Monday, April 30, 2012

NARS 413 BLKR Collection

The 413 BLKR collection is a group of new shades that I had heard nothing about, I only found it when I was searching for the new NARS and Thakoon collection that will be releasing at the beginning of May (I was hoping against hope that perhaps this company would have followed in the footsteps of MAC and release some of the more hyped products and collections early).  This small collection is named 413 BLKR and appears to be exclusive to the website, however I do wonder if these shades will be available at the NARS Bleecker St. Flagship in New York City (hence the collection's name!).  This collection consists only of three items, one eye shadow and two lip products.  "Downtown.  Bold.  Timeless.", is the product description and it tells me that these will be classic and dramatic shades that are still wearable at the same time.

While this isn't the nail polish collection that I have been drooling over for the past month, I can never skip over a NARS collection especially with how much I have been using and buying their products in the past few weeks.  I have been all over their products that past few times that I have visited Sephora and still have a long list of shades that I want to order from this company.  That being said, the only thing that this small collection can bring me is more additions to my shopping list.  This collection look as though it contains shades that might be more traditionally worn in the fall season, all are deeper and the lip shades are all reds.  I feel comfortable buying NARS shades in the off season since I really trust their quality and pigmentation and I wouldn't hesistate to order shades from this collection if I love them.

Here is the 413 BLKR Collection!

413 BLKR Eye Shadow - Luminous, light-reflecting powders for shading, highlighting, and lining eyes.  Highly pigmented, long-wearing, crease-resistant colors glide on smoothly and evenly and blend effortlessly.  Can be applied sheer or layered for a more dramatic effect.  True color application.  Can be applied dry or with a dampened brush for heightened intensity.  Multi-function: use for shading, highlighting, and lining the eyes.  Sophisticated, luminous shades.
- deep warm brown plum

413 BLKR Pure Matte Lipstick - Bright.  Bold.  Perfectly matte.  This super-rich lipstick provides high-impact payoff: an ultra-pigmented, long-wearing formula that glides on effortlessly with comfortable wear.  Contains wild mango butter, known to provide advanced moisturizing properties to repair dryness and scaling.  Long-wearing application.  Enriched with Vitamin E and acai oil for anti-oxidant benefits.
- warm rose brown

413 BLKR Larger Than Life Lip Gloss - Outrageously lustrous color meets high-impact shine.  Dramatic, stay-in-place shades glides on smoothly and evenly for lips that are more luminous and voluminous than every before.
- bright true blue-toned red

I like all three of these new shades but they don't rock my world, none of the them are all that original and shades very close to these are available all year long in the permanent NARS product range.  If you like these shades but aren't really a NARS fan, all of these shades can easily be found from MAC (and many other companies).  These are three very good classic shades that I am confident will work into almost any woman's color wardrobe this fall, I can't call these summer shades and I can't see myself really wearing any of them this summer.  My favorite shade is the Pure Matte Lipstick, this is a great neutral for cool toned skin and I could wear this shade in many different environments, the same reasoning holds true for the Eye Shadow.  I'm not sure about the red lip gloss, I want to try one of these glosses out first to make sure that I am not getting a super red, very glossy look that I will hate.

With this little collection, I am beginning to look forward to the fall collections...

photo courtesy of NARS

Sunday, April 29, 2012

C.O. Bigelow Lemon Hand Treatment

One of my favorite products when I was in college was the C.O. Bigelow Lemon Hand Treatment and I stocked up on this product before Bath and Body Works stopped carrying it.  I am reaching the end of my supply so I started playing around on the actual C.O. Bigelow website to see what they still carried from this Lemon product line.  To all of you that aren't in the know about Bigelow, this company started as a separate apothecary in the middle of the 1800s and a line of their products was picked up several years ago by Bath and Body Works, bringing these great formulas more into the mainstream.  Ever since college, many of the C.O. Bigelow products have been my favorite body products and I wish that an actual Bigelow store was much closer to me.  The closest one is now in New York City since I don't believe that the one that I used to frequent is in King of Prussia anymore.  I can't even imagine the amount of beauty products that I would have if I lived in New York City...

Some pieces of the Lemon line are still carried in Bath and Body Works and I have used and covered this line several times before, so you can still find some of these products to try out.  However the poroduct that we are looking at today is not so you will have to do some online ordering if this product really appeals to you, I think that this product is worth the search if you ahve dry hands and/or love the scent of lemons.  Both of these statements describe me so this is one of the best hand products for me to use. 

"This ultra-moisturizing and skin-brightening formula absorbs quickly to treat dry hands.", is the product description provided by the C.O. Bigelow website.  This product contains the following three active ingredients: Lemon Oil and Extracts (6.25%), Grape Seed Oil (.75%), and Licorice Extract (.25%).  This product also contains shea butter to help the hydration.  The description of the product is pretty accurate but I am going to expand on the information. 

This product has a light lotion texture and sinks into the skin very quickly and easily, without leaving any greasy residue.  I would recommend this product for anyone who has normal to dry hands, pretty much anyone can benefit from this product.  The Shea Butter and the Grape Seed Oil help to hydrate dry areas and allow the skin to retain moisture after repeated washings.  The Lemon Oil in this product helps to fade areas of sun damage and hyper pigmentation however with the addition of this as one of the active ingredients, this is best used as a night hand cream in the summer months.  Lemon is a very effective natural de-pigmenting agent however it can make skin photosensitive, making the skin extra sensitive to the sun.  I would recommend being diligent with sunscreen if you choose to use a product line with natural lemon in during the summer months.

The scent of this product is very light and is 100% natural lemon.  Since the fragrance is the natural oil, it is not going to hang around all day so this product can be used with any type of fragrance and will work well for men also.  This will disappoint those of you who like a strong fragrance but I love how light it is and how it won't compete with any other fragrance that I am wearing that day.  This is a big reason why this is a favorite hand cream of mine!

photo courtesy of C.O. Bigelow

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Giorgio Armani Summer 2012 Collection - Bronze 2012

This weekend may be unseasonably cold and the strong winds are keeping me inside the house at the moment so I am using this time to spend with my blog and really begin to make some decisions about what is going to be in my initial purchase for the summer months.  I have been talking about needing at least one new bronzer very soon and that I have decided to think ahead and order early this time (already some of the Lancome summer collection is out of stock and bronzer season hasn't even begun to hit yet).  Since I am working ahead of the game this year, I am afford to be choosy and it frees me up to order online and have the time to return the product if the formula or shade really doesn't suit me.  Keeping this in mind, I decided to look at the Armani Beatu collection much earlier than usual, I have time to order some of the top-rated bronzing products and decide if this is collection worth all the fuss that I hear about it.  To anyone who wonders why I am making such a fuss over bronzers, just let me say that I have had a few bad tanner experiences in the past and I could have passed for a Jersey Shore cast member.  Count your blessings if this has never happened to you!

This collection is named Bronze 2012 and contains a top-rated bronzer, multiple blue eye makeup choices, and some nude lip choices to balance out all the strong eye makeup shades.  I know that I will not be buying any of the blue eye makeup since I have never looked good with this type of eye look and the shadows from Armani are said to be very pigmented so I can't create a look that is mostly neutral with sheer splashes of blue (I have been working on a look like this with some shades from Urban Decay and it isn't working out very well at the moment...).  I am most interested in the bronzer and the lip glosses from this collection.  After I buy a good bronzer than everything else shopping-wise will just be icing on the cake and I can have fun playing around with products.

Here is the newest collection from Armani...

Eye Palette 1 - A harmonious blend of deep sea blue, algae, lagoon turquoise, and shimmering crest-of-a-wave white, colours to awaken eyes with a splash of natural radiance. 

Eye Palette 2 - A cooler harmony in the black lacquered signature compact, with four shades layering pearly blue and gray with frothy white and inky navy, to intensify lash lines.  The pioneering Giorgio Armani Color-Fil Technology allows delicate micronized pigments to be fused with a translucent base to offer unrivalled depth of colour delivered in sumptuous featherlight texture.  This palette contains a light blue gray shimmer, deep sea blue, medium silver shimmer, and a shimmering white.

Face Palette - The ultra-fine powders of the Face Palette with Giorgio Armani's Micro-Fil Technology come in a complementary duo of shades.  'Seashell Pink' and 'White Foam'.  Cheeks are warmed with a sun-kissed flush.
- deep bronze pink/pale white shimmering highlighter

Eyes To Kill Intense Eye Shadow - Now available in four limited edition shades.  For the first time: Eyes To Kill Intense unveils a pearl blend that radiates four spellbinding colours.  Each of the Eyes To Kill Intense - 'Obsidian Black, 'Obsidian Gray', 'Ecailles', and 'Madre Perla' - is based on a revolutionary technology that acts like a kaleidoscope, producing multidimensional colours.  This season's must-have 'Madre Perla' is a blend of precious white pearls that instantly radiates ever-changing pink, purple, blue, and green light for hours.  It can be swept over eyes and temples like a radiance veil as seen in the Giorgio Armani Spring/Summer 2012 show, 'Nacre'.  Neither a cream nor a powder, this incredible hybrid formula acts like a colour suspension that delivers a dreamy, ethereal beauty to eyes with a 24 hour hold.
- 20 Obsidian Black - pure black with deep green shimmer
- 21 Obsidian Gray - medium gray with aqua shimmer
- 22 Ecailles - bright aqua blue with silver shimmer
- 23 Madre Perla - shimmering white with pink shimmer

Gloss d'Armani - Now available in four limited edition shades.  Lips are quenched with the new Gloss d'Armani harmony in the softest spectrum of 'Pink Quartz', 'Rose Crocoite', 'Raspberry Zincite', and 'Red Andradite'.  Giorgio Armani introduces a new watercolour effect, for the first time by blending inky translucent lacquers with robust micronized pigments.  Liquid beauty comes to life.
- 509 - medium nude pink
- 510 - medium cool rose
- 511 - deep cool berry
- 512 - deep warm red

I am on the fence with this collection, I really want to like it but there is something that isn't doing it for me.  I think my major issue is the Face Palette, I'm not sure what type of product this is.  The shades look more like blush shades but Armani has always noted accurately what type of product it is and this one isn't considered a blush.  I first thought that this was a bronzer when I saw this picture since the shade on the left is a deep bronze with pink in it but the description of the shade makes it sound like it a pink with bronze in it.  I'm not sure what I am going to do regarding this product but I can't see myself ordering it without being sure of what I am getting.  Of course, both of the eye shadow palettes are out, I don't even need to touch again on why these aren't going to work for me. 

