheen-filled nature of Cremesheen Lipstick with the shine of MAC Lipglass.  Soft, comfortable, non-sticky.  Applies with a doe-foot applicator.  Use as a top layer to its namesake Lipstick or on its own.
- Fashion Scoop - clear pink
- Partial to Pink - light creamy yellow pink with light gold pearl

Cremeblend Blush - A blush that manages to make a simple blush state-of-the-art.  Creamy, easy to blend medium coverage formula imparts a natural finish that's smooth, dewy-fresh, long-lasting.
- Something Special - light coral
- So Sweet, So Easy - bright yellow pink

I'm not a fan of the pink eye shadow shades, I like the Pink Venus shade but I find the Lustre Eye Shadow formula to be very hit or miss, I have some great ones and some that I have to set aside so much extra time to use since they apply horridly.  I will play with this at the counter and then decide what I want to do with it.  My two favorite pieces are from the lip and cheek products.  I love the Cremesheen Glass in Fashion Scoop,  a very light pink shade that will work well in the spring and summer months.  My second favorite piece is the Cremeblend Blush in So Sweet, So Easy.  I love this bright pink blush and cream formulas are very often my favorite formulas.

I need more pinks!

photo courtesy of MAC

Monday, March 26, 2012

Korres Pomegrante Balancing Cream-Gel Moisturizer

Last week, I finished up my huge bottle of Clinique Dramatically Different Face Lotion, a product that I have been using on and off for almost an entire year.  I debated just purchasing another bottle of it since I really liked its performance and the texture of the lotion but I deicded that I wanted to try something totally different this time around.  When I made this decision, Sephora had recently released several new products from the homeopathic Greek skincare line, Korres.  Korres is one of the few skincare lines that I have rarely found a product that disappointed me in how it performed.  I have only used a few pieces from the color line of products however I have tried a variety of products from the skincare line.  The newest product that I decided to order from the Sephora website is the Pomegranate Balancing Gel-Cream Moisturizer, a lighter hydrator that will work well in the warmer weather months. 

This is a light to medium weight hydrator that also provides mattiyfing benefits to the skin.  "A lightweight moisturizer that provides a matte finish and pore-minimizing properties while leaving skin soft, hydrated, and balanced.  This pore-minimizing and mattifying moisturizer delivers immediate and lasting hydration while simultaneously balancing oily to combination complexions.  The unique lightweight cream-gel texture is formulated with a blend of 15% pomegranate water, pomegranate extract, alpine willow herb, and contains tannins and polyphenols.  These ingredients help reduce the appearance of pores and rejuvenate the look of skin while providing a matte finish.  Hyaluronic and salicylic acids combine to offer an immediate moisture boost while conditioning skin for an overall smooth appearance."

The Sephora website provides some of the results that were observed during the clinical trails of this product.
- 88% of subjects saw an improvement in skin texture
- 84% of subjects saw a reduction in surface oil and said skin appeared more matte
- 78% of subjects saw a visible reduction in the appeance of pores
- 75% of subjects saw a noticeable reduction in the appearance of redness

So far, I have been using this product for about a week (only during the day, I have am using the last bit of my Benefit face cream at night), this is too light for me to use at night.  My skin is becoming less dry with the advent of spring, however it still needs that dose of moisture at night and this product does not fully provide that intense moisture dose.  This product works well at balancing my dry areas and helping to control the oil on my T-zone, providing limited mattifying benefits.  The mattifying benefits in this product work well for slightly oily and combination skin but would not control the excess oil of very oily skin.  I would not recommend this product for someone who has very oily skin, it will not mattify well enough to suit them.

This product contains pomegranate to help brighten and clear up my complexion, the redness in my cheek area is reduced but not completely eliminated.  This face cream provides a great canvas for primer and foundation, I have had to use the same amount of face primer but a bit less foundation since I have been using this product.  Of course with the pomegranate in this product, it is considered an anti-oxidant and will help to protect against future aging.

This product does have a definite scent, it is herbal and I find it quite pleasing but it will take away from the product for those who hate strong scents in their skincare.  I can smell the pomegranate extract in this cream but also a herbal note of white tea.  I like the scent of this product but it might be irritating to some, a lighter mix of the scent in this product would be my only suggestion for improvement.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Sunday, March 25, 2012

LUSH Easter 2012 Bath and Body Products

Peeps!!!  My college is in the same city that the Just Born candy company was founded in so Peeps and all the rest of their candies have been a huge part of my life since I was a young child.  So I can't even think about Easter without thinking about those pink and yellow marshmellow chicks, I have already starting buying them for my family this year and I am gettting excited for the holiday itself so I can pig out on candy!  In addition to all kinds of candy, I have found some great new limited edition LUSH products that are Easter-themed.  Eating candy while taking a candy scented bath sounds like my version of heaven and these products might make my dream a new reality!

Here are the new Easter-themed products from one of my favorite body product companies!

Carrot Top Reusable Bubble Bar - Hop into the tub this Easter with our latest (and some might say greatest) reusable bubble bar!  This bubbly carrot may not improve your eyesight, but it will fill your bath with piles of frothy lemon and buchu scented foam.  Simply grab the carrot by its top (get it?  Carrot Top?) and swish, swish, swish around your tub.  This beauty is good for 7 - 10 bathes, so you should have lots to keep you busy until the Easter Bunny makes his to your house.

Immaculate Eggception Bath Bomb - Pink - The Immaculate Eggception is our newest Easter invention - and how innovative it is!  Inside each giant fizzy egg is a secret surprise.  What is it?  You'll just have to crack the Bath Bomb shell to find out!  Get a hold on your egg, line up the crease with the edge of a hard surface and give it one good WHACK!  Once it's cracked, you can drop the shell in your tub for a beautiful ylang ylang, grapefruit, and vanilla bath.  And of course, enjoy the mysterious treat inside too.

Immaculate Eggception Bath Bomb - Yellow - The Immaculate Eggception is our newest Easter invention - and how innovative it is!  Inside each giant fuzzy egg is a secret surprise.  What is it?  You'll just have to crack the Bath Bomb shell to find out!  Get a hold on your egg, line up the crease with the edge of a hard surface and give it one good WHACK!  Once it's cracked, you can drop the shell in your tub for a beautful ylang ylang, grapefruit, and vanilla bath.  And of course, enjoy the mysterious treat inside too.

Fluffy Egg Bath Bomb - Fluffy Egg is enormously popular every Easter.  While we love the cheery pink color, we think it might be because Fluffy Egg smells like vanilla ice cream that fell into a cotton candy machine.  The scent comes from the (now retired) Candy Fluff Dusting Powder, so those of you who adore Creamy Candy Bubble Bar will fall madly in love with Fluffy Egg.  This limited edition holiday bomb is better for you than chocolate, so you can use as many as you want - without the guilt!

