Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pop Beauty - Belle Palettes

Pop Beauty's creator Sara Strand wants makeup to be fun and edgy and I for one think she does a bang up job with Pop Beauty!

It took me awhile to really explore this line and honestly it was the intense color in this range that I loved but also was afraid wouldn't be easy to work with. I think I was skeptical that the Big Box Crayola colors wouldn't live up to my texture expectations.

Put simply, I was wrong. Pop Beauty's powders are silky and blendable and the palettes are huge for the price. I love playing with Pop Beauty at Sephora and you can also catch Sara Strand on QVC regularly.

The 3 palettes's in the Belle collection are all equally gorgeous and feature 8 huge pans for $28! Bronze Belle is all about bronzy shades that are gorgeous for summer and also bringing a little bit of summer to a fall face.

Glow Belle is highlighter happiness! Normally you have to purchase a bunch of different products to get a range of illuminating powders but not so here. You get everything from creamy natural tones to pink and bronze glow for, you guessed it, $28! A bargain in my mind.

Rose Belle is my personal favorite. I am a real sucker for pinks and this palette has everything from eyeshadow colors to blushes and highlighting shades too! What's not to love.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

MAC - Starflash Collection

What the heck is going on? I walked into Nordstrom on Friday night and found this collection of eyeshadows and pencils staring back at me! Starflash is all over the Internet but is completely absent from the MAC site and the Nordstrom site??? Again, what's up?!

Well all I can say is don't waste any time and run, do not walk down to your local Nordstrom store and pick yourself up some Starflash eyeshadow. This shadow is swoon worthy not only due to the color but the texture! Oh lord above the texture is any makeup junkie's dream. The shadows are all frost satin and creamy beyond belief.

I know I am gushing and I can't help it. I wanted every last one of the 12 shadows but only bought half! Only, she says....but when you see them and swatch them for yourself you will understand why not purchasing every last one was such a challenge.

I feel like MAC is on a personal mission to bankrupt me for good. There I will be in bankruptcy court trying to tell the judge that it wasn't me and my makeup addiction but instead MAC is to blame. If they would just slow down the spigot of makeup fabulousness I could exhibit some self control! As it is I am single-handedly helping out our sagging economy!

Talent Pool is probably my favorite of all the shadows and is a bright teal aquamarine shade that looks drop dead smack me twice gorgeous layered with Delft paint pot.

A little later I will be discussing how I get all these shadows into palette form.....stay tuned!

UPDATE: Starflash is now up on the MAC website and selling fast!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bare Escentuals - Rocker Eye Tutorial

I am a big fan of BE's Tutorials series and Rocker Eye ($38) is no exception. This Sephora exclusive (for this month) has 3 eyeshadow colors and a double ended brush to help you achieve that rocker eye that calls to mind Joan Jett or Kat Von D.

The shadows are 1980's a metallic grey, Rock Star a sparkling smoke, and Black Leather Liner a glistening blacker than black shade.

I happen to think BE really excels when it comes to shimmery eye color shades and using BE shadows wet (foiling in BE speak) really amps up the shimmer factor and is night makeup ready!

The liner in this set is what had me salivating though. Black Leather is a glistening black that is tough to find and when used with a liner sealer will wear forever. BE's Weather Everything Liner Sealer for $18 does the job and will transform any powder into a liquid liner but I mainly use the stuff to achieve shimmery liner or use an electric eyeshadow shade as a liner. The results are super fab and literally one drop is needed.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Stila Backstage Beauty Palette

Be quick my lovelies! This gorgeous Stila palette is online at Sephora and is limited and a Beauty Insider exclusive.

For $40 you get a metallic black liner and 3 shadows with shimmer and matte shades. The palette is the Front Row Look inspired by the Marchesa Fall 2008 runway shows.

From what I have heard there are supposed to be 2 more palettes that join this rose adorned beauty but this is the first I have seen to hit the Internet for purchase.

According to Sephora this will be an online only exclusive but that always remains to be seen.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Stain Hall Of Fame #5

Lorac is the final stain to be in my Hall of Fame. The main reason is the sheer raspberry shade, Sheer Emotion, that is a holy grail shade for me.

Lorac's stain comes in a roller ball bottle and 3 shades that include a sheer rose and bronze as well as my favorite sheer raspberry for $19 each.

Lorac's Sheer Wash has reasonable staying power although I do touch up after lunch but the shade selection makes a touch up seem inconsequential.

