Thursday, February 28, 2013

Skincare Ingredients Week Day Five - Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser

Today we going to go away from the anti-oxidants and look at an ingredient that is not as much for protecting but made for correcting.  In addition to the fact that I have been looking at anti-oxidant ingredients, every single skincare ingredient that we have looked at this week is a form of hydrator.  Being that I have such dry and easily irritated skin, I am very concerned that certain ingredients will be effective in protecting my skin and reducing the redness but will make the dryness even worse than the before.  Today we are going to look at an ingredient that is very effective for oily and acne-prone skin that I have to use in only the smallest of doses, Kaolin Clay.  I first used this ingredient in the beloved (but sadly discontinued) DDF Sulfur Mask and lately I have tried it in the Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser.

Kaolin Clay is most often used in skincare products that are targeted toward oily and acne-prone skin types, I have neither of these types but I still find it be a very beneficial ingredient for any type of skin.  Kaolin Clay is most often found in treatment masks, this is one of the few times that I have seen it in a cleanser form.  This ingredient is used to draw oil out of the pores and then to absorb the excess oil that it sitting on top of the skin. Once the oil is absorbed, acne is prevented.  Oil moves the bacteria around the face and will cause the acne breakouts, if the oil is removed, the problem is headed off.  People with oily and acne-prone skin can use this ingredient two or three times a week however I am only able to use this ingredient once a month.  I will use this ingredient once a month to make sure that i am getting any excess oil out of my pores before they can become breakouts.

"A skin-perfecting formula that provides deep-cleansing to oily, congested skin. Water-soluble Kaolin and Green Clays combine with purifying extracts of Sambucus, Ivy and Lemon to remove excess oils and refine the skin's texture. Anti-inflammatory Cucumber and healing Sage soothe irritation, while refreshing Menthol revitalizes even the most tired skin." 

This cleanser is designed for oily skin and that is the only type of skin that should use this product on a daily basis.  This product is best used at night, it will clean all of the day's oil and debris and allow the skin to be completely free of debris before a treatment product is applied.  I would not recommend use more than once a day, it has the potential to over dry and then the skin will only react by producing even more oil and the cycle will only worsen.  I recommend using this product sparingly and then working up to using it once a day is the best method of use.  Personally, even if I had oily and congested skin, I would alternate this with another cleanser to make sure that I didn't over dry my skin.  This is a gel-based cleanser and it is very effective is cleaning off the skin and preventing acne blemishes but it has the potential to be drying (if used too much).

Kaolin is a very effective ingredient for oily and acne-prone skin though I cannot say that I get very much use from it.  I do like to use this cleanser once a month just to ward off skin issues.  If I had oilier skin, than I bet that I would rely on cleansers and treatments with this ingredient in it but it is not the best for skin type...

photo courtesy of Dermalogica

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Skincare Ingredients Week Day Four - C. O. Bigelow Acai Repair Night Cream

Anti-oxidants have a big part in Skincare Ingredients Theme Week, my skin is young enough that I want to protect it from future signs of aging and I prefer to avoid having to go to the plastic surgeon for as long as possible.  Therefore, anti-oxidants and their role in protecting my skin are of huge interest to me and I will always try a new product that has anti-oxidant active ingredients and promises to help protect my skin from the environment.  Today we are going to look at another fruit anti-oxidant ingredient, acai berry.  Acai berry is very similar to pomegranate in its ability to protect and help the skin.

Acai berry targets the protection of both collagen and elastin, other anti-oxidant ingredients tend to target only one of these essential skin proteins.  The acai berry produces extract that contains more anti-oxidant power than most fruit, including the blueberry.  This ingredient is mostly used to protect skin, it helps to neutralize free radicals by binding to them before they bind to the skin and begin the breakdown of the essential proteins in the epidermis.  Acai can help to reduce the visible signs of again however this is not where it excels, I would recommend products spiked with this active ingredient mostly for younger skin that is free of signs of aging.  Given the power of the acai berry, I do not understand why it is not used in as many skincare products as pomegranate or Vitamin C.  I wonder how hard this product is to find or if it is more difficult to stabilize and add into a formula.

I have only seen this ingredients used alone in one product, the C.O. Bigelow Acai Repair Night Cream.  This product is getting harder and harder to find, it used to be carried in all Bath and Body Works and now it can only be ordered from the C.O. Bigelow website.  This is a shame since I love this night cream and I have used it for about a year now, I have alternated it with other products but i have come back to it time after time, I really wish it was much easier to find than it currently is.

"Rebalance and nourish sleepy skin with this dream cream formula. this cream is made with two exclusive complexes packed with powerful levels of super-antioxidants, multi-vitamans and multi-minerals. Formulated to mend signs of past damage and replace lost nutrients while moisturizing skin all night while you sleep.  Healthy Skin Complex 1.3%; Skin-Renewal Complex 10.3 %; Acai Berry Extract 2%."

"Healthy Skin Complex: This complex is packed and super-boosted with vitamins, minerals (zinc, copper, iron, magnesium) and antioxidant-rich berries that deliver essential nutrients to the skin to keep it looking healthy, strong, and youthful.  Skin-Renewal Complex: Formulated to combat visible signs of aging and skin dehydration. It contains a unique blend of vital elements for skin to look its best. Reparative ingredients along with moisture-replenishing and retaining lipids give skin a renewing boost to prevent depletion of skin's natural moisture."

I have used this face cream at night and during the day, I actually preferred to use it during the day instead of at night.  During the testing phase for this Theme Week, I alternated this product with the Philosophy Hope in a Jar Cream.  Originally, I used this product at night and the other one during the day but found that the opposite use of these two products gave me the best results.  This product is a thicker so I would only recommend day use of this product if you skin is dry, otherwise this texture will be too much for you to layer on primer and foundation.  The acai berry in this product will be best used during the day in order for skin to fight the free radicals in the air while helping to treat some of the visible signs of aging.  As I stated earlier, this cream is on the thicker side so I could only recommend it for people with normal to dry skin, I wish that this company offered the acai berry ingredient in a lighter lotion too as it is a great ingredient.

This is one of the strongest anti-oxidant ingredients on the market and I am really hoping that I will begin to find this in more products over the next few years.

photo courtesy of C.O. Bigelow

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Skincare Ingredients Week Day Three - Philosophy Hope in a Jar Face Cream

So far this week, we have been looking at anti-oxidant ingredients in skincare and how they protect the skin from future signs of aging.  Today we are going to move away from this category of ingredients and look at another type of ingredient that protects the skin from environmental damage.  Lactic acid is a milk-based ingredient that both promotes hydration, soothes skin, promotes healthy exfoliation, and protect the skin.  This ingredient is very old and was first used by Cleopatra, it amazes me how lactic acid has endured through the years and makes me think that sometimes natural ingredients are better than those that have been cooked up in a chemistry lab.

I hestitated in choosing lactic acid for one reason, I am considering going from vegetarian to vegan and if I would go into veganism, then I could never use any type of product with milk proteins or lactic acid in.  This may be how I go in a few years but for now I will keep using product with milk in.  Lactic acid is a form of AHA and is derived from sour milk.  AHAs are used to exfoliate and tighten skin and this is a more gentle form than many of the others on the market.  Products that are spiked with this ingredient with help increase exfoliation and therefore will improved the overall complexion and texture of the skin.  Milk fats help to increase hydration levels in the skin and is soothing enough to calm redness and easily irritated skin, it is an ingredient that is often used in skincare products targeted for sensitive and red skin.  Being that this ingredient can both increase exfoliation but is used in products for sensitive skin, the active levels of this ingredients are very important as to much of a good thing can actually make skin worse.  Excess exfoliation of skin that is easily irritated can make the redness and irritation much worse so if this is your skin (and it is mine) then you will need to choose a gentle formula that is well trusted and respected.

I decided to try this ingredient for the first time in the Philosophy Hope in a Jar Face Cream, one of the best selling skin creams at Sephora and one of the overall best selling skin creams on the market.  What started out as one kind of face cream has now bloomed into a line of these creams for every skin type and I am getting hints that a special night cream with this formula is coming out very soon. This is a very simple formula that is also very effective at the same time. 

"A cult-favorite moisturizer that gently hydrates, exfoliates, and protects the skin.  Philosophy Hope in a Jar is a 99.9% oil-free, deeply hydrating, lightweight wonder designed to smooth the complexion while reducing the appearance of wrinkles and discoloration. Originally created for the medical market, this expert essential delivers soft, healthy, glowing results.  This beloved formula contains antioxidants that protect skin against environmental damage and provides continuous exfoliation to keep roughness at bay. An infusion of yeast-derived beta glucan supports the skin's natural defense system and improves repair capabilities."

