Saturday, August 31, 2013

Jelly Pong Pong Lip Blush

My newest Glossybox has arrived and has produced one of my newest favorite lip products, the Jelly Pong Pong Lip Blush.  This is one of the products that Glossybox had been sending us hints about in the days leading up to the boxes being sent out and I liked the bright pink lip hue as soon as I saw my first picture of the product.  I don't know very much about the Jelly Pong Pong company so we are going to start by looking at the company itself and then looking at the details of one of my new favorite lip products. 

I have not seen this company's products sold in "typical" stores like Ulta and Sephora so I am thinking that I need to order these products online.  The website provides a quote from the founder of the company, Susan Chyi, about how the company is unique.  "Jelly Pong Pong…a name which will always be strange to many...  ...was born from the notion of wanting to invoke the eccentricity that is innate in all of us. The fascination & awe that we arouse simply by being different and perfectly unique.  I love cosmetics, but created a little differently. Products with soul , which tell a funny story, which rekindle romances and which are created because we are inspired by the weird & wonderful.  It has always been my greatest joy to make quirky, forward-thinking cosmetics that combine play with artless sophistication…stuff made of dreams & emboldened by ideas.  From spongy trifle lipsticks to “Cellulite-Free” eye shadows, we celebrate these witty and sometimes unconventional products which we have dreamt & come up with. My hope is to bring you an irresistible line of cosmetics, extraordinary yet beautiful, for you to discover and delight in.  I invite you to embrace all that is uniquely Jelly Pong Pong."  I think I might want to find out more about the products in this company very soon.

"A moisturizing lip stain that tints your lips with just the right amount of juicy colour and hydrates like a balm. Apply liberally, purse and let the silky lightweight texture melt onto your lips.", states the website in a product description.  This is a very soft lip crayon and the texture is much more similar to a tinted lip balm than a traditional lip crayon, it reminds me of the Clinique Almost Lipstick turned into a crayon format. 

This is a very easy product to use, I quickly "color" my lips in and then smudge them together.  This formula is more of a stain than a lipstick and then will create a stain that lasts on my lips all day long.  The product does need a touch up after eating or drinking and does not last as long as a liquid lip stain, I can get about six hours wear from it unless I eat or drink.  This product hydrates well and I love the combination of high pigment and hydrators that it contains. 

This product is only available in two shades, the bright pink that I have and a medium red shade.  I don't have much potential to collect this product since I only have one more shade to purchase in it but I can say that I will continue to buy the pink shade over the next few years.  I would love to see more shades in this product and will begin to look at the rest of the line very soon.

photo courtesy of Jelly Pong Pong

Friday, August 30, 2013

Fitness Friday - Warrior Two Pose

Last week we started to look at the Warrior series of yoga poses and looked at the first pose in that series.  Warrior One is used the most of the poses, it is part of the Second Sun Salutation that is used in nearly every class that I have taken over the past two months.  Today we are looking at the second pose in this series, a pose that I consider to be one of the beautiful yoga asanas and one that I struggled with for several weeks before finding correct alignment in the asana (asana = pose).  In fact, I still have to mentally correct and view my alignment when working into the pose and still do not consider myself to have "mastered" Warrior Two.

The Yoga Journal provides a description of the asana and then the best ways work in and out of it.  "Virabhadra = the name of a fierce warrior, an incarnation of Shiva, described as having a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, and a thousand feet, wielding a thousand clubs, and wearing a tiger’s skin."  This is one of the original asanas in yoga and is contained in the Primary Series of poses.

The step-by-step instructions to get into the pose...

- Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). With an exhalation, step or lightly jump your feet 3 1/2 to 4 feet apart. Raise your arms parallel to the floor and reach them actively out to the sides, shoulder blades wide, palms down.

- Turn your right foot slightly to the right and your left foot out to the left 90 degrees. Align the left heel with the right heel. Firm your thighs and turn your left thigh outward so that the center of the left knee cap is in line with the center of the left ankle.

- Exhale and bend your left knee over the left ankle, so that the shin is perpendicular to the floor. If possible, bring the left thigh parallel to the floor. Anchor this movement of the left knee by strengthening the right leg and pressing the outer right heel firmly to the floor.

- Stretch the arms away from the space between the shoulder blades, parallel to the floor. Don’t lean the torso over the left thigh: Keep the sides of the torso equally long and the shoulders directly over the pelvis. Press the tailbone slightly toward the pubis. Turn the head to the left and look out over the fingers.

- Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Inhale to come up. Reverse the feet and repeat for the same length of time to the left.

My biggest problems with the pose started with lack of balance, I could balance in the first Warrior pose but had large issues staying balanced in this pose.  If I was balanced, then I found that I wasn't in the pose correctly and my torso and shoulders were not directly over my pelvis.  I would end up with my torso at an angle and then could not correctly place my arms and then would have problems transitioning out of the pose.  Holding my arms was an issue when I first started working through the pose and this was corrected through arm strengthening exercises at the gym. 

The advice that is given in the four step is the best way to work correctly into the pose.  Rather than turning the head and allowing the shoulders and torso to follow, I have found it best to align the torso and shoulders and then simply turning the head. Using this type of motion is the only way that I can achieve correct alignment in the pose, it also helps me to envision that I have a wall behind my torso and I cannot twist my torso forward. 

Warrior Two is used in nearly every yoga class and is a beautiful pose once correct alignment is achieved.  One you have achieved your balance in this standing pose, you might be ready to start testing your balance by trying out the next pose in the Warrior series...

photo courtesy of Yoga Journal

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Guerlain Fall 2013 Collection - Violette de Madame Collection

Yesterday we looked at the new Dior collection and today we are moving right onto the newest from Guerlain, we have very few collections left and are going to cover them pretty quickly as we all know that the holiday collections will start coming out in the beginning of October.  Not that I even want to be thinking about the holidays right now...but we know how fast they tend to come up on us.  This will was already my first week of the semester and schoolwork will be piling up soon.  Therefore we are taking today to think about beauty and not the crazy semester that I have coming up...

The Guerlain collections are usually quite small but the products in them are beautiful and worth fighting the crowds for.  I love the pictures of Natalia Vodianova that are used with this collection and Guerlain has one of the best collection pictures of the season, I would love to be able to recreate her look for myself.

I found a great collection description on the Temptalia beauty blog, Guerlain did not have much of one and I am glad that I could use another blog to find one.  "Guerlain introduces its exclusive Fall 2013 Voilette de Madame collection, composed to make every woman irresistible, expressing her seduction and personality with style and femininity. Madame’s ultimate accessory, the veil, is the inspiration for this season’s collection. Like Madame herself, the veil gives only small glimpses into a woman’s mysterious world. And as Madame unveils herself, her secrets come to light."  This is lip product heavy collection and is the perfect complement to the Dior collection that we looked at yesterday.

The newest collection from Guerlain!

Ecrin 2 Couleurs Colour Fusion Eye Shadow - Guerlain has invented “ready-to-colour”, the perfect accessory for making the eyes a real fashion statement. This new fine and slender case slips easily into a handbag for use at any time. It opens vertically to reveal an elegant mirror… Inside: two eyeshadows, two textures, two colour accessories applied using its double-ended applicator to create amazing effects.
- Two Rock (01) dazzling green/black
- Two Stylish (02) deep blue/metallic grey
- Two Extravagant (03) chocolate brown/zesty green
- Two Gossip (04) plum/baroque gold
- Two Candy (05) soft white/sparkling pink
- Two Parisian (06) intense black/powder pink
- Two Lovely (07) soft grey/aquamarine
- Two Spicy (08) ebony brown/spicy coral

Gel Eye Pencil - Guerlain’s retractable gel eye pencil transforms your eyes in an instant. Its combination of smooth waxes, luminous polymers and intense pigmentation allows you to create the perfect eye contour for a refined look. Plus, it’s long-lasting, nontransferable and water-resistant so it stays all day without smudging.
- Black Jack (01) - black
- Jackie Brown - (02) brown
- Deep Purple - (03) purple
- Katy Navy - (04) navy
- Amber Silver - (05) silver

Rouge G de Guerlain Lipcolor - A jewel lipstick compact with a white-gold shimmer designed by Lorenz Bäumer, the young and talented jeweler in Place Vendôme. A horizontal design with feminine curves that houses a secret: a mirror automatically appears when the compact is opened. The lipstick has a purely elegant, contemporary design and closes magnetically. This exceptional object boasts a comprehensive, premium formula containing a star ingredient: ruby powder, which acts as an optical whitener to bring out the color and shine of the shades. The blend of natural active ingredients (Tiger Grass, wild mango butter, Gugul resin used in Ayurvedic medicine) completes the formula to plump up, smooth and bring moisture and softness to your lips.
- Madame Batifole (860) - vibrant fuchsia
- Madame Flirte (861) - fruity red
- Madame Reve (862) - voluptuous pink

Maxi Shine Gloss d' Enfer Lip Gloss - Maxi Shine Gloss d'Enfer guarantees lips a shimmering, radiant and plumping finish. Maxi Shine's oil composition creates a moisturizing barrier to ensure an intense softness. Additionally, each shade presents varying degrees of coverage and pigment intensity. The perfect partner for a desirable, appealing smile, Maxi Shine offers tailor-made effects for beautifully enhanced lips.
- Madame Batifole (860) - electric sparkling fuchsia
- Madame Flirte (861) - gourmand sparkling red
- Madame Fascine (863) - sparkling deep purple

Le Vernis Nail Lacquer - Guerlain's newest nail lacquers are indispensable allies for accomplished femininity. The ultra-vibrant shades incorporate adhesive resins to offer a perfectly even sheen that lasts for days. Using each shade's extra-flat and widened brush, the easy-to-use formula imparts a shiny, daring and immaculate finish.
- Madame Batifole (860) - deep and intense fuchsia

I love this collection and wish that I could find these products closer to my home.  Driving to King of Prussia isn't something that I can do on a normal basis and my Sephora tends to carry only a few of the best selling products from this line.  I guess I will have to make due with what I can find at Sephora and order from least they both have a generous return policy in case I don't love what I order.

