Friday, May 30, 2008

Bobbi Brown Cream Eye Shadow

Everyone owns this stuff right? I mean if you don't then please do yourself a favor and go to the BB counter immediately!

BB cream eye shadows set the bar for long wear and crease resistance. Many cream shadows claim to last all day and look good doing it but fall short of the mark. Not this one.

I wear this alone or use it as a base for powder eyeshadow. When used as a base it helps to intensify the color of powders and also keeps your eye liner locked in place. There are few products that I will recommend without ANY reservations but this is one.

BB recently came out with 5 matte colors that are all neutral without any shimmer and join the lineup of 14 existing colors. Most of the existing colors have slight shimmer which I happen to like. It keeps the cream from looking too flat or heavy on me.

My favs are Bellini a peachy pink, Sandy Gold a golden beige and Ballet Pink is the same color as the slippers with slight shimmer.

All pots are $22 and last a long don't need much product at all. Using a synthetic brush to apply these is best or your finger to blend out the edges.

Guerlain Blush & Sun

This is one my all time favorite bronzers. Guerlain's Blush & Sun ($39) comes in 3 shades and I like and use every last one. The best thing about these little compacts is that the shades are blendable and forgiving, especially on those who avoid the sun.

I remain pretty pale throughout the summer with a combination of sunscreen, my favorite Kaenon Georgia sunglasses and my Helen Kaminski hat. But with a little help from Guerlain I can look summer appropriate without any help from the sun.

These bronzers combine a sunny glow with a blush pop of color. The powder is silky and has the a pleasant fragrance. I apply this with a fluffy brush for a soft wash of color that is healthy looking and isn't as scary as most bronzers when you are fair skinned.

Also check out Sephora's 30 Days of Bronzer for other great ideas.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

MAC Cool Heat Collection

Hello there! Would you just get a load of MAC's upcoming Cool Heat collection! For those who are riding the turquoise/blue train this summer, this is the collection for you.

Cool Heat is due in stores June 12 and I am really looking forward to the new Slimshine lip colors which range from a bright pink to orange and red sheers. Yum!

MAC Tendertone Lip Balm

I loved this gloss/balm combo last summer and am thrilled by its return with 10 limited shades.

Tendertone Lip Balm is not sticky and has a nice sheen. Like a balm it does a good job at keeping lips soft. The hint of soft color is flattering and beach bag ready.

This balm has a sweet strawberry kiwi flavor but it wasn't overpowering when I smoothed some on today.

My picks are Pucker a sheer berry with pearl, Hot N' Saucy a sheer cherry, and Sweet & Nice a sheer red grape with shimmer. The pots are $14.50 each and will only be around for the summer.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Rescue Your Nails - Ji Baek

This is a great book and I loved every minute. I picked this little book up over Memorial Day weekend right after getting my own fingers and toes done and read it cover to cover.

Ji Baek, the owner of Rescue Beauty Lounge, has written a practical and easy to use reference for everything from how to mani/pedi yourself into perfection, salon etiquette and cleanliness, to picking a nail color that you will love.

While she does not give any product endorsements, other than her own brand, she gives great tips on what to look for when shopping for the best tools and even what may be hiding in your kitchen or bathroom arsenal that is just right for the job.

Rescue Your Nails answered nearly ever question I had about how to get it right when I want to do my own nails at home and reinforced my standards for what to look for at a nail salon. Ji Baek makes the point that nail salons are everywhere but they are not equal. I personally would rather pay a bit more for my nail services and get the attention to cleanliness that is important to me. One of my favorite local nail salons uses the greenest products available from polish removers to the polish itself and I really notice a difference in the look and health of my nails.

At $12.95 this is a wonderful addition to your beauty library and a fun read as well.

As a side note, some of the best products that my salon has introduced me to are Butter London, Zoya, Orly, and Spa Ritual. Zoya's Remove + is my go to polish remover because it is a mild acetone and doesn't leave my nails looking like the also has a pleasant lavender scent. There are many good non-acetone options out there that use fruit acids instead and are worth checking out if you are interested. No-Miss is a good place to start.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Aveda Foot Relief Lotion aching feet looked like a dried up lizard before I found this lotion. I am ashamed to admit that drastic measures are required each spring when I want to break out my flip flops to transform my callused paws into sandal ready feet.

