Thursday, October 31, 2013

Deborah Lippmann Holiday 2013 Collection

I may have been trying all different nail polish brands recently but I have a soft spot in my heart for anything that Deborah Lippmann brings out.  I have loved her products ever since 2006 when I first played with many of the shades and then my obsession was cemented when I found out that she was the personal manicurist to Sarah Jessica Parker on the set of Sex and the City.  I used nearly ever since drop of the Sarah Smile nail polish hue before I threw the bottle away and I always wish that these polishes were easier to find around me. 

This holiday season, Deborah has introduced three new polish shades that were original debuted on the Kate Spade runway earlier this year.  I love Kate Spade so I am even more excited to try these new shades out.  The three shades were combined into a nail art look for the runway and I don't know that I will be replicating the whole look but I would love to combine the white hue with one of the other shades to create a simple nail art look.

These three shades have a unique finish called "matteen", a matte finish with a subtle hint of shimmer to avoid the "flat" look that sometimes come from a matte finish polish.

The three shades are...
- Pseudo Silk Kimono - stark white
- Harem Silks From Bombay - deep moody purple
- Red Silk Boxers - deep ruby red

My favorite shades is Red Silk Boxers, I love both the name and the shade of this polish.  I have glittery red polishes, cream red polishes, and metallic red polishes but nothing that looks like the finish of this shade.  I will also pick Pseudo Silk Kimono up to use as accent to that shade and many others that I already own.  I am also considering buying Harem Silks From Bombay because I love the name and have nothing in my polish collection that resembles this shade. 

This new polish finish will just add to my Deborah Lippmann obsession and I will be adding even more shades to my nail polish collection this holiday season...

photo courtesy of Pinterest

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

L'Occitane Cleansing and Softening Shower Oil with Almond Oil

The whole time that I worked at Bath and Body Works in college, we were always getting customers requesting body products with almond in them.  We never carried anything like this so I have always been curious as to what the obsession with almond is.  I have only ever found one brand that carried almond body products and I recently purchased a shower gel to try and understand what the magic of almond is.  The brand that I purchased the almond cleanser from is the French brand L'Occitane and this is the first body product that I have used from them. 

L'Occitane has an entire line of almond products and I decided to start with the cleansing body wash, multiple associates from Sephora suggested this as a great winter body wash for dry skin.  It is not technically a "body wash" as a "cleansing oil".  The Cleansing and Softening Shower Oil with Almond Oil is going to be my morning body wash for the middle of the winter, this is a hydrating product that will help my skin to retain moisture in the worst of the cold weather months.

"A decadent body cleanser that is rich in almond oil and features a foaming oil-to-milk texture that leaves skin satiny-smooth.  Start moisturizing in the shower with this indulgent cleanser. The shower oil contains almond oil, naturally rich in omega 6 fatty acids to help soften the skin. The unique formula transforms into a milky foam upon contact with water, leaving a mouthwatering scent of fresh almonds for a true moment of delight. This oil also makes a great base for shaving.  Almonds are an incredibly delicate fruit to grow: the best almonds require cool air without ever freezing. L'Occitane almonds are sourced from a very special region in Haute Provence, where some of the most delicious and nutritious almonds grow. L'Occitane supports the sustainability of almond trees in the region, as these trees, while difficult to grow, are a staple to the beauty of the Provencal landscape.", states the Sephora website.

I first tried using this like a traditional body wash and used it with a shower pouf.  This was a big mistake as it doesn't foam up and it covered my pouf but never really transferred to my skin.  The second time that I used this was much better.  I poured a bit out into my hands and then rubbed my wet hands together to heat up and distribute the product.  I then used my hands to apply it right to my wet skin.  Once the product had contact with water, it turned into a rich, milky lather on my skin.  It rinses clean and left a slight almond fragrance on my skin. 

I was able to skip the lotion after this product, it didn't strip my skin like traditional body washes and helped to jump start the hydration process right in the shower.  This product will be amazing when my skin gets very dry in the winter months and tends to dry out by the time that I am getting out of the shower in the morning. 

After using this product, I can understand why people love almond oil and the almond fragrance.  I would like to add more products from this line into my body product collection throughout this winter and I look forward to trying more body products from the company to my line up.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee

I decided to take a break from thinking about the upcoming holiday collections and products and go back to adding to my blush collection.  I have mostly been obsessing over powder blushes so I decided to check another formula out.  This is also my first purchase from the Josie Maran line of skincare and cosmetics products, I purchased two blush shades and a few skincare products so I will have quite a few product reviews coming up from this line.  Today we are going to focus on the blush product that I have been playing with and we will look more at her famed Argan Oil when I review the skincare products.

The blush from Josie Maran in a cream-gel formula and one of the most unique that I have ever tried.  There are some wonderful aspects of this product and aspects of it that I cannot stand.  This is one of those products that I am very on the fence about, I don't know that I would ever purchase it again because I love the formula but the packaging is so awful that it kills the whole product for me. 

The Josie Maran products are sold exclusively at Sephora (other than her website) so all the photos and product descriptions will be coming from that website.  "An innovative coconut water-infused cheek gelée with up to 14 hours of color and hydration.  This buildable, blendable blush hybrid provides the natural look of a cream blush with the long-lasting hydrating color of a gel stain. Infused with 50 percent pure coconut water, it instantly hydrates while nourishing with the powerful benefits of vitamin E-rich argan oil. Like a refreshing sip of coconut water for your skin, this moisture-packed blush instantly drenches cheeks in a cool veil of color."

Josie goes on to add more details about the inspiration behind the formula.  '“Living on the beach in Oahu, I became a devotée of coconut water—and noticed that drinking lots of it seemed to make my skin and hair glow. I created Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelée to bring that hydrating color to my face, and yours. Have a sip of coconut water for your face with this blush that's cool to the touch.” —Josie Maran"

I have no other formula to compare this cream blush to as it is like nothing that I have ever owned or seen before.  I LOVE this formula, it is pigmented and easy to spread.  I take one finger and rub it on the top of the blush and that gives me enough product to use for one entire cheek, this jars will last forever as I need next to none of the product to achieve full pigmentation.  Once blended, the formula stays perfectly in place all day and doesn't fade even after a full work out.  I will love this formula during the hottest days of the summer and it will be a staple for me next summer.

The Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee is available in the following shades...

- Poppy Paradise - warm toned coral pink
- Pink Escape - medium cool pink
- Honeymoon Honey - medium warm tan
- Getaway Red - medium warn toned red

I bought Pink Escape and Poppy Paradise.  Pink Escape was my first choice and Poppy Paradise was a distinct second choice, Pink Escape is a great shade for me right now and I will be putting Poppy Paradise away to wear with bronzer next summer.  Both shades are very highly pigmented and both last all day long.  There is no formula variation between the two shades. 

So far I have been talking about what I love about this product and now we need to look at what I cannot stand about this product.  I detest this packaging, the screw top container screws on and off hard and I need to check it twice to make sure that I have it on correctly (any product with this type of container can dry out if the container isn't screwed on fully), I nearly screwed it up twice in less than a week.  My second complaint with the container is how messy this product can become, I had a bit on foundation on my finger during application and I left fingerprints in the product.  I have to wash my hands before and after application of each cheek in order to keep the product hygienic. 

I can't say that I would ever purchase this product again for two big reasons (other than I can't stand the packaging).  This formula is so great that the jars that I bought will last forever and there are no more shades that I would want to buy as the shade range is very limited.  I would recommend these to anyone that loves cream blushes and wants a very pigmented cheek look but I would caution them about the screw top jar packaging.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Monday, October 28, 2013

NARS Holiday 2013 Collection - NARS x Guy Bourdin

The new holiday collection for NARS is now available on the NARS and Nordstrom website and I am very excited to see these new products and start picking them up.  NARS is a favorite brand of mine and I always look forward to all of their seasonal collections.  I have loved their holiday color and gift collections in the past and I am willing to bet that this will be on of my favorite collections of the season.  This collection was created by Francois Nars to honor one of his largest influences in his career.

Guy Bourdin was a French fashion photographer and artist, best known for many of his provocative fashion photos for many of the top designers of the second half of the 20th century.  He worked mainly with Vogue and was a contemporary of Helmut Newton.  Many of his best known photos were for shoe designer Charles Jourdan, a designer very well known for his highly sexualized ad campaigns.  Francois Nars found work done by Bourdin when he was looking through French Vogue as a child and stated that his career was inspired by works of Bourdin's .  I cannot wait to start checking this collection out!

