Friday, August 29, 2008

Bobbi Brown - Shimmering Nudes Palette

Get ready to pony up $50 big ones because this palette is worth the cash! Nobody does nudes like BB and the quality of her line makes the price seem reasonable.

The nudes in this palette offer cool and warm tones to pick from but they are so forgiving and well, nude, that anyone can get away with any shade.

This palette features 6 nude shades that range from metallic to soft pearl finishes with Espresso on the right for lining. A double ended brush is included with bristles that are identical to the full size versions. This is important to me because lots of palettes get cheap when it comes to the brush, but not Bobbi!

While you are at the BB counter check out the new Metallic eyeshadows and lipstick colors. The Metallic lipsticks are truly a departure for BB and I love them. The lippies are metallic without being over the top frosty and are very wearable. These new editions to the BB line are very welcome in my book and just make this already great line even better.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

MAC - Cult of Cherry

So I know I have already blogged about Cult of Cherry but I figured I would yap some more.

I picked up a few things but didn't even touch the Mattene colors or nail polish.

Instead I fell in love with all 3 palettes which are gorgeous. Spiced Chocolate on the left is fall embodied in an eyeshadow quad. My MAC pals say this is the hit with palette's selling out fast.

Tempting is the middle palette and has the most interesting mix of color with the chartreuse beauty Sharp just shouting at you. Sharp is not as scary as it may initially seem and can be worn very sheer for day or over a base for intensity anytime. Sharp layered with Tempting makes a beautiful shade.

Shadowy Lady is on the left and is probably my favorite of the three although it does have two re-promotes in Deep Truth the deep vivid blue and Shadowy Lady the deep matte purple. But I am not deterred by that as these are two of my favorite shadows from MAC's permanent line anyway.

My other favorites from this collection are Rich and Ripe Lipglass and Lightly Ripe lipstick. I bought two of each as they are near perfect everyday shades for me with Lightly Ripe being basically my lip color.

I encourage you to check out this collection. After receiving my issue of Allure and Instyle the other day I was amazed that both mags feature chartreuse eyeshadow prominently.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lip - Sunscreen Smarts

As I have mentioned in previous posts there are few things that will get me onto my beauty soap box faster than products that claim to have broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) protection but lack the right ingredients to do the job.

Lipgloss, lipbalm and lipstick are among the worst offenders when it comes to these bogus claims and it makes me want to stomp my feet in frustration! Most beauty shopping ladies believe the SPF rating listed on the box and they should be able to, but sadly you just can't.

Now don't get me wrong....I own all manner of lip products that do not contain SPF and I have no beef because they never claimed to. Also if your favorite gloss is intended for evening wear only then SPF is not an issue, but my quest is to find products that will protect lips from summer sun.

So in the interests of directing you to some options that can protect your pout I went online and to my favorite beauty stores and checked out the selection. The shock for me was just how many were losers in the SPF game with most products lacking the right UVA ingredients as an active. It is tempting to point to titanium dioxide or zinc oxide somewhere in the ingredient list, but it must be listed as an active ingredient to get the requisite protection.

Here are my finds:

  • Aveda Lip Tint is a chapstick type lipbalm with color. I like Peony a baby pink.
  • The Balm Balm Shelter gloss comes in 6 sheer colors and has fruity scents.
  • TerraTints is another chapstick type lip balm but has some great colors like Blaze, a garnet red with shimmer.
  • Bare Escentuals Lip Guard in Miami Beach. This is a cool pink shade that is sheer. There are a few other colors available but they can be a bit tough to track down in stores but are available online.
Sadly most of the fun summer lip products were lacking the right actives to give broad spectrum protection and finding good color choice was tough. Let me know if you have a favorite that I didn't find.

This whole SPF adventure has made me realize something......if ever I were to create a makeup line reliable SPF would be mandatory in ALL the daytime products.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Chanel Glossimer

It occurred to me today that I could probably write an entire blog about lipgloss alone. I think this a common problem for a lot of makeup junkies...right?