My husband by contrast has the softest callus free feet of any man, make that person, I have ever met! I think it is some kind of freak gene he has because they are perfect. He has complained on more than one occasion that my feet are scratchy...not the kind of thing a girl wants to hear.

That is where Aveda's Foot Relief Lotion came in. This lotion is refreshing and cooling due to Rosemary and Lavender oils and transforms tired, slightly smelly feet into sweet smelling beauties. It also absorbs quickly so you don't have to walk around with greasy feet. Foot Relief also has fruit acids that gently exfoliate to keep the calluses away.

This really gained some street cred in my household when the husband mentioned that my feet felt nice and he was later caught rubbing some on his own flawless feet!

Foot Relief is $18 and available at Aveda.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Makeup as Metaphor

I am often asked the question...why I do I love makeup so much. To be candid, I can usually detect just a little bit of scorn from the person asking this question. Something along the lines of makeup being equated with vanity and vanity being shallow.

I take issue with this and I think all of you out there who really love makeup should too.

Makeup is democratic in that it is the great equalizer in the fashion world. Makeup does not favor a body type, a height, or weight. Makeup always fits and never makes your butt look big!

Makeup allows you to be as trendy as you want one day and to start all over again the next with a little soap and water. It allows for transformation and makes it possible to try on a new identity and is forgiving if you change your mind.

Makeup, well applied, makes most people look better. It graciously hides our imperfections and highlights our assets making it possible for some to concentrate on the best of their physical selves.

A great example of my own is red lipstick. I am not talking gloss or some sheer version, I am speaking of true blue red, opaque lipstick. My husband loves it and is just thrilled when I wear it. Maybe for him it is evocative of some racy image and although I don't wear it all the time when I do it never goes unnoticed. When I wear my favorite shade of red I don't feel like myself for a few hours. Instead I feel Old Hollywood glamorous and capable of pulling off a couture gown with a plunging neckline.

For the confidence it can inspire in some people alone, I think to dismiss the power and benefit of makeup is silly. And if you just don't buy into all these high minded ideals, then rest assured makeup is just good clean fun too!

p.s. my favorite red is Guerlain #525 Folie de Grenat a deep blue red fantasy.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Mineral Makeup - Friend or Foe Part 5

Hourglass is a luxury line and according to the creator Carisa Jones is supposed to be all about extravagance and style. I generally like this line a lot and I find the eyeshadow palettes and lipsticks to be pricey but worth it. So I was very excited to test drive their mineral product to see if it really is a rival to what I have tried so far.

Oxygen Powder Foundation is $46 and comes in 4 shades. While the fair to medium skin tones are covered someone with a darker complexion would be out of luck here. The compact on this powder is really interesting in that it has a mirror that turns 360 degrees so you can position it for the best face view.

The thing that struck me right away was the lack of a sunscreen in this product. Most mineral foundations include titanium dioxide or zinc oxide but not so here. I generally look for well formulated broad spectrum SPF but decided I'd give it a whirl to see if the texture warranted a separate sunscreen.

So how did it feel? It was okay. I sound super lackluster right.....well that's how I felt about this powder. In general I am very giddy about Hourglass stuff but this powder just didn't work for me. It was streaky and tough to blend and I was pretty darn shiny faster than I care for. I always like to make sure that I mention I do have pretty oily skin and so what fails on me may be your godsend but this would not be my first suggestion for mineral makeup.

On that note, my favorite mineral powder is Laura Mercier. That powder is a work horse and is truly the hands down winner! It controls shine, gives good coverage and looks luminous and light doing it. The lid that closes over the sifter alone won some serious points. Plus the Mineral Primer may seem silly but to my own amazement it really worked.

It was great fun doing this series and it is really something to see what used to be a niche segment of cosmetics grow to have such a huge selection. I encourage you to try again, as I did, if at first your mineral makeup wishes did not succeed.

MakeUp Forever Aqua Eye

Howdy from Hades! I swear I totally get the wicked witch when she was shrieking, I'm melting!

MakeUp Forever Aqua Eyes Bronze Collection is my new best friend. Not only do you get 5 lovely colors to choose from for $35 bucks but the dang stuff stays in place when I am certain I can sweat no more.

The limited edition kit includes a metallic brown, copper, gold, silver and black! These babies really stay put even when I rubbed my eyes due to the aforementioned melting and darn it if they didn't move! Now that is makeup genius in my humble opinion.