I pulled some of the product descriptions from Nordstrom and some from the NARS website.  I am only seeing some of the collection on the Nordstrom website and a few pieces are missing from the NARS website too.

The NARS x Guy Bourdin collection!

Guy Bourdin Cinematic Eye Shadow - NARS celebrates the editorial creations of Guy Bourdin with a limited-edition eyeshadow designed to make your eyes pop. Cinematic eyeshadow features a velvety soft texture that glides on smoothly, giving you high-impact color with a metallic finish. The easily blendable formula is extremely versatile and can be used as a shader, liner or highlighter. Apply with a dampened brush for a more intense finish.
- Wishful Thinking - macaw blue
- Rage - electric orchid
- Bad Behaviour - deep pewter
- Cambodia - pink copper
- Mississippi Mermaid - champagne

Guy Bourdin Cinematic Lipstick - NARS pays homage to the editorial world of Guy Bourdin with a limited-edition Cinematic lipstick, a color that delivers you with intense pigment and a gorgeously glossy shine. The creamy, comfortable formula features an innovative blend of lip conditioners and antioxidants to hydrate, nourish and protect your lips.
- Future Red - cherry
- Short Circuit - fire coral
- Last Tango - dusty rose
- Goodbye Emmanuelle - hot pink
- Full Frontal - rose violet

Blush - The ultimate authority in blush, NARS offers the industry's most iconic shades for cheeks. Natural, healthy-looking color that immediately enlivens the complexion. A light application of even the highest-intensity hues delivers a natural-looking flush.  Silky texture in matte and shimmering shades.  Micronized powder ensures soft, blendable application.  Iconic NARS shades.
- Exhibit A - matte vivid red
- Coeur Battant - magenta
- Day Dream - peachy pink

Nail Polish - Knockout color. Genius formula. Introducing the new NARS Nail Polish, formulated for nothing less than pure color perfection. Wildly chic, this brilliantly curated palette of extended wear enamels features a flexible, high gloss finish for a freshly-painted look that lasts.
- Tomorrow's Red - scarlet flame
- Follow Me - deep fuchsia
- No Limits - bright pink violet
- Union Libre - blossom pink

I am so excited for these new shades and I am even more excited to see that NARS has brought out two limited edition products with this collection!  I am going to start with the two new products as I always love to try new items from my favorite brand.  The Cinematic Lipstick promises to be a favorite product of mine, I already love nearly every lipstick that I have ever used from this company and I am excited to try a formula with a glossy finish.  The combination of a glossy finish and high impact might be harder to pull off than I am used to but I can't wait to make a statement in these new hues.  I will be picking up Future Red, Last Tango, Goodbye Emmanuelle, and Full Frontal.  This might be my new favorite product of the whole holiday season.

I am also excited to see the new eye shadow formula, I have a bunch of the other formulas from NARS and I want to try even more from them.  Cambodia and Mississppi Mermaid are the only two shades that I would like from these new shades, I am not sure that I would be able to pull off the bright hues from this new formula and I would like to start with the neutrals.  I want to play with the neutrals and pair them with the bright lip hues from this collection.  I can easily skip over the blush shades but I would like to pick up all of the nail polish shades.

There is a good chance that this will be my favorite of the holiday collections and I cannot wait to start shopping these products.  I also want to do some more research into the works of Guy Bourdin and his photographs for Charles Jourdan.

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Sunday, October 27, 2013

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration

I feel like I have been all over the place with my skincare products the past few weeks.  The middle of September stayed very warm later than usual and then the weather changed rapidly.  My skincare choices have been changing just as rapidly, I have several tubes of products opened up and it doesn't seem like I will be using anything up anytime soon.  I have added another skin cream to my nightly beauty routine and I am sure that I will be moving this product to my day beauty routine as the weather continues to cool off. 

First Aid Beauty is company that contains a product line that is often recommended for people with dry, sensitive skin that is prone to redness.  This is a pretty apt description of my skin issues so I decided to give one of the "hero" products from this line a try.  All of the facial products in this line are highly recommended by the staff at my local Sephora but they all seemed to recommend one product as being the best.  Therefore, I picked up a small tube of the Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration.  I realized later that this cream could be used on both the body and the face so I will want a jar of the full size for my bathroom and then a small tube to keep in my purse.

The product description from the Sephora website is as follows, "A cult-favorite head-to-toe moisturizer that provides instant and long-term hydration for dry, distressed skin, even eczema.  Banish dry skin with First Aid Beauty's Ultra Repair® Cream. This thick, rich, emollient moisturizer hydrates deep down with exceptional penetration while providing immediate relief and long-lasting protection for dry, distressed skin, even eczema. The beautiful whipped formula is instantly absorbed with no greasy after feel. Formulated with colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, and ceramide 3, the cream instantly goes to work to soothe, calm, and heal skin. It can be used head to toe and is clinically proven to increase hydration by up to 169 percent immediately upon application."

I have been using this product as a night cream right now, I will switch it over to a day cream once the air gets drier. This product absorbs quickly and hydrates on contact.  I have used it multiple times when my cheeks get so dry that they actually sting and turn bright red and I am happy to say that this product quickly soothes the irritation and helps to bring the redness down.  If I use this product at night on red areas, then the redness will be gone by the time that I wake up in the morning.  I am very happy with the results of this product from all aspects so far.

This is the first face cream that I have used containing oatmeal.  I remember taking oatmeal baths when I was a child and my skin would start acting up.  The oatmeal would help to calm the itch and reduce the redness and inflammation.  I am really liking that I found a great face cream with these benefits and that I can also use it as needed on my body.  I haven't used it on my body yet but I am sure that this will be coming very soon as the winter approaches.

I would classify this cream as falling into the category of medium-to-deep hydration.  Right now, it works well as a night cream but will be too much as a day cream.  One night I did notice that I still had a slight "dry" feeling on my cheeks and this is what leads me to believe that I will not be able to use this as my very hydrating night cream in the winter months.  I will be trying to swap it out for my day cream at this point as I still hope to reap the benefits of the soothing and redness-reducing aspects of this product.  The product does not leave a film on the skin and absorbs quickly so I am hoping that it will work well under makeup during the day.  I will have to try this out on my next day off and hope for the best.

This is my first product from this company and I think that this will be the first of many.  I want to try more of their face serums and I would love to find a hydrating face wash that continues the benefits that I receive from the Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Saturday, October 26, 2013

MAC Stroke of Midnight Face Palettes

We are now onto the second piece of the Stroke of Midnight gift collections from MAC and the one that will be my least favorite of the group.  MAC releases a gift collection like this every year and this one is almost always my least favorite of their releases.  I typically wouldn't buy a gift like this for any of my friends and I would be more likely to order one of these small palettes for myself.  There are only two palettes in this part of the collection and these are the largest of the palettes that MAC offers, these are definitely gifts that you buy for your closet friends and family members (or yourself).  I might like this collection a bit better if there was more of a shade range, there are only two palettes in this collection and therefore it might be hard for me to find one that I would use every single shade in.

The Face Palettes part of the collection offers two face palettes that contain shades for face, eyes, and lips.  One is crafted for warm toned skin and the other is for cool toned skin, this is not how I prefer to buy makeup and I would be more likely to order the individual products for either myself or my closest friends.  I don't really expect to find a great gift idea in this part of collection but maybe I will get a shock...

"The night belongs to you. Give yourself a complete makeover with M·A·C Stroke of Midnight face palettes, featuring everything you need for a look that has no limits. Go with the Warm palette for a pearlescent shine or choose Cool for deep sophistication.", states the Nordstrom website.

Here is the Face Palettes part of the collection...

Stroke of Midnight Warm Face Palette - M·A·C rings in the New Year with the Stroke of Midnight collection, featuring a range of products for lips, face and eyes that celebrate the dreamy time between dusk and dawn. The Warm face palette tucked into a limited-edition black compact features a range of coordinated eye shadows, bronzing powder, lipsticks and eye kohl so you can create a perfect look that's yours alone.
- Tenderly Eye Shadow - a soft warm pink with frost
- Showstopper Eye Shadow - a deep blackened brown
- After Dusk Eye Shadow - a mid-tonal rosy pink with pearl
- Golden Bronzing Powder - a muted tan-beige with shimmer
- Teddy Bronzer - an intense bronze
- Myself Lipstick - a light dirty mauve with traveling pearl
- Love Talk Lipstick - a mid-tonal cool nude
- Coffee Eye Kohl - deep brown

Stroke of Midnight Cool Face Palette - M·A·C rings in the New Year with the Stroke of Midnight collection, featuring a range of products for lips, face and eyes that celebrate the dreamy time between dusk and dawn. The Cool face palette tucked into a limited-edition black compact features a range of coordinated eye shadows, bronzing powder, lipsticks and eye kohl so you can create a perfect look that's yours alone.
-  Scene Eye Shadow - a muted blue-grey
- All Races Eye Shadow - a cool light mauve taupe
- Magic Moor Eye Shadow - a rich blackened plum with pearl
- Sparkling Rosé Iridescent Powder - a soft pink with gold frost
- Sublime Pleasure Lipstick - a soft mauve cream
- Romantically Inclined Lipstick - a cool plum cream
- Ebony Eye Kohl - an intense black

The Cool Face Palette is the only one of the two that I might be interested in purchasing but I don't really love it, I do have a friend that these shades would work very well on and I would consider buying this for her for Christmas but she is the only person that I would do shopping from this part of the collection from.  The next part of the MAC gifting collection is all about lip products and this promises to be the most exciting part of the collection for both myself and many of my friends!