Donkey Oaty Bath Bomb - We'll be honest.  We don't really know why we've got a donkey for Easter.  It's very odd.  We originally had the idea of creating a Bath Bomb pinata that you hung over the bath and then smashed, so we made a big donkey bomb.  Although we liked the idea, we couldn't work out what should be inside of the donkey (eggs?  A little donkey?) - so we made him a bit smaller.  Donkey Oaty has been blessed with the gorgeous Charity Pot fragrance, a beautiful and fresh floral perfume.

Hippy Chick Bath Bomb - Hippy Chick is back, and better than ever!  This grapefruit, bergamot, and frankencense fizzer has fluttered back into our hearts this Easter.  Hippy Chick is the Bath Bomb version of our best-selling Happy Hippy Shower Gel, which was one of our original Cosmetics To Go (an early incarnation of LUSH) products in the late 80s and early 90s.  Simon Constantine recreated its pink grapefruit fragrance when he joined the company as a perfumer, and now we simply can't get enough.  It's the perfect Bath Bomb to get you going in the morning!

I really only think that I need one or two products from this group, it is already two weeks until Easter and I don't have enough time to take 4 or 5 full bathes before then.  My first pick from the collection is the Fluffy Egg, I love Creamy Candy and therefore I know that I will love playing with this product too.  The other bomb that I would like is the Hippy Chick one, This one will be great to relax with as a the weather gets warmer or when I need a pick-me-up after the gym.

Peeps and LUSH!  Time to get redy for Easter!

photo courtesy of LUSH

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Tarte Spring 2012 Collection

Tarte is a product line that I have really been getting into after trying out their Tarte and True Blood Eye Palette late last summer.  I am still using the palette consistently and I have been liking many of the shades more and more over the past few months.  This company has a huge group of products listed under their "What's New" tab on their website and I am so excited to try some new products from this company, I am loving some of these new blushes on first glance.  The one item that I have wished that Tarte would release is still not in this collection, all I want is for this company to offer single eye shadows instead of only having their great shades in huge palettes.  I don't need any more eye shadow palettes but I just love their shadows so much that I will keep buying them every single season.

This company didn't have a specific group of products listed as a "Spring" collection so I just looked at what was listed as "New" on the company's website so I might have missed a product ot accidently added an extra one.  So I do apologize in advance if this isn't perfectly accurate but I know that there will be some great choices from this company and I can't wait to check them all out!
The newest products from Tarte!

Amazonian Clay Waterproof Eyeliner - Get gorgeous, defined eyes that won't budge throughout your day thanks to natural carnuba wax, our botanical waterproofing agent that forms an impermeable layer to protect against rain, sweat, tears, and creasing.  Carnuba wax also acts as a built in primer to ensure smooth application by softening the skin and icnreasing hydration.  Nature's most perfect ingredient, Amazonian clay, intensifies pure color pigments while working to nourish lids, reduce surface oil and improve overall texture.
- Olive - medium neutral olive green
- Golden Plum - deep warm plum
- Deep Teal - deep aqua teal
- Black - deep black
- Brown - deep warm brown
- Navy - medium navy blue
- Plum - deep cool plum

Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Shimmering Blush - As a follow up to Tarte's best-selling Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blushes, Tarte introduces the same award-winning formula in four brand-new shimmering shades.  Spiked with tiny, finely-milled specks of gold and silver, one swipe will add the perfect amount of sheen to your cheeks.
- Adored - shimmering light pink
- Glisten - shimmery peachy pink
- Buff - shimmering nude
- Frisky - shimmering bright coral

Maracuja Divine Shine Lip Gloss - Drench lips in healthy color and mega-watt shine while pampering them with the benefits of nature's pure miracle: maracuja oil.  Always hydrating and skin nourishing, each maracuja-infused shade will keeps lips moisturized while minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  The result: lips that appear fuller and more plump.
- Adored - cotton candy pink
- Dollface - pink grapefruit
- Charmed - pale pink
- Amused - hot pink
- Blissful - warm peach
- Glisten - peachy nude
- Tipsy - coral
- Blushing Bride - plummy rose
- Flush - berry
- Natural Beauty - cherry red

Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15 - Like airbrushed without the air!  Achieve total skin balance thanks to this Amazonian clay-powered foundation.  Whether your skin is oily, dry, or combination; this skin-smart foundation also reduces the appearance of pores, while minimizing discolorations and imperfections to ensure a perfectly flawless complexion.  Get 12 hours of flawless coverage with this long-wearing UVA/UVB SPF 15 formula.  With a weightless texture this buildable and blendable, everyone can achieve skin that looks healthy and natural.  Available in a full range of shades for all skintones.

Airbrush Finish Bamboo Foundation Brush -  Airbrushing without the air!  Achieve a flawless even complexion by applying our foundation with soft circular buffing sweeps.

Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara - Tarte's biggest beauty breakthrough, Amazonian Clay, is now exclusively available in this hydrating, replenishing, and reparative mascara, clinically-proven to increase lash volume by 121% instantly!  Just as it intuitively restores hydration and balances texture in skin, Amazonian clay intuitively hydrates, replenishes, and repairs dry and brittle lashes making this the first and only "smart" mascara that instinctively reads and treats your unique lash concerns, delivering the benefits you need and volume you desire.  In a consumer panel survey, 91% of subjects saw healthier lashes in just 3 weeks!  This high performance natural ingredient also performs by absorbing any excess oil to keep lashes balanced and keep product in place.  The result is healthier and more voluminous lashes that won't ever flake or transfer.  Gifted works overtime to keep lashes intact, healthier, and stronger by preventing lash loss and promoting lash health.
- Black - black

Lip gloss is my major interest from this collection, I really want to try this new formula and I already see some shades that I want to buy next time that I get to Sephora.  I love the pinks and roses that are available from this product with the following shades being my favorites: Adored, Dollface, and Amused.  I was very into lipstick all throughout the winter but suddenly I am craving lip glosses and again and these shades look great for the spring and summer seasons.  I'm not sure how I feel about the shimmer finish of the new blushes, they could be lovely against tanned skin or look way too dressed up for a day look.  I have a feeling that the finish on these might depend more on the shade and it's pigmentation than anything else, I will have to see these with my own eyes and decide from there on. 

