Friday, August 31, 2012

Zoya Fall 2012 Collection - Gloss

My obsession with nail polish only continues to grow over the past few months, I have been collecting all kinds of new shades and now am drooling over some of the beauty magazine articles about how to create simple nail art.  I am not the most cooridinated so I am learning how to do simple dots and small patterns in an accent manicure.  Nail polish and nail art have become two of the hottest trends over the past two seasons, just visit the Nail Bar at any Sephora and you will see that it is fast becoming one of the hottest places in the store.  The fall nail polish collections and the advent of the at-home Gel Manicures have only been adding fuel to the fire and I now have so many polishes that I have to find another place to store my polishes.

Zoya has introduced not one, but three new collections for the fall season.  I have found that they typically introduce two collections, one that has a traditional cream finish and then one that contains very similar shades in a shimmer or metallic type of finish.  This season they have introduced an extra collection, the one that we will start out with today.

Gloss is the collection that we will focus on today, it was created by Zoya for New York Fashion Week 2012.  Gloss contains three new polish shades that are sold by themselves and in a sampler set.  All three of these shades have a sheer jelly finish so I imagine they will appear semi-sheer on the nail.  I am not a huge fan of sheer shades unless they are light neutrals, I don't like the see-through deep pinks, I feel like they just look as those my nails are stained and I didn't clean them up well enough.  I don't know how well this collection will work for me in this regard (unless I plan to apply three to four coats of them to get a more pigmented finish) so I wouldn't order them right away from this company.  If I see them at Ulta and they can be built up with a ton of hassle then I might purchase a shade or two.  Come to think, I think my favorite salon uses Zoya polishes, I will have to look further into this...

All Zoya polishes are free of the Big 5, many polish lines are working to become free of the Big 3 chemicals but this line is unique in that it goes further than any other.  The Big 5 are: formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toulene, camphor, and dibutyl phthalate.  These polishes are the first that I have ever seen as being "vegan", I am now beginning to wonder what might be the rest of my nail polishes...

The shades of Gloss!

Katherine - sheer, dark, red-toned aubergine with a buildable jelly finish (cool)

Paloma - sheer, deep fuchsia-berry with a buildable jelly finish (cool)

Frida - sheer, dark, warm-toned teal blue with a buildable jelly finish (cool)

All three of these shades were created for the Peter Som collection for Fall of 2012, the jewel toned hues are very popular for the fall and I can see these shades going right along with this trend.  They are very sheer with just one or two coats and a minimum of four coats are needed for the full coverage, I don't have to pateince for four coats of nail polish (especially when I don't really love any of the shades) so I doubt that this is a collection for me.  I like all three of the shades but I don't love any of them, Frida is my favorite but I could easily find another teal shade with a more pigmented finish. 

I am holding out hope that this the only sheer finish polishes from the new Zoya shades, I could not deal with having to wear four coats of polish to achieve a normal pigment and therefore I doubt that I would buy any of these three shades, I like the Frida shade but I can find another teal with more pigmentation.

Onto the next two collections...

photo courtesy of Zoya

Thursday, August 30, 2012

NARS American Dream Eye Shadow Palette

NARS has introduced two brand new eye shadow palettes from the fall season, last week we looked at the New Waves palette.  New Wave was a palette full of bright hues, especially purples and blues.  this palette is not quite my style and I wouldn't pair all the colored eye shadows with my blue eyes.  Even though that palette is not for me, I can still see this product selling out very quickly and it becoming a iconic NARS palette.  The second of the two palettes is what we will look at today, the American Dream Eye Shadow Palette.  This palette is my favorite of the two and has the potential to be one of my top choices for the entire fall season. 

The American Dream Eye Shadow Palette is comprised of five neutral and one silver eye shadow shades.  I find this palette to be the easier of the two to wear especially in any type of professional environment.  American Dream will work much better with colored eyes and I know that I would get use from this series of shadows all season long and then well into the next few seasons. 

So far I have only seen these two palettes on the NARS website so I am taking the product description and the shades from this source.  "Shimmering sophistication for eyes.  Iconic eye shadow shades to signal modern classic chic."  The palette appears to have four shimmer eye shadows and two matte finishes, I have been a fan of NARS shimmer finish eye shadows since I first began to play with the brand and I am so excited to add several more to my eye shadow palette.  Between all the great palettes that have been released this season, I may never have to buy single eye shadows again for the next few months!

A few more details about the shades inside the palette...

Shimmer Eye Shadow - Luminous, light-reflecting shades for shading, highlighting, and lining eyes.  Highly pigmented, longwearing, crease resistant colors that can be applied sheer or layered for more dramatic effects.  Color glides on smoothly, evenly, and blends effortlessly.  True color application.  Can be applied dry or with a dampened brush for stronger intensity.  Multi-function: use for shading, highlighting, and lining the eyes.  Sophisticated, luminous shades.
- Galapagos - bitter chocolate infused with gold shimmer
- Bellissima - shimmering beige with subtle glitter (originally part of Duo)
- Alhambra - golden champagne shimmer (originally part of Duo)
- Tzarine - medium silver shimmer (originally part of Duo)
- Silk Road - rose gold with gold flecks (originally part of Duo)

Matte Eye Shadow - Luminous, light-reflecting shades for shading, highlighting, and lining eye.  Highly pigmented, longwearing, crease resistant colors that can be applied sheer or layered for more dramatic effects.  Color glides on smoothly, evenly, and blends effortlessly.  True color application.  Can be applied dry or with a dampened brush for stronger intensity.  Multi-function: use for shading, highlighting, and lining the eyes.  Sophisticated, luminous shades.
- Bali -  neutral matte brown

So I was wrong in my inital thoughts about this palette, it actually contains only one matte finish eye shadow and the rest are shimmers.  This fact actually makes me even happier since I prefer the shimmer finish for NARS shadows instead of the matte.  Bali is a very nice matte brown and I have been looking for a nice matte brown (that still applies well) for the past few weeks and I would love for my search to end with this palette. 

This palette holds so much potential for me, I would use every single one of these shadows and I can mix them in so many different ways.  In addition, I have tons of other bronzes, golds, and neutrals that I can mix them with the products already in my collection.  I can mix any of these shades with both of the Urban Decay Naked Palettes and I can only imagine how many looks that I could create.  I actually already own Galapagos but I use it with so many different shades that I wouldn't mind having a back up of it and seeing how many more looks I can create with it.

I will be looking for this palette at Sephora but if it isn't available there then I will order it right from NARS, this might be the last eye palette that I need to buy for the fall season!

photo courtesy of NARS

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Jaqua Bath and Body Blooming Bergamot Illuminating Dry Oil Spray

For many years in college and right after I graduated, I used the Jaqua Bath and Body line of body products and lip glosses.  When I worked at Bath and Body Works in my senior year of college, the company picked up the Buttercream Frosting line of body products for one holiday season and I fell in love with the line after trying it for the first time.  I used it for quite a long time afterward and still have a few last pieces in my body product collection.  For the past few months, the Jaqua website had been "under construction" and both myself and many people on the Makeup Alley boards were afraid that the brand had been shut down for good.

Things have changed though and for the better!  Several weeks ago, I got an email about this company being re-opened but only through a website.  I wish that I could still buy these products in stores however I will settle for having to order them online.  I visited the website almost as soon as it opened and had a bit of a mixed reaction to their new website.  On one hand, I was happy that many of the products remained upchanged and that Buttercream Frosting is still readily available whenever I need to order it.  On the other hand, I was expecting something different and perhaps a few new products and next to nothing has changed.  I guess that I was just assuming that there would be new products and scents that were developed in the time that this company was closed and I was ready to order something brand new.  So I was a bit disappointed that nothing new is available...

The only product that I ordered so far is the Blooming Bergamot Illuminating Dry Oil Spray, I will be ordering more Buttercream Frosting products before winter but I wanted something that I could use in the late summer and early fall months.  I had used a Dry Oil Spray from this company when I first began trying the products from this company, it had some type of herbal lemon fragrance and the Blooming Bergamot seemed very similar in texture and fragrance to that spray.  I am happy to report that this new Dry Oil Spray hasn't changed at all in formula and it is still the product that I loved the first time around. 

"Signature Jaqua Spa Santa Barbara Illuminating Dry Oil Spray is formulated with Shea Butter, Avocado Oil, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, and Vitamin E to calm and protect the skin while helping it rejuvenate and shine.  Think tangy scented Blooming Bergamot!  feels dry, never greasy.  Perfect for sun kissed skin!"  The fragrance notes are: Bergamot, Mandarin, and a hint of Rose, Lemon, and Grapefruit. 

I use this product on my skin as soon as I dry off from the shower, applying it while skin is slightly damp allows it to sink in deeper and help to aid the hydration properties.  I recommend starting with a small amount of this product and then adding more if you wish.  I spray it once on what ever body part that I am looking to moisturize at that moment and then rub it in.  I do not recommend spraying a ton of this on and just letting it sink in, it will absorb but it will take a long time and may absorb fully depnding on how dry your skin it to being with.  I use more of this product in this winter, however even then I still do not cover myself in sprays, I spray it on once or twice and still have to rub it in.