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fitness Friday - Squats

Squats are a core part of every male and female's fitness routine, these were once considered an exercise that everyone suffered through twice a week but have come to be one of the hottest exercises for females.  With the changing trends in female body shape, Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian are the now the ideal body types and many females are adding/increasing the amount of squats they perform on a weekly basis.  There are very few exercises that are both as simple and effective at working the major butt and leg muscles as squats and they are the topic of today's Fitness Friday. 

I decided to look up how to best do squats as ladies, we hold weight in different places then men do and shouldn't be trying to do these exercises in the exact same fashion as they do.  I pulled my information from Pop Sugar Fitness as this is one of the best websites for women's fitness and health.

- Stand with your head held facing forward and your chest up and out.
- Place your feet shoulder-width apart or slightly wider.  Extend your hands straight out in front of you to help you keep your balance.  You can also bend the elbows or clasp the fingers.
- Sit back and down like you're sitting in an imaginary chair.  Keep your head facing forward as your upper body bends forward a bit.  Rather then allowing your back to round, let your lower back arch slightly as your descend.
- Lower down so your thighs are as parallel to the floor as possible, with your knees over your ankles.  Press your weight back into your heels.
- Keep your body tight, and push through your heels to bring yourself back to the starting position.

The website recommends starting with three sets of ten squats each then working up to twelve or fifteen as needed.  They stress that form is more important then amount and I can agree.  I still am doing the three sets of ten and making sure that I have my form correct through the whole process.  By the last set, I need to really concentrate on my form so I know that I am not ready to start adding more reps yet.

Why should women do squats?  This is a common question that many women ask.  This is not about building up huge butt and leg muscles but rather keeping them tight and toned.  When searching for a picture for this post, I found a lot of VERY NSFW pictures about women that do squats but the major point in doing this exercise is to keep those huge muscles in shape and looking tight.  This will improve your appearance in everything from skirts to skinny jeans. 

I have read that squats can be done at anytime as they only require your body weight to be done correctly.  That being said, I only do mine at the gym as of right now.  I don't yet have the form and the endurance to do them while brushing my teeth or cooking but I would like to work up this one day.

photo courtesy of Pop Sugar Fitness

Thursday, October 24, 2013

MAC Stroke of Midnight Eye Shadow Palettes

The other week, we started off the holiday beauty shopping season by looking at the beautiful Divine Night color collection from MAC and it made me so excited to start looking at their holiday gift collections today.  Almost every single holiday season, I have picked up several little gifts from MAC for my friends and these are almost always every one's favorite gifts to unwrap.  Divine Night is going to be all over my shopping list for myself and now it is time for me to start making my holiday present shopping list for others.  I will not start shopping until the middle of November at the earliest and I will admit that I am the queen of online shopping for gifts so I will start filling up an online cart once I have seen some of these gifts in real life at the counters.  I hate shopping around the holidays and will only go to a mall if I am forced to.  I think that I might shopping more when I move to New York City since the individual stores are not near as bad as the mall itself...

Stroke of Midnight is the gifting collection from MAC and it is broken down into several parts.  We are starting with the eye shadow palette part of the collection since I typically buy lip and fragrance sets for my friends and I want to try something different for many of them this year.  I tend to buy more lip products for both myself and those on my Christmas shopping and this is the year that I will try to change this up for both myself and others. 

The Nordstrom website provides a description of the eye shadow palette part of the collection.  "When the clock strikes twelve, the night begins. M·A·C brings you a collection of three Warm, Cool and Smokey eyeshadow palettes with five hues each tucked into limited-edition black compacts with chic graphics and gold piping."

Here is the eye shadow palette part of the Stroke of Midnight collection!

Stroke of Midnight Warm Eye Shadow Palette - M·A·C rings in the New Year with the Stroke of Midnight collection, featuring a range of products for lips, face and eyes that celebrate the dreamy time between dusk and dawn. The Warm eyeshadow palette features a range of gorgeous, neutral hues formulated from highly pigmented powder that applies evenly while blending and building beautifully. The palette comes tucked in a limited-edition black compact and includes a double-ended 213 Fluff brush and 266 Small Angle brush.
- Femme Fi - a frosty golden cream
- Amber Lights - a peachy brown with shimmer
- Socialite - a warm copper
- Mulch - a red-brown with bronze pearl
- Midnight Hour - a warm blackened plum

Stroke of Midnight Cool Eye Shadow Palette - M·A·C rings in the New Year with the Stroke of Midnight collection, featuring a range of products for lips, face and eyes that celebrate the dreamy time between dusk and dawn. The Cool eyeshadow palette features a range of gorgeous hues formulated from highly pigmented powder that applies evenly while blending and building beautifully. The palette comes tucked in a limited-edition black compact and includes a double-ended 213 Fluff brush and 266 Small Angle brush.
- Fair Sex - a light frosted pink
- Deception - a frosty golden brown
- Romance Me - a warm plum with gold pearl
- Shadowy Lace - a blackened plum
- Frisco - a soft pastel pink

Stroke of Midnight Smokey Eye Shadow Palette - M·A·C rings in the New Year with the Stroke of Midnight collection, featuring a range of products for lips, face and eyes that celebrate the dreamy time between dusk and dawn. The Smokey eyeshadow palette features a range of gorgeous hues formulated from highly pigmented powder that applies evenly while blending and building beautifully. The palette comes tucked in a limited-edition black compact and includes a double-ended 213 Fluff brush and 266 Small Angle brush.
- Chillproof - a frosty white
- Retrospeck - a bleached blond
- Gaelic Gold - a metallic gold
- Well Put Together - black with gold frost
- Carbon - an intense black

I want all three of these palettes for myself...not that I am the person that I should be shopping for this time of the year.  I think my favorite for myself is the Warm palette, I love these bronzes and coppers and would use them all throughout the year.  I could make any of these shades work with all of my Naked palettes and I want to add this palette to my collection.  If I was gift shopping, I would be more likely to purchase the Smokey Eye Shadow palette for my friends, many of them don't own these types of eye makeup shades and this would give them the chance to try some new makeup looks out too.  This is the perfect time of the year to try new makeup looks and these shades would be perfect for getting dressed up and going out to holiday parties.

This is the first piece of the MAC gifting collection and I am already getting some ideas of what I will be picking out for my friends this year!

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Biolage KeratinDose Shampoo and Conditioner

I am rather loyal to my Biolage shampoo and conditioner formulated for color-treated hair but I always try and alternate between more than one formula.  My hair stylist gave me some small bottles of the shampoos and conditioners in some of the various Biolage formulas and I start trying them out about two weeks ago.  I started with the KeratinDose products as my hair will only need more hydration as the weather continues to cool out.  So far, the combination of the Color Care and KeratinDose has proved to be spot on and I would consider buying the full sizes in these two products.

The KeratinDose products work very well for anyone who has chemical damage to their hair or who heat styles on a regular basis.  I see that there is a hydrating treatment spray in this collection and I would like to purchase that product also at some point. 

The shampoo is described as, "Damaged, over-processed hair can be brittle, dull and lifeless. Formulated with Pro-Keratin and Silk, our keratin shampoo provides targeted reinforcement for over-processed, weak or fragile hair. When combined with the KeratinDose Conditioner and Pro-Keratin Renewal Spray, formulas provide cleansing while locking in moisture to help fight frizz. Restore overprocessed hair. 90% more conditioned after one application."

The benefits of this product are listed in the Biolage website...

