An Advent calendar is used to count or celebrate the days in anticipation of Christmas. The days often overlap with the Christian season of Advent. Despite the name, most commercially available Advent calendars begin on December 1, regardless of when Advent begins, which can be as early as November 27 and as late as December 3. One window is opened every day leading up to Christmas. The calendar windows can be filled with a variety of small gifts: toys, chocolate, poems… nail polish!
Behind each door of the Ciaté Mini Mani Set is one of Ciaté’s bestselling mini Paint Pot. Uncover 17 mini Paint Pots, four mini Caviar blends, and three exclusive Paint Pot glitter shades in this one-of-a-kind advent calendar.
Touted by press as “nail innovators,” Ciaté is certified as a 3 FREE brand. Which means no Dibutyl-Phthalate, Toluene or Formaldehyde. Ciaté’s Paint Pots are amazingly pigmented, long-lasting and a cinch to apply.
Fill each day of December with a colorful surprise. This unique advent calendar will keep your nails colorful all-year-round.
Launching in the US tomorrow, November 29th, is the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette. This pint-sized palette features five matte shades and one demi-matte shade. Four of the six shades are new and exclusive to this palette.
Perfect for travel or on-the-go, this palette can fit in your wallet or purse. It contains six full-sized eyeshadows, which include: Venus (soft, off-white demi-matte), Foxy (very light yellow/beige matte), Walk of Shame (very light pinky nude matte), Naked 2 (rosy taupe matte), Faint (warm, dusty brown matte), and Crave (deepest, darkest brown/black matte).
Urban Decay’s matte eyeshadows are some of the best I have used. They are in no way chalky, powdery or dry but super silky, finely-milled and pigmented. They are also long-lasting and true-to-color.
Starting on November 29th the Naked Basics Palette will be available at Urban Decay, Sephora, Ulta and select Macy’s. If you love neutrals and nudes to create a subtle and dramatic definition, then you will love the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette.
Jouer Cream Eyeshadow is the do-it-all eye product for quick, low maintenance makeup. Line, shade and/or contour your eyes with these easy-to-blend beauties.
These cream eyeshadows are like nothing I have tried before. Extremely lightweight in texture, the formula glides effortlessly onto the lids. They feel like velvet on the skin and the smudge-proof formula lasts all day. The consistency is both layerable and buildable providing options for a sheer or dramatic application.
Available in five gorgeous shades:
♦ Chiffon – shimmering ivory pearl
♦ Feather – shimmering pink champagne
♦ Organza – shimmering lavender taupe
♦ Cashmere – shimmering golden taupe
♦ Suede – shimmering golden bronze
When deciding on whether to use a cream or powder eye shadow, take into consideration factors such as your age and skin type. Powder eye shadows that contain shimmers may settle in wrinkles, fine lines and/or sagging eye lids. Cream shadow is a better option for women of age as they will create a smooth base. If you have very oily skin, using a cream eyeshadow can be frustrating. When combined with your skin’s natural oils, the eyeshadow may quickly smear or seep into the crease. This is an easy fix – as cream eyeshadows can also be used as primers. First apply your favorite cream eyeshadow then set with a powder or powder eyeshadow to absorb excess oil. Not only with the color last and last – but mixing these textures reveals beautiful dimension and light-reflecting properties.
All Jouer products offer a smart packaging solution. Constructed with interlocking sides, every product from lip gloss to face powder “snap-together,” making it easy to mix and match your favorites into the perfect palette.
I am currently having a small love affair with Jouer Cosmetics. Quality formulas, wearable colors and intelligent packaging – what more could you ask for. More reviews to come.
After 8 years of research, Giorgio Armani has produced a new face-makeup category. Touted as a “complexion perfector” or “complexion enhancer,” Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup was created to fulfill the seemingly impossible duality of transparency and coverage.
Armani says that traditional foundations are usually emulsions containing water in oil with fillers; according to cosmetics experts, those fillers can produce a visible masking effect. Maestro Fusion Makeup is created with patented Fusion Technology, consisting of ultra-fine oil-pigments that “fuse” to the skin, blurring imperfections with a no-makeup feel.
Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup, was created with five distinct principles:
1. A water and powder-free base
2. Totally non-comodogenic
3. Five time-released oils evaporating gradually
4. Smart pigment technology
5. An easy, fast, fresh and flawless application
The product is dispensed through a dropper and has a very runny consistency. It feels extremely smooth and weightless on the skin. If you have ever used a dry oil, this is the feeling it resembles. The result is a light, whisper-thin formula that gently moisturizes the skin. The shades blend equisitly into the skin and might be the answer to those suffering with color-matching. The finish is extremely natural with a bit of luminosity that lasts all day.
Available in 12 shades, Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup is a new generation of foundation. A “revolutionary complexion perfector” that looks and feels like second skin.
NARS Gaiety is my current perfect pink blush. It creates the perfect youthfulness and will instantly brighten your day… and complexion.
Described as a “bright candy pink,” the cool-toned pink has a strong blue-base. The buildable color allows for a sheer wash of color on the cheeks or layer for a bold pink flush. The color is matte with tiny specks of silver sparkle, that when applied offers a soft subtle sheen – perfect for the apples of the cheeks.
NARS blushes are long-lasting and true to color. I love Gaiety in the summer, when tanned/bronzed skin needs a flush of color. The contrast of the warm tan and cool pink reflects youthfulness and fun.
The product on everybody’s lips… Lip Treatments.
Moisturizing lip conditioners are some of my favorite products. Essential for getting rid of dry, chapped lips, these treatments care and protect all-year-round. Slather them on day/night, in-flight, in-car… anytime. My current five favorites are:
Homeoplasmine Cream: One of my French pharmacy favorites, this multi-purpose ointment soothes, protects and moisturizes the lips/skin. The homeopathic cream was originally created to heal the nasal passages from colds, allergies, and treat skin irritations. However, it is amazing on dry lips as it literally heals them before your eyes. I love the non-greasy consistency and the natural matte finish. Great for travel, this cream will quench jet-lagged lips/skin and the aluminum casing ensures the product will last forever. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to find in the US. Sorry.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Lip Therapy: Brings the healing power of First Aid Beauty’s best-selling Ultra Repair Cream to moisturize, nourish, and protect your lips. This long-lasting, petroleum-free and paraben-free formula will prevent dryness and heal parched lips. On its own, it has a subtle, semi-matte finish. Use this healthy lip balm under lipstick to keep lips hydrated, smooth and soft.
Eco Lips Renew Rejuvenating Lip Balm: Formulated with argan oil, vitamin E and antioxidants this lip balm aids in cell renewal and anti-aging. The organic lip conditioner improves skin texture almost immediately and the petroleum-free formula locks in moisture. The bold Orange Spice flavor is a treat on the lips and kind of addicting.
NUXE Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm: - Used by many makeup artists as a lip prep, this soothing lip conditioner soaks into lips and dries perfectly matte. The richly concentrated balm contains honey, plant oils, shea butter and grapefruit essence to help nourish, repair, soothe and protect the lips. The incredibly creamy, smooth texture glides on the lips effortlessly and smells of sweet citrus.
BEST OF THE BEST: Xen-Tan Absolute Gold
Xen-Tan Absolute Gold is my Summer 2012 winner for best self-tanning product. In just one application this self-tanner produces a rich, deep, olive-based tan that lasts.
The luxurious formula contains a color guard made of 24K gold leaf. Usually, I am not a fan of color guards. I believe them to be unnecessary and the reason behind messy application. However, the gold sheen in this product is very flattering and subtle. It dries nicely and does not rub-off on clothing or bed linens.
Enriched with Shea Butter, Absolute Gold is incredibly moisturizing – which is why, I believe, it lasts so long. The rich lotion feels very pampering on the skin and does not stick to stubborn dry patches. It absorbs into the skin very quickly, which cuts out drying time, but forces application to be speedy. The formula contains Xen-Tan’s innovative “Scent Secure” – a ground-breaking technology that blocks out self-tan (DHA) odor. And has a sweet vanilla scent, that reminds me of yummy marzipan.
For an easy, single-application, luxurious-feeling, natural-looking dark tan – you need to try Xen-Tan Absolute Gold.
Read my post on: Application Tips & Tricks
BEST EFFORTLESS SELF-TANNER: Hampton Sun Sunless Tanning Gel
Hampton Sun Sunless Tanning Gel provides the most effortless self-tanning experience. Simple application, quick results, great build-able color.
