Saturday, June 30, 2012

MAC Heavenly Creature Eyes

As I stated in the Overview of this collection, the eye makeup products will take center stage and I am betting that they will be the best-sellers of the collection.  MAC seems to agree with my analysis since they have dedicated a separate part of the Colour collection just to highlighting these Mineralize Eye Shadows.  My personal advice on these shadows - if you want a certain shade then you must pre-order it from your counter.  I have found that no matter what the reviews for each shade is, all the shades will sell out within a few days of the introduction at the counter.  These shadows are simply so unique that they become instant cult classics every single year and dupes are nearly impossible to find from any company.
Right now, the Mineralize Eye Shadows are available for order on the MAC website so decide what you want to do pretty quickly after we look at the shades today.  "Eyes go glamorously inter-galactic with these 9 limited edition Mineralize Eye Shadows.  For celestial effects, apply with the 286 Duo Fibre Blending Brush.  Add False Lashes Mascara for a truly otherworldly look."  This is the star of the collection and it seems that every other colour product revolves (Get it?  Planets revolving around the sun.  Ok I'm done now!) and compliments. 

Here are the Mineralize Eye Shadows from Heavenly Creature!!
Mineralize Eye Shadow - Baked minerals refined into a powder formula provide exceptionally sheer and lightweight application.  Colour builds lightly, layer after layer, without heavy coverage.
- Invincible Light - icy white, lavender, and warm gold melange
- Neo Nebula - cream, warm amethyst, and warm pink melange
- Earthly - beige, peach, and cool brown melange
- Aurora - peach, green, and brown melange
- Bright Moon - gray, silver, and icy green melange
- Magnetic Attraction - orange, pink, and gold melange
- Sky - green gold, turquoise, and cobalt melange
- Water - yellow, lime green, and blue melange
- Universal Appeal - gold, bronze, and violet melange
False Lashes - Fashionably false in look, but honestly real, this mascara's key benefits of volume and curl are matched by a dramatic end look.  The unique edge: the ultra-thickening formula in combo with the plush-em-up action of its unique double-lush brush.
- Black - black

286 Duo Fibre Blending Brush - With its soft dome shape, this two-toned, duo-fibre brush of goat and synthetic fibres provides a sheer, more controlled application of MAC Mineralize Eye Shadow.

The Mineralize Eye Shadows are slightly tricky in application.  I played with one fo the ones from Semi-Precious at the counter last year and the application took a bit to refine.  The first layer was a very sheer finish and it takes at leat two coats to build the pigmentation and to apply enough product to make the eyes match.  I didn't use a brush with this when I played with it, I used my ring finger for a more precise and pigmented application.  I would do the same mode of application again this time around, I really feel that a brush wouldn't apply the product as uniformly as my finger did.  My favorite shade is Universal Appeal, the mixture of the gold, bronze, and violet.  This shade will work with the bronze eye trend now and then well in through the fall months.  That is the shade that I will chasing down first.  The other shades that I like are Earthly and Invincible Light. 

The False Lashes mascara also has my name written all over it and I will be adding this to my order the next time that I go to the counter.  This formula is not limited edition so there isn't quite as big of a rush for me to get this product but I will be needing a new mascara soon anyway. 

The Mineralize Eye Shadows in this collection stand alone from the rest of the shadows at the MAC counter and on the market today.  These shades are colorful and look very intense in the pot but can be applied sheer or built up for full pigmentation.  I will be using these at full pigmentation with a more natural lip look. 

Now for the rest of the Heavenly Creature Colour Collection!

photo courtesy of MAC

Friday, June 29, 2012

MAC Heavenly Creature Skin

And now we are at the first part of Heavenly Creature!  I am so excited for the skincare products that will be offered with this collection and I really hope that MAC would consider making many of them part of their permanent line up, there are few things worse than finding your perfect eye cream or face cream and then never being able to get it again.  I am so excited that the Volcanis Ash Exfoliator is back again with this collection, this is the best known skincare product from MAC and it always sells out before I get to buy any of it.  I have read that it is wonderful to help deep clean skin and pores and helps with oil control.  Not my biggest skincare concern, but my skin does get more oily in the summer months and I would be able to reap the rewards of this product until the beginning of September.  The rest of the skincare is from the Charged Water line, I believe that we saw the first release of these product early last spring and now they are back with this collection.

From the MAC website, "Skin gets cleansed, moisturized, and nourished with a Mineralize skincare trio featuring our exclusive ionized Super-Duo Charged Water Technology.  For radiant skin, MAC Mineralize Volcanic Ash Exfoliator - now back for a limited time."  I wonder how many people will pre-order more than one bottle of the Volcanic Ash Exfoliator and have long it will last at the counters.  I have heard multiple blog posts about how many people with oily skin rely on this product for great skin.  We shall how fast this sells out...

The skincare products in the Heavenly Creature collection...

Mineralize Charged Water Moisture Eye Cream - A luxuriously rich eye cream.  Infused with our ionized Super-Duo Charged Water technology.  Moisturizes and adds radiance, while instantly - and over time - reducing the look of dark circles, lines, and puffiness.

Mineralize Charged Water Moisture Gel - An ultra-light, gel-like cream that absorbs instantly to give the skin intense hydration.  Infused with our exclusive Super-Charged Water technology, this formula leaves skin softer, more luminous.  Use day or night.

Mineralize Charged Water Cleanser - A lightweight cleanser formulated with our ionized Super-Duo Charged Water technology.  Removes all makeup (except waterproof and longwearing) with a wipe - no rinse-off required.  Leaves skin nourished, soft, absolutely clean.

Volcanic Ash Exfoliator - A highly effective, dual-purpose foaming, cleansing, and exfoliating scrub blending natural Volcanic Ash with fine sugar crystals.  Refines and unclogs the skin, adds instant moisture: leaves skin feeling soft and comfortably clean.  Mineral-rich.  May be used effectively on any part of face or body.  Rinses off with warm weather.

I want all of the products in this part of the collection.  If I could only choose one, then I would want to purchase the Moisture Gel, the lightweight cream-gel texture will help to hydrate my skin now without making it excessively oily.  I am not currently in the market for a new eye cream (I already am using two right now) but I would like to own this eye cream formula.  I am considering buying one and putting it aside for the next few months.  Would I like to own the other two products?  Yes I would but I don't need them and it won't be the end of the world if I don't get them before they sell out. 

I love the skincare part of this collection and I am already beginning my shopping list.  Now onto the Colour parts of the new Heavenly Creature collection!

photo courtesy of MAC

MAC Heavenly Creature Overview

Heavenly Creature is the first big release for the fall season from MAC.  Every year, this company releases an early fall collection that focuses around a huge release of new Mineralize products and shades.  Last year, the collection was Semi-Precious, a huge collection centering around rich hues for the lips and eyes, inspired by all types of semi-precious stones.  Semi-Precious was a huge release for the counter that I frequent, within less than a week of the release, almost every single product was sold out and the counter manager still had not been told if she would be getting any type of restock on the products.  A restock of some of the Mineralize items eventually came in but not soon enough to quench the public's thirst for Mineralize.

Heavenly Creature consists of two major parts, a big colour collection and a skincare collection.  We will start with the skincare collection today and then go into the colour parts tommorrow.  MAC skincare products can be overlooked very easily since the company is much more well known for their makeup items.  This skincare line up does include one of the best-selling limited edition skincare pieces, the Volanic Ash face wash.  This product has been included in several limited edition collections already and hopefully will make the skincare products much more noticeable in this collection. 
The colour collection focuses on the Mineralize eye products, nine new shades that will sell out within days of the collection release.  As of right now, this collection is available only online and you will want to decide exactly what you want and get in touch with counters beforehand and get your pre-orders in.  I have come to the conclusion that pre-orders are the way to go with major MAC releases, as they have been the only way that I can always get exactly what I want each time.  The lip shades in this collection are all nice but they take a major backseat to the eye makeup, when purchasing shades in this collection, all the focus will be on your eye makeup look and the rest of your features will need to come second.

As I stated above, following upon the heels of this overview will be a look at the limited edition skincare products that will be introduced with this collection and then tommorrow we will look at the Colour products.  What am I most excited about?  The Mineralize Eye Shadows of course!  I have never really been into the Mineralize products from MAC but somehow the big Mineralize collection that comes out at this time every year always manages to get me excited!

photo courtesty of MAC

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Kenzo FlowerbyKenzo

I have been talking about and reviewing fragrances from my extensive collection of perfume samples from Sephora for the past few weeks.  Over the week, I went through the pile of samples yet again and organized them into jars by fragrance category and made a mental list of the fragrances that I still have not yet tried and reviewed.  I chose a new fragrance to play with and wanted to try something very different than what I have been wearing lately.  The past few weeks, I have been wearing several differnt tropical floral fragrances and I decided to try the FlowerbyKenzo sample because I had read that it is a light, crisp floral. 