The set is available at Sephora.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sunscreen Smarts

As you might have noticed from past posts, I tend to be pretty tough on products that claim to have sun protection and lack the right ingredients or foundations that don't have SPF altogether.

I admit that I do avoid prolonged sun exposure and do wear a SPF15 minimum everyday, rain or shine. I also am a little militant about the fact that I think everyone should be doing this as well. In this day and age when skin cancer is prevalent and being found on more young people than ever before, I just can't understand why wearing an effective SPF isn't a given and tanning beds aren't banned. Not to mention the aging and yucky hyperpigmentation that unprotected sun exposure visits upon your face.

If my soapbox attitude on this one bugs you, then I sincerely apologize, but must warn you that I will never relent where sun protection is concerned. As any friend of mine can tell you who has returned from a weekend or vacation sunburned, my scorn is swift and terrible.

Most sunscreens have UVB (burning rays) protection but fall short when it comes to UVA. So what are the ingredients you should be looking for to determine if a product has UVA (aging & cancer rays) protection?

Here they are:

Titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone (Parsol 1789), Mexoryl SX, or Tinosorb.

These ingredients must be listed as an active ingredient and sunscreen should be applied liberally 30 minutes before you go outside. And just what does liberally mean.....well it means a shot glass amount of sunscreen for your entire body and a teaspoon amount for your face and neck. Don't forget your hands either....nobody wants granny hands!

A great way to try a variety of sunscreens is the Sephora Sun Safety Kit for $25. The kit includes 11 products and goes a long way towards making it easy to find a sunscreen you like. Plus all the profit is donated to The Skin Cancer Foundation.

If you prefer the drug store for your sunscreen needs I recommend Neutrogena in general. Nearly all of their products are well formulated and very reasonably priced.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mineral Makeup - Friend or Foe Part 4

There was no way I could do a Mineral Makeup Challenge and not revisit Bare Escentuals. BE is after all the #1 mineral makeup brand and it is for good reason. The line is huge and the eyeshadow selection is one my favorites.

I really appreciate that BE focuses so much on customer education and never hassles you about a return or exchange and is one of the few lines that seems genuinely concerned with helping you get it right.

By and large I love the line but the foundations have always been the tough spot for me. I wish the packaging had a way to close the sifter for travel and that there was less mica in the foundations. On my oily skin they appear shiny which is the opposite of what I am going for.

On the other hand I love the Mineral Veil and the newer version, Feather Light Mineral Veil. Also my addiction to the Buxom Babes lipgloss is well documented.

For my revisit of this foundation I mixed Fair and Fairly Light to get the right shade for me. After chatting with one of the artists I found out that this is a common practice. The combined shade was a decent match and it took a tiny amount of product to achieve good coverage. Shine aside, coverage is something BE really wins points on.

Also the multi-tasking Bisque powders are all SPF 20 now. My preferred method of concealing with BE is to mix Bisque with Well Rested as the yellow base of Well Rested looks right on my skin.

Overall I still have trouble with BE foundations and just don't think they are the best for me. I hate writing that but it's true and while other products in the line are among my desert island picks (Celestine eyeshadow) the foundation is not.

Next and last up will be Hourglass Oxygen Powder.......

Bobbi Brown - Custom Palettes

Oh Bobbi heard my prayers! The new custom palettes are wonderful and just make me curl my toes in happiness.

Truly one of my favorite things about MAC is buying the eyeshadow staples of my makeup wardrobe in palette form. It is so much easier to travel with and takes up a fraction of the space in my makeup tower.

Bobbi Brown is offering palettes in a horizontal 3 pan configuration or the 4 pan palette pictured. You have a choice of all the existing eyeshadow or blush shades and a few new colors as well.

On BB's website she gives some great suggestions for putting together functional palettes for day to night or your own touch-up kit. The palette's are $10 each with the eyeshadows being $20 and the blush $22.

I am thrilled that BB has joined the palette party and with new eyeshadows like Flint and Copper Sand I could just kiss her! Plus when I went to check these out at the BB counter I was very pleasantly surprised by the size of the pans. They are quite large and a good value for the price.

Now if I could only appeal to BB to get rid of those terrible stiff black plastic brushes in her glosses, the line would be perfection.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Smashbox Desert Chic

I think I have gone a little gold crazy this season! Honestly, I just can't seem to get enough of all the beautiful gold eyeshadow and want to buy them all.

Smashbox's Desert Chic has joined the lineup of collections I really love for summer. The colors are all warm pinks, golds, and corals. You know this is good stuff because I normally can't stand coral!