This face cream is made for use any time of the day however I preferred to use it at night instead of during the day.  The simple formula hydrated my skin very quickly and absorbed into the skin.  With the lactic acid in the formula, I found that this cream made my skin a bit red in the cheek area, this is not a look that I want to wear during the daylight hours as I needed extra makeup to cover up the problem areas.  My skin is fine when I use it at night and then use a different face cream in the morning.  I know that the redness is caused by the extra exfoliation of the lactic acid and overall my complexion is better than before use of it.  After two weeks of using this product once a day, I could see an improvment in my complexion and I really started to like this product.  Initially I was disappointed by it since it seemed to make the red in cheek area worsen but using it at a different time in the day made the redness less visible. 

I do really like this product since it helped to improve the eveness and tone of my complexion and I will be purchasing the new version of this cream as soon as it is released.  I am really excited to see how a night version of this product works and I will be reading up on it as soon I can get more information on it.  Will the lactic acid percentage be higher and will my complexion improve even more?  Or might an enhanced version be too much?  One thign is for sure, I will keep looking for great products with lactic acid in them.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Monday, February 25, 2013

Skincare Ingredients Week Day Two - Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Primer

Yesterday we started the Skincare Ingredients Week off with anti-oxidant Vitamin C and today we are going to look at another top quality anti-oxidant ingredient.  I am all about anti-oxidants since I am trying to protect my skin from the elements and try to prevent signs of aging before I have to spend time at the dermatologist to correct them.  The second anti-oxidant ingredient that we are looking at this week is the Pomegranate fruit, a fruit widely used in both beauty products and all kinds of foods and beverages.  Pomegranates are one of the hottest ingredients in skincare and the extract is popping up in every single type of skincare product on the market.  I have explored pomegranate in many skincare entries before, this ingredient effectively protects the skin but often does not irritate the skin in the way that Vitamin C can.

Pomegranate fruits have their roots in the Middle East and had been part of their culture for many years before the trend began in the United States and Europe.  Pomegranate has been proven to mostly protect the skin but has also been shown to help reduce some of the visible signs of aging.  The pomegranate fruit extract is mostly effective in helping to restore elastin and making the skin more resilient.  Elastin keeps the wrinkles from forming and the skin from sagging, protecting the elastin fibers will help to slow down the signs of visible aging.  This fruit is most effective at protecting the skin from free radicals, using anti-oxidants will form a protective layer over the skin and bind to the free radicals in the air.

I have used pomegranate-based skincare products many times before so when I thought about this ingredient and what it is used in, I decided that I wanted to try it in a completely different form from what I have used in years previously.  Korres is a company that I have used for many years previously and last spring, they introduced a primer that is spiked with the anti-oxidant ingredient.  I ordered this primer last year and this Sephora order contained both this primer and then so many other skincare products that it is was inspired me to write an entire Theme Week on Skincare Ingredients.  I used this primer all through the spring and summer and then well into before I switched over to a more hydrating formula, I will be picking it up again within the next month and squeezing every last drop out of the tube before I order another.  I once read in an issue of Allure that certain sunscreen ingredients can age the skin so it was important to provide your skin with some type of barrier between the outer layers of the epidermis and the product itself.  A primer will be the perfect product to form that barrier...

"A water-based mattifying, pore minimizing, and skin-perfecting primer.  If your symptoms are visible pores, unwanted shine, and an overall makeup meltdown, then Korres has the remedy for you. This clinically proven, universally nude Pomegranate Mattifying Primer blends to an invisible matte finish while minimizing the appearance of pores, balancing skintone and texture, and preparing skin for smooth makeup application and long-lasting wear. The 94% natural, non-comedogenic formula is water-based so it allows skin to breathe and never clogs pores. The formula is loaded with antioxidant-rich pomegranate extract to help tighten pores, willow bark extract to balance skin, witch hazel water to mattify and tighten while removing excess oil and dirt, and rice starch to absorb excess surface oil and soften skin."

This formula is perfect for the spring and summer, it absorbs excess oil and really helped my makeup to stay in place during the higher temperature days.  I am not the person that really needs a lot of mattifying and pore reduction but I love the improved tone and texture of skin when using this product.  This primer has a much thinner texture than most of the ones that I have used, the texture is that of a very thin lotion and a small amount very quickly absorbs into the skin.  Any skin type will benefit from the use of this primer and it is a great product to have in my spring and summer makeup arsenal.

This product makes me much more interested in what types of skincare benefits can be found in makeup products.  I will keep looking for beneficial ingredients in my primers and foundation along with looking for them in my skincare products.  I hope that this type of primer formula will be the norm very soon and that I will have even more choices like this.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Skincare Ingredients Week Day One - Murad Essential C Day Moisture

One of the most popular ingredients in skincare is Vitamin C and therefore this is where I decided to start off the Theme Week.  Vitamin C has been used by more brands than I can count and is used in products designed to reduce and prevent the signs of aging, along with products that help to protect the skin from free radical damage and improve the overall complexion.  This ingredient has potential benefits for all types of skin but can also irritate or be completely ineffective if not at the correct concentration and stabilization.  A bit of extra research is worth it before purchasing any type of product with this active ingredient.  When shopping for products with this active ingredient, I recommend shopping only from brands with a very reputable following and not trying to buy cheap skincare products.  Quality Vitamin C products will cost extra to ensure that the active ingredient is in the correct concentration and the correct level of stabilization.

A bit of background on Vitamin C itself will be first.  When I took Organic Chemistry in college, Vitamin C was considered too complex and large to be studied in the first two semesters of this topic.  Therefore I have really never done any formal study of this exact complex and this post is my first time going into the complex chemistry behind the Vitamin C molecule.  Vitamin C as contained in skincare products could also be listed under the name of L-ascorbic Acid, this is the only form that is effective for the face and if the "L" is not present in the complex, there will be no benefits to use of this product.  This is the main reason that it is worth the extra time and effort to check out the products before you make the purchase.  L-ascorbic Acid helps to stimulate collagen production and this is why is used very heavily in anti-aging products.  Collagen production is the major goal of most anti-aging products and finding an effective Vitamin C product is worth the search.  L-ascorbic Acid is also heavily used in products that promise anti-oxidant benefits, this complex also helps to fight free radical damage by binding to the particles before they attract themselves to the skin and begin do damage to the upper layers of the epidermis.  This complex will neutralize the charged free radicals and prevent the damage to the epidermis.  A good Vitamin C product is worth its weight in gold.

What the drawbacks to this ingredient?  No skincare ingredient (at least ones that work) are without some drawbacks/side effects.  L-ascorbic Acid can be irritating to sensitive skin types and sensitivity to this ingredient can come out if if you don't have "sensitive" skin.  At effective levels, this ingredient can cause redness, dryness, and overall irritation.  At very high levels, this ingredient is most effective when used under a doctor's care.  I have had a hard time in the past trying to find a product with the effective levels of Vitamin C that doesn't harm my skin more than help it.

The best line of Vitamin C products that I have used is the Essential C line of products from Dr. Murad's skincare line.  I have used several products from this line over the years and today we will look at the Day Cream that is offered with this line.  This line is also known as the Environmental Shield, "Daily exposure to sunlight, smog, pollution and stress is the number one cause of premature aging. Murad's Environmental Shield® product line will help to restore, renew, and protect your skin against sun damage, preventing and reversing environmental damage through the Science of Cellular Water™."

Essential-C Day Moisture is the SPF-enriched day cream from this line, using Vitamin C during the day will help to fight off the free radicals that attach to your skin all throughout the day.  This type of cream is especially valuable if you live or work in the city, smog throws off some of the worst free radicals and assaults your skin throughout the whole day.  "A powerful, antioxidant-rich sunscreen that shields and restores environmentally stressed skin.  Block UVA and UVB while preventing free-radical damage with this complexion-protecting essential. The advanced formula multitasks, improving the skin's barrier function to maintain optimal hydration."

This formula is best for normal to slightly dry skin and gave me the best results when used in the spring and summer months, I did not find it hydrating enough for winter skin issues.  A dime-sized drop was all that I needed to cover my whole face and the product absorbed in quickly and didn't leave a residue (I have found that some products with a higher SPF will leave a film on the skin).  This product is hydrating enough to keep my skin soft throughout the day and is smooth enough that I can still apply primer and all the needed face makeup over it.  This is the best Vitamin C cream for that I have found for skin that doesn't always like Vitamin C. 

The Murad collection of Vitamin C products is one of the few that I truly trust to be effective yet not cause more harm than good to sensitive skin.  If you really want to reap the benefits of this ingredient than I do recommend using this day cream and then matching night cream.  I am most interested in this ingredient to help protect my skin and I love how effective it is.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Skincare Ingredients Theme Week Introduction

Throughout the entire time that I have been writing this blog, I have focused on skincare products and all the ingredients that I can find to try out.  My skin is dry and very sensitive and I have suffered from issues of redness in my nose and cheeks for years.  I am always looking for new products that will hydrate and brighten without irritating my skin.  My skincare regime is pretty structured; I have to cleanse once a day while moisturizing and using some type of treatment serum in both the morning and the night.  Along with an eye cream that reduces puffiness for the morning and then another one that brightens in the evening.  I am currently in the habit of exfoliating once a week with a mild scrub but am currently considering ordering a Clarisonic Aria once my tax return comes in.