I am looking at the lip products in this collection and my shopping from Guerlain will balance out my shopping from the Dior collection that we looked at yesterday.  I love the shades of the Rouge G and need to try this product out soon, this is one that is carried at Sephora so I will have an easy time getting my hands on this product.  I want the red and the pink shades from this product and I want to try the red shade of the lip gloss (another product that I believe is carried at my local Sephora).  I like many of the eye shadow duos but I don't think that any of the shades are unique enough to warrant me purchasing them when I own a bunch of eye shadow palettes already.  The last piece that I love is the new deep fuchsia shade of nail polish, I don't believe that I own any shade like this and it will be perfect for the fall season!

photo courtesy of Guerlain

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Dior Fall 2013 Collection - Mystic Metallics

I pretty much have my fall makeup shopping well under way and have a solid list in hand while making a few last minute decisions as to which other products I might need to add to my long shopping list.  I am finishing up the fall collections and have less than five more to round out it all out.  Today we are looking at the last big collection for this season, the fall collection from Dior is all about metallic hues for all facial features and promises to contain all kinds of beautiful makeup shades.  I am looking forward a deep charcoal metallic eye shadow and maybe a matching eye liner, I will have some more shopping to do after this collection!

Mystic Metallics contains quite a few top rated products and the new eye shadow palettes are among them.  Dior is one product line that I prefer the eye makeup products over the lip products and this is a rare occurrence for me since I love lipsticks and lip glosses more than any other type of makeup.  I think I own less than five lip products from this company so I will want to add more lipsticks from Dior to my collection after viewing the newest from this company. 

I can't find a collection description from Dior so I will try and sum up the collection theme myself before digging into the products and shades.  This collection focuses on strong eye makeup and most (if not all) of the shades are rich metallic jewel tones.  Dior provides nail shades to match the metallic eyes and lips take a back seat in neutral tones. 

Dior's Mystic Metallic collection!

Dior Blush -  Dior's legendary blush returns with a new texture formulated to blend with your skin, leaving you with a weightless veil of color.  This product will be available in 13 shades that will be grouped into the following families: Pink, Red, Coral, and Beige.

Mystic Metallics 5 Couleurs Eye Palette - Dior reinvents the 5 Couleurs legend with the Couture Palette that gives free rein to your creativity to achieve custom makeup results. True to the bold color creation from the House of Dior, each harmony explores a unique world of color. It's designed with a central shade, the signature of the palette, and four accessory shades that are used to create a multifaceted look. Each boasts a wide variety of textures and shades with a host of effects ranging from matte and satiny to iridescent and ultra-shimmery.
- #384 Belle Etoile - hues of blue and green
- #864 Constellation - hues of silver and purple

3 Couleurs Glow Palette - Dior reinvents the metallic eye with 3 Couleurs, an eyeshadow trio with shades in varying effects and textures to provide infinite, easy, custom-made metallic eyes. The palette features a sliding lid that opens to reveal an innovative, pop-up mirror. Inside, an ultra-smooth base prepares the eyelid while matte and iridescent shades provide ready-to-wear eye looks, from simple to glamorous.
- #751 Silver Glow - trio of silver shades

3 Couleurs Smoky Palette - Dior reinvents the smoky eye with 3 Couleurs, an eyeshadow trio with shades in varying effects and textures to provide infinite, easy, custom-made smoky eyes. The palette features a sliding lid that opens to reveal an innovative, pop-up mirror. Inside, an ultra-smooth base prepares the eyelid while matte and iridescent shades provide ready-to-wear eye looks, from simple to glamorous.
- #381 Smoky Blue - trio of navy and blue shades

Diorshow Fusion Mono Eye Shadow - In a single step, Diorshow Fusion Mono Eyeshadow creates multidimensional contrasts for a professional makeup effect. Its unique cushiony gel-foam texture brightens your eyes with faceted, long-lasting color and a weightless finish.
- #001 Lune - pure white
- #381 Milenium - deep charcoal
- #661 Meteore - medium bronze
- #821 Chimere - medium pink
- #881 Hypnotique - deep silver plum

DiorLiner Eyeliner - DiorLiner, Dior's automatic, total-control pen eyeliner, delivers precise contouring and a flawlessly clean line. Its click-action applicator with a soft, tapered brush deposits just the right amount of fluid on your lids, guaranteeing an even line in just one stroke.
- #888 Plum - deep plum

Dior Addict Extreme Lipstick - Dior Addict Extreme combines vibrant color intensity with the perfection of luminous shine. Extreme, almost breathtaking shades make lips glow with radiant shine in vibrant colors with dazzling pure pigments.Twelve shots of color, from the most daring pinks to nude beiges, make a bold statement.
- #369 Mystic - plum
- #546 Gris Gris - beige

Dior Addict Gloss - Straight from the runway, new Dior Addict Gloss features a featherweight formula with a flash-plumping, spotlight-shine effect. Hyaluronic spheres keep lips smooth and moisturized while mirror-like micropearls reflect light in all directions for a dazzling finish. The package is tall and sleek with a Lucite® top that mirrors the nano-spotlight effect. The precision brush applicator makes for effortless, perfect application every time.
- #364 Charm - mauve
- #981 Ensorcelante - plum

DiorShow Blackout Mascara - Diorshow Black Out Mascara combines the spectacular volume and power of khôl black. Its XXL brush deposits a khôl-effect texture on and between lashes to create intense and mysterious smoky eyes.

DiorShow Iconic OverCurl Mascara - Dior brings you the latest chapter in the Diorshow mascara adventure inspired by the big-screen eyes of movie-star icons. The mascara is designed with an incurved brush, modeled after professional eyelash curlers, that delivers extreme curl and a stretch-effect formula for spectacularly shaped lashes.

Dior Vernis - Dior Vernis Gel Shine and Long Wear Nail Lacquer is the first couture gel-effect nail polish, featuring an advanced formula that provides you with glass-like shine and extended wear. Each shade is created with special pigments that give off vibrant, intense color and a new precision brush that provides the perfect amount of polish in a single sweep. The Nail Lacquer is easily removed with nail polish remover.
- #382 Destin - shimmering silver pink
- #992 Galaxie - deep plum cream

This is a pretty broad collection so I am going to start narrowing down my favorites from it.  I really love the eye makeup look on the model so I will be starting with the 3 Couleurs Glow eye palette.  I will then add the 5 Couleurs in the silver shade and then the single eye shadows in the white and charcoal shades.  I love Dior mascaras and this will be the perfect time for me to add a few more to my collection and round out the eye makeup look that this collection can create.  I am only really excited about the eye makeup pieces of this collection, I could easily skip over the few lip and cheek shades that were offered with this collection.  This is one of the best collections for eye makeup this season but I can't say that it is one of the best overall since the rest of the shades are a bit weak.

We are almost done with the fall collections and will be wrapping them up in the next two weeks.  After that fall will really be arriving and I will be getting ready to show off all my new makeup looks!

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

NARS Concealer

Yesterday I talked about how the recent heat wave is affecting my skincare regime and today we are going to look at what I have had to change in my makeup regime to work around it.  I have been using Urban Decay Beauty Balm and then a MAC Bronzer all summer and then using Benefit Erase Paste on any problem areas.  The first two products are holding up to the heat and humidity but the concealer is slightly too soft and is melting off my face in the heat.  I decided that I wanted a thicker formula of a concealer when I went into Sephora to pick up my Philosophy face cream.  I am hoping that a thick formula dotted directly on dark spots and blemishes will be more effective than bringing my pot of Erase Paste in my bag with me.

One of the thickest formulas that I could find at Sephora is the NARS formula, this one is available in a stick form.  I use the product by directly dotting it on spots and blemishes and then using a flat concealer brush on the areas under my eyes and any areas of red on my cheeks.  I might even be able to continue using Erase Paste under my eyes and keep the NARS formula for blemishes.  I will play around with the combinations of the products on my face and see how it works.

I first used a NARS concealer formula when I was in college and I remember that the product was very highly pigmented and hard to apply (I wasn't quite the beauty expert in college so this was more my application issues than the product itself).  I gave the product another shot because I needed something that wasn't going to budge for any reason and that was one of the best aspects about this product.