I am really interested in the Eyes To Kill Eye Shadow, I have seen rave reviews of this product in Temptalia's blog and the photos really intrigue me.  I love the Madre Perla shades and I think that this is my top pick for the whole collection.  I know that I will get lots of use form this shade and I want to try this formula for myself.  Lastly, I am liking the 509 and 510 shades of the lip gloss and can myself getting a lot of usage from them.

Well that didn't quite go as planned...my bronzer issue is nowhere near solved but I picked out more products that I would love to own (but don't need in the least!).

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Current Favorites!

The last month has consisted of me trying product after product to keep the reviews coming and looking forward to what I am going to be buying this summer.  Over the past few weeks, a few winning products have emerged and I am going to be paying tribute to my current favorite products and why I love them.  I have been all about color and skincare the past few weeks, I have been using up most of my current perfumes in order to open some new ones up and the same is going for most of my body products, I can't buy any new bottles until some more space is cleared for the current products that I haven't even opened up yet.  My five favorites therefore are taken from my skincare and color purchases so hopefully the next time that I write a favorites list up, I will have more fragrances in it.

My current favorites!

China Glaze Nail Lacquer in Sea Spray - "Unleash your inner color with China Glaze...your longwearing professional nail lacquer choice!  Longwearing 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."  Sea Spray is a shade from their spring Anchors Away collection that was released in early 2011, I was introduced to this collection last year when I purchased White Cap (still a favorite shade) and now I have added Sea Spray and Ahoy! to my collection.  Sea Spray is a lovely pale gray blue shade with a hint of a shimmer finish.  I started wearing this shade in early spring and have been wearing it ever since.  The best way to describe this shade is to tell you to look at the sky right before it begins to rain.  This shade is a new neutral for me.

Stila Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer Oil-Free SPF 20 in Fair - "A tinted, oil-free moisturizer with a hint of color.  This water-resistant moisturizer is packed with sun protection and just enough color to even skintone.  The light, hydrating formula is ideal for all skin types and comes in natural, see-through shades.  Application is a cinch and the coverage is long lasting, leaving you with a perfect finish every time."  Fair is the lightest shade in this product and it turned out to be a perfect match for my skintone.  I only purchased this product to use when I am in a hurry, since my normal routine doesn't work well for busy morning.  However with me being on vacation from work this week, I have been using it almost everyday for a bit of extra coverage while I run errands and hang out, it is working its way into being a VIP of my traincase.  This product covers better than many tinted moisturizer formulas and lasts throughout most of the day.  It hydrates just enough for my skin to be soft and smooth, even though I have chosen the oil-free formula.  I am really liking this formula and being able to have a bit of coverage when needed but not looking made up.

Origins Gin-Zing Refreshing Eye Cream - "A clinically-proven eye cream that instantly de-puffs and reduces dark circles.  Late night?  Long flight?  Look tired all the time?  This natural, clincially-proven morning-after eye cream instantly reduces dark circles.  Unsightly bags and puffiness virtually disappear.  And Origin's  proprietary complex of caffeine from coffee bean.  Panax ginseng, magnolia extract, and natural optic brighteners rapidly wakes up, refreshes, and and restores radiance to tired eyes.  Best for all skin types."  I use this eye cream at night and the Cliniqe All About Eyes Rollerball during the day to take care of my puffy, allergy eyes.  This product helps to reduce my puffiness and my dark circles.  This is one of the few eye creams that I have worked with recently that actually helps dark circles look better and not just easier to cover up with makeup.  In addition to helping reduce both puffiness and dark circle appearance, this product helps to moisturize and to brighten the entire eye area.  This is simply one of the best all-in-one eye creams that is on the market today and I recommend it to almost anyone that needs help choosing an eye cream formula.

OPI Nail Lacquer in You Callin' Me a Lyre? and Pirouette My Whistle - "The world leader in professional nail care."  Both of these shades came out recently with their New York City Ballet collection released mid spring.  I put both of these together since I prefer to wear both of them together, I have worn each one alone but they pack a huge punch when used together.  You Callin' Me a Lyre? is a pale peach pink cream that is the epitome of the natural nail look and Pirouette My Whistle is a fine silver shimmer suspended in a clear base.  The combination of the two creates a natural nail look with a bit of pizzazz that keeps it from being boring.  I can get three to four full days wear from this combination so I use it at least once a week.  I have really been getting into OPI polishes lately and my shopping shows no signs of stopping...

Illamasqua Lipstick in Test - "Let your lips speak volumes.  Indulge in colour-intense lipstick with a highly pigmented formula, available in a choice of flawless finishes, from creamy matte 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."  Test is a "soft pink chocolate" with a matte finish.  For those of you who remember my initial review on the Illamasqua Lipstick formula, you will remember that I went on a near-rant about this shade and how it was described on the Sephora website (to sum it up - it looks nothing like what is pictured/described on the Sephora website and use the Illamasqua website for accurate descriptions) and I decided that I never would have purchased it had I known exactly what it looked like.  Application at full strengh produces a warm pink nude mouth with a matte finish, what sets this product apart is that it has a very full pigmentation and is not as subtle as I had been expecting, greatly reducing the amount of ways I could wear it.  I originally wanted a sheer, my-lips-but-better shades when I ordered this and not a shade with strong pigmentation.  However, recently I have been applying this shade with a bit of lip balm underneath, reducing the pigment strength and have been wearing it with all types of colored eye looks.  Even sheered out, this product lasts for several hours and stays color-true the whole time.  I love this lipstick formula and am happy that I have found another way to wear it!

These are my current favorite but I know that they will be changing again within the next few weeks, as I type this I am letting my newest shade of Illamasqua Nail Varnish dry and I just received a big Sephora order two days ago (complete with skincare and the 500 point perk of a Too Faced palette) and I will be working on getting some new fragrances and body products out.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Friday, April 27, 2012

Caudalie Fleur de Vigne Shower Gel

Caudalie is one of those few brands that manages to produce product after product and they are almost all winners for me.  Between this line and NARS, I could buy enough products that I would never have to look at any other beauty brands again.  In addition to the fantastic skincare products in this collection, a series of body products are also offered that contain the company's philosophy of Vinotherapy and the rewards that our skin can reap from the grape seed polyphenols, one of the strongest natural anti-oxidants in the beauty world today. 

This company has a series of spas all around the world, a place where your whole body can reap the rewards of the Vinotherapy.  Visiting the Spa at the Ritz Carlton is a dream of mine and I can only hope that I will be able to go there one day in the future.  But until that time, I will use as many of the skin and body care products that I can buy.  Currently, this company offers several scrubs, one lotion formula, and one shower gel formula.  I own the body lotion and the shower gel, having ordered both of them from Sephora after reading that some of the body products are scented with the Fleur de Vigne fragrance that I have loved for years.  So far, I have used the shower gel every morning for the past week but I haven't opened up the body lotion yet.  Today we will look at the shower gel only and hold the lotion for a later time.

I ordered this product from the Sephora website and that is where the following information comes from.  "A plant-based, soap-free shower gel scented with Caudalie's Fleur de Vigne fragrance that respects the skin's natural pH.  First created exclusively for the Luxury Vinotherapie Hotel 'Les Sources de Caudalie', Fleur de Vigne Shower Gel leaves the skin soft and subtly perfumed with notes of vine blossom, delicate melon, white rose, and pink pepper."

Like the rest of the Caudalie product line, this shower gel contains mostly plant-derived and natural ingredients instead of many of the chemical surfactants that are found in many of the shower gels on the market today.  That being said, this product can't be compared to traditional shower gels in some aspects.  A wash with plant-derived ingredients for washing will not foam up near as well as traditional formulas.  This product foams up enough to cleanse the body but will not satisfy those who love huge amounts of foaming bubbles.  What I love the most about this gel is that it is very gentle and does not strip the skin and leave it tight and dry, I will be able to use this gentle formula in the winter months and not worry about it really drying my skin out.  It rinses very clean and doesn't leave any type of residue on the skin.

This fragrance is wonderful, I have always loved the Fleur de Vigne fragrance, a light floral that can be worn even the worst heat and humidity of the summer.  I don't believe that the body lotion is the same fragrance so I would love to have a matching lotion in this fragrance.  Fleur de Vigne will always be a favorite fragrance of mine so even if this formula was awful, I bet that I would end up repurchasing the product just for the fragrance.  But I am very happy that the product formulation is as good as the fragrance itself!

photo courtesy of Sephora

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Chanel Summer 2012 Collection

The Chanel summer collection has finally appeared on their website, I haven't seen it at the counters yet but I am very excited to see what products and shades this company come out with this season.  Chanel normally creates one of the best collections of the season and I am really hoping that this company has a great bronzer or two this summer.  When I first look at the products, I can see bronzers however it also appears that almost every single lip shade is very warm and therefore none of them will work out for me.  This collection is named Summertime de Chanel, this collection is a very typical summer collections with lots of bronzes and warm shades for the face.  We will see how this collection treats me this season!

