Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2009 Here we come!

So 2009 has snuck up on me....ambushed me really! I was in my local Starbucks today and was wished a Happy New Year, only to realize that today is actually the eve of said year! Good grief, the time seems like it is on fast forward these days.

The holidays should have been ample warning but for some reason 2008 has been a bit of a blur to me.

I rarely make New Years resolutions as doing so only seems like an invitation to the fates to conspire against you. I don't mean that in a negative way but let's just say I have met with limited success when it comes to resolutions. I think we all know where I am coming from on this one and I offer the first few weeks of the new year in my gym as proof. January is a mad house with the cardio equipment being fought over by reluctant gym goers donning sweat pants dug out of the bottom drawer.

By mid-February I can exercise in peace again as most of those resolutions to go to the gym more regularly have fallen by the wayside. I too fall off the wagon at various times of the year so I don't want anyone thinking I am self righteous on this point. I HATE exercising but regard it as a necessary evil.

So I say to hell with resolution making and instead I hope and wish for 2009 that whatever will bring you happiness and contentment will come your way.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Bobbi Brown - Bright Eyes Palette

Oh good lord in heaven I thank you for Bobbi Brown and her makeup creations. I mean this dear blog reader and I hope you are with me on this one. BB rarely disappoints with her makeup offerings and lately she has just kept on getting better and more adventurous which is right up my alley.

Behold the new Bright Eyes palette which features 35 shades of bright soft matte shades of eyeshadow for $70. I found this at Neiman Marcus and had a little mini makeup happy attack when I spotted it. The palette was inspired by BB at fashion week and while the color is bright it is still very wearable which is mainly due to the lack of shimmer.

This would make a great gift for any makeup junkie you have on your list or a seriously fabulous stocking stuffer!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Lipstick Queen - Liner

As I have previously written, I heart Lipstick Queen and while I can not find fault with the line I have hoped and prayed that one day lip liners would be added that match the lipsticks. I worried that the day would never come because Poppy King seems to be a lipstick purest. I have no problem with that but some of her lipsticks are so perfect that finding equal perfection in liner form has been a challenge.

Well thank the good lord above because Poppy has heard my prayers and answered them with liners that are creamy, keep lipstick in place, and are indeed a perfect match for her lipsticks.

My favorite shade is Rose Saint and Sinner. Rose is pink without being Barbie or bubble gum. It is an adult pink that is bright but deep and perfect! Rose lip liner is equally perfect and I bought 3. One for my purse, one for my bathroom and a backup!

Lipstick Queen is available at Barneys and the liners are $18.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Chanel - Russian Nights

Chanel's new Russian Collection for nails is beyond fabulous. All the polishes are a black base with micro-glitter and retail for a cool 30 big ones.

I saw these on All Lacquered Up, one of my favorite blogs out there, and practically drooled on my keyboard. I admit to being enamored of the black or nearly black nail trend but haven't been willing to give it a go myself. Up until spotting this collection it has seemed like the realm of the young and trendy, which I am not.

My interest in clothes and trends outside of makeup is nearly nonexistent and my twenties have come and gone. But as I said this collection caught my fancy and had me jumping in the car to head for San Francisco and my local Chanel boutique.

Right away I spotted the little display of polishes and my intent was to pick one possibly two of the shades. No dice...I was drawn in by the loveliness of these and couldn't help myself. The micro-glitter is a fine shimmer that keeps the polishes from looking too black but the drama is all there.

Nuit de Russie (pictured) is a deep sapphire jewel and does not look like it belongs on the hands of a teenager. It has class and sophistication and would not suffer chips gladly. Feu de Russie is red with black and goes more burgundy when applied but is stunning none the less. Or de Russie has gobs of gold shimmer and is the least black of the 3.

I agree with All Lacquered Up when she writes about having a crush on Peter Phillips, Chanel's new global creative director. I mean how could you not after he gives us polish like this.

If you have ever thought about giving dark nails a whirl I highly recommend giving these a look. You can find them at or Chanel boutiques.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Korres - Vanilla Plum Set

The Vanilla Plum set is a screamin' deal at $19.50 and it smells yummy! Korres is by far one of my favorite lotion, body butter, shower gel type stuff company and I spent a small fortune at their Soho boutique in February.

The lotions and butters are moisturizing without being greasy and most of the scents are divine. (quince is the noted exception for me)

The Vanilla Plum bag is a perfect stocking stuffer and I think my husband might even like this one. He too is a Korres fan. This and many other holiday sets from Korres can be found at Sephora.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Lipstick Queen - Medieval

Lipstick Queen is a line of lip products that I love. For those that read this blog you will know of my great love of these flawless lipsticks. Poppy King the creator of Lipstick Queen has been adding to the lineup lately and Medieval is one of my favorite additions.

Medieval is a treatment and sheer blood red lip color in one. The idea behind the color is taken from medieval times when according to Poppy it was a sin for women to wear full color lipstick. Instead women would stain their lips with berries for color and that idea is the inspiration for Medieval.

Red lips are one of the hottest trends for fall but not everyone feels confident about wearing an opaque red lipstick. Medieval makes it easy to wiggle your toes in the pool without jumping in the deep end of this trend.

Medieval can be found at Barneys for $18.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Givenchy Holiday 2008 Palette

What's up pussy cat! This Givenchy palette makes me think of a friend that rocks a brown smokey eye and has that certain kind of long hair that has volume and curl and screams take me to the bedroom now!

Seriously if I could have long hair like hers and rock the brown smokey eye I would grow my own hair out pronto and this palette would be a must purchase item!

As it is my own hair would be flat and lackluster at her length and I have to watch it with too much brown on the eye or I risk looking like I rolled in mud.

Ah well we can't have everything but this Givenchy palette for $53 makes me feel like I can have a little piece of my pal's come hither appeal! And of course you must go to Sephora, my house of worship, to get the goods.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Laura Mercier Eye Book

Laura Mercier's Eye Book is a Sephora exclusive and can be had for $45. I love palettes but like most people I am usually sorry I got them because only a few shades actually see any use and the rest are big 'ol waste of money. The Eye Book might just be an exception.