The NARS website states, "Brilliantly obscures imperfections and dark spots with a creamy, vitamin-rich formula that nourishes the skin for all-day wear. Crease-proof and easily blendable for a flawless finish."  This formula is enriched with Vitamin E to hydrate skin and to improve application on the skin.  NARS Concealer is available in 10 shades, I bought the second shade (Vanilla) because it has an extra touch of pink that will work better with my skin than the palest shade.  For some reason, I haven't need to change concealer shades when I self tan and I am almost at the end of that season anyway so I didn't feel the need to purchase a medium toned shade. 

This concealer works best with a stiff brush, I use one type for the under eye area and then a smaller brush to dot the product right on blemishes.  I start with primer and Urban Decay Beauty Balm every day then I dot this product on whatever blemishes were not concealed by this combination and then dust bronzer over my whole face.  This regime keeps my concealer in place for a good ten hours and then it usually begins to fade away when I go to the gym at night or do an outside workout.  The formula is a bit creamier than I remembered it to be and the tube is completely different so it is very possible that NARS changed the formula around a bit. 

I don't know that I will need this formula all year long, I might use it mostly on blemishes and then keep using Erase Paste on dark areas and work with the combination of the two products.  I go through concealer very slowly and likely won't need to replace either of these two products for at least another six to eight months.  I doubt that I would have purchased this product had this weather not gone crazy to end the summer but I know that I will keep using this concealer for the next few months.  I would recommend this formula mostly for someone who needs spot coverage for blemishes or very dark circles in the under eye area.  Small amounts of this product will get you a long way and I really like the results that I get from this product!

photo courtesy of Sephora

Monday, August 26, 2013

Philosophy Take A Deep Breath Oil-Free Energizing Oxygen Gel Cream Moisturizer

With the excess humidity and heat that has come with the end of this summer, I have needed to change my skincare regime around quickly and needed a lighter weight day cream than I have for the past few months.  My Clinique Dramatically Different Moisture Plus has been regulated for night only and I will keep using it in this fashion for the next few weeks.  I needed to add a new face cream formula to my skin care regime and wanted to go after another cream gel formula (similar to Origins Ginzing formula but lighter).  I visited Sephora and left with a pot of Take a Deep Breath from Philosophy.  This must a relatively newer product in this line since I had never seen it when I was shopping their skin care line.  I love the more hydrating creams from this company and wanted to see what other types of formulas this company excels in.

Take a Deep Breath is a great face cream if you have normal to oily skin and works only for me because of the exceptionally hot weather, I doubt that I will be rebuying this product or needing it again in the future.  "An energizing, oil-free moisturizer for a healthy glow.  Give your skin a breath of fresh air with this lightweight, fresh-feeling moisturizer that revitalizes and protects. Environmental factors like sun, smog, and pollution can cloud the complexion and make it appear dull and lackluster. This cream diffuses energizing oxygen to detoxify skin and support cell respiration, while a blend of antioxidants fight the signs of stress. The oil-free formula absorbs quickly, leaving skin perfectly balanced. From dull to revitalized, your complexion will positively glow.", states the Sephora website.

I really liked this formula and I really wish that Philosophy would offer these product benefits in a more hydrating formula.  This face cream has a very light texture and I consider it to be more of a gel than a gel cream.  The texture is very much like a light jelly and will not be enough for my skin when this current hat wave has ended.  That being said...I do like how nicely this cream absorbs into my skin and doesn't leave an oily residue on the skin. 

My favorite aspect of this product is the "glow" that it creates on my skin.  My complexion is brighter after use and I love the pretty flush that it brings to the apples of my cheek.  It improves my complexion in a way that no other product has before and that is why I wish these benefits could be found in a product that is more hydrating.  I am considering layering this product over a very hydrating face serum and seeing if the combination of these two products will be keep my face hydrated later on in the fall months.  I have been using the product for less than a week and I can see a difference in my complexion already and would love to keep these benefits up later on.

This wasn't my normal type of product and I doubt that I would have purchased it without the 100 degree temperatures that we have been living through the past few weeks.  I love the light hydrating benefits of this product but it isn't going to be enough for my skin much longer.  The "glow" is lovely and the best aspect of this product and I want to see if any other products from Philosophy have these benefits.  I have never seen another skincare product like this before and now I want to find other like it and somehow manage to layer it with other products to adapt it to colder temperatures.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Deborah Lippmann Fall 2013 Collection - Jewel Heist

We haven't looked at many new nail polishes so far this fall and now we are turning our attention to the new polish shades from Deborah Lippmann.  I must say that I am the most excited for the new China Glaze collection but I am ready to look at these polishes and start to decide that shades I need for fall.  Jewel Heist is their offering for fall and this is one of the first times that we are seeing a unified collection from this company and not just a group of new shades.

Jewel Heist contains three deep jewel tones and then three holographic top coats to match each shade.  I am more interested in the three jewel tones but we will see if any of the top coats will work with my current style.  I might want to try one shade with the matching top coats but I don't think that I will purchase all of them...I see a deep navy blue in this collection so this would be my choice to try the top coat on.

To anyone that is not familiar with this polish line, the formula is now 5-Free (no DBP, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, or Camphor).  I am not sure what the addition (or lack of) Camphor does to nail polish but I guess it was taken out of the formula for a reason.

Here are the six new shades...

- Fake It Til You Make It - metallic champagne gold with small red, gold, and green hexagonal glitter
- Glitter and Be Gay - sheer top coat with sheer gold base
- Laughin To The Bank - deep emerald green shimmer
- Shake Your Money Maker - sheer top coat with green base and teal and gold glitter
- Rolling In The Deep - deep navy cream
- Va Va Voom - sheep top coat with navy base and bright blue and navy glitter

My favorite shades are the blues, I want both of the jewel and glitter polishes and these might be some of my favorite pieces of the season so far.  The last shade that I want is the deep emerald green though I will be skipping the top coat for that shade.  I am not interested in the gold hue, it might be too warm for me and I wear very little gold shades in my jewelry.  I am not sure how I feel about mixing gold nail polish with silver jewelry and might decide later on in the season.

photo courtesy of Deborah Lippmann

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara

I have been finishing up the last of my summer makeup and getting ready to pull all of my new products for fall out.  One of the first products that I wanted to try out was the newest mascara formula that I ordered from Sephora, I decided to return to Smashbox mascaras even though I haven't used any formula from them in quite a long time.  The last one that I used from this company was Bionic and that must have been about five years ago, I have been using other products from the company but not the eye makeup.  I have been using MAC and Urban Decay mascaras recently and wanted to try a different company this time around. 

Everyone that has read this blog for the past few years know that I love mascaras that build volume in my lashes and make them appear "fake".  Some of the best formulas are from Dior, Benefit, and Buxom and I am hoping to add a formula from Smashbox to my very short list of favorites.  Full Exposure is one of best rated mascaras on Sephora so I decided to go with this formula and see how well it compares with many of the others on the market.

I ordered the product from the Sephora website and I am pulling the product description and benefits from the same place.  "A volumizing and lengthening mascara.  Inspired by Smashbox's on-set technique of layering fiber mascara over volumizing mascara for the biggest, longest lashes on camera, Full Exposure Mascara creates a 104% increase in lash volume for scene-stealing lashes at every angle without smudging, clumping, or flaking.  This formula contains the natural properties of olive oil to keep lashes silky soft. A combination of synthetic and natural waxes creates softer and flexible coverage and keeps lashes from becoming brittle."

This is a nice mascara formula but it isn't anything special.  I tried this product out using one coat and then using two coats, there isn't much different between the two methods of usage but I do recommend the two coat application for the most increase in lash volume.  One coat will give enough volume to enhance lashes in a professional environment or for a casual lunch but two coats are needed for more drama.  This product is not one that will rival formulas like Diorshow or Buxom Lash but will provide a nice amount of definition and volume to the lashes.  The formula was also quite effective in the claim that it will not clump or flake during application and wear.  I had no problems with clumping even when using multiple coats and it had minimal flaking during normal wear.

I ordered this mascara in the only shade that it is available in, Jet Black.  This shade is a deep creamy black that I can make work with every makeup look.  With how dark this formula is, I was naturally afraid of what removal might be like at the end of the day.  However, one of my favorite aspects of this mascara is that is removes quite easily and I am not left with black marks underneath my eyes when I am trying to get it off .  This is a quite a plus for the formula and would make me likely to purchase it again.

I have decided that I am going to need at least two formulas of mascara in my collection at any time, I need one formula for major volume and then another formula that I can wear during the day for a professional, pulled together makeup look.  This is one of the mascaras that falls into the latter category (as are most of the ones that I have tried over the years) and this formula is worth the repurchase.  It is a simple volumizing formula that stays out once I put it on, lasts without flaking off on my cheeks, and then is easy to remove at the end of the day.  Overall a good quality formula from Smashbox but not one that will create mind blowing volume.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Friday, August 23, 2013

Fitness Friday - Warrior One Pose

Fitness Friday this week will see a return to yoga poses and this will be the topic for the next few Fridays.  I have been diving deeper into my yoga practice and want to learn more each time that I have a lesson.  Today we are going to start looking at some of the poses that are contained in the Warrior series, there are quite a few poses in this series and the difficulty level ranges from easy to quite difficult.  Warrior One is the beginning pose in this sequence and one of the easier ones to master so we will start with this pose today.

