Blog Archives

Runway to RealLife: Marc Jacobs Beauty

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Marc Jacobs enters the world of color cosmetics with a new beauty brand and collaboration with Sephora. 

The new range covers sixteen different categories—from foundation, powder, bronzer, and lipstick to twenty-four shades of plasticized nail lacquers, including the high-gloss Jezebel (oxblood) and Shiny (clear) that debuted on Jacobs’ Fall runway. What makes these nail polishes—and the eye liners and concealers that are displayed beside them—different from all the others, of course, is Jacobs himself. “The passion does come through,” he insists of the very active role he played in the creative process. “You’re left with something appealing and seductive because there’s heart in it.”

The first product tried and tested: Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner – Gel Crayon – crazy good. Ro (Cocoa) is the perfect bronze eyeliner. Not too shimmery, this color defines and enhances the eye.

The Highliner is waterproof, long-wearing and richly pigmented. The formula applies like a gel pot but with the precision of a pencil. Super-malleable, this eyeliner glides on smoothly then sets in place for all-day wear.

Swatching all the colors, I noticed the shimmer is more of a sheen/reflection rather than tiny particles of glitter. Color looks almost “shiny.”

A built-in sharpener makes sure the crayon always has a perfect point for an instantly sharp look on the go. A true breakthrough product that provides easy application with intense color.

Quick Fix: GLAMGLOW

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With a legion of loyal followers and touted as “a facial in a jar,” I was curious to see what all the fuss was about. Designed for behind-the-scenes use in Hollywood’s entertainment, music, fashion & award show industries, GLAMGLOW Mud Mask was created to achieve immediate camera-ready, glowing skin.

GLAMGLOW’s patent pending continuous time-release technology TEAOXI® delivers ‘Super-Squalene’ and ‘EGCG Super-Antioxidants’ directly into the mud, supplying the skin with nutrients and free-radical protection. It also contains volcanic pumice rock, French sea clay and pieces of green tea that miraculously make skin look healthy in just 10 minutes. It activates moisturizing collagen synthesis, a gentle resurfacing exfoliation, and helps to leave skin smoother, brighter, and softer. The French sea clay absorbs impurities without removing natural oils, shrinks pores and tightens the skin creating a more youthful appearance.

When applying the mask, you will feel a gentle tingling effect, which I found to be very refreshing. This magical mud is a dark charcoal grey hue and has tiny grain-like scrubbers that gently exfoliate during application. The mask will harden on the face and turn to a lighter shade of grey. As soon as you remove the mask, the effects are visible.  GLAMGLOW leaves the skin feeling fresh, clean and tight, but not dry. Skin appears healthy and glowing.

Declared a Neiman Marcus Beauty Award Winner for 2012, GLAMGLOW is a wonderful quick-fix for a big night out or when skin is just feeling dull or lifeless.

Precious Jewels: Kevyn Aucoin Loose Shimmer Shadows

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If you want the saturation and shimmer of loose pigments but hate the mess… Kevyn Aucoin Loose Shimmer Shadows are for you!

Create a bold and beautiful statement with these jewel-toned, multi-dimensional pigments that impart lustrous high-color payoff and long-lasting wear. The buildable, powdery-fine formula blends seamlessly for ease of application and can be layered for a variety of looks. From soft and neutral to strikingly colorful these six silky and shimmery shades compliment every eye color.

Designed with an innovative roller ball tip for effortless application, the finely-milled pearlescent shadows glide on with exquisite precision. The crease-free, mineral powder formula makes this shadow perfect for shading and illuminating the eyes.

The Loose Shimmer Shadows can be applied wet or dry to achieve various shade depths. Use a wet brush to apply the shadow if a darker hue is desired. For a lighter finish, simply roll the applicator over eyelids. Things to know:

  • Gives luster, sheen and glimmering effect to your eyes
  • Unique roller ball applicator is convenient and fuss free
  • Ultra-light weight formula blends instantaneously without creasing
  • Offered in 6 luminous gem-inspired shades: Citrine (gold), Rose Quartz (warm pinky gold), Amethyst (bright purple), Jade (vibrant green), Topaz (warm bronze), and Lapis (bluish plum)

I have never seen pigmentation like this. It is so concentrated it almost looks and feels like liquid. The roller-ball makes application a cinch and there is no messy clean-up due to fall-out. The colors are absolutely magnificent and range from basic to bold. They are crease-free and long-lasting – even without a primer. Kevyn Aucoin Loose Shimmer Shadows  are great for a simple wash of color or dramatic smokey eye and perfect for your New Years look!

