Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Benefit Feelin' Dandy Lip and Cheek Kit

We have already looked at the first of the new Benefit sets, the Go TropiCoral set will be best for the summer months or a skintone that is naturally tanner than mine.  I haven't seen them at the stores yet so I haven't decided if I plan to buy that set now and set it aside for the next summer season.  I should be totally focused on fall shopping but I am now already thinking about things that I might love next spring and summer and how I plan to try and store all of these products, the last behavior that I need to adopt is shopping all year round for every season but these Benefit sets might inspire that in me!

Today we are looking at another one of the new sets, Feelin' Dandy is another lip and cheek-based set of products however the shades look like they will be on the cooler side and therefore a set that I could actually use going into the fall and winter months.  I have been insisting that I need to buy more eye makeup products this fall and not more blushes and lip shades however I am not heeding my own advice and have been buying all different types of products if I love them.  My lip gloss and lipstick collection is really getting too large but that hasn't stopped me yet and I doubt that it will any time over the next few months...

As of right now, this set will only be available at the Sephora stores and on their website in early August.  "A perk-me-up lip and cheek kit in assorted pinks.  You'll look radiant and pretty with this pocket-size lip and cheek kit that features a tint, award-winning cheek color, luscious gloss, and sexy highlighter - all in a pretty mirrored box - so you can add a pop of color to your look morning, noon, or night."  This set contains - Posietint, Dandelion Box O' Powder, High Beam Highlighter, and Ultra Plush Lip Gloss in Dandelion.  I love all the pink shades for both lips and cheeks that are in this set, this set has my name written all over and I will have no problems pulling off any of the products contained in it!

Here are some more details about the products that are housed in the Feelin' Dandy Set!

Posietint - A poppy-tinted lip and cheek stain.  Benefit's Posietint is a petal-pink stain that plants a kiss of see-through tint on cheeks and lips.  With hours of smudge-proof, just-picked perfection, you'll be the prettiest bloom in the bunch!

Ultra Plush Lip Gloss - 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 gloss with it complementing box o' powder.
- Dandelion - soft pearly pink

Box O' Powder in Dandelion - Fake awake with Dandelion - Benefit's ballerina-pink pressed pink highlighting powder.  Just one stroke of Dandelion takes your complexion from dull to radiant in an instant.  It's shimmery, satiny, radiant, perk-me-up finish is guaranteed to make them wonder...'How do you look so pretty at eight in the morning?".

High Beam Highlighter - A luminescent complexion enhancer.  Benefit High Beam is an ethereal pink liquid highlighter 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.
This is one of the few sets where I know that I would use every single product in the whole case.  Posietint will be a great bright pink stain that I plan to use as a blush, I can wear this now and then all the way into the cool weather months.  I don't know that I would it as a lip color quite as much but I like having the option, I just love this bright pink shade!  The Box O' Powder is a lighter pink so I would save this shade for fall and winter, light pinks tend to show up better when I don't have a fake tan and I am wearing brighter shades right now that pop against my tan.  The matching lip gloss will work well all year long for me, any shade of pale pink will work for me and I will use it on a regular basis.  Lastly, I would use the High Beam at night to enhance the area around my eyes and cheekbones. 

This is my favorite of the boxes that we have looked at so far and this is the one that I want the most.  Any shade of pink is usually very flattering for me and this set would add some great choices to my makeup arsenal.  I love been loving Benefit products recently and this set is another hit.  We have one more set to look at over the next few days and hopefully the Sephora website will get them at the very beginning of August so I can head over there very soon.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Monday, July 30, 2012

MAC Electric Cool

The newest release from MAC centers around a new eye shadow formula, a product that I have heard is a re-release of the awful Big Bounce formula from last fall.  If this indeed is a re-release, then I must say that I hope this company has really updated and changed this formula, I played with it at the counter and couldn't find any aspect that I liked about it even though there were some very pretty shades that were offered it the formula.  From what I remember that eye shadow formula was not a hit and I never saw it again its initial release at the counters.  I hope that MAC has learned a bit from that major mistake!

The Electric Cool collection has just appeared on the MAC website, I visited my counter on Friday night and there was no display for this collection.  All of the sales associates were busy so I wasn't able to inquire about the shades or formula so I had to find my information from other sources.  The best post about this new eye shadow formula was found on the Temptalia website (the link is on the right side of my blog under other blogs that I read) and I will cover the release, the formula, and the shades today.  If I decide to purchase one or more shades after writing them up and playing with the formula at the counter, then I will update with any additional information that I have learned.  The MAC website described this shadow formula as "springy", immediately this brings one of my new favorite eye shadow formulas to mind: Chanel Illusion d'Ombre.  That formula is not a traditional cream, it is more spongy and dries down to a powder finish.  Based on this description, I have very high hopes for this product.  Temptalia states that this formula is best for creating a shimmery wash of color and are easier to use alone.  This is how I prefer to use the Chanel eye shadows so this new line should work well for me!

From the MAC website, "Your new fashion eye power source.  Electrifying pigments fuse with high frost for maximum color wattage and texture.  12 limited-edition shades flip the switch for off-the-grid looks.  Spark it with Superwatt.  Amp it with Highly Charged.  Shock it with Fashion Circuit."  I would be interested in these shades for a single wash of shimmering color, I am interested in purchasing silvers, golds, or bronzes from this new formula. 

The newest eye shadow formula from MAC!

Electric Cool Eye Shadow - A soft, lightweight, springy formula delivers hue-rich colour in a modern mode.  One touch and you'll be wired into its sensational blending power.  Medium-to-high coverage transforms eyes.  Use the 249 Large Shader Brush to provide pro-quality pick-up and distribution.
- Pure Flash! - pale champagne
- Love Power - soft shimmering rose
- Superwatt - light shimmering taupe
- Electroplate - cool gunmetal gray
- Coil - copper bronze
- Dynamo - midtone coral
- Brilliantly Lit - bright acid yellow green
- Infra-Violet - midtone pink violet with blue pearl
- Fashion Circuit - bright kelly green
- Switch - rich cobalt
- Highly Charged - rich purple with pink pearl
- Blacklit - black with multidimensional pearl

The range of shades is very colorful and I do find that much nicer than the range of shades from Chanel, I have often wished that Illusion d'Ombre came in more than a handful of shades since I could buy them without a second thought!  As I stated above, I am still most likely to order the shadow in the taupe or bronze shades.  I would want to try the formula before I buy the colorful shades, if I can't layer or mix this formula then I doubt that I will be buying the colorful shades.  I will start out with Superwatt and Coil, I know that I would use both of these shades by themselves and then will work with layering them together and with other formula shadows. 

If I like the formula but can't really layer the shadows, then I will stop with the two that I have listed above.  If I turns out that I can layer two of more shades together, then I will start trying some fo the more colorful shades.  If I can, then I would be interested in purchasing the Infra-Violet shade, the bright pink is lovely and I would try to layer it with a silver for a night out. 

The application method is something that I will want to ask the sales associate at the counter about before I make my purchase, is the listed brush a must-have for application?  I prefer to use a small, stiff bristle brush or my fingers to apply the Chanel formula and would want to use the same application method for this formula is possible.  I will need to go back to the counter sinc eI still have some unanswered questions about this product and will need some advice on it.

photo courtesy of MAC

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Urban Decay Fall 2012 Collection

I feel like I have been waiting for a new collection from Urban Decay for months now!  Wait...I have been!  Urban Decay released a new product or two for the summer but nothing that I would consider a collection and I haven't really been buying new products from this company for the past few months.  I used to purchase regularly from Urban Decay (almost every single time that I went to Sephora or Ulta) but I haven't bought anything from this company since I ordered Naked 2 in early winter.  I am hoping that this company introducing some new products will change that!  Urban Decay completely revamped their eye shadow formula in early summer and it is on my list of products to pick up and try however I have been using through many of their old palettes recently and just haven't bought any new shades yet.  I have been going back and forth between using Naked 1 and Naked 2 over the past month and keep falling back in love with these two palettes, these two palettes are still the best two that I have ever bought and I hold that view that you will want and need both of them (if you have colored eyes).  So I have some eye shadows to buy from this company and I bet that this fall collection will respark my interest in this company's product line!
To anyone that has been a fan of Urban Decay, it will come as no shock that the hero product of this collection is an eye shadow palette.  Urban Decay always releases new eye shadow palettes and I end up buying almost all of them since the shades and formulas are top notch.  I still love every palette that I have ordered from this company and will never regret purchasing any of them.  I love them so much that I have been purchasing them as gifts for friends and have been converting even more people to Urban Decay eye makeup.  The first product that was released at the beginning of this month was the Smoked Palette, a smoky eye version of the Naked palettes.  I have a feeling that I will end up adding this to my collection especially since I am shopping mostly for new eye makeup this fall!

I found the collection on both the Sephora and the Urban Decay websites as of this morning, I will be pulling all of my information from the Sephora website.  The Urban Decay website is not agreeing with my computer this morning and I am also willing to bet that there will be at least one or two new products that are exclusive to Sephora. 
The newest collection from Urban Decay!