I hope the Stain Hall of Fame has provided a few ideas for stains to try. Staining my lips before putting on lipgloss or a sheer lipstick is one of my favorite makeup tricks. Not only does it intensify the color of some of my favorite glosses (think MAC Dazzleglass) in also ensures that I have a pretty wash of color between touch ups.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Stain Hall Of Fame #4

Vincent Longo's Gel Stain comes in 6 shades that range from reds to orange and even a sheer brown. Each tube is $22.50 and lasts forever!

Besides the range of shades Vincent Longo's stain joins the Hall of Fame for its actual staining power. Seriously, this stuff stains instantly and does not budge for hours and wears right through meals even those including oily foods.

I hardly ever have to touch up this stain but it also means you need to work fast and be precise as there isn't much play time to fix mistakes.

Sephora is my Vincent Longo source and it is worth it to check out the Pearlessence Stains as well. The formula is similar except they have some shimmer.

If you caught Vincent Longo on QVC hawking his wares recently then you saw him use this on cheeks beautifully, a feat I have not managed. But for lip staining this one is hard to beat!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Stain Hall Of Fame #3

Stila's Cherry Crush ($24) is a stain for lips and cheeks that is both cherry scented and flavored.

The click pen's formula is supposed to react to the ph in your skin and transform into your own shade of cherry but I didn't find a whole lot of difference between a test on me and a few friends.

But don't let that stop you! The soft cherry pink shade is lovely and fresh. Plus the click pen delivery is a winner in my book for ease of use and simple touch ups.

Between the delivery and the cherry flush shade this pretty pen sits proudly in my Stain Hall of Fame!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Stain Hall Of Fame #2

The Hall of Fame continues with Benefit's new Posietint. As I mentioned in the previous post Benetint was never a stain I could love. The intense rose fragrance was off putting to me and even though I love the rose stain Benetint produces I just couldn't get past that smell!

Benefit changed all that for me with Posietint! Posietint was love at first swipe and after staining my lips I promptly marched up to the register to purchase a bottle.

Posietint earns its place in the Hall of Fame for a few reasons. First the color is lovely and buildable. You can wear a very thin layer for a light pink wash or layer it up for a more intense pink flush. Second, Posietint dries quickly and really stains lips so it lasts for hours under gloss. Third and possibly the winning point for me anyway was that Benefit thankfully made this stain fragrance free!

Sephora has the bottles for $28 and with the nail polish brush applicator Posietint is bound to become a cult classic fast!

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Stain Hall Of Fame #1

My favorite part of any beauty book or magazine article is when artists or editors share some of their beauty tips and secrets. These little nuggets of beauty wisdom can be everything from stuff you regard as a pearl of wisdom on down to secrets you just never thought to try. I store these little nuts of knowledge away like any good squirrel and using stains for amping up lipgloss color is definitely among my favorite tips.

For some this may be a big duh moment but the thought had really never occurred to me. In the past I always felt stains were messy and unnecessary. Plus I am probably the only person who could just not hack the rose fragrance bomb that is Benetint. Now don't get me wrong, Benetint does a fine job of staining lips and I even like the color it produces, but good lord the smell is major yuck to me.

With that said here is my first pick for The Stain Hall of Fame!

Becca Beach Tint in Watermelon is one of my top 5 stains of all time. Watermelon is that reddish pink with a slight coral tinge that flatters nearly every skin tone. Beach Tint also has good staying power and dries quickly. The little tube for $25 lasts forever and can be found at Neiman Marucs or Becca Cosmetics online.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Mascara Showdown

When I was asked the other day what my favorite mascara was my response was how much do you want to spend?

I avoid the drugstore for most of my makeup needs because there aren't any testers and I just don't like to guess what colors really look like or the texture of products. I am a bit braver when it comes to mascara and that is how I found choice #1 Max Factor Lash Perfection Volume Couture.

The main thing that persuaded me was I could get a good gander at the brush as you can see in the picture and it appeared to be like choice #2 Chanel Inimitable, but I was skeptical.

Chanel came out with Inimitable about a year ago and it was love at first swipe! Some girls go for length, others volume, but for me separation is paramount. I don't care how long or voluminous a mascara makes my lashes because if they are all stuck together and clumpy I look like a Tammy Fay wannabe!