This product creates a great finish on my legs during the summer months, I use it before I wear a skirt to go out at night and it helps to enhance to my fake tan and improve their overall appearance.  I will order another bottle of this before next summer as I use it much more than I thought I would during the warm weather.

I am glad that Jaqua is back up and running and I will order more Buttercream Frosting products soon.  I do hope that more new products are on the way in the upcoming months though...

photo courtesy of Jaqua

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Illamasqua Fall 2012 Collection - Generation Q

Over the past year, Illamasqua has become a brand that I barely used to a favorite brand of mine.  Barely a Sephora visit goes by that I buy a new Nail Varnish from this collection and I am always ordering from the Sephora website so that I can keep adding to my blush and lipstick collection.  I always want more products from this company and I can't want to begin collecting and trying some of the different eye makeup products.  I have been all about growing my eye makeup collection for this fall and I am excited to see that Illamasqua fall collection is out.  As of right now, the fall collection is available on the Illamasqua website but I haven't seen them out yet on the Sephora website, though I am sure that they will be available here within the next few weeks!

The new fall collection from Illamasqua is named Generation Q, normally each of refer to ourselves as being part of a certain generation.  Illamasqua doesn't seem to believe in "generations" and creates products that can be worn be people of all ages and styles.  It has been theme of this company to show their makeup looks on many different types of people and all ranges of skintones and ages.  This collection is no exception to this theme and the models for the collection looks are of all different ages, I wonder if the people featured in this collection are even models at all...

Illamasqua provides a description of the overall collection on their website.  "Generation Q is a celebration of individual self-expression.  Ageless, and without limits or restrictions.  It's our declaration to the world that beauty is inclusive, not exclusive.  In fact, Generation Q is a clear message to everybody, everywhere that beauty is not young, old, black, white, male or female, but anything, everything and everyone.  Illamasqua has become a lone voice in an industry controlled by the world's beauty cartels - cartels, which we believe, have forced their soulless definitions of beauty onto the world.  We are proud to launch our new collection - Generation Q - a new, dynamic range that provides the industry's only antidote to the cartel's homogenised and prejudiced vision of beauty. So in typical Illamasqua style, we have done something that no other brand would or could do.  The Generation Q campaign will go against the industry's despicable taboo, by featuring older models as well as young.  In fact, Generation Q models aren't models at all, but real makeup fans, with a sense of their own beauty.  The future of beauty is changing and we are the voice of a brand new generation - Generation Q, where beauty has no age limits."

I am so excited about this collection!  I see eye shadow palettes and new lipstick shades, as well as new shades of Nail Varnish - I can't wait to shop this collection.

Here is the newest collection from Illamasqua!

Empower Palette - Combine highly pigmented Powder Eye Shadows in Synth (iridescent pale pink glitter), Fervent (reddish brown with multi-tonal shimmer) and Blink (soft beige nude) with the illuminating reflections of Liquid Metal in Slick (charcoal gray metallic), to create a series of defining looks.

Complement Palette - Play the soft, metallic reflections of Powder Eye Shadow in Slink (soft champagne shimmer) and Liquid Metal in Focus (cool brown metallic), against the mysterious depths of Powder Eye Shadows in Forgiveness (rich chocolate plum) and Queen of the Night (blackened plum).

Gleam - Back by popular demand, and with a new and improved formula, Gleam's lightweight, iridescent finish sensuously highlights the natural beauty of your face and body.  A solid, cream compact, containing lustrous pearlscent pigments.  Smooth Aurora (champagne iridescent) over skin with fingers or a brush for an alluring glow that lifts and highlights wherever it's applied.  This is light-reflecting beauty.
- Aurora - champagne iridescent

Powder Blusher - Illuminate, radiate, make your face come alive with the colour and drama of Illamasqua Powder Blusher.  Colour-intense and highly pigmented, use it to shade, brighten, enhance, and define the shape of your face.  Be bold, be daring, be the center of attention.
- Allure - dusky rose pink shimmer
- S.O.P.H.I.E. - golden coral shimmer

Intense Lipgloss - Come out of the shadows with high-shine, colour-rich Illamasqua Intense Lipgloss in a wide range of bold colours.  Create lips that look full and glossy, without feeling sticky with this 'liquid lipstick'.  Draw attention to your lips, and to you.
- Boost - blueberry violet
- Opulent  - rainbow beige

Nail Varnish - A spectrum of bold shades with a range of siniehs, including matt, rubber, and high gloss.  Award-winning, extremely hardwearing and chip-resistant, there's an Illamasqua Nail Varnish for every shade of humanity.  Apply two coats for intensity and use with Illamasqua Nail Base Coat and Illamasqua Nail Top Coat for the perfect finish.
- Charisma - deep raspberry pink
- Creator - magical black

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

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

This is a very strong collection for Illamasqua and I see potential for almost all the products and shades to be sell-outs.  My favorites are the eye shadow palettes, I love the Complement Palette and the potential that it holds to help me create a plum smoky eye.  The look of the plum smoky eye is my preferred look for the fall months and I started out the season having very few shades to create this look and I have been on the watch for palettes that will help me easily create this look.  I like the other palette in this collection too, Empower is a more neutral palette but I already own many shades that look like the ones offered in this palette already so I don't really need to buy it but I would still like to.

I am not crazy about either of the blush shades offered with this collection, all of Illamasqua Blushes are very highly pigmented so I only buy them when I love the shade.  This product has too much pigment and appears too vividly on the skin for me to buy shades that I am not 100% in love with.  From the lip product line up, I must have the Lipstick in Magnetism, this raspberry shade will be a pinker version of all of my beloved red shades and will be a bit more a subtle red look.  Both the blue violet shades are too much for me to pull off and I would never buy either of these shades.  Of course, I want both shades of the Nail Varnish and I will be ordering these and the Complement Palette as soon as they are available on the Sephora website.

Illamasqua is still one of my top three favorite makeup companies and this collection just added to my love of the brand.  I would love to be in the Illamasqua campaigns at some point in my life...

photo courtesy of Illamasqua

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sephora Collection Instant Eye Makeup Remover

I have never tried any of the new Sephora Collection skincare items, I have looked at them before when I was in the store but have never actually bought or heard very much about this collection.  Many of the products look very interesting and like some products that I would like to try however I tend to stick with many of my same, trusted skincare brands to minimize the risk of product reactions.  I decided to break out of my skincare boundries slowly and buy one of the eye makeup removers instead of buying another bottle of Caudalie Cleansing Water.  I tried out it out for the past two nights and so far this product is pretty nice.

I have often used more natural-based eye makeup removers in the past, I haven't used a traditional formula eye make remover since I last bought one from Clinique.  I have to use eye makeup remover every single night since I pile on the eye primer, eye makeup, and mascara every single day.  I have never been able to get my eye makeup off with just face wash and I now have stopped trying and consider eye makeup remover as essential as a good eye cream.  An eye makeup remover is often a great product to try when deciding on a new skincare brand, if it doesn't work or is irritating, then it is good bet that the rest of the line will not work out either.

"A refreshing eye makeup remover gentle enough for contact wearers and those with senstive eyes.  This multi-tasking eye makeup remover erases all traces of makeup, refreshes the eye contour area, and strengthens lashes.  Its formula includes HydroSenn+, a natural ingredient proven to deliver immediate and long lasting hydration more effectly than hyaluronic acid.  HydroSenn+ is a plant-derived ingredient exclusive to Sephora that leaves skin feeling soft and luxuriously comfortable."

This product effectively removes all traces of eye makeup when used correctly.  The first time that I tried it, I didn't fully saturate my cotton ball and I only got about half of my eye shadow off and had to swipe it a few more times to get all the eye shadow and my mascara off.  The second time that I used this product, I full saturated the cotton ball and this time it worked much better.  The first swipe got all my eye makeup off and I only had to reswipe to get the excess mascara off from underneath my eyes.  I want to note that I am using YSL Faux Cils Mascara and I had problems getting this formula fully cleaned off with The Body Shop's Chamomile Eye Makeup Remover (a favorite product of mine).

This formula didn't irritate my skin at all, effectively removing my eye makeup and not irritating my skin are the only two major requirements that I have from a product of this type.  I don't care about hydration or any special ingredients with my eye makeup remover.  I don't mind that this product contains HydroSenn+ but I would be more interested in how this ingredient functions in a face cream or serum.  If this ingredient is in more products from Sephora Collection then I will be doing more shopping from this skincare line.