Here is the Summertime de Chanel collection!

Soleil Tan de Chanel - This unique powder formula lends subtle hints of warmth and shimmer to every complexion.  It is comprised of seven unique shades - including a luminous gold - while can be applied separately to highlight and sculpt facial contours or blended together to achieve an overall bronzing effect that replicates the natural glow of sunbathed skin.
- Sable Beige - medium warm bronze/pale champagne shimmer/deep warm bronze shimmer/true gold shimmer
- Sable Rose - medium cool pink bronze/medium rose shimmer/pale pink champagne shimmer/true gold

Ombres Contraste Duo - This foolproof pairing of complementary shades - in two unique textures - is housed in one convenient compact.  The softly shimmering light shade is a creamy powder, which can be worn alone for a luminous effect, or as a base to extend the wear of the accompanying deep-toned shadow.  The dark shade has intense micronized pigments for true colour application, and a matte finish to create depth and contour.  Two applicators are included: a foam tip to apply the shadows and a brush to blend.  Available in six essential shade harmonies designed to take the guesswork out of harmonizing and applying eye shadow.
- Sable - Emouvant - deep bronze shimmer/light gold shimmer

Le Crayon Yeux - Line eyes quickly and easily with an eye crayon that achieves a variety of effects, from a subtle yet precise look, to a more dramatic definition.  The built-in smudge applicator perfects a smoky eye look, while a companion sharpener ensures the pencil is always ready for lining.
- Brun Intense - deep warm brown

Le Crayon Kohl - Perfect for the smoky eye, this soft pencil quickly achieves a dramatic look.  A special blend of colour and pearl pigments provides a rich, intense line with a semi-matte finish.  Specially formulated to glide gently over the eyelid, the liner is safe for use in the inner rim of the eye.  A companion sharpener ensures the pencil is always ready for lining.
- Peche Cuivre - true medium gold

Rouge Coco Shine - Rouge Coco Shine Hydrating Sheer Lipshine provides lasting moisturizing shine in a water-light texture.  The formula glides on for easy application, and a unique Hydratendre complex hydrates and softens lips, giving them a healthier and fuller appearance.  Available in a complete range of shades, from delicate beiges to dazzling berries, with a hint of shimmer to enhance a glossy finish.
- Empreinte - glossy warm peach
- En Vogue - bright coral cream

Levres Scintillantes - Gorgeous shimmer and a high shine glow is delivered effortlessly to lips with just one stroke of this best-selling lip gloss.  A wide range of shades, from sheer and natural to sparkling and rich, look beautiful on their own, or over your favorite Chanel lipstick.  Equally beautiful: the conditioning formula's comfort and long wear.
- Sirocco - neutral light beige
- Calypso - bright coral

Le Vernis - Classic and trend-defining shades from the runways of Paris.  State-of-the-art formula strengthens and moisturizes nails as it delivers long-wearing, high-shine, chip-resistant colour.  Applies evenly without streaking.
- Island - warm sandy beige
- Delight - warm medium bronze
- Holiday - bright coral

Inimitable Waterproof - The mascara that delivers it all - volume, length, curl, and precise separation -  in a longwearing, waterproof formula that won't flake or smudge.  Pro-Vitamin B5 hydrates and conditions lashes to keep them supple and healthy-looking.  A unique brush design provides definition of lashes, even the finest.
- Noir - black

Vitalumiere Aqua - The tiniest drop of this new hybrid fluid creates a fresh, natural complexion.  Skin looks refined and feels refreshed, creating an exquisite makeup experience.  The fluid formula haas a soft, water-light texture, and comes in 10 shades that match perfectly to skin's undertones, whether pink or beige.  Dermatologist-tested.  Non-comedogenic.  Oil-free.

Soleil Tan de Chanel - Sheer, weightless liquid instantly brightens skin and evens out skin tone.  Light-reflecting pigments provide radiance and luminosity.  Botanical extracts soften, smooth, and moisturize.  Oil free.  Fragrance free.
- Sunkissed - light to medium bronze

Rouge Coco Baume - A moisture-rich lip balm with an advanced Hydratendre Complex, this formula hydrates and softens lips, for a healthier and fuller appearance.  It's sheer, lustrous texture glides on smoothly with a sumptuous, high-gloss finish.

The majority of the shades in this collection are much too warm for me and overall this collection would not flatter my skintone at all.  I am interested in one item and one item only, the Soleil Tan de Chanel in the Sable Rose shade.  This product contains enough pinks that I could use it for a blush or a bronzer (depending on the level of pigmentation in each shade).  I will have to try this product out at the counter first and see how it works as blush and a bronzer.  The second piece that I would like to own in the collection is the duo eye shadow, I often wear golds and bronzes on my eyes and I would love another version of these shades.  The last piece that I would like to own from this collection is another one of the of eye products, Le Crayon Kohl in the new gold shade.  This liner will really flatter the eye shadoe duo and create a professional look for the daytime or a dramatic nighttime look.

The major issues that I have with this collection are in the lip and nail shades, all of these shades are made for someone with a warm skintone.  None of these brights will flatter me and therefore I will have to skip over this entire part of the collection.

This isn't one of my favorite collections as yet since next to nothing in it will be flattering for my skintone.  I can see that this will sell well this summer since it contains many of the traditional best-selling shades for warm weather months.

photo courtesy of Chanel

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

MAC Fashion Sets

This week, MAC has introduced a new color collection that consists only of lip and nail products.  I was initially thinking that there are no new shades or products in this collection and that it consists of current shades that have been rearranged by MAC and grouped into a new collection.  However, this is only partially true.  The lipsticks are current shades but MAC has created Lipglasses and Nail Lacquers to match them.  This collection is named Fashion Sets and is divided into four major groups, one for each area of the globe.  I think that I am the most excited for the Europe part of the collection though I am very curious to see what shades MAC has come up with for each area of the world.

"Rebel in New York, Russian Red in Dubai, Snob in Sao Paulo, Saint Germain in Tokyo, Morange in Paris: these must-have lip shades so coveted by MAC fans around the world, that we have created 3-piece mini collections of Lipstick, Lipglass, and Nail Lacquer trios in 7 classic palettes.  Perfectly coordinated, regionally inspired."  So are these shades inspired by the region of the world or are they the best selling shades in each city?  The description of the collectionis somewhat vague and I can't tell either way what these shades are going to be like...

First we will start with the product descriptions and then go into what shades are included with this collection and what regions they are associated with.

Lipstick - Colour plus texture for the lips.  Stands out on the runway.  Simmers on the street!  What made MAC famous.

Lipglass - A unique lip gloss available in a wide variety of colours that can create a high gloss, glass-like finish or a subtle sheen.  Designed to be worn on its own, over Lip Pencil or Lipstick, Tinted Lipglass is the perfect product for creating shine that lasts.  It's pigmented, very shiney, and can impart subtle or dramatic colour.  It contains Jojoba Oil to help soften and condition the lips.  Tinted Lipglass is packaged in a convenient bottle with a sponge tip applicator that provides a quick, smooth, even application.

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!

Now we will go onto the regions of the world that are represented and the shades that have been chosen for each area.

Fashion Sets: North America - Girl About Town, Rebel, Russian Red: the must-have lip shades for MAC fans from New York to LA to Toronto.
- Myth - light neutral nude
- Snob - light neutral pink
- Spice - midtonal neutral nude
- Girl About Town - bright blue fuchsia
- Russian Red - intense bluish-red
- Rebel - midtonal cream plum
- Chestnut - rich chocolate brown

Fashion Sets: Asia Pacific - Impassioned, Ravishing, Saint Germain: the must have lip shades for MAC fans from Seoul to Shanghai.
- Peachstock - creamy beige peach
- Razzledazzler - creamy light coral
- Ravishing - clean light peachy coral
- Angel - soft pink
- Saint Germain - clean pastel pink
- Morange - loudmouth orange
- Impassioned - amped-up fuchsia

Fashion Sets: Europe and Africa: Morange, Spice, Saint Germain: the must have lip shades for MAC fans from Paris to Capetown.
- Myth - light neutral nude
- Spice - midtonal neutral nude
- Saint Germain - clean pastel pink
- Morange - loudmouth orange
- Impassioned - amped-up fuchsia
- Russian Red - intense bluish-red
- Rebel - midtonal cream plum

Fashion Sets: Latin America and Middle East: Russian Red, Snob, Morange: the must have lip shades for MAC fans from Santiago to Dubai.
- Snob - light neutral pink
- Please Me - muted rosy-tinted pink
- Pink Nouveau - bright pink
- Morange - loudmouth orange
- Impassioned - amped-up fuchsia
- Girl About Town - bright blue fuchsia
- Russian Red - intense bluish-red

Now that I have looked at the shades in these collections, I understand more about what I was missing before.  These are the best selling lipstick shades in each of these areas and the newly created Lipglass and Nail Lacquers were made to match each shade.  Now the point of this collection makes sense.  I'm not really shocked by any of the top sellers and I noticed that many of the top selling shades are the same in multiple areas.  Of the top sellers, my favorites are Russian Red, Saint Germain, Pink Nouveau, Snob, and Girl About Town.  I want the Nail Lacquer in Russian Red and all of the above pink shades and the Lipglass in all the pink shades that I have listed.