The Eye Book has 8 very wearable eyeshadows and a sensibly chosen black liner shadow. The double ended brush is great for applying the shadows and has a pointed end for lining.

The shades included range from great base shades to highlighters and on down to crease colors for day to night looks.

All in all a great palette for travel or everyday use!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hourglass Vol. 6

Here is the Houglass face palette that I found at Sephora and have fallen in love with. This palette goes by the name of Zodiac for $58 and features 4 eyeshadows and 2 lipcolors.

Hourglass is not cheap makeup but it is fantastic quality and has the all the things you would expect from a high end line. The colors are silky and blendable with high pigmentation. I have never been disappointed with the color portion of this line.

This palette is very versatile with shadows that go from day to night, has a mirror that swivels all the way around and can be quite handy for application of the go.

You can find Hourglass at Sephora and Barneys.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Harajuku Lovers Set

OMG! I am instantly transformed into my teenage self and am drooling over the sheer cuteness of these little Harajuku Lovers heads filled with solid perfume.

Seriously I want all of them and don't know if I could part with a single one even if I hated the scent inside....really who cares they are just so damn cuuuuutttttte!

So setting aside my Pretty In Pink lovin', crush on Blaine teenage self, these are a fabulous gift for anyone who would be bowled over by the cute factor or you could split them up to give as little stocking stuffers.

My daughter is already hankering for these and I don't know how well we can share. There might be a tussle over the Gwen head.

This coffret set can be found at Nordstrom and Sephora and will set you back $60 but the cuteness of these alone makes it worth every penny!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bare Escentuals - Diamond Lips

Someone over at BE must be a MAC fan because these are the most blatant imitation of Dazzleglass that I have seen so far. To be fair that isn't necessarily a bad thing as imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but then again they need to live up to the loveliness that is Dazzleglass.

BE's Buxom Diamond Lips have all the great attributes that make me a fan of the Buxom glosses. The fragrance in these is pleasant, the cool minty feeling is refreshing unlike some plumpers that make you feel that your lips are being seared off. Buxom gloss has pretty good staying power as far as gloss goes and is not overly sticky.

For the most part Diamond Buxoms follow the Buxom formula but the glitter in these leaves something to be desired. Dazzleglass had me scared when I read the description on the MAC site and it referred to large particle pearl. I figured this had to mean chunk city but while MAC avoided that, BE does not.

Diamond Buxoms feel a bit gritty and when the actual gloss disappears it leaves the glitter behind and stuck to your lips. This is a shame because the gloss colors are nice and the Buxom formula in general is one I love.

This limited set is $28 and includes 4 mini tubes in pink, raspberry, peach and mauve.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Stila - Gift of Glaze Set

I love Stila's Lip Glaze in general and a set of them in particular. This is definitely one of those one for me, one for my pal, gift ideas.

This six pack for $28 includes:

Vanilla - pearly nude
Brown Sugar - shimmering golden nude
Raisin - golden plum
Grapefruit - frosted pink
Apricot - melon nectarine
Gumdrop - vibrant pink

Raisin and Gumdrop are new shades and I am praying that Raisin joins the permanent line. I love the delivery of these click pens as well since its like having a lip brush with you at all times.

These sets are available at Sephora.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Make up For ever - Limited Palette

I love Sephora in the spingtime
I love Sephora in the fall
I love Sephora in the winter when it drizzles
I love Sephora in the summer when it sizzles
Why, oh why, do I love Sephora
Because my love is there!

My makeup love I mean....

Okay so I am sorry for that little moment I just had but really that song just begs to be sung for my love affair with Sephora. Seriously, I heart Sephora big time and wish I could camp there for a weekend and just play and shop to my hearts content.

This palette by MUFE is one reason that Sephora rocks my makeup world. This palette is very limited (100 of them to be precise) and is $390 and can only be had at, you guessed it,! It is filled with 30 shadows and blushes and is signed by Danny Sanz the creator of MUFE.

I would love to own this one but the price is a bit prohibitive for my MAC depleted makeup budget so if any of you get one please share all the details!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Tarte - The Vanity Limited Edition Palette

Oh my lord in heaven just look at this treasure trove of goodies ! I swear I nearly died when I spotted this one in Sephora on my lunch break.

I happen to love Tarte cosmetics but this set of palettes for $52 is a must have in my book. If I received this as a gift my heart would swell with happiness for the giver of such a gift is saying I LOVE YOU!

Here's what is in this gem:

16 full size eyeshadows
16 lipgloss pans
large luminizer and large bronzer
4 blushes
2 brushes

Wow, that is a whole lot of lovin' for $52. Check this one out at Sephora.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

MAC - Little Darlings

Little Darlings, what an appropriate name for these little treasures! These lovely sets will be on counters today and are all priced around $30. They are practically gift wrapped for you so I say perfect gift giving item for pals or for yourself.

From left you have the warm pigment set, cool pigment set, Softsparkle eye pencil set, coral lips, pink lips, and neutral lip set. The lip sets have both Lipglass and Lustreglass in them but my real must have item are the pigment sets.

I love pigments! Truly they make my heart beat a bit faster when I spot them all lined up just ready for me to play makeup with them. Oh pigments how I love you so!

The warm set includes Gold Dusk, Gold Mode, Gold Stroke, Melon, and Reflects Antique Gold Glitter. I am buying 2 of this one as I do not ever want to run out of Gold Dusk, ever!

The cool set includes Frost, Quietly, Pinked Mauve, Teal, and Reflects Blackened Red Glitter.

The pigment sets are usually quick to go so don't wait if one catches your fancy!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Bare Escentuals - Pure & Bare Pleasures

I am a big fan of these annual 9 piece sets that BE puts out. With 9 eyeshadows to choose from at $48 I say ring it up! There are actually 2 sets one being sold at Sephora (Bare) and the other at BE boutiques (Pure).