The first Warrior pose is known as Warrior One and is contained in the first Primary Series and used in nearly ever single class that I have attended this summer.  It is a standing pose and has helped me to feel more balanced when standing in yoga poses and when sequencing in and out of poses.  It is also the first pose to master when beginning to learn how to flow between the rest of the Warrior Poses. 

I found more information and pose directions from the Yoga Journal website and I will share that information here so that you all can try to master this pose.  "Virabhadra’s Pose is also known as the Warrior Pose (there are three variation of Warrior, of which this is customarily numbered I). It may seem strange to name a yoga pose after a warrior; after all, aren’t yogis known for their non-violent ways? But remember that one of the most revered of all the yoga texts, the Bhagavad-Gita, is the dialog between two famous and feared warriors, Krishna and Arjuna, set on a battlefield between two great armies spoiling for a fight.  What’s really being commemorated in this pose’s name, and held up as an ideal for all practitioners, is the “spiritual warrior,” who bravely does battle with the universal enemy, self-ignorance (avidya), the ultimate source of all our suffering."

Here are the step by step instructions from the same website.

- Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). With an exhale, step or lightly jump your feet 31/2 to 4 feet apart. Raise your arms perpendicular to the floor (and parallel to each other), and reach actively through the little-finger sides of the hands toward the ceiling. Firm your scapulas against your back and draw them down toward the coccyx.

- Turn your left foot in 45 to 60 degrees to the right and your right foot out 90 degrees to the right. Align the right heel with the left heel. Exhale and rotate your torso to the right, squaring the front of your pelvis as much as possible with the front edge of your mat. As the left hip point turns forward, press the head of the left femur back to ground the heel. Lengthen your coccyx toward the floor, and arch your upper torso back slightly.

- With your left heel firmly anchored to the floor, exhale and bend your right knee over the right ankle so the shin is perpendicular to the floor. More flexible students should align their right thigh parallel to the floor.

- Reach strongly through your arms, lifting the ribcage away from the pelvis. As you ground down through the back foot, feel a lift that runs up the back leg, across the belly and chest, and up into the arms. If possible, bring the palms together. Spread the palms against each other and reach a little higher through the pinky-sides of the hands.  Keep your head in a neutral position, gazing forward, or tilt it back and look up at your thumbs.

- Stay for 30 seconds to a minute. To come up, inhale, press the back heel firmly into the floor and reach up through the arms, straightening the right knee. Turn the feet forward and release the arms with an exhalation, or keep them extended upward for more challenge. Take a few breaths, then turn the feet to the left and repeat for the same length. When you’re finished return to Tadasana.

This is the first Warrior position that I learned and then I was able to begin with the second Warrior pose right after it.  Yoga Journal states that this pose is a good beginning pose to work into Warrior Three and then into further back bends.  I have seen Warrior 3 demonstrated but have not tried it myself yet.  Since I plan to work through the Warrior poses on my next few Fitness Fridays, I will be trying it out with my teacher in the next few days. 

Warrior One helps to both strengthen and stretch the arms, shoulders, and many of the leg muscles.  I have found that it especially works my shoulders and then helps to lengthen tight hamstrings.  I struggled with my balance the first times that I tried it out and have been able improve over the past few weeks and should be able to improve into the other Warrior poses in the coming weeks.

photo courtesy of Yoga Journal

Thursday, August 22, 2013

MAC Indulge - Eye and Cheek

I have been raving over the first part of the MAC Indulge collection and if the second part is just as good, then I know that I have a MAC visit in my near future.  As I mentioned in my other post on this collection, I haven't been to the MAC counter in a few days and I have been waiting for the new fall collections to come out before I went shopping again.  I have already begun to pick products out for my first shopping trip of this collection and now I know that I will find more in this part of the collection, I tend to buy more eye makeup in the fall and winter months than I do in spring and summer and that means that I will be picking up some new goodies at the counter. 

I finished up several eyeliners at the very end of last winter and have not yet replaced them so I am looking at this collection as a prime time to do so.  It might sound boring, but I am most in need of a plain brown cream eyeliner as I used up the one I bought from Tarte last fall.  That is the most important item that I am looking at in this collection but I am sure that I will want much more than just a new liner. 

"Fall Colour is a surreal feast for the senses, where no taste is too extravagant and no behaviour beyond limits. On the menu: Cremeblend Blush flushes skin with buildable glow as Eye Shadow defines eyes for the ultimate in temptation, intensified by Fluidline. Haute and Naughty Too Black Lash darkens and lengthens lashes.", states the MAC website in a description of this part of the collection.  Cremeblend Blush being in this collection is very exciting to me since I also love to use cream blush in the cold weather months.  I think that this might be one of the few collections that I will find products that I want to buy for every single facial feature!

The rest of the Indulge collection...

Eye Shadow - Highly-pigmented powder. Applies evenly, blends well.
- Gilty Morsel - glittery light gold
- Sex and the Oyster - mid-tone grayed blue green
- Three Ring Yellow - bright sulfur green gold
- Divine Decadence - soft bronze
- Beluga - dark charcoal with multi-dimensional pearl
- Eat, Love - deep emerald
- Deep Cravings - dark shimmery gray
- Palace Pedigreed - dark plum

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. Smudge-proof. Lines up in a rich array of colours and finishes. Brush sold separately
- Gilt Gourmet - sparkling burnished gold
- Deliciously Rich - shimmering dirty taupe
- Blacktrak - solid flat black

Haute and Naughty Too Black Lash - Our two-in-one mascara in an intense carbon black. Creamy, velvety, lightweight formula sweeps up lashes and coats from root-to-tip. The dual-wiper system customizes your lash style: naturally defined or powerfully dramatic.

Cremeblend Blush - A blush that manages to make a simple blush state-of-the-art. Creamy, easy to blend medium coverage formula imparts a natural finish that's smooth, dewy-fresh, long-lasting.
- Tease Your Tastes - soft neutral pink
- Glamour Feast - deep rose

266 Small Angle Brush - For creating sharp, precise lines. This brush has fibres which are carefully arranged to form a perfect angle. M·A·C professional brushes are hand-sculpted and assembled using the finest quality materials. They feature wood handles and nickel-plated brass ferrules.

213 Fluff Brush - For application of eye shadow to the lid area. This brush has a thick bundle of fibers arranged in a rounded shape. M·A·C professional brushes are hand-sculpted and assembled using the finest quality materials. They feature wood handles and nickel-plated brass ferrules.

This is another strong collection for me...MAC is hitting all the high notes this fall!  My favorite aspect of this collection is the two new shades of Fluidline, both the shimmering gold and shimmering taupe will be awesome for fall and I will be able to use them with the Urban Decay Naked Palettes and many other eye makeup shades that I already own.  I will be picking these two up on the first day of the collection release!  I am already thinking about my fall eye makeup looks and I can say that these two shades will play a big role this fall!

I like some of the Eye Shadows shades but I am not dying for any of them.  Sex and the Oyster is one of the best names that I have ever seen for a makeup shade but I don't like the color and it wouldn't be very flattering either.  I would like to buy three of the warmer neutral shades as they will work well with the shades that I already own and tend to wear the most of, my choices are: Gilty Morsel, Divine Decadence, and Deep Cravings (not a neutral but a great shade!).  I am always looking to expand my eye shadow collection and I have found some solid new shades with this part of Indulge.

The Cremeblend Blush is a product that I am very excited about and just might be the product that I am the most excited about in this whole collection.  I love both of these shades and pinks and rose are the best for my skintone.  In the fall and winter, my skin gets much more pale and I love to wear bright cheek looks throughout the whole season.  These are two more products that I will want to get the first day!

I have quite a shopping list from this collection!  My must haves include two blushes, two eyeliners, a lipstick, a lip gloss, and a nail polish.  I have a feeling that my return to the MAC counter will be huge!

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

MAC Indulge - Lip and Nail

I haven't been at the MAC counter for the past few days and I must say that I am really craving some new items from them and am so glad that they are beginning to bring out their new products and collections for fall!  I have been seeing pictures of Indulge since the beginning of the summer months and I got a flyer in the mail the other week, inviting me to a launch party for the collection at my favorite Macy*s.  I still haven't really decided what I need to for fall and what kinds of looks that I want to create over the next few months but I have a feeling that I will find a bunch of products that I want to buy from this collection.  Indulge is the big fall release from MAC to start the season off and this collection will set the tone for the rest of the season for this company and for much of the beauty industry. 

Even though I am still firmly entrenched in my pink lip glosses and bright colored nails, I know that I will be going back to red lipsticks and more dramatic bronze eye looks this fall.  Every fall, I pick out at least one or two more great red lipsticks and now I have quite a collection of them and I might actually be more interested in looking for a deep berry to start off the fall season.  I see that Indulge has been broken down into two collections since it so large and I will be starting with the Lip and Nail piece of the collection because this is what I am the most excited about this fall.  I have been doing brights for a few months now and I will be ready to change course very soon and start wearing my berries, reds, and lovely jewel tones!