I mean when I was a younger girl gloss was the furthest thing from my mind. Matte lipstick was all the rage and the deeper the color the better. I am thinking MAC's Verushka and Russian Red, which are deep eggplant and a true deep blue red respectively. This is serious matte lipstick that requires frequent checking in the mirror and you could never just apply them walking down the street.

Maybe that's were gloss came in and became so requires far less commitment than lipstick and even the colors are more forgiving since they are sheer. The wrong pink lipstick can look garish but in gloss form more people can pull off the same shade.

With that thought in mind you should know Chanel Glossimer is among my top 5 lipgloss choices, of any line, period.

Between the array of color choices and the wear time, this is good gloss. Glossimer is not some super watery gloss that is gone in two seconds. Instead Glossimer is a bit thicker in texture and has better color payoff than most gloss which I love.

I think everyone must already worship at the altar that is Chanel's Glossimer but for those out there who don't here are my top choices:

Spark (swatch pictured) is a sheer golden cherry that is beautiful and sexy on the lips without looking harsh.

Pagoda is my go to color for the morning rush and I haven't met a blond that doesn't look good wearing it. This shade is reminiscent of a peachy gold bellini and is very flattering.

Hibiscus is a great evening shade and sort of reminds me of Spark, but with the color pumped up. It is a more burgundy red with gold shimmer that looks great in low restaurant lighting. This color also straddles that line of cool and warm tones, so most skin tones look good wearing it.

While Chanel gloss may be on the pricey side it delivers where many glosses fall flat. The color range is huge and the wear time make it worth a few more dollars. Plus it does not have any fragrance!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Urban Decay Lipstick

Here is Urban Decay's new Lipstick. For those who have followed the brand you will know that the lipsticks have come and gone from the line a few times. The first incarnation was lipstick packaged in a bullet casing look-alike. Those lip colors were opaque and intense while the new lineup of lipsticks are much more diverse.

I have read a few reviews of these lipsticks and they have been mixed and I think that mainly has to do with what formulation you pick and your expectations. There are 21 shades to chose from and sheer, cream and shimmer varieties to consider.

The shimmer formula is lovely but you should expect large particle glitter that may not be for everyone. The creams however are elegant and are available in full coverage, semi-sheer and sheer cream. The sheen variety has a frosty glow that I love and highly recommend checking out along with the cream formulas.

The fragrance is creme caramel and it is sweet but not horribly so. The real clincher is the packaging which is beyond cool. Purple metal tubes with a dagger sticking out of the bottom will make any wimpy lipstick run scared! Urban Decay says it can be your secret weapon and I agree!

I picked up Buzzkill a dark rose cream and Voodoo a dark pink sheen. They are truly lovely shades that you might not expect to find in a edgy line like Urban Decay.

The tubes are $22 and available at Sephora.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fresh Supernova Mascara

I am a mascara tramp. I am never faithful even to mascaras I really like. For instance, I love Chanel's Inimitable but I keep trying other mascaras hoping to improve on its formula. My main issue is that if I get fantastic separation and definition the volume sucks. And if I get thick and lush lashes I am fitting a clump war I never seem to win.

I realize many makeup artists use two different mascaras to achieve the desired combo of length and volume and bring in a lash comb for separation. I guess I think this is a bit crazy and outside of my morning routine time constraints. So I keep searching.....

My most recent trial is Fresh Supernova which has been recommended to me by just about every Sephora SA I have asked. They all rave that it doesn't run or smudge and the formula and brush really deliver.

So I ponied up my $25 bucks and hoped for the best, oh and I kept my receipt! My results were good but not OMG amazing and here's why. First off for $25 bucks I want most of my aforementioned mascara criteria met and the good news is it was. The sort of bad news is that the mascara really didn't make my lashes much thicker although it did separate and lengthen nicely.

