- 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
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.
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)...
- Try Sephora Electro-Glitter Eye Pencil in Black Electro 01 ($8)
- Try I-Mark Custom Eye Palette in Fairy Dusty/Whisper/Plum Velvet ($12) or
- Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Eye Shadow Quad in Bronze Minerals ($9)
- Try e.l.f. Custom Lips in Nude Blush ($1) or
- Try Sephora Maniac Mat Long-Wearing Matte Lipstick in Mat 02 ($12)
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!
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...
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!
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 amazon.com. So go get yourself one today. Your feet, bedsheets, and bed partner will all thank you.
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!
Today they sent me an email announcing a new feature that I want to share: Top Makeup Finds for $5 or Less.
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?
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:
Annie close up:
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?
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...
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.
Here are the contents of the kit:
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.
The Parissa 2 in 1 Roll On retails for around $20. Visit parissa.com to order online or locate retailers.
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.
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 maccosmetics.com 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!]
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 maccosmetics.com and, if I'm not mistaken, all of them look to be at nordstrom.com.
What did you haul this weekend?
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!
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?
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!