Of the 2 Pure Pleasures wins my vote because 5 of the shadows are limited to the set while Bare is mostly color you can find in the permanent line.

Pure Pleasures has Pamper, Classic Rock, Shantung, True Gold, Cultured Pearl, Magnetize, Madras, Black Pearl and Caviar shadows.

Caviar is a deep midnight blue black that makes a great liner for any of the colors in the set. True Gold is a 24k gold that is a gorgeous BE staple and one of the best gold shadows out there from any brand. Madras is my favorite of the limited offerings. BE describes it as a neutral taupe but I think it has quite a bit of warm peachy undertones and it is a great one nearly anyone can wear.

As I have said in a lot of posts lately, this is a lovely gift for a makeup junkie friend or a lovely gift to reward yourself for all that early shopping!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

MAC - Passions of Red

Here they are....MAC's annual holiday palettes. Between the packaging and the color choices this is a great collection and far better than they have been in the recent past. The most recent holiday sets in my memory were filled with hits and misses which left me passing on them altogether. These palettes are a vast improvement and are not only worth purchasing for your own collection but are very giftable.

There are 4 eye palettes and are pictured from left to right are classic, warm, smokey, and cool eyes. Warm and cool are especially lovely with cool having all exclusive eyeshadow colors. Smokey would be a great gift for someone who doesn't have a ton of MAC already.

The 3 lip palettes are coral, cool pink, and plum with plum being the clear winner and a favorite for me already.

All the palettes are $22.50 and come with a brush.

As I go to post this Obama is the projected new president of the USA. Whether you voted for him or not this is a historic and wonderful moment in our history. This is an election that you will tell your children and grandchildren about. After all this election proves that anybody can grow up and be our president which is a truly wonderful thing.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Stila - Step Out and Shine

This lovely Stila set can be had for $50 and with the exception of the mascara is worth every penny. I have tried the Multi-Effect mascara before and it didn't float my boat.

However the other products in this sassy little silver clutch are worth the 50 bucks alone. First the eye quad in shades of purple and the Convertible Color in Orchid are super yummy. Also the All Over Shimmer Luminizer is a favorite of mine. The real fun comes in with the Pomegranate Crush Lip and Cheek Stain. It is a little sneak peek on the next version of the very popular Cherry Stain.

My understanding is that Pomegranate will come out in full size next year but until then you can get your paws on this mini version now.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Skincare

The most frequent question I am asked is why I love makeup so much and the second is invariably what are my favorite products. When it comes to makeup I can rattle off a product I love in a split second but I tend to hold back when it comes to skincare.

I think it is time to come clean, so to speak. By and large I use Paula's Choice skincare with the exception of Olay Foaming Face Wash and prescriptions like Tri-Luma & Tazorac. None of the products I use are expensive or what I would call fancy and I guess that's where my reluctance to divulge comes in. I guess I feel a little frumpy next to girls who swear by some serum that is $100 an ounce and involves some exotic sounding cocktail of ingredients.

When it comes to skincare I am not willing to take as many chances and I want solid science to back up prices. I want packaging that makes sense (opaque and airtight) and can actually keep all those peptides and antioxidants stable and sanitary, which jar packaging is hopeless at.

Don't get me wrong, there are some great brands available out there sold in the drug and department stores, but there isn't a line that gets it right across the board.

I have been a big fan of Paula Begoun's books and her admirable research for years and have come to rely on her line for solid skincare that really works and lives up to it's claims.

The packaging is nothing that gets my heart fluttering but her Super Antioxidant Concentrate is amazing and feels weightless with a whole cadre of antioxidants packed in the tube. Her moisturizers are effective and tell the truth about what they can and can not do with some gel based choices for oily skin that I would cross a desert for. This line also has great acne control products, along with AHA and BHA gels that are unbeatable for the price and are the correct ph to exfoliate.

Nothing in this line is over $30 and samples are available for about a $1.

What about you my dear you find yourself wanting to love the pricey pretty stuff with the hope that it might work? There's no shame in admitting it because I would be right there with you. The lure of those well marketed gems in their luxurious packages is strong.

With technology constantly bringing newer and better wonder ingredients to market, each promising to better than the last, it can be hard to figure out what is worth trying. It would be great if a cream or serum could produce Botox-like results but I think in our hearts we know this is not possible. This is what sends me back to Paula every time and her marvelous Beautypedia.

I highly recommend her line of skincare and her guarantee and prices make it easy to try this stuff with confidence. As I said, you won't find crazy promises of a fountain of youth in a bottle but you will find well formulated products that are well priced and have kept my skin looking great through acne and aging.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Diorshow Ionic Mascara

Here is Dior's latest mascara offering that is supposed to curl, lift and separate your lashes. I will preface this review by saying I have never been a Diorshow fan and just don't get the hoopla. I have actually tried Diorshow Blackout and was less than impressed with the results.

First off it didn't look any blacker than average to me. Second the stuff smudged and gave me raccoon eyes which is not a look I strive for. Third I think there is some great brush technology out there and this on is relying on the thick nylon bottle brush variety.

But Ionic claims to be smudge proof and the oblique brush looked promising. Frankly for $27 I expect them to make good on ALL their claims.

I was immediately apprehensive when I pulled the wand out of the tube as it was loaded with mascara...a lot of mascara. I had to wipe the wand down or there would have been a problem. Right away I must tell you that I intrinsically do not like wiping down wands as it is always messy and dang it that is my overpriced mascara I am throwing away!

So in terms of length, volume, and separation Ionic did well. I wasn't blown away but it wasn't a disappointment either. I suppose I expect great things from a $30 mascara and I feel like I get the same or better results from drugstore brands like Covergirl Lash Blast.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Vincent Longo - Flower Set

I stumbled across this Vincent Longo eyeshadow set the other day and fell in love instantly! Seriously just look at those cute little flower shadows and all those colors.

The set of four is $38 and was inspired by Mediterranean wildflowers. This is a great gift or 4 excellent stocking stuffers!