The only minor drawback of this product is the color.  The product itself is bright blue, I initally only thought that the bottle was bright blue and the product itself would be clear.  Most other eye makeup removers were clear and I don't feel like they need to have any type of hue to them.  I was very put off by shade, eye makeup doesn't need color added to it and I was afraid that added ingredients would be irritating to my eyes.  It seems like the color was added to make the product stand out on the shelf and plays no other role in the product formulation.  The bottle itself could just have been this color and it would have stood out just as much.  The additional color didn't bother my eyes but it would have ruined the whole product if I would have had a reaction just from the tint to the product and it isn't a necessary ingredient.

I really like this eye makeup remover and now I want to check out the rest of the Sephora Collection skincare products at the store.  I am interested in seeing what is offered with this collection, I have have half a bottle of face cleanser left and I will need to buy a new product very soon.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Zooey Deschanel's Tuxedo Nails

I love Zooey Deschanel's style and these tuxedo-inspired nails are one of my favorite looks from her yet! 

This look was seen earlier this year at the Golden Globe awards and I believe that her nails caused more of a sensation than her outfit.  I love her outfit but those nails are traffic-stopping.  I will need to take this picture to my salon as I do not think that I will be able to make this look good on my own.

I am not a nail art person but I love these nails and this might be my introduction to the nail art trend!

photo courtesy of Pinterest

Saturday, August 25, 2012

OPI Fall 2012 Collection - Germany Collection

The Germany Collection from OPI is one of the collections that I have been most excited about ever since I began to see previews and hear about some of the different fall collections.  I have been haunting the OPI website for the past few weeks and I am so excited to see that this collection in finally up and ready for me to buy!  The Holland Collection for spring was one of my favorite spring collections and I know that the Germany Collection will hold the same place in my heart.  I went to Germany when I was in high school and toured Europe for several weeks one summer.  I was so excited to visit Italy and France that I never really thought about Germany and Austria.  Within a day of my tour, I fell in love with some of the little towns that I saw in Germany and I want to return to the country within the next five years!

It seems that OPI is going many of the seasonal collections on places in the world, we already talked about the Holland Collection however over the previous two years, this company has featured different landmarks and states in the United States for their collections.  Personally, I love that this company is heading back to Europe and picking up their inspiration from some of my favorite countries and cities in the world. 

This collection contains a real variety of shades, I see deep jewel tones, nudes, and even a mustard yellow shade in here.  Some of these shades will be perfectly on trend for the fall months, some will be a bit of a stretch but I suspect that all of the shades will sell very well.  I am sensing an Ulta trip in my very near future, I will work it all in around work and the upcoming first week of classes.  I am going to be a very busy girl this fall but I sincerely hope that I can keep up with the beauty industry as much as I currently do.

Here are the shades in the OPI Germany Collection!

- Don't Talk Bach To Me - light mustard yellow with a hint of pale green
- Schnapps Out Of It! - medium terracotta cream
- Deutsch You Want Me Baby? - deep orange with gold shimmer
- Danke-Shiny Red - deep cool red with a subtle silver shimmer
- German-ciure by OPI - deep brick red with red shimmer
- Suzi and the 7 Dusseldorfs - medium purple with subtle red shimmer
- Every Month is Oktoberfest - deep cool purple with red and gold shimmer
- Unfor-Greta-bly Blue - medium teal frost
- Nein!  Nein!  Ok Fine! - deep forest green cream
- Berlin There Done That - medium cool gray cream
- My Very First Knockwurst - pale pink cream
- Don't Pretzel My Buttons - pale beige cream

Overall, this is a strong collection of shades but there isn't really one or two major standouts.  I really like several of the shades however there isn't any one that jumps out at me and is so unique that I must buy the polish on my next shopping trip.  OPI has never really been known for having super unique shades however they excel at having a huge shade range and shades that can be worn in many different circumstances.  The oddest shades in this collection are the Don't Talk Bach To Me (pale mustard) and Schnapps Out Of It! (terracotta), neither of these two shades are my cup of tea and I will be skipping over both of them.

When I first saw that there would be a blue hue offered in this collection, I immediately jumped to the conclusion that this would be my favorite shade of the group.  While I do like Unfor-Greta-bly Blue, this isn't the most unique blue that I have ever seen and since it has a bit of a teal cast, it is very similar to China Glaze Sexy in the City (which I already own).  Unless this shade looks very different when I see it in person, this shade won't be on my first round of shopping from this collection. 

My favorites in this collection are the red and purple shades, my favorite shade overall Danke-Shiny Red.  This is a cool red with subtle silver shimmer, it is more subtle than China Glaze's Ruby Pumps (no glitter!) and a lighter hue than Heart of Africa from the same company, I really love this OPI shade.  I like the German-icure shade too, however this shade is pretty close to Deborah Lippmann's Since I Fell For you so this is another one that I like but don't really need to own.  Every Month is Oktoberfest is a great jewel tone and this is one that I don't own a very similar shade and will want to buy the next time that I go to Ulta.  The last two shades that I really want are tw of the more neutrals, I can never have enough neutrals to add to my everyday shade line up, Berlin There Done That and My Very First Knockwurst are my two choices from this category, Berlin There Done That is a great addition to me gray collection and I will wear this shade at least twice a week in the fall months.

This is a very strong collection for OPI, there are many shades in this line up that I feel very strongly about and I can see this collection selling very well.  The jewel tones are my top picks for the fall but I can many different women adapting a shade or two from this collection into their style!

photo courtesy of OPI's Facebook page

Friday, August 24, 2012

Shu Uemura Fall 2012 Collection - Precious Chocolate Exquisite Raspberry

I still have very fond memories of visiting the Shu Uemura store that used to be on Newbury Street in Boston, however as this brand is no longer available in the United States, I will never again have this same opportunity.  This store was amazing, products and shades from the ceiling to the floor...this store was one of my versions of heaven.  Visiting the company's website is still nice however it will never have the same charm as the store did.  I wish that I could visit a store or a counter just one more time so that I can see all the shades in real life and play around with all the great products that this company has to offer...

The newest collection for fall is now available on the United States website for Shu Uemura, this collection is named Precious Chocolate Exquisite Raspberry.  This collection holds some promise for me, it contains a full range of browns for every facial feature.  I am hoping for some great new eye makeup to order from this website, I own a large range of browns and would love to add a few more to my collection.  I currently am in search of a good deep brown with a matte finish, I already own Werewolf from the Tarte and True Blood Eye Palette and I have application issues with it.  I want a matte brown that applies well and has full pigmentation, it would be nice if my search was over after looking at the products in this collection!

"Chocolate paired with raspberry and mocha creates such a delightfully rich palette.  For the fall season, create sensual smoky brown eyes using metallic warm shades and rich matte brown shadows."  Rich matte brown shadows?!  These four words are music to my ears!!

Here is the fall collection from Shu Uemura!

Stage Performer Instant Glow - Glow from the inside out!  Stage-inspired multi-functional beauty cream to enhance makeup finish and deliver a natural glow.  Contains ginkgo leaf extract to fight oxidation.  Instantly, skin appears more luminous, translucent and smooth.  Provides 24-hour lasting moisture.

Face Architect Illuminating Moisture Fluid Foundation - Capture the glow.  This liquid foundation is designed to achieve an illuminating glow finish.  With its pleasantly rich texture, this foundation spreads to conceal skin imperfections flawlessly while maintaining a complexion that glows as from within.  The formula is enriched with high concentrations of naturally derived ingredients including macadamia seed oil to support the glowing finish as well as moisturizing benefits.  Provides a high comfort wear to the skin that lasts all day.  Available in a wide range of shades for all skin tones.

Pro Gel Cealer - Ultimate fit and fix for perfect coverage.  Seamlessly cover any imperfections with a concealer that lasts all day long.  Thanks to the gel texture, the formula blends naturally onto the skin, fitting precisely on the imperfection area.  Available in a range of shades to suit all skin tones.

Glow On - Create appetizing complexion with fruity autumnal cheek colors.  Two limited shades inspired by delicious fruit flavored chocolate. 
- Framboiser - deep cool raspberry
- Apricot - medium warm peach

Synthetic Brush 10 - Designed with synthetic fiber, this brush is ideal for powder, cream, and liquid eye shadow application.  It is also suitable for light applications as well as covering/blending blemishes and discolorations.  The brush size is made especially for easy control of makeup application.

Natural Brush 18r Red - Goat bristles have the ideal intensity for face powder and cheek color application, bronzing, as well as dusting off excess powders.

Natural Brush 20 - Made with pony hair, this brush is ideal for face powder face color application.  The soft, flexible bristles are best for sharply defined cheeks and precise, delicate shading.  Also suitable for applying face powder.

Compact Powder (Refill) - Loose powder softeness in a compact.  Compact powder with a soft feel on skin.  Glides smoothly on the skin, achieving lasting transparency and comfort.  Comfortable texture.  Soft as loose powder, this product provides a smooth, silky and non-heavy feeling to the skin.  The micro cushion powders fit perfectly to the skin and creates a fine satiny feel.  Beautiful lasting finish.  Particles to absorb serum and sweat are wrapped in a clear gel network to prevent makeup fading without any drying effect.  Natural glow from within.  Natural shine powder coating has the same index of refraction as skin sebum so that the powder blends in perfectly with skin color, creating lively natural glow to the skin.  Includes a sponge made with an extra smooth surface for application.

