Free Stuff at

If you are motivated, like free stuff, and have some time on your hands, August may be your month! Starting tomorrow, August 1st, will be giving away literally thousands of makeup and fashion goodies. You can view the entire list and when they are available on their website, but here's a sampling of the ones that caught my eye.
  • August 4: Ped Egg!
  • August 7: Chanel Nail Color in Rose Tourbillon
  • August 11: 7 For All Mankind jeans
  • August 12: Kooba Suede & Metal Bag
  • August 13: David Meister Silk Jersey Dress
  • August 18: Givenchy Prisme Again! Eyeshadow Quartet
  • August 19: Oliva Harris Leather Bag
  • August 22: Rimmel London Cover Look Collection
  • August 26: M Lab Anti-Aging Treatment Cream
  • August 28: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer
Good luck!


MAC Attack: Limited Edition New View Collection

Next up in the MAC Summer '08 hit parade is the New View Collection. This limited edition (of course) collection features 5 duo combinations. Each compact features one natural matte shade for finishing/setting and one shimmer shade for highlighting. The standard collection of Skinfinish offers 8 shades of only matte powder, so the special thing with New View is the shimmer highlighter. New View also features the 189 Face Brush.

I've been using the Medium/Natural shade and I'm pretty much loving it. It is especially smashing used over the blushes from MAC Sonic Chic. Just a dab of color on the cheeks and then buff it out with the New View duo. Chic & easy.

Some pics of my sample (sorry for the mess -- I couldn't hold off using them). The powder can be used separately (matte or shimmer) or all together for an all-over highlight. The matte powder does offer a fair amount of coverage -- good for greasy summer foreheads. The shimmer powder looks really fab on cheekbones and I've even used it to accident the clavicle when wearing a more revealing neckline.

Oh, and although that 189 brush looks fantastic, I'm not yet rich enough to blow $40 on a brush. I've been using my New View Duo with the Total Face Brush from e.l.f. It works great and you can't beat the price! It's one dollar. Seriously... $1. So skip the brush and save your pennies for the Skinfinish Duos in New View. They retail for $26.50 online or at your local MAC counter.


Wasting Time InStyle

I usually can't actually bring myself to buy an issue of InStyle magazine. But if one happens to be sitting around at the doctor's office, or a coffee shop, you can pretty much bet that I'll be flipping through it. Recently, I stumbled upon their online feature Celebrity Makeup Match which allows you to input your eye, skin, and hair color and be matched up with the gorgeous celebrity you obviously look just like!

Because, obviously, I look just like Angelina Jolie. While I realize that this is in no way actually true, it is secretly kind of flattering for some website to tell you that you are vaguely similar to one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood today.
But even if the Makeup Match won't get you Angelina's body, stylist, or wardrobe (or boyfriend, for that matter), what it can get you is suggestions on how to achieve her signature makeup look. Unfortunately, as is typical of InStyle, the suggested products are on the pricey side. But, I believe that, with a little persistence and creativity, one can achieve most looks without spending the big bucks. And since I'm on a budget kick these days, I thought I'd give some suggestions on how to make this work.

So here is Angelina's Look For Less:

Instead of NARS Glitter Pencil ($25)...

Instead of Smashbox Eye Shadow Trio...
Instead of Dior Addict Lipstick ...
So scoot on over to InStyle and see who is your celebrity twinkie. And, if interested, leave a comment with your celebrity and look and I'll look around for some cheap-o options. Have fun!


Zoya Annie Swatches

Zoya describes this color as "bold berry metallic" and I will agree with the bold part. Can I really wear this to work? I was wondering as I applied the second coat. But I wasn't about to take it off, so we'll see what happens. It is summer-time after all, right?

Annie is a deep orange with an ever-so-subtle shimmer. Some people have described it as a red-orange in certain lighting, but I'm not seeing that. Shown at left is 2 coats in indoor lighting. I continue to be impressed with Zoya's formula. Their polish is a perfect consistency (not too thick, runny, or gloopy) and applies like a dream. It is easy to control, easy to spread, and two coats are all that is needed for beautifully saturated color. I can't quite figure what is different about their brush, but I really like it as well. Overall, I'm pretty excited about trying out the rest of my Zoya haul.