With my neverending obsession with my skincare, I decided that I would devote an entire week to looking just at specific skincare products and the active ingredients that are contained in them.  I have had worked out my Sephora Beauty Insider balance during all the shopping that I did for this theme week.  I tried to keep my skincare product shopping to brands and products that are pretty easy to find, especially for all of you who have access to a Sephora nearby.  A range of products were chosen, from hydrators to serums to primers so I can illustrate how great ingredients are found in all kinds of products.

Here's a great week of skincare!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Essie Spring 2013 Collection - Madison Ave-Hue

We are on a roll with the spring collections and today we are going to check yet another one out.  Today we are going to look at a nail polish spring collection instead of a full color collection, I have been loving almost every single nail polish hue that I have seen this spring and I am so excited to check out the latest collection from Essie.  I am still stuck on both the new collection from Butter London and the new polishes from the Illamasqua spring collection, I cannot wait to order one of the speckled polishes and see how it looks when applied to the nail.  The Essie polish collection looks like is going to be a more traditional type of spring collection than either of those, this is certainly not a bad thing.  I am always looking for some new pinks and pretty pastels every single spring season and this collection has the promise to provide some great choices!

This collection from Essie consists of six new polish shades, all of which will be perfect for the upcoming warm weather.  The collection is named Madison Ave-Hue and all of the polishes are named after famous city streets throughout the world.  "Nothing inspires like Madison Ave-Hue.", is the collection description from Essie (the founder of the company).  Madison Avenue is one of my favorite streets in New York City and I wanted this polish from the minute that I saw the name on this polish.  It certainly helps that it is bright pink shade that I really love.  I have a feeling that I will be bringing some new polishes home with me the next time that I visit Ulta...

The first shade in this collection is the shade that inspired the whole name of the collection, Madison Ave-Hue.  This shade is a "Chic upper east side pink steps out in style, turning any ensemble into a million dollar baby.  Cha-ching."  This shade is the shade that is pictured, it is cool medium pink and it appears to have a hint of shimmer in it, I really want to buy this shade and I know that I will wear it all spring and summer.  Hip-anema is the only other bright shade in this collection, most of them are pastels and only two are brights.  This shade is a "Sashay down a sandy runway in poppy-bright red orange and show 'em who's bossa.  Work that beach.".  This bright orange red is not the shade for me.  The website makes it appear more orange than a true red and I know this shade would be too warm for me to pull off.  I will be skipping over the red from this collection but that pink hue has my name all over it!

Now we are going to go onto the area of the collection with the more traditional pastels for spring.  There are four hues in this part of the collection, the blue shade is slightly brighter but not bright enough for me to put it in the other part of this collection.  I can envision myself getting a good amount of use from all of these shades, I tend to wear pales most of the spring and am always looking for new shades.  Bond With Whomever is the first of the shades.  "London's calling.  Pick it up in the posh lilac and click with the cultured clique - here, there, and everywhere."  I have been all over pale lilac shades this season and I would like to add this one to my collection.  Last year, I bought a pale lilac shimmer polish from this company so I do want to see this shade in real life before I purchase it, in case it is almost the exact same shade.  The second of the paler shades is the semi-bright blue.  Avenue Maintain is described as "Fashionably adroit, lovely Parisian blue channels the Je ne said quoi allure of the captial of chic.", this blue is more of a sky blue and it reminds me of a slightly more blue version of For Audrey.  I really like this shade also, this is a great spring blue for me to break away from the navy shades for the season.  I think that I will need to add that shade to my collection.  the next pale shade is Maximillian Strasse-her, "Bavarian style savvy rules this regal boulevard.  In cool gray green, you're promenade queen, no tiara required.".  This pale greenish gray is interesting but I am not totally sure that I love it.  This is another that I want to see in real life, this has the potenital to be really pretty but also has the potential to be very unflattering on my hands.  Pale greens can go either way on my skin so I will decide on this one once I can hold the bottle up to my hand.  The last of the of shades in this collection is Go Ginza, a soft petal pink hue.  "Soft cherry blossom pink invites you into a floating world of quiet luxury and exquisite beauty.  Doma arigato."  This shade would be a staple of my nail polish line up, I go through shades like this shade like crazy all throughout the year. 

The shades that I want the most from this collection are Madison Ave-hue and Go Ginza, I love these pinks and I will wear both of them all the time throughout the spring.  I can't wait to add more pinks to my collection and rock them all spring.  The other shade that I really love from the collection is Avenue Maintain, the bright blue.  This shade will be super fun for pedicures and manicures all spring and then well into summer. 

I love these shades of polishes and I cannot wait to head over to Ulta!

photo courtesy of Essie

Friday, February 22, 2013

Dior Spring 2013 Collection - Cherie Bow

Today we looking at the one of the collections that I have been the most excited about for this spring season, Dior always creates a great spring collection but the photos that I have seen from the collection for this spring look ever better than ever.  Spring collections are always the best from Dior and this is the time of the year that I normally purchase items from this line, I haven't been purchasing much from Dior lately but you never know what will change after looking at this collection.  Cherie Bow is one of the first spring collection photos that I saw before the holidays and this is one the collection that I got super excited for from the first photo that I saw.  The Cherie Bow Palette in this collection is one of those iconic products that I will crave for the packaging but I hope that the product inside is just as wonderful as the outside. 

Cherie Bow is an iconic collection from Dior, this collection contains all the pink shades that will be beautiful this spring season and the Cherie Bow palette will be a love of mine.  I am turning again to the Nordstrom website for the details of this collection and I am wondering how many times a day that I now visit this website and I have loaded the IPhone app to my phone so I can look at all the beauty products from wherever I am. 

"Inspired by The House of Dior's iconic symbol, the bow, this year's spring look exudes femininity, sophistication and sensuality with a playful twist."  This company has had bows on many of its accessories and clothing for this season, especially some of the beautiful dresses that went down the runway at Spring Fashion Week.  Bows are not the way that I accessorize my hair but I would like to try a piece or two of jewelry with a bow on it, or perhaps a bag or shoe that it decorated with a flirty bow...

Here is the Cherie Bow collection!

Cherie Bow Palette - Inspired by The House of Dior's iconic symbol, the bow, this season's look exudes femininity, sophistication and sensuality with a playful twist.  Enclosed in the soft, pink-and-white enamel compact are a trio of pink and grey eye shadows, a black liner, nude shimmering gloss and two applicators.

Cherie Bow 5 Couleurs Eye Palette - Inspired by The House of Dior's iconic symbol, the bow, this season's look exudes femininity, sophistication and sensuality with a playful twist.  Dior's best-selling eye palette offers endless possibilities in a seductive range of rich, versatile colors designed for easy application and long wear.  Beauty tip: Use the oval wand to apply the lightest shade to the upper part of the inner eyelid, then blend the darkest shade along the lash line. Shade the outer brow with one of the remaining colors. For more intensity, use a fourth color under the lashes.
- Ballerine 724 - medium rose/pale pink/deep warm charcoal/medium bronze/snow white
- Charmeuse 854 - pale pink/medium pink/deep rose/deep black/medium warm pink

Cherie Bow Nail Lacquer - Inspired by The House of Dior's iconic symbol, the bow, this year's spring look exudes femininity, sophistication and sensuality with a playful twist with Dior Vernis Nail Lacquer in a rosy pink and soft dove grey to finish the look.
- Gris Trianon 306 - medium dove gray cream
- Rosy Bow 355 - medium rose pink cream

Cherie Bow Dior Twin Set Eye Shadow - Inspired by The House of Dior's iconic symbol, the bow, this season's look exudes femininity, sophistication and sensuality with a playful twist.  The duo eyeshadow pens create the perfect flirty eye. On one end a creamy pencil that can be used as a shadow or liner and on the other a blending tip to apply the shimmering eyeshadow housed inside the cap.
- Ballerina Pink 840 - medium cool rose
- Grey Sigh 060 - deep charcoal gray

Cherie Bow Addict Lipstick - Inspired by The House of Dior's iconic symbol, the bow, this year's spring look exudes femininity, sophistication and sensuality with a playful twist.  A collection of new shades compliment the look from soft coral to a punchy pink.
- Candide 457 - soft pink coral cream
- Charmante 437 - bright pink coral cream

I love all the pinks in this collection and this is one of my favorites of this season!  I love that Cherie Bow Palette and I hope that I can still find this product at either Sephora or at one of the counters.  If it comes down to it, I will order it from Dior but I was hoping that I would be able to see and play with the tester before I purchase it.  I will have to see where I can find this product because this is the one product that I really, really want this season. 