Smoked Eye Shadow Palette - A palette of ten eye shadows for creating a range of smoky eye looks.  An Urban Decay take on the always-popular smoky eye, this 10-shadow palette includes traditional black and gray, as well as modern-colored hues for smoky eyes.  Each velvety shade features Urban Decay's new shadow formula and proprietary Pigment Infusion System, allowing infinite depth to your eye looks, whether you commit to an all-out nighttime smoky or just apply a hint of sultry color for daytime.  This shadow arsental comes with a comprehensive how-to booklet by the brand's co-founder Wende Zomnir, who inspires even smoky-eye pros to try something new, and teaches shadow newbies in simple, easy steps.  A full-size 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion and travel-size Eye Shadow Primer Potion are included to ensure a rock-solid result no matter how you get smoked.  The new Pigment infusion eye shadow formula imparts richer and smoother color, more velvety texture, blendability, and even longer-lasting results.  The palette comes packaged in an arresting black metallic zippered case with mirror.
- Eye Shadow in Kinky - soft ivory matte peach
- Eye Shadow in Freestyle - light matte nude
- Eye Shadow in Mushroom - shimmering warm gray
- Eye Shadow in Backdoor - deep matte brown
- Eye Shadow in Barlust - deep warm metallic gold
- Eye Shadow in Rockstar - deep warm metallic plum
- Eye Shadow in Evidence - deep shimmering navy
- Eye Shadow in Loaded - deep shimmering green
- Eye Shadow in Asphalt - deep gunmetal gray with large silver glitter
- 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliner in Perversion - matte blackest black

Eye Shadow Primer Potion - Vintage Threesome - Sephora exclusive.  A limted edition three-pack of primers that give you more than 24 hours of vibrant, crease-free eye shadow.  All three Primer Potion formulas deliver long-lasting unstoppable eye shadow and each can be used alone or in combination.  Shadow junkies even use all three together.  Original dries invisibly and will not alter the color or texture of your eye shadow.  Sin is a flattering champagne shade that can be used as a universally wearable highlighter, as well as a primer.  Greed is a rich, metallic gold for all-out glamour to peek out from beneath your shadow, or to highlight corners of your eyes.  This pack features Urban Decay's vintage genie-shaped bottle, all together for an unbelievable value. 

Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup - A weightless and virtually invisible liquid foundation that creates a luminous, demi-matte finish.  The formula helps skin achieve a natural, illuminated, and bright finish - like the beautiful skin you were born with.  Naked Skin is formulated with light-diffusing spheres, transforming you to look professionally retouched.  Buildable coverage allows women to customize their look.  Available in a meticulously calibrated range of shades, Urban Decay's precise shade numbering system does poetic justic to both warm tones (ending in '.0') and cool tones (ending in '.5').  The finish is matte, never flat, and luminous, but not shiny.  This makeup loads skin with a list of nourishing ingredients including: Matrixyl 3000 (a powerful anti-wrinkle peptide), protective, and brightening Litchiderm, antioxidant Green Tea and Sodium Hyaluronate for optimal skin hydration and nutrient absorption.  Naked Skin is suspended in a sleek, sophisticated pump bottle, allowing more control and less waste of product.

Brightening and Tightening Complexion Primer Potion - An oil-free, skin-brightening moisturizing primer than contains wrinkle-reducing Matrixyl 3000.  Dull skin?  Fine lines?  Disappearing foundation?  Try Brightening Complexion Primer Potion under foundation (or alone!) for beautifully moisturized skin that looks brighter and and feels tighter.  This lightweight, oil-free, never-greasy formula includes the buzz worthy ingredient Matrixyl 3000 - celebrated for its ability to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.  Hyaluronic Filling Spheres also minimize the look of fine lines while leaving skin beautifully moisturized.  Your skin will look youthful and lifted and your foundation will slide on smoothly, evenly, and last longer.  The convenient squeeze tube includes a twist-up dispenser for easy portion control.  Two unique finishes of Complexion Primer Potions are available.  For flawless, airbrushed skin, try the Pore Perfecting formula.  The formula is vegan and paraben-free.

Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color - Urban Decay's creamiest, most sumptuously pigmented lip pencil.  This formula delivers all the opaque, saturated, high-impact color of your favorite lipstick and an arresting high-gloss finish in one chubby pencil.  And with a dynamic bright to deep shade range in creamy and sparkly textures, the runway-ready possibilites are endless.  Even the glittery hues in this collection of high-gloss lip pencils feel smooth on your lips (and leave not a trace of sparkle grit).  This conveniently portable pencil's high-gloss shine can be blotted for a more stain-like effect, but no matter how you wear it, the color lasts.  Free of mineral oil and paraffin, this formula contains plant-derived ingredients that nourish lips.  Because the barrels and boxes are color-matched to each shade, locating the color you want is easy, even in the deep, dark depths of an oversize tote.
- Naked - nude pink sheen

This is just the collection overview for the moment, I can see that each of these products will take more diving into when I actually purchase them and can play around.  My first purchase from this collection will be the Smoky Eye Palette, I don't feel that just giving an overview can justify an Urban Decay palette.  This purchase will also me to test the eye shadow formula and decide how it compares to the older one.  Secondly, I will want to buy the new foundation formula as soon as I run out of the product in my current bottle, this formula sounds fantastic and I haven't ever used a foundation from this company before.  Lastly, the Complexion primer will need to be bought and tried since I am very consious of my skin in the fall and winter months.  In the middle of winter, I feel like my skin takes on a gray cast and looks even paler than all the snow outside, this brightener could really help to prevent this.  Lastly, I want the new shade of the lip pencil, Naked is my favorite shade of their lip gloss already and I want to try the new formula.

Looks like I have a Sephora visit to make!!

photo courtesy of Sephora

Saturday, July 28, 2012

MAC A Touch of Summer

Last week, MAC released one last summer collection, why this collection was released now is beyond me since I have been looking at their fall collections for the past three weeks.  This collection is a vewry small group of products and shades that will complement a tan for the last few weeks of summer.  Personally, this is the time of the year that I have the best tan and it will continue all the way until Labor Day.  I haven't been buying summer products for the past two months now so I doubt that I will be adding any pieces of this collection to my pile of products.  I do think that this collection is a group of permanent products so I will be refering back to this post early next summer and deciding what I want then.

This collection is online only and contains a real variety of products.  This might be the only time that we will ever see a collection that consists of a lipstick, a leg spray, and a facial bronzer.  I think that this collection could have been a put together slightly better...  "MAC's got the golden touch with our online collection for summer.  From Skinsheen Leg Spray and Bronzing Powder to Sheen Supreme Lipstick, here's everything you need for those glowing days ahead."

Here are the collection products...

Sheen Supreme Lipstick - Combining the colour impact of a Lipstick with the shine sheen of a Lipglass, Sheen Supreme creates the perfect hybrid - with no compromise.  Lightweight, non-sticky, slick to apply, and comfortable to wear.  This is a must-have for all those who have craved this kind of fusion.
- Impressive - neutral gilded plum
- Supreme Style - light coral with pink
- Supremely Confident - pale nude

Bronzing Powder - A lightly frosted, tinted powder that gives skin sheer, natural color effects and highlights.  Ideal for enhancing a skin tone or to accent or strengthen a tan.  Skin-conditioning and formulated to provide a smooth, even application on all skin types.
- Refined Gold - finely spun golden with soft pearl
- Matte Bronze - bare shouldered bronze

Skinsheen Leg Spray - A smooth-on, gel-based bronzer that's soft and mousse-like to apply yet provides sheer to low coverage with subtle sheen and radiance.
- Medium Dark - sheer soft bronze with golden tan pearl

182 Buffer Brush - A full, dome-shaped brush of extra soft goat hair.  Specially created to flawlessly blend powder onto skin for an immaculate polished finish.  Excellent for all MAC powders and pigments.

I can't say that I will be buying any of these shades or products at the moment, I wouldn't get enough use from them in the next five or six weeks to make it worth the purchase.  I will look back at this post next April or May when I am planning out my summer beauty product shopping and then make some decisions.  I would be most interested in the bronzers, I have been using one of the MAC Hey, Sailor! bronzers for the past two months and I have been in love with the results.  I will actually miss this bronzer when I stop self-tanning after Labor Day...

The Leg Spray interests me but I have never really needed a product like this, I tend to start self-tanning right around Memorial Day and go right until after Labor Day.  I would only really consider a product like this if I had to wear a dress for an occasion in early spring and felt very self consious about my pale skin.  This might be a nice product to have but I don't see myself using it on a regular basis.  I will decide on this one next spring too...

photo courtesy of MAC

Friday, July 27, 2012

Dior 'Vernis Les Violets Hypnotiques - Shadow Nail Lacquer - Nordstrom Anniversary Event

Tonight we will quickly finish up my coverage of the Nordstrom Anniversary Event, I was going to cover it all yesteryday however the weather was not on my side and very heavy thunderstorms halted my blogging right in its tracks.  So we will finish up tonight with the newest products from Dior!