I am also very interested in the foundation however I am not in the market for a new formula right now.  I will table this product until I am foundation shopping again and then I will see if I am still interested in it or if this company has released something to top it.

photo courtesy of Tarte

Friday, March 23, 2012

YSL Spring 2012 Collection

Warm weather is now officially here and spring is in full swing.  The collections are beginning to wind down and the beauty industry is already looking toward the summer collections and trends.  I have less than the five collections left to look at and I think that I will be down with the spring product by the beginning of April and begin moving onto the summer collections.  The look on the YSL model is one of my favorites for the spring, the brightly colored eye look.  This company's eye shadows are among the best in the industry so I very happy to see that they jumped on the bandwagon with this trend and are giving us some great choices to create this look.  With some of these dramatic eye shadow shades, I have been dying to try matching my colored eye makeup look with my pastel nails, I will be trying it out for going out first since this one will be way too much for the office.  I have been more into color this year than any other year before!

This collection offers two brightly colored eye shadow palettes so we have tons of bright eye makeup choices from this collection.  That fact really gets me excited since I now have a rainbow of hues to choose from this collection.

The newest collection from YSL...

Rock Candy 4-Color Eye Shadow Palette - For the first time, a spring look inspired by Lloyd Simmons, YSL's International Makeup Artist.  This limited edition eye shadow palette draws inspiration from a sweet treat and features four shades each with a different finish: matte, shimmery, satiny, and velvety for a fresh spring look.  Apply the darkest shades close to the upper lash line to intensify the eye.  Place the light shades on the eyelid.  Add a final touch of radiance by highlighting the browbone or the inner corner of the eye with the lightest reflective shades.
- pale pink/deep navy blue/bright magenta/medium lilac
Ombres 5 Lumieres Palette - A versatile palette of shadows in four captivating colors and finishes, ranging from shimmer to sheen and metallic to matte - and one coordinating highlighter. All shades harmoniously blend to create any look you desire - soft and subtle or dazzling and dramatic; your options are endless.  The silky, longwear formula is infused with an optical smoothing effect that reveals breathtakingly radiant color that look luminous in any lighting.
- No 13 - bright aqua/pale pink/pale mint/bright gold/medium blue purple

Voile de Blush Gel Blush - Voile de Blush is a water-based gel blush.  It provides a sheer wash of color to subtly tint your cheeks.  The ultra-light and refreshing texture allows an easy and flawless application to the cheeks for a radiant glow.  The result: a lowing, natural look, perfect for springtime.
- No 1 - bright red
- No 2 - medium peach coral
- No 3 - medium rose

Rouge Volupte Pearl Lipstick - This creamy and nourishing lipstick is enveloped in a luxurious gold case with the elegant YSL logo.  Lips instantly feel soft and supple, drenched in sophisticated color with a satiny-pearl finish.  The secret - an exclusive blend of nourishing and soothing ingredients combined with pearls to caress lips in a sensual shine for irresistible lips.  Long lasting and highly comforing formula, leave lips looking smoother, fuller, and more radiant.
- No 113 - deep wine pearl
- No 114 - bright pink pearl
- No 115 - neutral medium beige pearl
- No 116 - pale blue pink pearl

Manicure Couture Duo - Discover the new limited edition Manicure Couture Duo duos in candy colored hues created to perfectly complement the new Spring Look collection.  In two mouth watering color combinations: Bubble Gum Pink and Tangerine Orange, Mint Green and Chocolately Brown.
- No 7 - Bubble Gum Pink and Tangerine Orange
- No 8 - Mint Green and Chocolately Brown

The collections from this company have been getting better and better every single year!  This used to be one of the collections that I never really cared about and never bought any items from but I see so many products that I must have from this new series of products.  I want to start with both of the new eye makeup palettes with the Ombres 5 Lumieres Palette being my favorite of the two new products.  I am very interested in the new Gel Blush formula, I want to try the rose shade of this product.  Neither of the other shades will really work for me but I am hoping that the formula would work well for me since I ahve heard very good comments on gel blush formulas.  Last but not least, I must try the new lipstick formula in both of the pink hues that it is offered in.

I like both of the new polish duos but I can't really see that I will buy either of them.  The shades aren't unique enough for me to warrant purchasing them, I could buy any of these shades from China Glaze or OPI and I would have a much better shade selection from which to try.

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Thursday, March 22, 2012

LUSH Sugar Babe Body Scrub

Since my love for LUSH bath products is never ending, I have decided to start trying more of their shower and facial care products in the hopes that I find more products to use and love.  I don't need any skincare items at the moment so I decided to order a new product for my body and bought the Sugar Babe Body Scrub from this collection.  Normally I use scrubs from jars and this one is very different in that it is a solid bar of sugar and isn't mixed with a oil to change the texture.  So this was my first time trying both a solid type of scrub and a scrub from this company, I wasn't quite sure what to expect on either counts with this product. 

LUSH provides the following product description about this scrub, "Our solid Sugar Scrub is tough on cellulite and unwanted bumps, but kind on your skin.  It's no nonsense attitude doesn't waste any time getting down to business; sweetly exfoliating with Fair Trade sugar and stimulating circulation with fennel and ginger.  It's not all rough stuff though; calming lavender has a balancing effect and encourages healthier skin.  Get yourself wet in the bath or shower (but don't let the bar get under the running water).  Scrub, scrub, scrub and rinse away!  You'll be left with smother, cleaner, and radiant skin.  Water are you waiting for?  Get scrubbing!"

This product is preservative and packaging-free so it is very good for the environment.  However storage of it is very tricky, I had to store it in the plastic bag that it arrived in.  I couldn't leave it in the shower since it would dissolve if any water got on it and therefore I would lose the whole product.  I wish that LUSH sold a reusable container to put this product in, they do for other products and I wish that this one also had a container.  Even storing it in the plastic bag, I realized that this product was diminishing much quicker than it would if I had it in some other type of container.  This was my first disappointment with the product.

This type is scrub is very scrubby, much more so than many other sugar scrubs that have to be mixed with oils before use.  I liked this product on my legs and my upper arms however it hurt when I used it on my stomach and left marks after I got out of the shower.  I could only use this product on my legs and arms but I can't use this product all over my body, I have had reactions before with certain types of scrubs on my torso so I wasn't all that shocked when I couldn't really this product on all areas of my body.  However being that I can't really use this product as it is designed, I wouldn't repurchase the product again. 

The scent is ok but isn't really my favorite type of fragrance for body products.  It smells woody and herbal with a bit of a lavender fragrance added in.  I could stand the fragrance enough to get through the few uses of it that it takes to get through the bar but I wouldn't buy anything in this fragrance again.  I have seen this product released in other fragrances before in limited edition products, I wish that I had the Christmas version that was released a few years and smelled more like strawberries and cream.  That type of fragrance would make this product easier to use and deal with but until it is released again in that fragrance, I wouldn't rebuy this scrub.