After I hunt down the Cherie Bow Palette then I want to begin picking up a few other items from this collection.  I am seeing myself doing several different pink and rose eye looks that I will want to create this spring and then I will be topping them off with silver and charcoal eye liner hues.  I would like to try both of the 5 Couleurs Eye Shadow Palettes at the counters and then decide which compact has the best texture and wear.  These palettes have been all over the place with quality over the past few years so I will decide which one will be the best for me after I try them both out.  Next up on the eye makeup list is the new Twin Set Eye Shadow in the pink shade, this is a very unique product and I can't wait to see how pigmented of a eye makeup look it provides.

To finish off this collection, I want both of the nail polish shades.  I can't even begin to imagine how large my nail polish collection is going to become this spring season.  I can skip over both the Addict Lipstick shades, the coral will not be very flattering to my skin tone and I would be better off going after a cool blue pink shade from this lipstick line.

This collection does not disappoint and this is one of my favorites from this season, I cannot wait for the Cherie Bow Palette!

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Bobbi Brown Spring 2013 Collection - Brighten, Sparkle, and Glow

Earlier this week, we looked at the first of the Bobbi Brown spring collections, one that was Valentine's Day-themed however will still contain some great shades for the spring season.  I love the reds and pinks that were in that collection and if that is only the first of some great products for the spring then I think that Bobbi Brown will become one of my favorite lines for this spring.  I can't wait to see what Brown decided to release in the Brighten, Sparkle, and Glow collection but I am now thinking about eye and face makeup since none of these products were present in the previous collection.  I have been looking through several of the March issues of the top selling beauty and fashion magazines over the past few days and I am actually beginning to crave some pastel and bright eye shadows shades instead of the traditional bronzes and golds that I tend to wear all throughout the year.  This will be a fabulous spring and I can't wait until the weather begins to catch up to my shopping!

Brighten, Sparkle, and Glow is more about a polished natural look and would be perfect for a professional environment or a casual lunch on the weekend.  This collection contains products for every single facial feature and is much more of a balanced collection than the previous lip and nail product collection.  I am already starting to make a list of items that I must try the next time that I visit the counter!

I found this collection on the Nordstrom website so I will provide all of their collection and product descriptions.  "Need a Lift? Brighten, Sparkle & Glow features skin illuminators, eye brighteners and light-reflecting colors, making it easy to refresh your look in 2013. Here's to pretty, new beginnings."  The star product of this collection is the Brightening Finishing Powder, I do not know if this product is new or I just have never seen it before but either way, this product is very interesting looking and I will be trying it at the counter.  I hope this counter is ready for me!

Here is Brighten, Sparkle, and Glow!

Sparkle Eye Shadow - Bobbi's fresh take on glitter lights up eyes with a combination of shimmering pearls and fine glitter. Perfect for both day and night.
- Gold Star - warm golden sparkle

Tinted Eye Brightener - The same brightening lightweight concealer now in new shades and a clear tube so you know just how much is left before you run out. Features a doe-foot applicator for more precise application and controlled delivery under the eye. Instantly brightens shadows so you look refreshed and revived - perfect for touch-ups, too.  This product is available in ten shades to suit all skin tones.

Brow Pencil - Instantly give your eyes a lift with defined eyebrows. These creamy, blendable pencils give you the natural look of eyebrow powder with the precision of a pencil and come with their own sharpener.  This product is available in four shades to suit all brow hair colors.

Brightening Finishing Powder - This allover powder instantly illuminates and gives skin a healthy-looking glow. It's infused with a skin-brightening blend of mulberry, grape and scutellaria extracts, as well as sodium hyaluronate to help keep skin fresh and smooth looking.
- Porcelain Pearl - range of pastels hues to brighten any skin tone

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

This collection may be small but these products all have lots of potential and I can see many ways that I could make them work with my current makeup products.  Gold Star will be a fantastic product for me this spring and then I can see myself using it throughout the summer and then into the fall and winter.  I do want to add this to my collection even though I have never tried the Sparkle Eye Shadow formula from Bobbi Brown, I would love to find another eye shadow formula that works very well for me.

The Brightening Finishing Powder will need to be tried at the counter before I purchase it, this combination of shades has the potential to be life-changing for my skin tone but I want to see exactly how it works and how to use it before I purchase it.  I know very little about this product so I want to know if it is an all-over powder or just made to be used on specific areas of the face.  I will report more if I like this product and then decide to purchase it.

The last two products that I am interested in purchasing are the new shade of the High Shimmer Lip Gloss and the Tinted Eye Brightener.  This lip gloss shade will work with any eye makeup look that I create (including the pastels and brights that I am craving) or will work equally well for a more casual weekend look.  The Tinted Eye Brightener is another product in this collection that holds tons of promise, I have awful under eye circles and if this concealer truly brightens this area then I will never want to be without it.  I cannot wait to visit the counter again!

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

NARS And God Created The Woman Set

Today we are going to take a bit of a break from the spring collections and look at an eye palette that I have had my eye on for the past week or two.  NARS has come out with the new palette in question and this is one of the first eye shadow palette from them that I have been on the fence about, I am usually all over a new NARS palette.  There is nothing wrong with the palette, the first time that I saw I actually really liked it and was considering ordering it right away.  Well why didn't I?  I already own about half of the products in this palette and am really trying to decide if I would use these products enough to warrant owning more than one of these shades.  To top it off...I already own the brush that is part of this palette and I don't know how different the smaller-sized version of it is.  On first glance...I shouldn't need this palette and I should just skip over it.  But I really love the shades and the brush too!

What palette am I referring to?  I am looking at the newest palette from NARS, And God Created The Woman.  This is an eye shadow palette that contains a series of neutral shades that can create a neutral or dramatic smoky eye look.  And no one does eye makeup better than NARS.

As of right now, this palette is available only at Sephora and I will provide all the details that are found on their website.  "An eye shadow kit with six sultry shades, a travel-size Eye Shader Brush, and a medium Pro-Prime Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base.  Captivating and compelling, this palette of six shimmering shadows shows off your sultry side. Created exclusively for Sephora, this sleek, travel-ready set also includes a mini Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base and Eye Shader Brush."

Here is what is contained in this palette!

Eye Shadow - Single-color eye shadows in an array of colors and textures.  Mix and match NARS Single Eyeshadows to create great-looking personal combinations for the eyes. Textures range from translucent highlights and subtle mattes to shimmering glitters.
- Alhambra - shimmering champagne
- Bellisima - matte taupe
- Kalahari - medium bronze
- Galapagos - rich brown with gold flecks
- Coconut Grove - matte deep taupe brown
- Night Clubbing - black with gold pearl

Pro-Prime Smudge-Proof Eye Shadow Base - A lightweight primer that creates a seamless canvas that keeps cream and powder eye color looking brilliant, fresh, and just-applied all day.  This smudge-proof eye shadow base uses a unique polymer and mineral powder blend to get a firm grip on color for long-lasting, gorgeous wear. Fortified with a special deep-sea extract and an antioxidant rice extract, it dries on contact and keeps the delicate eye lid smooth and ready for eye shadow application.  This fragrance-free product is ophthalmologist and dermatologist tested.
Eye Shader Brush - Sable hair brush domed for smooth application to wide areas, the crease of the eye, and the perfect blending tool for seamless color.

I can't deny that I would use every single one of these eye shadow shades and I would use them a lot throughout the year.  I already own Galapagos and Night Clubbing, deep shades that I don't use on a regular basis.  I mostly use these shades to create a dramatic eye look or as a liner in a more professional environment so these are not shades that I use every day.  If the shades that I owned from this palette where the highlighting shades, then I would be purchase this in a heartbeat as I use them like crazy and go through these faster than other shades.  On the other side of the debate...I love these shades and I can think of so many eye makeup looks that I would create with them.  Nothing in that palette would ever go to waste.

But do I really need that second Eye Shader Brush?  I will make my final decision after I see it in the stores and if it the same size or slightly smaller than the traditional version.  I use this brush almost every single day to apply highlighting shades and then to blend eye makeup.  I love this brush but that really doesn't mean that I need a second brush that is exactly the same. 

One of the pieces that pushes in the direction to order it is the Eye Primer, I love this formula and it is one of the few that I think really keeps any eye shadow in place.  This is one of the only products that can keep Urban Decay's Midnight Cowboy Eye Shadow from falling all over my face.  I wouldn't mind having another tube of this and I know that I would use it.

I will have to make my final decision after I see the brush in the stores.  Thoughts either way anyone?

photo courtesy of Sephora

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tarte Spring 2013 Collection

I have been raving about Tarte products for the past two years and I keep raving even more with every single new product that I try from this line.  My current Tarte obsession is the Pure Maracuja Oil that I have been using as a night moisturizer for the past few weeks.  I know that I will be ordering another bottle of this product as soon as my current bottle starts getting low and therefore I want to look at all the new products from Tarte well before I need to order and I can start plotting all the new stuff that I am going to want from this company for the spring season.  I still use my Tarte and True Eye Palette at least once a week and I wish that this company sold more single products, I am running low on a couple of the eye shadow shades that I really love in that palette and want to replace them but with the current product assortment, I cannot do this...