As I stated in my last post, I am going to write up a few posts of my favorite pieces of the Nordstrom Anniversary Event.  I have been most excited about the new color products from this event, I use this event to stock up on large sizes of skin and body products but I really look forward to many of the new and exclusive color offerings that come with this Event.  So far, we have looked at a brand new collection from MAC and a great set from NARS.  We now come to some great new polish shades from Dior, I have been waiting all summer to start collecting new polishes for fall and this will be a fantastic way to start shopping!

The polish collection is named Vernis Les Violets Hypnotiques, it is a range of violet and plum hues.  I have been collecting pinks for the spring and summer and now I think that I will be adding to my violet collection for the fall, I think that I only own only one or two deep purple jewel toned hues.  To further compliment these polish hues, Dior has released an eye palette and a lip gloss to match.  I will start with the polishes and then go right into the other shades.  I have been checking out plum and violet hues for my lips and eyes and I think that I have some major makeup shopping to do!

Here are the exclusive violet hues from Dior!

Vernis Les Violets Hypnotiques Nail Lacquer - Les Violets Hypnotiques is Dior's exclusive collection of hypnotic, elegant, and captivating purple nail lacquers.  Never before has the color of the new Dior Vernis displayed such lacquered and vibrant shine!  A cocktail of Shine and Sparkle Amplifying active ingredients directs pigments and pearly particles to enhance light reflection tenfold.  Once again, the array of enchanting shades created by Tyen reflect the spirit of Dior fashion shows.  Application is even easier with the new brush.  Dior Vernis also features a new chip-resistant formula that protects and embellishes the nails, day after day.
- Poison - a deeply enchanting purple
- Orchid - a sensual luminous plum
- Shadow - an intense, shimmering purple

Dior Extase Mascara - Magnify your lashes in a flash!  This plumping mascara visibly improves your lashes and delivers high-impact drama in a single stroke!  Featuring an exclusive dual-fiber tiered brush to define lashes, and an instant-volume formula containing exclusive Metamorphosis Powders that increase the size of your lashes 50% upon application, Spherical Black Pearl Pigments that wrap around each lash for 3D volume and a patented SR38 active ingredient that plumps lashes day after day!
- Plum - deep rich plum
Purple Revolution Eye Shadow Palette - Create the perfect smoky eye with a trio of shadow in a glamorously smoky violet harmony.  The innovative sliding palette reveals a soft, powdery base that perfectly prepares and colors the eye lid.  The eye shadow duo offers versatile effects like a matte finish for a natural, ready-to-wear style or a shimmering shadow for a couture finish.
- pale shimmering lilac/medium shimmering amethyst/deep satin plum

Addict Purple Revolution Ultra Gloss - Dior Addict Ultra Gloss features a featherweight formula with a flash-plumping, spotlight-shine effect.  Hyaluronic spheres keep lips smoother and moisturized, while mirror-like micro-pearls reflect light in all directions for a dazzling finish.  a shimmering lilac shade complements the look.
I love this eye shadow palette, this product will be a great base to help create a bright or deep purple eye this fall.  I haven't really purchased many purple shades lately and this palette will fill a huge shade gap in my collection.  I can use the light and medium toned shades right now in the summer months since bright eyes are popular and then just add the plum shade on the lashline come fall.  I think that this is one of my favorite pieces from the whole event.  I can skip over the mascara, I would rather buy this great formula in the black shade.  I didn't like Benefit's BadGal Plum Mascara so I don't see the point in buying another plum mascara shade.  I think that I will skip over the lip gloss too, I can't see myself making the purple lip gloss work.  A look of all purple hues would be too much for me and I don't know how I would pair the gloss with other makeup hues.

The nail polishes are the other product in this release that get me really excited.  I like all three of the shades but I think that Shadow is my favorite shade.  It is a very shimmery plum hue that I own nothing like.  I will be adding this shade to my polish collection!

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Thursday, July 26, 2012

NARS Love Rite Anniversary Set - Nordstrom Anniversary Event

After the letdown of the MAC Illustrated Collection, I have decided to check out every product in the Nordstrom Event.  I am going to write up posts about my absolute favorite products in the collection and almost any product from NARS will go right up to the top of my shopping list.  As of right now, I can confidently state that NARS is my favorite makeup brand and I have been collecting their products at a constant rate for the past few months.  A new palette or set from this company will always catch my eye and the Love Rite Anniversary Set has done just that.

Nordstrom is the only retailer that will carry this set so if you love NARS the way that I do, then you will want to order this set very soon.  I am so excited to see that this set contains two small lip glosses in shades that I currently don't own.  I would buy the set just for the lip glosses but there is an added bonus that the rest of the products in the set are great too.  I love the Trio Eye Shadow in this set also and therefore this might be my favorite offering from the whole Event.

"Prepare for shimmering sophistication that's both modern and timeless.  Beautiful bronzed and neutral hues for eyes pair perfectly with sheer and sparkling lip glosses as well as the coveted NARS Illuminator for a lit-from-within, radiant glow.  Set includes Trio Eye Shadow in Calanque, deluxe-size Illuminator in Orgasm, deluxe-size Lip Gloss in Turkish Delight, and deluxe-size Lip Gloss in Roman Holiday."

A few more product details from Nordstrom...

Trio Eye Shadow - Same long-wearing, crease-resistant formula as the Single and Duo Eye Shadows, in a series of uniquely grouped color combinations.  Worn together or alone, all eye shadows can be applied sheer or built up for more dramatic effect.  All powder eye shadows can be used wet to create a 'cake' eyeliner effect.
- Calanque - pale champagne/light warm tan/medium bronze

Illuminator - NARS Illuminators light the skin from within.  A collection of light-reflecting liquids that glides on to refresh and enhance the complexion to create a shimmering incandescence.  Go gorgeously nude with pinky-peach Orgasm or up the ante with Super Orgasm's extra-golden glow.  Highlight with pearlescent Copacabana and bring out the bronze with sun-kissed Laguna.  Wear them alone, pair them with makeup, or caress your decollete.  Deceptively sheer, decidedly luminous.  Magically transform your skin from ordinary to extraordinary.
- Orgasm - pinky-peach with gold shimmer

Lip Gloss - Serious shine and sexy color.  Extremely wearable and versatile color may be worn alone or over any other lip product for more drama.
- Turkish Delight - pink sorbet
- Roman Holiday - light pink

I love the lip gloss shades in this set, both of them are part of the permanent collection however I don't own either of them.  And I want both of them enough to buy them on their own at Sephora, I am so excited that I can purchase them together along with the rest of the great products in this set.  The Trio Eye Shadow will work very well for me all year long and this will become a staple of my makeup collection, I can make these shades work with so many others that I own.  I have never tried the Illuminators from this company but have been curious about how they work.  Being able to try the Illuminator is an added bonus with this set since I already would purchase it for the rest of the products and shades that are contained in it.

This set is my top choice from the Anniversary Event and will be the product that I order first!

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

MAC Illustrated - Nordstrom Anniversary Event Collection

It is that time of the year again - the Nordstrom Anniversary Event has begun and it will only last until the sixth of August.  Every year, MAC comes out with a new collection that is exclusive for this event, this year the collection is named Illustrated, a series of sets and palettes.  Every year, I look at the new collection that MAC releases and I quickly begin my shopping list.  Starting with the MAC collection and then looking at everything, I can come up with a pretty long shopping list within a matter of moments.  I am really considering applying for a Nordstrom credit card just to shop the event this year, this might be against my better judgement but I can't wait to start shopping.  I don't think that I will have time to drive done to the store this year so I will do all my shopping on the website.

MAC Illustrated appears to be another collaboration between MAC and a famous artist.  Julie Verhoeven is an artist and fashion designer.  She has paired up with many famous fashion houses, including Versace, Mulberry, and Louis Vuitton.  She also has paired with H and M to design a brightly colored, high fashion line of home furnishings.  This time around, she is bringing her unique talents and style approach to creating the packaging for the newest MAC collection.  The palettes are covered with her unique designs and the makeup products in the sets are contained in small makeup bags with her designs.  I love the packaging on the palettes but I don't know that I would use the brightly painted makeup bags...
Here is the MAC collection for Nordstrom's Anniversary Event!