- Rich, sulfate free lather gently cleanses while maintaining the integrity of over-processed hair
- Formula with Pro-Keratin and silk provides targeted reinforcement and moisture balance to the hair
- Hair is shiny and healthy-looking with increased elasticity
- Free of sulfates, parabens and harsh salts

The matching conditioner has the following description, "Damaged, over-processed and unconditioned hair can feel brittle, lacking manageability and shine. Formulated with Pro-Keratin and Silk, our KeratinDose Conditioner provides targeted reinforcement for over-processed, weak or fragile hair. When combined with the KeratinDose Shampoo and Pro-Keratin Renewal Spray, formulas provide nourishment and cleansing while balancing moisture for over-processed hair. Restore overprocessed hair. 90% more conditioned after one application."

The following benefits are listed on the Biolage website...

- Paraben free conditioner moisturizes and smoothes overprossed hair
- Formula nourishes hair and prevents damage
- Hair is left silky with manageability

The shampoo is a nice formula but does not really provide any results that set it apart from other hydrating formulas.  It cleanses well without stripping my hair or leaving a residue all over the strands.  The conditioner is a great product, it hydrates very nicely and makes my hair very easy to straighten.  Keratin will not help to bring hair "back to life" as it is already dead but it will help to hydrate and smooth the hair cuticle.  The smoothing aspect of this product really helps me to style my hair in the morning. 

The performance of the conditioner guarantees that I would purchase the duo again without a second thought.  I am very fond of the Biolage products and I can't wait to keep trying more from this line.

photo courtesy of Biolage

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

NARS Satin Lip Pencil

My last two purchases from NARS were designed to be practical, I needed both face primer and tinted moisturizer and ended up in the NARS aisle of Sephora for both of them.  While I was there, I was distracted from my practical quest by a display of the Satin Lip Pencils.  I had first used the Velvet Matte Lip Pencils from this company when I purchased the best-selling Dragon Girl shade last summer (the name was too irresistible for a fan of the Millennium Trilogy and the shade is an awesome red hue) and I wanted to see if the Satin Lip Pencils were as high quality as the other formula. 

I have mostly used the matte lip formulas from NARS in the past and might have one or two sheer cream shades from this company.  I needed to expand my horizons away from matte lipsticks and sheer lip glosses.  This formula is right in the middle of the two sides.  I started with two shades of this product and I now have two new favorite lip shades to add to my love of NARS products...

The Sephora website provides the following description of the NARS Satin Lip Pencils, "A selection of high-impact, fashion-forward shades in a rich, creamy satin finish that stays on all day.  The Satin Lip Pencil dresses up lips in statement shades that seduce with rich, color-bright pigments, while drenching them in decadent moisture. This modern, long-wearing, vitamin-enriched formula for lips looks sumptuously saturated and dramatically defined.  The Satin Lip Pencil Category shade designations are all named for parks and gardens around the world."

The shades of this product are...

- Biscayne Park - pink guava
- Floralies - light apricot
- Isola Bella - peach beige
- Rikugien - rose pink
- Lodhi - coral
- Timanfaya - mandarin orange red
- Yu - bright pink
- Luxembourg - watermelon
- Hyde Park - cardinal red
- Majella - garnet
- Golshan - spiced wine
- Palais Royal - sangria
- Het Loo - cognac
- Bansar - rose brown

I purchased one neutral hue and one deep red hue, I was hoping for a bright blue red shade but there isn't one at the moment.  Both shades wear about six to eight hours with normal coffee and cocktail sipping but don't hold up very well eating or any other activity more than sipping a drink.  These lipsticks are slightly more hydrating than the Velvet Matte Lip Pencils but I need to carry a separate lip balm with me and reapply it throughout the day.  Both shades have a cream finish with rich pigments. 

I purchased Rikugien, a neutral rose pink that I can wear with any makeup look and during the day or night.  I have worn this shade the past few days at work and paired it with all different looks from the Urban Decay Naked palettes.  I also purchased Hyde Park which I have worn once so far.  I paired it with the Stila Kitten eye shadow, a shimmering champagne, for a dinner party the other night.  I really like both hues but Rikugien is fast becoming a favorite of mine. 

There are only two other shades that I would like from this product, Biscayne Park and Yu.  Both pink shades will be saved for next spring.  I would hope to see more shades in this product as it is nice to have a finish other than matte from this color collection.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Monday, October 21, 2013

OPI Holiday 2013 Polish Collection - Mariah Carey

I am hot on the holiday nail polish collections right now and we are going right from Butter London to the newest from OPI.  The new collection from OPI is much larger and contains nearly every shade of red known to man.  Red is my favorite lip and nail color so I want to pick up some more shades from this collection however I have so many reds already that I don't know if any of these shades will fill any holes in my polish collection.  There are eighteen shades in total so I can't wait to see how many shades I will want from this collection.  I already have a list from the new Butter London collection and now I will be making that list even longer...

The newest OPI holiday collection is designed around and for Mariah Carey.  I am already singing "All I Want For Christmas" as I type this and eating Halloween candy at the exact same time.  I can't say that I am pumped about the collaboration with Mariah Carey as that is one of the most overplayed Christmas songs of all time but I do bet I will get some great new shades out of this collection.

"The most-asked-for brand in the industry! With a superior range of shades and the hottest special effects and textures, OPI is the go-to brand for nail fashion. From elegant classics to eye-popping brights, OPI has your color! Formaldehyde-free.", states the Ulta website in describing the polish formula.  This is one of the best selling polish formula and one that I converted to later.  I like the formula but the color range was always a bit more limiting than many other brands.  OPI isn't my favorite polish line but I do find many shades that I like and their nail hardener is my standard at this point.

Here are the Mariah Carey holiday shades...

- All I Want For Christmas - classic red-blue cream
- All Sparkle and Gold - dense gold microglitter
- Baby Please Come Home - bright lilac microglitter
- Cute Little Vixen - deep magenta shimmer
- Emotions - charcoal black microglitter
- I Snow You Love Me - large circular silver glitter suspended in a clear base
- In My Santa Suit - classic red-blue shimmer
- It's Frosty Outside - bright silver microglitter
- Kiss Me At Midnight - pale bright blue microglitter
- Make Him Mine - rose gold microglitter
- My Favorite Ornament - light champagne microglitter
- Silent Stars Go By - cool rose microglitter
- Ski Slope Sweetie - pearly iridescent white with gold shimmer
- Sleigh Ride For Two - deep burgundy shimmer
- Underneath The Mistletoe - classic red-blue glitter
- Visions Of Love - deep burgundy cream
- Warm Me Up - deep charcoal shimmer
- Wonderous Star - large gold glitter suspended in a clear base

This is like any other OPI collection for me, there are always shades that I like but never any that I really fall in love with.  There is nothing in this collection that I am dying to buy but there are quite a few that I would like to add to my collection.  If I had to pick a favorite, Warm Me Up will be a great charcoal neutral for the cold weather months.  Emotions is my second favorite shade, this charcoal glitter will also be great for me. 

My other choices are: All Sparkle and Gold, It's Frosty Outside, My Favorite Ornament, Silent Stars Go By, and Visions of Love.  I mostly like the shades with the Liquid Sand finish, which is surprising since I hated this finish when it was first introduced.  I think I am warming up to this finish when it is combined with neutral glitter shades that I can wear all year long.  I might actually be the most excited about the fact that I can wear a few of these shades all throughout the year and a few shades in this collection break with the tradition of reds and greens.

photo courtesy of Google

Sunday, October 20, 2013

NARS Pro-Prime Pore Refining Primer - Oil Free

Today we are taking a break from thinking about the holidays and reviewing a new primer that I have been using for the past few days.  I have a hard time finding one or two primer formulas that I consider to be "holy grail" as my skin changes so much with the seasons.  I have been using the formula from the NARS for the past few days and this is one of the highest rated primer formulas on Sephora's website so I had very high expectations of it.  I have two major thoughts on this product; the first being that I was expecting a bit too much from this product and the second being that I might love this product in the warmer weather.

NARS Pro-Prime Pore Refining Primer - Oil Free is my latest trial in trying to narrow down the perfect primer formula for my skin.  This light, oil-free formula is not what my skin needs at this time of the year and might be a candidate for a great formula next May.  NARS is one of my favorite brands and I would expect that a company that offers such a range of foundation shades and great formulas would offer more than one primer formula. 

"An oil-free gel primer.  This gel primer instantly refines the look of pores, regulates shine, and creates a matte surface to the skin for smooth and long-wearing makeup application. Mineral Powders manage oil in the T-zone while blurring the look of pores, fine lines, and wrinkles.  This product is alcohol free, non-comedogenic, dermatologist tested, synthetic and fragrance free.", states the Sephora website. 