I love seeing all the best sellers from MAC and I love that now the company has introduced them in Lipglass and Nail Lacquers.  It seems like MAC has read my mind for this spring, I have been all about lip products and nail polishes and this collection is one of the best collections for these products.

photo courtesy of MAC

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

NARS Sheer Matte Foundation

The other week I finished the last of my MAC foundation and I decided to expland my knowledge and experience with NARS complexion products.  I use lots of their blush, lip, and eye products and now I wanted to try one of their face products and see if it is the same quality as the rest of their product line.  Well I am very happy to report that the foundation that I used from this line is among one of their best products and one of my favorite foundation formulas that I have tried over the years.  At this point, I really feel like I could use only NARS products and be very happy for the next few years.

I purchased the Sheer Matte formula from their small foundation line, the line from MAC is much more extensive but there are enough products in the NARS line to cover most foundation needs.  I prefer sheer to medium coverage foundations in the spring and summer, while I save the heavier coverage products for the winter months when my skin is more red and dry than usual.  The MAC formula that I just finished was a medium coverage and I wasn't looking for a much different formula this time around.  I had checked out the NARS formula a few months ago when my MAC bottle was running low and the Sheer Matte formula was the product that I decided to purchase when I needed a new bottle.

"An oil-free, soft-matte finish foundation with sheer, buildable coverage that controls shine throughout the day while evening the skin tone.  Replete with skincare benefits and the NARS Complexion Brightening Formula, it leaves skin more luminous, softer, and smoother.  Used daily, Sheer Matte Foundation improves skin's brightness and texture.  For normal, normal to oily, and oily skin types.  Oil-free, absorbs oil and controls shine.  Contains powerful anti-oxidants to protect against damaging free radicals and tumeric extract to improve skin's radiance and tone.  Dermatologist tested.  Non-comedogenic.  Fragrance-free." 

This formula is more of a medium coverage than a sheer coverage, it is slightly on the drier side than many other formulas that I have used.  This is a better formula for using during the warm weather months, I will have to go over to the Sheer Glow formula during the fall and winter months.  Even though it is direr than the MAC formula that I have been using, it applies and blends well.  I use it over Benefit's The Pore-fessional primer and it blends easily and covers very well.  With this formula being slightly on the drying side, I make sure than I moisturize well before using my primer and foundation routine.  While this formula isn't very difficult to work with, I found it slightly more challenging to blend on my cheeks than any other area of my face and primer is a must to easily and quickly blend this formula.  The coverage of this product is very even and works very well to conceal any redness in my cheek area, I have found that I need more less concealer than usual with this formulation and I only use it around my undereye area and on any random blemishes.  This is a top quality formula and is among the best that I have used.

This foundation comes in a range of 20 shades, from very pale to deep.  I purchased the Mont Blanc shade, the second shade in the range.  It is "light with pink undertones".  The two lightest shades aren't very different from each other but I chose the Mont Blanc shade because it had pink undertones and has cooler tones than Siberia which is a mix of pink and yellow undertones and is slightly more neutral than Mont Blanc.  This shade is a current perfect match, however I know that as soon as I begin using self-tanner this match will be wrong.  Based on this fact, I will only be able to use this product for the next month or so before the match is off.

This foundation is a wonderful choice for the spring and summer months for me, but I will go over to the Sheer Glow formula in tha fall (I hope that all shades are the same in that formula).  This formula covers well, with a bit of effort in blending and stays on all day without excess oil breaking through in my T-Zone area.  This is a great foundation for normal to combination skin types, I feel that it might be too heavy for oily skin types.  This is one of the best foundations that I have ever used and I have found yet another winner from NARS.

photo courtesy of NARS

Monday, April 23, 2012

Lancome Summer 2012 Collection - Bronze Diva

One of the best known summer collection is that from Lancome, this company always creates a great collection of bronzers and the complimenting makeup shades.  Over the past few years, Lancome has been known for creating fantastic bronzers that sell out quickly every single year.  Since this is the year that I need to do major bronzer comparison shopping, I am looking at this collection early one and then deciding what to do before everything good is sold out at my local Macy*s counter.  This collection is named Bronze Diva, it combines several wonderful bronzers and pink shades to complement.  I am really excited about the pink shades for lips and eyes, the eye palette is all about the rose gold eye look and I am going to be adding more of these shades to my collection.  I really see myself with a fake tan, rose gold eyes, and light pink lips this summer...

This collection is relatively large, it contains 10 new choices for the season.  Some of bronzers appear to be brand new, other products appear to be new shades of their best sellers.  Personally, I am very excited for some new Juicy Tubes as I haven't bought these glosses in forever but I love them to pieces. 

Lancome's newest summer collection!

Color Design Pink Safari Palette - Infinitely luminous.  Sensationally smooth.  All-in-one 6 shadow palette to brighten eyes.  Indulge in a limited edition compact with shades of golden pinks mixed with orange, copper, and brown.  Inspired by the desert sun and exotic mirages, this new versatile all-in-one palette conveniently creates a full eye look for day or night. 
- Desert Sunset - pale pink shimmer/medium pink shimmer/warm orange shimmer/pale champage gold shimmer/medium bronze shimmer/deep brown shimmer

Le Stylo Waterproof - Formulated for an intense eye look to withstand everything from tears to inclement weather, this waterproof eyeliner has a unique twist tip that never needs sharpening.  Won't skip, smudge, or streak.  The easy-glide, creamy texture helps you create any look you like.
- 102 Bronze Riche - deep warm bronze
- 103 Cafe Noir - deep brown black

Artliner Waterproof - Emphasize your eyes with this easy-to-handle, liquid pen featuring a uniquely shaped foam tip that lets you line, shape, and define eyes to create any look you like.  Rich, deep, luminous pigments offer the most intense, dramatic color.  Glides on smoothly without scratching, tugging, or skipping and lasts all day.
- 103 Gold Passsion - deep true metallic gold
- 104 Bronze Desire - deep warm metallic bronze
- 200 Pink Luxe - clean bright shimmering pink

Juicy Tubes - This ultra shiny gloss sweeps on a sheer, sexy wash of color in a variety of browns, corals, pinks, and peach shades.  You'll love the ultra glossy formula that glides on easily with its tube-tip applicator.  Perfectly portable, this essential gloss discreetly slips in a pocket or purse for a quick fix of fabulous anytime.
- 210 Vanilla Sand - creamy vanilla with a hint of sparkle
- 262 Bronze Cocoa - light pastel bronze
- 3351 Pink Hibiscus - bright strawberry pink
- 114 Peach Nectar - sheer coral

Color Design Hydra Balm - New limited edition super-hydrating lip balm to enhance lips with a tint of popping, fresh sheer color.  Pamper your lips with long-lasting comfort with this shine-boosting lip balm that smoothes on deep replenishing moisture, and a veil of SPF sun protection.
- 559 Lotus Blossom - deep sheer rose cream
- 505 Desert Primrose - light pastel pink
- 561 Cactus Flower - bright orange

Star Bronzer Bamboo Bronzer - All over powder bronzer great for face, body, and decollete with a limited edition bamboo design.  Inspired by the desert sun and exotic mirages, accents of gold, copper, and pink come together for a glowing, sun-kissed complexion.
- Spice Island - metallic blend of gold, copper, and pink

Star Bronzer Aqua Stick - Discover the new limited edition Star Bronzer Aqua Stick.  Revitalizing stiock releases a smooth wave of sheer color onto the skin with gliding, intensely refreshing applicaton and a soothing effect.  Gently blend gel bronzer onto your skin over your cheeks, all over your face and/or decollete.
- Diva - rust copper metallic

Le Vernis - Add a soft touch to your fingertips with two limited edition Le Vernis colors in bright tangerine and pink, inspired by the desert sun and exotic mirages.  As Lancome's most technically-advanced nail polish, your fingertips and toes will love the boost of color and shine that lasts for up to seven days.  It's cutting edge, soft-sculpt brush embraces the shape of each nail for perfectly even coverage in one coat with no clumps.  It's small, portable bottle makes it easy to travel.
- 361 Cosmopolitan Pink - medium pink
- 134 Tangerine Tint - medium orange

Blush Subtil - This luxuriously silky powder blush glides on with its own brush to color and contour for flawless application every time.  Color stays true for hours; versatile powder finish never looks dry or dull, thanks to moisture-balancing ingredients that keep skin feeling completely comfortable.  Oil-free and oil-absorbing.  Ideal for all skin types.
- Aplum - matte rose-y mauve

Star Bronzer - This silky-sheer powder delivers a natural sun-kissed glow in any season.  Exceptional light-reflecting pigments ensure a radiant tanned makeup result.  Smooth and comfortable texture blends effortlessly and evenly into skin.  Skin feels silky soft and even toned.  Result - Radiant yet natural-looking, for a bronzed complexion that stays fresh and colour-true throughout the day.  Suitable for all skin types.  Oil-free.  Fragrance-free.  Available in a wide range of bronze shades to suit all types and tones.

My favorite piece of the collectiom is the one that I have pictured, the Star Bronzer Bamboo Bronzer.  This formula is a bit on the much side for everyday life, it has a shimmer finish and will work very well for the night but it is too much for casual situations.  For most times during the summer, I will buy a matte shade of the Star Bronzer.  It is available in both matte and shimmer shades, I would buy a matte shade first since I would actually get a lot of wear from it.  If I only purchase one item from the collection, it would be a matte shade from the Star Bronzer.

After I purchase a bronzer, there are another series of products that I want to buy too.  I love the eye shadow palette that was made to compliment the bronzer shades, you all know that I have been raving about the rose gold eye look for the past few weeks and this product will give me many more options to help create it.  Next on my shopping list is the pink shade of the Juicy Tubes, I love the bright strawberry pink shade.  I want two of the liquid eyeliners, the gold and bronze shades will work well all summer and I know that I will keep using them well into the fall months.  Lastly, I want the bright pink nail polish shade.