All in all this mascara gets a B+ in my mind and it is worth considering if you are on the hunt for good mascara or are just a mascara tramp like me.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bare Escentuals - 10 New Lipsticks

Bare Escentuals has added 10 new colors to their 100% Natural Lipcolor line and in all truth it fills in some gaping holes. I like BE's lipsticks quite a bit and appreciate that they are trying to put a lipstick that is good for your lips on the market. Up until now there were only a few shades I sort of liked so I have never written about them. Here are the new additions:

Bavarian Cream - sheer light blue pink
Berry Cordial - deep raspberry with shimmer
Black Currant - muted blackberry
Bread Pudding - tawny nude
Italian Ice - warm rosy raspberry
Passion Fruit - bright berry
Red Zin - rich blue red
Spiced Rum - bronze with shimmer
Strawberry Daiquiri - warm berry rose
Sweet Apricot - warm apricot

My favorites are Red Zin which is a must have for red lipstick lovers along with Strawberry Daiquiri and Passion Fruit. The lipsticks are $15 each and are very moisturizing due to the base of Jojoba and Macadamia oils.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tarte Eye Couture Day to Night Palette

This palette is a must have! Seriously, get on down to the Sephora and grab it and pick up a few extra to give as holiday presents for special friends.

Why, you ask, is this such a must have? I'll tell you why! First off it is a screaming deal! $44 gets you 10 full size eyeshadows 6 of which are in the charcoal family and the other 6 are in the bronze family. Included is a double ended eye brush that is fabulous and a double ended liner in brown and charcoal.

Second, the colors are so spot on fall-tastic with grey eyes and smoky browns everywhere. Plus did I mention that these are full size pans!

Third the packaging is uber-cute with metallic purple quilting and a lock and key. I had visions of my own "Dear Diary" that had a kitten on the front and you better believe I locked that thing. I couldn't very well have my mom read about my current crush!

Fourth, as if you needed any more reasons, Tarte is good for you makeup. You won't find parabens, synthetic dyes or any other nasty baddies in their stuff. The shadows are silky and blendable and damnit the thing is just cute!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Chanel - Gold Fiction

Chanel's Fall 2008 collection has been talked about and written about a bunch. I too was swept up in the previews that showed pictures of gold lipgloss and nail polish and Facettes d'Or highlighting powder, convinced I would want every last thing.

I am just as surprised to report that after playing with the colors at Neiman Marcus yesterday I was underwhelmed with only a few noted exceptions.

Rather than harp on about how a lot of these colors have been done before and in some cases a whole lot better, I'll concentrate on what did wow me and had me whipping out my cash!

Gold Fiction nail polish in priced higher than the usual Chanel polish and while I may balk a bit at $35 for a bottle you may think nothing of the price after seeing the polish. The bottle is opaque and the color on it does not accurately represent the gorgeousness that is Gold Fiction.

Gold Fiction is a champagne beige gold tone. It is metallic but not glittery. The polish is dazzling with one hastily applied coat at the Chanel counter and knock your socks off lovely with two coats applied in the comfort of your home or nail salon. I didn't have any particular hankering for this much talked about polish but after seeing it I am converted to the church of gold least Chanel's anyway.

The other item that nabbed my attention and was a slam dunk purchase is a new shade of Aqualumiere Sheer Color Lipshine, Papeete. Papeete is a bright but sheer raspberry pink shade with violet shimmer and is a stunner on the lips. My husband caught me skulking around the counter (as you can guess this is a frequent occurrence) and even he asked what shade I had on my lips. Needless to say it too went home with me.

Check out the collection for yourself and tell me what you think of it. There is much talk of the collection to hit counters later this year. The reports all speak of a smoky eye quad that will cause a stampede at the counter.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Kat Von D New Products

Well for all those gals who hoped that Kat Von D's foray into the makeup world would continue and expand, your prayers have been answered!