Friday, October 24, 2008

MAC - Red She Said

Well it's official. MAC is single handedly trying to bolster our sagging economy by having us poor addicted makeup junkies spend ourselves into oblivion! MAC just keeps putting out one gorgeous collection after another and my bank account has been left to limp along and try to recover.

Red She Said is on counters now and my strategy for not filing makeup bankruptcy is to really edit myself and what I buy from each collection. I look over my current makeup carefully and make sure that I am not buying blatant duplicates and I never buy multiples of anything unless it is a holy grail type product that I would be willing to buy on EBay later.

So far this strategy is working fairly well and I have found myself leaving my local MAC store with a lot less than the full collection.

Red She Said has lots to love but I tried very hard to be reasonable which is not my strong suit with MAC. Here are my picks:

Eye Trios in Word of Mouth, Threesome, and Inter-view. I loved all the trios with the bronze stripe but the silver stripes just didn't grab me. I do like Danger Zone with the ruby red and black but am trying to edit.

I also picked Stark Naked out of the Beauty Powders. It is a girly pink mauve and will see lots of use in my blush palette.

I love Soft Pause lipstick a sheer brown-berry shade but passed on the Dazzleglass because most were re-released colors. I do hope Dazzleglass joins the permanent line and we see some new colors come our way.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Smashbox Beauty Blockbuster

Blockbuster is right and at $105 you better believe this black bag is sporting a lot of stuff! Here are the goods:

Lip Service Lip Palette
Photo Op Under Eye Brightener
Mini Soft Lights in Highlight
Photo Finish Primer
Mini Lip Gloss in Desire and Beauty
Sheer Lip Pencil in Miami Beach
Bionic Mascara in Black
Eyelights Palettes in Strobe and Beam (3 pan palette)

In other words this is a whole lot of stuff! The lip palette is a must have and the Eyelights palettes are wonderfully creamy shadows that make blending easy.

Smashbox has put together a serious set of goodies and you can find it at Sephora, of course!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bare Escentuals - Extreme Glimmer Set

BE is making it hard to not just shop for myself these days and I have vowed to get my holiday shopping done before Thanksgiving. This is an ambitious goal for me as I am a chronic last minute shopper sifting through the picked over piles on Christmas Eve.

I wanted to love BE's Extreme Glimmers set for $32. I love BE shadows and like to use them wet and dry for versatile eye looks. Using any of their shadows wet will give you a foiled look and the nice thing is it won't ruin your shadow the way some pressed shadows suffer from wetting.

The shades included are a silver, plum and bronze shadow along with a wet/dry brush and eye primer.

However the texture of these shadows is chunky! The box says they are creamy and that just isn't so. The brush and primer are just dandy but the 3 shadows remind me of a glitter shadow with little color payoff and lots of glitter fallout that won't stick. As I said this kit would have been right up my alley if not for the texture.

If you would like to check this set out it can be found at Sephora exclusively.

Monday, October 20, 2008

MAC - Cremesheen

I feel like I can't keep up with MAC these days. I mean I can't blog fast enough and my bank account is lagging behind as well.

Cremesheen lipsticks are supposed to be added to the permanent collection and I say amen sister to that. I was therefore pretty picky about what I bought and the clear winner for me is a shade called On Hold.

Seriously it is a perfect warmish pink shade that makes green shadows come alive. I have really gone on a bender with green and gold shadows and On Hold is magical with green. It transforms the khakis and highlights the more lime shades. It is a winner and I would buy multiples if it weren't sticking around.

Cremesheen is a great fall choice and I encourage you to check these lipsticks out. They have the color and opacity of MAC's Amplified formula but the gloss and shine of a glaze. In a word....Lovely!

Friday, October 17, 2008

MAC - Suite Array

The star of this collection are the Pearlglide liners. I know others may disagree but this is my blog and Pearlglides rule here! Seriously, I am not enchanted with the slide out format of the Suite Array shadows and the texture and color payoff are just not what I look for in a shadow.

Pearlglide liners are slightly metallic with visible glitter but it isn't chunky just shiny and glorious. These are limited edition and I know they will blow out of stores faster than a race car.

The eyeshadow duos are not my favorite and here's why. The slide out container and square pan format make it impossible to put in palette form and the texture was not as creamy as I had hoped. I realize these are matte shadows but MAC's Matte2 set the bar for smooth matte shadows and these just don't live up to that expectation.

Ah well I suppose it's for the best. If I had loved all the shadows I would be on makeup restriction by now!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Nars Super Orgasm

As if the name weren't reason enough! Nars has found a way to add on to the ever expanding lineup of Orgasm products. I have been a long time fan of the blush but the gloss and nail polish, etc have just never excited me.

That was until I got my paws on this new and improved blush! It is the same classic pink-peach shade but with more gold shimmer and you know I love me some shimmer.

While it doesn't replace the original Orgasm blush it is a fun addition to have and for $25 will make a great stocking stuffer for my Orgasm blush loving pals.

This blush is part of the new winter collection coming from Nars. Between this and the eyeshadow duo and singles it is a collection to check out!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bare Escentuals - Ruby Collection

Ohhhh, pretty. It was just that kind of juvenile I want, I want thought process that went through my head when I spotted BE's new Ruby Collection.

I love patent red bags and a croc print only ups my love it factor. Plus with all these set exclusive BE products this was an immediate purchase for me.

The Ruby Collection is $54 and includes the ruby clutch, Ruby Radiance, 3 eyecolors, a double-ended mascara with black and ruby, Ruby Buxom lipgloss, and 2 brushes with ruby handles!

I just can't get enough of the ruby red stuff that hits during the holidays and this set is no exception.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bobbi Brown - Sunset Gold Collection

This new Bobbi Brown set has me salivating, seriously I need a napkin to mop up my chin! For many years I was silver crazy and shunned gold in all its forms. I have always chosen silver jewelry, accessories, and makeup. But lately I have fallen hard for some of the new gold eyeshadows that have flooded the counters this summer.