My first experience with LUSH scrubs wasn't the best but I know that this company carries some of the best products in the beauty industry so I know that I will try other scrubs and body products from this company again.

photo courtesy of LUSH

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

OPI for Sephora Betsey Johnson Collection

Betsey Johnson is one of my favorite designers and I love her cocktails dresses more than anything else in her line of products.  This is the time of the year that I love getting dressed up and going out at night so I am so excited to wear my favorite dresses and heels from her line.  A few months ago, I tried out the newest fragrance from this designer, Too Too.  It was a nice floral fragrance but I didn't feel that it matched up to the high standards of Betsey's clothing and accessories lines.  I had been saving the rest of my bottle for spring since it is a lighter floral and now it is time for me to get it back out.  While playing around on the Sephora website, I found another exciting offering from Betsey Johnson, the OPI and Sephora line has created a whole line of polish shades for spring inspired by creations from this designer.  The perfume may not have been my favorite but I love the bright nail polish hues that I am seeing here.

This has been a great spring season for nail polish, I have foubd so many that I love in all variety of shades and finishes.  For the longest time, I only liked pale neutrals but over the past few months I have been trying every type of shade and I have been falling more and more in love with all shades of pinks over the past two months.  Pink has been my obsession since Valentine's Day and it will continue all the way through the rest o the season.  Betsey Johnson and pink hues have always seemed to go hand and hand so I am so excited that she now has a line of nail polishes out!

"The energetic Sephora by OPI Betsey Johnson Collection features seven striking hues as well as playful nail designs, long lasting trend tips, and the first ever Sephora by OPI scented polish -  a hot, neon pink shade infused with Too Too, Betsey's newest fragrance."  I see that a neon pink polish is the featured shade of this collection!  And that it is scented with Too Too, we have been seeing scented polishes from a series of beauty product lines this spring and they aren't a selling point for me.  I don't mind that the polish is scented but it wouldn't be a strong enough selling point for me to purchase the polish if I wasn't already a fan of the color.

Here is OPI for Sephora and Betsey Johnson!
Betsey Johnson Mini Nail Colour Set - A set of six petit nail lacquers in flirty hues designed by Betsey Johnson.  From wild brights to pretty neutrals, this collection of six mini nail colors from Betsey Johnson is the perfect accessory to any wardrobe.  The long-wearing, chip-resistant shades are full of personality and reflect Betsey's own style obsessions.
Nail Colour - Fashion-forward, wearable nail colors for the modern woman who is looking for an effective, safe, environmentally conscious brand.  Sephora by OPI Nail Color,  a line of 54+ trend setting shades, puts the final touch on fingertips and toes with a top quality formula you ahve come to expect from OPI.  The long lasting, chip-resistant polish ensures flawless results with each application, and its green ingredient list excludes DBP.  Sephora by OPI combines 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.
- It's My Pink! - opaque hot pink scented with Too Too perfume
- Forever Wild - opaque black grape
- Alley Cat - opaque fuchsia
- Cartwheels On The Catwalk - opaque sea green
- Pushing Your Luck - opaque red
- XOX Betsey - opaque sandy nude
- Sparkling Personality - multi-color silver glitter

Betsey Johnson Trend Tips - A collection of self-stick tips for a fast, flirty manicure anytime.  Get a trendy, attention-deserving manicure without a visit to the salon with this set of real nail lacquer strips designed by the fabulous and fun Betsey Johnson.  The fuss-free, self-adhesive strips are easy to apply and require zero dry time.  Decoriate with glittery skulls, romantic lips, or a hot pink cheetah print for nails that are full of personality.
- Skulls - pale gray background with deep charocal skulls with red eyes
- Cheetah - hot pink background with black cheetah pattern
- Lips - pale pink background with red and bright pink lips

My favorite pieces of this collection are the single nail polish shades.  My favorite is the It's My Pink! shade, I just have been loving these bright pinks this season and I will wear them all through the summer months too!  I also like the Cartwheels On The Catwalk shade, this is a great pale green and one of the best nail polish names that I have heard in the past few seasons.  The other shades are nice but I don't love any of them, I wouldn't mind having them but I'm not going to jump through hoops to find them. 

I wasn't very happy to see the picture of the nail polish set, I was hoping that it would be small versions of the Betsey Johnson shades but the ones that are pictured look nothing like the shades in the collection.  If the shades in the set were the exact ones in the collection, I would buy the set itself.  I'm not really into the decals either, it took me long enough to get into bright shades and the nail art decals are just too much for me to pull off.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Caudalie Lip Conditioner

Over the past few years, I have found a common beauty trend among almost every lady that I have talked to about beauty products.  The one common trend that I have seen over the years is that no matter what type of makeup style you wear or how high maintence you consider, everyone needs a great lip balm and this tends to be one fo the hardest products to find.  I rarely meet two people that love the exact same lip balm and I know so many people that continue to search and search to find their perfect lip balm.  I can honestly say that I haven't found my Holy Grail lip balm yet however Rose Salve is the product that has come the closest so far.  My major complaint with Rose Salve is the package, I hate dipping my finger into the balm and then getting the product all over my hands and this is not a practical product to keep in my purse and use during the day.

I was hoping to find a stick lip balm that is both hydrating and lasts longer than an hour on my lips, I wanted a product that I could carry around with me during the day and use to touch up when I wear a more drying matte lipstick formula.  So far, I have just been using C.O. Bigelow's Mentha Lip Shines but I was hoping to find a product that didn't have a glossy finish and would just hydrate without changing my lipstick finish or shade.  This became a much higher priority for me ever since I have been using the Illamasqua Lipstick formula, a formula that is matte and longwearing but can get very drying throughout the day.  I decided to purchase a new lip balm formula and went with one of the only products that I have never tried from Caudalie.

In addition to all of their skin and body care products, Caudalie makes one lip balm with the same type of anti-oxidant protection that is found in their facial products.  This is one of the top rated lip products on the Sephora website and based on how much I love the brand, I didn't hestitate at all to purchase this product the last time that I went to the store. 

"A total lipcare essential for everyone.  This 99.5 percent natural treatment provides a powerful blend of anti-oxidants and nutrients that protect, hydrate, repair, and soothe dry lips while lending antiaging benefits.  It makes an excellent lipstick base."  This product has two active ingredients, stabilized grape seed polyphenols and shea butter.  The grape seed polyphenols "offer the most powerful anti-oxidants in the vegetal world".  Shea butter "intensively hydrates" the lips and help to maintain their hydration level throughout the day.

This lip balm is pleasantly scented with a light fruity floral fragrance that is only really noticable during application.  I love the fragrance of this product because it reminds of the scent of some of the other Caudalie products but if you like your lip products with very little to no fragrance, this is not the product for you.  The texture itself is more of a waxy texture than a creamy stick, I was honestly expecting a bit more of a creamy texture just based on the other types of products from this company, I wasn't as huge a fan of the texture as I initially thought that I would be, it reminded me of Burt's Bees lip balm instead of a high end hydration product.  With the shea butter listed as one fo the active ingredients, I was expecting a very nourishing creamy stick instead of the waxy texture that was left by the product.  The product performed well in the hydration property but wore off a bit too quickly for my taste, I wanted something that would really last throughout the day. 