Smoky Eye Plum Kit - Get seductive plum eyes in a flash.  This palette contains three eye shadows,  a Technakohl Liner, a mini Zoom Lash Mascara, and all the tools needed to create a flawless smoky eye look.
- Eye Shadow in Creative Whim - pale lilac shimmer (Satin)
- Eye Shadow in Drawn to Drama - medium blue plum shimmer (Satin)
- Eye Shadow in Moody - deep black plum shimmer (Veluxe Pearl)
- Technakohl Eye Liner in Purple Dash - medium plum
- Zoom Lash Mascara in Zoomblack - black
- #275 Medium Angled Shading Brush and #212 Flat Definer Brush

Smoky Eye Black Kit - Get seductive smoky eyes in a flash.  This palette contains three eye shadows, a Technakohl Liner, a mini Zoom Lash Mascara, and all the tools needed to create a flawless smoky eye look.
- Eye Shadow in Naked Lunch - medium champagne shimmer (Frost)
- Eye Shadow in Wedge - medium neutral tan (Matte)
- Eye Shadow in Carbon - deep black matte (Matte)
- Technakohl Eye Liner in Graphblack - deep black
- Zoom Lash Mascara in Zoomblack - black
- #275 Medium Angled Shading Brush and #212 Flat Definer Brush

Peach x 3 Lip Color and Bag - Frame the art of the lavish lip in a chic bag illustrated with graphic faces by Julie Verhoeven.  Three key pieces for perfect lips in a trio of peach-shade statements. 
- Cremesheen Lipstick in Ravishing - medium peach coral cream
- Dazzleglass Creme  in Sublime Shine - sheer peach with gold shimmer
- Cremestick Liner in Creme Kiss - medium peach
Nude x 3 Color and Bag - Frame the art of the lavish lip in a chic bag illustrated with graphic faces by Julie Verhoeven.  Three key pieces for the perfect lips come in a trio of nude-shade statements.
- Cremesheen Lipstick in Creme d'Nude - medium sheer nude cream
- Dazzleglass Creme in Natural Talent - sheer nude with gold and silver shimmer
- Cremestick Liner in Sublime Culture - neutral nude

Pink x 3 Color and Bag - Frame the art of the lavish lip in a chic bag illustrated with graphic faces by Julie Verhoeven.  Three key pieces for perfect lips come in a trio of pink-shade statements.
- Cremesheen Lipstick in Vivid Imagination - medium cool berry pink cream
- Dazzleglass Creme in Julia - medium pink with silver shimmer
- Cremestick Liner in Pink Treat - medium cool pink

Red x 3 Color and Bag - Frame the art of the lavish lip in a chic bag illustrated with graphic faces by Julie Verhoeven.  Three key pieces for the perfect lips come in a trio of red-shade statements.
- Cremesheen Lipstick in Must Be Red! - medium neutral red cream
- Dazzleglass Creme in Totally Fab - medium neutral red with gold and silver shimmer
- Cremestick Liner in Freehand - medium red

All Over Brush Kit - A modern portrait in detailing, blending, and shading.  A collection of professional brushes are featured in a colorful canvas roll bag illustrated with faces by Julie Verhoeven.  The five-piece brush set conatins a #129 Powder and Blush Brush, #227 Large Fluff Brush, #224 Tapered Blending Brush, #219 Pencil Brush, and #266 Small Angle Brush.

Face Canvas Brush Kit - MAC presents a collection of professional brushes in a colorful canvas roll bag illustrated with graphic faces by Julie Verhoeven.  The four-piece brush kit includes: #187 Duo Fibre Brush, #130 Short Duo Fibre Brush, #282 Duo Fibre Tapered Brush, and #286 Duo Fibre Blending Brush.

I don't really think that I need any of the pieces in this collection, I already own a full collection of MAC lip products and none of these really jump out at me.  The kits are nice but I can't say that any of them would fiull a hole in my MAC collection.  My favorite items are the two eye palettes, I want the Smoky Eye Kit in Plum the most.  I already own shades very close to the Black Kit, but the Plum Kit will help me create a whole new look for the fall.  I am interested in the Brush Kits but I want to look closer at each kit to make sure that I am really expanding my collection and not just adding more brushes that I might not use.

I'm not overly thrilled with this collection, the packaging kind of annoys me and there is nothing that I am all that excited about.  I want the Plum Kit but nothing else really speaks to me.  This might be one of the first time that I want products over than MAC at the Nordstrom Event.  I hope that some other brands have better products for me...

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Most Wanted Nordstrom Anniversary Event 2012

The Nordstrom Anniversary Event started several days ago but with work and life being as crazy as it has been, this is the first day that I have been able to start checking out the products and shades that are exclusive to this Event.  I am mostly interested in the new MAC color collection and the rest of the color products.  I use this Event to find new color products and to stock up on huge sizes of skin and body care products.  I hardly even find new skincare products through this Event but love stocking up on the special offerings from Clinique.

Here is the initial shopping list from the Nordstrom Event!

- MAC Illustrated Smoky Eye Plum Kit
- NARS Love Rite Anniversary Set
- Dior Purple Revolution Eye Shadow Palette
- Dior 'Vernis Les Violets Hypnotiques' Nail Lacquer in Shadow
- Viktor and Rolf 'Flowerbomb' Anniversary Set
- Bobbi Brown 'City Twilight' Anniversary Set
- Clinique Moisture Surge Home and Away Duo
- Chloe Anniversary Fragrance Set
- Butter London 'Disco Biscuit Lippy and Lacquer' Anniversary Set
- Dior 'Vernis Les Violets Hypnotiques' Nail Lacquer in Poison

I am most excited for the MAC Illustrated collection, the NARS Love Rite Set, and the Dior Vernis shades.  I will be covering these three product offerings in further detail throughout this evening!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Benefit Go TropiCORAL Lip and Cheek Kit

The great releases from Benefit just keep coming and coming, I have loved almost everything that has come out from this company over the past few months from both the skincare and the makeup collections.  To keep the great choices coming, Benefit is releasing three great sets at the end of July/beginning of August.  Today we will look at the one that I am the most excited about and that I am considering ordering as soon as it becomes available on the Sephora website, Go TropiCORAL.  Each of these sets contains some o the best-selling Benefit products and are targeted for certain areas of the face.  TropiCORAL contains shades for the lips and cheeks, all of which will be better for my skin in the summer since they will complement a tan.  I would be likely to order this set right away and use it until Labor and then decide what shades would skip work for me in the fall and what pieces would have to put away until next summer.

These sets are currently Sephora exclusives so all the information will be coming from this website.  As I stated above, the products are not yet available for order but Sephora will email you exactly when they become available.  I would recommend taking this route if this is a product that you can't live without, using the email alerts for Urban Decay was the way that I got my Naked 2 palette in the first round.

"A four piece lip and cheek kit that seriously turns up the heat.  The pocket-sized kit features warm and vibrant shades for a sultry, tropical look.  It includes an iconic tint, award-winning cheek color, luscious lip gloss, and sexy highlighter - all in a mirrored box - so you can add a pop of color to your look."  This set contains the following products: Cha Cha Tint, Coralista, High Beam, Ultra Plush in Coralista.

Here are some more details on the products you will be getting with this set!

Cha Cha Tint - A mango-tinted lip and cheek stain.  This mango-tinted stain beautifully blushes lips and cheeks with a tropical sunset hue.  Smooch-proof and smudge-proof, this sheer stain will have you looking deliciously sun-kissed for hours.

Coralista - A warm coral-pink powder that warms up your complexion.  Take a tropical pleasure trip with Coralista.  Sweep with this warm coral pink powder onto cheeks anytime, anywhere.  move your brush to the beat and turn up the heat...bikini optional!

High Beam - A luminescent complexion enhancer.  Benefit High Beam is an ethereal pink liquid highlighter 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.

Ultra Plush Lip Gloss - A silky, plush gloss that glides onto lips.  This dazzling lip gloss drenches your lips in billiant 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 gloss with its complementing Box O' Powder.  Coralista is a sheer coral shade.
As I stated above, this set will be best in the summer months, the only product that I think that I could pull off in the fall and winter months is the High Beam highlighter.  I am on the fence about the Cha Cha Tint, I am slightly concerned about the mango tint of this product, this might be too warm for me to pull off, I will have to try this product at the counter before I consider ordering this set.  I hope that this isn't the case because I love this set and don't want an issue with a single product to ruin it for me.  The Coralista blush will be great with tanned skin, this one will be best in the summer months and for a more natural look.  The same reasoning holds for the lip gloss, these two shades will only be used when I have a fake tan.

This would have to be a summer purchase for me, if I can't get until mid-August then I will put it aside until next June.  As of right now, my purchase decision hinges on the Cha Cha Tint, I must try this product at the counter and see how warm it really is.  We will look at the next two sets over the next few weeks and then I will really decide what my favorite one and top shopping choice is!

photo courtesy of Sephora

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Stila Fall 2012 Collection

I don't remember Stila offering a traditional summer collection, I know that they brought out a few small new palettes but I don't remember seeing any brand new products or shades on their website.  However this company seems to be making up for the lack of new products over the past few months, they have just released their brand new fall collection.  As of right now, the new products are said to be exclusive the Stila website, however I found all them on the Sephora and Macy*s websites too.  The last product that I bought from Stila was a tinted moisturizer this spring, I loved the formula and I am hoping that I can find some more products to try with this new group.  Stila is always a company that I have liked but they aren't one that I immediately gravitate toward at Sephora.  I have always liked every single product that I bought from this company so I don't know quite why I don't spend more time at this counter. 