Lip Lacquer: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tars

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Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tars combine the longevity of a lipstick, with consistency of a gloss. 100% vegan and cruelty-free, OCC has created a truly innovative product.

Become your own alchemist with OCC Lip Tars. With 40 blendable shades, one is inspired to invent and create new colors of their own.

OCC Lip Tars contain an unprecedented amount of pigment and are very true to color. They have a very liquid consistency, which makes application difficult. For more precision, I suggest using a lip-brush.

Unlike traditional lipsticks, Lip Tars come packaged in a small squeeze tube. You only need a tiny bead of color for an application, so they last forever despite their small size. The product goes on very slick and moist and dries down to a satin finish. It feels lightweight and comfortable on the lips and is truly long-lasting. Formulated with Hemp Oil, Peppermint Oil and Vitamin E, OCC Lip Tars feel as good on the lips as they look.

Lacquer your lips in high-impact color with Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tars.

Earth Tones: Dolce & Gabbana Stromboli Eyeshadow Quad

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Nothing reflects Fall like smoldering earth tones. My new favorite eyeshadow quad, Dolce & Gabbana Smooth Eye Color Quad in #130 Stromboli.

The eyeshadow quad consists of a light gold, a burnt sienna, a warm chocolate and a metallic charcoal. There are so many color combinations possible and each one compliments the other.

The texture of the finely-milled eyeshadows are creamy and buttery. Extremely pigmented and blend-able, so I recommend using a light hand when applying. These eyeshadows wear about six-eight hours before fading.

To get a smoldering earth tone eye look:

Apply the dark metallic charcoal close to the lash line and beneath the eye line. Then, blend the burnt sienna and warm chocolate hues in the crease for definition. Lastly, add the light gold to inner corner for a highlight.

How To: Nude Lip

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Originally applied to downplay the rest of the face when having a dramatic smoky eye or a major blush moment, the nude lip has transcended from a trend to a classic.

Your perfect nude lip will depend entirely on the shade. Remember nude is not the same as neutral, you must take into consideration your skin tone and lip color. The right color will create depth and contour as the wrong color can make the entire face look dull or washed-out.

Choosing a color for your skin tone:

  • For fair or pale skin: Avoid beige tones. Opt for soft pinks, peaches or pale apricot as your base shade.
  • For the golden girls: Creamy, caramel-toned nudes and warm beiges. Avoid anything too cool, like grays or silver-toned shades.
  • For olive tones: Just about any nude shade will work, from beige to bronze to pinks.
  • For skin with yellow undertones: Light, creamy-toned beiges like latte or mocha.
  • For dark-toned skin: Go for chocolate tones such as rich golden browns and coffees.

Needed:

  • Foundation
  • Nude Lip Liner – Favorite: Here
  • Lip Brush
  • Nude Lipstick – Favorite: Here
  • Nude Lipgloss – Favorite: Here

How To:

  • Prep and moisturize the lips.
  • Blot a layer of foundation onto the lips. This will let lipstick perform at it’s truest color.
  • Define lips with a liner that is the half-a-shade deeper than lipstick. This will give the illusion of plumper lips.
  • Using a lip brush, apply lipstick.
  • Blot the lips with tissue and reapply.
  • If a glossy finish is preferred – apply nude lipgloss.

Lip Lacquer: YSL Rouge Pur Couture Vernis À Lèvres (Glossy Stain)

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Yves Saint Laurent’s Rouge Pur Couture Vernis À Lèvres (Glossy Stain) is a unique hybrid of a lip stain and gloss without the dryness of a stain and the stickiness of a gloss.

The Glossy Stain is available in 19 beautiful shades. The pigmentation is rich and true to color. One layer provides a perfect wash of color and two, reaches full opacity. It stains the lips for a long-lasting finish that will not transfer.

The doe-foot applicator makes for easy and precise application. The soft-slanted tip is controllable and accurate. The texture is a gel-like formula that feels comfortable, cooling and hydrating on the lips. The thick consistency plumps the lips and exudes incredible shine with absolutely no glitter or sparkly bits.