What do you think? Is orange work-appropriate? I guess we'll find out!


Bridal Beauty by Bobbi Brown

Heading into late Summer, most people have either gone to a wedding or have one coming up before the leaves start to change. Not only are weddings excellent excuses to 1) buy a new outfit and 2) buy some new makeup, they also are a chance to spend time with family when everyone is (mostly) assured to be in a good mood.

Most exciting to me is that my youngest brother is marrying a totally kick ass gal at the end of August and I can barely wait!

I'm additionally thrilled because this gives me an excuse to scour stores and websites looking for the perfect wedding look for her. She, understandably, has her own ideas and inspirations (that she may share with us at some point), but that doesn't stop me from exploring and creating little fantasy looks in my own mind.

If you are not a makeup maven, then you might be looking for something quick, easy and relatively fool proof for your big day. For this, I think the
Bridal Kit by Bobbi Brown ($75) is sure to please. It comes with a gel eyeliner, eyeliner brush, mascara, eye shadow and lip color all packaged in a sleek white case with a mirror and extra pockets for any additional supplies. I think they could've thrown a blush in there too, but even without, this kit is plenty to get started achieving a natural, classic look. Also, check out Bobbi's video of her creating some very chic looks for 2 different model brides.

I hesitate to use the word "perfect" in describing makeup options for a wedding. I do think that, in general, ladies tend to get a leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetle bit crazy when it comes to aspiring to a ridiculous ideal of perfection on wedding days. I think that if a bride ever approached me about doing
something like this, she would have bigger problems than a few fine lines (i.e. she might end up with a black eye). I'm just saying...


Sunday Steals

Thanks to Karen at Makeup & Beauty Blog for giving a big heads up on some fabulous makeup deals at Costco. She found a limited edition Stila "Brown Look" set (seen at left) and a 9-piece Smashbox set for $20 each! The Stila set is sold out online and, even if available, would cost twice as much!

After reading her post, I hot-tailed it down to our local Costco to see if the items in question were available. And they were!

I've seen Smashbox collections at Costco before, but never Stila! This is a great value especially if you are in need of brushes. Those two brushes alone usually cost $46! Anyway, if you are looking for away to beautify a dreary Sunday, head on down to Costco for some wallet-friendly finds. And get me a big tub of Red Vines while you're there. I'll pay you back later.



So I might be the last beauty blogger on earth to write about the PedEgg, but I know for a fact that some of my readers (all 2 of them) don't read other beauty blogs and therefore come sit on the Beauty Couch to keep up to date on the latest, greatest trends in vanity. And I would be seriously remiss in my duty if I did not extol the wonders of the Ped Egg.

Man, I love this little thing. As one of my many irrational personal standards, I'm completely obsessed with having smooth feet. The worst, grossest feeling in the world is getting into bed and having crusty heels scratch, scratch on the 400 thread count sateen bedsheets. Ew!

In my quest to have smooth, well polished feet, I've tried
so many damn things and they have all universally sucked. Pumice stones, exfoliating washes, scratchy gloves, moisturizing socks just to name a few, all pretty much sucked.

Until I met the Ped Egg. Now, let's be clear on what this thing is: it is a cheese grater for your feet. This is some heavy duty dead skin removal. No joke. The usage is pretty straight-forward, you grate your feet and the dead skin either 1) falls away or 2) collects in the little reservoir behind the grater to be emptied at a later time. I typically use it over the garbage because I find that more debris scatters than actually makes it into the egg. This thing has worked miracles on some of the oldest and more stubborn rough spots on my feet. I had some very tenacious Dansko-induced callouses that I never thought would resolve, but the Ped Egg only laughed in their face and proceeded to demolish them. Ha ha!