Here is the line up:

  • Body Bronzing Powder is huge and comes with a brush
  • Eye & Cheek Color is pressed in a heatwave pattern with 3 shades of color.
  • 3 Lip Enhancing Gloss colors with my pick being Cactus Flower. It is a true coral pink and will look good on a wide range of skin tones.
  • Eyeshadow in 24K is a shimmery true yellow gold that made me shiver in a good way!
  • Eyequad with contrasting bronze and turquoise shades with a cream liner. So on trend.
Smashbox has recently reformulated their single eyeshadows and the result is a cashmere soft texture that is a truly an improvement. I had tried their shadows before and was not very impressed but not so anymore!

Meeting the Lipstick Queen

On Monday night I met Poppy King the creator of Lipstick Queen. The book reading/lipstick fun was held at Elizabeth Charles on Fillmore in San Francisco. Poppy read excerpts from her book, Lessons of a Lipstick Queen and talked about her adventures along the way. She also helped you find your ideal lipstick color and would read your lips for some insight into your personality as well.

First Poppy King is darling! Truly, she looks like a vision of 50's glamour and is enchanting to speak to. I watched her make lipstick recommendations for lots of ladies and she was spot on. I was of course wearing one my favorite Lipstick Queen shades, Rose Sinner and I am happy to say she agreed with my color choice. Poppy was wearing Red Sinner, an opaque true red that screams retro chic. Along with her fitted Gwen Stefani dress, Red Sinner was a perfect choice.

My purchases for the night were her book, Pink Saint and the new Shine Gloss in Opal which is a rosy pink with shimmer. These glosses are super 70's with oversize pots and thicker texture. My only caution is the fragrance in Shine gloss is quite strong and may not be for everyone.

For those who are new to Lipstick Queen it's available at Barneys and is a sharply edited line of lipstick and gloss. I happen to love that the line is so specific and the colors are not endless variations on a theme. Lipstick Queen is not a rainbow of color but rather the best of each shade which is no small feat if you're asking me!

I am reading her book now and will review it when I am done. If you have the chance to meet Poppy and talk lipstick with her, don't pass it up as you will come away delighted!

Monday, May 19, 2008

SJP Covet Pure Bloom

HSN has a deal going that is pretty fabulous if you love Sarah Jessica Parker fragrances.

Order Lovely (1.7 edp) for $49 and receive not only the fragrance but 2 tickets to the Sex and the City movie coming up on May 30. In addition you will be shipped the new fragrance, Covet Pure Bloom on July 7th before it officially launches. The second shipment is also $49 and here is the low down on Covet Pure Bloom.

Top: purple plum, coconut water
Middle: tuberose, royal Indonesian pikake
Bottom: amber creamy musks

I have to say that I was a bit surprised that SJP did a floral fragrance. After reading Chandler Burr's, The Perfect Scent I know that she doesn't tend to like florals. While creating Lovely and Covet which the book documents, she would emphasize that she was not a huge floral fan when given scents to sample.

On the HSN program SJP refers to the pikake flower scent being rich and lush and the new perfume smells like a summer season. From the description of the notes this one could go either way for me....either too sweet and floral or a tropical curiosity is peaked!

Guerlain Meteorites Pressed Powder

Isn't is pretty? Go's okay to like something just because it is so darn nice looking.

Guerlain has pressed their famous meteorties and made them convinient to carry and travel with. The little pamphlet enclosed says these are matte with luminescence which sounded like an oxymoron to me until I tried my little treasure on.

Somehow they are softly matte yet add a sheen to skin that is super flattering without being shiny.

This illuminating powder comes in 3 shades, Mythic Parfait (pictured), Pink Frais and Beige Lumineux. Mythic Parfait is the most subtle of the 3 and is a combination of gold, pink, blue and green and was my choice. I sweep a fluffy powder brush over the entire compact and use it along the cheek bones for a luminous effect. In a word...lovely!

These powders are $65 and available at Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Friday, May 16, 2008

MakeUp Forever Aqua Lip

A recent visit to the San Francisco Sephora was rewarded with a huge expansion of the MakeUp Forever line. This line now has twice the amount of space devoted to it and the selection of products is phenomenal. The eyeshadow selection alone has easily tripled!

My favorite liquid foundation and powder are both from this line and I know that there are a lot of products that you can only get at the MakeUp Forever store in NYC. Needless to say I did a little jig of happiness.