This is one of the most inventive lip products I have tried. It is like nail polish for the lips, lacquered and glossy. This is the type of product that you must branch-out and try an extraordinary shade. Skip the neutrals and go directly towards the bold and vibrant shades. My current favorite is #12 Corail Fauve – a pinky-coral shade that looks like sweet watermelon on the lips. However, I have my eye on the perfect red for fall –  #20 Rouge Enamel (Sephora Exclusive) as well as a bold orange – #8 Orange de Chine, my out-of-comfort-zone shade.

Tried & Tested: Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35

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The newest BB Cream to hit our counters is Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35. Exclusive to Nordstroms, the formula combines moisturizer, skincare, foundation and SPF into one.

Features & Benefits: Water-attracting molecules boost hydration. Light-reflecting pearls brighten dull skin. Botanical extracts and caffeine reduce discoloration and redness. Pore-reducing peptides minimize fine lines. Broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection and antioxidants fend off future damage.

Bobbi Brown’s BB Cream SPF 35 is available in five shades: Extra Light, Fair, Light, Medium and Medium to Dark. I was certainly intrigued by this, due to the fact that Bobbi Brown Cosmetics are primarily yellow-based shades. Many BB Cream (especially asian brands) are based on cooler-tones, such as pinks and greys.

As I sampled the different shades, I was persuaded by a sweet Bobbi Brown representative to try the darkest shade, Medium to Dark. This shade looks quite dark, almost bronzer-like. But, I took her advice and purchased.

APPLICATION: Smooth and easy to apply. Goes on quite dry, but feels nice and extremely light on the skin. (Unless you have very oily skin, a moisturizer is needed in addition to this BB Cream.)

COVERAGE: Sheer.

FINISH: Skin appears matte with a subtle sheen. Very healthy-looking. However, like most BB Creams, after a couple hours the oils will come-out and skin will look too glowing. A finishing powder is recommended.

COLOR: Initial application, the color appeared too dark. Let dry and after a couple minutes, the color adapts to the skin and the color is perfect. It might be a smidgen too dark – but I am loving the subtle-tan look for summer.

VERDICT: Like many of the US BB Creams, this is much like a tinted moisturizer. But, I love the finish it leaves on the skin and the feeling is remarkably lightweight. For a high-SPF product, this cream wears like you have nothing on. The shade choices are great and warm-up the complexion beautifully. Leaves skin looking fresh and healthy. A great option for the summer months – SPF, lightweight, easy.

(When testing these BB Creams, before deciding on a shade, I suggest waiting at least 5 minutes for the color to oxidize and adapt to your skin tone.)

For other BB Cream reviews:

Dior Hydra Life BB Cream

Boscia BB Cream

GLOW-T AWARDS: Sunless Tanning FACE

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As you may have noticed from the sunless tanning BODY awards, I am privy to lotion and gel formulas. I believe this is the easiest and most natural way to apply these products, simply like you would any body lotion. Spray and mousse formulations make application messy and feel a bit drying on the skin – which leads to a splotchy tan.

Glow-T Awards – Self-Tanning Products BODY: (RECAP) Best Drugstore Self-Tanner;  Best Moisturizing Self-TannerBest Effortless Self-TannerBest of the Best

As for the face, I have mentioned in past posts that I am not a fan of using self-tanning products for the body on the face. Though the formula may permit, I cringe at the thought. In past experiences I have found these products to sink into pores, cause breakouts and never provide natural-looking results.

The following products not only produce a subtle natural-looking glow, but are beneficial to the skin in different ways:

Estee Lauder DayWear Sheer Tint Release Advanced Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant Moisturizer SPF 15 is my go-to product when I need to put a little “life” back in my skin. It gives the perfect amount of color, radiance and health with antioxidant-packed power. See full review: HERE.

Kate Somerville 360 Face is an exfoliating self-tanner for the face. The gentle tanning formula has no parabens, sulfates, phthalates or synthetic dyes. Glycolic and lactic acids exfoliate the skin while soy proteins kick-start collagen production. Swirl a single easy-to-use pad over the face and within eight hours you will have healthy and glowing skin.