Behold Kat Von D's contribution to glossiness! There are eleven colors to choose from and at $18 a tube perhaps you can choose a couple. Lighting Lip Gloss is sheer and sparkle infused with colors ranging from light pink to candy apple red along with the expected nude and the not so expected smoke shade.

Next up are 9 new eyeshadow duos with a satin shade on one side and a glitter spiked color on the other. Each duo is $20 and I love almost every duo. You have a choice of green, purple, blue and ivory too! Seriously the 9 duos are worth a look and while I had some trouble with the palettes from the original release (mainly that I loved certain shades but just don't use others) I am thrilled to be able to pick specific shades.

These are available at Sephora or online with the word being that a gondola (Sephora display unit) will be put in for this line in stores. Looks like KVD is here to stay!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bare Escentuals - New Buxom Gloss

As I have mentioned before I LOVE BE's Buxom Lipgloss. The gloss is cool and minty on my lips, the fragrance is delightful and the sheer colors are lovely.

BE has added 6 new colors to the lineup and these glosses have all the same attributes as the original but are full color! Roxanne and Vanessa are my favorites of the bunch.

Carmen - raspberry plum
Chloe - copper bronze
Roxanne - pink raspberry
Sophia - metallic mauve
Stella - brown-berry wine
Vanessa - burgundy wine

All the colors are metallic to a certain degree. I love Roxanne layered over lipstick and Vanessa is just right for fall. All tubes are $18 and if you buy one with a BE lipstick in their boutiques it is $30 for the two.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sephora Tricks of the Trade Products

In general I am not a fan of the Sephora brand products. Perhaps I have just not picked wisely but on the whole I have found them disappointing. The one noted exception is the Professional Platimun Series brushes that are great quality and are on the whole very reasonably priced. I have not had to replace any and they have performed well and remained soft and kept their shape.

On my weekly trip to Sephora I was cruising the brush section when I noticed some new products that Sephora is calling "Tricks of the Trade" and I was intrigued. The line includes a Wrinkle Filler (primer), Lip Last (lip color sealer), Instant Lip Plumper, Lip Balm, Radiance Mist, Anti-Shine Primer, Eyeshadow Transformer (powder into liquid liner), Setting Mist, Lip Primer, Eye Brightener......geesh you get the idea.

The welcome surprise is that most of these products were priced well below $20 which is serious bargain material. Lord knows their competitors are priced much higher but of course it all comes down to product performance.

I tested out the lip balm which I figured is the shallow end of the pool. The jar is $8 and includes mango butter, vitamin e, menthol for a pleasant cooling sensation and palmitoyl oligopeptide which plumps. I wore the balm all around the store and liked it enough to buy it and am encouraged to try out more from this new offering!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mac New Collections

As my wallet was finally recovering from Sonic Chic and Electroflash not to mention the damage done by Starflash, MAC circles the wagons for the final assault on a barely breathing bank account!

Overrich and Cult of Cherry are on the way and god help us poor makeup junkies! Now I have heard conflicting info on the release date, everything from late August to September but my local MAC store insists these are coming on August 21st. I am betting on the 22nd as most MAC releases seem to hit officially on Fridays.

Anyway Overrich consists of 8 pigments with only one being a repromote and really pigments more than most MAC products make my heart flutter! Here are the details:

  • Blonde's Gold - Light Tan with Gold and White pearl
  • Antique Green - Turquoise Green with Gold pearl
  • Vintage Gold - Tarnished Green with Green pearl
  • Museum bronze - Rich Taupe with Gold pearl
  • Mauvement - (Repromote) Cool Taupe with Gold Pearl
  • Mega-Rich - Frosty burnt Orange with Gold pearl
  • Copperbeam - Rusted Brown with Red pearl
  • Heritage Rouge - Deep Burgundy with Red and Brown pearl
Cult of Cherry is the fall epitomized with dramatic eyes and rich lips. There are 3 eye quads:

Spiced Chocolate focuses on reddish chocolate shades. Shadowy Lady has one of my fav MAC shades of the same name and is all about purple and blue. Tempting is dark and lovely with gold and coco. All the quads are $36 and feature some limited other words snap them up if you like them as the popular MAC stuff seems to blow out of town in the blink of an eye.