I think I should have tried this formula in warmer weather, my skin will only get drier over the next few months and this formula is just too light for me right now.  This gel formula went on easily and blended well but I would prefer a creamier formula right now.  This formula was easy to layer foundation and powder formulas over but I would have liked something creamier for when I blended my concealer in my under eye area.  To continue using this product at this time of the year, I will need to switch over to a creamier eye cream in order to be able to blend my current concealer formula easily in this area. 

This formula keeps my makeup in place for a full eight hours.  That being said, I think this formula was designed for best use with powder formulas.  I love how nicely my face powder and powder blush blend with it but it doesn't work as nicely with rich, creamy face makeup formulas. 

I do like this formula now but I don't think I will be able to keep using it much longer.  As I stated above, my skin will only get drier as we head closer into winter and I will hit a point where I will need a creamier formula to continue hydration throughout my whole makeup routine.  I think I will need to start looking for another formula soon and then put the rest of this tube aside until next May.  This isn't quite what I had in mind when I just ordered a new primer but I guess I will just have to head back to Sephora and make the best of having to shop again...

photo courtesy of Sephora

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Butter London Holiday 2013 Collection - Illusionist

The first of the nail polish collections for holiday 2013 have hit the websites and I am very excited to see that Butter London is leading the way this year.  I have been collecting Butter London shades for the past few months and I know that I need to get a jump on hitting up Ulta to get the new shades before they sell out.  I will have to see if this collection is also offered on Sephora's website and how fast I can get my hands on a few of these shades.

The Illusionist nail lacquer collection includes two permanent shades and four brand new shades.  All of the shades are very pigmented and will make a statement this holiday season and all throughout the rest of the winter months.  I think I will even continue to wear the red shade in pedicures throughout the spring and summer.  Most of the shades have a dramatic shimmer finish and will stand out from the rest of the polish collection releases.  The holiday season is known for dramatic nail polish releases and these shades will lead the way!

Butter London is an English brand and celebrates some of the best of English culture.  I have been an Anglophile for years so I buy these polishes for a combination of the shades and fabulous formula plus I love all the names to them.  The promo picture of this collection gets me excited to start stalking Ulta and Sephora for these new shades!

The new Butter London Illusionist collection...

- Union Jack Black - jet black nail lacquer that goes on like liquid leather
- Come to Bed Red - sexist red nail lacquer in history
- Stardust Overcoat - sheer silver holographic overcoat, like a magical sprinkling of stars
- Petrol Overcoat - sheer tornate topcoat with the opalescent sheen of oil reflected in rain
- Stratford Honey Overcoate - sheer gold shimmer overcoat named for a historic London town
- Bramble - opaque eggplant cream named for prickly shrubs with a gorgeous hue and delicious berries

The first two shades are the ones that are part of the permanent collection, I don't own either of them but I love both of them so they will be part of my shopping list along with the other four shades.  I want all six of these shades but I think my favorite is Bramble.  This eggplant cream actually fills a hole in my polish collection and I will wear this all throughout the cold weather season.

I love this little collection from Butter London and hope this is a preview to all the great nail polish hues that will be released in the coming weeks!

photo courtesy of Butter London

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fitness Friday - Boat Pose

Today's Fitness Friday will be going right back to my yoga obsession...we are going to be looking at Boat Pose today.  This is one of my favorite and least favorite poses all at the same time, I love how it works my core but hate how it feels when working my core.  This pose is very similar to doing forearm planks and the focus can be on holding the pose for multiple breathes or on using core strength to go up and down in the pose.  I am trying to hold the pose for five breaths and I haven't even began trying the latter way of using it to build my core.

The version of the pose that I have pictured with this post is the full pose, I can't hold the full pose yet and I use the variation of having my legs up but bent at the knees.  My problem with trying to hold the full pose is balance, I tend to fall backwards when bringing my legs all the way up.  I need to work my core more in the variation before I can work to the full pose.

Yoga Journal provides instructions on how to work into and achieve the pose.  The instructions are for the full pose however using a modification in the second step is a great way to work into the pose slowly.

- Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Press your hands on the floor a little behind your hips, fingers pointing toward the feet, and strengthen the arms. Lift through the top of the sternum and lean back slightly. As you do this make sure your back doesn’t round; continue to lengthen the front of your torso between the pubis and top sternum. Sit on the “tripod” of your two sitting bones and tailbone.

- Exhale and bend your knees, then lift your feet off the floor, so that the thighs are angled about 45-50 degrees relative to the floor. Lengthen your tailbone into the floor and lift your pubis toward your navel. If possible, slowly straighten your knees, raising the tips of your toes slightly above the level of your eyes. If this isn’t possible remain with your knees bent, perhaps lifting the shins parallel to the floor.

- Stretch your arms alongside the legs, parallel to each other and the floor. Spread the shoulder blades across your back and reach strongly out through the fingers. If this isn’t possible, keep the hands on the floor beside your hips or hold on to the backs of your thighs.

- While the lower belly should be firm, it shouldn’t get hard and thick. Try to keep the lower belly relatively flat. Press the heads of the thigh bones toward the floor to help anchor the pose and lift the top sternum. Breathe easily. Tip the chin slightly toward the sternum so the base of the skull lifts lightly away from the back of the neck.

- At first stay in the pose for 10-20 seconds. Gradually increase the time of your stay to 1 minute. Release the legs with an exhalation and sit upright on an inhalation.

I like how Yoga Journal describes the best way to get into the pose and then ways to work into the full pose.  I know very full people (other than yoga teachers) that can work all the way up into the full pose so I am working on this and wondering how long it will take until I can get into it. 

I currently hold Boat Pose for three breaths and my small goal is to get up to five breaths.  The goal is to do the work from your core and strengthen all of these key muscles. I will report back over the next few months as I grow into the core crunching pose.

photo courtesy of Yoga Journal

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Etre Belle Liplift Peel

One of my last Glossyboxes introduced me to the English brand Toni and Guy and now we are looking at yet another brand that was introduced to me by a recent Glossybox.  The second new brand is Etre Belle, a skincare line from Germany.  I think this is the first time that I have ever used a skincare product from Germany and I'm not sure what I was expecting from Etre Belle.  While doing some light research, I found out that Germany has spas all over the country and believes heavily in spa therapy instead of traditional allopathic medicine.  I'm not sure how I feel about trying spa cures for medicine appeals to me but I do expect high quality skincare from this brand.

Etre Belle is a spa quality skincare line from the southern area of Germany.  I received a lip scrub from this brand and now I want to order some more of the facial skincare and really see how the brand compares to high end spa-inspired brands from the United States.  I wasn't overwhelmed by this lip scrub but I don't quite know that I should really expect to be overwhelmed by a product designed solely to exfoliate dry skin from the lips. 

"A gentle and moisturizing exfoliator for the lip area.  It gently removes dead cells and refines the surface skin.", states the company's website.  I am used to sugar-based lip scrubs and this formula is very differently than these formulas.  This formula is a very fine grain exfoliator and the grains are suspended in a lightly textured lotion, I do not like this texture and I much prefer the larger grains of the sugar-based exfoliators.  In addition, this formula tastes like chemicals if you are unfortunate enough to get some of it in your mouth (as I was).  The exfoliation from this product is very light and I need to use it twice as often as I did any sugar-based formula.  I am glad that I got this in my Glossybox and was able to try it as I would never purchase by itself again.  I will use the tube up and then start looking for another formula to replace it.

This many not have been my favorite product but I still do want to try some others from this brand.  I would like to try some of face washes and creams and see how the German philosophy of skincare works.

photo courtesy of Etre Belle

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Chanel Holiday 2013 Collection - Nuit Infinie

We have started to check out the newest holiday collections and today we are looking at a color collection from another one of my favorite companies.  The Chanel holiday color collection will be different than anything that we have looked at so far and I continue to love this brand more with every single item that I purchase from them and every biography that I collect on Coco Chanel.  The first photo that I saw from this collection contained a beautiful red lipstick and I was instantly hooked.  I haven't bought a new red lipstick since I did the bulk of my fall makeup shopping and I would love a new shade to wear this holiday season.

The Nordstrom website provides the following collection description, "Setting a captivating tone for Holiday, a new makeup collection expresses the magic and mystery of an endless night. The refinement of beige is emboldened by a sweep of bronze on the eyes. Deep ruby red lingers alluringly on lips, for a seductive invitation to the season. Experience the pleasure of intense colour… and glamour that’s revealed from within."    This collection is named Nuit Infinie, which literally translates to "infinite night".  I found the description on the Nordstrom website and am pulling some of the product descriptions from there also along with the Chanel website. 