MAC provides a description of the both parts of the collection and the following is what they have to say about the Lip and Nail part of the collection.  "Revel in a magnificent banquet of colour for lips and nails. Lipstick in deep plum, frosted beige and sheer, golden sparkle get layered with Lipglass, ranging from blackened berry to shimmering taupe. Lacquered nails for that opulent touch, rich in jewel tones and molten metallics."  I have a feeling that I am going to want nearly everything in this collection right away...

Here is the Lip and Nail piece of the Indulge collection!

Lipstick -  Colour plus texture for the lips. Stands out on the runway. Simmers on the street! What made M·A·C famous.
- Smash Hit - sheer golden sparkle
- By Design - soft shimmery beige
- Feed the Senses - mid-tone mauvey nude
- Just a Bite - mid-tone blue red
- Sweet Succulence - deep glossy plum

Lipglass - A unique lip gloss available in a wide variety of colours that can create a high gloss, glass-like finish or a subtle sheen. Designed to be worn on its own, over Lip Pencil or Lipstick, Tinted Lipglass is the perfect product for creating shine that lasts. It's pigmented, very 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.
- Ultimate Dish - light beige with pearl
- Fashion Punch - midtone neutral pink
- Liqueur - shimmering taupe
- Lust for Life - dark berry
- Utterly Tart - deep red

Nail Lacquer - Revolutionary new high gloss formula. Three long-wearing finishes - Cream, Sheer, and Frosted. Visibly different. Provides no-streak/no-chip finish. Contains conditioners and UV protection. Go hi-lacquer!
- Sinfully Sweet - sparkling champagne with gold pearl
- Magnificent Feast - sparkling true gold
- Discotheque - super glitter silver
- Impassioned - bright warm pink
- Screening Room - bright mid-tone teal
- Rebel - midtonal cream plum

I like so many items in this collection and I can see that my Visa is going to be crying this fall.  My thoughts are transformed from pink lip gloss to deep berry matte lipstick and matching nail polish shades, this will be a great collection for me and I have only looked at half of it so far!  I will be starting with the Lipsticks in this collection and then I plan to pick up a few glosses and a polish or two.  My nail polish is already huge and I have shades that are similar to many of these already so I only plan to pick up my favorites and focus on the lip shades.

My favorite Lipstick shade from this collection is very predictable and I have it pictured here.  I already said that I am really not looking for another red lipstick shade but I just love this shade.  Just a Bite is the shade and the name also makes me think of True Blood (a favorite show of mine and book series!).  The rest of the shades that I want from this collection are: By Design and Feed the Senses.  Both of these shades are more natural and I will be able to wear them in the upcoming season and then all through the rest of the year. 

From the rest of the collection, I am looking at a few choices in both Lipglass and Nail Lacquers.  My Lipglass shopping list will actually be longer than my Lipstick shopping list.  I want Fashion Punch the most, this neutral pink will be great for my skintone and I will be able to use it in a range of makeup looks.  I also want Lust for Life and Utterly Tart for a more dramatic lip look this fall.  I own no deep lip gloss shades from MAC and I think that I need to try them out this season.  I am going to be very picky with the Nail Lacquers, these are great shades but none of them are so unique that I must buy them right away from MAC.  Screening Room is the only shade that I must have from MAC, I love teal shades and have been wearing bright shades all summer and love that I can take one of my favorite shades into the fall and winter.  Rebel and Magnificant Feast are the other two shades that I really like but I know that I could find them from other lines very easily.

I love the first part of the Indulge collection and now I am very excited to move onto the next part and see what shades of eye and face makeup I will want too!

photo courtesy of MAC

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

MAC Pro Longwear Blush

We have been looking at fall collections the past two days and now we are looking at a new favorite color product of mine, the MAC Pro Longwear.  The first time that I used a blush product from this company was several years ago with the collection A Rose Romance and I wasn't a big fan of the product as it had little pigmentation.  I found out later through beauty blog reviews that Beauty Powder can be used as a blush but is more often recommended as a highlighting powder.  So this product wasn't made to be pigmented the way that a normal blush is so I can give it a pass.  Technically then...I have never tried a true blush product from MAC.

I was playing around at the counter a few days ago and was trying a few shades from the permanent collection (as MAC has some big seasonal collections that will be released a bit later on this month and then next month) and stumbled upon the racks of blush.  I decided that I was going to try the Pro Longwear Blush formula first and then would go back later on and try the regular blush formula.  I purchased two shades from the Pro Longwear Blush line that night and wanted to try that one out first since I have seen less of these products in the limited edition collection and therefore know less about the product itself. 

I was most interested as to how this product is different from the regular Blush product, the regular Blush has a bigger shade range and is the one that I am seeing limited edition shades of and never this products.  I was assuming that since Pro Longwear is in their "Pro" line, this formula should have higher pigmentation and be of higher quality than the regular formula.  We will see if this is true...

The MAC website states the following in a description of the product, "A lightweight blush with extreme colour perfection and non-fading, eight-hour wear. Ultra fine, silky powder glides on and blends easily to provide a moist, flawless, natural finish or with layering, a brighter, more dramatic look."

I love this formula and wish that it was available in more shades!  It is very similar to the Illamasqua formula that I have been raving about for a few years now.  I barely have to dip my brush into the product and I have enough to do both cheeks and sometimes add a bit extra with a second dip.  Both shades that I have spread easily and are very silky to the touch.  The formula is very pigmented and lasts all day (even when working out and being outside in the heat) and I can agree that Pro products are better quality and constructed better than other MAC products.

This product is available in a few shades, of which I bought two of the pink shades.

- I'm A Lover - pink
- Fleeting Romance - coral
- Make You Mine - dirty salmon
- Rosy Outlook - bright yellow-pink (Semi-Matte)
- Baby Don't Go - light cool beige (Semi-Matte)
- Stay By Me - light peach coral (Semi-Matte)
- Stay Pretty - light bright blue pink (Semi-Matte)
- Blush All Day - light dirty rose beige (Semi-Matte)
- Whole Lotta Love - light blue pink (Semi-Matte)
- Eternal Sun - warm brown (Semi-Matte)
- Stubborn - mid-tone rose plum (Semi-Matte)

I bought I'm A Lover and Whole Lotta Love and I would like to purchase Rosy Outlook and Stay Pretty (both of which were out of stock at my counter).  I'm A Lover is a more pale pink shade (very similar to Illamasqua Katie) and this one has a medium pigmentation and matte finish.  This one will look the nicest when my skin is pale and I will put it away for a few weeks until my self tan has faded away and I am going back to fall and winter makeup looks.  Whole Lotta Love is my favorite of the shades and this one is a bright pink with lots of pigmentation, this one I can wear with a self tan or with pale skin and this one will quickly be elevated to high status in my traincase.

I mentioned above that there are two shades that I didn't see at the counter and now want to order.  The rest of the shades that I saw at the counter appeared more warm in the containers.  In fact, Whole Lotta Love appeared almost a coral shade in the container but then appeared much more of a bubblegum pink when used on the cheek.  I will have to test some of the more warm pinks on my hands when I visit the counters and see how they appear on the skin.  In the meantime, I will be checking back for the other two pinks that I want and might end up ordering online if I don't see them soon.

photo courtesy of MAC

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

YSL Fall 2013 Collection

Yesterday we looked at the small and slightly boring fall collection from Clinique, I can honestly say that the collection might be among the contenders for my least favorite collection of the fall season.  Considering that this is a line of makeup and skincare that I typically purchase a lot from, that is a sad fact.  Perhaps they will have a stronger holiday collection.

Today we are turning over to a beauty brand that can never be called boring or mundane. YSL creates beautiful collections almost every season and the hardest part of the products in this brand is relating the trends from the Parisian runway to most women's normal lives.  I don't own as much from this line as I would like it but every item from them that I have used has been of superior quality.  I have been told by several ladies that I need to brand out into the lipsticks from this company so those will probably be my next purchase from this company. 

The fall collection from YSL focuses on bright eye makeup paired with dramatic lip shades.  I can already see that I will have to pick pieces of this collection and then figure out how to best work them into makeup looks that I am more comfortable with.  I am already state that I would be more likely to go after the lip products from this collection as I cannot pull off bright green and blue eye makeup at the same time.  I can see how this look will rock the fashion industry but it will not rock the professional or academic worlds in which I spend most of my time these days...

The fall collection from YSL!