Raspberry and Mocha Palette - Choco-inspired six eye shadows are assorted in the limited edition refillable custome case quad, which design is inspired by a box of luxurious chocolates. 
- sparkling bronze/pearl petal pink/pearl soft peach/pearl purple aubergine/matte reddish brown/creamy dark brown

Choco-Lash - Limited edition false eye lashes inspired by fine design of decorative chocolate.  Brown feather with gold and silver accents melts naturally into any shade of eye makeup.

Eye Lash Curler - The emblematic, best-selling and award-winning Shu Uemura Eye Lash Curler featuring enhanced design and upgraded features for ultimate precision that delivers the perfect curl.  Upgraded silicone pad in a new "mushroom" shape provides a protective, stay-put edge for improved safety and optimum curl.  Upgraded patented hinge with precise engineering applies perfect amount of pressure on eyelashes.  Curved angle suits all eye shapes.  Calculated shape and size of frame length and ergonomic handles ensure stability and control.

Eye Light Pencil White - Highlight and enhance.  Dual-ended soft crayon pencil ideal for use as an eye liner or highlighter.  Two finishes, matte white and pearl white, to achieve brighten, lighten, and lifted look.

Natural Brush 10 - A basic eye shadow brush for bringing out various effects, it is suitable for a powder, cream, and liquid eye shadow.  The brush size is made especially for easy control of eye makeup.

Painting Liner - A range of eyeliners for precise application on the eyes.  The formula has an ultra-smooth, soft, creamy texture with vivid color payoff that allows you to draw long, continuous lines without flaking.  The freshly applied color is waterproof and smudge-proof.  All shades are blendable to create a unique custom look.
- Black - black

Natural Brush 5f - Made with sable hairs, this brush is ideal for powder, cream, and liquid eye shadow and eye line application.  5f can also be used for making gradations on small areas such as the lower eye lid and to correct fine areas on the lips.

Natural Brush 4f - Made with sable hairs, this brush is ideal for powder, cream, and liquid eye shadow and eye line application.  It is suitable for drawing eyelines, or blending along the eye line.

Natural Brush 2r - Made with sable hairs, this brush is ideal for powder, cream, and liquid eye shadow and eye line application.  The soft bristles are suitable for drawing eye lines in delicate areas with precision and perfection.  By wetting the brush tips, the powder eye shadows can be drawn as fine lines.

Synthetic Brush 12 - Designed with synthetic fiber, this brush is ideal for powder, cream, and liquid eye shadow application and concealer.  The easy to control brush creates delicate to strong application.

Kolinsky Brush 10f - The flat brush is suitable for contouring, accentuating lines, and smudging colors.

Kolinsky Brush 11 - For use with powder, cream, and liquid eye shadow application.  The long, spread out bristles provide a light touch that is best for blending and building color.

Rouge Unlimited Supreme Shine - A fusion of breakthrough watery dewy shine and rich color payoff.  Revolutionary film keeping capsule, ultra shine oil and Shu Uemura's signature hybrid pigment create a smooth, thick film on lips that glides on easily to deliver unforseen shine and vibrant pure color payoff.
- BR760 - shimmering cocoa

Gloss Unlimited - Easy-to-wear vivid shades in vibrant color.  Each shade delivers intense color fidelity and brightness, 3 dimensional shine effect in a non-sticky formula that keeps lips hydrated and soft, sheer coverage.
- 283s - rich golden mauve (cool undertone)

Nail Color - Tint your nails with melted dark chocolate and decorate with delicious sprinkles.  Nail color in two limited edition shades of the collection.  Dark chocolate shade gives chic yet feminine allure to your fingertips.  Icing glitter can be used iteself or on top of other nail color to add accent.
- Icing Glitter - gold glitter
- Dark Chocolate - deep rich chocolate brown

My initial thought when I was looking at this collection is that there are way too much brushes that will be needed to create the look on the model.  Shu Uemura brushes are top rated in the industry and I am aware that most makeup artists swear by all the brushes from this company however very few people (with the exception of makeup artists) own the full complement of Shu brushes in order to create this look as suggested.  If I really need all the brushes listed with this collection to create the look, I would be more likely to find another version of this look rather than purchase every single type of brush.  I am willing to bet that not every single one of the listed brushes are needed and I could get away with creating a very similar look with my normal rotation of eye makeup brushes.

But I digress...I love the eye shadow palette that seems to be the star product of this collection.  This is the only product that I would be likely to order from Japan.  I will have to find a few reviews and pictures of this palette before I order it but it looks very promising and has a deep, creamy brown shade that I have been looking for.  I am also interested in the cream eye liner and I might order it in more shades than just the black that is suggested with this collection, there is really nothing else that is catching my eye in this collection.

This is one of my least favorite collections of the season, I love the eye shadow palette but nothing else catches my attention and I would never be able to buy and use (on a daily basis!) all the brushes that seem to be needed to create the look on the model.  I want to order the eye shadow palette but that's about it...

photo courtesy of Shu Uemura

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Essie Fall 2012 Collection - Stylenomics

We have been looking at fall collections since the very end of June and now we are finally getting into the time of the year that I can begin trying out many of the items that I have already bought for the fall and am really adding to my beauty product collection.  At this point in the season, almost every single fall collection has been released and I have so many new items to look at.  I am currnetly craving new perfume and new nail polish colors so today I have decided to check out the newest shades from the nail polish company, Essie.  One of the best aspects about Essie is that it so widely available, this company and OPI are two of the few companies that I know I can always find at many salons and beauty product stores, it makes it so much easier for me to find the shades that I love.

This new polish collection from Essie contains six brand new shades for the fall season and what might be my favorite collection name so far this fall.  I am currently working on my MBA and economics was one of my favorite classes over the years, I have another semester this fall and I am counting the days until the beginning of classes already!  This collection names manages to bridge beauty and business for me and I will need to own at least one or two polishes from this collection.

"No need to tighten your belt when you practice Stylenomics.", is the official collection description from the founder of the polish company.  In addition to school, the name of this collection is also making me think of the upcoming election and all the economic controversy surrounding it.  Business, politics, and nail polish are all wrapped up in one with this collection!

This collection contains two pales and four jewel tones.  We will start with the pale shades since I always seem to need new pale neutrals for everyday wear.  Don't Sweater It is a "warm, cozy, and creamy mauve", this would be a good everyday shade for a more conservative work environment.  This shade is slightly too boring for me and dupes of it can be found from almost major polish line.  I can skip over this shade pretty easily, there is a mauve that was released from Deborah Lippmann that I would prefer to own instead of this shade.  Miss Fancy Pants is the second pale shade and I would be much more likely to purchase this one.  This shade is a "refined, chic greige", a pale cool hue that I would work very quickly into my polish line up.  I will be looking for this polish that next time that I go to Ulta and I would wear this shade throughout the fall and winter months.

The jewel tones are the more interesting of the group.  Skirting the Issue will fit into with the cherry-inspired hues that I have been seeing for the fall, I bet this shade will sell out very quickly.  This is an "exquisite, fashionable burgundy wine" and a shade that I really want to buy.  I don't have a great wine shade in my collection yet and therefore this shade will also fill a gap in my collection.  I am adding this shade to my shopping list.  The second of the jewel toned shades is Recessionista, a name that makes me cringe to even read it.  I hate the word "fashionista" and I think that "recessionista" is even worse.  The shade is a "smart, intelligent, and savvy brick red".  I like the shade but the names annoys me so much that I would pass it over, this shade is not that unique and I know that OPI or China Glaze will have a shade just like it.  Head Mistress is the other red hue that is introduced with this collection, this name makes me think of Harry Potter and I love the name of this shade.  Head Mistress is a "bold, in charge, direct red".  Nothing super uniue about it but I like the shade and the name and would be likely to buy it.  The last shade is my favorite of the collection, this is the namesake shade of the collection.  Stylenomics is a "wealthy, rich, and opulent dark green" and is the shade that I have pictured with this post.

Stylenomics is my favorite of the new shades, I do think that this will be the best selling shade in the collection.  It is the most unique and will be the shade that is pictured on my counter.  I want to look for this shade and Miss Fancy Pants the most.  After I purchase my favorite two shades, I wouldn't mind owning Skirting the Issue and Head Mistress but I won't be crushed if they sell out.  Neither of those two shades are so unique that I can't find a shade in the OPI range that will look very similar to both of them.

photo courtesy of Essie

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

NARS New Wave Eye Shadow Palette

This week, NARS has released two brand new eye shadow palettes for the fall season, I love NARS palettes and the brand overall so this fall season is shaping up very well for me.  The hardest part of the next few weeks will be deciding what all I want to purchase and trying not to run the balance on my Visa card to new heights.  Every single time that I have gone into Sephora the past few years, I have been spraying myself with a different fragrance and have been leaving with a bag full of products.  My makeup collection is going to outgrow my traincase at the rate that this shoppiong season is going...