FlowerbyKenzo is the first fragrance from this company and I believe that it remains on the consistent bestsellers for them.  This fragrance is often talked about when magazine writers discuss fragrances that changed the industry and ushered in new types of fragrance mixes and is considered by many to be one of the few fragrances that is universally liked.  I didn't think that I had ever smelled this fragrance before I started playing with the sample yesterday and wondered what all I was missing out on.

The Sephora website provides a description of the fragrance and the notes contained in it.  "Originally launched in 2000, this scent marked Kenzo's invention of the poppy fragrance.  At once soft and floral, notes of violet, vanilla, and rose flourish with sly giddiness.  It's a contemporary perfume for urban women who look to nature for inspiration and renewal.  Uniquely packaged in a bottle embossed with a poppy, both the scent and the flacon have become contemporary classics.  As Kenzo's commitment to nature continues to evolve, so has this iconic bottle.  FlowerbyKenzo is now refillable.  Flower by Kenzo.  A flower in the city."

The fragrance notes are: Wild Hawthorne, Bulgarian Rose, Parma Violet, Cassia, Hedione, Cyclosal, Opoponax, White Musk, Vanilla.

I think that a bit more research is needed on the notes before I can discuss my thoughts on this fragrance, I see several notes in this fragrance that I don't recognize and have never seen before.  Hedione is a floral note that is very similar to the scent of jasmine, I have found that jasmine often compliments violet notes in fragrances and I am willing to bet that it plays much the same role in this fragrance.  Cyclosal is a bit more of a mystery to me, when I Googled it all that I got back was a few references to articles in scientific journals (most not in English) and references to this fragrance.  So I don't really have an answer as to what this note it doing in the fragrance.  Opoponax is a flower that grows in the Middle Eastern regions of the world and produces a resin that is similar in fragrance to incense, a note that would seem to compliment the musk notes in the base of this fragrance. 

This is one of the few fragrances that really changes form from the first instant that I apply it to when the heart of the fragrance emerges.  The first application of the fragrance is awful, the musk and violet notes come out.  Initially, I decided that this fragrance smelled like an old woman and I wasn't into this at all.  After about half an hour, the musk note dies out a bit and the violet note really emerges, flanked by the Hedione floral note.  The Rose note never comes out on me, a very odd fact since this note always comes out and flourishes on my skin.  After about an hour, the Violet note tempers down a bit and the musk comes back out and mixes with the white florals.  I liked the fragrance more when the Violet note comes out and then a bit less when the musk note mixed with it.

When the Violet notes came out, I was considering buying a bottle of this fragrance to wear in a more professional environment since it is very light and won't overwhelm anyone.  However, after the final musk note comes out, the fragrance only lasted about three total hours on my skin.  I would need to keep a bottle of this in my bag and reapply it every few hours throughout the day.  I would use this fragrance exactly the same as I would the Bulgari Omni Crystalline (fragrance that I tried a sample of earlier in the month) and between the two, I would purchase the Bulgari scent without a doubt. 

I can see why this fragrance holds it's own in the niche market and I know that many fragrance hours have tried to copy this scent over the years and create a light floral fragrance that is easy for many to wear.  However, the combination of notes in this fragrance just do not work with my skin chemistry and lasts way too little on my skin for me to add a bottle to my fragrance collection.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bobbi Brown Fall 2012 Collection - Desert Twilight

The summer collection from Bobbi Brown was one of my favorites of the whole season so I was very excited when I got the email from this company telling me that their fall collection was now up on the website.  The fall collection from this company is all about nudes and bronze shades and centers around an eye palette that could very easily become on of my favorite pieces of the season.  This new collection is named Desert Twilight and is designed to contain shades and products that can be worn at the end of the summer and then all throughout the fall.  I do wonder if this is the first of two collections for the fall and that we will be seeing at least one more fall collection.  Bobbi Brown is the master at coming out with shades that will transcend seasons and this is another collection that will work for multiple seasons.

I went to the Bobbi Brown counter in Macy*s and this collection was not out yet so I have still not been able to see it in real life, however I will be stalking the counter within the next few days.  Bobbi Brown provides a description of the shades in the collection and her inspiration behind it.  "Sun-swept nudes and pinks evoke a beautiful late summer glow."  Based on this description, I feel that this collection was designed to be used in the very end of summer and early fall and I am betting that we will be seeing a second fall collection!

Here is the newest from Bobbi Brown!
Desert Twilight Eye Palette - The essence of late summer in eight sultry shades (for that tawny skin-glow that happens just before dusk).  Featuring a mix-and-play palette of neutral shadows to transition you effortlessly from summer to fall; a light base shade, six medium lid shades, and a dark liner shade.  Includes a dual-ended Eye Shadow and Eye Liner brush - all in a sleek mirrored compact - so you can apply everything like a pro.
- Navajo - creamy pinkish white (Satin)
- Twilight - pink bronze (Metallic)
- Pink Dusk - pink bronze mauve (Metallic)
- Water Color Pink - silver baby pink (Sparkle)
- Twilight Pink - pale nude pink (Metallic)
- Cement - gray beige (Satin)
- Dusk - silver heather pink (Sparkle)
- Chocolate Mauve - black chocolate plum (Satin)
Bronzer/Blush Duo - Blushed and bronzed - it's the best of both worlds (all in a sleek mirrored compact).  Inspired by the look of skin bathed in the afternoon light, this double-duty set creates a warm tawny glow.  On one side, our ultra-soft Illuminating Bronzing Powder in Pink Peony packs a blend of sheer powder and micro pearls (for a seamlessly glowing finish all over the face).  The other side boasts our silky-smooth Shimmer Blush in Bahama Brown, the perfect way to add a pop of color to the apples of the cheeks.  Simply use Bobbi's Blush Brush to create a beautifully blended 'late summer' glow.
- Bahama Brown Shimmer Blush - shimmering dusky pink
- Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzing Powder - bright pale pink

Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner - This award-winning liner gives you the look of liquid liner with the ease and feel of a gel formula.  Long-wearing, water-resistant color glides on and lets you get it right just before it dries - then stays without a smear or crease.
- Twilight Night - black plum with golden shimmer

Long-Wear Cream Eye Shadow - Velvety smooth formula that goes on easily - and lasts all day without creasing or smearing.  Fragrance free.  Safe for contact lens wearers.  Ophthamologist tested.
- Blue Moon - shimmering bright blue

Creamy Color for Lips and Cheeks - Buildable color that blends with ease - our new dual-purpose formula provides medium coverage for both lips and cheeks (now in a fuss-free tube).  Wear it alone for a muted flush of color or layer it with your favorite blush for richer depth; the intensity is all up to you.  Feels creamy-yet-sheer on skin and makes transitioning from summer to fall a breeze thanks to two versatile shades.
- Honeyed Tea - honey beige
- Pink Truffle - neutral pink rose

Lip Gloss - Bobbi has sized up all her glosses to give you an extra dose of shine.  Lip Gloss is formulated with soothing botanical extracts - including Avocado, Jojoba, and Chamomile Oils, and Aloe Extract - to keep lips soft and supple; plus the new tapered applicator lets you apply it like a pro.  Scented with a hint of vanilla.
- Evening Rose - heather brown
- Honeysuckle - nude pink

High Shimmer Lip Gloss - Bobbi's new lip gloss combines gorgeous, light-catching shimmer with lasting, non-sticky shine.  Made with fine pearls and clear pigments, High Shimmer Lip Gloss stays color-true and gives lips beautiful, brilliant dimension.  Plus, it's enriched with emollients and Vitamins C and E to moisturize, condition, and protect lips, so they feel as good as they look.  Whether you wear it on its own or on top of your favorite Lip Color, the new tapered applicator lets you apply it like a pro.
- Bronzed Heather - pink nude with gold flecks
- Firefly - gold ivory with opal flecks

Shimmer Lip Gloss - Bobbi has sized up all of her lip glosses to give you an extra dose of shine.  Shimmer Lip Gloss offers a beautiful, non-sticky shine with a touch of iridescence and is perfect on its own or over your favorite lipstick.  Formulated with Aloe Extract to soothe and soften lips; Vitamins C and E for anti-oxidant protection; and Jojoba and Avocado Oils to moisturize lips.
- Pink Sunset - pink champagne
- Twilight - heather bronze

Nail Polish - New for nails!  Bobbi does polish right: Rich color and desert-worthy hues instantly transform fingertips into your most covetable accessory for fall.  Go twilight-glam with a shimmery plum shade boasting dark chocolaty depth or punctuate nails with an opaque blue - the color of polished turquoise.
- Twilight Shimmer - black chocolate plum
- Turquoise - flat vibrant turquoise
Desert Twilight Mini Brush Set - Perfectly packable in a metallic, faux-lether foldover case - whether you're headed out of town or just a night on the town: our Mini Brush Set features full-sized brush heads atop shortened handles in a new slimline design (for a flawless finish wherever you go).  Set includes four brushes: Blush, Eye Sweep; Angle Eye Shadow, and Ultra Fine Eye Liner all in a compact case.  The best part?  There's a handy compartment in the case designed to hold our Desert Twilight Eye Palette, too (talk about super organized).