This lip balm performed like many of the others on the market, it helped to hydrate and soothe my lips but wore off withing an hour of application.  I am beginning to be convinced that I will never find a stick lip balm formula that is hydrating enough to compete with my Rose Salve, which is such a shame since sticks are what I prefer to keep in my bag throughout the day.  My hugest complaint with this product occured when I tried to use it over lipstick, it took way more product off than I expected that it would and created a cycle of repplication of lipstick.  It left my lips with a rich creamy look to then, I was happy that it didn't create that glossy finish that the Mentha created but it wasn't special enough to warrant me making this product my end all for lip balms.

This is a nice lip balm but I am beginning to think that I will never find a stick lip balm that I really love and is worth ending my lip balm search...

photo courtesy of Sephora

Monday, March 19, 2012

Make Up For Ever Spring 2012 Collection - La Boheme

Make Up For Ever has had some huge product releases over the past few months, making them a key brand in the front of my local Sephora store.  Lately, we have mostly been seeing brand new products for the lips and eyes but not actual new collections.  I was at Sephora the other day and only saw a huge display of this company's new lipstick formula but no type of trend collection or even a group of products that suggested to create a great new look for season.  Finding this somewhat odd, I decided to visit the Sephora website and confirm that nothing in the way of a trend collection came out for this company.  What I found was that a small spring collection was released however it will only be carried on the Sephora website and won't be found in any store.  Why?  Good question...I have no idea why the company would decide to do this since these palettes would sell out in the stores but I don't know what this decision was based on.

The new collection is named La Boheme, a French word translating out to "Bohemian".  This collection consists of an eye palette, a mascara, and then lipstick shades to complement the palette.  The eye palette is the hero of this little collection and I think that it will sell out quickly even though it can only be ordered on the Sephora website.  This palette will really be helpful in creating many of the colorful eye makeup looks that re so popular this season, this palette contains such a variety of shades that this might be the only palette you need this spring to try out some bright new eye looks.

Here is the La Boheme collection...

La Boheme Baked Eye Shadow Palette - A palette featuring baked eye shadow in six pearly shades for creating a range of soft, romantic looks.  Enriched with mineral powders and a high concentration of pearl, La Boheme Baked Eye Shadow Palette includes luminous shades with a lightweight texture and a silky feel.  Apply dry for a natural-looking result or wet to intensify the color and finish.
- Lagoon Green - bright aquamarine shimmer
- Vegetal  Green - medium moss green shimmer
- Beige - warm pink beige shimmer
- Parma Purple - medium cool purple shimmer
- Brown - medium cool brown shimmer
- Coral - warm peach shimmer

La Boheme Aqua Eyes - An award winning, waterproof, smudge-proof, and fade-proof eyeliner that doubles as a vibrant eye shadow.  Now available in a rich brown, matte-finish formula, this bestselling eyeliner has become a favorite among all women who fear the dreaded raccoon eyes.  Formulated to glide on effortlessly and withstand the most extreme conditions, it stays put on eyelids without melting for precise application and intense color throughout the day.  The La Boheme Collection comes beautifully wrapped in limited edition packaging.  Aqua Eyes is available in an extensive range of 25 vibrant shades.  Fun Fact: Dany Sanz originally created this product for performers of water ballet.
- Gypsy - matte dark brown

La Boheme Rouge Artist Natural - A collection of limited edition, light coverage lipsticks with a soft, shiny finish.  Rouge Artist Natural's ultra creamy formula hydrates the lips with a natural sheen.  Enriched with nourishing properties, its smooth texture glides on effortlessly and its colorful pigments compliment the lips with a transparent finish.  These fresh and romantic shades add the perfect touch to your favorite spring look.
- Boheme - iridescent peach beige
- Folk - iridescent red coral

The eye palette in this collection is one of my favorite pieces of this season, I really wish that it was available in the stores instead of just the website.  I love the range of shades in it, especially Vegetal Green and Parma Purple.  This palette is going on my list of Most Wanted products for the next month, I don't need another eye shadow palette but I really love this one and I want to try out the Baked formula from this company.  I will also check out the Aqua Eyes, I can always use a neutral eye liner in my collection and I have a friend who loves and swears by this product. 

This might be one of the smallest but best collections for the spring season, that palette is great and will create any type of colored eye.  Furthermore, the package of this palette is awesome and I would love to show it off in my makeup bag.  This might be the one palette that you need to create all the colored looks for this season!

photo courtesy of Sephora

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Trish McEvoy Spring 2012 Collection - Resort Collection

Today I realized how much time is flying...we are over half way through March.  What does this mean for my blog?  It means that I am beginning to come to the end of reporting on the spring makeup collections since hints of the summer collections are beginning to be seen.  Realistically, once April rolls around, spring collections are no longer "new" and the summer collections will pretty much all be out before the end of that month.  I am down to the last handful of my spring collections and now I am getting excited to really begin wearing all of the great shades and looks that I have been seeing for the past three months. 

We have less than ten collections left to look aqnd today we are going to look at the Resort Collection from the Trish McEvoy company.  I have limited contact with products from this line since they are harder to find and aren't available in any store around me.  I might have to move to New York City just to round out my beauty product collection.  Trish McEvoy, Bond NYC, Illamasqua...
I found the details and the pictures of this collection on the Nordstrom website.  The spring collection from this company is named the Resort Collection and I would have thought that this was a summer collection had the website not stated what season it was designed for.  "Instantly create the glamorous look and vibrant glow of a long vacation with the Resort 2012 collection.  Delivers intense definition and glow with a palette of warm sand dune shadows, ocean blue liner, and shimmering coral lips." 
Here is the collection from Trish McEvoy...

Golden Glow Face Color Duo - This customizable duo of bronzer in Golden and blush in Glow offers a softly shimmering bronzer paired with a shimmering pink blush for a brightened complexion and lit-from-within look.
- Golden Bronzer - medium shimmering bronze
- Glow Blush - medium warm shimmering pink
Eye Definer - This ultra-pigment rich shadow delivers perfect depth and intensity for the densest lining, shading, and contouring.
- Mahogany - deep warm brown

Intense Gel Eyeliner - Trish's intensely pigmented, longest wearing  gel eye liner in pencil form glides effortlessly along the lash line for high-powered definition and the built-in sponge tip allows for effortless creation of a sultry smokey eye.
- Arabian Nights - deep navy

#65 Angled Contour Brush - Handcrafted for exquisite quality and durability, Trish's #65 Angled Contour Brush is diagonally shaped to expertly place and blend color on the contours of the face for effortless sculpting power.  Designed with brass ferrules, the brush is precision-cut for technically perfect results.