This formula features natural and organic ingredients that improve the skin’s quality. Walnut Oil, Aloe Vera, Vitamins A through E, antioxidants and Chamomile create smooth and moisturized skin with no harsh chemical scent.
The formula also contains Erythrulose (a ketone sugar found in raspberries). Like Dihydroxyacetone (DHA), Erythrulose reacts with the amino acids in the keratin protein on the outer layer of skin. The nontoxic reaction creates a color change in the skin, similar to a cut apple exposed to oxygen, and gives the appearance of an natural-looking tan.
The gel consistency feels cool and soothing on the skin. It melts into the skin seamlessly providing effortless application. The long-lasting formula dries quickly with no lingering scent and fades evenly and discreetly.
The color is light but build-able. If a deeper color is preferred, this unique formula can be applied for a second time immediately after first application. Hampton Sun Sunless Tanning Gel is dermatologically tested and hypo-allergenic, perfect for all skin types.
Read my post: Application Tips & Tricks
Achieve glowing skin instantly with this shimmering body lotion that lasts all day. The bronzer to the stars, Scott Barnes Body Bling, is a no-commitment illuminator, that washes off with soap and water. Glow & Go.
Scott Barnes is a celebrated makeup artist credited for creating gorgeous looks for his numerous celebrity clients. His most popular look coined “the glow” was created on Jennifer Lopez. This monochromatic look features bronze glowing skin and pale lips. His signature look became known as “lit from within” and launched the world famous shimmering bronzer, Body Bling.
Use Body Bling on your shoulders, arms, legs, décolletage for a flawless look from head to toe. It’s great for masking self-tanning streaks or mistakes, covering flaws and instantly toning and slimming arms and legs. It is easy to apply and feels moisturizing on the skin.
Scott Barnes Body Bling is a must-have for summer. This lotion looks amazing on-top of already tanned (fake or real) skin. It is not dark enough to replace your other self-tanning products, but will look incredible in conjunction with. With specks of gold shimmer that reflect light beautifully, everyone can create Scott Barnes signature “lit from within” look.
Trust me, I have tried them all. I am a true fan of mineral powders for texture, coverage, finish and added benefits. To date, here are my picks:
BEST TEXTURE: Korres Wild Rose Mineral Foundation
This talc-free, loose powder foundation contains Korres signature Wild Rose Extract, a natural source of vitamin C that helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and skin discolorations. The texture is lightweight and feels like it allows the skin to breathe. It glides on the skin with a silky-smooth texture. The coverage is very sheer which makes this the perfect setting powder, for the brightening benefits and SPF 30.
BEST COVERAGE: Youngblood Natural Mineral Foundation
Originally developed with leading doctors and for use in a medical setting, Youngblood minerals are some of the finest available. The Natural Mineral Foundation is no joke. The ultra-fine powders provide the most full-coverage I have seen, yet still feels light on the skin. It produces a flawless, glowing complexion and covers any blemish or discoloration properly. Perfect for all skintypes, it is enriched with minerals that provide UVA/UVB protection and is completely free from talc, perfumes and chemical dyes.
BEST FINISH: Laura Mercier Mineral Powder SPF 15
This finely milled powder is composed completely of natural elements with 15 active amino acids. It helps to clear the skin of toxins, promote healthy skin-cell growth and fight the aging process. The real selling point is the amazing satin finish this product produces. It makes skin look incredibly youthful and luminous. While buffing this product into the skin, it almost feels like a cream and smooths over the skin effortlessly. The water-resistant powder is long-lasting and provides medium coverage and the shade selection is full of neutral tones that look natural on the skin.
BEST IN SHOW: PRIORI CoffeeBerry Perfecting Minerals
The All-In-One mineral powder foundation. Treat/Cover/Protect. The only mineral line that contains CoffeeBerry, a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals and the causes of aging skin. This foundation feels weightless on the skin. It contains light-diffusing minerals that reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles producing a smoother more perfected complexion. It not only evens-out skintone and redness, but treats the underlying causes. Recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation, this is the best choice for broad spectrum UV protection: SPF 25, UVA 10, PA+++. When I wear this foundation, I think of it more as skincare than makeup. It gives me the perfect coverage and glow, in which I even feel comfortable wearing it to the gym. This is my pick for a Mineral Powder Foundation, it is truly in a category of it’s own.