The Desert Twilight Eye Palette is simply perfect for me, I will use every single one of these shades and will be able to create more looks than I can currently imagine with this palette.  This palette is one of the items that I must own this fall and I will calling up the counter to see when they except this palette to be in stock.  I love the combination of finishes, the range of finishes and shades will allow me to make an eye look for any occasion with this palette. 

In addition to the eye palette from this collection, I am coveting more than a few pieces of it.  From the Gel Eye Liner, I want to buy the Twilight Night shade.  I can see this deep shimmering plum selling out very quickly at the counters, I will need to add this one to my list when I call the counter.  I was considering the Blush and Bronzer Duo but I doubt that I will be needing this product, as I have a great bronzer that I am currently using and should not need another one this summer.  The Creamy Lip and Cheek Color in the Pink Truffle shade will be a great rose hue for both features this fall.

The lip shades have me very excited this collection, I am sensing that I will be buying a ton of new lip shades this season (even though lip products are the last area of my makeup collection that needs to grow after everything that I have bought over the past seasons).  From the regular Lip Gloss formula, I love the Honeysuckle shade.  This neutral pink will work well all year long and will work with any eye makeup look, my must have list is getting longer and longer...  I like shades in both of the shimmering formulas but I don't need them the way that I need the Honeysuckle shade.  From the High Shimmer formula, the Bronzed Heather shade will work well with a bronze smokey eye.  To round out my collection choices, the last piece that I want is the Shimmer Lip Gloss in Pink Sunset.

I am excited to see that Bobbi Brown is getting into the nail polish market and I hope that more shades will be coming out within the next few seasons.  I will be searching for reviews on these two shades, I don't plan on purchasing either of them since the brown will be too warm to be flattering and I already own two cream aqua shades. 

I love this collection and I am still willing to bet that a second fall collection will be coming soon.  This collection could be considered a late summer or early fall collection, it is more of a transition collection than a traditional fall.  That being said, I will be getting in touch with the counter so that I can get my top picks from the collection right now, I will start wearing them now and then all the way into the fall!

photo courtesy of Bobbi Brown

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

MAC Nail Lacquer Collection

MAC has released many limited edition nail polish shades over the past few years and often this is one of the limited edition products that the counters receive that is sold out the fastest.  When I was shopping for the products from A Rose Romance, the counter manager at Macy*s told me that the counter received only twelve bottles of that polish and wasn't sure that they would receive another shipment of it.  This pattern has been repeated many times over the seasons so it is no surprise that many MAC polish shades have been instant best-sellers even though the formula can only be ranked as "fair".  I am not alone in stating that I have tried MAC polishes that have an awful formulation and are impossible to work with and then some shades that work very well and apply with no problems at all.  I do wonder how much effort is put into some of the polish formulas since the counters receive so few bottles...

As one of the first fall collections from MAC, the company has assembled many of their limited edition polish shades and have brought them into one permanent collection.  I have read on other beauty blogs that the formula is much more consistent between these shades so hopefully I will find some better polishes now.  I recognize many of these shades, some from the Venomous Villians collection and some from Fashion Sets.  I'm sure that if I went back through my blog and many of the previous MAC collections, I could place almost all of these shades, most from previous limited editions but I do believe that a few of them are new shades.  Intially, I wasn't very excited about this collection since the formula variations are have been so great with MAC polishes but when I saw that shades from Venomous Villians were included in the collection, I got very excited since I missed these shades the first time around. 

As of right now, the collection is only available on the MAC website but should be at the counters by the middle of next week.  "30 colours.  3 finishes.  MAC's first permanent Nail Lacquer collection delivers shades that are hard, fast, and gorgeous-keeping on point in of-the-moment finishes in pearl, frost, and cream.  From trendy to timeless, there's a shade for every mood."

Here is the permanent Nail Lacquer line up!

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!
- Faint of Heart - palest milky nude
- Skin - light peach beige
- Soiree - sparkly light bronze gold
- Fiestaware - mid-tone orange coral
- Shirelle - classic 'she's a dame' red
- Morange - bright cream orange
- Impassioned - bright warm pink
- Flaming Rose - true red
- Rougemarie - immodestly sexy red-bleu
- Vintage Vamp - rich deep blue retro wine
- Mean and Green - purple with teal multi changing pearl
- Formidable - teal green with pink multi changing pearl
- Deep Sea - deep teal
- Midnight Tryst - dark cool gray steel with pearl
- Nocturnelle - black-as-night black
- Nightfall - nocturnal black frost
- Discotheque - super glitter silver
- Spirit of Truth - dark navy blue
- Dark Angel - goth romantic dark lilac
- Anti-Fashion - midtone dirty purple with pearl
- Coffee Break - midtone cool taupe
- Quiet Time - beige nude
- Screaming Bright - super glitter gold
- Girl About Town - bright blue fuchsia
- Steamy - hot 'n' steamy pink
- Saint Germain - light cool pink
- Snob - light neutral pink
- Delicate - pale sheer ballet pink
- Girl Trouble - super glitter pink

Overlacquer - A fast drying, high gloss top coat that amplifies MAC Lacquer's high gloss finish while providing a protective coating against everyday wear and tear.  Formulated with UV protection, helps reduce sun-related fading and discolouration.  Colourless.  Instantly guards your nails and manicure.

Nail Lacquer: Online Exclusive - Only available online!  Gleaming red glitter in our revolutionary new high gloss formula.  Visibly different.  Provides no-streak/no-chip finish.  Contains conditioners and UV protection.  Go hi-lacquer!
- Sparks On Screen - super glitter red

The polish that I have pictured is the Mean and Green shade, the shade that missed out on during the Venomous Villians collection.  This is the shade that I want the most from this collection and I plan to go to the counter and try to pre-order the shade.  That shade is one of the most unique that I have ever seen and I have never seen any type of dupe for it so I will spend the majority of my time and energy on this shade. 

Many of the other shades are very nice but they aren't ones that I will die to own.  My second favorite shade is Girl About Town, I love the deeper bright pink and I will be able to use this shade during the fall months.  Saint Germain and Delicate are both lovely and I am looking forward to adding these pale pinks into my collection.  The rest of the shades that I like are deep reds and jewel tones.  From the reds, I would like to buy Rougemarie and Vintage Vamp.  Rounding out my shopping will be the following shades; Deep Sea, Midnight Tryst, and Spirit of Truth. 

I really hope that the formula is much better on these polishes since I am liking many of these shades, I will be trying out a few of these shades and hopefully the improvements will be evident.

photo courtesy of MAC

Monday, June 25, 2012

Deborah Lippmann Snow White and the Huntsman Set

I have not yet seen Snow White and the Huntsman in theaters and it still is the only movie that I might actually venture out and see in the next month or two.  I have heard great reviews about this movie from multiple friends and will mostly spend money on the tickets and huge tube of popcorn to go out and see what I think of the film.  Before the release of the movie, I looked at the Benefit makeup set that came out for the movie, it contains a series of products to create great skin and a subtle red lip look that would fir in perfectly with the makeup that was used in the movie.  While browsing on the beauty.com website, I found another great set that was made for this movie...from Deborah Lippmann yet too!

I have always loved Deborah Lippmann polishes and I am a sucker for great nail polish sets so this movie-inspired polish duo is just perfect for me!  This set contains a pale pink shade and deep red, both of which are part of the permanent polish line-up from this company.

The beauty.com website provides a full description of the set.  "Snow White's epic beauty and power are captured by noted fashion manicurist, Deborah Lippmann, with two of her fairest shades 'Prelude to a Kiss' and 'Dark Side of the Moon'.  Paired exclusively for Snow White and the Huntsman.  In the epic action-adventure Snow White and the Huntsman, Snow White is the only person in the land fairer than evil Queen Ravenna, who is out to destroy her.  But what the wicked ruler never imagined is that the young woman threatening her reign has been training in the art of war with The Huntsman first dispatched to kill her.  Also aiding in Snow White's quest is Prince Charmant, a childhood sweetheart long enchanted by Snow White's beauty and power."

Prelude to a Kiss is a shade that I already own but I use so often that I could actually purchase a back up of this shade.  It is a "sheer misty pink" with a sheer cream finish.  One coat is almost totally see-through, two coats builds enough pigments to cover any cracks or ridges on my nails yet looks completely natural at the same time.  This shade wears very well on the nail and I usually get about four to five full days of wear from this shade (with minimal chipping on the nail tip).  As I stated before, I use this product often enough to actually warrant having a back up bottle (a rare feat for someone with an ever-growing polish collection)!

Dark Side of the Moon is a shade that I have seen on the display before but have never tried yet.  It is an "absolutely aubergine" and is a cream finish.  This shade is a very dark purple that could appear black in certain lights.  This shade will be great in the fall months and if I buy this set, I will be setting it aside until the end of September. 