#66 Cream Blender Brush - Handcrated for exquisite quality and durability, Trish's #66 Cream Blender Brush is designed for the even placement and blending of cream products to the eyes and face.  Designed with brass ferrules, the brush is precision-cut for technically perfect results.
Glaze Eye Shadow - This shadow's perfectly peral hue can be used to illuminate the inner corner of the eye, brow bone, or lid.  Glaze Eye Shadows gives eyes a delicate shimmer or a hint of color.  Use one shade or layer shades for a new sultry look.
- Rose Gold - pink gold shimmer

Eye Base Essentials - Trish McEvoy's Eye Base Essentials is a shadow primer and upper-eye brightener designed to correct darkness and discolorations of the eyelid, instantly creating a more vibrant, bright-eyed look while locking shadow in place for crease-proof, all day wear.  How to Use: Apply a generous amount of Eye Base Essentials to the ball of the eye.  Using Trish Laydown Brush, blend upward and outward to cover the entire eyelid, including the inner corner of the eye, for maximum brightness.  Get as close to the lash line as possible without touching the lashes.
- Nude - translucent

Lash Curling Mascara - Create a flirty, mesmerizing gaze with this exclusive lash-curling formula.  It delivers maximum power, curling each lash for an instant eye-opening experience.  Long-wearing, water-resistant, and non-smuding formula.
- Jet Black - true black

Flawless Lip Color - Trish's innovative texture provides the coverage of lip color with the feel of gloss, creating the perfect balance of color and shine while keeping lips hydrated for a soft, radiant finish.  Housed in an easy portable pen, a dose of shimmering color is only a click away.
- Coral Shimmer - warm bright coral
- Perfect Coral - muted neutral coral

Lip Liner - A long-wearing, smooth texture designed to complement Trish's lip colors.  Added benefit, the brush on the end for easy application.
- Barely Rose - neutral rose

Based on the model's look for this collection, I feel that many of these shades will be in the end of spring and the beginning of summer.  I will need a bit of a sunny fake tan to pull off the bronzer/blush combination and the lip glosses, I might have to skip over many of these products for the moment and revisit this collection when I start looking for products to complement my summer skin.

The Glaze Eye Shadow is the only product that I really want to order at the moment, this is another rose gold shade for the eyes.  I keep harping on this trend but I really think that this is one of the moment flattering looks that I have seen all spring and I feel that so many people can pull it off, no matter what your eye color or the undertones in your skin.  The Eye Definer shade is another good basic, the deep brown shade will be able to be used throughout the whole year in all different types of eye looks.
Not my favorite of the season but there are some very good picks for eye makeup in this collection.  Trish McEvoy isn't a company that is known for bright, over the top makeup so I wasn't expecting an Illamasqua-type of collection.  Any of these shades would work well for a casual weekend look or a daytime professional look.

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Benefit The POREfessional Pro Balm

Within the past week, the weather has gotten warmer and spring has officially arrived.  One of my first indictions was that my Clarins Instant Touch primer was making my skin feel very oily and my makeup was sliding off during the day instead of staying put all day as it did during the winter months.  The exact same thing occured last summer when I first tried the product out so I expected this.  However I planned for this a few weeks ago and bought a tube of one of the best-selling products at Sephora, Benefit The POREfessional Pro Balm.  I first tried this product out when I received a Sephora Beauty Insider 100 Point Perk sample of the product, I tried it out for a week and then decided that I needed to buy a tube of this for the warm weather months.

This product can be used as a tradition primer or as a touch-up treatment during the day.  I mostly use it as a primer, I have very rarely needed to use on top of my makeup during the day, my skin never got oily enough to need to touch this product up, therefore my review will treat this product more as a primer than a touch-up treatment. 

The Benefit website provides a full description on the product itself and the usage of it.  "Quickly minimize the appearance of pores and fine lines for smoother-than-smooth skin!  Apply this silky, lightweight balm alone, under, or over makeup.  Translucent, oil-free formula complements all skintones and helps makeup stay put.  Contains a Vitamin E derivative, known to prorect skin from free radicals."  This balm is lightly tinted so this is one of the few primers that actually can be used alone and still improve the texture and appearance of the T zone area.  "Apply The POREfessional from the center of the face outward by patting lightly with particular attention to the T zone area.  Keep it in your bag for touch-ups during the day."

I have used this product alone and under makeup the most, I rarely feel the need to have to touch-up with it.  I apply this product straight onto my finger and then dot it on five areas of my face; forehead, chin, nose, and then both cheeks (in that order).  This order allows me to get the majority of the product on my T zone, where it is most needed.  My cheeks need very little of this product since my pores are much smaller in this area and my skin is much drier.  The product melts quickly and easily into my skin and there is no left over residue.  When used alone, it helps to refine the texture of my skin and helps to minimize the appearance of the larger pores on my T zone, I feel that this product works better with the application of foundation and loose powder.  This product alone is not enough to really create a flawless finish, it is better as a base product.  Once applied under makeup, I will get a full day's wear out of my makeup with little oily break throughout on my T Zone.

I have only needed to touch-up up with this product on one day so far.  On that day the humidity was very high and I needed to touch up with both this product and then powder on top of it.  Personally, I prefer to touch up with Boscia Blotting Linens instead of adding more product on top of the oil already on my skin.  Personally, I just wouldn't really use this product in that fashion, I hate the thought of adding layers onto my skin when I could just blot off the oil and leave 95% of my makeup in place.

This is a very good primer for someone with more normal to oily skin.  I wouldn't see that anyone with dry skin would have problems with it but there are primers that are more hydrating than this one.  I would recommend this one more for someone with of an oily skin type since it performs best for this type of skin.  It really helped to minimize pores and oiliness, but foundation and loose powder are needed to really get the best results from this product.

photo courtesy of Benefit

Friday, March 16, 2012

Stila Spring 2012 Collection

I have been putting off this post for quite a while now, I have found the new products for spring on the Stila website but have never seen them under anything other than the "What's New" tab on their home page.  I was hoping to find them all in the same area, under a heading of "Spring" or something that identifies them as the official spring products.  But alas, I am now seeing hints of the summer products on beauty blogs so I decided to take my best guess at what are the spring products from Stila and what are holdovers from last holiday.  I am a little lacking on information here so I do apologize in advance if this isn't totally correct in any instance. 
I like Stila products but I haven't been able to count any of the ones that I have tried among my top favorites yet.  Many of the shimmery shades (especially for eyes) are very pretty but I find that this company rarely puts out products and shades that are very unique and can't be duplicated by any other brand.  So I don't know that I am expecting much from this series of products and I still dislike when a company can't find a theme for their new products and shades and just throws them all under the heading of "What's New".