The new product that caught my eye right away was the Aqua Lip Waterproof Lip Liner. I adore the Aqua Eyes liner and am always thrilled with its staying power and the smooth application. This stuff glides on and doesn't skip like some pencils.

Aqua Lip is just the same and comes in 12 shades with 2C, a rosy nude being my pick. These pencils are $16 and available at Sephora. Aqua Lip really lives up to the long wearing claims and is definitely worth the 16 clams!

Mineral Makeup - Friend or Foe Part 3

Jane Iredale was the third mineral powder that I test drove and this one really took a beating because I was on my way to the gym after applying it.

It's a major plus that this powder is available loose or pressed. The pressed version really cut down on the mess factor and is of course super portable. I got light to medium coverage with this and was able to cover a blemish with a small concealer brush.

Jane Iredale's powder is a nice blend of coverage while looking sheer and with 24 shades to pick from it rivaled MAC or Prescriptives for color choice. I used the powder in the Amber shade which was a good match with a few others coming close as well. The shades are pretty forgiving.

The Handi Brush is a flat and slightly fluffy brush that made application and buffing the minerals a breeze. It is worth it to consider this brush if you don't already have a favorite for applying mineral foundation.

This line is free of talc, parabens and bismuth which can all cause problems for some, so it is a great option if you have had trouble with other powders.

As for the minerals gym did better than I expected. It looked natural and did well through my sweaty weight session and stair climbing activity.

I found this line at Elephant Pharmacy which is a local natural products pharmacy and if you live in the SF Bay area is a must visit. The cosmetics section alone will keep you enthralled for hours.

Up next.....Hourglass Oxygen Powder Foundation.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mineral Makeup - Friend or Foe Part 2

My hunt for the best mineral foundation continues with Laura Mercier. I have read many reviews of this mineral foundation and they have been overwhelmingly positive, so naturally I had high hopes for this one.

I suppose that my readers may be asking why I want a mineral foundation option instead of just being satisfied with my favorite liquids. The short answer is that sometimes the ease of a powder is just what I want and there is a lot of evidence out there that ideally you want both a chemical AND a physical sunscreen on your face for maximum protection. Since titanium dioxide or zinc oxide (physical actives) are the active SPF ingredients in mineral powders this has been even more motivation to find a good one.

Laura Mercier's Mineral Foundation SPF 15 comes in an impressive range of shades and the container has a great lid that closes over the sifter making it possible to travel with the stuff.

Laura Mercier also has a Mineral Primer which has silica as it's 3rd ingredient and does a nice job of smoothing the skin and also controlling shine. The line also has a finishing powder but I really didn't notice any difference when this went on versus just the primer and foundation powder.

This powder is not shiny but did have a subtle glow that was very pleasant and kept the powder from looking too heavy.

After a few full days of wear I am thrilled to report amazing shine control and it did not change color on me. I am using the lightest shade, Tender Rose.

So far this is winning the Friend or Foe challenge.

Next up....Jane Iredale Mineral Pressed Minerals SPF 20

Marc Jacobs Body Splashes

My darling ladies, it is very hot in my neck of the woods....I feel like I am in a frying pan! In honor of the weather here is this heat beating post......

I was in Nordstrom recently and these were right next to the YSL counter so I decided to give them a whirl. I had dismissed them out of hand as fluff but will be honest in saying I was pleasantly wrong. These are uncomplicated scents that are pleasant to sniff and wear.

The 3 limited scents are Pear, Grapefruit, and Basil with Pear & Grapefruit being my picks.

Pear: pear, freesia and teak wood

Grapefruit: grapefruit, ginger and white musk

Basil: basil, jasmine and sandalwood

All of these splashes are sheer and perfect for super hot days when anything heavier would be cloying. The bottles are $65 and are a whopping 10 ounces which points to the fact that they are meant to be applied liberally. Happy splashing!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Stila - Kitten Silk Eye Shadow Wash

Stila's Kitten eyeshadow is always winning rave reviews from beauty editors everywhere. I for one have never understood the hoopla over this shade.

Kitten always looks too shiny on me and I prefer the pinky champagne goodness of other lines much more. MAC Vapour and Naked Lunch, Lancome's Vue or Nars Nepal are my choices in this color category.

But Stila has now made this best selling shade in a water based liquid to powder formula which warrants a second look!