I still have yet to see this movie but I can considering going pretty soon.  I love this set and I hope that Deborah Lippmann does more sets over the next few seasons.  This shades in this set are perfect for me, I love doing a deep, rich pedicure shade with a pale manicure.  And everyone knows how much I love Deborah Lippmann polishes!

photo courtesy of beauty.com

Sunday, June 24, 2012

C.O. Bigelow Clementine Body Wash and Body Lotion

I am not shy about sharing my love of all things C.O. Bigelow, this is one of the best body product brands on the market and produces a full line up of simple products that work exactly as the company states that they should!  I still have a full collection of Lemon products and I have been using my Mentha products since summer has hit with a bang in my area of the country.  While digging though my collection of products, I have also found a few shower gels and lotions from this company that I had originally tried in college and then ordered more from the Bath and Body Works website when I saw them re-released.  When I worked at Bath and Body Works in college, the C.O. Bigelow line had just been introduced and within several months of the introduction, the line grew rapidly and my collection grew right along with it!  C.O. Bigelow has remained on of my favorite body product brands over the years and I continue to browse botht he Bath and Body Works and the company's website to see what else I might want to order from the line (since it is getting increasingly hard to find outside of the major flagship store in New York City).
The Clementine line of body products was one of the originals in the body line, I first used it when I was a senior in college and stocked up on it when it was discontinued from the line.  However now that many of the shower gels and body lotions have been repackaged, it is back and I am happy to report that it is exactly the same as before.  I ordered the shower gel and the body lotion from the C.O. Bigelow website several weeks ago and hoped that I wouldn't be disappointed if the scent or formula changed around.  The packaging may be different but the great products inside are exactly the same as before!
First we will look at the body wash in the fragrance, I couldn't find this product on the Bigelow website at the moment so I am pulling all of my information from the Bath and Body Works website.  "Our extra-light, uplifting wash leaves skin feeling clean, refreshed, and lightly scented with the refreshing scent of clementine.  Made with honest, genuine, and trustworthy ingredients."  This wash is one of the freshest and best citrus scents that I have ever used.  The clementine scent is dead-on to the fruit and is light enough for the summer months.  The wash foams up very well with only the use of a dime-sized drop on a shower pouf.  It rinses cleanly and leaves a very subtle citrus scent on the skin.  This is one of my favorite washes to use in the summer and I am so happy that it came back in time for the warm weather. 

The matching lotion in this scent is another winner for me.  "Our ultra-light lotion is specially formulated to absorb quickly and leave skin feeling hydrated and replenished.  Made with honest, genuine, and trustworthy ingredients."  This lightweight lotion contains Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil, and Vitamin E to help hydrate skin without feeling heavy or leaving a film on the skin.  I love the new bottle that this lotion is offered in, I love the pump-style bottle since it is easier for me to control the amount that I use of the product.  This lotion sinks in very quickly in the spring and early summer months however when the weather turns very humid and hot, I only use the body was in this product. 

I find it really annoying that I have to search for this product online since the C.O. Bigelow staores are getting fewer and further between.  I am so looking forward to moving to New York City since then I can just head right into the flagship store and stock up on whatever I need.  C.O. Bigelow body products need more recognition in the beauty world since they create great simple formulas that smell great and work very well at the same time.  I noticed that this fragrance is now made in a body scrub and a hand soap, the body scrub will be included in my next order since I can't wait to buy more products in this scent!

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works

Saturday, June 23, 2012

NARS Semi-Matte Lipstick

One of the first aspects of the Fall Trend Report that jumped out at me was the numerous trends around strong lip hues.  Every single year, it seems that some version of red or deep wined hued shades comes back and this year is no expection to that rule.  However a second lip trend struck me very strongly this time around, the fact that bright lipsticks with a matte finish will be remaining popular all throughout the fall and into the winer months.  This is music to my ears because I have been using bright pink lip hues all summer so far and I love that I will not be retiring them in the fall season.  I have been all over NARS products the past few months so it will be no surprise to anyone that I have started collecting their lipsticks and will be separately reviewing each of the formulas.  I started with looking for bright pink and magenta hues at the end of spring, the first two shades I bought from this lipstick formula were both Semi-Mattes so I just decided to start with this formula.  I have already added a deep red from this line to my lipstick collection because I was so happy with the performance of the formula.

When most people think of NARS Lipsticks, some of the first shades that pop into their heads are those offered in the Semi-Matte line up.  These are the hues that most often seen on the runways and in print because they are among the brightest and more dramatic of the hues.  None of these hues are for the faint of heart and I most often wear them when I am getting dressed up and going out.

From the NARS website...  "A modern semi-matte lipstick that provides full-bodied, velvety color in a highly pigmented and non-drying formula.  Long-wearing, full coverage finish.  Rich, vivid shade range from neutrals to high-fashion hues.  Patented blend of conditioners and antioxidants hydrate, nourish, and protect lips."

This lipstick is tops at providing full pigmentation with just one or two coats and the finish is a full saturated, high pigment hue.  I own three shades from this range, two brights and one deep hue.  I will go into more details with a review of each shade but I will state that I noticed that the deeper hues last longer and have less transfer onto my coffee cup.  Overall this is a long-lasting formula and will be the longest lasting of any NARS Lipstick finish.  Each of the shades that I tried did stain the lips, prolonging the time needed between applications.  The words "non-drying" in the description are slightly misleading, this formula doesn't dry out the lips but it is not hydrating (mattes usually aren't), I do need to carry a separate lip balm with me when I use these lipsticks because my lips get dry very easily (same for MAC and Illamasqua and pretty much most brands).  I am sure that the NARS company tried to make these lipsticks more hydrating than others on the market and to be fair, my lips dry out faster with the Illamasqua and MAC formulas so these are slightly better from the hydration aspect but matte lipsticks will just never be as hydrating as other formula lipsticks.

The makeup artists from NARS advise applying this formual straight from the tube to either clean lips or lips that have been completely filled in already with a matching or nude lip liner.  I just apply it right to clean lips, I have no need of a lip liner with a lipstick that is as pigmented and stains the lips as this formula does. 

Here is the shade range in the Semi-Matte finish!

- Funny Face - wonderfully fun fuchsia
- Scarlet Empress - perfect jewel-toned blue-red
- Catfight - nude mauve
- Fire Down Below - pure blood red with no blue or orange
- Heat Wave - bright orange-red
- Hot Voodoo - fiery molten copper
- Joyous Red - amber red
- Jungle Red - bright red from the 1950s silver screen
- Morocco - warm cinnamon with a trace of pink
- Pigalle - neutral pink chocolate
- Red Lizard - full-powered red
- Schiap - shocking matte pink
- Shanghai Express - warmed brick red
- Transeurope Express - very deep, pink rose
- Trans Siberian - beautiful ruby rose
- Viridiana - rich burgundy

I bought Funny Face and Schiap first from the Sephora and then I recently added Red Lizard to my collection after getting great results from the first two shades.  I started with Funny Face because I wanted a bright pink and I saw it used in an issue of In Styple earlier in the spring.  I ordered this shade from the website and instantly wished that I had tried it on in the store since it was a deeper magenta than I was going for.  After visiting the store, I bought Schiap because this was more of the hue that I was going for.  Funny Face lasts about four hours before it begins to fade and resists eating and drinking well.  This hue leaves a vibrant stain on my lips so the pigmentation will continue well on into the day and I don't have to worry about reapplying immediately.  This shade is a medium-toned magenta and will work well right now and into the fall months.  Schiap is my current favorite lip hue, it is a bright pink that is perfect with both pale skin and a tan.  This one is so much fun and I find myself reaching for the tube almost every time that I go out now.  This hue can also be pulled off during the day for a more casual and fun look.  This shade lasts the least of the three, I get about four hours from it but it disappears faster when eating or drinking and does not leave as vibrant a stain on the lips.  This is my favorite lipstick at the moment and I love that it will still be perfectly on trend going into the fall.

Performance-wise, Red Lizard scored a near perfect score in almost pigment and wear category.  This shade was at full pigmentation with just one application, this is a slightly deeper hue than most of my MAC lipsticks and is closer in hue to Maneater from Illamasqua.  This shade is best for the fall and winter months, I will be using MAC's Hey, Sailor! Red Racer shade for the summer and then turning to this at the end of September.  This shade did not budge when I was eating or drinking and left only a nearly undectable deposit on my coffee cup.  I get nearly eight full hours from this shade, it also stains the lips and the stain wears on for about another two hours.  The only downside of this hue is that this is the one that I need to grab my lip balm first for, it is more drying than the others.

The 16 shades that this lipstick comes in were not fully represented at my Sephora counter, though I see all of them on the website.  Scarlet Empress, Transeurope Express, and Trans Siberian will have to be ordered as I do not remember seeing them at the counter (to be fair, there were a LOT of holes in the display and they simply just may not have been in stock).  Heat Wave and Joyous Red were too warm for me, I tried every red hue on my hand and these two had too much of an coral or orange cast to them.  I had both Red Lizard and Jungle Red in my hand and was debating between the two but I decided that Jungle Red was a bit too warm and that I would get more wear from Red Lizard.  I saw the Catfight hue on the website and originally wanted this one but I wasn't a fan of the full nude look when the Sephora associte put it on my lips.