And then NARS introduced two brand new eye shadow palettes, I can already see myself buying even more NARS products than I have over the past few months.  Anyone that has been reading this blog knows that I purchased so many new NARS products over the spring and summer and now I am planning my shopping list for the fall months.  I have already bought the Too Faced Return of Sexy eye palette and I am looking to add at least one or two more eye palettes to my collection and then a few single shades, a few new liners, and at least one new mascara formula to my collection.  I am hoping that one of these NARS palettes will be making its way into my collection, I haven't bought many of their eye shadows recently and now I feel that I need to be changing that trend.

One of the palettes is filled with neutral shades and the other is filled with brights.  Today we are going to look at New Wave, the palette that contains three bright shades, two pales, and a black.  Bright eye makeup was a huge trend this summer and might continue a bit into the fall months but I don't see this palette being as easy to work with as the more neutral palette.  On the flip side, I have a feeling that this will be the better selling of the two palettes as it very unique and will create all kinds of eye makeup looks. 

"Leave no look unimagined.  Vibrant violets juxtapose with chartreuse and vivid blue in an edgy electro cool color palette for eyes."  I love the violet shades but the other brights might be way too much with my colored eyes.  This palette contains a combination of matte and shimmer finishes, all NARS eye shadows have a high pigment payoff and every single one that I own is a top pick of mine.

Matte Eye Shadow - Luminous light reflecting shades for shading, highlighting, and lining eyes.  Highly pigmented, longwearing, crease resistant colors that can be applied sheer or layered for more dramatic effects.  Color glides on smoothly, evenly, and blends effortlessly.  True color application.  Can be applied dry or with a dampened brush for stronger intensity.  Multi-function: use for shading, highlighting, and lining the eyes.  Sophisticated, luminous shades.
- Outremer - bright true blue
- Daphne - matte deep violet
- Pandora - matte black (originally sold as Duo Eye Shadow)

Shimmer Eye Shadow - Luminous light reflecting shades for shading, highlighting, and lining eyes.  Highly pigmented, longwearing, crease resistant colors that ca be applied sheer for layered for more dramatic effects.  Color glides on smoothly, evenly, and blends effortlessly.  True color application.  Can be applied dry or with a dampened brush for stronger intensity.  Multi-function: use for shading, highlighting, and lining the eyes.  Sophisticated, luminous shades.
- Jolie Poupee - pearlscent purple (originally sold as Duo Eye Shadow)
- Rated R - electric cobalt blue/shimmering chartreuse (originally sold as Duo Eye Shadow)

I love the violet hues in this palette but I would be more likely to buy the shades in the single version and the original Duo versions.  I have had Daphne used on me before by a NARS artist and I really liked the color payoff of it, it is very pigmented and was a bit too dramatic for what I was shopping for that day so I skipped over it.  I have been all about purples and plums for eyes this fall and now I think that I will be adding this one to my collection.  The other shade that I really like in this palette is the light shade in the Jolie Poupee Duo, I still would be more likely to buy the Duo itself than this palette. 

I think that I will be buying the more neutral palette, this one does not contain enough shades that I will wear to warrant a purchase.  However I still see this palette selling very well and if I had brown or hazel eyes, i would be all over ordering this as soon as I could.

photo courtesy of NARS

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Illamasqua Rubber Brights Nail Varnish

Everyone knows that I love Illamasqua Nail Varnishes and now a new line of them has been released for the fall season.  As of right now, this line is a Sephora exclusive release and I do not know if it will be in all stores or only in select stores and the website.  I can honestly state that I will be chasing these polishes down, whether or not I can quickly find them in my local store or if I have to order them online, this polish formula is one of the best in the industry and the shade range is unmathced by so many other companies.

The Rubber Brights shade range introduces a new finish to the Nail Varnish range.  If I remember correctly, this company introduced a series of rubber finish polishes with their limited edition collection last fall.  I believe that those shades are still available but this is the first time that this company has brought more polish shades out with this finish.  So few shades were introduced in this finish that they never really got the praise that they deserved and were somewhat forgotten about after the collection was no longer new.  I am glad to see that this company has added more shades to this finish so that I have another group of shades to add to my Nail Varnish line up.

Since this collection is a Sephora exclusive, all of my information about the finish and shades will be pulled from this website.  "A highly pigmented matte nail varnish with an innovative rubber-like finish.  Go beyond ordinary nails with this chip-resistant rubber-finish nail color that contains the finest high-grade color suspension materials for creating a fast and buildable waxy rubber finish."  As of right now, Sephora states that this product is only available online so it looks like I need to begin putting an order together.

The shades look as though they should have been introduced in the spring or early summer as most of them are brights.  The deeper shades are all re-promotes of the original shades in this finish from the last fall release.  I might order some of these polishes and put them aside now or I might wait until late next winter to begin collecting them.  There is nothing that states that these are limited edition so I may be able to wait a few months to make my order.

- Devotee - candy pink
- Aorta - scarlet red
- Optimist - warm yellow
- Nuture - vivid green
- Kink - bottle green
- Serenity - bright turquoise
- Prosperity - rich purple
- Vice - deep cerise
- Faux Pas - blue violet
- Taint - stone brown

Kink, Vice, Fux Pas, and Taint are the original shades in this collection and I would be most likely to order these now and then wait on the bright hues.  Again...why is this collection being released now?!  I would have ordered almost all of them had it been released last April and would have been very excited to wear all the shades in the warm weather months.  I don't know why this bothers me so much but it does for some reason...

Anyway, time for me to get off my soapbox and do some online ordering!  My favorites for right now are Vice and Aorta, both of these reds will make a great manicure or pedicure shade for the fall and will be my first round picks (Fanstasy Football is coming soon - so excited!).  Devotee and Serenity are both lovely shades and I will want them for next spring so I bet that I will order now and put them away...temptation all winter long!

I am happy that Illamasqua is expanding their Nail Varnish shade line, I can't wait to order four of these shades and I am hoping for more Varnishes when the big fall collection is released!

photo courtesy of Sephora

Monday, August 20, 2012

MAC Styleseeker

MAC fall collections are in full swing right now with the late August release of Styleseeker.  The first big fall release from this company was Heavely Creature at the very beginning of July and this collection set the tone for the next few fall collections from this company.  My local MAC counter still has a few pieces left on the displa however all the Mineralize products from that collection appeared to sell out very quickly after the initial release.  To follow up this huge fall release, MAC has introduced another large collection, Styleseeker.  As of right now, Styleseeker is available only on the website and will be on counters this Thursday, I love the early website releases so that I can get my pre-order ready before I visit the counter. 

Styleseeker is a very fall collection, the hues are all rich and deep, especially those in the eye and lip products.  "Fall colour surfaces in a vivid colour collection influenced by the spirit and style of a global wanderer.  She has a knack for juxtaposing vintage, ethnic, flea market, and avant-garde into stunning original looks, inspiring a world of wanderlust as eclectic and fashionable as she is."  The promo pictures that Macy*s sent me reminded me of the colors that I would see in Africa and India.  It was a collection of rich, bright tones and lots of patterns and varied textures.  I wasn't a huge fan when I saw the promo pictures but I am very interested in the deep hues of the Mattene Lipstick formula.  It seems that African culture is very popular this fall, this collection reminded me very much of the shades that China Glaze released in the On Safari collection. 

Here is the newest huge fall release from MAC!

Culturalized: Eye Shadow x 2 - A highly pigmented powder formula that applies evenly, blends, and builds beautifully.  The globally inspired colour combination of Brule and Retrospeck create softly shadowed to dramatic eyes.
- Brule - soft creamy beige (Satin)
- Retrospeck - midtone neutral gold (Lustre)

Marche Aux Puces: Eye Shadow x 2 - A highly pigmented powder formula that applies evenly, blends, and builds beautifully.  The globally inspired colour combination of Indie Spirit and Chessa create softly shadowed to dramatic eyes.
- Chessa - midtone golden orange (Veluxe Pearl)
- Indie Spirit - chestnut brown (Matte)

On The Hunt: Eye Shadow x 2 - A highly pigmented powder formula that applies evenly, blends, and builds beautifully.  The globally inspired colour combination of Raving Mad and Star Myth create softly shadowed to dramatic eyes.
- Star Myth - bronzed violet (Veluxe Pearl)
- Raving Mad - bronzed red (Frost)

Whims and Fancies: Eye Shadow x 2 - A highly pigmented powder formula that applies evenly, blends, and builds beautifully.  The globally inspired colour combination of Performance Art and Shadowy Lady create softly shadowed to dramatic eyes.
- Performance Art - platinum silver (Veluxe Pearl)
- Shadowy Lady - blackened plum (Matte)