The Stila fall collection is a combination of new shades of some their best selling, cult products and several brand new products.  This collection is very typical Stila, there are some single products and several palettes and sets.  I am most excited for the new foundation and concealer formulas, after how much I loved the tinted moisturizer, I have very high hopes for this new formula.  I also see a very attractive eye shadow palette in this collection that I am very interested in trying out.

Stila's fall collection!

In The Know Eye Shadow Palette - Stila's original matte shades are back in this beautiful collection of eye shadows in universally flattering shades.  The In The Know Eye Shadow Palette contains 10 matte shades of Stila's award-winning eye shadows that flatter every skin tone and can be worn wet or dry.  The palette also includes an exclusive Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Halfmoon, a matte charcoal gray shade, plus an eight-page look book with detailed application tips and tricks.
- Air - matte beige
- Driftwood - midtone brown
- Wind - soft matte peach
- Fire - matte brick
- Desert - soft matte tan with warm undertones
- Rain - matte brown
- Clay - matte warm light brown
- Smoke - matte charcoal gray
- Earth - deep matte chocolate brown
- Ebony - matte black

Stay All Day Foundation and Concealer - An oil-free, high definition, high performance foundation that stays all day and delivers a flawless finish.  Unique oxygen technology leaves skin hydrated, nourished, and helps prevent premature aging.  This dreamy formula glides onto skin and immediately goes to work to help minimize skin blemishes and imperfections.  It is also enriched with an array of skin loving ingredients, and unlike other longwearing formulas, includes a synergistic combination of botanical extracts that have been shown to help enhance circulation and blood flow, resulting in an increase in oxygen being delivered to the skin and letting skin breathe.  These innovative extracts also help to slow down the onset of premature aging and promote healthy, hydrated, and vibrant skin.  This multitasker also contains a creamy, full coverage concealer cleverly hidden inside the cap (along with a handy mirror) that instantly hides blemishes, dark circles, and age spots creating an impeccable canvas for flawless makeup application.  Available in a range of 16 shades to suit every skintone.

Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner - A new limited edition shade of Stila's best-selling Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner in a stunning matte white, as seen on the runways at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.  This easy-glide, quick-dry precision liner stays in place all day - no smudges, feathering, or running.  The thin, marker-like tip is easy to use, even for the beauty beginner, and delivers any look, from a thin line to a bold, dramatic stroke.  It goes on smoothly without skipping, smudging, or pulling, and stays in place until you say when!  Stunning matte white trend shade, waterproof and long-lasting Felt tip applicator for easy, precise application.  Goes on smoothly without skipping or pulling.
- Snow - bright matte white

Smudge Stick Waterproof Liner - Introducing a limited edition shade of best-selling Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in a striking white with shimmer.  This eye liner applies extremely soft and smooth with immediate color release and extreme payoff!  A perfect blend of pearls and intense pigment provide long-wear and excellent color payoff during application and a high content of volatile silicones and modern wax oil combinations make this innovative formula wearable and comfortable.  On trend shade Empress (white with shimmer).  Waterproof and long-lasting.  Smudge, transfer, and fade-proof.
- Empress - white with shimmer

Lip Glaze - New and beautiful shades of Stila's ever-popular Lip Glaze in our iconic click pen.  With just one click, you get a glossy pout with a hint of refreshing and delectable color.  Infused with Vitamins A, C, and E to keep lips hydrated and protected.
- Roseberry - light rusty red with gold pearl
- Pink Lemonade - nude pink
- Kaleidoscope - sparkling light pink
Lip Glaze Trio - Harvest - Inspired by the change of seasons and vibrant autumn colors, each Lip Glaze Trio contains an assortment of Stila's most popular lip gloss in three gorgeous hues that will add a splash of color and glossy shine to the lips.  The Harvest Set features three exclusive shades to keep your lips glossy and polished with one click of Stila's iconic pen.
- Orchard - deep warm rose with gold shimmer
- Twine - neutral pink shimmer
- Spice - deep bronze with shimmer

Lip Glaze Trio - Foliage - Inspired by the change of seasons and vibrant autumn colors, each Lip Glaze Trio contains an assortment of Stila's most popular lip gloss in three gorgeous hues that will add a splash of color and glossy shine to the lips.  The Foliage Set contains one bestselling shade and two new limited edition shades to keep your lips glossy and polished with one click of Stila's iconic pen.
- Delicate - medium cool pink shimmer
- Loganberry - medium berry with silver shimmer
- Fawn - deep cool plum with shimmer

There are two major items from this collection that I am really dying the try.  First of all, the new foundation formula looks great and based on my experience with the tinted moisturizer, this foundation will go to the top of my shopping list when I am shopping for a new formula.  Based on the description of this foundation, this formula should work well for me in the fall and winter months when my skin is much drier than usual.  I will wait a bit on this foundation and then I will try it out when I can reap the full hydration benefits.  The second item that I really craving is the Lip Glaze Trio in Foliage, this set contains three shades that look to be on the cooler side.  I love the rose and berry shades in this set and they will work so well with my skintone.

I initially wanted the eye shadow palette when I first looked at the collection however that was before I read that all the shades had a matte finish.  I want to play with the tester at Sephora before I make a decision on this product, some matte shades have an awful texture and that is why I often avoid shadows with this texture.  I have loved the texture of the shimmery Stila shadows before so I am hopeful that this will be one of the better matte eye shadow formulas.  I love the shades in this palette and I can see so many great combinations that I could make from it.  Neither of the liner shades really speak to me, I don't wear many light liner shades so I will be skipping over these.

The Harvest Lip Glaze Trio contains three shades that are too warm for me so I will not be purchasing these shades.  The three new Lip Glaze shades don't really do anytime for me either, two of the shades are rather generic pinks and the red contains too much gold shimmer for me to find it flattering. 

I really like this collection, the products in it are great selections for fall.  In particular, the two Lip Glaze Trio contains perfect shades for fall.  The eye shadow palette holds a ton of potential as long as the formula is up to the Stila standards and I have a feeling that it will be.  I will be picking up a bottle of the new foundation formula later on this year, a hydrating foundation will be my best friend as soon as the cold weather hits!

photo courtesy of Stila

Monday, July 23, 2012

C.O. Bigelow Mentha Body Exfoliating Soap

I have been all over the Mentha Body Product line lately and I have just opened up the last product that I haven't tried yet.  I have been using most of the body products all summer however I hadn't opened the bar soap until a few days ago.  The peppermint oil in the body wash and matching lotion have been super refreshing over the pat few days of heat and I decided that this would be the best time of the year to open up the bar soap.  I only use these products in the summer months so there would be no point in me trying the products anytime after Labor Day.  I use the bar soap in the morning to add another layer to my Mentha routine and it's one of my new favorite ways to start the day!

"Our mint-infused exfoliating soap refreshes, energizes, and lightly sloughs drab skin with a super-infusion of peppermint oil and crushed walnut shells, for a wake-you-up cleansing experience.  Infused with cooling peppermint for an invigorating experience.", states the Bath and Body Works website in a product description.  If you like the fragrance of peppermint the way that I do, then this will be one of the greatest ways to start off a summer morning!

The entire C.O. Bigelow Mentha product line is infused with real peppermint oil, it cools the skin and leaves a tingly feeling long after you get out of the shower.  The bar soap is the least pepperminty of the products (the lotion packs a real punch) and therefore this is the product that I would recommend that you start with when trying this line out.  This is a lightly scented mint bar, the peppermint oil effect is present in the shower but doesn't linger as long as the body wash or body lotion does.  This is a huge bar of soap and will last quite a long time, it should get me through the rest of the summer with no issues. 

This bar soap is a softer texture and I use it right on my skin in the shower.  The soap itself is very creamy and produces a slight lather when used directly on wet skin.  This bar soap also contains crushed walnut shells to lightly exfoliate, I initially hesitiated to use this product when I was also self tanning since I was afraid that it would take the tanner off faster than I wish but I haven't noticed that issue so far.  What it does it helps to lightly exfoliate areas that have absorbed too much color, overall it is helping to keep the color more even than if I was using a bar without any type of exfoliator.  The exfoliator in this bar soap would be too much in the winter, that time fo the year my skin gets very dry and the crushed walnut shells would make the problem even worse.  The exfoliator is yet another reason that I could only use this product in the middle of the summer.

If you haven't tried the C.O. Bigelow Mentha Body line then I really recommend starting with this bar soap, it is an easy way to get into the products and has the least amount of the peppermint oil in.  This is great product to use in the morning and gets my day started on the right foot.  This product would also be great for men, all the Mentha products are uni-sex and I believe that men would love this scent too. 

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works

Sunday, July 22, 2012

NARS Foreplay Cheek Palette

The new products are coming fast and furious to the Sephora store and website, one of my early favorites is the new NARS Foreplay Cheek Palette.  I always love palettes from NARS and consider this company to put together some of the best palettes in the beauty market, over the past few months my NARS collection has been growing like crazy and this trend shows no sign of stopping over the next few months.  My current obsession from this company is the Sheer Lipstick and I have been collecting a shade or two each time that I go to Sephora and I am currently stalking the company's website for the release of the new collection.