I love that Lancome has decided to break with the tradition verison of the bronzed look and added pinks and golds into the look.  I love that I have more options that the bright blues that I have been seeing in the some of the summer collections, this is one of my top five favorites of the season!

photo courtesy of Lancome

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Awake Invention Stretch Concealer

Awake is one of the highest quality color lines but unfortunatly it has been much reduced over the past few years, the company used to have a full color line that contained fantastic shades for every facial feature.  One of the best products that they carried was a loose powder with a bit of shimmer in that I found wonderfully flattering and I wanted to order again.  However I am on the company's website and instead of finding my powder, the only products that I am finding are skincare and then a few face foundations and concealers.  To my extreme displeasure, all of the great Awake products are gone and only a few of the half decent products are left.  I have used the concealer from this company in the past but have never written about it.  While mourning the lack of color products, I do want to write up the concealer and see if the formula has changed over the years.

This company currently only offers one formula of concealer, much less than was originally offered.  The product is the Invention Stretch Concealer, a lightweight liquid formula.  To begin with, liquid concealers are not my cup of tea, I never find them pigmented enough to cover my flaws.  I prefer cream or stick formulas so that they fully cover my dark circles and any last areas of redness.  Overall, i have found that liquid concealers are too thin to cover any major flaws and wear off too quickly during the day.  So it won't come as a shock to anyone that this product didn't work well for me and that I didn't like it.

"A full coverage liquid concealer that minimizes the appearance of dark circles, fine lines, and all skin imperfections with a soft matte finish.  The stretch matrix base accomodates the facial movements to stay crease-proof throughout the day.  Rosehip Oil softens skin and provides hydration."  The company recommends use as follows: After applying to problem areas with the brush, lightly tap with fingertip to blend. 

This formula is housed in a thin tube with a small brush applicator.  Most liquid concealers come with a sponge tip applicator to dot the product onto specific spots.  I disliked the small brush applicator, it allowed me to get the product to very specific areas however it didn't blend the product well at all.  To make this product look somewhat better upon application, I had to then use a flat concealer brush to blend it in.  And then I had to finish blending the edges with my finger.  This formula actually took longer to apply then most cream formulas.  Considering how intense the application was, I was really disappointed that the product didn't covera very well.  It took my less time to get better coverage with the Amazing Concealer.  I had to apply a minimun of three coats to make any difference underneath my eyes.  At this point, I began to run the risk of the product clumping and looking worse than the dark circles themselves.  I honestly would rather left all my imperfections show then look like I applied too much makeup and can't get the application right.

After all it took to get the application correct, it added insult to injury when the product began to wear off within two hours.  By lunchtime, my morning makeup application was almost gone and I needed to restart all over again.  I just can't use liquid concealers, I just will never see good results with them and I wish that this wasn't one of the few products that the Awake company decided to keep around...

photo courtesy of Awake

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Deborah Lippmann Summer 2012 Collection

I have been seeing some great phots of the new Deborah Lippmann summer polishes in both blogs and magazines, this is one of the first collections of all chrome finish polishes that we have seen in quite a long time.  My favorite chrome polish of all time is a Deborah Lippmann polish, Wicked Game, and therefore I have been very excited about this collection every since I first heard about it.  It is finally available on the Lippmann website so I would recommend checking them out before they are completely sold out.  I loved the Deborah Lippmann spring polishes and I am looking forward to find more polishes to love this summer. 

This collection consists of three new shades that are a different type than most of the summer collections, there are no brights and neons in this collections and the deep chrome shades almost look as though they could be a fall collection.  In fact, this actually might be more appropriate as a fall collection, I find it interesting that many of the spring collections contained the brights and the summer collection contains some deep warm hues.  It is not very often that I buy products well before the season begins and put them aside but I feel confident that this collection of polishes will be perfect in any season.

The first shade is my least favorite of the collection, Swagga Like Us is a copper shade that I don't feel will be very flattering on my skintone.  This shade is a "oxidized copper teal" with the mirrored chrome finish that all the polishes in this group have.  This shade is a medium copper with a bit of a green cast to it, this isn't my favorite type of shade to begin with and is too warm for me to pull off.  This shade would look lovely on someone with a warm, tanned skintone but since i will never be this, I will not be buying this shade.

The second shade of the collection is a champagne tone, a shade that very easily could become a staple for me over the next few months.  This shade is named Sugar Daddy and it is an "antiqued champagne" with neutral undertones.  This shade would work well on almost any skintone and shade, it is just that good of a neutral.  I will be ordering this shade and it will work well with almost everything that I currently own.  Based on the pictures that I have seen of this polish in different lights, it has a pink undertone to it in some lights.  This is such a good shade for me.

The last shade of the collection is my favorite and reminds me very much of Wicked Game.  This shade is a deep purple named Private Dancer.  This shade is a deeper purple than Wicked Game and is more blue toned, where Wicked Game has a deep bronze cast to it in some lights.  This shade is a "gilded ultra violet" and is one of the best purple shades that I have seen.  I can't see that I will wear this shade in the summer but I will want to buy it and put it aside for the fall, I will wear this shade all throughout the cooler weather months.

This is one of the most unique summer collections this season and I find it to be a bit better suited for the fall months.  I have found two great shades in this collection, one everyday neutral and one great jewel tone.  Deborah Lippmann makes some of the best polishes on the beauty market today and I always look forward to the new collections!

photo courtesy of Deborah Lippmann

Friday, April 20, 2012

Clarins Summer 2012 Collection - Instant Summer Beauty

The spring collection from Clarins didn't really do it for me so I am hoping that the summer collection will be better and at least one or two products will pop out at me.  So far, the Clarins color products don't really work for me and the skincare products are some of my favorites so I am hoping that I can find some color products that are as wonderful as the skincare line.  Instant Summer Beauty is the newest collection and contains only products that work quickly and easily to create an effortlessly pretty look.  I already see that one of my favorite products from this line is included in this collection, the Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch primer and this fact really gets my excited for the rest of this collection. 

This collection consists of five products in total; two primers, one bronzer, one concealer, and one lipstick.  I already own one of the primers in this collection and the other one is targeted toward anti-aging and concealing fine lines and wrinkles so I can't really say that I will be looking at this collection in order to find another primer.  I am still shopping around for a new bronzer or two for the summer months so this is the area that I am most interested in over the next few weeks.  I am thinking that I will buy at least two new bronzers this summer so I can best match my fake tan shades.

Here is the newest collection from Clarins...

Bronzing Duo SPF 15 Mineral Powder Compact - Clarin's Bronzing Duo blends complementary shades of sun for made-to-measure splendor.  Guards against pollution with White Tea Extract.  Fights free radicals with Crowberry and Vitamin E.  Delivers UVA/UVB protecting with 100% mineral sunscreens.
- 01 Light - light tan/medium bronze
- 02 Medium - medium tan/medium to dark bronze
- 03 Dark - dark tan/dark bronze

Instant Smooth Crystal Lip Balm - Delivers the colour of a lipstick, the transparency of a gloss, and the comfort of a lip balm for smoother, fuller lips.  Available in 4 bold summer shades.
- 03 Crystal Coral - warm medium coral
- 02 Crystal Violet - medium cool lavender
- 04 Crystal Red - medium neutral red
- 01 Crystal Pink - wam medium pink

Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch - This beauty-award winning primer is the perfect combination of makeup and skincare.  With an ultra-light, ultra-smooth texture, it glides onto skin, leaving an imperceptible veil on its surface, filling in and smoothing away the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and pores.  Your skin will be foundation ready to give your makeup a more even and flawless finish.  Can be used alone or mixed with your foundation.

Instant Smooth Line Correcting Concentrate - This magic corrector is rich in Dermaxyl, a line correcting peptide, that can be applied directly onto lines, wrinkles, and enlarged pores throughout the day to keep your complexion smoother and brighter with instant and long-lasting results.  Perfect to diminish the appearance of facial expression lines with line-filling Acacia Micro Pearls.  Slanted tip makes it easy for targeted application.

Instant Light Brush-On Perfector - In one quick stroke, this brush-on perfector helps conceal imperfections and disguise shadowy areas as it firms and smoothes skin.  Oat Sugars deliver an instant tightening effect to skin upon application, helping to diminish signs of fatigue and imperfections as Clarins Light Optimizing Complex illuminates the eye area and smoothes skin.
- 00 Light Beige - pale neutral champagne
- 01 Pink Beige - pale cool champagne
- 02 Medium Beige - medium neutral beige

I am really excited about some of the products in this collection, especially the bronzer and Instant Light Brush-On Perfector.  I think that I would start the summer with the lightest shade of the bronzer and then perhaps buy the medium shade depending on how deep I get this summer.  Somehow I still doubt that I will need the medium shade since I don't get that dark even at the height of the self-tanning season.  The Instant Light Brush-On Perfector really interests me, I want to try using it around my undereye area since the two eye creams that I am using are both only fighting puffiness and not my dark circles.  I love that there is a shade with pink undertones since many concealers can be too warm for my skintone.  The last piece that I want from this collection is the lip balm in the pink shade, it will be very flattering against my pale or tanned skin this summer.

I love this collection from Clarins and it makes up for the spring collection, I will be investing in several products from this collection.

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Clean Clean Skin

My Sephora perfume sample pile is growing larger and larger with every single online purchase that I make to fulfill my Illamasqua obsession.  In fact, I just made another one before I started writing this up, I need to move closer to a store that actually carries the brand.  Now that the warmer weather is here, I have revisited my sample pile and am looking for the fragrances that are light and what I want to be wearing this time of the year.  The one that I am currently trying out is a new scent from Clean, a brand that has created a following around their fresh, soapy fragrances.  Normally, these are not my style of fragrance, I prefer light florals over the clean and fresh scents.  I ordered this sample with one of my many Sephora orders since I was a bit curious about these scents and don't currently own any type of soapy fragrance. 