Here is Nuit Infinie from Chanel!

Ombres Matelassess - This limited-edition eyeshadow unveils a seductive shade spectrum for the season’s most striking eye looks. From soft beige to rich purple, matte and pearlized shadows create glamorous effects alone or offer endless opportunities for custom blending. The emblematic quilted motif of CHANEL embosses the silky shadows for an added touch of elegance.
- Charming - soft beige/metallic beige/bronze khaki/bronze/dark matte purple

Mascara Gel Irise - An exciting flourish for lashes makes the holidays even brighter. Designed to be worn either alone or over black mascara, a new shimmering top coat enchants with every brushstroke of sheer, bronze-platinum iridescence.
- Bronze Platine - platinum bronze

Joues Contraste - Unique powder blusher offers buildable coverage, from natural to dramatic, and imparts a flattering radiance to cheeks. Remarkably silky texture ensures easy application of seamless colour. Applied high on the cheekbone, or near the eyes, it instantly 'lifts' and softens the face for a more youthful look.
- Accent - luminous pink beige

Poudre Universelle Libre - Ultra-soft loose powder provides sheer, light coverage with a soft matte finish, setting and perfecting makeup as it evens skin tone. Photo-reflective pigments help disguise imperfections without emphasizing lines.  Available in a variety of hues to complement all skin tones.

Illusion d'Ombre - This intensely shimmering long-wear eyeshadow offers true versatility. An innovative gel texture that is both soft and cushiony allows it to be worn as eyeshadow or eyeliner. Includes a specially designed shadow/liner brush, developed specifically for this unique formula.
- Fatal - silver purple metallic
- Initiation - platinum bronze satin

Rouge Allure - The next generation of ROUGE ALLURE dresses lips with unmistakable attitude. A new formula with concentrated, ultra-thin pigments offers radically intense, long-wearing colour with full coverage and a satin finish. Leaves lips supple and protected with lasting comfort.
- Radieuse - intense blue pink satin
- Indecise - shimmering pink beige
- Farouche - shimmering chocolate brown

Rouge Allure Velvet - Elevating matte to a new elegance, this next-generation, non-drying matte lipstick glides on lips with intensely rich, long-wearing colour and a sumptuously soft, velvet matte finish.
- La Precieuse - vivid red
- La Desiree - burgundy red

Le Vernis - The newly-renovated 5-free formula features Bioceramics and Ceramides to improve the quality of nails. In an arresting palette of 15 trend-setting shades, including bestselling cult favorites and daring new colours.
- Rouge Rubis - vivid red cream
- Accesoire - deep red brown cream

I already know that I must have the Rouge Allure Velvet lipstick shade in La Precieuse, this will be my red hue for the holiday and then the rest of the winter months.  La Desiree is my second choice for red hues, I would like the warm deep red hue for the great holiday dates and parties.  I also love the Rouge Allure in Radieuse, this light blue pink hue will be great for the spring months and I will save it and use it as one of my staples in a few months.  I will also be picking up the Le Vernis is Rouge Rubis to match the red lip hue this holiday season and then for great pedicures this summer.  I love new reds for both my nails and my lips and I cannot wait to start using these shades.

I will round my shopping out with some new eye makeup from this collection.  I must have the eye shadow palette to create all kinds of neutral smoky eye looks this winter and to mix with my favorite neutral hues already present in my collection.  I also cannot wait to buy new shades of Illusion d'Ombre, I have been in love with this formula ever since I tried it in the summer of 2012 and I always want new shades.  I want both Fatal and Initiation, all of these shades look so different when applied that I can get any of them to work with almost any makeup look that I want them to.   I can skip over the rest of the collection as long as I get all the products that I have already mentioned and I will use this and the new MAC collection to start my holiday makeup shopping...

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Toni and Guy Leave In Conditioner

My latest Glossybox contained a leave in conditioning treatment from a brand that I had never heard from but quickly became obsessed with it.  I have been using a spray leave in treatment from Phyto and was excited to receive a cream formula just when I was considering picking up a more hydrating formula for the winter months.  I will say that my Glossyboxes contain the best assortment of products and I will often receive something that fills a gap in my product collection.  With this box, I received a great leave in treatment and an introduction to an English brand that I cannot wait to order more items from.

Toni and Guy is an English brand that started as a salon quite a few years ago.  It has become a chain of high end salons through the United Kingdom and has spawned a line of unique, high end hair products.  It reminds me of an English version of Warren Tricomi.  I would love to visit London and get my hair done at one of their salons...

"Controls frizz and protects against humidity for advanced all-day manageability. Spread a walnut sized amount evenly through damp hair before styling to help banish frizz.", states the Toni and Guy website.  This leave in is a medium weight, gel-cream formula that smells lightly of a floral garden.  I would actually love to have more products in this fragrance, it reminds me of the old Blushing Cherry Blossom from Bath and Body Works.  That fragrance was a favorite of mine and is one of the few that has never come back for any type of online release or Semi-Annual Sale. 

I use this product after I wash and condition my hair at night but I don't use it before styling in the morning.  I have found that I get the best results in the shortest amount of time with styling bangs when I wash and condition at night and then just quickly jump in the shower and wet my hair in the morning.  I still use a styling cream in the morning in order to tame my hair before straightening, I will always need to use this type of product to fully smooth my hair out and protect it before heat styling.

Daily use of this product has made my ends softer and more manageable plus it helps to prime my hair for styling products in the morning.  This will be a product that I will in the fall, winter, and early spring as my hair is always drier during these times of the year.  Next summer, I will be trying it out when wearing my hair wavy.  I can use it at night as usual and then scrunch and style it in the morning. 

I am very glad that I found this next product from Toni and Guy and that I now have an introduction to this brand.  I will be looking these products up and seeing where I can more of them to buy in my area. 

photo courtesy of Toni and Guy

Monday, October 14, 2013

MAC Holiday Colour Collection - Divine Night

The holidays are fast approaching and my favorite holidays collections are starting to hit the stores and company websites.  We have already looked at Too Faced and Urban Decay and one of the ones that I have anticipated the most has hit the company's website late today.  The one that I look forward to the most every single year is the MAC Holiday Colour Collection, this is often one of their best collections of the whole year and one that I covet at least half of the products and shades from every single year.  My favorite year was the one that was inspired by tartan plaid and Scotland themes but I have never once seen a bad collection come out from this company at the holidays.  Every year, I think that the retail industry rushes the holiday season and this year is no exception, I haven't even eaten half of my Halloween candy yet but I will be switching gears to thinking about the holidays very soon, the collections come out very fast this time of the year and it can be hard to keep up if I don't start strong.

"What happens at night stays there. M•A•C captures the moment when flashing lights illuminate a flair for finery and limitless luxury that can only be described as divine. Gorgeous colours in rich finishes inspire an evening on the scene and to be seen. Enjoy yourself - past midnight, the darkness keeps the secrets. Available for PRO Discount."  I have been seeing a lot of collections that are inspired by nighttime and glamour (thinking Great Gatsby) and this collection from MAC proves that this trend will be huge for this holiday season.  I personally am not a huge holiday party person, the holidays for me are more about trying to balance finals and work and I leave very little time left over for seeing people.  Maybe this is the year that I get dressed up and change that trend.  I do love getting dressed up and maybe this will be the best motivating factor for me!

Here is the Divine Night Collection from MAC!