Pure Chromatics Wet and Dry Eye Shadow Palette - Through the magic of water and a revolutionary new process, Yves Saint Laurent pushes the limits of color with Pure Chromatics, a new generation of eyeshadows. Real makeup-artist magic is made easy with six emblematic harmonies that captivate the eyes. 
The power of water: Exclusively by Yves Saint Laurent, the new water-process technology is the latest discovery in color, allowing pigments to be more intense and metallic than ever before!
Use wet for a chromatic transformation. Expect the unexpected. Water does not dilute but enhances color pigments in Pure Chromatics. When used wet, the water rehydrates the eyeshadows and gives full intensity to their pigments. The effect is the satiny powder transforms into a luxurious cream while pearls shine with a metallic finish.
- Arty - bright blue/bright lime green/shimmering true silver/deep shimmering charcoal
- Classy - deep brown/medium shimmering bronze/pale tan/deep shimmering silver

Liquid Eyeliner - These artistic eyeliners with shimmering reflections have a firm yet flexible precision brush that draws a bold, even and long-lasting line.
- Baby Doll - deep warm gray

Volume Effect Faux Cils Shocking Mascara - Exaggerate your lashes with shocking volume from every angle! New and exclusive to Yves Saint Laurent, the amplified helix brush with a twisted cut provides instant volume on the lashes with effortless application. Shaped and styled for excess, the slim brush breaks the rules of volume, allowing for perfect control and precision, combined with a beautifully creamy formula to cover each lash evenly for a thick and lustrous fringe.
- No. 8 Bronze - deep bronze

Blush Radiance Matte and Satin Blush - Adorn your cheeks with a sensual flush of color and light with this ultrachic compact. The two powder textures, matte and satiny, seamlessly blend to capture light and create a radiant veil of color on your cheeks. Incredibly versatile, this blush colors, contours and highlights to create any effect, from natural to glamorous. The beautifully blendable formula contains self-adapting pigments that capture and transform light's intensity into a vibrant color source that complements any complexion. Remarkably silky texture blends beautifully for buildable, custom color.
- No. 9 - shades of light and medium pink coral
- No. 10 - shades of light and medium pink rose

Rouge Pur Couture Lip Color - Adorn your lips in Yves Saint Laurent. Introducing new Rouge Pur Couture, a new generation of emblematic colors - red, fuchsia and orange - in a collection of 18 vivacious lipsticks. This luminous satin texture is presented in a modern golden case, designed by Yves Saint Laurent Couture Creative Director Stefano Pilati, for the ultimate in luxury and style. Hydrospheres and natural extracts provide all-day comfort and hydration.
- No. 50 Rouge Neon - bright warm red cream
- No. 51 Corail Urbane - medium warm coral cream
- No. 53 Beige Promenade - medium cool nude cream
- No. 54 Prune Avenue - medium cool plum cream

Lip Liner Pencil - A richly textured lip pencil to outline, re-define and colour the lips. Does not smudge or feather, and makes lipstick last longer.
- No. 20 Mocha - medium tan
- No. 21 - deep spice

La Laque Couture Nail Lacquer - Yves Saint Laurent introduces the La Laque Couture collection. The vibrant assortment of ultra-shiny hues makes every woman feel couture to the fingertips.
- No. 38 Gris Underground - pale gray cream
- No. 39 Beige Gallery - pale neutral beige cream
- No. 40 Sepia 7e Art - deep sepia cream

This collection is quite a contrast to the Clinique collection that we looked at yesterday, it is much more artistic however it will be much harder to wear some of the shades in the collection.  I am not even going to try for the makeup look that the model for the collection is wearing, I would never be able to use the bright eye makeup palette however I would like to try the more neutral palette.  This would be a good staple for me along with the cool toned blush palette.

The Rouge Pur Couture Lip Color will be my first purchase from the collection, I think that I want to see these shades at Sephora first and then see what others are available in the product line.  No. 53 Beige Promenade will probably be the best shade for me from this group and I am hoping that there will be more shades that will work well for my skintone.  I am hoping to find more lipstick obsessions in this company's line up.  The last items that I really want from the collection are two of the nail lacquer shades, I love the gray and beige shades and they will become new neutrals in my polish collection.

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Monday, August 19, 2013

Clinique Fall 2013 Collection

It's the start of the second last week of August and I have spied Halloween candy on the shelves at my local supermarket already.  I am pretty much down with summer and ready for the leaves to starting on the trees and to see pumpkins out all over the place.  We still about another month of warm weather so I am purchasing new products for the fall months but I won't start using them in the next few weeks.  So I am back to looking at fall collections and getting ready for a big MAC fall color release at the every end of the week.

Today we are looking at the new collection from Clinique, a collection that contains only eye makeup products and is rather one sided in this aspect.  Eye makeup is the area that I tend to have the least of (relatively speaking) and everyone knows that lipsticks and lip glosses are my two favorite products to purchase.  So this collection from Clinique might not get me as excited as many of the other fall collections but at least I will be able to look for items that I need (rather than just want more of) to add to my makeup shopping for this fall...

This collection does not have a formal name or collection description but it is a combination of new eye shadow shades and palettes.  I have used both the single shadows and the palettes in the past so I am happy to see what else has come from this company.  I have found these eye shadows are more muted than some of the ones on the market and all of the ones that I have used are very easy to wear and to create all kinds of looks with them.  Any woman can wear many of these shades, there are few that are vibrant colors or have glitter in them.  I can confidently purchase any eye makeup shade from this company and know that I can wear it in a professional environment, I can't say this for ever eye makeup brand on the market.

This is a small collection but I am hoping to see some shining stars for the fall months.  The newest eye makeup from Clinique!

All About Shadow Single - Long-wearing powder eye colour. Choose Soft Matte, Soft Shimmer or Super Shimmer finish.  Creamy colour glides on in one smooth stroke. Longwearing. Crease- and fade-resistant, too. Ophthalmologist tested for even the most sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers. Mirrored compact comes with a sponge-tip applicator.
- At Dusk - medium warm bronze with shimmer
- Chocolate Covered Cherry - deep warm brown matte
- Deep Dive - deep aqua with shimmer
- Foxier - medium warm brown with slight shimmer
- French Roast - deep cool taupe matte
- Lemongrass - bright gold green with shimmer
- French Vanilla - pale vanilla matte
- Purple Heels - medium true purple matte
- Raspberry Beret - bright medium raspberry matte
- Slippery Glass - pale silver with lots of shimmer
- Stroke of Midnight - deep black matte
- Sugarcane - pale off white with shimmer

All About Shadow Duo - Use one shade as a base colour, the other to contour. Crease- and fade-resistant. Ophthalmologist tested for even the most sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers. Mirrored compact with illustrated how-tos plus a brush/sponge-tip applicator.
- Like Mink - medium neutral nude/deep bronze (shimmer)
- Mixed Greens - pale cool green/deep forest green (matte)
- Uptown Downtown - medium cool pink/medium charcoal (shimmer)
- Cocktail Hour - medium lilac/deep red plum (shimmer)
- Diamonds and Pearls - pale cool white/deep charcoal (shimmer)
- Jeans and Heels - medium blue gray/bright aqua blue (shimmer)

All About Shadow Quad - Wear shades alone or layered together in different combinations. Crease- and fade-resistant. Ophthalmologist tested for even the most sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers. Mirrored compact with illustrated how-tos plus two sponge-tip applicators.
- Jenna's Essentials - pale bone/deep bronze/medium taupe/deep warm charcoal
- Morning Java - pale bone/deep warm brown/medium gold/deep warm charcoal
- On Safari - pale bone/deep forest green/medium olive green/deep brown
- Smoke and Mirrors - medium silver/medium gray/deep charcoal/deep black
- Going Steady - pale warm bone/medium plum/medium taupe/deep plum
- Galaxy - pale white/deep aqua/medium aqua/deep forest green

I like a bunch of these new shades but there isn't one shade or palette that is so unique that I don't already it or something very similar.  I think that I would be more likely to pick up the Quads or a few shades from the singles, I am not a big fan of any of the duos and most of the shades that are in them are also contained in the Quads.  From the Quads, I can see myself getting a good amount of use from Jenna's Essentials even though I already own shades quite similar to these in the Urban Decay Naked Palettes.  The same holds for Morning Java.  I am considering Smoke and Mirrors because it would create awesome variations on silver smoky eye looks so this one will be worth checking out.  The Lemongrass Single is the most unique shade in the whole collection and I think that I would really like this one based on how much gold I own in my eye shadow collection.  Other than that I shade, I can see that At Dusk will be easy to work in with my current eye shadows and I know that I would get good usage from it.

Not one of my favorite collections of the season...

photo courtesy of Clinique

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Phillip B. Peppermint and Avocado Volumizing and Clarifying Shampoo

Today we are returning to some reviews of the products that I have received so far this summer in my Glossyboxes.  I am very glad that I signed up for this box subscription earlier this summer and I have both been able to try all kinds of new products that I might not have known about and I have been able to gift products to my friends who I knew would love them more then I would.  The Phillip B. hair care line is one of the harder ones to find in my area and I have to order the products online or pick them up when I visit NYC or King of Prussia.  That being said, I haven't gotten to try any of them yet and haven't even found a salon in my area that uses them or could order for me.  Glossybox definitely filled this void for me...

Earlier this summer, each Glossybox received one of the shampoos in the Phillip B. product line and my box contained the Peppermint and Avocado Volumizing and Clarifying Shampoo.  I had put off trying this product for a good amount of time since I rarely use any type of clarifying shampoo as I do not want to strip the lowlights out of my hair and would have to use the product right before I have a hair appointment so that my color remains true for the rest of the time.  I wasn't sure that this product was for me but since I tend to get build up from using all kinds of straightening and deep conditioning products.  So I gave it a shot a few days before my last two hair appointments.  This will be a product that lasts me for a long time since I will only use it once every few weeks. 