Here is the newest collection from Stila...

Jewel Eye Shadow - The perfect blend of pigment, binder, and pearl delivers a weightless feel on the eye, leaving lids glamourous and glittering.  Transparent talc delivers excellent color release and the perfect blend of binding oils ensure adherence.  Choose from eight sparkly shades.  High levels of pearl provide a brilliant sparkle effect.  Smooth and creamy texture.  Sheer, weightless wash of glimmering color.  Excellent color release and all day wear.  Vitamin E provides antioxidant protection.  Buildable shadows can be worn wet or dry.
- Blue Sapphire - shimmering periwinkle blue
- Black Diamond - shimmering deep charcoal
- Amethyst - shimmering medium purple
- Opal - shimmering light pink opal
- Rose Quartz - shimmering medium cool rose
- Citrine - shimmering medium bronze
- Aquamarine - shimmering bright aqua
- Golden Topaz - shimmering medium warm gold

Smudge Crayon Waterproof Eye Color - A gel-based primer, shadow, and liner that glides on with ease and stays in place until you say when!  This unique formula is infused with emollients for smooth, comfortable application and provides long-lasting, bold color that won't fade or crease over time.  Designed with optimal playtime, for application and smudging.  Smudge Crayon will be available in eight gorgeous hues.  Three-in-one gel-based eye primer, shadow, and liner.  Multi-pearl formula.  Waterproof.  Creamy, non-tacky finish.  Long-lasting and crease-resistant.  6+ hours of continous wear.  Vitamin E protects and conditions, while aloe soothes and supports healthy skin.
- Kitten - shimmering pink champagne
- Midnight Blue - deep navy
- Umber - deep chocolate brown
- Antique - medium pink gold
- Pink Violet - medium cool lilac
- Rose - medium cool pink
- Smoke - medium charcoal
- Black - deep true black

Sparkle Luxe Gloss - Sparkle Luxe Gloss is a decadent lip gloss that provides a subtle pop of color and rich glossy texture.  Infused with highly pigmented, ultra-fine pearl for dazzling sparkle and shine, plus camellia oil and Vitamin E to nourish and protect your pout.  Available in four glistening shades.  Ultra-fine pearl shimmer for brilliant sparkle.  Luxurious, glossy texture.  Subtle pop of color.  Camellia oil helps moisturize and nourish lips.  Vitamin E provides anti-oxidant protection.
- Tiara - pale cool pink shimmer
- Dazzling - medium bright pink shimmer
- Fairy Dust - medium warm pink coral shimmer
- Bling - medium warm pink shimmer

Hydrating Primer SPF 30 - Featuring exclusive synergistic combination of moisturizers and skin protectants.  Hydrating Primer SPF 30 provides hydration and nourishing benefits for the skin.  This skin-conditioning formula leaves skin with a soft, dewy finish and creates an impeccable canvas for faultless makeup application.  Packed with potent vitamins and antioxidants, in addition to Broad Spectrum UVA and UVB sunscreen to protect the skin from the sun's harmful rays and help prevent premature aging.  Exclusive formula provides hydration, soothes, and refreshes the skin.  Broad Spectrum UVA and UVB sunscreen SPF 30 protects the skin from the sun's damaging rays.  Helps smooth fine lines and wrinkles, and provides firming benefits.  Lightweight formula.  Contains an aray of skin protecting vitamins and antioxidants, such as Asian ginseng, shea butter, avocado, hazelnut, jojoba oils, and echinacea.  Perfect for all skin types.  Paraben free.

Stay All Day 10-in-1 HD Beauty Balm - Age is nothing but a number with Stila's Stay All Day 10-in-1 HD Beauty Balm, a luxurious, priming beauty balm that seemingly turns back the hands of time by visibly improving the look and feel of skin and creating an impeccable canvas for flawless makeup application.  Luxurious beauty balm glides onto skin and leaves a silky, powdery finish.  High definition formula helps reduce pore size and provides oil and blemish control.  Contains innovative micro spheres, which have been shown to hide skin imperfections and reduce wrinkle depth by up to 84%.  Features an exclusive complex, which helps reduce redness and skin irritation.  Enriched with Tripeptide-37, bamboo and pea extracts, which help diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  Infused with natural, skin-protecting emollients which have been shown to increase anti-oxidant activity by up to 89.7%.  Uses the smallest particle size of coated pigments for seamless, smooth coverage.  Ideal for all skin types and skin tones.  Oil-free, paraben-free, and dermatologist tested.

In The Garden Palette - The new In The Garden Eye Shadow Palette is a stunning collection of Stila's award-winning eye shadows in wearable, botanical-inspired shades for every skin tone.  The palette also includes an exclusive Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Starfish (black with gold and green pearl), and an 8 page look book with detailed how-to-tips and tricks.  A gorgeous palette with 10 shades of Stila's award-winning eye shadow formula that can be worn wet or dry.
- Chinois - matte creamy white
- Breeze - shimmery beige
- Bark - shimmery taupe
- Freesia - shimmey violet blue
- Rosette - metallic pink violet
- Nectar - matte creamy beige
- Honey - metallic bronze gold
- Sage - shimmery translucent green
- Moss - dark olive green with shimmer
- Juniper - deep shimmery forest green

Jewel Eye Shadow Trio - A sparkly trio of luxe jewel eye shadows provide a sheer, weightless wash of color that delivers just the right amount of glittering glamour.  High levels of pearl provide a brilliant sparkle effect.  Smooth and creamy texture.  Sheer, weightless wash of glimmering color.  Buildable shadows can be worn either wet or dry.
- Opal - shimmering pure white
- Rose Quartz - shimmering cool blue pink
- Amethyst - shimmering deep plum

It seems like Stila has a high shimmer theme going on through out this group of new products, the Jewel Eye Shadows were originally introduced with a holiday collection and must have been so popular that Stila made them a permanent part of their collection.  Kind of a odd time of the year to do though, very few companies are showing tones of shimmer in spring collections.  I like the lip gloss shades and some of the eye shadows too, so I will be heading off to Sephora to see these in real life.  From the lip gloss, I want the Tiara and Dazzling shades, I really don't need to be adding more pink lip glosses to my collection so I will only buy these shades if the formula is fantastic.  From the Jewel Eye Shadow formula, I like the Citrine and Golden Topaz shades.  I wonder how different these are from the Vincent Longo Diamond Eye Shadows since I already own shades like these in this formula...

I love the Garden Palette and this one will be used a lot to create fun, bright spring makeup looks.  The new Eye Crayon also looks like a product that will be getting a lot of use from too.  My first pick would be Kitten since I already use this shade a lot against red lip looks.  I am hoping that this shade in the crayon formula will be longer lasting than the eye shadow and will create a look that will stay on all night.  Also from this formula, I want the Antique Gold, Pink Violet, and Rose shades.  I want to try using these shades to create a long lasting rose gold look for my eyes, I have fallen in love with the rose gold look since I first played around with it when looking at the newest Bobbi Brown collection and now I want to find more products and shades to create different versions of this look.