This collection is pretty huge and it contains a series of new color products and some new skincare items.  The first piece that pops out at me is the Pure Maracuja Oil in a rollerball form, I woner if this is an easier mode of application and it caught my eye since I just read an article in the March issue of Cosmopolitan (I think...or In Style.  I have been reading fashion magazines like crazy this month since the March issues are all huge!) and the rollerball style would provide the massaging benefit while applying my new favorite night moisturizer.  The second item that catches my eye in an eye cream with the Maracuja Oil in it...this might be my new favorite ingredient for skincare!

I wonder how many of the new items in the collection contain Maracuja Oil as this seems to be the new "hot" ingredient and Tarte is the only company that is using it.  Tarte has also jumped on the BB Cream bandwagon and is now introducing one into their line-up this spring.  I am thinking that this might be more of a face and skincare collection for me this spring.

Here is the newest from Tarte!

Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment - Refresh, renew and recharge tired eyes with our eye treatment enriched with C-brighter™ technology. By harnessing the power of maracuja fruit, vitamin C and advanced botanicals, this skintuitive™ eye treatment visibly hydrates, firms and brightens the delicate eye area. Product Performance: This intense, multi-tasking eye treatment contains rice bran, mango and coconut naturally-rich in antioxidants to fight signs of aging and free radical damage. Oat sugars instantly smooth and visibly tighten skin. The nutrient-rich formula also delivers the ultimate in hydration for smooth, youthful-looking eyes. Ophthalmologist tested.  Powered By: maracuja oil: rich in essential fatty acids (EFAs) known to replenish, rebuild, and brighten skin.  Vitamin C gives the appearance of brighter skin; powerful anti-aging elixir promotes active skin recovery and rejuvenation; maximum hydration quenches dry skin.

BB Tinted Treatment 12-Hour Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen - Indulge your skin with tarte's innovative BB tinted treatment primer, a powerful multi-tasker that works as a primer, moisturizer, light foundation, anti-aging treatment and sunscreen to give you a youthful-looking glow.  Product Performance: Indulge and nourish your skin with tarte’s innovative BB tinted treatment which offers multiple skincare and makeup benefits in one eco-chic tube. This powerfully pure formula not only works as a skin-soothing treatment, but as a moisturizer, sunscreen, primer and foundation that visibly improves skin’s overall appearance for a youthful-looking glow. This 12-hour longwear, anti-aging, oil-free tinted treatment primer offers light-to-medium buildable coverage that helps even skin tone and conceals discoloration, acne and other skin imperfections. The creamy, silky formula goes on smooth, hydrates skin and blends easily leaving you with a natural, flawless finish while the broad-spectrum, chemical-free SPF 30 offers ideal protection from the sun’s harmful UVA/UVB rays.  Powered By: tripleB complex: a proprietary blend of natural diamond powder, plants and lipoamino acids that diffuses light and minimizes the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and pores while improving the appearance of skin luminosity.  Broad-spectrum, chemical-free SPF 30 offers ideal protection from the sun’s harmful UVA/UVB rays.  Available in a range of shades to suit all skintones.

Pure Maracuja Oil Rollerball - This earth-prescribed, powerful treatment oil targets individual skin concerns while deeply moisturizing and nourishing skin. Pure, undiluted & cold pressed, it restores skin balance to aid in skin recovery and rejuvenation. Rich in Vitamin C and nutritious essential fatty acids, this precious harvest from the Amazon awakens skin for a healthy, radiant complexion. This anti-aging elixir provides instant hydration—quenching dry skin with no greasy or filmy feel. Discover firmer, brighter, smoother looking skin with tarte.  Powered By: Maracuja oil: pure maracuja oil has been known to replenish, rebuild and brighten skin. The nutrient-rich essential fatty acids repair & rejuvenate skin for a firmer complexion. The moisture-rich formula replenishes & hydrates skin.  Known as “puro milagro” or “the pure miracle”, only one crop of this rare Amazonian fruit is harvested each year by Amazonian women affiliated with tarte’s cooperative in the Amazon. Piece by piece, they sustainably pick and extract this nutrient-rich seeded pulp from each individual maracuja fruit by hand. This naturally harvested treasure, referred to as the “alma” or “soul” of the maracuja fruit is then hand pressed without the use of heat to guarantee the maximum amount of nutritious essential fatty acids and vitamins.

Awaken Your Complexion - 4-Piece Customizable Complexion Kit - A limited-edition, customizable complexion kit that marries makeup and skincare for your most flawless complexion ever.  Set includes: full size Maracuja Creaseless Concealer; full size Bamboo Concealer Brush; deluxe size Pure Maracuja Oil; deluxe size Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder.  Product Performance: Invigorate your complexion with this limited-edition, customizable complexion kit that marries makeup and skincare. A flawless face has never been easier - just add your perfect shade match of maracuja creaseless concealer to this set of hand-picked complexion perfectors and go! Experience the refreshing results that Amazonian clay and maracuja oil deliver to your skin both before and after make-up application with deluxe sizes of tarte’s skin-friendly game-changers: pure maracuja oil to perfect and prep skin.  Powered By: maracuja oil: rich in essential fatty acids (EFAs) known to replenish, rebuild, and brighten skin; high dose of pure Vitamin C gives the appearance of brighter skin; powerful anti-aging elixir promotes active skin recovery and rejuvenation; maximum hydration quenches dry skin.  Amazonian clay: nature’s most perfect ingredient providing total skin balance for better wear.  Vitamin E: natural preservative that also acts as an anti-inflammatory emollient and protects against free radical damage.  Mineral pigments: colors derived from natural minerals have been known to soothe and soften skin.

Maracuja Creaseless Concealer - A full coverage, waterproof concealer that won’t crease, flake, or leave you needing more.  Product Performance: Maracuja creaseless concealer offers long-lasting, full coverage in a rich, creamy texture with pure, skin-soothing, and anti-aging ingredients. This velvety concealer is also ideal for masking discoloration and imperfections such as acne/blemishes, redness, scars, hyperpigmentation, and dark circles. This nutrient-rich, blendable, liquid concealer brightens and restores skin’s natural luster, leaving you with a flawless complexion.  Powered By: Maracuja: helps to improve skin’s texture, tone and moisture content while imparting a brightening dewy, luminous finish. In addition to promoting healthy skin.  Available in eight shades to suit a variety on skintones.

Prime, Shine, and Define Tarte-to-Go Kit - This 3-piece deluxe size essentials kit is just what you need for getting flawless on the fly. Perfect and brighten your complexion and dramatize your eyes with clean slate™ poreless 12-hour perfecting primer primer, Amazonian clay BB illuminating moisturizer and gifted™ Amazonian clay smart mascara. This convenient, travel-friendly kit covers all of your beauty basics as you prime, shine and define yourself.  Product Performance: The lightweight clean slate™ poreless 12-hour perfecting primer smooths skin and keeps makeup in place for up to 12 hours of perfect wear time, while diminishing the appearance of pores, fine lines and imperfections. Then, the skin-brightening Amazonian clay BB illuminating moisturizer boosts skin with an all-over luminizing effect for a radiant complexion. For the ultimate finishing touch, gifted™ mascara delivers an instant increase in the appearance of lash volume and instuitively hydrates, replenishes and strengthens lashes with each swipe. This convenient kit covers all of your beauty basics as you prime, shine and define yourself.  Powered By: Amazonian clay: nourishes & balances skin & lashes for better, longer wear and truer color payoff.  Vitamin E: natural preservative that also acts as an anti-inflammatory emollient and protects against free radical damage.  Mineral pigments: colors and dyes derived from natural minerals have been known to soothe and soften.

Cheek Stain - The stain that started it all. Tarte’s award-winning and best-selling cheek stain gives you a gorgeous, natural flush in a gel or cream consistency. Rounded top cheek stains are gel based stains, while flat top cheek stains are the cream based version.  Product Performance: This lightweight glow-getter imparts a natural flush – like someone just pinched your cheeks! Get the look of love and an instant pop of soft & dreamy color by applying this to the apples of your cheeks. Unlike traditional stains that are hard to apply, this goof-proof tint melts into skin easily and gives you 20 seconds of blending time before it sets in place for all day wear.  Powered By: t5 super fruit complex™: a proprietary blend of the five most active antioxidant-rich superfruits (maracuja, goji, açaí, acerola, and pomegranate), this complex delivers anti-aging and skin-restorative benefits to skin with each application.  Maracuja: rich in essential fatty acids (EFAs) known to replenish, rebuild, and brighten skin; high dose of pure Vitamin C gives the appearance of brighter skin; powerful anti-aging elixir promotes active skin recovery and rejuvenation; maximum hydration quenches dry skin.
- Awakening - medium cool berry