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pads  are pre-soaked towelettes that provide anti-aging benefits as well as a glowing complexion. These pads exfoliate the skin, tighten pores, eliminate blackheads and help fade existing sun damage. One small pad reveals natural, radiant skin that provides long-lasting color. See full review: HERE.

Soap & Glory Glow Job is a two-in-one moisturizing lotion and temporary self-tanner. The formula is flourishing with micro bronzing beads that burst when massaged into the skin, revealing healthy, refreshed, and ever so slightly sun-kissed skin. The lotion delivers long-lasting hydration, conditioning and protection to the skin. Great for all-year round, it effectively evens-out skin tone which reduces the need for heavy foundations and concealers.

Tips & Tricks: Perfect Summer Glow

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I have spent the last couple months aggressively testing the best self-tanning products on the market. From sprays to mousse, wipes to lotions, I have discovered some great formulas and techniques. (Reviews to follow)

Along the way, I have picked up some tips and tricks to get the perfect summer glow:

PREP:

☀ Do a patch test: Skin may be sensitive to DHA (a sugar derivative) or other ingredients in the product.

☀ Wax 24 hours in advance. Shave 12 hours in advance.

☀ Exfoliate! To get the smoothest, streak-free color possible, apply self-tanner immediately after exfoliating. The outer layer of the epidermis, which is what the self-tanner interacts with, is composed of dead skin cells that last only 7 to 10 days before they shed. You want to make sure you have an even layer of dead skin cells so that they all tan and slough off together. If you don’t properly exfoliate some of the skin will begin peeling in a day or two, which can result in a splotchy tan job.

☀ Apply a light body lotion to dry areas such as knees, elbows and heels. Body lotion will prevent the tanner from saturating these areas.

☀ Choose your favorite self-tanning formula: Aerosols are easy to apply and dry very fast. Mousse has quick-drying power and gives you more control. Wipes are great for on-the-go. Lotions are the most hydrating and will generally last the longest.

APPLICATION:

☀ 99% of the time you will end up with a streaky or uneven tan because of lack of product. Always work with enough product so you are able to glide it over the skin freely. Your skin will only absorb a certain amount of product so it is better to follow the “more is better” rule.

☀ With many application methods to choose from: gloves, mitts, brushes… I believe the best device is your hands. To prevent tan-palms, do not wait until the end to wash your hands. Scrub hands after each section of the body is completed.

☀ Apply product section by section. Always start at the bottom, so you won’t crease the color as you bend over. Start with feet: Apply product to a cotton round and blend on the tops of feet, toes and ankle area. This is my biggest problem area and have found this technique to be the best.

☀ Continue to apply over the shin and calf of a leg. Then apply tanner to your thigh from front to back, using the excess to cover your knee. Repeat on your other leg. For the final step, apply tanner to your hips, stomach and torso, following with your shoulders and arms.

☀ For application to the back area – your best bet is have someone do it for you. Otherwise, use an aerosol formula for an easier reach.

☀ Hands – same technique as feet. After applying product to the body. Wash hands vigorously. Add product to a cotton round and smooth over the backs of hands and lightly on the fingers, blending down onto the wrist area.

☀ An easy way to soften or slow down the absorption of self-tanner on areas that tend to grab a lot of product such as the elbows, knees and heels is to use a dry wash cloth to gently buff these areas after application. It will pick up some of the excess self-tanner and prevent them from getting too dark.

☀ Ever notice that areas like sunspots, melasma or old scars tend to get darker and more noticeable when you’ve slathered on self-tanner? Once you apply self-tanner to the area, take a slightly damp Q-Tip and gently wipe off the self-tanner from the areas where the dark spots are most prevalent. If it still grabs to the spot – try dipping Q-Tip into some rubbing alcohol. This will minimize the chance of the area getting darker and create a more even tone to the skin.

☀ Wait at least 15 minutes before dressing.

EXTENDING YOUR TAN:

☀ Moisturize! Try to moisturize the skin a couple times a day.

☀ Try a gradual tanner. This will not only extend your tan but will even it out as well.

Eyebrow Enhancer: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz

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Creating a natural looking brow has never been easier. A flawless brow can frame your face and totally change your look. With Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, you can have well-groomed brows in mere seconds.

This aptly named pencil is ultra-fine and mimics the appearance of tiny hairs. The dual-ended mechanical pencil features pencil on one side and an essential spooley brush on the other.