NARS Lipsticks have an excellent formulation and I recommend the Semi-Matte finish to anyone that loves the look of full pigmentation and is not scared away by bright, full bodied hues.  I am thinking that I will go into collecting the Sheer Finish next...

photo courtesy of NARS

Friday, June 22, 2012

Too Faced Fall 2012 Collection - The Art of Sexy

The fall collections are now starting to come at us and after looking at the Trend Report from Allure, I am beginning to plot out what I must have, what I already own, and what kinds of fun products I will be buying.  Must haves - I need a few new mascaras, a new eye primer, pressed powder, and one or two new eye liners.  I am pretty maxed out on lip products, so they are not my primary shopping concern but I trust that I will find a few more lipsticks and glosses that I won't be able to live without.  Most of my shopping for spring and summer was lip products, blushes, and nail polishes so I will try to use the fall collections to grow my eye makeup arsenal. 

The Art of Sexy is the newest seasonal collection from Too Faced and the first of the fall collections that I have found online.  This company usually releases their collection early and sets the bar pretty high for the rest of the beauty industry.  I tend to run hot and cold with Too Faced, I have some great products from this company but I dislike that they don't really release many products in singles and I usually have to buy sets and palettes (especially for eye shadows).  I am excited that all of the new products in this collection are singles and I can collect only the products and shades that I love.  This new collection consists of six new products, four of which are for eyes and the other two are for lips.  I even see two new mascaras, the product that I need the most for the fall months.

The Art of Sexy from Too Faced!

Better Than False Lashes Mascara - This do-it-yourself 3 step system allows you to achieve the dramatic impact of false lashes AND extreme lengthen of lash extensions without the hassle, cost, or commitment.  The look of false lashes has never been easier or more affordable.  Throw out the glue and cancel the salon appointment, now you can brush on the bold, flirty lashes of your dreams in three simple steps.  Step 1, Prime: Use 1 - 2 coats of the Activating Mascara Base and Top Coat to create a base to adhere the weightless Flexistretch nylon fibers.  Step 2, Build: Brush on 1 - 2 coats of the Flexistretch Nylon Fibers to build outrageous length and volume.  Focus on the Flexistretch fibers where you want extra length or volume.  Step 3, Seal: Finish by sealing the Flexistretch Nylon Fibers with 1 - 2 coats of the ultra-black Activating Mascara to create the "better than false lashes' effect.  This final coat surrounds each nylon-coated lash while it melts and stretches the Flexistretch fibers into a long, thick, dramatic lash.  More to love.  Easy: No glue, all glam!  All of the benefits of lash extensions and false lashes without any of the risk or expense.  No mess, no appointments, no complicated application.  More affordable: Get four months' worth of false lashes or lash extenstions for only $35.  More impact: Lashes are dramatically longer by 42% and have an incredible 98% more volume!

3*Way Lash Lining Tool - A triple-tip lash-emphasizing tool that fills in spaces between lashes, giving the natural impression of thicker, more luscious lashes.  This innovative 3-in-1 design makes lash emphasizing dots, tight-lining, and traditional lash-lining easy.  Great for cat eyes!  Lash-Emphasizing Innovation: Dotting ultra-black liner BETWEEN lashes at the root gives an instantly thicker lash look, even without mascara. 3 Ways to use 3*Way.  Lash-Emphasizing Dots: Unique triple tip easily stamps dots between lashes right at the lashline.  Tight-lining: Fine points make it easy to line inside of eye, or at the base of lashes for a more smoldering eye look.  Eye Lining: The 3 tips ensure a triple coating of the blackest carbon black formula and smoother, steadier application.  Perfect for cat eyes!

Lash Injection Mascara - It's back and better than ever!  Our cutting-edge, three-dimensional polymers wrap around each lash to create tubes that build, stretch, and curl for more extreme VOLUME, LENGTH, and DRAMA!  Better Engineered 3D Tubes: New and improved elastic polymers surround each lash to fatten and stretch lashes for rich, full lashes with extreme volume and intense drama.  Better Wand: Specialized bristles designed to deposit formula evenly, making each tube thicker from base to tip you can easily go from flirty to dramatic.  In one coat, have rich, full lashes.  With 2 to 3 coats, get extreme volume and intense drama.  Weatherproof: Our waterproof, weatherproof formula ensures lashes never smudge and flake.  Easy Removal: Tubes release from lashes more easily with just warm water and gentle soap or eye makeup remover.  Good for Lashes: Generious dose of moisturizing Vitamin E for longer, healthier lashes.  Free of parabens, chemicals, and phthalates.

La Creme Lip Cream - Indulge your lips with rich creamy color, drenched with luscious, hydrating moisturizers including white lotus flower and power peptides.  Moisture has never been so pretty!  16 Must-Have Colors: Something for every fashion and mood in sought-after shades for each color family: nudes, spices, pinks, and reds.  Lotus Flower Extract: Hydrating, soothing, and lip-conditioning with environmental protection provided by anti-oxidants.  Power Peptides: Conditioning, smoothing, and firming for delicate lip area.  Indulgent color: Saturated, one-swipe formulas drench lips with sexy, pure color.
- Naughty Nude - chestnut
- Naked Dolly- satin pink
- Nude Beach - nude peach
- In The Buff - warm beige
- Spice Spice Baby - pinky brown
- Cinnamon Kiss - spiced brown
- Honey Bear - toasted mauve
- Sweet Maple - plum brown
- Marshmellow Bunny - marshmellow pink
- Razzle Dazzle Rose - pink rose
- Juicy Melons - pink coral
- Fuchsia Shock - fuchsia pink
- I Want Candy - raspberry rose
- Coral Fire - coral red
- Stiletto Red - classic red
- Divine Wine - bordeaux

Perfect Lips - Define and prime to keep your lips perfectly pretty!  A twist-up tip always stays sharp for perfecting lip shape while its infusion of priming properties ensures that lipsticks and glosses wear longer.  Perfect Lip Definition: Lips have better definition with twist up tip that never needs sharpening and comfortable gel grip makes it easy to hold a steady line for perfect lip shaping.  Primes and Lines: Lipsticks and glosses wear better, and with richer, longer-lasting color that won't fade or feather.  Compatible Colors: Each of the 4 perfect lip liners was created to suit a wide range of lip colors so shades are always perfectly blended.
- Perfect Nude - neutral nude
- Perfect Pink - neutral pink
- Perfect Spice - neutral spice
- Perfect Red - neutral red

Perfect Eyes Eyeliner - Our creamy, long-wearing eyeliners glide on with the ease of a liquid liner and lock down for 8 hours of smudge-proof wear.  These high-impact pencils come in six waterproof shades ranging from the necessary classics to cutting-edge couture.  Each includes a flexi-firm, beveled smudger to allow a smoky blend or precise line.  Waterproof: Once applied our perfect eyeliner won't transfer, smudge, or budge.  Luxury Liner: Our creamy smooth liner glides on effortlessly; never pulling, skipping, or slipping.  Easy on the Eyes: Our good-for-you formula is free of parabens, mineral oil, or paraffins.
- Perfect Black - black
- Perfect Brown - brown
- Perfect Storm - charcoal
- Perfect Black Orchid - blackened plum
- Perfect Peacock - teal
- Perfect Purple - purple
- Perfect Moss - dark olive green
- Perfect Expresso - dark black brown
- Perfect Navy - dark navy

So I many pretty much all over this whole collection!  I am most excited about the Better Than False Lashes Mascara system, I am dying to try this new product out and I am really hopeful that it will help create the huge lashes that I have been craving for the past few months.  My last few mascara experiments have not turned out to my liking and I would love if this product would break that trend.  Lash Injection was a favorite formula os mine several years ago and I want to see how the formula was improved, this formula was wonderful to begin with and I must buy a tube of the new formula. 

The eyeliners in this collection have me very intriqued.  I need new eyeliners and this collection contains several top choices.  The 3*Way Lash Lining Tool will be a top choice of mine this fall, I have never seen somthing like this before and I must research this tool and buy it on one of my next trips to Sephora.  The Perfect Eyes Eyeliner is another product that I must try.  I am looking for products that allow me to create a thick, precise line instead fo the more smoky kohl liners that I currently have in my collection.  Perfect Black, Perfect Charcoal, and Perfect Black Orchid are my favorite shades and I am already plotting as to how I will add them into my makeup collection.

I am stated that I don't need any more lip products but I am interested in this new lipstick formula and I want to try out several of the shades.  My favorite shade is obvious, Stiletto Red is a pure true red and will be perfect for the fall season.  Razzle Dazzle Rose and Fuchsia Shock will be great for the bright lip look that will be so popular this fall and I could wear both of the bright pink shades right now.  Lip liners have never been my cups of tea so I will be skipping over this new formula.

This collection has me so excited to begin my fall product shopping but I will have to temper my shopping until I begin to see some of the other collections.  I will be starting with a new mascara from this collection since I need a new formula anyway.  So excited for some new beauty shopping!

photo courtesy of Sephora

Thursday, June 21, 2012

MAC Ruffian

MAC released the Electric Bright collection last week that was online only and this week they have released another online only collection.  I wonder if the traffic rate on their website is down compared to that of the stores or if they are now going to be making some products and shades in such limited amounts that they can't fully stock the stores and counters with them anymore.  Whatever the reasoning on the part of the company, the Ruffian collection for lips and nails will only be available on the website and the company has devoted a large area to both the collection products and the collaboration that went into this collection. 