Foreplay is a palette of cheek shades that centers around the best-selling cult favorite Orgasm shade of blush.  I doubt that there is anyone in the beauty world that has not heard of or tried this shade of blush, it was my first purchase from NARS when I was in college and I still own that product (yes it is still good and can be used!).  I still turn to this blush shade when I have a fake tan in the summer and love the results every single time.  This palette contains the Orgasm shade and then several others that will complement it.

So far this palette seems to be a Sephora exclusive so the product description comes from this company's website.  "A chic cheek palette featuring four dazzling shades based on the best selling Orgasm Blush.  The gorgeous afterglow of classic Orgasm is reinvented in this quad that combines Orgasm Blush plus vivid shades of pink and peach and a shimmering gold to create your own signature glow."
It contains the following shades...

- Orgasm - peachy pink with gold shimmer
- Peach Matte Blush
- Gold Highlighting Blush
- Pink Matte Blush

Based on what I am reading on the Sephora website, Orgasm is the base shade of the palette and all the other shades have been designed to layer and mix with this shade to change the effect.  The Peach Blush would make it warmer, the Pink cooler, and the Gold more dramatic.  I am most excited about mixing Orgasm with the Pink shade, this is will make it cooler and easier for me to wear when my skin is pale.  The Peach might make it too warm for me, however I will need to use this combination in the summer only -  I could only pull this off with a tan.  The Gold Highlighter would be what I would use the least, this blush shade is shimmery to begin with and this would only make it more dramatic.  Adding the Gold Highlighter would really intensify the shade and I would only use this combination at night in the summer months, it is too much for the daytime and would only work on a tan.  I love that the other blush shades are all mattes, Orgasm is very shimmery to begin with and if these shades would have added shimmer, the finish would be way to much for most people to pull off.  Also, it would have made the combinations unwearable for the daytime.

In addition to the fact that I really to order this palette, I am also wondering what types of combinations that I can come up with with the shades that I already own.  I am considering a mixture of Orgasm and Nymph from Illamasqua (a bright matte pink shade) to see how this palette will work.  I love tha idea behind this palette and I am going to see what combinations I can come up with, both using it and with other shades that I already own!

photo courtesy of Sephora

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Laura Mercier Fall 2012 Collection - Cinema Noir

One of most anticipated fall collections is Cinema Noir from Laura Mercier, this collection is full of muted, smoky shades that are perfect for the upcoming cooler weather.  I have been interested in this collection since I first saw hints of it several weeks ago and now it is finally available on the Laura Mercier website.  The first aspect of this collection that caught my attention was the name of the line, Cinema Noir is a great title for a fall collection and makes me think of the glamour age of the late 1940s and 1950s.  I have been all over the retro look lip with prominent red lips and this makeup collection is an extension of the look. 

This new collection features products and shades that will create a strong smoky eye look with a slightly more muted lip look.  I see that there is at least one more new nail polish hue in this collection, I love that Laura Mercier is heading into the nail polish market and that I have yet another collection to purchase shades from.  "Makeup is modern and dramatic.  Eyes wear muted shades in smoky mixes of teals and chocolates, blended together to create a true sultry appeal.  Lashes are long and voluminous, defining and enhancing the eyes.  Lips have a creamy soft finish in shades of roses and mauves, while cheeks are luminous and glowing."  I am all over new eye makeup this fall, hopefully I will find something new in this collection.  This company has released several great collections so far this year and this collection looks to be yet another winner.

Here is the collection...

Eye Colour Duet - New.  Limited edition.  The Eye Colour Duet immediately releases intense luminous colour with superior blending in two complementary shades.  The creamy powder texture provides distinctive full colour and unique blendability. 
- Suspense - neutral beige and plum brown (both are matte finishes)
- Mystere - taupe and deep navy (taupe is a matte finish, deep navy is Luster finish)

Tightline Cake Eye Liner - An easy-to-use, cake liner that delivers long-lasting color payoff that doesn't fade throughout the day for flawlessly defined eyes.  Applied with Laura's artisitc technique using the Flat Eye Liner Brush begin underneath the root fo the upper lash line and wiggle the brush between individual lashes.  Perfect for on-the-go, pop out your favorite shade from its compact and place it in a 3 or 6-well Custom Compact from a customized colour palette.
- Deep Teal - deep blue green
- Ground Expresso - deep neutral brown

Shimmer Bloc - Shimmer Bloc is a unique baked formula thaty applies effortlessly while brightening the eyes, cheeks, and body with a  hint of natural colour and light.  Light-reflecting properties blend together to give the skin a healthy all-over glow.  The modern wearable pearl leaves skin gleaming without being too frosty or metallic.  Layer over Bronzing Gel or Tinted Moisturizer for a natural sheen. 
- Starlet Mosaic - golden peach

Shimmer Lip Colour - Laura Mercier Shimmer Lip Colour delivers ultra-rich colour in an irresistibly lightweight formula.  Its unique blend of moisturizing, anti-aging, anti-oxidant, and pluming ingredients enhance the lips leaving a smoother, healthier appearance.  One swipe of colour provides hydration and prevents moisture loss ensuring fresh and flawless lips.  Lip Complex is a unique blend of moisturiazing, anti-aging, anti-oxidant, and pluming ingredients to boost the performance of the lip colour.  Offers Vitamins A and E to act as powerful anti-oxidants to soften, soothe, and condition lips for a plumper, smoothier, and healthier looking lip appearance.  Long-lasting coverage with a modern sheen.  Colour is refreshed everytime lips are pressed together.  Application is always fresh and flawless.
- Fresh Brown - warm bronze brown
- Raspberry Sorbet - berry rose shimmer
- Passion Fruit - light beige champagne

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

Nail Lacquer - Limited edition.  The ultra-smooth formula provides chip-resistant, fast-drying, and long-lasting colour.  Nail Lacquer does not contain formaldhyde, toluene, or dibutyl phthalate (DBP). 
- Cocoa Suede - chocolate brown
- Organza - beige with gold sparkle
- Nude Silk - taupe

Long Lash Mascara - Long Lash Mascara extends and perfectly separates the thinnest, shortest, hard-to-reach lashes by expertly scooping up and lengthening each lash while delivering just the right amount of product.  The perfectly engineered brush, designed to meet Laura's specifications, dramatically lengthens and defines lashes while enhancing the eyes.  An innovative stretch formula lengthens, separates, and curls each lash, making lashes appear longer in just two strokes.  Long-wearing, water-resistant, and smudge-proof.  Contains rich dark pigments to enhance lash colour for maximum drama.  Clump-free, fiber-free, paraden-free, and ophthamologist tested.  Suitable for contact lens wearers.
- Burgundy - deep burgundy

I love some of the eye makeup selections that are pictured with this collection, my focus this fall is picking up some new eye makeup to balance out all the lip products that I have bought over the spring and early summer.  I initially fell in love with the Suspense Eye Duet, however that was before I saw that the shades had a matte finish.  I will have to play with this product at the Sephora counter, many matte textured shadows have not worked well for me.  So the verdit is out  on this duo until I can play around with it more, I really like the shades but I don't want to buy it if I will never use it.  The Tightline Cake Eye Liner in the Ground Expresso shade will work very well for me this fall and winter, I don't have a deep rich brown eyeliner and this product will fill that void very well.

Many of the lip shades are too warm for me, the bronzes will not work for my skintones especially not in the fall when I lose all of my summer glow.  The Creme Lip Colour in Tea Rose is the shade that has me the most interested, this looks like a great my-lips-but-better look and will work with any natural or dramatic eye makeup look that I can come up with this fall.  This is my top pick of the collection, this shade will work so very well for me.  The Raspberry Sorbet Sheer Lip Colour is a lovely berry shimmer, it is not a must have for me but I would like to own it as it will be a great shade for fall. 

Two of the Nail Lacquer shades are on my shopping list too.  The Organza and Nude Silk shades are great neutrals and will be a break from my usual pale pink neutrals.  I like that this have a bit more pigment than many of the neutrals that I own and are great for the cooler weather months.

I like this collection however I was hoping to see a bit more eye makeup products and shades.  I was hoping for more eye shadows and perhaps a palette that would help create a deep chocolate smoky eye.  If shades like that were in this collection, then it would rank among the best of the season.  I buy a palette like that in a heartbeat but none of the eye shadows in this collection really jump out at me.  My favorite piece is the neutral pink lipstick, this is the only must have for me in the collection.

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sephora by OPI Nailed It! Set - Top 10 Best Sellers

The Sephora by OPI line has grown like crazy over the past few years, it started out a few years ago with only a few shades and quickly became one of the top selling lines in the store.  It has grown from a small rack of shades to the feature of the Nail Bar.  This line combines the top rated formula of the OPI line of polishes with the Sephora knowledge of colors and trends, a winning combination.  Over the years, this company has released a series of great sets with all kinds of polish combinations, some of the ones that are released at the holidays make some of the best gifts that you can give!