LipSurgence Skintuitive Lip Tint - Introducing Energy—the newest shade addition to the award-winning and best-selling franchise of LipSurgence™ lip tints. This skintuitive™ formula responds to your skin’s natural pH and energy, giving you a personalized tint that is truly your own younique shade of pink.  Product Performance: The ethereal pink hue complements every skin tone to deliver a natural looking glow and brighter complexion – perfectly customized just for you! Bonus: you can bump up the intensity of the color with an extra swipe. Like all LipSurgence™ lip tints, it combines pure color with natural moisturizers and glides on smooth for a sheer finish.  Powered by a proprietary blend of plant bio-nutrients, vitamins, and essential oils rich in emollients, it quickly absorbs into lips delivering a surge of moisture on a cellular level, while boosting peptides to stimulate skin’s own regenerative system and assists in the formation of collagen. This proprietary blend effectively increases skin’s water content for a ‘plumped up’ appearance with a natural hint of energy-reflecting tint and taste of mint. The result is naturally fuller, healthier lips without any irritation or stinging.  Powered By: A proprietary blend of plant bio-nutrients, vitamins, and essential oils rich in emollients, it quickly absorbs into lips delivering a surge of moisture on a cellular level, while boosting peptides to stimulate skin’s own regenerative system and assist in the formation of collagen. This proprietary blend effectively increases skin’s water content for a ‘plumped up’ appearance with a natural hint of energy-reflecting tint and taste of mint. The result is naturally fuller, healthier lips without any irritation or stinging.
- Energy - light neutral pink

LipSurgence Lip Luster - As a follow up to tarte's best-selling LipSurgence™ lip tints, these shimmering lip lusters give lips a high dose of color and shine in an easy twist-up stick.  Product Performance: LipSurgence™ lip lusters combine sheer iridescent pure color with natural moisturizers that glides on smooth and soften lips. This proprietary formula effectively increases skin’s water content for a ‘plumped up’ appearance with a natural hint of shimmering tint and taste of mint. The result is naturally fuller, healthier lips without any irritation or stinging. The easy-to-use twist-up container eliminates the need for sharpeners.  Powered By: A proprietary blend of plant bio-nutrients, vitamins, and essential oils rich in emollients: these antioxidant free radical fighters (vitamin C & E, pepperming & jojoba oil) prevent premature signs of aging, while softening lips.
- Achiote - shimmering medium reddish coral

Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush - A long-wearing, supremely soft blush infused with Amazonian clay harvested from the banks of the Amazon River and naturally baked by the sun.  Product Performance: This 12-hour blush universally benefits all skin types for a fade-free, flawless finish in shades ranging from soft to vivid and matte to shimmer to suit a wide variety of skin tones.
Powered By: Amazonian clay minimizes oil in and around pores to balance skin and keep product in place while also hydrating the skin naturally to restore moisture, reducing the appearance of dry, flaky skin.
- Charisma - warm medium pink with a touch of shimmer

Beauty and the Box - Amazonian Clay Eye Shadow Quad -  A perfectly portable shadow box with four gorgeous Amazonian clay eye shadow shades inside.  Product Performance: These small but mighty palettes are your one-stop destination for out-of-this-world blendable color and an endless variety of naturally gorgeous looks. The highly pigmented colors are easy to blend and nourish lids as they deliver the perfect amount of creamy matte perfection or subtle shimmer.  Powered By: Amazonian clay: nature’s most perfect ingredient works to nourish lids, reduce surface oil and improve overall texture for easy application and better wear.
- Secret Garden - medium champagne/medium tan bronze/deep olive/deep warm charcoal

I am checking out the skincare items more than the color items at the moment.  The first piece that is going right onto my shopping list is the eye cream with the Maracuja Oil on it, I don't even need a new eye cream right now but I am going to pick this one up and then as soon as one of my current products runs out then I will pull it right out and start playing around with it.  I have high hopes for this eye cream, the Pure Maracuja Oil has improved my overall complexion and I have high hopes that this eye cream will have the effect on my undereye area.  It goes without saying that I will be picking up the rollerball form of the Pure Maracuja Oil, I will switch this form of it on and off with the regular once or twice a week to give myself a bit of a needed facial. 
I will begin with the skincare from this collection but then I will be heading right over to the face products from it.  I want this formula of BB Cream, I am quickly going from having no BB Creams to having a little collection of them and I can't wait to compare them to some of my favorite tinted moisturizers.  I will also be looking very closely at the concealer from this collection, if I found a product that both concealed and helped to improve my dark undereye circles, then I would be a believer for life in this company. 
My last picks are from the color part of the collection.  I don't really love any of the new cheek or lip shades in this collection, I find the color of the new stain pretty and I love the packaging but this isn't enough for me to purchase it without trying it on.  The lip gloss shades are ok but again I am not in love with them and since there are so many others that I have been lusting for this spring, there is no point in me purchasing any of these.  The only color piece that I am quite interested in is the Eye Shadow Qud, these neutrals will work very well for me throughout the whole year.
This spring collection is a bit different for me than any other one, all I want in skincare and face products!
photo courtesy of Tarte

Monday, February 18, 2013

Bobbi Brown Spring 2013 Collection - Pink and Red Collection

This is the first of the Bobbi Brown spring collections, Pink and Red is the first collection that came out and I now see another collection right next to it on the Nordstrom website.  This company has a tradition of releasing multiple limited edition collections every single season, often with one or two stellar products that go on to become permanent pieces of their line.  I haven't had as much experience with this line as I would like to have had, I have tried a few pieces from Brown but it isn't yet a line that I purchase from regularly.  I have never found anyone at my local Sephora that can really help me with this collection and the counter in Macy*s almost never has anyone to help me at it.  I guess that I might just pick out a few products that I really want to try and then buy them the next time that I am at Sephora.  I find the lip glosses and lipsticks to be the most promising looking pieces of this line and I know that Bobbi Brown started out by making a small line of lipsticks and that her lip products are among the best in the industry.

The Pink and Red collection is the first spring collection that I have seen from Bobbi Brown and we are going to start spring coverage of her collections with it.  Looking at this collection in detail shows me that it actually is more of a Valentine's Day collection but the holiday hasn't been past that long and these shades are still wearable for the rest of the spring.  It looks like more and more beauty companies are seeing the value of creating a special collection for Valentine's Day.  It's good business to me; if you are single then you are more likely to treat yourself with a little beauty gift to stay happy on this day or if you are in a relationship than you are usually getting dressed up to go out that night and are treating yourself to an a new outfit and all the assorted trappings.

This collection is on the Nordstrom website and I will pull all of my information from there.  "The Pink & Red Collection isn't about matching lips, cheeks and nails. It's about deliberately mismatching. Color blocking and unexpected combinations - a very modern mix."  Pink and red lip shades are my two favorite shades for both lipstick and lip gloss so this will be a very promising collection for me!

Here is the Pink and Red collection!

Pink and Red Creamy Matte Lip Color - Bobbi's revolutionary Creamy Matte Lip Color combines the look of a classic matte lip with incredible wearability. Creamy and moisturizing, it glides on comfortably and feels light as air. Not to mention its staying power won't budge for eight hours.
How to use: Swipe directly onto the lips from the tube or use a lip brush for a more precise application. Bobbi's favorite method: Apply a generous amount of lipstick on the bottom lip and then smack the lips together.
- Heart - deep blue red with a matte finish
- Hot - deep cool pink with a matte finish

Pink and Red Collection Lip Gloss - Bobbi has sized up all of her glosses to give you an extra dose of shine and a hint of vanilla scent. Bobbi's lip gloss is formulated with softening botanical extracts, including oils of avocado, jojoba and chamomile, with soothing aloe to keep lips soft and supple. The tapered applicator lets you apply it like a pro.
- Cherry - deep cool cherry red cream
- Pretty in Pink - medium cool blue pink cream

Pink and Red Collection Sheer Color Cheek Tint - Bobbi's new Sheer Color Cheek Tint gives cheeks natural-looking color. The translucent, lightweight formula glides on and blends evenly into skin. Packaged in a travel-sized swivel-up stick for convenient and easy application.
- Sheer Cherry - sheer cool red
- Sheer Pink - sheer medium cool blue pink

Pink and Red Collection Nail Polish - Long-lasting polish delivers notice-me color in fuchsia pink and bright cherry red. Perfectly pretty alone or paired together for a modern, colorblocked mix.
- Pink Valentine - medium cool magenta pink cream
- Valentine Red - deep cool blue red cream

This will be a very dangerous collection for me, none of the shades are very unique and I think that own all of the lip and nail polish shades already but I still want to see if they are still in stock at the counter (only several pieces are still available on the Nordstrom website).  I want the two lipstick shades the most and I would wear both of these shades in the spring and then again next fall and winter, if I love the formula, these could truly become new staples of my collection.  The same logic applies to the lip glosses, I think that I prefer the pink shade over the red but I would like to purchase both of them.  All of the same comments apply to the nail polishes in this collection, I don't need them but I certainly want them.  I am not going to comment on the Cheek Stains in this collection since they are already sold out on the Nordstrom website and since it is after Valentine's Day, I doubt that these products will come back in stock again.  If they do, then I would be tempted by the pink shade but not the red. 

