Get Balmed... Totally Balmed.

It takes a lot these days to get me to seriously consider cracking open the wallet for new cosmetic purchases. Recently, however, some new products on offer from mark made the cut.  I was initially inspired to try the new Lipclick Lipsticks (more on that later...), but along with my order, mark sent me a free tube of Totally Balmed Tinted Lip Balm in Totally Hot ($8).

The unassuming little tube of tinted balm does not make much of an initial first impression.  But, don't be fooled because it is seriously amazing!  The Totally Hot color is a dark burgundy red that is a little intimidating at first glance. It applies sheer, but it is definitely pigmented and will not work for a nude makeup look. What it will give you is a perfect just-bitten, pretty-but-not-trying, French girl lip tint.  You know the one.  Amazingly, it imparts an exquisite amount of pigment without being drying (it is balm, after all...) and leaves a long-lasting stain as it wears.  It does all of these things for less than $10. 

Totally Balmed reminds me a bit of the tarte 24/7 Lip Sheers and Totally Hot is a pretty good match for the Friday shade in that line. While I love me some tarte, the 24/7 Lip Sheers cost almost double what mark is charging for Totally Balmed.  So take that into your calculations!  Sometimes I have my doubts about the product reviews on the mark website because they are almost universally positive and I think a lot of the people commenting are mark reps, but these little babies are pulling down a 84% approval rating. I am not at all surprised.  This little, unassuming black tube could be the answer to your minimally made up, just pretty enough makeup aspirations.  I, myself, am already obsessed.


MAC Attack: Venomous Villains

Hard to think about Fall when it is 93 degrees outside, but it is fast upon us! I had to share this preview of the MAC Fall 2010 Venomous Villains collection. Sick of the Disney Princess nonsense? Then Venomous Villains will be right up your alley. 

Inspired by four Disney villains (including my favorite Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty), these four unique sets will be sure to inspire some gorgeous Fall looks.  Take a sneak peak!


Tarte Maureen's Favorites Exclusive Set

To make this post short and to the point: you must get this kit ASAP. It is amazing. Filled with five of tarte's best-selling items, the Maureen's Favorites Exclusive Set ($39) contains everything needed to create an absolutely gorgeous, glow-y, sun-kissed Summer look in no time at all. If you are struggling to find an easy, go-to makeup routine for hot, humid weather, look no further.  

The kit includes:

  • Deluxe Lock & Roll 12 Hour Eyeshadow in Deep Amethyst (new shade)
  • Deluxe Natural Cheek Stain in Exclusive (a warm, earthy nude, also a new shade)
  • Deluxe Mineral Powder Bronzer in cult fave Park Avenue Princess (bronzer beloved by pale and less pale gals alike)
  • Full-sized LipSurgence Natural Lip Stain in Peaceful (new shade of peachy-pink nude)
  • Full-sized Lights, Camera, Lashes! natural mascara

The new shades of the Cheek Stain and the Lip Stain are what make this kit particularly incredible. The warm peach of Exclusive complements the bronzer perfectly and adds the most gorgeous glow to the cheeks. Peaceful is the most flattering of the Natural Lip Stains that I have seen released to date. I dearly hope that tarte makes this shade a part of the permanent collection because it is beautiful and would be flattering on so many different women. Actually, I hope that they make Exclusive part of the permanent collection as well! These shades are 100% winners and right now this kit is the only way to get your hands on them.

All of the fantastic products are contained in a amethyst satin makeup bag with a removable flower pin. I had my doubts about the flower, but it is actually cute and I very well may end up wearing it in the near future. The bag is adorable and is definitely a step above the usual "gift with purchase" type bags.

I had been on a modest "no buy" period in the past few months, but I had to bust out my wallet for Maureen's Favorites Set. It is a fantastic collection of products from my hands-down favorite brand at a very reasonable price. All in all, it is definitely a kit worth turning some cartwheels over -- if you were the sort of person to do such a thing. 



My New Obsession: Givenchy Mister Light

A few months ago, there were some things in my life that I desperately needed to conceal: particularly bad dark circles, blemishes and tired-looking eyelids. Things were getting pretty out of control and I was almost literally buying every new concealer on the market. I amassed a collection of well over ten new-to-me concealers that I systematically plowed my way through in search of one that met my exacting standards. 
Many of them were quite good (and if I ever get my act together, I'll write them up) but one stood out from the crowd: Givenchy Mister Light Instant Light Corrector Pen ($32).  Having read about it on the Lucky website months prior, I put it off due to the expense. As a general rule (if you can call it that), there is a lot of variability in price:quality ratio between drugstore and premium brands. Some brands you pay a lot for of the packaging and a slightly better (or the same) quality product whereas other brands you pay a lot and actually get the beautiful packaging plus a superior product. Givenchy Mister Light Corrector Pen is one of the latter.

The click-pen apparatus has a very satisfying CLICK that it makes when the end is turned. This is silly, but I actually really love that experience. The product dispenses slowly -- thankfully avoiding wasting precious globs. On the face, it is just short of miraculous. It conceals, brightens, highlights and just fixes stuff in a nonspecific sort of way.  In that post-lunch slump when I look in the mirror and start wondering when I became so haggard, I'll pull out Mister Light and instantly brighten my under eye area. This does wonders both for my complexion and self esteem -- so it's a win-win either way. The texture is creamy and rich, but it is neither too thick nor too thin for true concealment; it contains an extra boost of SPF 10 and some vitamin-complex as well.  Importantly, the way in which is brightens doesn't call attention to the area that is being concealed, it just contributes to an overall improved look. I always look more awake after putting it on. So inspired, I'll touch up around my nose to conceal that irritating redness and maybe a blemish if needed. If I really get excited, I'll rub a little on my brow bone or the inside corner of the eye to further open, lift and brighten. Works every time.

Because it is pricey, I don't use it every day and instead save it for mid-day touch ups. Because the click-pen is a chic, glossy black, it fits easily in my day bag and hides, unassuming, amongst my pen collection. It is kind of like my little secret weapon. I'm still searching for an equally impressive product at a cheaper price point, but so far, Mister Light is in a class of his own.
Givenchy Mister Light Corrector Pen is available exclusively at Sephora and offers six different shades. 


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