I found this product on the Nordstrom website and this seems to be the only place around me that I would be able to purchase it in a store so I will pull all my information from their website.  "One of PHILIP B®'s most acclaimed products, this is a clarifying cleanser and powerfully active aroma-therapeutic scalp treatment in one. Formulated with sixteen pure plant extracts; eleven essential and carrier oils; and a potent, active dose of 2.3% pure peppermint oil, the shampoo works as a local anesthetic to soothe scalp tension, stimulate circulation and leave your scalp feeling tingly fresh and clean. PHILIP B® Peppermint & Avocado Volumizing & Clarifying Shampoo also lifts away product residue—restoring your hair's natural shine and vitality without without compromising its precious moisture and elasticity. Safe for color-treated hair; ideal for use with PHILIP B® Rejuvenating Oil. Feel the amazing difference on your scalp and hair from the very first use."

This is considered to be color safe but I am not planning on trying this product anytime soon after I get my hair done so I will be skipping over this part of the description.  I will say that the peppermint oil does feel great on the scalp and it reminds me very much of getting the Aveda Rosemary Mint massages from the salon (on the rare times that I don't get my color touched up) and I love that I can replicate that feeling at home.  This is nice treat but this isn't something that I would recommend as a daily product, I am not sure that I would like that feeling every day and I don't know how this would affect the skin on my scalp with daily usage.  This is a once a week product at most.

I did find that this Phillip B. product quickly cleans lingering build up off my hair and leaves it quite smooth and shiny.  So I do really like this clarifying shampoo and I want to try it with the oil that is recommended with this product.  I will keep using my bottle of this shampoo for the next few months and then I think that I will order another one and perhaps more products from this brand to try out. 

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Fresh Sugar Lemon

My love-hate relationship with citrus fragrances continues each time that I try any type of fragrance with citrus top or heart notes.  I love citrus fragrances when I smell then in the bottle and then I hate them when I try them on and I rarely can find any type of citrus fragrance that works on me.  The only two fragrances that have worked so far for me are Bath and Body Works Country Chic and Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue.  I feel that the only reason that these fragrances work is because they start out with a citrus note but then go into more of a floral/oriental heart.  The mixture of these types of notes with the citrus create the only type of fragrance that I can wear.

I was able to try a large sample of the Fresh Sugar Lemon from the Sephora website and decided that I would try and give another citrus fragrance a chance (as this is another citrus mix and not a pure citrus) and see if I might find another one that I can wear in the summer months.  This fragrance is one of the "Sugar" line and I reasoned that this will be a sweet lemon fragrance and not one of the tart fragrances that never end up working with my skin chemistry.  I have been playing around with this fragrance for the past few days and I have come to the conclusion that this is a unique citrus fragrance that works with my skin chemistry and it gives me another option to use during the summer.  Too bad that I didn't try this fragrance out three months ago as I am not looking for any type of warm weather fragrances in the middle of August...

"Fresh first launched their SugarBath line in 1997 and for the first time, introduced sugar as an essential ingredient in skin and body treatments. The captivating and irresistible scent of sugar, infused with refreshing lemon is now a delectable scent that's sure to become a new favorite for every woman who wears it.", states the Sephora website.  The notes of the fragrance are: Italian Bergamot, Yuzu, Mandarin, Lychee Flower, Orange Blossom, Ginger Flower, Oak Moss, Caramel, White Santal.
This fragrance is a fresh, sparkling citrus with a strong lemon and orange blossom mix.  When I first put the fragrance on, it smells like Sprite and then develops into a fragrance then reminds me very much of the Philosophy Need a Margarita or what I imagine that Bond No. 9 Coney Island smells like.  I could not wear this fragrance every day and it isn't one that I would wear to work or when getting dressed up but it is fun fragrance for a casual summer day. 

Most citrus scents have very little lasting power and this one is no exception to the rule.  The fragrance lasted about two to three hours and then I would need to reapply it to keep it going throughout the whole day.  I do see that this fragrance is offered in a range of body products and I might like these even more than the perfume so I will need to check these out the next time that I visit Sephora.  In addition, I do think that I will order a good sized bottle of the perfume for next summer and add it to the small collection of citrus scents that actually work with my skin chemistry.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Friday, August 16, 2013

Fitness Friday - Bicep Curls

We have been talking about healthy food and yoga for the past few weeks and today we are heading toward popular gym exercises that I see nearly everyone doing when I enter the gym.  At some point in everyone's workout, they will try doing bicep curls and I have noticed that about half of the people in the gym are not doing correctly.  In fact, I have seen almost all of the personal trainers at my gym correcting their clients on how to best perform this exercise in order to see results the quickest.  Based on how many people try this exercise and then have to work on correcting their mistake, I decided to make this very effective exercise the subject of today's Fitness Friday.

Bicep curls are one of the few exercises that every person know about but may not know how to do correctly.  Everyone remembers pictures of body builders working on their biceps and want to have the same type of toned arms so they will start with this type of exercise at the gym.  Arms are often one of the most common areas to workout and the muscles on this body part with grow the fastest.  This was one of the first exercises that I did when I started going to the gym and found out a few days ago that I could do them more effectively and my yoga teacher taught the correct weight to use and how to better my form.  We all have something to learn...

Bicep curls work best when you have the correct form and are using the correct weight.  The correct weight is pretty easy to figure out when you are work through your reps.  Weights are too light if the reps are not taxing at all and you are barely having to put any effort into your lifting.  The weights are too heavy if you can't lift them at all or can only perform a few reps before you can barely lift the weight up.  I once read in Women's Health that your perfect weight is one that you can lift consistently during your first sets of reps but then you are struggling to lift toward the end of your reps.  Once you have the weight, then you can focus on the form.  Lifting too heavy might seem to be the ideal to help grow your muscles however you do risk injury and very poor form if you are lifting a much too heavy weight for your arms.

Wiki How has a great step by step article on how to perform this exercise and I am providing the information here so each of you can try these out and do them in correct form.

1. Start with two dumbbells, between 5 and 15 pounds each.
2. Hold the dumbbells in your hands.
3. Place your elbows in against your hip bones, and let your arms slightly hang.
4. Slowly lift the weight up until your forearm touches your chest.
5. Slowly move your arm back down in the same motion as lifting.
6. Repeat 15 times for 2 to 3 sets.

This should be a very good guide for each of you to start doing this exercise with correct form.  I would recommend you start with a lighter weight until you get your form correct and then start adding weight as your current weight gets too easy.  Bicep curls are a great part of a lifting regime and proper use of them will help to sculpt and build your arm muscles. 

photo courtesy of WikiHow

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Illamasqua Fall 2013 Collection - The Sacred Hour

Yesterday we looked at the new fall products from a line that I love for subtle, professional makeup shades and today we are turning the tables and looking at the new fall collection from a company that makes shades that would be right at home on a professional dancer's face.  Illamasqua is a favorite makeup line of mine and I wish that it was easier to find at the Sephora stores, I have only seen the actual shades at the store on Fifth Avenue but have to cross my fingers every time that I order the products from the Sephora website.  This line has shades that are very dramatic and these types of shades tend to photograph differently than more muted shades.

The newest collection from this line is named The Sacred Hour, "The Sacred Hour is the time to release your inner warrior" and this collection is about beginning and renewal.  I tend to renew my look at the beginning of the fall and spring seasons so I understand the concept of this collection and want to find more shades to purchase from it.

This collection brings out a new face product and then new shade in some of the current color products.  I am always on the look out for new blush and lipstick shades from this line since I love both of these products already.  "Embrace new beginnings at daybreak and re-stoke
the fire in your heart as the sun sets.", is the description of the newest color collection from Illamasqua. 

The Illamasqua fall collection...

Skin Base Lift - Lift, illuminate and create flawless coverage with this brightening concealer. Infused with warm peach tones to flatter every skin tone, Skin Base Lift blends easily, correcting uneven pigmentation and visibly lifting the eye area. For added brightening effect, custom mix each shade with Skin Base Lift in White Light. Apply using an Illamasqua Brush.  Available in a range of shades to suit all skintones.

Reflection Palette - A combination of four highly pigmented shades and an innovative new water resistant eye shadow formula, the Reflection Palette creates striking washes of colour. With a long-lasting hold, each shadow's silky texture allows for effortless application and blending. Choose from Precipice (Soft Lemon), Acute (Ash Taupe), Graphica (Graphite Grey) or Dart (Toasted Bronze).