This is indeed a very light liquid that feels like water when applied. The wash still has that signature pink-champagne hue but the foil like shine is toned down nicely.

I really liked the way it applied and the staying power was good as well. Overall I think this is an improvement over the pressed version which I realize borders on sacrilege for the devoted fans of Kitten. The winning point is the formula as it truly feels like next to nothing on.

I found this at Sephora along with Kitten lipgloss and the Stila Summer palette with bronze and turquoise shades that are on trend for this summer.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mineral Makeup - Friend or Foe Part 1

Let me say upfront....I have a tough relationship with mineral makeup. I want to love it and when it comes to eyeshadow and blush I do, but my consistent issue revolves around the foundations.

I have oily skin. As I have gotten older it isn't the oil slick of my teenage years or early twenties, but oily it still is. I do battle with what my dermatologist calls the triumvirate! Combination skin with occasional breakouts, sun damage and fine lines, yuck!

Mineral foundations claim to soak up oil like no other but I don't find this to be the case. During my average day they perform just fine for the first half, but the rest of my day is spent keeping makeup melt down at bay. The oil in my skin takes over and the minerals are transformed to soup, even with the use of primer.

My other issue is the amount of mica in most mineral powders. I just don't get this.....I would rather have a fairly matte, non-shiny foundation and be able to add highlighter at my discretion. So with nearly every cosmetics line making mineral makeup these days I figured I would venture out and see if these contenders are really an improvement.

First up is MAC's Mineralize SPF 15 in light/medium. This powder went on smoothly and was lacking the shiny quality of BE foundations. I also really liked the color selections for fair skin. They tended to be yellow based which is usually a good sign.

My only gripe was the spongy type applicator in the cap. I didn't like that it seemed to pick up a lot of product and even the MAC SA who applied it to my face did so with a big fluffy brush. Overall this mineral powder did well at soaking up oil, but I felt it got a little darker as the day went on.

All in all this is a good one to check out, but I would recommend using a brush for application. MAC has a few that I really like for powder application such as #182 which is a goat hair kabuki that is oh so soft and gives fuller coverage or the duo fiber brushes #187/#188 which provide sheer coverage.

Next up...Laura Mercier Mineral Powder SPF 15

Summer Scent Perfection

When it comes to summer scents that are watery and breezy perfection, I don't think you can do any better than Hermes' Un Jardin Sur Le Nil.

I love this fragrance and loved reading about it's creation in Chandler Burr's book The Perfect Scent. All the mental images of the Nile River and travel to remote islands to find a fragrances inspiration was the equivalent of an old Hollywood love story complete with soft focus and black and white scenes.

Un Jardin Sur Le Nil starts out green and while it has just a touch of sweetness it is not flowery to me but crystalline and shimmering. The drydown retains that slight sharpness and adds some wood to the base.

My one and only complaint is that like the shimmering beauty it embodies, it doesn't last long. I find myself wanting to douse myself in it just so I can keep that cool watery feeling going. At $125 a bottle, dousing myself is a bit cost prohibitive.

Alas I will just have to live with this one drawback and be satisfied with it's otherwise flawless loveliness!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Kat Von D at Sephora

This makeup collection is for every girl who was a little goth or a lot punk rock back in the day or maybe just wants to be. I love Kat Von D's style but could never pull it off these days. In high school my hair was every color but green but after working in a corporate environment for so long I am boring by comparison! This collection gives me a little taste of that time back and I love it!

Here are my picks from this collection that can be found in Sephora stores and online today. The brush set features 5 eyeshadow brushes all with the ultra cool rose tattoo design for $48.

Painted Love lipstick comes in 4 shades that are Kat Von D's go to shades depending on the occasion. They range from the bright crimson of Underage to the dusty rose of Lolita. I have tested Underage and was very happy with the smooth texture and color payoff. Each tube is $18

Here is the gorgeous Beethoven palette. There is also a Ludwig palette that has a browner range of shades and it was tough to pick my fav. Both are $34 and again the color payoff and texture was fantastic. Speed Blue the midnight blue shade alone is worth buying this for. It is a royal shimmery blue that blends like a dream.

The word from Sephora is that Kat Von D really drove the creative car on the color selection and was super involved. I give her top marks for a job well done and hope that this isn't the last we see from her in the makeup world.

I am in love with the packaging alone and since this is limited do not wait to get your paws on your favorites!