Chanel's brush is the plastic spiky variety and it does a great job at keeping me out of Tammy Fay territory. It takes a few coats to achieve the volume I require but that is okay by me as the results are separate lashes that make the most of my stubby lashes. Chanel's Inimitable does not flake or run and washes right off at the end of the day. In my book this is an A+. I gave a tube to my best pal for her opinion and she too became a believer that $27.50 is a reasonable amount to spend on mascara.

By contrast Max Factor is $6 and I have to say does nearly as good a job. The only difference I notice is you have to work a bit harder to get the volume you want, but this is not a big deal in my book.

The person who asked me about my favorite mascara asked the logical follow up question which was why would I pay nearly $30 bucks for Chanel when I could just be satisfied with Max Factor. I informed my questioner that the definition of Inimitable is incapable of being imitated or copied; surpassing imitation; matchless! And Chanel named their mascara appropriately.

In truth I keep both mascaras on hand but there is just something about Chanel's formula that is just a bit better, that makes it matchless!

What is your favorite mascara or are you still on the hunt?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Brow Gel

This is my favorite brow gel. I picked up this tube of Max Factor clear mascara after seeing it in Dick Page's kit in an old issue of Allure years ago. He said it had great hold and was cheap. I was sold.

These tubes have become a bit of a cult item among my friends but Max Factor has becoming increasingly hard to find and often this item is sold out! So when one of us finds some we buy all of the tubes and try not to hoard them!

I am usually able to find Max Factor at Longs Drugs and Ulta and I am here to report it is worth it to hunt for this stuff. The tubes are about $6 and trounce most other expensive brow gels. This gel has good hold without flaking or being obvious on the brow. Plus it gives your brow hairs a nice shine that makes them look healthy and groomed.

I routinely wear this to the gym and it lasts through sweating and toweling. It's great stuff.

When I just can't find any tubes my second choice is Anastasia Brow Gel which is $21 at Sephora. It's a good solid choice but it's not $6 and so Max Factor remains the champion for my brow gel needs.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Chantecaille Lip Chic

I have mentioned my great love of Chantecaille before and also indicated the prices of some items keep me from purchasing more. Chantecaille is an upscale line and while I can't speak for the skincare, the color portion lives up to the reputation.

Lip Chic is somewhere between a lipstick and gloss. The formula delivers shiny translucent color that is super fresh looking.

My problem with formulations like these are that generally they don't have enough color payoff and what they do have pulls a disappearing act. Not so with Lip Chic which wears beautifully and feels smooth on your lips.

Lip Chic is $30 and I have a relationship with Zinnia as a shade. Zinnia is a bright pink slightly coral shade that never goes orange on me.

If you just can't bear to part with the $30 bucks then the runner up for this category is MAC's Slimshine for $14.50. Slimshine has a great variety of colors but doesn't have quite as much staying power.

You can find Chantecaille at Neiman Marcus.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

PTR Uber-Dry SPF 30

As you may have figured out by now I am religious about sunscreen. I have always worn SPF 15 daily, rain or shine. But lately I have been reading that SPF 30 is really where its at. The reasons being that most people rarely apply the amount that is needed to get the full amount of protection and the SPF ingredients can be more volatile and not last as long as previously thought.

Lots of companies are marketing Helioplex or similar ingredients that are supposed to stabilize UVA ingredients but most dermatologists still recommend at least a SPF 30 if you will be outdoors for any length of time.

With that said, my oily skin doesn't make friends with most products over SPF 15. My derm said that the higher levels of SPF aren't as easy to produce light weightless lotions and gels with, hence my frustration.

Then I discovered Peter Thomas Roth's Uber-Dry SPF 30! Wow does this ever live up to its name! This lotion is not greasy at all and after it blends into skin you hardly know its there. It does a fine job under makeup and with antioxidants in there as well, this oily skinned gal thought she had died and gone to sunscreen heaven!

At $26 for a 4 ounce bottle this is a steal in my opinion. So if you have truly oily skin or find that your skin acts like it in the hotter months you should check out Uber-Dry.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bare Escentuals - Big Lips, Big Lashes

Here is another BE set that just hit stores....Big Lips, Big Lashes for $28.

Big Lips, Big Lashes is all about chocolate shades and features Big Tease mascara in a rich chocolate brown and also sees the return of Buxom Lip Polish in Kitty a sheer milk chocolate shade.