There are some cautions such as only move it back and forth along the long axis so that you don't accidentally cut yourself. I actually
have cut myself and it hurt like crazy, but this was due to over-zealous rather than improper use. So be careful. The other caution is to remove your thickest problem areas a little at a time. If you go too far, the area will be tender and sensitive for a few days and that's no fun. If it starts to really hurt, then you are probably down to live skin and you need to stop! The Ped Egg also comes with fine grain emery "buffing pads" for putting the finishing touches on your newly beautiful feets or for working more delicate areas (such as rough spots on the top of toes).

Ped Eggs are available pretty much anywhere. They were first an As Seen On TV phenom, but now they are at all kinds of retail outlets (drugstores, home stores, grocery stores, yoghurt stands) and run about $10. They also have a lot of them on So go get yourself one today. Your feet, bedsheets, and bed partner will all thank you.


Physicians Formula Organic Wear Tinted Moisturizer Inspired Rant

I've been using Physicians Formula 100% Natural Origin Tinted Moisturizer (SPF 15) for a while now and, I have to say, I have something of a love-hate relationship with it. We'll get to the love part later. First of all, enough already with the freakin' "natural" this and "organic" that.

They are quite proud of themselves for making a product is 100% free of harsh chemicals, synthetic preservatives, parabens, GMOs, synthetic colors, and synthetic fragrances. And, you know, that's fine. But, just calm down a little. I counted the word "natural" used
over 10 times on the paper packaging for this stuff. 10 times!

And, never mind the fact that you are
never going to convince me that rubbing a carefully formulated chemical solution (no matter how "organic") on your face is a "natural" thing to do. If I wanted to be "natural," I wouldn't wear makeup at all! And what kind of fun would that be?

So let's just agree to get off the natural/organic high-horse and be real with ourselves. No matter how "natural and organic" Physicians Formula claims to be, they are still in the business of selling products that exploit our vain desire to look good, which does not mean looking like my natural, blotchy, greasy,"organically" tired self.

Ok, rant over.

I actually do like this product and I think that it is a good value. If rolling in dough, I would prefer to use Stila Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer (SPF 15) which sells for $32. But as a penny-pinching alternative, the PF Organic Wear is around $10 and you can often find coupons or drugstore specials that knock the price down even more.

The consistency of the PF Organic Wear is on the thin side, but it applies evenly and (Iove this!) absorbs fast, leaving you with a glowing, summer complexion. The coverage is sheer, so if you have more persistent acne or rosacea, then you might need to combine it with some additional concealer. It comes in 4 shades to match a range of skin tones.

My big complaint: the smell. I can't identify it, but whatever this "natural" fragrance is, it really grosses me out. I seriously dread getting a whiff of this stuff when I open the tube. Plenty of other "organic" products have managed to not smell disgusting (the yummy-smelling Korres line comes to mind) so that's no excuse. My other complaint: only SPF 15. The days of SPF 15 being sufficient are over. Many higher end brands are addressing this (Stila offers a tinted moisturizer with SPF 30, for example), but the drugstore names need to catch up.

So anyway, if you can stand the smell, this is a solid drug store product at a very attractive price. And if you are a sucker for things labeled "natural" and "organic," then this baby is for you!


Total Beauty's $5 Finds!

You may have noticed Total Beauty listed under "Favorite Sites" in the sidebar. It is a very slick website that provides a vast array of beauty-related content: in depth product reviews, how-tos (including videos), favorite blogs, samples & contests. Joining is free although much of the content is accessible for the unregistered, which is kind of nice.

Today they sent me an email announcing a new feature that I want to share: Top Makeup Finds for $5 or Less.

My sense is that we don't need to consult the Leading Lipstick Indicator or the Lipstick Effect to confirm that economic belt-tightening is a reality for many of us. Although, thanks to Total Beauty, it's good to know that you can get yourself a little piece of glamour for less than 5 cannolis. Cheers!


Zoya Anastasia Swatches

I barely hit the "publish" button on my Zoya Haul post before dashing off to the bathroom to slap on one of the dazzling colors. I chose Anastasia because it looked so intriguing in the bottle. And it doesn't disappoint!