Golden Dior Summer 2008

Gold, gold everywhere and how much can I justify buying! Dior is making it hard for me to turn down more gold this season because they have some fab gold shades in this collection along with some super bronzes.

The best gold collection I had seen this so far this season was Laura Mercier's Gold Digger. I raved about the Eye Color Pots in a previous post and continue to wear them almost daily.

Dior has 2 eyeshadow palettes and my pick is Gold Fever. The 5 colors in the compact range from a white gold to a lilac tinged taupe. All the shades have shimmer and are easy to wear. The Dior eyeshadow palettes are $54 which is not chump change but the texture of the shadow is creamy and easily blended.

Plus check out the necklace while you are there...oh la la! It looks like a little bronze jewel and has golden highlighter inside!

Friday, May 9, 2008

MAC Stowaway Palette

This palette is a Nordstrom supplement to MAC's Naughty Nauticals collection and as far as I can tell is exclusive to them. The four shades are Awash, Crest the Wave, Sea Cadet and a relaunch of Satin Taupe.

The palette is $36 and can be found in stores or online.

Fekkai Glossing Cream

Here is my favorite and only styling product. Glossing Cream is so perfect no other products need apply.

I have hair that is thick and wavy verging on curly that I highlight. It can get frizzy and downright bushy if let to its own devices. That's wear this olive oil rich dream cream comes in.

I searched high and low and tried many products that worked well but had little issues. I was prepared to accept them until I was told about this cream.

Glossing Cream ($19-$26) is hydrating and also helps to weigh hair down a bit. For someone with my hair type it is ideal at keeping frizz under control.

The real key to frizz control is to apply this cream when you hair is wet, not damp and start at the ends and work up to the roots. My only caveat would be to not over apply because it can get a bit is olive oil after all.

Fekkai also has a limited edition Summer Hair series in stores now. All the products smell like a yummy beachy cococut cocktail with Beach Waves and Zero-Humidity Frizz Control (both $22) being my favorites. The Beach Waves spray really helps to encourage waves and give that tousled appearance of a surfer girl fresh from the seashore.

While they do not take the place of my beloved Glossing Cream, they make a nice addition and make me feel summer ready!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Bond No. 9

So as I mentioned one idea for Mother's Day that is reasonably priced I figured I should also mention a gift that is not. Okay perhaps it was all those dang Swarovski crystals luring me in like siren song...whatever!

This sparkly set has 4 refillable purse sprays filled with Bleecker Street, Bryant Park, Nuits de Noho, and Eau de New York.

Now this set is $700 which I realize is some serious change, but if your sweet child or husband has some money to burn this would be my choice.

It may be that the bright shiny objects have just hypnotized me, but in truth all 4 of the fragrances are on my short list so why not have them in a flashy container....right?

Kiehls - Spiced Plum

Yum....that's the word that came to mind when I had my nose buried in this lucious candle.

Kiehls has a soy candle, body cleanser, and hand & body lotion in this Spiced Plum scent and it is heavenly!

Pictured above is the set I saw at Nordstrom and since I am the mommy of a 6 year old, I can tell you that any mom would love to receive this set for Mother's Day!

Kiehls also has a limited edition Gardenia scent that is very nice as well, I just tend to go for spicier stuff.

These products can be found at Nordstrom and Kiehls stores. Go on, make your momma happy!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Lipstick Queen

Are a saint or a sinner? In the Lipstick Queen collection that is the question.

Saint lipsticks are 10% pigment and while they are transparent they are loaded with color. I love the Saint colors because for a moisturizing formula they have great staying power.

Sinner lipsticks are 90% pigment by contrast and matte without being dry. They are pure color without frost or shimmer.

There are 10 colors with both a Saint or Sinner version available. I adore Rose (pictured) and Rouge in both formulas. Natural in Saint formula is a staple that never leaves my purse.

The line also includes matte lipgloss and traditional shiny lipgloss. The matte gloss may sound odd, but I assure you looks beautiful on.

This line in available at Barneys and very reasonably priced at $18 a tube. For this makeup junkie who is lipgloss obsessed this is lipstick at its very best.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Allure - Bright Pink Cheeks

If I have failed to mention before let me say now....Allure is my favorite magazine. How could I not adore a magazine devoted to beauty.

This month the "Look Now" are bright pink cheeks and I nearly jumped off the couch shouting Hooray!