I first tried this sample when my order came last winter and I originally liked the fragrance and was planning to buy it when I could wear it.  However I have pulled it out again this morning and I am not quite as big of a fan of the fragrance as I thought that I was, perhaps I was just so ready for the warm weather last December that I wanted any type of light fragrance... 

Sephora is the exclusive carrier of this brand (to the best of my knowledge) so I got all of my information off their website.  "This fragrance captures the delicate scent of bare skin.  Hints of dewy flower petals wrap around notes of pure creaminess and warm musk to evoke the simple scent of touchable skin.  Enticing, fresh, pure.  Clean skin at its best."  The notes of the fragrance are: Sheer Honeydew, Lotus Blossom, Fresh Air Accord, Dewy Petals, Aquatic Notes, Blue Rose, White Musks, Amber Woods, Creamy Vanilla.

The first time that I tried this fragrance, I found it to be a clean, aquatic floral and I was so excited to order a bottle during the spring months.  I'm not quite sure why I decided that I really loved this fragrance but I am very glad that I tried it again before I ordered a bottle from Sephora.  Seeing as how Clean fragrances only come in large-sized bottles, this would have been a very annoying mistake to make.  The second time that I tried this fragrance on, it smelled like nothing and I could barely smell it on my skin within an hour of application.  Today I tried it on again and it smells like an aquatic mens colonge.  I don't see how this fragrance can smell so different every single time that I use it, I have rarely had that happen with other fragrances and never with the "clean soap" type of fragrances that have very few notes in them.

The lasting power on this fragrance is among one of the worst that I have used recently, it is gone already and I applied it about an hour and a half ago.  I know that this fragrance contains many top notes but the musk and vanilla should allow it to have a longer wear time than many of the traditional "soapy" fragrances.  I am nearly convinced that I will never find a fragrance in this category that will work for me and that this hole in my fragrance collection will just remain a hole.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Essie Summer 2012 Collection - Poppy-Razzi Collection

Is is just me or is this the first time that an Essie collection has had a name to it?  I believe that it is and I must say that I really love this name and I think that is it super clever.  The name alone makes me want to buy shades from this collection and I love the bright pink that is featured in the promo picture on the website.  I recently bought To Buy or Not To Buy from the spring collection and I have been wearing it on my toes straight for my last two pedicures.  I feel that this line doesn't just much love from the beauty industry and I love that I saw this shade in several beauty magazines in the months of March and April.  For once, let's take some of the publicity away from OPI!  I am hoping that at least one of the four shades from the summer collection will have the same fame.

This collection is named Poppy-Razzi, making me think of the Lady Gaga song that I will never be able to get out of my head now...  "I travel incognito, but always bring poppy-razzi.", is the collection description from the owner of the company.  This collection contains four new brights that will be great pedicure shades over the next few months.  I see two pinks and two oranges, the oranges will be skipped over since this shade is never flattering for my skintone...

We will look at the pinks first.  The first shade is my favorite of the collection, Lights is "an electric pink neon".  This is the coolest toned shade of the collection so I am beginning to think that this is the only shade in the collection that will be very flattering on my skintone.  You guys all know that I have been all about pinks ever since the beginning of the spring collections and I am happy to see that the summer collections are still carrying a range of pink shades for me to lust after.  I know that I will wear this shade all summer, both for manicures and pedicures so this will be a great purchase for me.  The second of the pink shades is a warmer bright pink and may not be as flattering on my skin.  Camera is "a brilliant coral pink neon", it is very pretty on the website but I have to see this one in real life to determine how warm this shade actually is.  Based on the undertones, this shade could be a huge hit or miss for me.  Both shades are cream finish, which I really like since the colors speak for themselves. 

The oranges aren't going to be my cup of tea but I know these types of shades are very popular in the summer and can be flattering on warmer skintones.  Action is my least favorite shade of the collection, this one is "a vibrant light orange neon".  I can't see how this can be flattering on anyone, this bright neon orange reminds me of the vests that construction workers where and I really think this is an awful shade.  The second of the oranges isn't much better, I just really don't like the orange shades and I know that they will never work for me.  This shade is named Bazooka and it is "a bright orange neon".  This shade is the deeper of the two, a bit less obnoxious but I still don't think it is attractive at all.  Again, both of these shades are creams so they are a bit tamer than some of the shimmers and glitters that we have been seeing this season.

Of course my favorite shade is Lights, this is the only one that I know will be flattering for my skintone.  I do like the second pink shade but I need to see it in real life so I can determine how warm it actually is.  Both the oranges are already out...  I can't wait to see how many pink nail polishes I end up collecting between this spring and summer!

photo courtesy of Essie

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bath and Body Works Wild Garden

Wild Garden is the newest fragrance collection from Bath and Body Works, this one came out just in time for Mother's Day and the beginning of the summer months.  This company's first fragrance release for this spring was Pink Chiffon, a scent that didn't work on me at all and therefore I haven't really been buying body care products from this company for the past few months, all of my shopping trips have been dominated by candles and matching Wallflower scents.  But with the release of this collection, I know that I will go back to buying body products that next time that I am shopping.  Wild Garden is a limited edition collection that contains three new fragrances, all of which are light florals.  The three fragrances are Wild Berry Tulips, Wild Apple Daffodil, and Wild Citrus Sunflower.  Of the three, the Apple Daffodil and Citrus Sunflower are my favorites.

Wild Berry Tulips reminds me very much of many of the previous berry scented fragrances from Bath and Body Works.  It reminds me of a lighter version of Be Enchanted or Secret Wonderland, two scents that are strong on the sweet berries.  I like berry notes but they don't like me so I often have to skip over these types of fragrances.  This fragrance is "a flirtatious blend of red raspberry, sheer honeysuckle, and pink tulips."  The top notes are: Luscious Tangerine, Wild Red Berries, Dewy Freesia, Water Lilies.  The heart notes of the fragrance are: Strawberry Blossom, Sheer Honeysuckle, Gardenia Petals.  The base notes are: Fluid Vanilla, Liquid Amber, Creamy Woods, Sensual Musk.  This is one of this fragrances that I don't mind in the bottle, I was hoping that this fragrance had enough of the honeysuckle and tulip notes in it that they minimized the berry notes.  Alas, they do not and this fragrance smells like sweet berry and musk on my skin and it is not flattering with my skin chemisty.  In the bottle, the fragrance smells like a mix of sweet berry and honeysuckle but something happens on my skin that makes this not a fragrance for me to wear. 

The second of the new fragrances is named Wild Apple Daffodil, my second favorite of the collection.  This scent reminds me of some of the classic fragrances that were be exited when I worked there in college, I am pretty much out of all of these fragrances now and I was so excited to find a light floral and apple scent that I can wear all the time during spring.  This fragrance is described byt the company as "a playful blend of juicy red apples, flirty daffodils, and fresh pomegranate."  The top notes of the fragrance are: Red Delicious Apple, Pomelo, Sparkling Quince, Juicy Pomegranate.  The middle notes are: Magnolia Blossom, Juicy Peach, Peony Petals.  The bottom notes are: Vanilla Mist, Teakwood, Sheer Musk.  This one comes out as a light apple and peony mix on my skin, I love the way that the lotion smells but the fragrance mist is just ok.  The floral notes come out in the lotion but the mist is heavier on the apple notes, so I will be skipping the mist but will be buying this fragrance in the body products.  I love how light this fragrance is, it is perfect for spring and summer!

The last of the fragrances is my favorite, the Wild Citrus Sunflower is one that I didn't really expect to love since citrus doesn't always love me.  However this fragrance turned out to be my favorite of the bunch, esepcially for the upcoming summer months.  This fragrance is "a sunny blend of sparkling clementine, cheerful sunflowers, and luscious white nectarine."  This top notes are: Sparkling Bergamot, Iced Lemon, Fresh Papaya.  The middle notes of the fragrance are: Tropical Gardenia, Watery Tiare, White Nectarine.  The bottoms notes are: Creamy White Musk, Exotic Teak, Ambrette Seed.  This is another fragrance that smells very different in the fragrance mist and the body product forms.  Like most other fragrances with a citrus in them, the body products work well but not the mist.  I love the body products in this scent, it is the perfect citrus with just a bit of floral in it to soften the fragrance. 

These products come in the traditional product forms; Fine Fragrance Mist, Shower Gel, Body Lotion, and Triple Moisture Body Cream.  It also comes in a series of newer products, one of which is a body scrub and the other two provide shimmer. 

The Glowing Body Scrub is the new form that I am the most excited about.  When I was in college, I loved Bath and Body Works' scrubs and I owned almost every single one in the store at one point.  I am so glad that this company is beginning to bring them back out, over the past few years I feel like this company has offered less and less scrub formulas.  "Our Signature Glowing Body Scrub helps skin feel soft, smooth, and supremely sexy.  Bamboo gently exfoliates and helps smooth skin, while Coconut Milk extract and Vitamin E nourish to leave skin looking beautiful."  I must try this product out and buy some tubes of it to regrow my scrub collection.