The gold I have a little obsession with is cooler and less brassy than golds of the past. They are elegant and remind me of fine champagne bubbling beautifully rather than the flashy 70's hot pants or 80's Dynasty dragon ladies.

No these new golds are crush worthy and I admit that I have bought more than I need but I just can't pass them up. This Bobbi Brown set is killing me though just as I am trying to budget for the holidays.

Sunset Gold includes a metallic organizer bag, Mahogany Ink Gel Liner (one of the best), Bronze Pink Glitter Lip Gloss, Sunset and Antique Gold Metallic eyeshadow for $80.

The shadows are beautiful and fit into BB's new palette system. The gloss is a gorgeous warm pink that complements cool gold eye looks flawlessly. Gel Liner in any shade is worth having and BB's bags are always handy and well made.

Check out this gold treasure at Nordstrom and don't blame me if you leave $80 poorer.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Nars Sephora Flame Lipstick

As I have mentioned Sephora is celebrating their 10th anniversary and many of the brands they carry are doing special sets or products in their honor.

There are more than a few that have caught my eye and the Nars Sephora Flame lipstick is no exception. Sephora Flame is a rich semi-matte deep brown red and is perfect for fall. This reminds me of the early days of Sephora when the SA's were required to wear red lipstick of one kind or another.

If you have ever hunted for a true brick red this is one worth considering. It is deep and dusky brown red and the formula will help it wear for hours.

Sephora Flame is $24 and can be found at Sephora soon or online now.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Stila Loves Sephora Can

Stila's offering to celebrate Sephora's 10th anniversary is the pictured "can" filled with goodies for $40. I personally love combos from cosmetics companies because it gives you a chance to try some of their best selling products at a great price.

Stila has included Kajal eyeliner in Onyx, Lip Glaze in Brown Sugar, Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer, Convertible Color in Peony and Mulit-Effect Mascara.

I can tell you from experience that Brown Sugar Lip Glaze is a great color that is not exactly brown but borders on a raisin and is very flattering. Plus I love the delivery on the click pen with brush applicator. Kajal eyeliner is very creamy and the black of Onyx is just as deep as you would hope.

Convertible Color is great for lips and cheeks and Peony is a lovely shade of raspberry pink. All in all this is a great buy or perhaps another gift idea!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Bare Escentuals - Mineral Veil Brush

Bare Escentuals is doing this exclusive brush for Sephora's 10th Anniversary for $28 and I don't imagine these will last long.

The brush is filled with Mineral Veil for on the go touch-ups and while not technically refillable it can be easily done as the bottom comes off. The actual brush also retracts which is a nice feature.

The real benefit is the portability of Mineral Veil because up until now the options have been limited and less than satisfactory. BE's compacts are bulky and often spill in your purse leaving a fine layer of Mineral Veil all over.

All the fellow beauty junkies I know plan on purchasing a few and are contemplating trying their favorite mineral foundation in it. I don't know how well this will work but I will keep you posted as to their MacGyver-makeup results.

Update: The bottom of this brush comes off easily but I think is best filled with Mineral Veil. BE foundation just doesn't apply lightly with this brush but if you like fuller coverage then you can give it a whirl.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Too Faced Quickies

Here is Too Faced The Quickie Chronicles Mini Collection for $60 and may just be one of the best sets produced for the 10th anniversary. It is an unbelievable deal with 8 mini palettes that have products for eyes lips and cheeks.

Each palette has a Hollywood pinup girl on the cover and I think this is a great one to give as a extra special gift or to breakup and give as small gifts or stocking stuffers. The eight palettes included are:

The Temptress, The Plaything of Passion, The Cupcake, The Starlette, 10 Year Anniversay, The Sure Thing, The Beach Bunny and The Summer Lover.

The Cupcake is a pink treasure and The Temptress is all about plums. 10Year Anniversary is my favorite but really I love them all! It is very hard to give any of the them away.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sephora Red Lipstick

This week I will be featuring 5 new and limited products that were created to celebrate Sephora's 10th anniversary going on in the month of October. I think it is fitting to start off with Sephora's special lipstick that is a real beauty.

Sephora Red is a beautiful berry red that is encased in a black tube adorned with over 100 crystal rhinestones. This is a real showpiece and is definitely worthy of being pulled out at a restaurant table for a quick lipstick freshen up.

Sephora is one of my absolute favorite makeup shopping destinations and I love nothing more than fun limited products where brands pull out all the stops. I think that Sephora's 10th anniversary will have one or ten things that you will not want to pass up.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Bare Escentuals - New GSK

In Bare Escentuals speak, GSK is the Get Started Kit and they have reworked this kit recently. In my opinion these changes are very good and well thought out especially when it comes to foundation shades. For those new to BE there are always 2 shades of foundation in each GSK and the combos for the new kit make sense.

Also the Full Flawless brush has replaced the Kabuki in the kits and that is a godsend. The Full Flawless is a fabulous brush for mineral foundation application and gives you coverage flexibility that was tough with the Kabuki. The Kabuki just tended towards full coverage and I didn't like all the buffing/blending you had to do plus the BE Kabuki just isn't that soft and often felt like the rough side of the sponge to me.

Some other great changes are regular Mineral Veil for the lighter kits and Tinted Mineral Veil for the deeper shades. Plus the Lightstroke brush is included for deeper shades which BE recommends for concealing on darker skin tones.

All in all these are smart changes and the $60 price is a great value. BE is also including a gift with the purchase of the new GSK. At Sephora that gift will be a sample of the Prime Time face primer and at BE boutiques you will receive a full size Bread Pudding lipstick.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

MAC Set Powder - Invisible

Here is my loose powder of choice. MAC Set Powder in Invisible is aptly named and described.

This powder is ultra fine, sets makeup and is indeed invisible. You also get a whopping huge jar for $24.

I have heard a few complaints about this powder and they mainly revolve around it looking powdery on the skin. First of all a very small amount is required to set makeup and overuse will look a bit white and powdery. It is a common thing with setting powders to assume if a little is good, more would be better. I am guilty of this one too.