Time to start building up the Bobbi Brown products in my traincase...

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Burberry Spring 2013 Collection - Siren Red

All of last week, I looked back on my favorite brands and products in the beauty industry but today I have decided to check out a brand that I own no makeup from and have never looked at before.  Burberry Beauty is a line that I have not tried before, this is another line that I can only order and can't get anywhere within an hour of my house.  I have drooled over their coats and purses for many years and have tried their fragrance line at my nearby Sephora and have often wished that Sephora would carry their color collection (even a small part of it!) since I can't get it anywhere other than Nordstrom or Saks at this point.  I have been ordering from Nordstrom pretty regularly lately and so far I have had no issues with their Customer Service or shipping departments so I am getting more comfortable with ordering unseen cosmetics or unsniffed fragrances from this company.  This is opening up a new shopping world for me...

The Burberry spring collection that I am looking at is carried on the Nordstrom website and I first noticed it during my obsessive stalking of websites for Archie's Girls.  I feel like I spent so much time searching for pieces of Archie's Girls that I skipped over a few great new collection releases and am now going back and rediscovering some great new products.  This is going to be a great spring for me and a very bad spring for my wallet...

The Nordstrom website provides a product description and an overall collection description for the newest collection from Burberry Beauty.  "Powerfully feminine with glowing shots of color. A runway siren red lip is the focus, complemented by understand eyes and natural, glowing skin. Versatile and playful, the look is elegant and effortlessly seductive."

Here is the newest collection!

Siren Red Sheer Eye Shadow - Experience natural and earthy tones reminiscent of the English countryside and adaptable to all skin tones. Color selection captures the ease and versatility of the collection and ranges from classic trench coat-inspired shades to smoky metals.  Formula: The innovative composition reconciles comfort with long-lasting wear. Light, yet creamy, this performing powder offers optimal adherence.  Benefits: Ensures a smooth application and flawless color fidelity throughout the day. From the most natural look to the most sophisticated finish.  Protection: Silicones provide extreme emollience and comfort.
- No 26 Gold Pearl - light champagne gold shimmer

Siren Red Light Glow Natural Blush - Get a bright and radiant finish with warm glowing skin, reminiscent of the freshness of a spring morning.  Formula: This airy micro-powder ensures rich shades. Silicones provide an easy glide.  Benefits: An effortlessly natural fresh complexion and a healthy glow.  Protection: Provides moisturizing benefits.
- No 9 Coral Pink - bright peach pink
- No 10 Hydrangea Pink - bright rose pink

Siren Red Lip Velvet Long Wear Lipstick - Explore velvet intensity with Lip Velvet Long Wear Lipstick.  Burberry innovation brings a new finish for lips: a velvety matte radiance, inspired by the most opulent of English fabrics. Iconic pigments provide incredibly dense and luminous color, gel technology gives comfortable long-wear performance, while triglycerides and wild rose continuously hydrate. The result is effortlessly elegant, protective and breathable.  Tips: Apply Lip Velvet with fingertips for a natural stain of color or use with a Lip Definer Pencil for a more polished elegance.
- No 310 Military Red - deep cool brick red with a matte finish
- No 311 Bright Poppy - deep cool plum with a matte finish

Lip Glow Natural Lip Gloss - Formula: A creamy touch and perfectly adherent texture. Light oils and spherical powders give fluidity and comfort.  Benefits: Reflects light to create illusion of plumper, fuller lips. Leaves lips supple, glowing with natural highlights and subtle iconic tones.
Protection: Ceramide complex recreates the intercellular cement. Hydrating formula keeps the lips replenished. Fine lines are filled from within, lips are naturally plumped.
- No 19 Mallow Pink - warm pink cream
- No 20 Pink Sweet Pea - bright magenta pink cream
- No 21 Fondant Pink - neutral light pink cream
- No 22 Coral - bright warm peach coral cream

This collection is a nice introduction to the brand, lip products are usually the first product that I try from a new brand and this collection gives me some great choices to try.  I think that I would be more likely to start with the lip glosses for this spring and then try out the red lipstick shade that is featured in this collection.  My first choice would be the bright pink lip gloss, No 20 Pink Sweet Pea is very pretty and will be perfect in the warm weather months, No 21 Fondant Pink is my second choice sine this neutral pink will be wearable in any situation or with any eye makeup look.  I already bought several new lip glosses this spring and this trend shows no sign of stopping any time soon...

In addition to the lip glosses, I can't wait to try out the lipstick formula that is featured in Siren Red.  I want the Siren Red shade the most, I always want to try new formulas of deep red matte lipsticks and I am hoping to find another red lipstick love from this collection.  Lastly, I like the eye shadow shade in this collection but I don't know that I consider it is a "needed" item, I own many pale champagne gold eye shadows since they match every thing and work well with my eye color however this color is not unique enough for me to order it right away.

I look forward to trying some new makeup from Burberry very soon and seeing if this brand adds some hit products to my collection!

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Beauty Loves Week Day Seven - Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Facial Serum

Today is the last day of my Beauty Loves Theme Week and I am hoping that at least one of two things have occurred for you this week; first I hope that I have shown you all one or two new products that you will want to try out for yourself, and secondly I hope that you have thought about some of your favorite beauty products and how much you have come to love them over the years.  Over this week, we have looked makeup, perfumes, and one of the best body products in the world but we haven't talked about any type of skincare product yet.  Today we change that, Caudalie's Vinoperfect Radiance Facial Serum is a product that I have raved over for years and was a natural to make a Beauty Loves Week.  I was not one of the lucky ladies that was blessed with perfect skin and I have to use multiple products every single to keep it clear, hydrated, and to reduce the redness.  There are very few skincare products that I love and I almost always seem to be trying new products, especially facial serums and hydrators.  The Vinoperfect Serum from Caudalie is one of the few that I have never hesitated to repurchase and will rave about to anyone that is interested in the skincare line.

Caudalie is a French skincare line that is based around the concept on Vinotherapie, the use of grape-seed anti-oxidants to protect and repair the skin.  My skin is sensitive and easily irritated so I have issues with products that have excess chemicals or unnatural fragrances in them and make my skin worse than before use.  I have never had problems with anything from Caudalie and at this point I have purchased almost every single product in the line.  I was first recommended the Vinoperfect Serum in late 2006, when Bath and Body Works still carried this line of skincare.  I bought a bottle or it and used it twice a day as directed.  Within a week, I was getting all kinds of compliments on how lovely my skin looked and how good I looked overall.  The best compliments are the ones on my skin, it is very easy to apply a flattering lipstick shade but much harder to reap results from the perfect skincare product!

"A highly concentrated oil-free serum that improves the appearance of dark spots, promotes even skintone, and boosts radiance.  Highly concentrated with naturally powerful Viniferine, this satiny serum counters existing dark spots such as acne marks, scars, and damage, while preventing their reappearance revealing a brighter, more even complexion.  This non-comedogenic, oil-free formula is perfect for all skin types. For best results, use Vinoperfect Day Fluid or Vinoperfect Day Perfecting Cream in the morning and Vinoperfect Cell Renewal Night Cream in the evening. Viniferine, a natural compound found in vine sap known to brighten, lighten, and even skin, was patented by Caudalie in 2004."

"Based on in vitro testing, conducted by the Montpellier Faculty of Pharmacy, of the inhibiting action of Viniferine on tyrosinase:
- 62 times more effective than vitamin C
- 4 times more effective than kojic acid
- 13 times more effective than arbutin in boosting skin radiance and fighting dark spots
In a test carried out on 20 volunteers after use of Vinoperfect Regimen, under dermatological control:
- Volunteers saw disappearance of one or more dark spots after 56 days."

I have no issues with dark spots but this serum was recommended to me to help soothe and redness the appearance of the redness in my cheek area.  This serum is recommended for problem skin types and helps to soothe and uses plant botanicals to brighten the skintone.  This product reduces the redness in my cheek area and improves my overall facial complexion.  This is one of the few brightening serums that I have found to really work as it promises...and without irritating skin.  Some of the brightening serums that are effective have Vitamin C or Kojic Acid is, both very effective brightening ingredients, but ones that can be very irritating to my skin and are pretty touch and go for me.  This serum from Caudalie is one of the very few products that I have tried to far and manages to marry being effective and not irritating my already inflamed skin. 

This week has allowed me to look back on some of the products that I have come to love over the years and will continue to repurchase and use until they are no longer available.  All of these beauty products have lasted longer than my relationships and even though I am single this Valentine's Day, I still have some items to reflect on and love!

photo courtesy of Sephora

Friday, February 15, 2013

Beauty Loves Week Day Six - Dior Diorshow Iconic Mascara

With my love of mascara and my obsession with buying and trying new formulas, it will come to no surprise that my Beauty Loves Week includes one of the best formulas that I have ever used.  And I have used a lot of mascaras, I rarely buy the same one twice and always pounce on whatever is new and top rated (from all kinds of companies).  I am very picky with mascaras and reject several for every one that I end up loving.  One the few that I fell madly in love with is the Dior Diorshow Iconic formula from Dior.  Diorshow mascaras have been best selling and top rated formulas ever since the original formula was released and I think that each update to the formula just gets better and better.  Iconic is my favorite of the mascaras and the one that I would repurchase any time that I need mascara. 