I did a bit of background research on this collection before looking at the new products.  Ruffian is a New York-based fashion house, headed up by cult designers Brian Wolk and Claude Morais.  This design house showcases ready-to-wear collections with designs that are essential for women living in the city.  I looked at their Fall 2012 Collection and instantly fell in love with many of the tailored offerings for both day and night, my dream closet went down this runway and this could be a favorite brand of mine when I move into the city. 
The Ruffian collection consists only of products for the lips and nails, two of the easiest way to quickly change your look and take your makeup from day to night.  Only Lipstick is offered with this collection, three new shades that work well with any eye makeup look.  The nail product that is offered are easy-to-use fake press on nails to instantly update your look.  The sets are perfectly coordinated and will work well with summer looks and then all the way into the fall months.

The collaboration between MAC and Ruffian!

Lipstick - Three Lipsticks created in collaboration with New York design house Ruffian, inspired by their SS12 ready-to-wear collection.  Limited edition.
- Ruffian Naked - pale peachy nude (Matte), pair Ruffian Naked with the Spectator Manicure
- Ruffian Red - classic rich blue red (Matte), pair Ruffian Red with the Demoiselle Manicure
- Ruffian Gold - gold glitter metallic (Frost), pair Ruffian Gold with the Demilune Manicure

Press-On Manicure - Cult New York designers Brian Wolf and Claude Morais of Ruffian bring their signature swagger to to MAC with this exclusive press-on nail set.  Set contains 24 nails.  They can be shaped and painted over to further customize.  Safe on natural nails.  Easy to remove by gently peeling off from side for multiple use.  Limited edition.
- Spectator - cream with black half moon, black French Tip and black Ruffian ensignia (Creme)
- Demoiselle - Ruffian Red with white half moon and black French Tip (Creme)
- Demilune - matte black with chrome gold half moon (Matte)

I haven't done press-on nail sets in years!  In fact the last time that I used something like this was my Senior Prom, I wore the nails for one night and have never worn them again.  I'm not how I feel about the press-on nail concept but I do agree with MAC that they are "ready-to-wear" since doing designs like these on the nail would take quite a decent amount of time and talent and cannot be done when quickly changing your look from day to night.  I wouldn't want to have fake nails on all the time but I know that I could work with them for one night. 

Spectator is my favorite of the sets, the cream and black is a more subtle look than the other sets and the Ruffian ensignia is a design that I could never draw onto my own nails.  Demilune is a set that I would wear more in the fall months, I have never really worked with black nail polishes before and this would be a great temporary way to try the look out.  Both of those sets are shorter, square-shaped nails and would be easy to function in.  The Demoiselle nails are longer and more pointed, I have never gotten into the pointed nail look.  This set would be an easy way for me to try it but I have to decide how sold I am on the look before I order these nails.  Lipstick-wise, Ruffian Red is the only shade that I really like but I want to see swatches of it compared to other red MAC Lipsticks since I already own many of this company's reds.

I like the sets in this collection but I am a bit on fence about ordering more than one of them.  These are nail looks that I could never do quickly on my own but I would only wear this set once every few weeks and I don't know how much I really need to add these nails to my collection...

photo courtesy of MAC and Temptalia

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Annick Goutal Les Nuits d' Hadrien

Annick Goutal is one of my favorite niche fragrance brands and I collect samples from this company since I have to drive at least an hour and a half away to the King of Prussia Neiman Marcus in order to try any of these scents.  So I end of collecting samples every single time that I buy any fragrances from any of this company's counters and I love how generous the company has been with their samples so far.  I am currently using through my sample collection and I have several large samples of the fragrance that we are going to look at today, Les Nuits d'Hadrien, a very unique fragrance that has taken me several weeks to decide what my thoughts are on the scent formulation.  This fragrance is a combination of citrus notes, spice notes, and then a wood base, I own nothing even close to this scent and it took me a long time to decide both my feelings on this very unique scent and how I would wear it. 
The Annick Goutal website contains both a description of the fragrance and the story behind the creation.  Les Nuits d' Hadrien is the complement fragrance to the best selling Eau d'Hadrien fragrance, a fragrance that I have not yet smelled and must be added to my list to try and find (even if just for comparison to the Nuits).  "More than 20 years after Eau d'Hadrien, composed by Annick Goutal after reading the novel 'Memories of Hadrien' from Marguerite Yourcenar, her daughter Camille and Isabelle Doyen offer us a new interpretation of that book, by creating Les Nuits d'Hadrien.  A chapter unfolds.  Night follows day...An enchanting Italian interlude bathed in darkness, inspired by a night time stroll under a starry Mediterranean sky, at sunset's magical hours, where nature, set ablaze as dusk falls, finally quiets down.  A delicious scent of orange and spices, bringing warmth to your skin, and pleasing to share."

The notes of Les Nuits d'Hadrien are as follows: Citrus, Amber, Bergamot, Icy Sicilian Lemon, Green Mandarin, Tangerine, Cypress, Basil, Cumin, Juniper Bay, Ylang-Ylang, Vanilla, Sandalwood, Patchouli, White Musk.

The description of the EDP provides the full harmony of the notes.  "A succession of fresh and spicy chords to evoke a new enrapturing story of Italy, at night...This fragrance takes off with the sparkling scent of citrus: bergamot, Silician Lemon, Green and Acidic Tangerine.  Its middle notes then become warmer with touches of Mediterranean Cypress, Basil Leaves, Egyptian Cumin, and Juniper Berry.  The sensuality of ylang-ylang mixes with the rough aroma of Sandalwood, Amber, Patchouli, and Vanilla offers a remarkable oriental base."

This fragrance is one of the only ones that I have ever used that smells almost completely different as it develops on the skin.  The first spray is all citrus, the orange and lemon notes last about half an hour and then completely fade out.  The fragrance then turns very spicy, with the juniper, cypress, and basil all taking center stage.  Within two more hours, the cypress and juniper remained on my skin and the amber and patchouli notes came out.  I have never had a fragrance behave like this and I am in constant awe of the formulation every single time that I use it.

I had a very hard time trying to decide what season was best for this fragrance and when I would wear it.  When I first tried it on, I decided immediately that it was a summer fragrance with all the citrus notes.  After the fragrance developed, my conviction weakened a bit since the fragrance became very spicy and I decided that the middle and base notes would be much too strong to wear in hot, humid weather.  However, this isn't a typical fall and winter fragrance as it contains more citrus than I normally wear at those times of the year.  This dilemma confounded me for a quite a bit until I finally decided that I would wear this fragrance in the cooler weather and break with my tradition of not really wearing citrus scents outside of the summer months. 

This will be a rare citrus scent for me in the cooler months, the spice and green notes in it set it apart from the rest of my fragrance collection.  I still have another full sample of this fragrance to use and then I am considering buying a bottle of it the next time that I go to King of Prussia or New York City.  I can only really see myself using this fragrance when getting dressed up to go out at night, I think the spice notes will be too much for a professional environment.  This is going to be a fragrance for special occasions and I am willing to bet that the day version of this fragrance will be better for a professional environment or a day date.

photo courtesy of Bergdorf Goodman

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fall 2012 Trend Preview

It seems like I do the Trend Preview the fall season earlier every single year, I started out doing it after the Fourth of the July and then it just started moving up earlier and earlier.  Last year was the first time that I did it in June but I waited until the very end of the month to release.  I typically wait to do the Trend Preview until I have found at least one or two fo the new seasonal collections up for order, this year the Too Faced fall collection is already on the website and has been since last week so I decided to start moving ahead with my fall coverage.  My memory is telling me that Too Faced was the first company last summer to release their fall collection and moved up my fall coverage.  Gues history will repeat itself again this year...
As I type this, I am fully enjoying the delights of the summer, watching baseball (oh my poor Phillies!) and eating Skinny Cow ice cream and looking forward to having some fun over the Fourth of July and Bastile Day!  I have finished all of my summer beauty shopping last month and have no plans to pick up any other products unless they are shades that I can easily take right into the fall months.  I bought so many new beauty products for the spring and summer that I will have lots of items to use all summer long and there is nothing else that I will need for the current season.  I believe that most beauty bloggers and major beauty shoppers tend to follow the same types of patterns that I do and are already beginning to plot out their fall makeup look.

Allure magazine has the best and earliest coverage of the fall and spring trends in their magazine.  The Fall 2012 Trend Report came out in the May issue of the magazine so I was able to scan it and begin getting ideas while I was still shopping for the summer months.  I was so excited when I read the article, the introduction of the article states that the biggest of the beauty trends on the runway were inspired by the role played by Rooney Mara in The Girl With Dragon Tattoo movie.  These are among my favorite books that I have ever read and I watched the movie more times than I can count when it was released on DVD last spring.  I take it that we will be seeing lots of bangs and dramatic makeup on the runways...

Here is the Fall Trend Report for Fall 2012 (all information pulled from the May 2012 issue of Allure)!