While I am a devoted fan of the Buxom Lip Polishes, Kitty is not the shade for me. Big Tease mascara has a brush with long bristles on one side to build length and shorter bristles on the other for separation and volume. I have a tough time with the brush and always seem to get mascara on my lid but the formula is a I persevere!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Laura Mercier - L'Heure Magique Collection

Laura Mercier hardly ever disappoints me and this new collection is no exception! L'Heure Magique features 3 eyeshadow trios, 3 liners, 2 blush colors, a fragrance, and 5 lipsticks! As I said in a previous post I will try to narrow my raving to one or two picks that are beyond fabulous to try and help wade through all the new makeup rolling in!

The eyeshadow trios are a must for me. The palettes have a highlight, mid-tone, and definer shade and the color combos are spot on for fall eyes which are looking smokey without using black or gray to achieve the look.

My other pick are the lipstick shades that are all unbeatable nude shades that range from a flesh tone to a pinker version. Any of these creamy lipsticks are a great pairing for the sultry eye and are lovely effortless colors on their own. Laura Mercier recently reformulated her lipstick and gloss and the effort was worth it. The texture of the lipstick is vastly improved and the yucky fragrance is gone.

Look for the eye trio in Midnight Sun a bronzy gold trio and Dusk lipstick a pinky nude....those are my must purchase items!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dior Dandy Fall Collection

I can not believe the number of fall makeup collections that are already making an appearance! Is it just me or does the release of new collections just seem to get bumped up earlier these days?

Dior Dandy is truly lovely and in the interests of not boring everyone to death with all my fall collection writing I have tried to pick my absolute favorite from a collection because honestly there are just so dang many of them. I don't want you to think I am complaining, far from it! More makeup in the world is just fine by me.

So my lust object from this collection is far and away the Impression Cuir Leather Couture Eyeshadow compact for $55. The compact is stamped with a croc impression and has 3 bronze brown shadows that are creamy and gorgeous. The middle color is amazing with enough shimmer to really highlight the mid-tone bronze color.

My only possible issue with this compact is I have a tough time defacing the croc pattern! I know I can't be the only one that hesitates. There are many fine and lovely things in Dior's Dandy collection but this is the item that would send me scurrying to the counter.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

MAC Overload!

Okay I love reality I worship at the altar of makeup that is MAC. But lately MAC has been giving my credit cards a workout that is leaving me poor! I mean the collections have been coming fast and furious and every single one has had at least one thing I just couldn't live without! I love them but my bank account does not. So no more whining and on with the makeup fun!

Above is Electro Flash! Holy there any other word for it. For those who love the Mineralize eyeshadow your ship has come in. The new duos have a mix of 3 shades on one side with a solid shade on the other. The 4 new lip shades and 4 Tinted Lipglass shades have me in a tizzy! I mean of the 8 I want 4 and if you saw my current lip wardrobe that exceeds 200 shades you would agree that I have got to put the brakes on or learn to edit in a serious way!

Next up is New View. The compact has a natural matte finish and the other a soft shimmer and comes in 5 shades and is the next generation Mineralize powder. I can tell you that the shimmer side is indeed soft and not disco ball and these light weight powders are perfect for the warm months when you don't want liquid makeup running down your face.

Last but certainly not least is Sonic Chic! Again these are Mineralize blushes in 9 shades that all have a degree of shimmer and apply more sheer than they appear. Again the colors are ridiculously beautiful and I just don't know how many blushes one girl can justify! The 181 buffer brush is a smaller version of the 182 and has the shape of a kabuki but is so much softer than any kabuki I have ever felt. The 181 is the perfect size to buff on cheek colors or luminizers along the cheek bone and is worth every penny!

So all this MAC fun hits counters July 10th (online now) and I will be spending the time in between carefully considering my picks and perfecting my justifying skills.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

My Hat Is My BFF

Now I know what you are thinking......this is a beauty blog so why I am I writing about a hat?

My answer.....this is a beauty blog and a good hat for outdoor summer fun will help keep you beautiful for a long time to come.

I searched and hunted for a wide brim hat that did not make me look like a senior citizen or mini-van driving soccer mom. If you are either one, I mean no harm, the look just isn't for me. I wanted style and to look chic, like some yacht owning Countess out for a cruise. A tall order I realize but I was prepared to hunt.

When strolling through Nordstrom this beauty caught my eye! Oh....she is pretty, I thought. Plus she met all my criteria. This hat is under $100 bucks, has a wide brim to protect both face and neck, can be packed, and provides a SPF 50 with sturdy cotton canvas. The elegant tie around the brim surprised me by looking chic and not matronly.