Second this would not be my first choice for those will very dry skin but those will oily skin will love its mattifying properties.

This is a Pro Product and can be purchased at Pro Stores or over the phone from MAC. Checking out the MAC Pro website can introduce you to all sorts of products and some colors that you never knew existed that might not suit your everyday tastes but offer some amazing color choices.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Urban Decay 24/7 Sets

Okay these are must haves if not for yourself than as gifts. I know you don't want to hear that the holidays are fast approaching but they are! I am already scoping out good gift items and Urban Decay 24/7 eye pencils are a gift worth giving.

I have blogged about these waterproof pencils before and just want to remind everyone that these pencils changed the way I felt about pencil in general. I avoid most pencils because they either drag and tug at my eye or are so soft that they just smear and smudge everywhere.

Urban Decay has managed to make a pencil with fantastic color payoff, super silky texture that really glides on and the darn stuff stays put. My only caveat to this would be I can't get them to stay put in my waterline but then nothing stays there for me anyway.

These sets are $30 and can be found at Ulta or Sephora. Velvet Rope features deeper colors and VIP is brights with both sets including Zero a super black.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

MAC - Zoomlash

I am clearly on some sort of kick! I just keep trying mascara after mascara. I guess it means that I haven't found what I am looking for.

I am here to tell you that Zoomlash may have changed all that for me.

As you can imagine my local Sephora and MAC folks know me well. I walk into the store and I get a greeting on par with going to a friends house. It includes lots of hello's and hugs. I admit I bask in the attention and love talking makeup with people who love it as much as me. Most friends just don't quite get my makeup problem and so I love meeting kindred makeup obsessed spirits and feeling that I am amongst my people.

Anyway, back to Zoomlash. My favorite MAC MA gave me a sample of this mascara after I told her about my Plush Lash experiment. I like Plush Lash a lot but the wand is a bit difficult to maneuver and I am always getting mascara on my eyelid. After trying out Zoomlash I went back immediately and purchased a tube! Seriously, this mascara found all the lashes I have including the little baby ones near the lash line that are growing in! I got instant length and with a few more swipes I got satisfactory volume. I also did not have any issues with clumping and all this can be had for $12 bucks which is a serious bargain.

I also wore this on a very hot day and it didn't run or smudge and the brush is thin enough to get into the inner corner lashes with ease. My best results so far have been a coat of Zoomlash and then a comb through with Max Factor Volume lashes have never looked so good!

Seriously though has anyone noticed the price of the drugstore brands creeping up lately? The mascaras are nearing $10 a tube at the drugstore and are making the $30 mascaras actually seem reasonably priced.

Zoomlash is by far my favorite MAC mascara with Pro Lash being second and Plush Lash being third due to its unwieldy wand. I have heard many a complaint that MAC is practically perfect in every way except for mascara and I have to say I do not agree. There are some great ones you just have to choose wisely.

Monday, September 29, 2008

MAC - Overrich

Happy Monday! I forgot to post this and realize that most of these pigments are sold out but you can find them if you look and online is always a good option at MAC.

Calling all pigment fans....get along to the local MAC store and get yourself some of the 8 limited edition pigments before they are gone...or get all of them.

Here's the thing, pigments aren't cheap at $20 a jar, but they do last a LONG time and are so versatile. They can be used for eyeshadow, lipcolor, nail polish, blush, highlighter, etc. depending on the shade. Truly I love them.

Now I will say this, a good base is needed for pigments to be at their best and adhere to the eyelid with good color payoff. But that my friends is not a reason to avoid pigments, just get a good base! My suggestions for oily lids are Urban Decay Primer Potion or MAC Paint Pots. For normal to dry lids Too Faced Shadow Insurance or MAC Cream Color Base. I am in the oily category and so Paint Pots are my weapon of choice to get good color payoff and prevent fading and creasing.

I also find that pigments are easier to work with depending on the brush you choose. I love MAC's #239 which is a small shader for applying pigment to the lids and #217 if I am blending. Also the smaller #242 is an excellent all around option for using pigment wet or dry. Tapping off excess pigment is key or you may end up with Rocky Balboa type fallout under your eyes.

But really who cares about all this tech talk, on to the colors!

Blonde's Gold - Light tan with gold/white pearl
Heritage Rose - Burgundy with red/brown pearl
Copperbeam - Rusted brown with red pearl
Vintage Gold - Tarnished green with gold pearl
Antique Green - Turquiose green with green pearl
Museum Bronze - Rich taupe with gold pearl
Mega-Rich - Burnt orange with gold pearl
Mauvement - Mauve taupe with gold pearl

I won't lie, I bought 7 of the 8. Only Mega-Rich didn't make the cut. Mega-Rich is very orange for my fair skin and Copperbeam was prettier in my opinion.

While pigment may take a bit of practice and patience to work with you will be rewarded with color payoff that is out of this world!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Hunting for MAC Treasure

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I have access to a lot of MAC stores including a Pro store in San Francisco as well as numerous department store locations. Getting my MAC fix is pretty easy and when new collections hit I can get my paws on all the stuff I want. I realize that many folks don't have it so good so I don't mean to gloat.

Every once in a while a collection comes out and it just doesn't knock my socks off or there is a sleeper hit that I originally pass on and by the time I go looking they are long gone. After some hunting I have found 2 sources in my neck of the woods that seem to have a whole treasure trove of MAC goodies.

MAC on Burlingame Avenue and the MAC counter inside Bloomingdales at the Stanford Shopping Center.

For instance, the Bloomies MAC counter still has Heatherette, Fafi, Cool Heat, Sonic Chic, and Mineralize shadow duos. Plus they have all kinds of random pigments from collections past. MAC Burlingame is much the same but not quite as much stuff lasts there. The key is that both locations are not super busy and therefore don't sell out of stuff as quickly or at all.

So my friends if you are looking for something and just can't sleuth it out try one of these places and you just might find your treasure!