Fluidline - Ultra-smooth.  Fluidline's gel formula provides the precision of a liquid liner with a silkier, softer finish.  Goes on "foolproof" with a brush in an easy dip-and-stroke action.  Long-wearing.  Smudgeproof.  Lines up in a rich array of colours and finishes.  Brush sold separately.
- Dark Diversion - blackened plum
- Rich Ground - reddened coco with frost
- Local Wares - dirty olive with multidimensional pearl
- Blacktrak - solid flat black

Mattene Lipstick - With its streamlined design, this new slimline lipcolour, features the traditional glamour properties of a matte lipstick - intense colour and semi-matte velvety finish - while offering a creamier, smoother, more glide-on application.  Non-caking, non-drying.  Moisturizing and incredibly wearable yet absolutely matte.
- Camden Chic - medium brown red (Matte)
- Delectable - warm peach orange (Matte)
- Eden Rouge - medium cool blue red (Matte)
- Fashion Nomad - bright warm orange (Matte)
- Fun Finds - pale pink beige (Matte)

Lipglass - A unique lip gloss available in a wide variety of colurs that can create a high gloss, glasslike finish or a subtle sheen.  Designed to be worn on its own, over Lip Pencil or Lipstick, Tinted Lipglass is the perfect product for creating shine that lasts.  It's pigmented, very shiny and can impart subtle or dramatic colour.  It contains Jojoba Oil to help soften and condition the lips.  Tinted Lipglass is packaged in a convenient bottle with a sponge-tip applicator that provides a quick, smooth, even application.
- C-Thru - peachy beige with shimmer
- Eclectic Edge - mid-tone clean true orange
- Ready to Roam - mid-tone true blue red
- Restless - dark burnt bronze

Powder Blush - Colour for the cheeks and face.  Various formulas.  Different looks.
- Hidden Treasure - medium cool rose (Satin)
- Supercontinental - warm peach (Matte)
- Worldly Wealth - medium bronze (Frost)

Nail Lacquer - Revolutionary new high gloss formula.  Visibly different.  Provides a no-streak/no-chip finish.  Contains conditioners and UV protection.  Go hi-lacquer!
- Gadabout Girl - blackened plum (Cream)
- Mean and Green - purple with teal multi-changing pearl (Frost)
- Styleseeker - duochrome orange-red (Frost)

This collection isn't one of my favorites, I usually love MAC fall collections but this one just doesn't do it for me.  There are some pieces that I really like and some that I would never be able to pull off.  I can't even state that any of the products contain all winning shades, I don't really love either the eye or lip shades, this collection is so blah to me.  This might be one of the first times that I can completely skip over a MAC fall collection.

Do I love anything in this collection?  Yes, the Fluidlines contain some great shades and the Mattene Lipstick contains a great red hue.  The Fluidlines are my only must purchase from this collection, i have been searching for new eyeliners for the fall and Local Wares and Dark Diversion will be great additions to my fall eye makeup collection.  Local Wares is a bronze hue, so I will get lots of use from this hue with both my Urban Decay Naked Palettes.  Dark Diversion will work with a plum smoky eye, a look that I have been looking for shades to help me create this fall.  The Mattene Lipstick (how I wish that this formula was carried in the permanent line!) is Eden Rouge is a lovely bright blue red with a matte finish.  Initally I was very attracted to this shade however I read on the Temptalia blog that this is the exact same shade as Russian Red...which is the exact same shade as Red Racer.  I don't really need three of the exact same red matte lipsticks from MAC, I love reds from MAC but there are other shades that I would be more likely to purchase before buying another blue red matte shade. 

Most of the other shades in this collection are much too warm and deep for me to pull off, many of the shades would work much better on a woman with a deeper skintone than mine and therefore I will be skipping over the majority of this collection.  I am more excited for the MAC and Carine Roitfeld collection than I am for any of the products here...

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Chanel Fleur de Lotus Collection

Fleur de Lotus is the second Chanel fall collection, we looked Les Essentials de Chanel at the beginning of my fall collection coverage and I have been loving it ever since.  Before that, Chanel introduced an online-only collection, Bombay de Chanel, a series of gold shades that are perfect for both summer and fall.  In addition to all my excitement around the fall collections, I have bought my first Illusion d'Ombre eye shadows this summer and have been in love with the formula ever since.  This has really been a great for season for both myself and the Chanel counter and I can only image that Fleur de Lotus and the new Coco Noir fragrance that it coming soon will just continue the love affair.

I have not yet received confirmation that Fleur de Lotus will be at the counters, I would assume that it will be online only since most of the smaller collections do not come to the counters.  I will be calling my counter to confirm over the next few days but if there is something that I really want, I will just order it online.  Fleur de Lotus looks very different than Les Essentials or Bombay Express, it is a series of pinks and neutrals that would work best in the spring months.  I am not quite sure why this collection was released now since many of the shade will work best in the spring and summer months...

The Chanel website provides a description of both the collection and the products contained in it.  "Inspired by the freshness of the lotus flower, delicate pinks and contemporary neutrals offer a spirited palette for joyful, radiant beauty."  This collection will contain some shades that will work well with my skintone and have the potential to become staples in my traincase, I see a great neutral eye shadow palette and a lovely pink lip gloss.

Here is the Fleur de Lotus collection...

Joues Contraste - This powder blush, available in a variety of limited edition shades, offers seamless colour in a silky, delicate texture.  Buildable coverage allows for tailored effects, from natural to dynamic, and imparts a radiant glow, beautifully suited to the season.  Applied high on the cheekbones or near to the eyes, it instantly "lifts" and softens the face for a more youthful look.
- 69 Fleur de Lotus - peach pink coral

Les 4 Ombres - One essential compact offers unlimited eye looks, with shade combinations that range from matte to satin to shimmer.  Versatile smudge-proof formula can be applied dry for subtle shading, or dampened for more intense colour, all with long-wearing results - even in extreme climates.
- 35 Rives - warm copper shimmer/pearly warm white shimmer/deep bronzed brown shimmer/very dark brown shimmer

Illusion d'Ombre - This intensely shimmering long-wear eye shadow offers true versatility.  An innovative gel texture that is both soft and cushiony allows it to be worn as eye shadow or eyeliner.  Includes a specially designed shadow/liner brush, developed specifically for this unique formula.
- 87 Riviere - shimmering mint green

Stylo Yeux Waterproof - Waterproof, smudge-proof eyeliners delivers long-lasting results with a twist of the wrist: Colour winds up when you need it, winds down when you don't.  Gentle, soft, silicone-enriched formula delivers smooth, even lining.  A built-in sharpener at the opposite end detaches for quick refreshes.
- 86 Beige Clair - shimmering warm peach beige

Aqualumiere Gloss - Brush on the exquisite, water-light look of this ingenious lip gloss and discover perfect comfort in a sheer wash of colour.  Making this a must-have for every lip gloss lover: a mirror-like shine that gives lips a fuller, more sensual look with the precision and ease of the built-in brush applicator.
- 80 Alize - warm sheer peach
- 81 Roselin - cool sheer rose pink

Rouge Coco - Chanel presents a modern interpretation of the classic creme lip colour as a homage to the rich life and legacy of 'Coco' Chanel.  New lightweight lip colour glides on for easy application, and features a Hydratendre Complex to help soften, soothe, and condition lips - even boosting their ability to hold in moisture - for a plumper, smoother, and healthier-looking appearance.  a range of wearable shades with full-coverage finishes, from matte to pearl to soft shimmer.
- 40 Charme - neutral rose cream
- 38 Supersition - warm peach cream

There is a new shade of the Illusion d'Ombre, this is the one product that would makes me need to make an order from this collection!  This is the first time in over a year that we have seen a new shade in this product and I will order it now and set it aside for next spring.  I don't see why this collection is being released this time of the year, it would be perfect for next spring and I think that it would have gotten more attention if it was released in March instead of August.  This is my favorite piece of the collection and the only one that I would chase down.

I like the Les 4 Ombres shade that comes with this collection however I don't find it to be super unique, I have seen several palettes from this company that are contain very similar shades.  If I can't get this palette, it will be very easy for me to find one of the other great neutral eye palettes from Chanel.  This palette will work well for me throughout the entire year, this is one of the very few pieces in this collection that I could actually use this fall instead of having to put away for several months. 

I love two shades of the new lip products that have been released with this collection, both of them would be staples for me and I could use them both now and all throughout the year.  The Aqualumiere Gloss in Roselin has the potential to become one of my favorite gloss shades, I have never tried this formula before and this will be a new experience for me.  The Rouge Coco lipstick in Charme will work very well with my pale skin this fall and winter and this is another shade that I really want to order.