The two shimmer forms are not as exciting to me since I rarely use shimmer and when I do, I prefer to use a shimmer powder.  One of the shimmer forms is a cream, the other is a foam formula.  The first of the new forms is the Shimmer Body Cream.  "Our Shimmer Body Cream with nourishing Aloe Vera and Vitamin E will make your skin feel soft and smooth with a sexy, luminous sheen."  I would prefer the cream over the foam but I am a bit worried that a cream will be too heavy when the humidity rises during the summer.  The foam version is the named the Shimmer Fizz Body Mousse.  "Our Signature Shimmer Fizz Body Mousse goes on with a fresh, fizzy feeling and leaves skin sparkling and silky soft."  I believe that I have an earlier version of this product from when Bath and Body Works released Hello Sugar! and it isn't my favorite product.  In addition to the three new forms, only the Wild Berry Tulips comes in a shimmery rose lip gloss. 

I love these new fragrances and I am so glad that Bath and Body Works brought these three out this spring.  I want both the Wild Apple Daffodil and the Wild Citrus Sunflower in all the body products.  In these two scents, I think that I will be picking up the Shower Gel, the Glowing Body Scrub, and both the Body Lotion and Triple Moisture Body Cream.  I can't wait to do some shopping from this collection and I will be checking in with my mother to see if she would like nay of these for Mother's Day.

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works

Monday, April 16, 2012

Vincent Longo Rejuvenating Velvet Riche Lipstick

Over the past weekend, I decided to go through my entire traincase and see if there is anything that I could purge to save a bit of room.  I pulled out a pile of products that I put on the chopping block and made individual decisions on whether or not I would ever use them again.  Well, on the plus side, I refound some products and shades that I had forgotten about but I didn't end up purging anything.  Every single product I decided that I would use again sometime soon or that I really loved when I first bought it.  I am so bad with throwing beauty products away, I always remember how much I loved the product when I bought it and decide that I will somehow use it again in the near future...

One of the products that was on my "throw away" pile were two shades of Vincent Longo Rejuvenating Velvet Riche Lipstick, both shades are reds and these are among the first reds that I ever bought soon after I started wearing more color on my face.  I kept these shades to add my collection of red lip shades, a collection that continues to grow and grow with every passing season.  Velvet Riche is a very unique formula of lipstick so these two shades should hold a special place in my lipstick collection.  I bought these way back when Bath and Body Works still offered the Vincent Longo line at some of it's stores and I used them once or twice but then became afraid of the colors and they found their way to the bottom of my traincase.  I guess that my first reds shouldn't have been full pigment cream finishes...

I got all of my information about this product from the Vincent Longo website since this brand is getting harder and harder to find in most major retailers.  "Now with lip firming and anti-aging ingredients that protect and plump lips.  Our version of the classic 1950's cream lipstick, our luxurious lotion-like formula caresses and contours lips with full-color, soft luster finish.  Sophisticated, refined, and provocative, Velvet Riche Lipstick looks professional in the board room and glamourous on the red carpet.  Contains collagen and hyaluronic acid filling spheres to firm lips and keep them youthful looking.  Essential oils, Vitamin E, and Aloe Vera protect and moisturize lip tissue.  A beeswax base keeps color vibrant and ensures a long lasting wear.  The lotion-like texture clings to the lips and prevents color from bleeding over the lip line."

This lipstick formula has very precise application instructions, when I bought this the company's rep told me that it can't even be applied straight from the tube.  Apparently the lipstick itself is so delicate that it can broken with any type of application straight from the tube.  The company recommends the following mode of application, "Velvet Riche Lipstick should be applied over defined lips.  Use our Lip Pencil in a coordinating shade to shape and contour your mouth.  Beginning in the center of your lips, use VL Brush #5 or #6 to paint a thin layer of Velvet Riche color.  Completely paint lips up to and including the lip line.  Blot and paint a second layer of Velvet Riche."  Of course I would purchase a lip formula that is so high maintence for one of my first lipstick purchases, no wonder this product was only used once or twice...

The formula is a hydrating cream formula, it has no added shimmer to it.  This is the exact same look that was seen on Marilyn Monroe and so many actresses in the 1950s and early 1960s and is not for someone trying to pull of a natural look or who does not love the look of lipstick.  I apply this lipstick in accordance with some of the company's instructions, I don't use the lip pencil first.  However, I do use the lip brush (I have one from Origins) and while it takes a bit of work to get it perfect, it will last well over the next few hours.  This formula is best for dramatic shades, since it takes time to get the application perfect but it will stay all day.  This formula stays on after light drinking and wears like most longwearing lip formulas.  I am aware that I could get an all day wear from this formula if I used the lip pencil underneath but this is one of the few products that I have never tried and honestly never really plan on it...

The shades that are currently available in this formula...

- Carnelian Whisper - rich strawberry red cream
- Dakota Red - medum neutral brick red cream
- Grace - light cool blue pink cream
- Hush Delight - warm light peach cream
- Ignition - bright cherry red cream
- Indie Rose - medium cool pink cream
- La Prima - medium warm coral pink cream
- Ouch - bright medium cool pink cream
- Pure Demure - light neutral nude cream
- Rain Dance - cool dusty rose cream
- Ravish Sin - medium warm raisin cream
- Sexy Lady - light nude pink cream
- Sweet Caberet - deep cool plum cream

I own two of the red shades from this product, Dakota Red and Ignition.  Dakota Red is a deep brick red, Ignition is a true cherry red.  I find Dakota Red easier to wear however Ignition is my favorite since I love the bright cherry red shades.  Dakota Red lasts about five hours on me before it fades down into a deep red stain, this one wears off the nicest which is why I find it to be the easier of the two to wear during the day.  Ignition is the better shade for going out, it wears off in gthree or four hours and the stain that it leaves is more of a subtle red.  This one needs to be reapplied more often than Dakota Red. 

I retried both of these colors in order to write this review, I didn't really remember much about them from my first experience with this formula.  The formula is very nice if you like a full pigment cream lipstick, I would purchase more shades in it if it wasn't so difficult to find.  I am considering ordering two of the pinks from this formula, Sexy Lady (light blue pink) and Rain Dance (cool dusty rose).  I am looking for pink shades that will last all day since the ones that I have from MAC last two hours or less.

photo courtesy of Vincent Longo

Sunday, April 15, 2012

NARS Summer 2012 Collection

One brand that always manages to have one of my favorites among the seasonal collections is NARS and their summer collection has finally been released on the company's website.  Lately I have been collecting and trying out a series of lipsticks from this company and have been preparing a write up on the formulas and shade ranges.  But until I add a few more to my collection, I will content myself by checking out the new summer collection and deciding what items I will need to buy over the new few weeks. 

This summer collection looks very different from the few collections that I have looked at so far and very different from the traditional style of summer collection.  In this collection, I see some of the more traditional warm, summery shades mixed with a group of shades that would be more appropriate for the weeks going into the fall season.  This collection is appears to be a mix of true summer products and shades and ones that would be saved until the very end of the season.  I am not quite sure how I feel about some of the deeper shades in this collection since I wouldn't really wear them until fall and I will need to buy them now in order to avoid sell-out.  I will have to determine what is worth buying early and hoping that it will match what I plan to buy for the fall.  I am a bit on the fence about this collection at the moment...

The newest from NARS!

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

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

Sheer Lipstick - A beautifully sheer formula infused with ingredients to improve the condition of the lips.  Sheer, long lasting color pigments have been suspended in this translucent formula to provide a sophisticated shine.  Lightweight formula glides on smoothly.  Lush shade range.  Patented blend of conditioners and antioxidants hydrate, nourish, and protect lips.
- Vendanges - sheer grape

Velvet Matte Lip Pencil - The application of a lipstick combined with the convenience of a pencil in a jumbo crayon design.  Lips are instantly saturated with rich pigments and a velvety matte finish.  The long lasting, non-drying formula is enriched with emollients for a creamy texture, while a combination of unique silicones entures long lasting, seamless color for hours.  Use for lining, all-over lip color, or pairing with another lip product.  Rich, vivid shades.  Enriched with Vitamin E.  Convenient, easy application.
- Never Say Never - lilac rose

Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil - Gorgeously glossy color in a jumbo lip pencil.  Spectacular shine in an innovative, lightweight formula and enriched with Vitamin E plus a blend of moisture-rich hyaluronic spheres that make lips appear fuller.  Ultra smooth, buttery feel on lips.  Contains Vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, and phytosterol esters: ingredients known to moisturize, increase hydration, and improve barrier funcation.  Convenient, easy application.
- Buenos Aires - nude beige pink

Blush - The ultimate authority in blush, NARS offers the industry's most iconic shades for cheeks.  Natural, healthy-looking color that immediately enlivens the complexion.  A light application of even the highest-intensity hues delivers a natural-looking flush.  Silky texture in matte and shimmering shades.  Micronized powder ensures a soft, blendable application.  Iconic NARS shades.
- Liberte - burnished apricot

Pure Matte Lipstick - Bright.  Bold.  Perfectly matte.  This super-rich lipstick provides high-impact payoff: an ultra-pigmented, long-wearing formula that glides on effortlessly with comfortable wear.  Contains Wild Mango Butter, known to provide advanced moisturizing properties to repair dryness and scaling.  Long-wearing application.  Enriched with Vitamin E and acai oil for antioxidant benefits.
- Moscow - strawberry red

Soft Touch Pencil - Soft Touch Shadow Pencils provide easy, portable, long-wearing application.  These jumbo sized pencils have versatile funcationality to shade the lid, line, or highlight the eye.  Smooth, creamy texture delivers a smooth, velvety feel to the eye and make for easy blending and an ideal base for for layering with a powder shadow for increased color intensity.  Portable application.  Smoth, creamy, long-wearing formula.  Easy and seamless blending.  Ideal base for layering with powder eye shadows to increase color intensity.
- Calabria - shimmering plum

Nail Polish - Fashion-forward and classic NARS Nail Polish shades impart incredible luster and prolonged gloss retention with UV protection to prevent polish discoloration.  An advanced polymer system provides extended wear and a durable, chip-resistant finish.  Modern, iconic shades.  Long-wearing, chip-resistant.  Toluene, formaldehyde and DBP free.
- Trouville - seashell pink

This is one of the few collections from NARS that I don't love every single piece of, nor did I think that I would when I first looked at the collection photos.  This might be one of the first seasons in the past few years where I don't go crazy for NARS and add half of the collection to my monthly Most Wanted list.  The only piece that I really like from this collection is the one that I have pictured, the eye shadow trio.  I will use all of the shades in this trio, however I do not see myself pairing the silver with the two warmer neutrals.  I would also like to purchase the Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in the Buenos Aires shade, this will work well for a natural look this summer and then late on against strong eye makeup looks throughout the fall and winter.  The last piece that I will buy for the summer is the nail polish shade, the shimmering pink is exactly what I have been buying recently and I want to add this pretty shade to my collection.