The Brow Wiz is available in four shades: Ash Blonde – suggested for light to dark blonde hair. Medium Ash – suggested for light to medium brown and silver hair. Brunette – suggested for medium brown to black hair. Caramel – suggested for light brown hair with warm undertones, auburn, and strawberry blonde hair.

Application is a cinch with Brow Wiz. For optimal results, use short strokes and a light touch to fill in the brow, and extend where needed. Always blend pencil with the spooley brush for even and natural color.

If eyes are the window to the soul, then brows are the window treatments. Here are some tips and tricks from celebrity brow expert Anastasia Soare, founder of  Anastasia Beverly Hills:

· Stay away from tweezers, if your tweezing twice a week you’re doing too much.

· Make sure your brows are the right shade! Half the time a complimentary brow shade will do wonders much like hair color.

· Keep your brows close to your hair color just a touch darker if you’re a blonde, and if your brunette matching them is fine but don’t ever go too dark its overpowering.

· I love pencil for clients that have sparse brows or holes, I can use the pencil to spot touch and still keep the look natural.

· Never leave the house with naked brows. You don’t leave without mascara so don’t leave without pencil or brow gel. Well kept brows will pull anyone together in one minute and that to me is worth it.

 ABOUT ANASTASIA SOARE:

Combining her artistic interests with more technical ones, Anastasia trained professionally as an esthetician in Romania before moving with her family to California. While working as an esthetician at several prestigious beauty salons in Beverly Hills, Anastasia developed her own specific Golden Ratio™ technique behind the science of shaping eyebrows and helping to enhance the overall eye area. With her extremely loyal following and the growing buzz behind her brow shaping techniques, Anastasia opened her first full service salon on Bedford Drive in Beverly Hills, named Anastasia Beverly Hills, in 1997. The success of her first salon led her to opening a second full service salon in Brentwood, CA in 2010. Her product line can be found in stores like Nordstrom, Sephora and Ulta worldwide. A highly regarded expert in the field, Anastasia Soare has dedicated her lifetime to the pursuit of balanced natural beauty through the use of innovative ingredients and techniques. Never one to close the book, she will continue to develop products that combine the beauty of Anastasia with the science of skincare.

The Minimalist: Becca Eye Tint in Baroque

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What I look for in a cream eyeshadow: ability to stand alone, crease-proof, and coverage.

BECCA Eye Tint in Baroque covers all of these and more. The color is a pale mushroom beige with golden undertones. Perfect for all skintones, this color gives off the perfect sheen. The lightweight formula has a cashmere-feel that glides onto the eyelid smoothly. Water-resistant, this product will not smudge or gravitate into creases or wrinkles. Long-lasting and perfect for on-the-go application, using just fingers.

BECCA Eye Tints combine the easy and even application of a cream with the matte finish of a powder. It can be used alone or as a base, layered under powder eyeshadow. Any shadow placed on top will be more vibrant and true to color. It also acts as camouflage for fine veins and thin translucent skin on the eyelid.

TIP: Shake tube before using, formula can break-up inside applicator.

Tried & Tested: The Battle of the Cleansing Conditioners

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A cleansing conditioner is a new approach to the way you clean your hair. These products cleanse and hydrate the hair in just one-step. Different from past “two-in-one” products, these cleansing conditioners do not contain any harsh detergents, chemicals, surfactants and/or sulfates that strip hair of it’s natural oils.

The three products up for review are: WEN Pomagranate Cleansing Conditioner, Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo and L’Oreal EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner. Each product claim the same purpose - a healthy alternative to cleansing hair – but perform differently using varied ingredients.

WEN Pomegranate Cleansing Conditioner

Company Description: WEN uses a combination of natural extracts and botanicals to hydrate and cleanse the hair without the use of detergents and chemicals. The perfect mixture and blend of it’s ingredients leave hair healthy, moisturized and cleansed. WEN Cleansing Conditioners replace shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, detangler and leave-in conditioner giving you five products in one bottle.

Suggested Use: Rinse hair thoroughly. Apply product in 4 sections, crown, nape, ends on left side and ends on right side. For short hair 24 pumps is suggested, for longer thicker hair 48 pumps. Add a splash of water and massage into scalp. Use a wide-tooth comb to distribute the product and leave in for 3-5 minutes. Rinse. Product can then be used again as a detangler or leave-in treatment.