Divine Night Mineralize Eye Shadow - Baked minerals refined into a powder formula provide exceptionally sheer and lightweight application. Colour builds lightly, layer after layer, without heavy coverage. Pairs two rich, contrasting shades with the graphic impact of a luxe powder design. Limited-edition Divine Night packaging.
- Captivating - bright white gold base/deep gold
- Exquisite Ego - bronze base with soft white champagne
- Until Dawn - soft gold base/purple taupe
- Gilded Night - bright gold with silver pearl base/black with pearl
- Past Midnight - blackish purple with violet pearl base/soft white pink frost
- Tonight's Temptation - black with pearl base/royal blue

Divine Night Fluidline - Ultra-smooth, gel formula provides the precision of a liquid liner with a silkier, softer finish. Apply with brush in an easy dip-and-stroke action. Long-lasting. Smudge-proof. Lines up in a rich array of colours and finishes. Brush sold separately. Limited-edition Divine Night packaging.
- Stares and Speculation - dirty olive with gold pearl
- Deliciously Rich - shimmering dirty taupe
- Macroviolet - deep smoked violet with red pearl

False Lashes - Fashionably false in look, but honestly real, this mascara's key benefits of volume and curl are matched by a dramatic end look. The unique edge: the ultra-thickening formula in combo with the plush-'em-up action of its unique double-lush brush.
- False Black - black

Divine Night Kohl Power Eye Pencil - A kohl pencil that has all the intensity and colour power of ultra-soft carbon. Specially formulated to provide deep, opaque coverage and an intense, smoked finish with duo-chrome pearl. Versatile in application: blend or smudge. Limited-edition Divine Night packaging.
- Orpheus - intense black with gold pearl
- Raven - intense black with red pearl
- Mystery - intense black with green pearl
- Feline - intense black with black pearl

Divine Night Lipstick - Colour plus texture for the lips that made M•A•C famous. Sophisticated shades in lustrous nude, satin taupe, red and plum. Limited-edition Divine Night packaging.
- You've Got It - pink undertone with gold frost
- Flair for Finery - cool pink/nude
- Exclusive Event - taupe brown
- Private Party - dirty pink mauve
- Prepare for Pleasure - clean magenta red

Divine Night Cremesheen Glass - A lip finish that fuses the creamy sheen of Cremesheen Lipstick with the shine of M∙A∙C Lipglass. Soft, comfortable, non-sticky. Applies with a doe-foot applicator. Use as a top layer to Lipstick or on its own. Limited-edition Divine Night packaging.
- Flair for Finery - cool nude
- You've Got It - nude taupe with green pearl
- Private Party - plum mauve with pearl
- Prepare for Pleasure - bluish red

Divine Night Mineralize Blush - Baked minerals refined into a powder formula to provide exceptionally sheer and lightweight application. Colour builds lightly, layer after layer, without heavy coverage. Veils and enhances the cheekbones with a luminous, pearlized shimmer. Limited-edition Divine Night packaging.
- Lure to Love - cool pink base with pink frost
- Talk of the Town - warm brown base with yellow bronze
- Lavish Living - violet with silver pearl base with gold pearl

Divine Night Mineralize Skinfinish - A luxurious velvet-soft powder with high-frost metallic finish. Adds buffed-up highlights to cheeks or an overall ultra-deluxe polish to the face. Pairs two rich, contrasting shades with the graphic impact of a luxe powder design. Limited-edition Divine Night packaging.
- Centre of Attention - pastel peachy pink with fine pink shimmer/24K gold shimmer
- Perfectly Poised - bronzey coral with golden tones/creamy beige with pinkish purple sheen
- Scene to Be Seen - mauve with pink sheen/brick rose with gold reflects

Divine Night Nail Lacquer - Velvet gold, darkest silver suede and blackened burgundy gloss nails with a lacquered finish to fire up everyone's envy in our high-gloss formula. Contains conditioners and UV protection. Limited-edition Divine Night packaging.
- Fierce Entrance - rich gold bronze
- Military - black matte with silver suede pearl
- Gadabout Girl - blackened plum

This collection has some absolutely amazing products and my favorites are the new Nail Lacquer shades, I must have all three of these new shades and they are ones that I want to order the day that they come up on the MAC website.  I haven't been this excited about nail polish shades since last summer's Butter London collection and I am so glad that I haven't been buying many new shades because I have extra room in my collection to pick up all three of these new shades.  If I had to choose only one, my favorite is the Military shade, I have nothing like this and I haven't seen many shades like this ever before.  This might be my top choice of the whole collection!

I want products for every single facial feature from this collection.  I am going to start with eye makeup since I have been trying to buy more eye makeup products and cut back on the lip products.  I haven't done very well with this so far but I love these Divine Night Mineralize Eye Shadows and this might be a turning point in my shopping!  I will start with this product, the shades that I must have are Captivating, Exquisite Ego, and Gilded Night.  All of these are shimmering neutrals and I will be able to get lots of use from them in the holiday season and then throughout the whole year.  The Fluidlines are my preferred type of eyeliners, I prefer cream eye liner formulas to pencil ones and I have been all about trying new formulas recently.  I want the Deliciously Rich shade, this is yet another one that will be perfect for the holidays and then for the rest of the winter months.

Lip products are not what I should be buying but I cannot resist at least one new addition to my huge lip gloss and lipstick collection with the Divine Night release.  I can skip over the Lipsticks in this collection, the pale pink one is the only one that I like but I already own two very similar shades to this from MAC.  I must try the Private Party shade of the Cremesheen Glass, this mauve will be very pretty for the fall and winter months and I don't think that I own any type of shade that is similar to this one.  I will be skipping over the blush shades until I can see them at the counter, they are all frosty finishes and I prefer a matte finish blush.  I would be interested in trying these shade only if they weren't very frosty/shimmery so I will need to try these at the counter and then make my decision.

This is great start to the holiday collections, I may not be ready to gift shop but I will be ready to makeup shop very soon!

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Karlie Kloss's Side Part and Bangs

I have had my new bangs for about a month and I have been styling with a center part or by pulling my face framing layers back in a clip.  I like styling it in these ways but I am always on the look out for more ways to style my hair.  Now that the humidity of the late summer and early fall is over, I am looking for more ways to wear my hair down.  Before I but my bangs short, I had often worn my hair with a deep side part and long bangs but I haven't tried my hair in this kind of part with my shorter bangs.

I love this picture of Karlie Kloss because she has her hair styled very close to what I have in mind with my new bangs and a side part.  Her hair is much shorter than mine but I am hoping that with a careful straightening and much less humidity I am get mine straight and very smooth. 

I will be looking at what deep conditioners I have and top quality smoothers and will be plotting on how to try and make this look work.  Details to come...

photo courtesy of Google

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Urban Decay Holiday 2013 Collection

Too Faced started my early look at the upcoming holiday season and today we will be following it up with the new gift releases from Urban Decay.  Urban Decay and Too Faced are two of my favorite brands to give gifts from and to order items for myself.  I guess this means that I can start my gift shopping early...for both myself and the ladies on my gift list.  I am taking my time with holiday shopping since we haven't hit Halloween yet and I am still in full fall mode.  I think I will be looking mostly for some new eye makeup from this company's holiday collection.

I am most excited to see the introduction of the Vice 2 Eye Shadow palette, I never got my hands on the original Vice palette and am excited to see if this version will be just as good for me.  I also saw pictures of the cult-favorite Heavy Metal liner that was discontinued a few years ago.  I am really thinking about a bright gold shade in this product to create beautiful nighttime holiday eye looks.

Urban Decay holiday gifts!

Vice 2 Eye Shadow Palette - Judging by the all-too-frequent requests on our Facebook page to “bring back Vice!,” we’re not the only ones with an insatiable shadow addiction. For fans that missed out the first time (and beauty junkies jonesing for their next fix), Urban Decay launches Vice 2—a luxe, sophisticated palette loaded with 20 ALL-NEW (and unbelievably gorgeous) Eyeshadow shades. Experiment with insanely cool brights, not-your-average neutrals, and sexy hits of smoke, all in our decadent, revamped formula. But here’s the part we can’t stress enough: YES, it’s limited edition and it WILL sell out. (And trust us, you don’t want to know about the extreme measures you’d have to resort to in order to land one when that happens.)
- Smokeout - dark taupey-black satin
- Lovesick - black matte with iridescent micro-glitter
- Shellshock - bright metallic silver
- Coax - medium metallic pink with golden iridescent micro-sparkle
- X-Rated - baby pink satin
- Prank - deep navy matte with turquoise floating pearl
- Madness - bright metallic blue shimmer with blue micro-glitter
- Strike - antique gold shimmer with silver micro-glitter
- Stash - deep olive green shimmer with iridescent micro-sparkle
- Poison - charcoal satin with iridescent micro-sparkle
- Radar - metallic brown shimmer with iridescent micro-glitter
- Damaged - bright metallic emerald shimmer
- Voodoo - metallic purple shimmer with iridescent purple micro-glitter
- Betrayal - bright purple satin with blue shift
- Derailed - medium metallic taupey-brown shimmer
- Dope - warm champagne satin
- Toxic - metallic copper-pink shimmer with tonal micro-glitter
- Habit - light nude matte
- Ambush - metallic brown satin
- Rewind - medium brown matte