I have already reserved my picks from the two collections and once again I am pretty sure my makeup spending could pay off third world debt. But hey makeup is my thing and you will never catch me clothes shopping for fun, just out of strict necessity!

There will be new lipsticks, lipglass, mattene, nail polish and blush but I am in overload. Please say a solemn prayer for my bank account, it's going to need it!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bare Escentuals - Face Fashion Wild Spirit

BE just came out with a new Face Fashion kit called Wild Spirit for $34. Wild Spirit has 3 eyeshadows, a Buxom lipgloss, and blush. All colors are exclusive to the set and the set is worth having if not for the Buxom lipgloss color alone.

I think it is BE's intent to release a new Face Fashion with the changing seasons and to present a palette of colors that are on trend. I happen to really like the colors in this set and wish they would join the permanent lineup.

The eye colors are Metallic Lavender, Plush Purple (a matte plum), and Smoky Sequins Liner (gunmetal). The blush color is Vintage Peach and BE just doesn't have anything like it in their regular offering.

But the new Buxom is what really got my heart pumping! I have professed my love for the Buxom gloss in past posts and this new opalescent coppery pink is lovely and terrible at the same time. Lovely, because it is a great color and should (BE are you reading?) be in the permanent Buxom collection! Terrible because this is half size and is kit only! Oh the agony.....

Monday, August 11, 2008

Lancome Magnifique

On the whole Lancome fragrances do not excite me. Tresor is a perfect example of what turns me off about the brand's perfume. Tresor is cloying to my nose and it makes me want to give myself a good scrubbing.

In all honesty I can't say why I feel this way and I have many friends who love Lancome perfume, Tresor included. I was therefore a little hesitant to try Magnifique but I was in for a nice surprise.

Magnifique shares a common woody profile with Donna Karan's Chaos and for the first few minutes on my wrist I was hard pressed to point out specific differences. DK's Chaos is discontinued but I still have some left and immediately thought this would be a good replacement.

As Magnifique and I got better acquainted there was a bit of that Tresor sweetness that threatened to spoil the party but it didn't actually crash the party instead it attended as a noticeable but well behaved guest.

The main notes are saffron, rose and nagarmota wood and the eau de parfum is $65. I suppose if this were a different perfumer I would judge this more harshly and really come down on the Tresor-like aspects but as it is this is a huge step in the right direction for my humble opinion.

I found this at Bloomingdales and I believe Nordstrom has it now as well.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Stila Backstage Palette

So on my Sephora trip this weekend I found not only the black Backstage palette from Stila but also the red!

After checking them both out in person the red palette is the clear winner for me and at $40 for 3 HUGE pans of eyeshadow and a half size Kajal eyeliner, in the basket it went!

The packaging alone on these palettes makes them hard to pass up but the proverbial deal is sealed when you see the colors on this one. The gray and pewter are absolutely perfect for fall and the base or highlight shade is a great multi-tasker.

The rose is not attached to the palette but is tied on with a ribbon that can be worn as is or as the Sephora SA suggested, made into a pin.

I highly recommend checking these out before they disappear and tell me which palette you like best!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Kiehls - Superbly Restorative Skin Salve

I got a little sample jar of this salve and just started using it on my ragged cuticles. Kiehls says it can be used on cuticles, dry areas on your body, and to smooth hair.

Moroccan Argan Oil is the main ingredient along with eucalyptus, patchouli, orange and cedar wood oils. The resulting scent is somewhere between a slightly nutty hemp and eucalyptus smell. While it isn't exactly unpleasant it may not be for everyone.