Extreme Hair - It's not often a simple hairstyle makes you feel tougher, walk taller, and want to carve corners on a motorcycle.  This season stylists came up with them in spades: Dragon Tattoo-girl bangs at Versace, stealth ponytails at Dior, and, at Prada, extensions you could imagine starring in a Tarantino movie.  Bold Bangs - At Versace, bangs were clipped in and cut short.  Then Guido misted the hair with dry shampoo to give it a matte finish.  "It looks cooler than if it were perfectly blown.", he said.  Splashes of Color - Inspired by Jean Paul Gaultier's graffiti-themed collection.  Guido tagged the roots with brightly colored dyes.  At Haider Ackermann, hairstylist Eugene Souleiman emptied cans of black spray over the models' messy chignons and topped them with bronze streaks.  Black, red, and platinum blonde extensions created the dip-dyed effect at Prada.  Extra Long - For the waist-grazing hair at Dior, hairstylist Orlando Pita warpped two-foot-long extenstions around the models' own ponytails and concealed the elastic with a few strands of hair.

Black Cherry Lips - "Dark and venomous" is how McGrath described the saturated red mouths at Gucci.  She wasn't kidding - nor was she the only makeup artist feeling a little sangunie this season.  Considering the oxblood at Rochas and the vampy almost-black at Bottega Veneta, lips this season are carnivorously sexy.  Trick of the Trade - Dark red lips are striking on every skin tone; they only cross into horror-movie territory when they fade and feather.  To keep the color in place, use a red liner to trace just inside the perimeter of the mouth and fill lips before adding lipstick.

Inky Eyes - The toughest makeup look for fall doesn't require a steady hand - it barely requires a mirror.  "This eye is shocking and strong.", said Pat McGarth of the liner at Lanvin.  What you will need is the darkest black pigment you can find is the darkest black pigment you can find in cream or powder and a stiff brush to achieve just the right amount of drama.  Trick of the Trade - When applying a large amount of black shadow around your eyes, first outline the shape with a pencil, then top it with a powder or cream shadow.

Bright Matte Lips - If lips were bright, they were also matte - which only made the color appear more intense.  "When there is no sheen, all you see is pure pigment.", explained makeup artist Peter Philips, who painted lips a rose petal pink at Jil Sander.

All Knotted Up - Just how tightly wound do you plan to be this fall?  We're only asking because there was a knot for every attitude on the runways, from the hard-edged fetishistic chignons at Yves Saint Laurent to a so-loose-it's-about-to-slip loop at Michael Kors.  Trick of the Trade - To prevent too many flyaways, twist your ponytail and mist it with hair spray first, then wrap it into a bun.

Rainbow Shades - Designers went wild for pure, intense, bright eye shadow.  Practical, no.  But it made for some serious eye candy.  Trick of the Trade - Color all around the eyes looks cool on the runway, but for real life, keep it to just yout lids, and blend the edges.  Bonus trick: Add a strip of black liner to help temper the craziness of all that color.

(Very) Natural Hair - When hairstylists weren't going to extremes, they aimed for extremely natural.  "It's absolutely naked.", said Sam McKnight of the hair at Balmain, where he relied on little more than water to tame the models' own texture.  The waves at Proenza Schouler and Balenciaga required a quick wash - and plenty of time to air-dry.  Trick of the Trade - To create effortless-looking waves, twist sections of dry hair around your fingers, mist with hair spray, and blast with hot air.  Then rake it all out with your fingers.

Allover Color - An "apres-ski" flush is de rigueue at fall fashion shows.  But this season, makeup artist Dick Page really got the blood flowing, using red lipstick on both lips and cheeks, where he blended it all the way down to the jaw.  "This is more like apres-ski sex.", he said.  Trick of the Trade - With matchy-matchy makeup, skip the shimmer and anything too glossy.  A satin finish is the most flattering and sophisticated way to wear the trend.

Brow Couture - No one is suggesting you actually try this - in fact, please don't.  But it's the one look everyone is talking about: Chanel's sequin-and-stone brows.  The sparkly strips were handmade by Lesage, the couture embroidery house in Paris, and came in ten different colors; they took three hours to make and -we're guessing - at least that long to take off.

Hair Dressing - If your only hair accessory is a headband you keep by the sink, this season will inspire you.  There were jeweled headbands (Dolce and Gabbana); there were elaborate barrettes (Rodarte, Gucci, Rochas).  No matter what you choose, keep your hair out of your face - and use something pretty to do it.  Trick of the Trade - Tease your hair at the crown before slipping on your headband to keep it in place and prevent and schoolgirl connotations.

The hair trends aren't really doing much for me at the moment - the very short bangs will not work with my hair type, putting black spray all over my hair will not fly at my job, and a two foot long ponytail will not work for me.  The all-natural look is another one that won't work well either, my hair doesn't air dry well unless I spray wave spray in it and use product to scrunch it.  This is a look that I normally only do in the summer months, the "beach waves" look doesn't translate into the fall.  I am not quite sure what I will be doing with my hair yet for the fall season...

The makeup trends get me much more excited than the hair trends.  I love the look of red lips and I have a collection of shades and finishes that work in an situation and with any type of makeup look.  I have just added two more red shades to my collection over the last two months and I bet that I will be adding a few more over the next few months.  I am loving the matte neon lip look too, I have been playing with bright pink and magenta shades from NARS and I love that I can wear these shades all the way into the fall and winter months.  I have not been using deep eye makeup, especially black shades, since the end of winter and I am excited to try some new liners to change up my look for the fall.  The black eye makeup looks in the article are quite extreme so I will adapt the look to suit my personal style and tone down the amount of pigment that was used to create the runway looks.

The picture that I have added in with this post is a preview of the Chanel Fall 2012 makeup collection, I can see the sultry eye look in this picture and deep-toned nail shades.  My fall look will either be very dramatic eyes or lips and I can't wait to start adding more products and shades to my collection.  I have to say that I am most excited to see new collections from Chanel, NARS, Illamasqua, Butter London, and Bobbi Brown. 

Welcome to Fall 2012!

photo courtesy of bloggers.com

Monday, June 18, 2012

Benefit The Pretty Committee Set

Anyone who reads this blog regularly is beginning to notice that I have been all over Benefit products for the past six months, ever since I started using their Triple Moisture Face Cream, it seems like the brand has come alive for me and I have been putting more and more products from this brand into my summer beauty regime.  The Bella Bamba lip gloss will be out soon and I am still stalking the Sephora website for the offical release so that I can order the product for myself.  While I was stalking the website, I started browsing all of the Benefit products to see what else I could find that I might want to order.  While I was enjoying myself, I laid eyes on a great set of products, one of which is the full-size version of the Bella Bamba Blush, one of my current favorite products.  I have always found Benefit to offer fantastic sets that allow the user to try out a variety of their best products.

This set is named The Pretty Committee, a set that includes a bright pink blush and a series of brightening skin products.  This set is very attractive to me, it contains one of my current favorite Benefit products and three others that I have never tried.  So this set will give me a back up of my blush and will let me try out a few new products, I am all over The Pretty Committee Set!
I found this set on the Sephora website and it states that it will be exclusive to this retailer, so I will pull all of the set and product information right from this website.  "A four-piece set that everything you need to perk up and glow.  The votes are in and the committee agrees - it's all about bright!  Filled with Benefit's most brilliant bestsellers, this festive set gives all complexions a perky, pretty glow.  High Beam enhances complexions with a luminescent veil, while Eye Bright adds an instant pink lift to wake up the eyes.  Bella Bamba face powder adds a 3D brightening to the face, and Stay Don't Stray doubles as a stay-put primer for concealers and eye shadows."

Here are the four products that are contained in the set!

High Beam - A luminescent complexion enhancer.  Benefit High Beam is an ethereal pink liquid highligher that creates a radiantly dewy complexion.  For an angelic sheen, this pink shimmering lotion adds a soft, natural afterglow.  It's a "supermodel in a bottle" and perfectly alluring on all skin tones.

Eye Bright - A pink perk-me-up stick to brighten the eyes.  Benefit Eye Bright has a pop of pink that brightens your eyes and your spirits instantaneously.  It's like a nap in a stick - keep it handy for afternoon touch-ups.

Bella Bamba - A watermelon-pink blush laced with shimmering gold undertones.  This boxed blush, with a mirrow tucked inside a magnetic closure flip-top lid, amplifies cheekbones and creates the illusion of sculpted features for a gorgeous 3D effect.  Your face will look instantly brighter with a just a quick swipe of this ultra-flattering color on the cheeks.