I just found a brand new Sephora by OPI set up on the Sephora website and this one might just be one of the best yet!  This set consists of the 10 top selling shades from this company, so this is a great introduction to the brand or makes a great gift for any lady who loves nail polish.  I love that the polishes are mini-sized, I personally can never use a whole polish up and usually end up throwing the bottle out before I can finish it.  Mini bottles would actually allow me to use the whole bottle up and gives me a range of shades to try out.  I wish that more companies would make smaller bottles of polishes in sets...

"A 10-piece collection of mini nail polishes in the most popular shades of the year.  Adorn your tips and toes with the best selling nail colors from Sephora by OPI.  From shimmery and glittery, to nude and electric, this collection will have you painted in the right colors all year round.  The purse-perfect size means you can change hues while traveling and easily share the delightful shades with your friends."

This set contains...

- Nonfat Soy Half Caff - sheer pale cappuccino
- Already Famous - sheer pewter with medium champagne and silver glitter
- Havana Dreams - sheer pale sky blue
- Break A Leg-Warmer! - opaque charcoal gray
- It's Bouquet With Me - sheer violet with silver and holographic chunky glitter
- Bare To Be Different - sheer warm ecru
- Leotard Optional - opaque mocha brown
- Metro Chic - opaque dark smoke with a hint of purple
- I'm Wired - opaque electric coral red
- Mermaid To Order - opaque metallic turquoise greem
Of the shades that are listed above, the only one that I currently own is Mermaid to Order.  This shade is a turquoise duochrome that is perfect for the summer months.  I know that I have looked at many of these shades before, many of them were in limited edition collections and it appears that Sephora made some of the best sellers part of their permanent collection.  I love that they decided to keep some of the best sellers around and this is a concept that I hope that MAC catches on to at some point (though I give them kudos for many of the shades that they brought back for the permanent Nail Lacquer collection).  The shades that I want to try the most are It's Bouquet With Me, Metro Chic, and Havana Dreams, the last shade will work well this time of the year and the others will be great for the fall months.  Leotard Optional and Bare To Be Different are the only two shades that might not work out for me since they are both on the warmer side however eight out of ten is pretty good for a set of polishes.

This set makes a great gift for anyone who loves polishes, there is a great range of shades included and everyone will find multiple shades that work out for them.  Any of these are a great addition to the polish collection or this is a great set to help a younger girl start her nail polish collection.  I see this as a great gift for a girl who is just beginning to get into beauty products, there are so many shades for them to try and it will give them some ideas as to what types of shades are the best for them.

I love this set and I am really considering buying this set the next time that I go to the Sephora Nail Bar, I was at the store the other day and I didn't see it yet so I bet that it will be out within the next few days.  Looks like I have to make another trip to the store and to the Nail Bar!

photo courtesy of Sephora

Thursday, July 19, 2012

NARS Fall 2012 Collection

NARS has finally released their fall collection, after teasing us for about two weeks with new pictures on their Facebook page.  I have been drooling over the pictures of the new lipstick shade and the all the new eye makeup, including the picture of Kristen McMenamy that was included to start off the collection.  McMenamy was a famed supermodel in the 1990s, the "Age of the Supermodel" and Francois Nars had worked with her for many years for print and runway shows.  I love the use of a real supermodel for this collection, I still miss seeing all the big supermodels all over Vogue and Allure and I wish that the "Age" would come back soon.
This collection is a mixture of very bold hues and subtle shimmers.  This collection screams "fall" and I love how different this one is from any of the summer collections that we had looked at several months ago, fall is completely different season and I personally dislike seeing bronzers included with fall hues.  "Bold.  Breathtaking.  Seductive" is the description of this collection.  This description is very simple and very accurate, it gets right to the point without mincing words.  NARS has been one of my favorite brands for years and so far this year, it has been in competition with MAC for my favorite makeup brand.  As of right now, it has been the brand that I have spent more money on this year than any other (MAC and Chanel are pretty close behind though) and I am hoping for some great new choices from this collection.  I am always tempted to click on the "Add All Items To Bag" icon on the NARS website...
Here is the long awaited NARS fall collection!

Trio Eye Shadow - A trio of harmonious, color combinations of eye shadow shades.  Worn alone or together, all Trio Eye Shadow shades feature micro-fine powders that are highly pigmented, longwearing, and crease-resistant.  Color glides on smoothly, evenly, and blends effortlessly.
- High Society - lavender/matte forest green/iridescent amethyst

Duo Eye Shadow - Modern, unique, sometimes unexpected color combinations of eye shadow shades.  Worn alone or together, all Duo Eye Shadows 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-function; use for shading, lining, and highlighting the eyes.  Classic, neutral, and fashion-forward shade pairings.
- Vent Glace - platinum/silver smoke

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 deliver a natural-looking flush.  Silky texture in matte and shimmering shades.  Micronized powder ensures soft, blendable application.  Iconic NARS shades.
- Outlaw - soft rose tone with golden shimmer

The Multiple - Francois Nars' iconic innovation, the original multi-purpose stick for eyes, cheeks, lips, and body.  Its unique, creamy formula and sheer color blends effortlessly to create shimmering accents, contours, or dynamic highlights on all skin tones.  Apply with fingers: the skin's warmth allows for perfect blending.  Mistake-proof color: quick and easy to apply.  Sheer, natural finish for eyes, cheeks, and lips.  Enriched with Vitamin E and acai oil for antioxidant benefits.
- Undress Me - ballerina pink with silver shimmer

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.
- Autumn Leaves - shimmering warm brandy

Larger Than Life Lip Gloss - Outrageously lustrous color meets high impact shine.  Dramatic, stay-in-place shades glide on smoothly and evenly for lips that are more luminous and voluminous than ever before.  High shine, high impact finish gives a dramatic effect.  Long-lasting, stay in place wear.  Infused with ingredients to nourish and fight free radicals while natural lip enhancers pump up volume.  Shorter-bristle brush delivers the most precise application possible.
- Rouge Tribal - metallic burgundy

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.  Enriched with Vitamin E and acai oil for antioxidant benefits.
- Amsterdam - garnet red
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 spheres, and phytosterol esters: ingredients known to moisturize, increase hydration, and improve barrier function.  Convenient, easy application.
- More - auburn

Opaque 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.
- Storm Bird - shark gray

I have a lot of top picks from this collection!  I really love the new shade in the Duo Eyeshadow, this shimmering combination of charcoal and silver will be great for the fall and this isn't a combination that I normally jump for but I really love this duo.  I don't own near as many silver makeup items as I own gold so this duo will create a whole new look for me this fall!  This duo is jumping to the top of my shopping list.  I like the shades in the Trio however I don't know that I must own this piece.  I love the iridescent amethyst shade in this trio however neither of the other shades really jump out at me, it would be better for me to find a single eye shadow that is close to this shade.
This lip shades in this collection get me really excited for fall - these are the hues that I have dreaming of since I first did my Fall Trend Preview!  I love the Pure Matte Lipstick, the garnet red shade is slightly deep than many of the cool blue red shades that I currently own and I will want to buy this shade as soon as possible.  I don't believe that I have a red in my collection that is this hue and it would actually fill a hole in my red lipstiick collection.  I am on the fence about the Sheer Lipstick shade, it looks lovely in the picture.  However I do wonder how sheer this lipstick really is, I would love this shade in a full pigment lisptick but I will need to see the application of it before I go one way or the other.  I an currently trying my first NARS Sheer Lipstick and it is not highly pigmeted, so I don't think that this shade will be exactly what I want.  The lip gloss hue is a bit too warm for me so I will be skipping over it.

Lastly, The Multiple has me very interested this time around.  This is the first time that I have seen it offered in a pale pink with a silver shimmer, usually I worry that the hues in the product are much to warm and bronzy for me but this one is completely different.  I will need to play with this one at the counter too.  The blush shade is a bit disappointing, I love the deep rose hue but the gold shimmer wouldn't work as well for my skintone as it would work for others.  I will be looking for another blush with this hue that has a matte finish.  Of course I like the nail polish shade however I already own Illamasqua's DWS so I don't really need this new shade.

This is my favorite collection that I have looked at so far and I think that it will be among the top collections for fall.  This is exactly the type of fall collection that I have been craving for about a month now!

photo courtesy of NARS

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bath and Body Works Love, Love, Love

Last month, Bath and Body works had one of their big Semi-Annual Sales.  These Sales really vary for me, some years I have bought stuff nearly every week or have skipped over it entirely.  This year  picked up a few hands soaps but pretty much skipped over everything else.  I have never been one for shopping on sale, I can't wait for things to go on sale since I always want new products and fragrances as soon as they come out.  I mostly use sales to stock up when my favorite scents are being discontinued.  Now that the Sale is over and all the stores are beginning to bring out the fall items, this is the time of the year that I get excited all over again for new products and fragrances.  I have been all over fall makeup collections since the beginning of the month and now I am going to start updating my fragrances and body products for the next season.