The good news is that Superbly Restorative Skin Salve does a great job smoothing cuticles and a tiny amount is needed to moisturize. A full size jar of 1.4 ounces for $25 should last a good long time judging by the tiny dent I have made in my sample.

I still really love Solar Oil but I think that has more to do with the sweet almond scent of Solar Oil rather its smoothing benefits being superior.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Marc Jacobs Body Splashes

Marc Jacobs has released 2 new body splashes and I can't honestly say which I like best! After smelling both at Nordstrom I have decided they are both lovely but for different reasons and would suit different moods.

Fig was my instant favorite with fig, yuzu zest and tuscan cypress making it both warm but fresh at the same time. Fig is a great transition from the ultra fruity scents of summer to a more fall state of mind.

Gardenia on the other hand is floral as one might expect but the dry down includes enough musk to take the edge off. I was surprised by this one as gardenia scents can be cloying and awful but this splash is not.

Both splashes are the 10 ounce size for $68 each and are light enough to spray with abandon.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Redken Hair Cleansing Cream

I use Fekkai's Glossing Cream to smooth what can be super frizzy hair everyday. Since Glossing Cream is olive oil based it can build up a bit over the course of a week or two and that's where Redken's Hair Cleansing Cream comes in.

Hair Cleansing Cream is a clarifying shampoo that uses fruit acids to boost shine and remove build up. It is gentler that the average clarifying shampoo. Most of these shampoos leave your hair feeling like hay and looking like it too but this one does a good job of getting rid of build up without destroying your hair.

The cream can be left in for a few minutes for heavier build up but I find that a weekly lather and rinse works well. I follow this up with a rich conditioner or hair masque and my hair emerges soft and buildup free!

You can find this at any beauty supply or my choice is Ulta.

Monday, August 4, 2008

SJP Covet Pure Bloom

Here is SJP's summer flanker to Covet, Covet Pure Bloom. I found this cuter than cute bottle at Macy's but I had to go looking. Maybe it was just my Macy's, but there wasn't any advertising for this or a counter display. Instead I found this perfume off on a side counter and there wasn't even a tester!

Well needless to say I did ask the sales lady to pull out the bottle so I could get a good whiff and I instantly thought I had smelled this perfume's twin before. It took me a while to figure it out but there the answer was in my own fragrance collection.

Burberry London is a dead ringer for Covet Pure Bloom and while more sophisticated noses may differ with my opinion I am here to say it is damn close.

To evaluate Covet Pure Bloom on it's own merits is hard but as I am sure you have already guessed since I do own the Burberry scent it does stand to reason that SJP's juice was good. Covet Pure Bloom is nice and while I like it I continue to be very surprised at SJP's scent choices. After reading how much she likes slightly dirty smelling heavier scents these sweeter easier perfumes are mystifying.

Ah is still infinitely better than a lot of celeb perfumes and the bottle is pun intended.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Bare Escentuals - Prep Kit

I am just going to get this out of the way and say upfront, I don't like 99% of the face primers out there. Most primers I have tried are slippery and don't absorb into my skin. Instead my makeup just slides around on my face rather than adhering and giving the flawless results others rave about. The one real exception to this rule has been Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer Potion which is acknowledged the world over for giving you eyelid heaven!

BE's little Prep Kit ($18) has small sizes of both the Prime Time for Face and Prime Time for Eyelids that would be perfect for travel or just to try these products out. Prime Time for Face is the only primer I have been able to use successfully and the gel texture made me happy. My foundation stayed put and lasted and in general did what primers are supposed to do....this result has just eluded me until now.

Prime Time for Eyelids is very similar to Urban Decay's except the texture is thicker and the delivery in my mind is superior. BE's is a click pen when buying the full size, that ensures you get all the product out of the container while Urban Decay's is a cute and curvy genie shaped tube. Cute as it may be, it also makes getting to some of the product impossible.