Precision Gel Liner - The eyeliner soon to be the mainstay in the make-up bags of every beauty enthusiast, Precision Gel Liner recreates the fluidity of a liquid liner in the ease of a gel. Creating a smooth, rich black line from the first application, the long-lasting and water-resistant formula is guaranteed to stay in place all day.  Apply Precision Gel Liner with an Illamasqua Brush and remove using waterproof make-up remover.
- Infinity - deep creamy black

False Eye Lashes - Handmade and cruelty-free, in a variety of stunning styles to enhance your eyes. Apply with the latex-free glue provided, and combine with Illamasqua eye colours for eyes that hypnotise.
- Lush - long feathery black fake lashes

Velvet Blusher - Create a flush of intense colour with this long-lasting, matte blusher. The lightweight cream texture delivers a velvet soft cream to powder finish. Apply to the apples of the cheek, or across cheekbones to enhance and define. Build and blend with fingers or an Illamasqua brush for added colour-intensity.
- Sleek - dusky coral
- Peaked - dusky rose

Lipstick - With an unrivaled colour-intensity, long-lasting Illamasqua Lipstick won’t give up without a fight. Choose from a range of flawless finishes, from creamy matt to iridescent shimmer. For best results apply with a Lip Brush.
- Shard - red violet with a matte finish

Nail Varnish - A spectrum of bold shades with a range of finishes 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.
- Hemlock - pale opal green iridescent
- Facet - gray crystal

Angled Brush - The perfect brush to define and create precision lines. Ideal for eyebrow and eyeline definition and for sharpening beneath the eyebrow and around the lip with your foundation.

This is one of the more subtle collections from Illamasqua, I don't see any blue lipsticks or bright green eye shadows and many of these shades would be easy to introduce to someone newer to the collection.  I would start with the Velvet Blusher in Peaked, Velvet Blusher is a different formula than the one that I already love so this would be a new formula for me to try.  The deep rose shade will create a great contrast to my pale skin and this will be a great look for me this fall. 

The Reflection Palette is very pretty and I want to order this palette for fall.  I am not sure that I will be able to work with the pale yellow color in this palette but I can easily work the other three shades in with my Naked Palettes.  I wouldn't mind ordering the gel eye liner but I don't see that it will be that different from the Smashbox formula that I have been using for years now.  I like the red lipstick shade in this collection however I want to find more pictures of it and see how much purple is in the shade.  Another one of my favorite products from this brand is the Nail Varnish and I want the Facet shade of it for fall, I think Hemlock will be too pale for the cool weather months.

I really like this collection however it is not as dramatic as many of the previous Illamasqua collections but this will be an easy way to introduce the brand to new customers.  I have been raving about this brand for several years now and I want to show this collection to all my friends so they can begin to try these products.

photo courtesy of Illamasqua

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Stila Fall 2013 Collection

I have been thinking about Stila products since I created my Current Favorites! list from yesterday and I decided to check out their website this morning and see if anything new was listed on it.  I was very happy to see that the company has put up their newest products for fall and I can start shopping right away.  Stila collections rarely have any type of theme and the fall products are no different.  This collection contains new makeup shades of current products, several new face products, and then I see two Lip Glaze sets at the bottom of the page.  I already know that I will want a Lip Glaze set but need to check everything else out before I begin adding more lip gloss to my collection.

Face makeup is one area that I own little of from Stila, I tend to buy more of their lip products than anything else however I am very impressed with the quality of the Convertible Color that I rave about often and have high hopes for the new foundation and CC Cream from this company.  I just finished up a tinted moisturizer from them which I really loved also so I feel confident picking up some of the new face products that are being introduced.  I have been using the Urban Decay Beauty Balm all summer and will be needing to look at new formulas before Labor Day.  Might as well start today...

Here are the new products from Stila!

CC Color Correcting Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 20 - Stila’s NEW CC Color Correcting Cream SPF 20 is a breakthrough skincare-meets-cosmetics hybrid offering the ultimate in color correction while creating a smooth, flawless, natural looking complexion. Bursting with revitalizing skincare benefits and broad spectrum SPF protection, this green based formula color corrects upon application to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation and brighten skin while helping to soften fine lines and wrinkles. Micro-Encapsulated Pigments adapt to skin tone creating flawless, invisible coverage, while Hydra-Extend Technology, comprised of sugar molecules, provides up to 72 hours of continuous hydration.  Photonic Crystal Technology contains a color corrector and an optically transparent polymer that helps soften the appearance of wrinkles and other skin imperfections for a natural, youthful looking appearance. Exclusive, photo-protective Chroma-Luminescent Technology helps brighten the skin while shielding it from damaging environmental elements.  This product is available in six shades to complement all skin tones.

CC Color Correcting Stick with SPF 20 - Stila’s CC Color Correcting Stick SPF 20 is an innovative, multi-benefit product that helps color correct, reduce redness and brighten the skin. The luxe, high-definition formula is buildable and glides on smoothly, leaving a natural-looking, satin finish.  HPP (Highlighter Performing Pigments) Technology provides rich color payoff with long-lasting staying power.  The green core center color corrects redness and contains an array of skin-loving ingredients to help promote an even skin tone and a healthy, youthful looking complexion.  It also includes skin barrier repairing Dermaxyl peptide technology which helps smooth fine lines and wrinkles, prevent the onset of premature aging, stimulate cellular communication and reverse age-related skin damage. An infusion of antioxidant rich Gamma Oryzanol provides photo-aging protection properties which have been shown to help intercept ultraviolet rays at the skin’s surface and hinder their transmission to help prevent damage to the skin.  This product is available in eight shades to complement all skin tones.

Stay All Day Concealer - This creamy, full coverage concealer blends seamlessly to instantly neutralize under eye circles and hide skin imperfections, including blemishes and age spots, to create an impeccable canvas for flawless makeup application. Ultra long-wearing, this emollient, crease resistant formula is designed to Stay All Day® while looking and feeling natural on your skin.  Enriched with Vitamins A, C & E, this buttery formula provides antioxidant benefits while helping to prevent premature aging. Available in 16 shades so you’re assured to find one that is perfect for you.

Stay All Day Prime and Anti-Shine Balm - This multi-tasking, secret weapon provides invisible coverage for a flawless complexion. Use under makeup as a primer to create an impeccable canvas for flawless makeup application, use over makeup to set and extend wear, or use in place of a pressed powder for touchups throughout the day.  This versatile, cream-to-powder formula smoothes skin imperfections, minimizes pores, evens skin tone, reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and controls oil production. A silky, translucent crystal finish catches and re-emits light, diffusing imperfections for a perfectly smooth and even skin tone. Makeup glides on with ease and sets for long-lasting, high-definition results. When used in place of a powder, it absorbs excess oil, eliminates shine, and never leaves a powdery trace behind. This weightless formula is easy to apply, velvety soft and completely undetectable on the skin.
Stay All Day Waterproof Eyeliner - Finally, a waterproof liquid liner that glides on with ease, won't smudge or run, and stays in place until you say when! The thin marker-like tip is easy to use even for the least experienced, and delivers a defined thin line to a dramatic bold line with precision.  Goes on smoothly without skipping, smudging, or pulling, and lasts all day!
- Cobalt - bright navy blue

Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner - Smudge that won’t budge... in every shade of the color wheel!  Our bestselling Smudge Sticks are now available in an array of matte, shimmer and pop hues that hold tight. Made with a cocktail of moisturizing ingredients, including vitamin E, color glides on smooth (no tugging or pulling) in a waterproof formula that won’t budge or fade. With 9 gorgeous shades to pick from, discover intense & immediate color payoff in a single swipe!  What’s more? Our Smudge Sticks pack a one-two punch: you can use it as a classic pencil liner or a smudgy eye shadow - simply smudge with your fingers or a brush before color sets.
- Cobalt - bright navy blue

Lip Glaze Trio - Chic Cobalt - Fall in love with Stila’s fall lip glaze trios in beautifully wearable neutrals. Designed to be worn alone or over your favorite lipstick, they add just the right amount of shine.
- Orchard - soft copper shimmer
- Rose Gold - hibiscus
- Kitten - bronze shimmer

Lip Glaze Trio - Elegant Emerald - Fall in love with Stila’s fall lip glaze trios in beautifully wearable neutrals. Designed to be worn alone or over your favorite lipstick, they add just the right amount of shine.
- Pout - guava pink
- Kaleidoscope - peach shimmer
- Apricot - sheer apricot

I like most of this collection and can see myself getting a good amount of use from all but the eye products.  The eye products themselves are good but I would not use either product in the new Cobalt shade so I am just going to skip over them for the time being.  I would start with the CC Cream since I am in need of a product to replace my current BB Cream on the days that I will not be wearing foundation over the next few weeks and my second favorite product is the primer balm.  I am not in need of a new primer right now but this one will be good for the cold weather months as it appears to be a thicker formula.  I will order this one once my current tube of primer is getting low. 
The CC Stick Cream is a very interesting product and I will want to play around with it at Sephora before I make a decision.  I haven't used a stock foundation product since the beginning of college and I wasn't never very good with blending and the correct usage of the product.  However I would also think that formulas have improved since then and I would like to try this product on the red areas of my cheeks (on days that I wouldn't wear foundation and just need a little coverage).  A new concealer formula isn't needed right now but its another product that I would keep in mind when I use up the Benefit formula that I am currently wearing. 

I have focused on some of the products that would be practical for me to buy but now we are going to look at the new Lip Glaze sets.  Elegant Emerald is the set that I must have since these are the cooler shades of the two sets, I love the Pout shade and will want to order this one in the full size tube also.

photo courtesy of Stila