Review: WEN Pomegranate Cleansing Conditioner is truly a unique product. My first attempt trying the product was mediocre, due to the fact that I ignored the company’s directions and thought “I could not possibly need that amount of product.” After a bit of experimenting and following directions, WEN left my hair clean, extremely hydrated, bouncy and shiny. (Do I sound like the infomercial?… sorry.) When trying this product for the first time, the satisfaction level is a bit frustrating. With no lather or bubbles (it barely foams), it is hard to get used to, until you see the results.

Shu Uemura Hair Cleansing Oil Shampoo

Company Description: Delicate formula that transforms quickly into a rich thick foam that effectively draws out the impurities and build-up on the scalp without stripping the natural oils. Leaves hair naturally radiant, soft, and in a balanced state – volumized and moisturized. Paraben and silicone free.

Suggested Use: Formuated for daily use. massage through wet hair and rinse.

Review: Shu Uemura Hair Cleansing Oil Shampoo should be in a category of it’s own. Just like the company’s best selling oil-based facial cleanser, their philosophy is “oil removes oil.” Which is exactly what this product does. Formulated from deep-sea volcanic extracts, this revolutionary oil-to-foam cleanser gently washes away built-up impurities and leaves hair lightweight, lustrous and magically free from unwanted grease.  After application, I do use a separate conditioner but it is not necessary.

L’Oreal EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner

Company Description: This one-step wonder product is an ultra-gentle, yet powerful combination of 1/4 cleanser + 3/4 moisture. Its Low-Poo, or Low-Lather, cleansing reduces friction on the hair fiber to help minimize breakage. This innovative, ultra-concentrated triple action conditioning formula, with Omega-3 and 6, leaves hair super soft and nourished without weigh-down.

Suggested Use: Apply to wet hair and massage into a low later. Leave in 1-2 minutes. Rinse. No separate conditioner needed.

Review: L’Oreal EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner is the drugstore equivalent to WEN Haircare. The newest product of the three, this product produces much of the same results with varied ingredients. L’Oreal Cleansing Conditioner has a surfactant in it, a type of detergent. Although very mild, this product is really no different than any other “sulfate-free” shampoo – other than having added moisturizing properties. It does cleanse the hair and leave it soft and manageable and would be a great product to have in your gym bag for a quick shower.

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Conclusion: I have a hard time using one product for a long period of time, therefore, cannot review their long-term effect. But, this is what I have concluded: Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo might be the best shampoo I have ever used. Feels gentle and nourishing at the same time. WEN is truly a unique product and wins for best all-in-one product. L’Oreal EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner is a good drugstore option, but is not that much different than the line’s sulfate-free products.

How To: Glitter

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Sparkle this holiday season with a little glitter.

Application of glitter can go terribly wrong… fast. It is messy and can look too theatrical if not careful. To make glitter appear chic and sophisticated, use only a small amount in a concentrated area.

Start with product. The Illusion D’Ombre Eyeshadows by Chanel are by far my favorite. They have intense pigmentation and provide a classic shimmering effect with one easy-to-use swipe. They can be used with fingers or a very dense brush for perfect application. If actual glitter is desired, loose pigments/glitter are best. Make Up Forever Glitters are soft, concentrated and finely-milled for super sparkle.

How To Apply Glitter:

➺ On clean eyelids, apply eyeshadow primer from lash line to brow bone. (Favorite: Urban Decay Primer Potion)

➺ The glitter will need something to adhere to, apply a cream eyeshadow to the lid. This can be nude or a color that compliments the glitter. (Favorite: MAC Paint Pot)

➺ Using a small synthetic brush, dip into the glitter. Tap off excess.

➺ Press the glitter onto the lid in a dabbing motion. Do not sweep.

➺ Mist a setting spray gently on the eyes and wait to dry. (Favorite: Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Spray)

✴ If this technique is still too messy, on the back of hand or artist’s palette, mix cream eyeshadow and glitter together and apply to the lid. With glitter application, fallout is expected. Make sure to do eye makeup first and face makeup second. Dab the fallout with scotch tape to clean any loose particles.

Tried & Tested: Bare Escentuals Magic Wand Brushless Mascara

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Magic Wand Brushless Mascara

Curiosity was the culprit to testing Bare Escentuals Magic Wand Brushless Mascara.