On the nail it is a really complex, changeable color. Under darker lighting, it looks to be a warm brown with a burgundy shimmer. In brighter lighting, it looks more burgundy with gold shimmer. Pretty weird, but ultimately awesome.
It kind of reminds me of the leaves changing color in the Fall and I could easily see sporting this at a fancy Thanksgiving dinner. I think that it would look especially great on warm skin tones.

At any rate, if you look closely you will probably notice the
slightest bit of tip wear. I took this pic about 24 hours after application. My nails spend a large part of the day tap, tap, tapping away on a keyboard so I imagine I get a bit more tip wear than others. I'm interested to see when the first chip occurs. Usually this happens between days 1 and 2 for me but I have high hopes for Zoya.

What do you think? Is this a color for you?


Zoya Haul

(from L to R) Casey, Indigo, Anastasia, Annie, and Audrina

I love coming home and having packages waiting! Especially when they contain
incredibly beautiful nail colors. Yay!

I cannot attest to personal experience with Zoya products, but they are not hurting for fans. Of the many features to recommend their products, I am partial to the fact that they are based in my old stomping grounds of Cleveland, Ohio. No kidding! More power to anyone who operates a successful business in the Cleveland-Metro area.

Other selling points: Zoya polishes are Big 3 Free (no formaldehyde, toluene, camphor or dibutyl phthalate); Zoya was recently given the title of "Longest Wearing Nail Polish" by Women's Health magazine; and they have over 300 shades.

Indigo close up:

Anastasia close up:
Annie close up:

Fun Fact: Annie was named after the beauty blogger behind Blogdorf Goodman as part of the Chit Chat collection.

And if none of their 300 colors appeal to you, here's a preview of upcoming Fall 2008 collections. My wallet hurts already.


Product Lust: Nordstrom Beauty Exclusives

The time has arrived once again for Nordstrom's Annual Anniversary Sale. It is going on now and runs through August 3rd. With it comes the much-anticipated Beauty Exclusives which include various offerings from high-end brands only available at Nordie's. Do not be fooled into thinking these are uniformly good deals, however, only exclusives. There, you've been warned.

That being said, perusing over 100 beauty items inevitably ignited some product lusts. The worst offenders are these lovely items from Chanel. Aren't they gorgeous?

But since those are wildly out of my price range, I might consider consoling myself with the Clinique Glow Pretty Set ($25) which includes Fresh Bloom Allover Color in Camellia and Full Potential Lips Plump and Shine in Glamour-full.

This I actually think might be a good value: Laura Mercier Twilight Color Collection ($55). It includes a mix of mini and full-size items and comes with a double ended brush, a cute bag, and a bonus luscious hand cream.

Lastly, if you are in the gift-giving mood, you might consider surprising a bearded person in your life with the Art of Shaving Carry-On Kit ($35). Personally, I find the name of this brand pretentious, off-putting and kind of stupid.

Is there really an
art to shaving? An art? My sense is that the art is convincing the person that they are way, way, WAY overdue for a shave in a loving and non-nagging way. Once they take the all-important step of getting their ass into the bathroom, no art is required. Not that I have this kind of experience on a regular basis or anything...
*Ahem * At any rate, this would be a nice travel gift or even a stocking-stuffer for Holiday '08.

So get your drooling self to Nordstrom's to check out these and many more lovelies up close and personal. There are also some very nice
Gifts with Purchase available during the sale. And if anyone has any suggestions on enhancing motivation to shave, please leave a comment.


Review: Parissa Quick & Easy 2 in 1 Roll-On

I continue to be impressed with the Parissa line of products. The difference between the Parissa Quick & Easy 2 in 1 Roll-On and the Face & Body Sugar that I reviewed a while back is that the wax application has been simplified. For those intimidated by dripping wax and popsicle sticks, this is for you!

The wax comes inside the (microwavable) green ball and is applied via a roller mechanism designed specifically for that purpose. Large and small rolls are included for targeting large vs. small areas. The rest of the process, applying the cloth strips and removing hair, is pretty much the same.