I like many of the products in this collection but I am hoping that the summer collection will make a bit more sense and will ahve some type of theme to carry it off...

photo courtesy of Stila

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Illamasqua Spring 2012 Collection - Human Fundamentalism

The Illamasqua spring collection has finally arrived on their website and I am so excited that is it out.  you guys all know that I have been crazy for Illamasqua products lately and am always lameting how impossible it is for me to find them around where I live.  I visited Sephora yesterday and they still have no word on if they are every going to carry this brand in the store closest to me.  Honestly I can't even imagine how large my collection of their products will be if i can buy them really easily, it might get even bigger than my NARS and Urban Decay collections!

I have been seeing some pictures of the new collection for the past but I haven't had much time to really sit down and look at them but today I have some extra time and I am so excited to check out every single piece of this collection.  The new collection is called Human Fundamentalism and it is the most unique collection that I have seen this whole season.  Illamasqua collections often hold this title but I think that this one might be even more unique than any other that I have seen.  The matching bright blue fake lashes and lipstick?  This collection takes the blue trend that we have been seeing this spring to a whole new level, one that no other company has even come near this season!

"Human Fundamentalism is an explosion of your alter ego.  It's becoming who you are and not who you're told to be.  Because beauty isn't conformity, but the fundamental human desire to express your inner self on the outside.  We stand for the freedom of expression, embracing our glorious imperfections and showing the world we're not ordinary but extraordinary, even if society refuses to accept it.  We're beyond conformity.  Beyond control.  Beyond hiding who we really are.  We are not a religion, but the singular opposite.  We are Illamasqua."  This collection is a series of bright shades for every aspect of the face, this is one of the brightest collections that I have seen this whole season and I love how Illamasqua uses the shades in this collection on people of all ages and skintones.

Illamasqua's newest collection!

Fundamental Palette - Experiment with contrasting textures, from glistening Liquid Metal in molten pewter to matt Cream Pigment in mint green, to express every inch of your alter ego.  Coupled with two vibrant Powder Eye Shadows in Hype (bold yellow) and Inception (rich violet), prepare for unparalleled levels of nonconformity.
- Molten Pewter Liquid Metal - shimmer pure cool pewter
- Bedaub Cream Pigment - matte mint green
- Hype Powder Eye Shadow - bold yellow
- Inception Powder Eye Shadow - rich violet

Neutral Palette - Create sculpted highlights and stark contours anywhere on your face and body with these four pivotal Powder Eye Shadows.  From our new antique gold shade, Vintage - exclusive to this palette - and matt shades Stealth (creamy buttermilk) and Wolf (rich chocolate brown), to the smoky charcoal depths of the new shade Obsidian (rich black), express your inner light and darkness with riotous glamour.
- Vintage - medium antique gold
- Stealth - creamy buttermilk
- Wolf - rich chocolate brown
- Obsidian - rich black

Powder Eye Shadow - Each of these glorious colours makes a statement that is as individual as you are.  Highly pigmented, prepare for an intensity that's not just colour-true but extremely long-lasting.  Experiment and be bold.
- Pivot - yellow green
- Vernau - yellow ochre
- Sex - pure white, matt finish
- Obsidian - rich black
- Burst - blue green
- Can Can - bright lilac purple, matt finish

Lipstick - Let your lips speak volumes.  Indulge in colour-intense lipstick with a highly pigmented formula, available in a choice of flawless finishes, from creamy matt to iridescent finishes.  Illamasqua Lipstick glides on smoothly and doesn't give up without a fight for the perfect all-night pout.  A must have for professional makeup artists, and those who want to make a statement.
- Apocalips - teal, matt finish
- Box - deep scarlet red, matt finish

Skin Base Foundation - Inspired by the cult Asian market Beauty Balm creams, Skin Base Foundation is a brand new, refined form unlike anything on the UK market.  Easily blendable, it effortlessly creates a perfect complexion, and like the entire Illamasqua foundation range, is undetectable in a professional HD environment.  Suitable for all skin types, it smoothes, softens, and conditions your skin whilst providing natural, buildable coverage.  Available in a wide range of shades to match all skintones.
Sealing Gel - One drop of this cult product turns any powder into a colour-intense, water-resistant paste that dries quickly and lasts for hours.  Blend with Powder Eye Shadow, Pure Pigment, Eye Brow Cake, or Eye Liner Cake and use across the face and body for endless creative opportunities.  Be bold, be original and stand out from the crowd.

Precision Ink - Create looks with attitude that no one can ignore.  Precision Ink's fine tip allows for defined application.  Long-lasting and waterproof, it's perfect for use anywhere on the face and body to bring out your bold side.  You can even use it as a nail art pen; simply seal with Illamasqua Top Coat.
- Scribe - pure white

Nail Varnish - A spectrum of bold shades with a range of finishes, including matt, rubber, and high gloss.  Award-winning, extremely hardwearing and chip-resistant, there's an Illamasqua Nail Varnish for every shade of humanity.  Apply two coats for intensity and use with Illamasqua Nail Base Coat and Illamasqua Nail Top Coat for the perfect finish.
- Stance - fuchsia violet, gloss finish
- Nomad - bright jade, gloss finish

Is this entire look for me?  Of course not but I still love this collection and it is one of my favorites of the spring season.  Do I think that I will be pulling off the teal lipstick?  No but I can respect anyone who tries to create the look that is on the model.  With this collection, I know see how much this company uses the Sealing Gel to create some of their artistry looks, I have often wondered how some of the varied makeup looks can be created with the products in their collection and I believe that the answer lays in the use of the Sealing Gel product.  I am very curious about this product and I will begin trying to find some reviews and more information on it before I decide to order it or not.

I have wanted the Box shade of Lipstick since I ordered the Maneater shade so I can say that this is my first choice from the collection.  I think that I might put it aside until next fall though since it appears to be a deeper wine shade instead of a true red.  I want both of the palettes from this collection, but if I have to choose only one, the Neutral Palette is my choice.  A palette of neutrals is rare from Illamasqua and I bet that these shades will have great pigment and wear.  The only additional eye shadow shade that I want is Can Can, the bright matte lilac shade.  I am so excited to play with the Can Can shade and see how bright of a lilac eye that I can pull off.  Last but not least, I want to add both shades of the Nail Varnish to my nail polish collection.

I may not be able to pull off every piece of this collection but I do love the looks that have been created with it and I can't wait to order more products from this company!

photo courtesy of Illamasqua