According to Bare Escentuals, their mascara claims to coat the lashes, one by one, to achieve the look of false lashes. The unique design of the brushless wand has tiny ridges etched-in to capture each individual lash. The formula is pitch black with a satin finish, long-wearing and no flakes.

Application is where there is a learning curve. Technique and patience are strongly advised. Clumpy spider lashes will be the outcome of the preliminary trials. Revert back to directions which specifically state to use soft and slow strokes. Lashes will still clump together but notice the ridiculous length. Using a lash comb (Favorite: Tweezerman Metal Lash Comb) separate the lashes and finally you have applied one coat of mascara. Add second coat if needed.

To be honest, this is a great mascara. To be frank, do you really want to spend twenty minutes applying mascara?

Ruddy Cheeks: NARS Blush Exhibit A

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NARS Exhibit A

I love the look of ruddy cheeks in the Winter. A rosy flush instantly provides the look of glowing and  healthy skin.

NARS Blush in Exhibit A is a fire red hue that looks extremely intimidating at first glance. However, when applied with a light hand, this blush can be quite sheer. It envelopes the most perfect rosey cheek I have seen. Instantly transforming the skin into a natural, healthy, “just ran through an enchanted forest” glow.

To achieve this look, use a stippling brush for the sheerest application. A tiny amount of product is all that is needed. Remember, you can always build the color but it is difficult to take away.

Tried & Tested: Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color

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Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color

With party season around the corner, every girl needs a powerful lip color in their arsenal. The Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color’s by Urban Decay deliver high-impact color with a punch.

Like having a lipstick and lip gloss in one, these chubby pencils provide vibrant, rich color with a glossy finish. The product is long-wearing, and the opaque color continuously looks presentable without feathering. The Lip Color’s are super creamy, hydrating and convertible.

Currently available in five shades: F-Bomb (bright red cream), Punch Drunk (bright orange cream), Adrenaline (bright fuchsia sparkle), Crush (hot pink), and Big Bang (bright pink with sparkle).

Of all the shades, I am currently loving F-Bomb and Crush, the creamier versions. The sparkle shades feel a little gritty on the lips and are a bit troublesome with application. All-in-all, the Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color’s by Urban Decay are a great lip product to have on-hand during party season.

Elegant Lashes: Shu Uemura Slim Partial

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Shu Uemura Slim Partial

False eyelashes are a fun way to enhance a look. When shopping at lash bars, natural-looking lashes are hard to come by. Remember, any lash purchase can be altered to fit your specific needs. Cut the length of the strip or give the lashes a subtle trim.

The most natural and comfortable lashes I have found are the Shu Uemura Slim Partial Lashes. They come in three seperate pieces (6-total) to adjust and customize your look.

The small pieces make application simple, no corner-lifts or uncomfortable edges. They enable a natural yet enhanced look by placing the pieces exactly where you need some extra drama. Use one at a time or all three together, the thin pieces will dramatically change the eyes’ expression.

Tried & Tested: Xen-Tan Dark Lotion

Xen-Tan Dark Lotion

✯✯✯

When purchasing a Self-Tanning Product I have 3 MUST HAVES:

1. NO SMELL

2. NO ORANGE TINT

3.  MUST FADE GRACEFULLY

Other brands tried: St.Tropez/KateSomerville/Clarins/Lancome/ModelCo/Fusion Beauty/Sevin Nyne/Neutrogena/Loreal/Jergens… 

Xen-Tan is the answer to my prayers. 

The process, although a little daunting, totally worth it! Plaster all over body – wait for 3 hours – wash off. Unlike most self-tanners you don’t have to be “as” precise with the application. The lotion is tinted which makes application tractable and the best part is the fragrance – a bouquet of almonds and vanilla!

After 3 hours… 

The first thing I noticed was the color… a perfect olive/brown-based tan.The second thing I noticed was that my skin felt extremely hydrated.  The third thing I noticed was that the tan was perfectly even – no streaks! 

So I threw on my new Current/Elliott cutoffs and walked out the door. (No color deposits on clothes)

The reason I will continue to purchase:  a couple of days later – still a nice subtle glow and Xen-Tan seemed to just fade away like magic…

Ahhhh-Mazing!


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