Here are the contents of the kit:
The instructions are colorful and easy to follow.

They advise to keep the ball roller-down once heated. Thankfully, a nifty cup is provided to make this a lot easier!

The roller-ball makes the application a lot cleaner. No drips on the floor at all. As far as I can tell, the wax is the same formulation used in the sugar-chamomile kit. It was gentle and non-drying. Plenty of cloth strips were provided and they can be re-used with a little practice. The green balls are recyclable, which is always a good thing, and you can buy refills. My only complaint is that it does not come with a tube of the Azulene after-waxing soothing oil, which the other kit contained.

Here's a word to the wise, though: keep the wax application thin. Below is the result of my overzealous application of wax coupled with not pulling the skin taught enough when ripping off the strips. If not obvious, that's my bruised knee. To be clear, this is the result of poor technique rather than some problem with the Parissa wax.

The Parissa 2 in 1 Roll On retails for around $20. Visit to order online or locate retailers.


Posh In Allure!

For reasons I may never understand, I have a fondness for Victoria Beckham (aka Posh Spice). Definitely I'm supremely envious of her reported collection of something like 1,000 Hermes Birkin bags. But beyond that, I like her because, as rich and ridiculous as she seems, she often comes off as kind of sweet and endearing in interviews. Here she is on the newly-released August 2008 issue of Allure. I really like this softer look for her.

I loved the Spice Girls (in a totally non-ironic way) in the late 90s. I have a tattered copy of this July 1997 (!) Rolling Stone kicking around somewhere in my basement. I've been carrying it around for over 10 years and just can't let go of it. Look how different Posh looked back then! She was even a healthy-appearing weight!

Note: this may have been the best ever Rolling Stone as it featured Oasis, Radiohead, and the Spice Girls. And for the record, my favorite was Ginger Spice


MAC Attack: Sonic Chic FOTD

Is it obvious yet that I'm totally in love with these new MAC collections? If I haven't convinced you, here are a few more pics to knock your socks off.

Summer '08 has been all about the pink blush for me. After reading the Dick Page tips, I was convinced that the perfect pink blush is where it's at. So after swooning over the Warm Soul, the next words out of my mouth were do you have anything in a pink? The SA promptly fetched Dainty (see above) officially described as a "light yellow pink with gold pearl." This he applied only to the apples of my cheeks. Pretty, pretty, pretty! I'll take it, I said.
As mentioned previously, I cease being able to think coherently when in the MAC store (do they put chemicals in the air?). This phenomenon led me request to see Nuance (see above), described as a "mid tone peach with gold pearl." It, too, was stunning. At this point I started to panic slightly over which of these three awesome shades (Warm Soul, Dainty, or Nuance) I was going to take home. As you could probably predict, I was unable to decide.

*Sigh.* Here they are: (from L to R) Dainty, Warm Soul, Nuance.

And, just so you don't think I'm only collecting these to gaze upon their beauty, here is a FOTD to demonstrate actual usage. I applied Warm Soul to the cheekbones and just a hint of Dainty to the apples. I finished off with a quick buff with Skinfinish Medium/Natural & Shimmer from MAC New View (more on that later). Otherwise, I'm just wearing (non-MAC) mascara and Hush, Hush.

C'est voila!


MAC Attack, part deux

The newest collection of mineral makeup blushes, MAC Sonic Chic, hit stores last week. This collection consists of 9 mineral-based shades (minerals, like from the earth) that are baked for a long, long time in ovens. The results are sheer, lightweight, exquisitely blendable and offer a beautiful, pearlized finish.

Warm Soul (left) is described as a "mid-tone beige with gold pearl" and it is gorgeous. If left to my own devices, I would never have tried this gorgeous shade. Too warm, too deep, too rich for my pale self I would have thought and moved on. Thankfully (or not for my wallet), I cease thinking when I enter the MAC store and stood there drooling while the helpful sales associate started loading up a brush.