MAC Burlingame 650-340-0525

Bloomingdales Stanford 650-463-2000

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Balm Shady Lady Palette

Hello Shady Lady! I am in love with a shade from this palette and recommend that you stay far far away from it or else you are likely to get hooked yourself.

The shade is Jet Setting Jennifer (bottom left corner) and is described as a pale gold shimmer. This is mostly true but here's what they don't tell you. This gold is as far as my hunting has shown, unique. It is pale but doesn't veer into cream or white frosty territory. Instead it is a rich pale gold that looks gold and never yellow or white or cream.

I marched all over San Francisco with this color and went to every cosmetic counter and store I could including all of downtown Union Square and Union Street with the MAC Pro Store. I am here to tell you that I came close but there is not an exact dupe to be had. I am strongly considering sending this shade off to 3 Custom Color to see if they can duplicate it because it is a holy grail shade for me. I use it as a highlight and it blends just about any other shade out perfectly.

There are in fact 8 other colors in this palette but JSJ won my heart early and renders all the others nice but not JSJ! I know we all have certain shades that become obsessions and if they are discontinued you just want to cry your eyes out.

Well this palette is limited edition and $38 which is a great deal for 9 shadows that can be used wet or dry but its a bit much to keep buying for one color!

You can find my HG JSJ at Sephora but I warn you to proceed with caution.....that gold will get you, in a good way.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lorac Multi-Platinum Palette

My favorite thing is a good bargain when is comes to makeup and palettes when they contain really good colors, are a fabulous bargain! I know I blog about palettes often but in truth I love them and buy a lot of them too. I have a Tupperware box that I have all my palettes arranged in and there are many more then I need but I really love the variety they offer.

Lorac's Multi-Platinum palette is a good one with many of the go to shades for fall incorporated like gunmetal grey, sapphire blue and a peachy blush to make you look healthy in the winter months.

Lorac shadows are soft and silky and blend beautifully and for $37 it is tough to turn down.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Nars "Best" Palette

This is by far one of the most usable palettes I have come across in quite some time. There just isn't a bad shade in the bunch.

Nars Best Palette is a Nordstrom exclusive and you get 6 eyeshadows for $50. I like Nars shadows in general and I have eyed many of the artist palettes in the past. I suppose I have never purchased one because there were always shades I couldn't imagine really getting any use out of with some I loved.

All About Eve, Bali, Kalahari and Bellisima are all in this palette and while this is definitely a neutral palette that borders on nudes it is wearable and not boring.

Monday, September 22, 2008

LaVanila The Healthy Body Wash

LaVanila does it again and finds a new way to use their vanilla based scents to create a product I love.

I was cruising Sephora, as I do pretty much weekly, when I spotted this body wash and practically yelped with joy. It's true....I looked around quickly to see if I had actually made audible noise.

Needless to say if you like any of the LaVanila fragrances, body butter or lip balms these new body washes will be a shoo in.

I am a closet Vanilla Grapefruit fan. Something about it's crisp and super fruity smell just gets me! Naturally that was the scent I homed in on for my body wash purchase and even though $20 may seem steep for body wash I am here to say you get a huge 12 ounce bottle and you need a very small amount to get satisfying suds.

Like all the products in this range they are chemical free and rely on coconut cleansers, fruit enzymes, and essential oils to cleanse and moisturize. They are packed with antioxidants too but since you wash them off that is just a nice perk to me.

I would like to report that Vanilla Grapefruit body wash is just as delicious smelling as its perfume and body butter counterparts and this is indeed a gentle on the skin wash. All in all I say this is good stuff and I am hoping that some mini size kit will appear for the holiday season. I will of course get one for my friends and one for me too!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Urban Decay - Urban Essentials

Holy cow! Just look at the size of the UDPP! Ladies if you are a fan of the Primer Potion this is the kit for you.

This kit can be found at Sephora for $39 and includes the mondo UDPP as well as Midnight Cowboy and Goddess eyeshadow. Midnight Cowboy is the neutral champagne and I really like the shadow a lot and keep it in my collection.

I am already starting to think about gift buying with the holidays right around the corner and this would make a good one.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Laura Mercier - Custom Compacts

Ah, it appears another great brand is jumping on the band wagon and offering their eyedshadows in a custom palette format. I love it!

Laura Mercier currently only has a 3 pan palette for $10 available but I imagine that will change if they get a good response.

There are also 3 new shadow formulas to choose from. Lustre is a frost finish, Matte shadows are just that with lots of pigment, and Sateen is a soft satin finish and by far my favorite of the bunch.

There are many new colors to choose from with Gold Dust, Topaz, and Sandstone being a few of my picks.

I happen to love palettes that allow you to choose the shades that work best together for you, your lifestyle, or wardrobe and find that those are the palettes I actually use and refill. I also love to give a blank palette as a gift with a gift card for the amount needed to fill it. Any time I have given this gift to a friend I have never heard the end of it (in a good way) and how they loved picking their shades and not getting stuck with a palette they only used for one or two colors.

I think cosmetics companies are finally figuring this logic out and making it a bit easier on us consumers. I have been a long time fan and user of MAC's Pro Palettes and refill pans and have recently started replacing my Bobbi Brown shadows and blush colors in palette form as needed. The shadow pans are $22 which isn't chump change but if there are some basics or just some colors that you can't live without Laura Mercier shadows are fantastic quality and worth the splurge.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I've got a Secret

Now I have to tell you that I debated about blogging my new favorite deodorant. In the end I decided I was just so impressed with the stuff that in the interests of everyone smelling pretty I should not withhold my new pal.

Here it is ladies, Secret Flawless with Olay inspired by Aquacurrent technology in Silky Botanical. I have tried lots of deodorants in my time and most have failed in one or more areas.

I love the way Degree Shower Fresh smells but it leaves my armpits with red bumps. I also love the way Dove Go Fresh in Aloe & Cucumber smells and I don't get those red bumps. What does happen is that I detect a little body odor towards the end of an especially long and sticky day which is not good. The other odd thing I have noticed is supposedly clear deodorant leaving white stains on the arm pit area of black tops.