This is one of my newer loves from this week, I first tried this formula in 2009 and have bought it several times since then.  I have tried the original Diorshow and the Iconic formulas and I have just received a Beauty Insider sample from Sephora of the new Iconic Overcurl formula.  I cannot wait to try this new formula and to see if I have another mascara love.  More to come on this one!

The Diorshow Mascaras are so famous that Sephora has an entire area on the Dior area of their website devoted just to describing and comparing these award-winning formulas.  I'm waiting for them to get a display with blinking lights in the store. 

Sephora's introduction to the overall Diorshow formula line, "Born from the hands of artists, these backstage essentials are responsible for punctuating many of the beauty statements you see on the runway and red carpet. These mascara legends are also adored for their ability to turn lash aspirations into an everyday attainable and luxurious reality. Create your own spotlight-worthy results with these standout formulas that continue to push the definition of fierce fringe."  All of the formulas of this mascara are great but I want to focus on Diorshow Iconic because this one is my personal favorite.

"A mascara with an innovative oblique brush that curls and defines lashes.  Diorshow Iconic Mascara is the latest in Dior's dazzling range of best-selling mascaras. Created backstage for fashion shows and celebrity red carpet events, the Iconic mascara features an oblique cut brush that gives an extra lash-curling effect. With its long, skinny teeth, the plastic comb brush allows you to precisely coat each lash one-by-one-creating a long, separated fan of lashes that usually takes the skill of a makeup artist. The extra-hold formula provides a 24-hour-curl with 100% smudge-proof results.  Inspired by the tailoring technique of cutting fabric on the bias to create maximum curve, the Iconic brush features soft silicone bristles that spiral around the stem to lift, curl, and separate every lash."

What makes this mascara so special?  This formula just does it all and performs well in every single aspect.  To start with, the brush is so very unique, the plastic comb helps to define each individual lash and prevents against clumping.  I can load this mascara on and clumping is never an issue, unlike many other volumizing formulas of mascara.  Diorshow mascaras are all volumizing and help to create the massive, fake-looking lashes that I crave.  This formula is set apart by how well it volumizes but doesn't run a clumping risk like the original formula.  Iconic holds the curls better than most formulas and helps to make my eyes look huge and wide awake.  Many ladies will layer their mascaras to combine the best of both formulas but I really believe that this formula will give you great volume, curl, definition, and length.  This one formula will do it all and without flaking off or creating a mess when you remove it at the end of the day.

I love Iconic and I now have such high hopes for Iconic Overcurl.  Let's see if I find a new mascara love in the next few weeks!

photo courtesy of Sephora

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Beauty Loves Week Day Five - Chanel No. 5

Stella by Stella McCartney is my biggest perfume love but I do have a second fragrance love that I wanted to talk about this week, Chanel No 5 is a fragrance that I have used and loved for longer than any other in my life.  No 5 is known as the "now and forever fragrance" and has been an icon every since it was first released in the early part of the last century, after reading the biography of Coco Chanel, I have come to love and understand this fragrance more than ever.  Chanel No 5 is the only fragrance other than Stella that I have had to buy more than one bottle of, I wear it often during the fall and winter and I can go through it at a very rapid rate.  I often credit this fragrance as being the perfume that made me want to get dressed up as a child and be like my mother (who has worn this fragrance for many years - in fact she is the only person that I know that goes through a bottle of this faster than I do).  I was first allowed to wear fragrance for my ballet recitals as a little girl and she always sprayed a (very) little bit of this on me before we left for the show.

As a child, I do not remember the exact time when I started loving this fragrance and wanting to own it and be able to get dressed up just like my mother.  This is the fragrance that I have been using for longer than any other and as this is the best selling fragrance for this renowned House, I am not alone in my admiration of Chanel No. 5. 

Chanel states the following as a fragrance description on their website.  "The now and forever fragrance. The ultimate in femininity. An elegant, luxurious spray closest in strength and character to the parfum form. The sleek, portable signature bottle is perfect for the dressing table or travel."

Sephora goes further with the product description and then into the iconic notes of the fragrance.  "The first great abstract perfume, N°5 conjures up no precise floral scent and survives the passing of mere trends because it is beyond them. Coco Chanel wanted "a woman's fragrance that smells like Woman." When perfume designer Ernest Beaux presented her with his 5th composition, the choice seemed simple and obvious. Her perfume would be called N°5. Five was her lucky number". What she mean when she wants a fragrance that smell like "Woman"? It is very simple, Chanel wanted a fragrance that had no instantly recognizable notes and soon after the first aldehydic floral.  At that time in history, perfumes had one or two very recognizable notes and that was what the fragrance smelled like. An example of this would be that if a fragrance boasted lily of the valley as its main note then the fragrance smelled like lily of the valley and nothing else. Chanel wanted a fragrance that was different for every woman and had no notes that jumped out at one. An aldehydic floral is defined as follows, "A bouquet of abstract flowers with an indefinable femininity".

Chanel No.5 is the first fragrance that did not smell strongly of one or two major notes and instead was formulated to be a blend of florals and musks and to smell unique on every single lady that wears it.  ""Launches with bewitching notes of Ylang-Ylang and Neroli, then unfolds with Grasse Jasmine and May Rose. Sandalwood and Vanilla round out the fabled composition with unforgettable woody notes". The notes that I find most evident in the fragrance when I am wearing it is the jasmine and sandalwood. I know that rose is one of the listed notes but I find that with application, the jasmine comes out more and is the heart of the fragrance.   This fragrance wears stronger on me so I only use it in the fall and winter, I would clear out an elevator if I used a fragrance of this power during the warm weather months. 

I will continue to love and wear this fragrance until I am too old to leave my nursing home.  If I ever become a mother or an aunt, this is the fragrance that I will introduce her to when she graduates college and is getting ready to go to grad school or find her first job.  This really is the Now and Forver fragrance and is one of the few true perfume icons.

photo courtesy of Chanel

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Beauty Loves Week Day Four - The Body Shop Mango Body Butter

We are now at the middle of the Beauty Loves Theme Week and we have looked at lip gloss, perfume, and nail polish favorites of mine.  Today we are going to look at the product that has emerged as my favorite body product and the one that I have repurchased more times than I can remember.  In addition to my huge makeup and perfume collections, I have more body products than I could ever use up in five years so when I have one that I repurchase as soon as I am getting close to running out of it, then you know it is a great product and one that I cannot do without.  The Mango Body Butter from The Body Shop is a key product for me, it moisturizes my skin when it is at its driest point in the winter months yet is never greasy or heavy in the warm weather.  It also helps that the mango scent is perfect and (in my opinion) is the best mango fragrance on the market today.

I first used this product during the summer of 2004 and I cannot even remember how many times that I have purchased it since them.  I have continued to purchase not only the Body Butter in this fragrance but I have owned almost every single Mango product over the years.  All of the products are great but this butter is the best moisturizer that I have ever tried.  I can use this butter any time of the year and it has come through when my skin is so dry that is hurts or when I get too much sun at the beach.

"Our super-rich and creamy Body Butter is a feast for the skin. It melts straight in to leave skin feeling soft and smooth. It contains Community Fair Trade cocoa butter and has an exotic mango scent. 24-hour hydration.  Great for very dry skin Exotic mango scent."

This thick body butter manges to really hydrate my skin and to help it retain the moisture throughout the day.  This is one of those products that can be worn all year long; as I stated above, it is thick enough to hydrate when my skin is very dry during the fall and winter yet not greasy and doesn't feel heavy on the skin during the spring and summer months.  Normally, most of my body products can be used in either warm or cold weather, warm weather products need to be lighter and cold weather products need to be really heavy or my skin gets dry again within an hour or two of application.  The Mango Body Butter quickly absorbs into my skin and keeps it feeling soft and hydrated throughout the day, normally I one or the other from many body creams but this one somehow combines the best of both aspects and is a superior formula.   I need very little of this product and a jar of it lasts a very long time, the hydrated effect also lasts the whole day and I don't need to reapply near as much as I do with other brands and formulas. 

Based on how much I love the Mango Body Butter, I have bought and used other Body Butters from The Body Shop but I always return to the Mango every time that I visit the store.  It is at the point where I order or purchase two of these when I visit Ulta or a Body Shop store, as soon as I get low on it I immediately need to get more as I could not imagine my collection without it.  As much as the formula makes me love this butter, it is the fragrance that makes me want the Mango instead of buying any of the other scents (only the Coconut can even come close to my love of the Mango), I love the scent of mango and I will try any candle or product with this scent and this one has remained my favorite for years now...

photo courtesy of The Body Shop