It turns out that the color is subtle and not too dark at all. And, because it is buildable, if you are a darker skin tone than moi, you can customize the level of color that makes you happy. I find that this shade just livens up the whole face. It is one of those incredible oh-no-I'm-not-wearing-makeup-I'm-just-naturally-this-gorgeous shades that seem almost impossible to believe.

I've been wearing this day and night since I got it and I seriously can't stop looking in the mirror. Needless to say, it is now sitting on my bathroom counter and my wallet is $21 lighter. Sonic Chic is on sale now at and wherever MAC products are sold. [Not to scare you, but I have it on good authority that these babies are moving fast. So don't delay!]


NOTW, sort of

So I was all set to do a NOTW feature yesterday on the awesome color seen to your left (China Glaze Hybrid). I had pics ready and everything. But, then a series of unfortunate events unfolded: the pics weredeleted in the camera-to-phone transfer, blogger claimed repeatedly to have an internal error when I attempted to upload pics, and then when I went to re-shoot the pics I suddenly noticed tip wear and chips. You could probably hear my swearing from wherever you are.

Thus, no pics. But I will sing the praises of this polish because it is actually quite pretty on. It is a sheer, pinky-brown and is definitely work-appropriate if that is a concern. I think it is a very classy looking color, something my mom would wear. It was part of the CG Ecollection that was released last Spring.

But while we're on the subject of China Glaze collections, here's a sneak peak of what we have to look forward to this fall from CG: Rodeo Diva and Operation Color.

No one would ever accuse me of being a rodeo gal, but I love love love the look of Rodeo Diva. The seemingly Aeon-Flux inspired Operation Color...I'm not so sure.


MAC Attack!

Obviously, I'm kind of late to the Tendertone party (released at the end of May). In fact, I'm so late that most of the shades are actually sold out online and have limited availability in stores. My local MAC store had about 4 or 5. Of the dwindling selection, I picked up Hush Hush. It is described as a "sheer gold with yellow gold pearl" and it is so pretty I almost want to lick it.

For those not familiar, MAC Tendertones are a hybrid gloss/balm (bloss? glalm?) that moisturize as well as glossify. They also have SPF 12, which I think is awesome. More lip products should have SPF. At any rate, I might be going back for the rest of the available shades because I am seriously loving Hush Hush (bottom center in the pic).

Honestly, I probably didn't need yet another nude lip gloss, but I couldn't resist the beautiful, subtle golden shimmer. And I'm glad that I didn't because the shimmer is just enough to make it stand out from my other nudes, yet not so outrageous as to be inappropriate for work.

In terms of formulation, it is really not that sticky and lasts quite a while. It does have a scent, described as "kiwi-strawberry." And, my lips do feel moisturized. On the negative side, yes, $14.50 is a lot of money for a lip gloss/balm. And, yes, you have to stick your finger in it. But, those complaints notwithstanding, I'm not kidding that I want to go get some more. Some colors are still available at and, if I'm not mistaken, all of them look to be at

I bought some other goodies from the MAC store that I'll be sharing soon. Here's a preview: I have something from each of the newest collections Electroflash, Sonic Chic and New View.

What did you haul this weekend?


Friends & Family Friday

Here's another nomination from future sis-in-law Amy (only 6 weeks to go!): TheBalm's TimeBalm Concealer ($17). Amy writes "this hides dark circles and puffiness and splotchy skin without being cake-y. Brilliant, brilliant."

It comes in six different shades, ranging from lighter than light to medium-dark. In addition to concealing dark under-eye circles, it claims to have anti-wrinkle properties. Supposedly, you could also use it at bedtime to "fight wrinkles while you sleep."

I've been using TimeBalm for a few months now and I'm not quite feeling the love. I definitely do not find it helpful for the under-eye area. It has a nice creamy consistency and blends well, but it settles into fine lines around my eye and actually makes me look older and (amazingly enough) more tired! Boo! Believe me, I do not need any assistance looking more tired. But, since it was just sitting in my makeup case, I started experimenting with it as a general concealer and I actually like it in that capacity. It works great for concealing areas of redness and the occasional blemish. I've been taking a vacation from foundation during the summer in favor of tinted moisturizer. TimeBalm has proven itself to be useful for spot treatments in areas where one might need a little more coverage than a tinted moisturizer can provide. I haven't tried using it at night because I'm a little wary of putting something tinted on my face and then rubbing it all over my clean, white pillowcase. That doesn't seem wise.