I am a big fan of bright cheek colors for a lot of reasons, chief among them that a bright color offers versatility. Scary blush colors in the pan can be blended back for a sheer wash or layered on to doll-like circles of color....the point is the choice is yours.

I avoid super natural cheek colors because no matter how much I put on there is only so much color payoff to be had. Some mornings I wake up and look half dead, but a bright blush color does wonders to make me look like a member of the living.

Allure recommends Smashbox blush in Radiance, a bright fuchsia.

I recommend the following:

Shu Uemura: Glow On Wine #29 is a wine pink shade

MAC: Dollymix is a sheer candy pink

Nars: Outlaw is rose pink with shimmer

Bobbi Brown: French Pink is matte blue pink

A little goes a long way with any of these colors but that is the beauty of them. To complete the look that Allure mentions I use a little Bare Escentuals Clear Radiance along the cheek bone and Voila! spring cheeks are born.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Bobbi Brown - Lip System

Bobbi Brown's lip system is supposed to take the guess work out of picking a lipstick shade that looks great on you.

Have you had the experience of picking what you were certain was your Holy Grail lip shade only to get home and wonder if you were temporarily insane? Or worse, you got to the car with your new jewel and caught sight of yourself in the rear view mirror, horrified at your lip color? Were you too ashamed to march right back into the store demanding a refund, so instead you skulk home with the offender?

BB's Lip System is aimed at putting an end to just these kinds of episodes. Here's how it works:

  1. a match for your natural lip color is found using one of 12 shades.

  2. build your lip wardrobe using the color wheel. the wheel outlines different neutral, bright, deep and sheer shades that will flatter you most.

My match was Pale Pink....I have really pale lips....but this color wasn't on the cute color wheel. The SA tried various others but none matched as well....hmmm. We ended up going with Sandwash Pink and out of all the suggestions I chose Plum in the Lip Sheer formula. It's a good shade for me but the 12 shade color wheel does have some limitations.

Overall I think this is a great idea. A lot of my friends have me go along to pick cosmetic colors because I will be brutally honest and my love of cosmetics has given me a pretty good eye for color. But I consistently see women purchase lipstick and never really be satisfied with their picks and this is where the Lip System can really help.I saw the Lip System at every BB counter I went to today so go check it out and tell me what your match is!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Hourglass - Vineyard Palette

I have green eyes that have yellow flecks in them. If you are thinking along the lines of cat eye color, you would be correct. I have been asked more times than I can count if I am wearing contacts. If there is one thing I have learned from my eyes, it is that purple shades of eyeshadow and liner make them GREEN!

I always get told to wear green eyeshadow to enhance the color and I do not agree. The best shades for green eyed me are purples, golds, and oh, red lipstick makes them look outrageous.

So in honor of purple I would like to present my favorite purple palette. Behold the beauty that is Hourglass' Vineyard! Gorgeous....right!

Okay this baby has 6 eyeshadows that are silky smooth and packed with color and 2 blushes that coordinate perfectly.

The shadows range from a soft light pink and lavender to smoky grey purple and eggplant. The two blush colors are a natural pink with very sheer shimmer and a brighter pink.

These palettes are $75 each, ouch! But they are refillable and the quality is top notch. There are 5 palette color options ranging from natural taupes to glam rocker shades. If not for the price I would own each and every one. As it is I will refill my palette when I go through these lovely shades.

These palettes and the rest of the line are available at Barneys or Sephora . Check out the lipsticks when you are there....they are creamy and divine.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Bare Escentuals - Buxom Lips

I need a 12 step program. I know the first step is admitting I have a problem....I'm working on that....but the tingle is so good!

Bare Escentuals Buxom Lips lipgloss has become a bit of an addiction for me. I have 3 colors and am currently eyeing the Buxom Babes set of 4 mini tubes ($28) at Sephora.

What has caused my problem you ask? It is the tingly goodness of this slick gloss when it is applied. Oh and the sheer color doesn't hurt either!

This gloss has become my staple for spring and I am never without it. Buxom Lips isn't sticky or goopy and gives a hint of color and slick shine.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that it does plump too.....I never seem to see the plumping results that all plumpers claim, but this one is my favorite of the bunch.

I own:

Dolly is a sheer muted plum. Candi is a sheer shimmering berry. Kanani is a sheer vibrant pink.

Buxom Lips can be found at Sephora, Bare Escentuals, or Ulta and are $18. Don't bother emailing me when you find yourself compulsively applying....just know I am right there with you!