Stay Don't Stray - A 360 degree primer for conealers and eye shadows.  Tell your makeup to stay, don't stray!  This dual-action primer works 360 degrees around the eyes to make concealers and eye shadows REALLY stay put.  Concealers never crease and eye shadows stay vibrant and true - you'll wonder how you ever lived without it!  Stay Don't Stray preps, protects, AND perfects.  Preps: The lightweight formula blends seamlessly into skin, brightens eye area to minimze the appearance of fine lines, and comes in a universally flattering nude shade.  Protects: Hydrates with sodium hyaluronate to lock in moisture, fights signs of aging with Vitamins C and E, and does not contain parabens.  Perfects: It's long-wearing to keep makeup looking fresh, locks on ALL concealers and eye shadows, and prevents creasing of eye makeup.
With the exception of having a back up to Bella Bamba, I can say that I am most excited about the Stay Don't Stray primer.  I currently am on my last tube of Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion (I amassed quite a collection of them when receiving tubes with nearly every single set and palette that I purchased from this company) and I need to buy another eye primer soon.  I am looking forward to seeing if this set will be available in the stores and hopefully I can get the Bella Bamba gloss and set at the same time.  Benefit is quickly turning into a company that I am relying on more and more to find great new products!

photo courtesy of Sephora

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Nails Inc Neon and Nude Collection

Everyone that has been reading this blog for the past month or so is aware at how much I have been in love with the new Nail Bar at Sephora.  No only does it allow me to look at all different brands and hsades of polishes at once, it brought some of the online exclusive and lesser known brands to more stores.  My first obsession with the Nail Bar was buying several more Illamasqua Nail Varnishes, at this point I pretty much have almost every single shade from this line that is available at the Nail Bar...

My second major excitement with the Nail Bar is that now the Nails Inc line is finally available at a store near me.  I don't know if the whole polish line is available at the Nail Bar, I haven't sat and looked at how large the overall line is but I know that I will be buying a bunch of the shades over the next few months, I am just holding out for some more fall-inspired hues at the moment.  Even though I promised myself that I wouldn't buy anymore bright hues, I will admit that this new set caught my eye on the Sephora website and I am trying to decide if I want to rethink that decision and introduce the six shades in this set into my polish collection.  This polish sets actually contains six small polishes; three of which are bright hues and the other three that are deep nudes.  This collection actually would work for both the summer and then right into the fall.

So far I have only found this set on the Sephora website but I will be visiting the Nail Bar again to see if it is in stock in the stores also.  "A set of six mini, professionally formulated, catwalk-inspired nail colors with an exceptionally glossy finish.  Opposites attract in this gorgeous set of long-lasting shades in neon and nude.  The Nails Inc formulation has been specially created and developed using the latest professional technologies for instant and exceptional results.  The formulaion is ultra glossy and easy to apply so that you get the best possible results every time."

The six shades that you get in this set are...

- Notting Hill Gate - pink neon
- Portobello - coral neon
- Westbourne Grove - orange neon
- Porchester Square - muted mushroom
- Jermyn Street - perfect taupe
- Cadogan Square - classic camel

I am very much leaning toward buying this set for two big reasons.  The first reason is that it contains shades that will take me into fall so I am not just buying more shades that I can only wear for the next two months.  The second reason is that the sizes are smaller than the normal bottles and if the coral and orange look awful on me then I won't feel as bad about throwing the bottles out/giving them to a friend.  I am already heading over to Sephora soon anyway to pick up a new mascara so I will be stopping by the Nail Bar to see if this set will be my first introduction the the Nails Inc polish line.  This polish formula and shade range has a big following on Makeup Alley's Nail Board and I am very excited to add another polish line to my collection!

photo courtesy of Sephora

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bath and Body Works True Blue Spa Malibu Body Products

Earlier in the spring months, we looked at the Bath and Body Works True Blue Spa Malibu Wave Spray for the hair.  This is the first product that I saw in the line and I have been using it on and off over the past month, with my hair being cut much shorter, I don't quite like the textured hair look as much as I did when it was much longer.  I might put the wave spray away until my hair is longer but I am excited to report that I have found the matching body product line on the company's website and I bought both of the products in the collection already!  So far, I have been using both the body scrub and the matching cream and I can safely state that I will be using these two great body products all summer long.

First we will start off with the body scrub, this scrub is great for use with self-tanners to help even out rough areas and refine the pigmentation.  The product is named the Malibu Smooth Body Scrub and it is a light, foaming scrub that can be used twice to three times a week.  "The secret to an even, golden tan?  Exfoliation.  Whether you're hitting the beach or faking it with sunless tanner, this spa-tacular formula with walnut shells lets you start with a super-smooth canvas.  Algae Extract and Vitamin E nourish skin to keep it soft and healthy looking.  Irresistibly creamy, tropical citrus fragrance."  This scrub smells like a mix of orange and coconut, a new favorite scent of mine!  This product provides a very light exfoliation and foams up to rinse cleanly and without any residue left behind.  I recommend this scrub before fake tanning because of how well it rinses, the last thing that you want on your skin before using a tanner is an oily residue that doesn't allow the tanner to fully sink in and develop.  I use this product once to twice a week and haven't had any dryness issues with it (some scrubs can really dry my skin out even when I use them only once a week).  This is one of my favorite scrubs from Bath and Body Works and I will using this scrub all the way into winter months since the scent is so heavenly.

The matching body cream is another one of my favorite products to use with a tan, the gold shimmer in it is perfect to use at night or when laying on the beach.  The Malibu Radiance Whipped Body Cream is a light fluffy cream that hydrates without leaving any type of greasy residue on the skin.  "Pamper your skin with this whipped body cream.  This lightweight, moisture-rich formula is perfect for after-sun use.  It helps replenish beach-bronzed skin with healthy moisture while a subtle shimmer gives you a sultry, radiant, post-sun glow.  Avocado Oil and Shea Butter provide nourishing moisture.  Ultra-lightweight, whipped formula spreads effortlessly onto skin.  Irresistibly creamy, tropical citrus fragrance."  This product leaves behind the loveliest gold shimmer and makes me feel like a Victoria's Secret supermodel when I use it before going out. 

I really hope that this line is not a limited edition and stays around throughout the fall and winter months.  The fragrance of these two products is wonderful and I would keep using it during the winter months to ward off the blues created by the snow and cold weather.  I wish that a perfume would be released in this fragrance, I would buy it right away and use it all during the summer.  On the Bath and Body Works website, I do see that these two products are available in a giftset format with a self tanning lotion also included with it.  When I go to rebuy these two products, I will look for the set in the store since it also contains the Bronzing Self Tanning Lotion that I use all summer long. True Blue Spa is one of the best lines that this company carries and I have been using their products since I was in college and I will continue to rebuy the Spa products as long as I can get my hands on them.

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works

Friday, June 15, 2012

Benefit Box O' Powders Ultra Plush Lip Gloss - Coming Soon!

One of my favorite products that I have been using this summer is my Benefit Bella Bamba Blush and one of the most exciting previews that I have seen this month is that a series of lip glosses with be released to match some of the best-selling Benefit Blush shades.  So far, this collection of glosses is listed as a "Coming Soon" on the Sephora website but I am just so excited that I wanted to share with everyone.  I don't have a release date yet on these products and it will take at least a week after the website release for the new glosses to be available in the stores.  I will be all over the Bella Bamba lip gloss when I can finally order it!

Sephora provides a full description on this product, I looked for this release on the Benefit website and couldn't find any details so I have to assume that this is a Sephora-only release (at least for the time being).  "A silky, plush gloss that glides onto lips.  This dazzling lip gloss drenches your lips in brilliant shine and a burst of juicy color that's never sticky.  Loaded with crystal brilliance, color glides on smooth.  Just one stroke will give you glimmering, shimmering lips!  The irresistible shades, from sultry nudes to punchy pinks, come in soft-squeeze tubes with a custom tip designed for perfectly even application.  To create a beautifully pulled-together look in seconds, pair your favorite lip gloss with its complementing box o' powder."

The shades of the gloss match the shades of the best-selling Benefit Blushes.  I see that Bella Bamba will be available in a lip gloss shade but that Thrrob is not going to be available.  For the longest time, I thought that Thrrob was discontinued but I still see it at the Benefit counter at my local Sephora.  This gloss will be available in six shades, however this is a great shade range in that there is at least one or two shades to suit everyone's skin tone.

Here are the blush-inspired lip gloss shades from Benefit!

- Dandelion - soft pearly pink
- Sugarbomb - shimmering pinky nude
- Dallas - dusty rose
- Bella Bamba - sheer bright watermelon
- CORALista - sheer coral
- Hoola - shimmering golden nude

I love the Bella Bamba shade and I want to create a summer look around the use of the blush and lip gloss, this look will be fabulous will a tan and will be perfect for weekends.  Dandelion will work well when my skin is a bit on the paler side since it is a pale pink shade, I now want both the gloss and the matching blush.  Sugarbomb will also be better for a more natural look when my skin is paler and both of the products in this shade will be very flattering.  Dallas is a more pigmented rose shade and I will be adding both of these products to this collection for the fall months.
I can't wait until this lip gloss is released and the overview of the shades has me even more excited.  This little collection will be havok on my wallet, I now want four lip glosses from the group and it also has introduced me to three new blush shades that I want to buy.  I tend to skip over Benefit blushes and head right to NARS and Illamasqua shades but between looking at these shades and how happy I have been with Bella Bamba over the past few weeks, I want to add more shades from this blush lineup to my overflowing traincase...

photo courtesy of Sephora