Well today I went on my daughter's school field trip to the park. The kids had a great time and ran around like wild animals with the mom's wearing all manner of just the sort of hat I had avoided. I am proud and not a little pleased to say that no fewer than 6 asked where I got my hat because I looked like a movie star!

You don't have to say hat was tight from all those compliments!

This hat is by Helen Kaminski and the style is Melody. It comes in a variety of colors and can be found in Nordstrom stores or at lots of online hat e-tailors.

The advice from this makeup junkie is to protect your face and look good doing it!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Bare Escentuals - The Bare & The Beautiful

The Bare and The Beautiful kit was not love at first sight. I had to test these colors to really fall in love. It's like a friend turning into might take a bit longer but it's the ending that counts!

The kit consists of two eyeshadows, Kindness which is an icy blue with violet shimmer and Praise a metallic navy with amethyst shimmer. Praise is a gorgeous liner.

A Hint Of Truth is the third pot in this set and is a pinky apricot shade that BE describes as vintage rose. While our descriptions of the color may vary, it is a lovely natural blush color.

The real pay dirt for me is the double ended brush. I honestly feel that BE does double ended brushes as well as or better than anyone else and while they are not always practical for storage (which end do you smoosh to stand them up) purposes, you do get a lot of brush for the money. This one has a tapered blush and paddle eyeshadow on either end and is fantabulous!

The Bare and The Beautiful can be had for $44 at BE stores or online.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Solar Oil

The mercury is rising in most of the country and for me that means paying extra attention to my hands and feet. I have various tools to deal with callouses but for nail and cuticle dryness Solar Oil is my weapon of choice!

Solar Oil is jojoba, rice bran and sweet almond oil along with Vitamin E and it really whips my nails into shape.

I apply this liberally on my cuticles at night and massage it into the skin and nails. Any white marks from dryness vanish and my cuticles look smooth and lovely. If you are diligent about using it, Solar Oil will banish raggedy looking paws for good.

A bottle will run between $8-10 depending on where you pick it up. I find it all nail salon, Ulta and Amazon has is it as well. You don't need much so a bottle will last a few months and be worth every penny!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Camp Rock As Fragrance

I may get hate mail for this but a blog is the writer's opinion after more, no less.

As anyone with a child in the house knows, Camp Rock, the latest made for tv Disney movie made it's debut. My daughter who is nearly 7 loves all things Disney and the singing and dancing extravaganza that is Camp Rock and High School Musical are no exceptions.

She has innocent little girl crushes on Joe Jonas and Zac Efron and knows every single song from the movies by heart as both myself and our neighbors can attest. These movies are very G-Rated and when I say the singing and dancing are the draw for her I mean it! If you were to come over to our house it would take only a bit of coaxing to get her to sing and show you her dance moves!

So what on earth does Disney and bubblegum pop music have to do with a beauty blog? Well it occurred to me while watching her dance up a storm watching Camp Rock for the 12th time (we Tivo'ed it) that her favorite perfume happens to be Juicy Couture which in my opinion is a bit like the bubblegum fun of these movies.

Juicy Couture is all about fruity goodness and with notes like watermelon, mandarin, pink passion fruit, and green apple you can see why. There's even caramel creme brulee and vanilla thrown in for good measure. This perfume is not as sickly sweet as the notes description would have you believe but it is fun and young and like Camp Rock fluffy, but still has you singing along.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Nars - Miami Sun Set

Hubba hubba! Now that is some color!

Nars new Miami Sun Set for $65 is pure Miami hotness. This is a limited edition you can find at Sephora online least so far!

The Sundance eye duo has warm golden and terracotta shades. Capucine Lip Lacquer is pure tangerine glossiness!

The nail color is a real lust object for me....just look at that tomato red! Dovima nail polish, I heart you!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Fun Part Deux

Couldn't help it...there were more items that begged to be seen! MAC Richmetal Cream Highlighter.

Chanel lip quad with the perfect pinks!

Dior's Gaucho palette with 4 eyeshadows and 2 lip colors.

So if you want to get your paws on any of the makeup porn get thee to Nordstrom stores or online and pre-order my friends. I guarantee you will be sorry you don't if you fall in love with an item....women have become wise to the pre-order and the super hot items are nearly sold out before the dang sale even begins on July 18th!