The only piece of the deeper shades that I want is the Pure Matte Lipstick in Moscow, it is a true strawberry red that I will wear at night in the summer months and then will wear a lot during the fall.  The rest of the deeper shades aren't really my cup of tea so I will be skipping over these and looking more at the fall trends before I decide what to add to my collection for that season. 

Not my favorite NARS collection but I still have a few pieces that I would like to pick up from it.  I am more looking forward to the early May release of the NARS and Thakoon Nail Polish line...

photo courtesy of NARS

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Estee Lauder Summer 2012 Collection - Bronze Goddess Capri

Estee Lauder is one of the few companies that has a summer collection that is stronger than any other collection of the year, every summer this company does a limited edition version of their best selling bronzing products.  Every year, this collection contains products for every facial feature and a matching summer fragrance.  Last year, the fragrance in this collection was my favorite part of it but most of the products were totally sold out before I began self tanning and had enough of a glow to want bronze shades for my eyes and face.  Knowing how fast the products sold last year, I need to plan ahead this year and decide what products I want well before Memorial Day.

"A new collection of sunlit color and fragrance inspired by the seductive beauty of the Isle of Capri."  I can already see several different bronzer formulas (meaning that everyone can find their perfect shade and formula) and a great eye shadow palette to complement bronzed skin.  Other than the perfume (which I never got last year), I am most excited to check out all the bronzers since the one that I am using from Clinique is almost gone.

Here is the best Estee Lauder collection of the year!

Bronze Goddess Luminous Liquid Bronzer - Give yourself a heavenly glow with this super-luxurious liquid bronzer.  Great for all skintones, it includes a unique blend of bronzing pigments in a pearlized, reflective base.  Long-wearing, oil-free formula feels weightless and comfortable as it smooths on a sheer, natural-looking radiance. 

Bronze Goddess Soft Duo Bronzer - Two ways to give yourself a heavenly glow.  This super-luxurious powder bronzer duo includes medium and deep tones for a customized bronze.  The shades blend brilliantly to give face, shoulders, and decolletage a seductive bronze look.  Unique, oil-control complex keeps skin shine-free and comfortable. 
- Amber Bronze - medium neutral bronze/deep neutral bronze

Bronze Goddess Soft Matte Bronzer - Give yourself a heavenly glow with this silky, luxurious powder bronzer.  Works with virutally any skintone.  Sweep it on and the smooth, oil-free powder gives face, shoulders, and decolletage a seductive bronze look.  Unique oil-control complex keeps skin shine-free and comfortable.  Bronzer shade is a medium neutral bronze with no shimmer.
Bronze Goddess Soft Shimmer Bronzer - Give yourself a heavenly shimmer glow with this luminous powder bronzer.  Sweeps on an illuminated bronze radiance that's golden and glamorous.  Apply to face, shoulders, decolletage or wherever you want a glamorous highlight.  Bronzer shade is a medium neutral bronze with gold shimmer.

Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelee - Turn up the heat.  Innovative tri-blend liquid, powder, gel formula goes beyond face powder to give you a sexy, sophisticated glow.  The perfect mix of pigments and pearls for a multi-reflective finish.  Smooths on as an all-over soft sheen.  Builds for luminous pearl highlighting.
- Shimmering Sands - medium bronze shimmer

Sumptuous Waterproof Bold Volume Mascara - At last a waterproof mascara that gives you gorgeous lashes just the way you love them.  Full, curled, sexy.  And virutally indestructible.  Now lashes look beautiful in all wet conditions, from steamy humidity to a splash in the pool.  Why save it for a rainy day?  Get maximum waterproofing against all wet conditions: water, chlorinated water, saltwater, tears, perspiration, humidity, rain, snow.  Bold Volume Waterproof formula provides all the benefits of original Sumptuous - weightless volume, lift, and curl - plus advanced total waterproofing.  Ultra light, lash-thickening fibers plump even the most sparse lashes.  Lashes are soft and flexible, never brittle or spiky.  Exclusive BrushComber thickens like a brush.  Defines and separates like a comb.

Pure Color Intense Kajal Eye Crayon Duo - Turn up the heat with two smouldering eye shades to bring out your inner goddess.  Creamy crayon formula packs intense color impact in every stroke.  For added drama, apply on the lower rim of eye.
- White Sands/Molten Lava - pure white/deep cool brown
Pure Color Five Color Gelee Powder Eye Shadow Palette - Turn up the heat with five seductive summer shadows.  A palette of super metallic shades to highlight, define, and dramatize your eyes.  Apply dry or wet to intensify.  Sleek compact includes applicator and mirror. 
- Bronze Sands - shimmering white/shimmering warm medium bronze/shimmering medium warm champagne/shimmering deep warm charcoal/shimmering bright aqua

Pure Color Gloss - Lip gloss with the power to light up your face.  True Vision technology transforms ordinary color and makes it extraordinary.  Imagine what it will do for your lips.  In a wide range of wearable shades with lasting shine for a lasting impression.  You'll want them all.  True Vision Color: Maximized color impact; Magnified vibranct, clarity, and dimension; Amplified brilliance.  High impact finishes.  Each Pure Color Gloss shade comes in one of three distinct, multi-dimensional finishes: Mirror Shine, Luminous Shimmer, Dimensional Sparkle; all with sheer-to-medium coverage.  High performance wear: feels light and luscious, never sticky; drenched with conditioners; flexible-tip applicator hugs every curve of your lips; smooths on precisely, stays on perfectly.
- Shimmer Mirage - clear gloss with gold shimmer

Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick - Color so incredible, it leaves your lips wanting more.  True Vision technology takes ordinary color and makes it extraordinary.  In a seductive spectrum of shades, from sublime to vivid.  True Vision Color: Maximized color impact; magnified vibrancy, clarity, and dimension; amplified brilliance.  Indulges your lips in 2 seductive finishes: Satin - lasting creme; Lustrous - lasting shimmer.  Medium-to-full buildable coverage.  Long-lasting wear.  Fade resistant.  Enriched with lip-loving ingredients, including apricot kernel, shea butter, and murumuru butter that leave lips soft and creamy smooth.
- Urban Auburn - deep warm mahogany
- Tiger Eye - warm creamy peach

Pure Color Nail Lacquer - Turn your fingertips into fashion statements with a wardrobe of essential shades to add definition, polish, and style to your fingertips.  Designed by Tom Pecheux, world-renowned makeup artist and Estee Lauder Creative Makeup Director.  Tom combined today's top trends with timeless classics - all the colors he prefers for photo shoots and fashion shows.  Formulated with True Vision technology to transform ordinary color and make it extraordinary.  Rich, glossy with an intense, mirror-like high shine.  Fast-drying.  Long-wearing.
- Molten Lava - deep red bronze with gold shimmer

Bronze Goddess Capri Eau Fraiche Skinscent - Summer's new sun kissed fragrance.  Inspired by the seductive beauty of the Isle of Capri, an alluring floral citrus blend.  Fragrance type: Solar Floral.  Top notes: Cassis, Mandarin, Lemon Leaves.  Middle notes: Jasmine Sambac, Muguet, Peony.  Base notes: Creamy Vanilla, Amberwood, Patchouli, Musk.

Bronze Goddess Eau Fraiche Skinscent - The fragrance that worships every inch of you.  A sensuous, sun-drenched blend of Bergamot and Mandarin, cooled with Tahitian Gardenia Petals and Coconut, warmed with Amber, Sandalwood, and Vetiver.  All heat.  All desire.  All woman.  Fragrance type: Solar Floral.  Top notes: Sicilian Bergamot, Mandarin.  Middle notes: Tiare Milk - Tahitian Gardenia Petals, Coconut Oil, Orange Flower Buds, Jasmine, Magnolia Petals, Myrrh.  Base notes: Amber, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Caramel, Coconut Cream.

I must have both of these fragrances, I will get use from both the light citrus floral and the warmer, creamier version of the scent.  I especially love the fact that the traditional version of this fragrance contains several versions of coconut notes in it and I love that I can wear a more sophisticated version of a coconut fragrance this summer. 

In addition to the fragrances, I am also interested in the eye makeup and bronzers from this collection.  None of the lip or nail shades really pop out at me so I will be skipping over them this time around.  I love the eye palette in this collection, I know that I will get lots of use from the neutrals in this palette and I am going to try and use the aqua shade as a highlight in my crease and see how it looks.  From the Eye Crayon Duo, I only like the deep brown shade so I don't know if I will purchase this product or not, I can't really justify buying something that I know that I will only use half of.  I am going to try and pick only one bronzer to buy (at least for the beginning of the summer), so I will be picking up the matte version of the bronzing powder.  I prefer matte powders for the day since they are much more natural looking and will work better than the shimmery version.

I think that this is the most excited that I have been for an Estee Lauder collection in years!

photo courtesy of Estee Lauder