This collection is actually making me crave spring collections already, I love spring collections and now I want to see more lovely spring shades!

photo courtesy of Chanel

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Too Faced Perfect Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner

About a week ago, I reviewed my Too Faced Return of Sexy Eye Palette.  Along with the fifteen eye shadow shades that came with this palette, Too Faced included a full sized black eyeliner to use with all the eye shadow looks.  As of right now, I am still trying the "how to" cards that are included with the palette.  I am currently through about two of the included looks and have begun working with the Perfect Eyes Eyeliner that was included with this palette.  After trying it one or two times, I decided that this product needs its own review because it is a great product on its own.  I have found that the eyeliners that tend to be included with eye shadow palettes are often an after-thought on the part of the product development team, they are often just thrown in to help create a few looks with the shadows.  However, in this case, the eyeliner is fast becoming one of my favorite items in the palette!

I looked for this eyeliner on the Sephora website and I was happy to find out that it is available on its own and in a huge range of shades.  "A creamy, longwearing eyeliner that glides on with the ease of a liquid liner and locks down for eight hours of budge-proof, smudge-proof.  These high impact pencils come in various 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.  Once applied, this eyeliner won't transfer, smudge, or budge, and unlike most other waterproof formulas, it even holds up to tears.  This creamy smooth liner glides on effortlessly never pulling, skipping, or slipping."

This formula glides on very smoothly and I didn't have any issues with tugging or skipping.  The first time that I used this product, it drew a thicker line then I would have liked and I had to play around with it to draw on a less intense line the second time that I used it.  I prefer this product for use on the upper eye and I haven't really used it to try and tightline.  I am hoping that I can use it tightline eventually since the formula is waterproof and practically budgeproof once it is set.  I get a full day's wear from this product and it even held out when I went running in the evening.  This is a great product for the summer months since it didn't budge anytime that I have used it.  I tried this product with and without the built-in smudger, it helped to soften the line a bit and would be best in a smoky look for night.  Personally, I prefer the crisp, clean line for the daytime and that is how I use this product mostly at the moment.

The available shades in this product...

- Perfect Black - black
- Perfect Black Orchid - blackened plum
- Perfect Brown - brown
- Perfect Peacock - teal
- Perfect Purple - purple
- Perfect Storm - charcoal
- Perfect Navy - navy
- Perfect Expresso - deep brown
- Perfect Moss - olive

The Perfect Black shade came with the Return of Sexy palette and it is the best shade to use with all the eye shadow shades that have been included with this palette.  Perfect Black is the shade that I likely would have bought myself since I am always looking for great black eyeliners.  After trying this product, I want to buy some more shades of this product.  Perfect Black Orchid will be awesome to create a plum smoky eye and I want to buy this shade next.  Perfect Brown and Perfect Expresso will both work very well with all of my gold and bronze eye shadows.  Lastly, Perfect Storm will be a great shade to use in a slightly more subtle smoky eye. 

I haven't bought a new eyeliner for the past few months and I am so excited that a great formula just fell right into my lap when I bought the Return of Sexy Eye Palette.  So far, I love this formula and I will be using it for the next few months!

photo courtesy of Sephora

Friday, August 17, 2012

Tarte Fall 2012 Collection

It has been a year since my favorite collection from Tarte was released, the True Blood Eye Palette is still one of the products that I use at least once or twice a week and have created so many great eye looks from.  Needless to say, ever since trying that palette, I have spending a lot more time on the Tarte website and have been looking at their counter much more when I get into Sephora.  This company doesn't always release new seasonal collections and very often the collection is simply a group of new products and shades instead of having a collection with a common theme.  I prefer collections with a theme however this time around, I am just happy to see a group of new items to lust after for the season!
This group of products contains a new shade of their best-selling cheek stain, some nice eye shadow palettes, and a new foundation formula.  Fall is always when I go back to wearing foundation on a near daily basis and then next formula that I must try is the new offering from Urban Decay.  However I am interested in the new formula from this company with the exclusive Maracuja Oil contained in it.  What am I most excited for from these new products?  I think that I want the eye shadow palettes the most, I have found some winning shades in the True Blood Palette and I wish that Tarte offered single eye shadows in their product line up.  This company makes some great palettes but I always want the option to buy shadows singularly in case few shades in a given palette will be flattering to me.
Here is the newest product grouping from Tarte...

Maracuja Miracle Foundation 12-Hour Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Sunscreen - Awaken your complexion with this maracuja-oil infused, anti-aging, and moisturizing full coverage liquid foundation.  The coverage is flawless, the staying power performs for up to 12 hours of perfect wear time, the feel is silky and it imparts a subtle, dewy finish.  Thanks to the miracle of maracuja, this long wearing, waterproof pure foundation rich in Vitamin C and available in 10 shades, goes on seamlessly and instantly restores skin's natural luster for a firmer, brighter, smoother complexion.  Maracuja has also been known to reduce redness, irritation, and inflammation of the skin making this foundation perfect for all skin types and ideal for sensitive, dehydrated, dry, or aging skin.  The combination of Vitamins A, E, and mineral pigments hydrates and preserves skin.  Tarte's Maracuja Miracle is housed in a soft-finish recyclable glass bottle that boasts a sustainable bamboo cap making it our most eco-chic foundation ever. 

Cheek Stain - Achieve a healthy, natural glow with our award-winning cheek stain.  Cheek Stains are free of alcohol so they won't dry out your skin or oil so they won't clog your pores.  They are infused with the Tarte T5 Super Complex for a healthy dose of natural antioxidants.  The Tarte T5 Super Complex is a proprietary blend of the five most active superfruits: goji, acai, maracuja, acerola, and pomegranate.  The first blend of its kind, the T5 Super Fruit Complex is loaded with naturally occuring, antioxidant rich nutrients and vitamins that have been known to deliver refining, anti-aging, and skin-restorative benefits with each application.
- Loving - soft rose

Beauty and The Box Amazonian Clay Eye Shadow Quad - Disocver 4 gorgeous Amazonian Clay Eye Shadows shades, ranging from porcelain to tanline, inside this perfectly portable eye shadow box.  Inspired by beautiful shades from the beaches of Brazil, this eye shadow palette is your one stop destination for a variety of naturally goregous looks - where natural beauty meets convenience.  Nature's most perfect ingredient, Amazonian Clay, balances and neutralizes skin's surface for rich color payoff and silky application.  Whether oily or dry, it reduces surface oil and improves the overall texture of the skin, for smoother application and better wear.  Amazonian Clay minimizes oil to balance skin and keep eye shadow in place.  Those with dry skin will benefit from the clay's nourishing and hydrating properties, which naturally restore skin's moisture.  Combination skin types can rely on its ability to zero in on skin concerns and deliver benefits to restore skin's harmony.
- In The Buff - pale champagne/medium tan/medium bronze/deep brown
- Brewed Awakening - pale tan/medium cool taupe/deep cool brown/black
- Just Deserts - pale champagne/gold/medium gray/black
- Envoke The Smoke - pale champagne/medium gray/medium plum/black

LipSurgence Lip Luster - This natural lip tint will give you kissable lips that shimmer and shine all day and is clinically proven to increase lips' natural moisture content.  As a follow up to Tarte's best-selling LipSurgence Natural Lip Tints, these shimmering lip lusters give a high dose of color and shine in an easy twist-up stick.  Just like the original, Tarte's LipSurgence technology delivers a surge of moisture on a cellular level for a naturally plumped up appearance while natural peppermint adds a refreshing burst of flavor with each application.
- Delighted - shimmering warm berry
- Frisky - bright pink
- Pouty - berry
- Adored - light pink
- Glisten - peach
- Fever - red
- Buff - nude

Bambeautiful Amazonian Clay Eye Shadow Palette - Each Amazonian Clay Eye Shadow delivers the perfect amount of creamy matte perfection or subtle shimmer.  Amazonian Clay works to nourish lids, reduce surface oil, and improve overall texture for easy application and better wear.  These sustainable and bambeautiful compacts are sure to be your go-to and you'll love that you can mix and match shades from both palettes. 
- Sew The Seeds - create endless combinations of neutral eye looks with warm, wearable colors like shimmering olive, matte softest peach, shimmering gold, and matte expresso
- Shades of Clay - create soft or smoky eyes with rich, velvety colors like shimmering buff, shimmering sable, shimmering cocoa, and matte coffee bean

Airblush Maracuja Blush - A first of its kind!  This creamy, long-wearing blush fuses the ease and blendability of a cream blush with the soft-focus and long-wear finish of a blush that has been airbrushed on the skin.  The airspun formula melts into skin, delivering a powerful dose of Skinvigorating Maracuja Oil, and then dries down to a feather-light, long-wear flush with a subtle dewy finish.  Awaken your complexion with a pop of maracuja-infused color on the cheeks and treat your skin to the repairing and hydrating properties or maracuja for a brighter and smoother complexion.  Creamy but incredibly light, the blush blends into skin without leaving you high and dry - all 3 shades have some serious staying power and you'll love the large compact mirror inside to apply on-the-go.
- Shimmering Peach - bright warm peach
- Shimmering Pink - bright cool pink
- Shimmering Poppy - medium cool rose

Maracuja Lip Exfoliant - Treat lips with this skin-softening scrub that sloughs away dryness with raw sugar and replenishes with pure maracuja oil for lips that are supple, soft, and smooth.  Whether the weather is hot or cold, this lip pick-me-up gently exfoliates and buffs away to give dry skin to give lips a fresh start.  You'll transform a flaky, lack-luster pout into a healthy hydrated smile using the firmer, brighter, smoother Skintuitive properties of pure maracuja oil.  Raw sugar granules are suspended in a soothing balmy elixir of anti-oxidants and Vitamin to act as a natural exfoliate as dead cells that cause lips to chap and crack are softly sloughed away.  As the raw sugar exfoliates lips, maracuja oil simultaneously acts as a tall glass of water, promoting hydration, cell recovery, and surface rejuvenation for lips that appear noticeably revitalized and fuller.  This powerful resurfacing lip scrub exfoliates, then provides instant hydration - quenching lips with no greasy or filmy feel.