Love, Love, Love is the newest fragrance release from Bath and Body Works.  I know that it will be the first of many over the next few months, this company always releases a ton of great new products for the fall season.  Love, Love, Love is the newest fragrance in the Signature Collection and will join scents like Pink Chiffon and Sweet Pea in the floral fragrance offerings.  I only like a few of the florals from this company, Carried Away and Paris Amour are the only currnet floral scents that work with my skin chemisty.  Any of the sweet Signature scents do not work with my skin chemistry so I don't have high hopes for this scent, this scent looks to be too fruity and sweet for me.

"Somewhere between a fairytale romance and a magical dream, we find our lovely trio of sparkling white plum, pink peony, and glittering vanilla musk.  A sweet and succulent fragrance inspired by one-of-a-kind love."  This fragrance reminds me very much of Pink Chiffon, a fragrance that smelled nice in the bottle but completely turned when I sprayed it on. 

The top notes of the fragrance are: Succulent Berries, White Plum, Juicy Pear.  The middle notes are: Peony Petals, Lily of the Valley, Freesia.  The base notes are: Blonde Woods, Glittering Vanilla Musk.

When I sprayed this fragrance on, the berry notes immediately came out on my skin and the fragrance smelled like a stronger version of Pink Chiffon on me.  Next, the pear note develops and the scent becomes even sweeter.  For some reason, the floral notes never really develop on my skin and the next note that comes out is the vanilla.  This fragrance is way too sweet for me to pull off and I don't like the way that the fruit notes develop on me.  This scent would be better for someone who loves fragrances like Pink Chiffon and Sweet Pea and can wear sweet fruit fragrances.

This fragrance comes in the usual Signature Collection products; EDT, Fine Fragrance Mist, Shower Gel, Body Lotion, Triple Moisture Body Cream, and Shimmer Mist.  I was more interested in the new formula of the shower gel than in this fragrance.  I have used shower gels from this company since high school and I was really excited to see that the company has updated the formula to include Shea Butter. 

"Our exclusive formula is now enriched with Shea Butter, making it our richest, bubbliest lather that gives you softer, cleaner skin.  Moisturizing Aloe Vera and skin-loving Vitamin E combine with Signature Collection fragrances for lather that bursts with fragrance!"  When I saw the new shower gel formula, I was secretly hoping that Love, Love, Love would work for me since I can't justify buying any more shower gels from Bath and Body Works, I already own this product in every single scent that I would use.  I will have to hold off on this new formula until I need another shower gel or I find a scent that I want to use.

This scent is too sweet for me to pull off and I don't like the way that the fruit notes work with my skin chemistry, I will be skipping over every product with this scent.  This is the very beginning of the fall fragrances from this company so I know that I will find another one in the next few months and then I will try the new formula of the shower gel and find something new for the fall!

photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

C.O. Bigelow All-in-One Protective Day Lotion SPF 25

Several weeks ago, I raved about the C.O. Vitamin Face Wash that I ordered when I was restocking my collection of Lemon body products.  That product turned me into a C.O. Bigelow face care lover and now that the time has come to order another tube of the face wash, I decided to see what else I could find from this line of products.  It is summer and since it feels like we have been going through a heat wave for the past three weeks in my area of the country, I was more interested in trying to find a light face lotion rather than my usual face cream formula.  I only use light lotions during July and August so I actually didn't have a spare one in my product stash. 

I ordered the All-in-One Protective Day Lotion SPF 25 from the C.O. Bigelow website.  This is obviously a day lotion since it contains SPF 25 and the texture is light enough to use with makeup and primer during the hot weather months.  There was a time last summer when I just gave up on face lotion all together and used only sunscreen on my face during the day but this left my face really within a month and it remained really parched when fall came.  I am hoping to avoid that course of action this year and that is where this product from C.O. Bigelow will come into play.

I found this product on the C.O. Bigelow website and if you don't live in one of the few cities that has a free-standing C.O. Bigelow store than this is your only option to purchase this product.  "Hydrate and protect skin with this lightweight moisturizer, formulated with a power network of vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants, and UV protection.  Provides all day moisture and shields against damaging free radicals.  Protects against environmental pollutants with on-demand, light-activated antioxidants."

This is the first time that I am hearing about antioxidants that work on demand, this is a lovely concept but I can't say that I really buy in it very deeply.  I could see using ingredients or complexes that are activated by UVA and UVB rays (in theory).  However I have not read about technology that performs like this from any other company and I really believe that if it works all well as it should than many other companies would be using it too.  I would be more likely to believe a claim like this from a company like DDF or Murad where there is a much bigger budget for research and technology and the products are much higher end.  The C.O. Bigelow website states that this day lotion contains the following three ingredients: Anti-Pollution Complex, Healthy Skin Complex, and Skin Renewal Complex.  Unfortunately, this is where the description ends.  When reviewing all the ingredients, I can see different antioxidants and metals in the mix however if this company wants to make a claim like this one of the product effectiveness, then I want to see more research and specific details.

I'm not saying that this is a bad product, I actually really like it.  What I am saying is that this product is a very nice, light face lotion for normal skin.  This is not a product that will change your skin.  This face lotion added a bit of hydration to my skin but didn't make it oily, even in my T-Zone area.  I could not use this product any time other than the summer months, it wouldn't be anywhere near hydrating enough for my face.  This product doesn't contain a mattifying agent so I do need to bring blotting papers in my purse for touch-ups.  I try to apply this product thickly enough to reap some benefits of the SPF protection however I still prefer to use separate sunscreens and moisturizers whenever possible.  At least this product contains an SPF of 25 to make up for the fact that I can't apply it quite as thickly as I wish that I could.

This product works well with my pared-down summer beauty routine.  I rely on self tanner this time of the year and am able to maintain a light to medium bronzed look on my face and body.  I then use this product in the morning with a primer and a bit of bronzer.  This lotion is light enough that my primer and bronzer don't cake or feel heavy on my skin.  This is a good, solid lightweight face lotion for the summer months only.

photo courtesy of C.O. Bigelow

Monday, July 16, 2012

China Glaze Fall 2012 Collection - On Safari

We have just finished up one of my favorite weeks of the year, I love looking at all kinds of French brands and products.  However we now are back to fall collections and looking at everything new that is coming at very rapidly.  In fact, having one week where I didn't touch new products or collections has left me with a list of new releases and collections to check out.  I have lots to catch up on!

One of the fall launches that I am most excited for is that of China Glaze.  Their summer collection came out so late that I never bought anything from it because I already owned every polish hue that I was going to buy for the summer months.  I find it interesting that their fall collection came out in early July, actually only one month after their summer collection.  Very strange timing on the part of this nail polish company...

On Safari is a range of deep fall shades for the nails and toes.  Ten of the shades are full pigment shades and the other are glitter shades that can be used either alone or as top coats.  I loved China Glaze's collection from last fall and I hope that this one is just as lovely.  I have been using bright hues for the past few weeks and I am now beginning to crave buying some deep jewel toned polishes.

Here are the shades in On Safari!

- Man Hunt - bright denim blue with a cream finish
- Exotic Encounters - medium muted teal with a cream finish
- Elephant Walk - medium cool gray with a slight silver shimmer finish
- Jungle Queen - deep gray purple with a silver shimmer finish
- Purr-fect Plum - deep berry with a cream finish
- Prey Tell - very deep red with a cream finish
- Adventure Red-y - deep blue red with a cream finish
- Call of the Wild - deep burgundy brown with a cream finish
- Desert Sun - medium orange caramel with a cream finish
- I Herd That - mixture of gold, copper, and red glitter
- I'm Not Lion - mixture of gold and silver glitter
- Kalahari Kiss - sandy beige with a cream finish

This collection isn't as strong as last fall's (at least in my opinion) but I still ahve some shades from it that I really want to own.  My favorite from this collection is the shades that I have pictured, I'm Not Lion.  This gold and silver glitter mixture is so unique and will work so well with many outfits for the fall.  I must have this shade since I can wear it now and then all next season!  My second favorite shade is Exotic Encounters, I love the teal cream shade.  I have teal shades but all of them have a shimmer finish and I love how the cream finish looks in this hue. 

After I purchase my two top choices from this collection, I have a list of other hues that I wish to own.  Man Hunt is a great blue shade that will match much of my wardrobe.  Elephant Walk is a great gray, I wear grays as neutrals all year long and this shade is seasonless.  I like all of the red and berry hues in this collection however they are not the most unique shades that are offered.  Adventure Red-y is my favorite red, it will work with all of my blue red lipsticks to create a ladylike look for fall.  I would buy both of the other reds but they don't excite me as much as the first one.

This is great selection of fall polish hues, there are some very unique shades and some that are slightly more office appropriate.  I have two top choices from this collection to add to my polish collection and I can't wait to start collecting new hues for the fall months!

photo courtesy of China Glaze's Facebook page