Final verdict: if you can find a good match for your skin (I use 'light'), it works as a concealer. The under-eye application wasn't so hot for me, but clearly Amy has a different experience. TimeBalm is available online and at your local Sephora.

Happy Friday everyone!


Product Lust: MAC Electroflash On Sale 7/10

Oh, I'm sorry, have you been waiting here long? I think I passed out from the gorgeousness of these new MAC eye shadows. Wow. These are incredible. One of each would be great, but unfortunately, they are $17.50 each so I'm going to have to control myself.

(L to R from top row) Fresh Green Mix, Polar Opposite, Play On Plums, Love Connection, Odd Couple, Two To Glow, Pink Split, Hot Contrast, Sea & Sky. I'm loving Two To Glow and Love Connection.

Could someone get me a glass of water?


Fall Polish Preview from OPI!

It is always hard to tell a polish's true color from the picture, but if these pictures are even close to representing OPI's France collection, I'm predicting quite a few new favs once it is released. A lot of these look to be various shades of purple, does that really have anything to do with France?

I'm predicting Yes...I Can-Can! as the hot color. Anticipated release date for OPI France is early August, but you can pre-order on Ed Wyse if you feel so inclined.


Friends & Family Friday

It seems that my friends & family, whether they knew it or not, picked out some major cult favs for their 'best-of' lists. My next suggestion comes from BFF Marisa in San Francisco: Clinique's Almost Lipstick in Black Honey. Marisa is a cosmetics junkie so I had a lot of faith in this being a solid rec.

Here's what she had to say: "Weirdly enough, I actually dislike honey. And yet, my two favorite lipsticks are both named after honey. The Clinique lipstick is a medium purple hue, looks great on brunettes and, I imagine, could complement most skin colors." She also loves the "light creamy" consistency and the smooth application. It is not a long-lasting preparation and is unlikely to last "through coffee and lip licking and a full meal" but is a winner nonetheless.

When you first open the tube and look at Black Honey, it is shockingly, goth-like dark. I wore a lipstick that color in high school and recall my mother telling me that I looked dead. But, the application color is a plum-berry sheer (see above). It is so sheer, in fact, that it looks like a lip stain to me. The nice thing about the 'almost lipstick' formulation is that you don't have to be so precise in application. It is more forgiving than a true lipstick if you happen to color outside the lines.

I started looking around on the web to see what other people have had to say about Black Honey and I was surprised to find that people love this stuff. One woman was even complaining about how the Clinique counter nearest her never has it in stock because it sells out so quickly. Who knew?


Product Lust

I must admit, I have never bought anything from Bobbi Brown. But, my fondness for her went up immensely for the completely irrational reason that I noticed a gap-toothed model in BB advertising (see left). A front teeth gap is also called a midline diastema and I happen to have one so I notice them on others. It isn't completely unheard of in models (ie. Kate Moss) but just like this picture a lot.

Completely unrelated aside aside, I'm completely lusting after some lippies in BB's new Mauve Collection for fall. Specifically, I'm loving the Heather Mauve Lip Color and the Black Pearl Lip Gloss. Unfortunately, I'm unable to find any really great pictures that I feel comfortable "borrowing" to show you. But here are some links to other bloggers who are lucky enough to have advance samples of the products (*so jealous*).
Available now online or at your favorite department store BB counter. If you happen to live in Seattle, stop by Nordstrom's for the Bobbi Brown Mauve Collection Launch on Saturday, July 19, 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM.

UPDATE: here's a slightly blurry pic of the three lip glosses that are part of the collection: Black Pearl, Mauve, and Iced Mauve (from top to bottom). I'm not sure they make me ready for fall, but I'm definitely intrigued!


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