Undercover Lover Bamboo Concealer Brush - Blemish and imperfections go undercover with this smooth bamboo brush, custom designed to seamlessly apply and blend concealer.  Tarte's fascination with a healthier, more conscientious lifestyle knows no bounds - add bamboo to the mix and you've captivated the attention of our product development experts.  What started off as the answer to countless requests from Tartelette's everywhere asking us to add brushes to the line became a labor of love when we set out to create brushes that were not only supremely soft, versatile, and durable for use but also made from sustainable materials.  After two years in the making, Tarte is proud to present an entire line of sustainably harvested bamboo brushes that covers all the bases - face, eye, cheek, and body.

Buffy Bamboo Face Powder Brush - Luxuriously plush and dense with soft bristles, this bamboo face powder brush is multipurpose - designed for powder blending, contouring, or dusting finishing powder.  Tarte's fascination with a healthire, more conscientious lifestyle knows no bounds - add bamboo to the mix and you've captivated the attention of our product development experts.  What started off as the answer to countless requests from Tartelette's everywhere asking us to add brushes to the line became a labor of love when we set out to create brushes that were not only supremely soft, versatile, and durable for use but also made from sustainable materials.  After two years in the making, Tarte is proud to present an entire line of sustainably harvested bamboo brushes that covers all the bases - face, eye, cheek, and body.

The eye shadow palettes are my favorite picks from this collection, I love Tarte eye shadows and I am already deciding which of the palettes that I will be buying next time that I go to Sephora.  I want both of the shades in the Amazonian Clay Eye Palettes, both palettes will be great to create a natural eye look for the fall months.  I love all the neutrals and browns in these palettes, every shade will make my blue eyes pop.  I also love that I can blend shades in between the palettes, adding even more potential to my fall makeup looks.  Just Deserts is my favorite shade from the Beauty and the Box product line, golds are my favorite eye makeup shade and this one contain a great shade of it. 

After I move on from the eye makeup part of this collection, I still have quite a shopping list.  I want to try the foundation formula, this formula will be best for the fall and winter since it leaves a bit of a dewy finish and is better for normal to dry to skin.  I will be adding this to my foundation shopping list.  Next, I want the new rose hue in the Cheek Stain, I will get lots of use from this shade.  I am also really interested in the LipSurgence Pencils, Pouty will be a great berry shade for the next few months.  I see that another company has introduced a whipped cream formula blush, I hope that this is trend that really begins to pick up.  I must play with these the next time that I go to Sephora!

photo courtesy of Sephora

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Matrix Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner

At the very end of last month, I spent a long afternoon at my favorite salon and walked out with a full head of lowlights.  My hair color and style goal is to have my hair almost the same hue and cut as Rooney Mara.  My stylist told me that this transformation will take at leat two visits in total and lots of care in between visits.  She has never done me wrong on what she thinks will work for my hair type and face shape and every product that she has recommended for me has worked wonders for my hair.  Needless to say, when she recommended a new shampoo and conditioner to me on my last visit, I brought a bottle of each of them right up to the register.  I have already used a series of Matrix products over the years and have always been happy with the results so when she recommended the Color Care Shampoo and matching conditioner.

One of the major concerns after I got my lowlights was color fading, I run outside in the summer months which can have an awful effect on hair color.  I don't want my lowlights becoming too light since then my whole first visit will have gone to waste.  The whole Matrix Color Care line contains Fade Guard Technology with Vitamin E and Sunflower Oil.  I bought the shampoo and conditioner at my last visit and I might want to buy more products in the line when I go next month.

The shampoo is a lightly scented, thick cleanser that produces a little bit of thick foam.  "Gently cleanses dulling residue.  Renews moisture and helps strengthen porous hair."  A shampoo with less cleansers will strip less color out of the hair, preserving all the color that has been added to it.  If you dye your hair and then don't use a color protecting shampoo on it then all of your color will be striped out of it, leaving it uneven in both texture and tone.  This shampoo promises (when used with the conditioner) that you will not see color fading for 45 washes.  By the time that I get to 45 washes, I will be back at the salon, I only wash my hair every other day so using this combination will give me about three months of minimal fading.  So far I have been using this combination for about three weeks and I haven't noticed any fading or color dulling, I am very happy with this product.  This product contains UV protectors, so I am hoping that the sun will not reak havoc on my lowlights.  My only minimal complaint with this shampoo is that I have to rinse this formula a bit more than I have to with other blends, it is on the heavier side and takes a bit longer under the water to fully get all the product out.

After I use the shampoo, I follow it up with the matching conditioner.  "Moisturizes and nourishes.  Provides lasting shine and color care."  The conditioner formula is made to complement the shampoo formula, the shampoo is the star of the two products.  The conditioner is made to hydrate the hair and then to completely seal the cuticle so it lies flat.  When the cuticle is closed, the hair is less prone to fading and uneven texture issues.  This conditioner is very rich and only a small amount is needed to cover the hair.  The first time that I used it, I squeezed way too much out and ended up wasting a ton of product.  A quarter-sized drop is all that I need to obtain hydrating and smoothing results. 
This line might be my favorite of all the Matrix Shampoo and Conditioner lines, I love how soft and smooth my hair is and my color hasn't had any noticeable fading after almost three weeks.  This formula is very thick and rich so I cannot see it being the best choice for ladies with fine hair, I would only recommend this line for medium to thick hair types.  The Color Care line has several other products in it, I am very interested in the deep treatment mask.  I already own the PhytoCitrus color care mask but when I am done with that product, I would like to purchase the selection from this line. 

Another winning recommendation from my wonderful hair stylist!

photo courtesy of Matrix

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Deborah Lippmann Fall 2012 Collection

I have been collecting all brands and shades of nail polish for the past few months, Deborah Lippmann polishes have been a favorite of mine for years now and I always look forward to the release of new shades.  I have been collecting new shades for the fall since the very beginning of July and some purchases from China Glaze, Chanel, and Nails Inc have really widen my polish collection.  And now that the new shades from Deborah Lippmann are available on her website, I can see that my collection is going to get even larger over the next few weeks.  I am excited to break out one of my favorite shades from this line for the fall months, Wicked Game is one of my favorite purples and one of the few duochrome shades that I own and love.  Fall also is the tijme of the year that I start using my favorite red shades from Lippmann, I am now getting really excited for the fall season to start!

The new releases from Deborah Lippmann are only two shades, one that is a cream and the other that is a glitter.  I am beginning to get sick of many of the glitter finish polishes so I am a bit disappointed that one of the two new polishes is another glitter finish.  I am really only interested in the polish with the cream finish, I am getting over the glitters and brights that I have been using all summer and am ready to start wearing some neutrals and jewel tones for the fall months. 

Modern Love is the shade that I want the most from this company for the fall season.  This is a "modern classic mauve" and the shade that I have pictured here.  This will be a great neutral for me over the fall season, it is a cool-toned mauve and will work well with my skin tone.  I can see myself reaching for this shade at least twice a week over the next few months.  Deobrah Lippmann makes some of the staple shades of my polish collection and at one point, I owned almost every single neutral shade that she made.  I have used some of these polishes up so I want to add this shade to my collection so that I can broaden my neutral range.

The second of the new shades is Let's Go Crazy, the glitter finish polish.  This shade is a "outrageous royal purple glitter" and I am not a huge fan of it.  I like the royal purple shade but I don't like the finish and I can't see myself wearing this shade all that much.  If I want to wear a royal purple shade, than I already own Illamasqua's Baptiste and I would be more likely to use this shade than to buy the Lippmann shade.  I really own wear Baptiste one or twice a month anyway so there is no point in me buying this shade, I would only wear it a handful of times before the spring season hits.  I will be skipping over this shade.

I am a bit upset that this collection only consists of two new shades, I only like one of them and I wish that I had some more choices.  I am going to look through the rest of the jewel tones and neutrals that are offered in the Deborah Lippmann polish line and see if there are any that I would order along with the Modern Love shade...

photo courtesy of Deborah Lippmann