A lot of my friends have resorted to using the Secret Platinum series to deal with the BO issue but I am hesitant about all that aluminum. So after seeing a commercial for Flawless I decided to give it a try.

Flawless says it will deliver #1 skin conditioning benefits, #2 strong odor and wetness control, #3 go on clear, #4 be smooth and lightweight, and #5 have a self renewing fragrance.

I am here to tell you ladies that this one delivers on it's promises! The Bay Area has been quite hot these past few days and Flawless has performed, well, flawlessly. My pits are bump free and my shirts are not getting stained. Flawless has also dealt nicely with that end of day slight BO and instead I just smell the scent of the Silky Botanicals.

A word on the fragrances. Silky Botanical was my choice as it was the least smelly of the bunch. It is a mild scent that I don't think is particularly botanical but it is powder scents I'm looking at you.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Chanel Exceptionnel Mascara

I am sorry if you are sick of my mascara adventure. I have already admitted to being a mascara tramp and honestly I don't think I can help myself. As you may remember I am a huge Chanel Inimitable fan. That brush just separates the heck out my lashes and while I do have to work a bit for volume I don't mind.

So when Chanel decided to add to it's mascara offering it was only a matter of time before I gave this new edition a whirl. I broke down and ponied up the $30 bucks for this new fangled 6 sided brush and hoped for the best. Nordstrom does after all have a very good return policy so I figured if the stuff just sucked, then back it would go.

The long and short of it, I am glad I kept my receipt. The brush was frustrating and I got neither the volume or separation I was hoping for. The SA who helped me said that this was an improvement on Inimitable because I would get more volume and I completely disagree.

I found it very hard to get volume or length and the brush was just a pain in the rear. For $30 clams I expect a damn fine mascara and this just didn't deliver.

I do love Inimitable and highly recommend it but Exceptionnel does not get that endorsement. Save your money on this one and pick up Inimitable or Max Factor Volume will be much happier.

Monday, September 15, 2008

MAC Slimshine

I wish I was creative enough to write a poem or perhaps an ode to Slimshine, maybe a haiku! Alas I am not that poetic and my ode would end up being cringe worthy and would not properly convey my love of Slimshine.

MAC made a winner when it conceived of Slimshine and at $14.50 you can buy an array of colors to suit your fancy. Slimshine should be in every makeup junkies arsenal of cosmetic goodies and I can tell you it is a staple in mine.

Slimshine earns its beloved status because it is a lipstick/gloss hybrid that makes me giddy. You get the best of both worlds...sheer and shiny glossiness coupled with lipstick color payoff and no goopy feel. I am obsessive about this type of lip product because few things look as fresh as translucent shiny just defines pretty.

My favorite Slimshines are:

Grenadine - creamy deep blue red
Long Stem Rose - baby pink with gold pearl
Most Wanted - berry red with gold shimmer
By Degrees - pinky brown
Tropic Glow - blue pink with silver shimmer
Rock Out - bright blue pink with gold shimmer

Rock Out and Most Wanted are the shades I use most and I mix Grenadine with just about any color to brighten it up.

Friday, September 12, 2008

David Yurman Eau de Parfum

David Yurman's new fragrance is the first to capture my heart for fall scents and it wasn't just the bottle that did it either!

A while back I was at the Neimans in SF and they have the Gurelain scents that were created for the reopening of the Guerlain flagship store in Paris. Rose Barbare was an instant favorite with it's not sweet but somehow wild smelling rose. Barbare is deep and dark and worth smelling but there was just something about it that stopped me from purchasing a bottle. Some element of it just didn't sit well and at over $200 I was not willing to compromise.

Imagine my surprise when on a whim I sniffed this new David Yurman scent and fully expected to be underwhelmed but was not!

David Yurman's scent has that same rose and patchouli thing going on with the woods showing up in the dry down. What it lacks is the mossy quality of Barbare and for me this is pay dirt.

I am not saying these two are dead ringers for each other but like sisters they are related and share some common characteristics. Both of these lovely fragrances would be hard to pull off in the warmer months and would morph from lovely to smelling like the guy who bathes in the disgusting AXE body spray. No these are scents that are meant to smelled through layers of fabric and crisp air.

Both can be found at Neiman Marcus and it is worth it to take a look before 09/15 since Neiman's has their super beauty event going on. The bag is very cute and the goodies inside are icing on the cake.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Target Goes Higher End

Just a few days ago I received my magazine subscriptions and in both Allure and Instyle there were advertisements and beauty editor chatter about the high end makeup lines that are doing a version of their goods for Target. I was just at my local Target back to school shopping and didn't spy the new stuff but I decided to head back to scope it out.

Well lo and behold there these lines were. The first that caught my eye was Jemma Kidd's offering of liners, shadows and the palette pictured. Right next to JK was Napoleon Perdis which was recently on clearance at Sephora and Pixi by Petra Strand.

Target was trying to create a Sephora-like atmosphere with some open testers and cotton swabs for swatching. What I noticed right away was that the testers were seriously thrashed, maybe people are just on their best behaviour at Sephora and don't mangle the testers, but these were in need of some tlc.

I also noticed the prices on these lines and they aren't cheap! The palette pictured is $38 and individual shadows are $18 for JK with NP and Pixi being comparable. Again maybe it's just me but I can't imagine the average Target shopper being willing to shell out these department store prices for artist lines they have probably never heard of. I mean Jemma Kidd has a great line but it is normally available at Neiman Marcus and it's pricey. But then again I am in Neiman's and expect those prices while at Target they are a bit of shock.

When you consider that my beloved MAC's single shadows are $13 and their four pan palettes are $36 I think you can see why I am skeptical. I am all for bringing good makeup to the masses but I think Sonia Kashuk's line at Target does it well and at a much nicer price point.

I encourage you to check this stuff out and tell me what you think and if you are willing to pay these prices at Target.