Ocho Loco 2 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil Set - When our Ocho Loco Eye Pencil Set launched last year, we knew it would be popular—but we had no idea just how popular. The frenzy was so out of control that we’re still getting a ton of requests for it (nearly a year later!). With that kind of demand, we’d be crazy not to do a follow-up. Urban Decay launches Ocho Loco 2. This LIMITED-edition set features a dark, edgy rainbow of eight FULL-SIZE 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils—including FIVE EXCLUSIVE new shades.
- Roach - deep copper brown shimmer
- Twice Baked - rich brown satin with gold micro-sparkle (New and Exclusive)
- Crave - deepest, darkest brown-black matte (New and Exclusive)
- Perversion - blackest black matte
- Deep End - bright metallic peacock shimmer
- Mars - bright metallic green shimmer (New and Exclusive)
- Ultraviolet - bright blue-violet shimmer (New and Exclusive)
- Tornado - dark eggplant pearl (New and Exclusive)

Black Market 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil Set - Like the most addictive of illicit substances, our 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil sets have been known to provoke some pretty insane behavior in fans eager for more of our creamy, forever-lasting liner. (Remember Ocho Loco? Of course you do. Enough said.) Urban Decay launches Black Market 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil Set. The perfect travel-size stash, this LIMITED-edition set includes six darkly gorgeous hues of our award-winning liner—including FIVE EXCLUSIVE new shades.
- West - dark brown pearl (New and Exclusive)
- Desperation - deep taupe-gray matte
- Black Market - charcoal black satin (New and Exclusive)
- Riot - smoky gray matte with violet and fuchsia micro-sparkle (New and Exclusive)
- Apathy - metallic olive green shimmer (New and Exclusive)
- Ink - deep navy blue satin (New and Exclusive)

Anarchy Face Case - Urban Decay launches Anarchy Face Case and Shattered Face Case—all-in-one palettes for the most discriminating beauty junkies. Each LIMITED-edition Face Case includes colors for your eyes, lips and cheeks (many of them NEW and EXCLUSIVE), giving you all the essentials for a range of looks. Perfect for quick getaways, rushed mornings and last-minute invites to stay the night, these travel-size palettes fit stealthily into your bag—making it easy to create a hot look no matter where you are.
- Redemption - deep gunmetal satin (New and Exclusive)
- Fray - warm mauve matte (New and Exclusive)
- Vaporize - deep metallic gray-taupe shimmer (New and Exclusive)
- Provocateur  - light metallic mauve shimmer with multidimensional micro-glitter
- Revolt - bright metallic silver shimmer with silver micro-glitter (New and Exclusive)
- Fetish - mauve-pink
- Quickie - bright pink
- Craze - pale gold shimmer (New and Exclusive)
- Scandal - bright metallic raspberry shimmer
- Perversion - blackest black matte

Shattered Face Case - Urban Decay launches Anarchy Face Case and Shattered Face Case—all-in-one palettes for the most discriminating beauty junkies. Each LIMITED-edition Face Case includes colors for your eyes, lips and cheeks (many of them NEW and EXCLUSIVE), giving you all the essentials for a range of looks. Perfect for quick getaways, rushed mornings and last-minute invites to stay the night, these travel-size palettes fit stealthily into your bag—making it easy to create a hot look no matter where you are.
- Nameless - medium gray-brown satin (New and Exclusive)
- Remix - rich purple shimmer with tonal micro-glitter (New and Exclusive)
- Shakedown - rich brown-gunmetal satin (New and Exclusive)
- Minor Sin - champagne-pink satin (New and Exclusive)
- Bleach - yellow-beige matte (New and Exclusive)
- Overexposed - dusty rose (New and Exclusive)
- Temper - soft baby pink (New and Exclusive)
- Glint - soft pink-champagne shimmer (New and Exclusive)
- Lovechild - cool pink cream
- Zero - zealous black cream

Naked Illuminated Shimmering Powder - Ever wanted to get that gorgeous Naked flush all over (even when you haven’t actually done the deed)? Urban Decay launches Naked Illuminated Shimmering Powder for Face and Body. This soft, glowing beige powder contains a sophisticated, micro-fine shimmer worthy of the Naked name. You really have to see it to appreciate how insanely beautiful it is. Simply dust on Naked Illuminated Shimmering Powder wherever you want to create an instant Naked glow. This smooth, silky powder contains light-reflecting particles that create a luminous, radiant look. Like the perfect quickie, it gives you a sexy, just-finished flush that will have people asking what (or whom) you’ve been doing.
- Naked - soft glowing beige powder

Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner - Like a gateway drug to hardcore sparkle, Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner provides a heavy dose of glam-rock—minus the frequent stints in rehab. But lest these glittery liners fade away into obscurity like far too many once-hot rock stars (Axl Rose, anyone?), we decided it was time to give them a makeover. Urban Decay relaunches Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner. It’s the same fan-favorite formula as before, just with a hot new look and two new shades. This water-based, buildable liner contains super-fine glitter in a clear base that dries down quickly and REALLY stays put (for long wear without any fallout). Wear Heavy Metal alone, apply it over our Eyeshadow or layer two shades together for a more intense glam-rock effect.
- Midnight - cowboy beige glitter
- Glamrock - silver glitter
- Distortion - iridescent glitter
- ACDC - bright purple glitter
- Spandex - deep blue-black with iridescent glitter
- Amp - light blue with iridescent glitter (new)
- Junkshow - bright pink with iridescent glitter (new)

I am obsessed with this collection and I need to start my shopping now!  My biggest priority is getting the Vice 2 Eye Palette before it sells out.  If I can only order one item from this new collection, that would be my top choice.  I collect Urban Decay palettes and need to add another one to my collection, I have found that palettes from this company are among the best in the whole industry.  I need to add this to my eye shadow range, this is one company that I don't care if I own multiples of the same shade from since I will use them all.

The rest of my shopping list is pretty much this whole collection.  I really want to try the Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner this time around.  My top choices are Midnight and Glamrock.  I'm also really excited about the Illuminating Shimmer Powder and I cannot wait to use this to dress my look up this holiday season.  I really like both Face Cases and will be adding both to my collection very soon along with both of the 24/7 Eyeliner sets. 

This is going to be a huge collection for me and I will be picking most of the new products up in the next few weeks.  We will see if any other holiday collection can top it!

photo courtesy of Urban Decay

Friday, October 11, 2013

Fitness Friday - Almonds

Today's Fitness Friday returns to healthy snacks and alternative sources of protein.  One of my least favorite aspects of the cooler weather is the lack of fresh fruit that I can easily buy.  I am making up for this by turning more to juices and trying to work seeds and nuts into my diet on a more regular basis.  Almonds have long been my favorite nut to snack on so we will tart with showcasing their benefits today and then I will start trying more out and featuring them in upcoming Fitness Fridays.

Many people tend to avoid almonds because they are very high in fat but many of the health benefits that they contain will overweigh the fat content.  Eating anything in moderation is the key and is the balance between the high fat content and the rest of the health benefits that are reaped from the nut.  I found an article about the nine health benefits that can be reaped from the regular consumption of almonds.  One of the best articles that I have found is from www.authoritynutrition.com and I am pulling the nine major points from the article.

Almonds deliver a massive amount of nutrients.  This nut contains a good amount of fiber, protein, and Vitamin E.  Protein is essential to my diet and I always need new ways to find plant-based proteins as I do not eat meat.  Fiber helps one to feel full and will reduce the amount of the nut that is needed to be eaten.  Vitamin E helps with skin and hair health.  All in all, there are some great health benefits to be reaped from this tasty nut.

Almonds are loaded with antioxidants.  Antioxidants help with cell health and work to stave off oxidative damage to the external and internal organs.

Almonds are high in Vitamin E which protects your cell membranes from damage.  Vitamin E also works to prevent and reduce the effect of oxidative damage for inner and outer cell membranes.

Almonds can assist with blood sugar control.  This food contains a high amount of Magnesium which helps to regular blood sugar control and reduce the probability of Type 2 Diabetes.

Magnesium also have benefits for blood pressure levels.  Lowering blood pressure reduces the probability of heart attack and other cardiovascular disorders.

Almonds can lower cholesterol level.  This food helps to lower levels of LDL in the blood, leading to a reduction in the risk of heart disease.

Almonds prevent harmful oxidation of LDL cholesterol.  Lack of oxidation of LDL will help to stave off heart diseases.

Eating almonds reduces hunger, lowering your overall calorie intake.  Foods with high fiber and protein contents help you feel full longer so you will eat less and take less calories in.  This helps with weight loss.

Almonds are incredibly effective for weight loss.  Even though they have a high fat content, the fiber and protein contents overshadow this aspect of the nut.

I am working a serving or two of almonds into my day routine and using them as an afternoon snack right now.  I tend to go right to school or the gym after work and need something that will keep me feeling full for longer than most foods so that I am not binging on junk food in the later hours of the night.  I will keep adding more nuts into my diet and deciding what ones I like the most.

photo courtesy of authoritynutrition.com