Monday, August 31, 2009

Rock and Republic Cosmetics-Eye Shadows Part 1

While I Love my Rock & Republic blushes, the shadows are where the line really shines. They have some fabulous basics you'll find in other lines like creams and browns, but they also have some truly unique, exceptional shades I hadn't seen before and couldn't resist snapping up! They retail for $28 each. Click on the pictures to enlarge (you can actually click and then click again to really see color and detail best!).

My very favorite is Snakeskin, a murky, taupey, grayed olive green with gorgeous gold shimmer. The color is beautiful full strength on the lid but can be buffed out in the crease to create the perfect natural definition that's so difficult to achieve.

Tempting is a truly unusual lavender. Spike a neutral lavender with a hint of cloudy silver gray and add a shimmery shine. But that still doesn't do it justice! It's gorgeous!

Brink is an aqua with gold flash. Apply it wet or buff it out and the gold becomes more pronounced. This isn't a teeny-bopper or 80s aqua--it's summery and fresh and more flattering than you'd expect.

Exile is a golden warm brown with a lot of warm shimmer. It's summer in a pot and makes a stunning molten statement when used wet to line.

Brink and Exile:

Rock & Republic Cosmetics-Blushes and Lips

Rock & Republic is a company probably best known for 2 things: jeans and an outlandishly priced $225 bronzer. When the line debuted the bronzer in the crystal-adorned case was featured in numerous magazines and on QVC and the uproar on beauty boards over the price seemed to eclipse the fabulous quality and more reasonable prices of the other products. Don't get me wrong--these babies are not cheap--shadows are $28, powder blush is $40, pressed powder is $44, mascara is $28--but the eye shadows and blushes are simply some of the best I've ever tried. The formulas and smooth and creamy and blend like a dream. The packaging is heavy, super luxe, and just makes you feel special. Even the boxes are spectacular. I've managed to amass quite a little collection, which I'll cover over a few posts. Click on the pictures to enlarge.

The Imitate mousse blushes are currently available in 3 shades, and I have 2 of them. The texture is a light, airy, whipped mousse that easily blends onto the cheek and morphs to resemble skin. Quickie looks pale baby aspirin orange in the pot but blends to a soft peach with a hint of glimmer.

Rumor is a neutral to warm light rose.

These retail for $28 each.

The powder blushes are real stars. They are enormous and the packaging is heavy enough to hurt a toe should you unfortunately drop one! The powder blushes are $40 each but are significantly larger than most blushes--I can't see ever using one up! The blushes may look merely pretty in the pan, but it's the way the blend on the skin that is truly amazing. They create a sophisticated yet girlish glow that would enhance anyone's complexion! Spank has an unbelievably smooth texture and is a pale cloud pink that looks cool in the pot, but neutral on the skin.

Call Me is the must-have blush of the line. It's a peachy-pink shimmer a la NARS Orgasm but less pink and with no chunky sparkle.

I also received a mini of the line's wand lip gloss in Vacant as a gift with purchase. The colors are smooth and creamy and paraben-free, which I really appreciate. Vacant is a sheer softly brown nude. These are $26 each and very nice but not knock-your-socks-off, gotta-have-it wonderful.

Within the Rock & Republic line is the Noir Collection, consisting of 2 eye shadow palettes at $65 each and 2 potted lip glosses that come with a retractable lip brush and clock in at $35 for the set. The packaging of the gloss is heavy! The case is a weighted metal with a small magnet to keep the flip top lid closed and the pair comes packaged in a large chic presentation case. I have Confession, a soft mauvey pink with lovely shimmer.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

100% Pure Cosmetics Wine Pigmented First Crush Eye Palette

Wow! That title is a mouthful, isnt it? 100% Pure is a line of cosmetics, skin care and body products that are 100% natural. The color products derive their pigmentation from organic fuits, vegetables, flowers and teas so they're perfect for those sensitive to artifical dyes, concerned about chemicals on their skin, or want a vegan, animal-friendly product.

I love the idea of using a natural product, but haven't been all that impressed with health food store lines and am not big on the mess that loose mineral cosmetics can make when put in the hands of a klutz like me. These shadows are pressed, smooth and buttery, highly pigmented and blend effortlessly! This particular eye palette incorporates pigments from wines, grapes, plums, and berries along with moisturizing ingredients to keep your lids looking youthful. The colors range from a shimmery beige to a plummy taupe to a deep liner-worthy sparkling merlot. The palette is quite large, but features a good size mirror and a considerable amount of product.

Click on the image above for a larger picture to see the palette in all its glory!
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The Best Glosses. Ever.

click on picture above to enlarge
Shades above left to right are: Origami (a light, sheer, girly pink), Truth (a shimmer-free warm peachy blush), Ignite (a warm pink beige nude with a heavy gold fleck), and Lush (the prettiest golden-shimmered pinky coral that rocks in the summer and will brighten any winter-worn face).

When I was a young teenager, the only thing I wore on my lips was a super thick coat of the ill-fate, gone-too-soon Revlon Streetwear line of gloss in a patent-leather clear. I still remember a boy coming up to me, almost in a daze, transfixed by the mirror-like glaze and saying "Your lips are so...shiny. That's amazing. How do you do that?"

After the Streetwear could no longer be found, I gave up on gloss. Everything was too thick and sticky, too thin and gloppy, too fruity and juvenile or too waxy and uncomfortable to wear. The combination of long hair and very full, shellacked lips also created some unpleasant situations and I just resigned myself to a lipstick-only future. That was before I met Hourglass Extreme Sheen Glosses.

These glosses have an amazing texture that's light on the lips yet doesn't evaporate after a few minutes. The shades are sheer yet provide a good dose of pigment, the shimmer is sophisticated and not ostentatious, and they have a lovely just-baked-dessert scent. The glosses are also paraben-free which I really appreciate. Before you fall in love with them, keep in mind that these new friends won't come cheap--they'll set you back a whopping $28 a piece, and you really can't have just one! The color selection is also a bit limited and many shades seem similar, but I've managed to collect 4 so far and have my eye on a few more!

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Walking Tour of New York City Beauty Shopping

I'm always getting questions about the best places to shop for beauty items in New York City, and so I've compiled a tour of the city for fellow beauty lovers! Forget the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty--this is the ultimate tour for cosmetic fiends coming this way!

Start out at 26 Grand where you’ll find the quaint Linda Mason shop. She has her own line of cosmetics, including some fabulous cream blushes, all tucked away in adorable packaging. Head North and East further into SoHo for the SoHo Sephora (a very large one), Bloomingdales that has Rock and Republic, Face Stockholm, a MAC freestanding store, Pir Cosmetics (may have moved or closed recently. Call to check) and the absolute must-go huge Space NK store on Greene. There’s also a Sabon (lovely bath and body products), Origins flagship, Korres, Amore Pacific, Red Flower, L’Occitane and Bliss. Lafco/Santa Maria Novella is a bit further east on Lafayette.

Head up to the Village and check out Aedes de Venustas on Christopher. It’s an incredible shop filled with fragrances galore, many smaller niche brands. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable and friendly as well. Also check out Makeup For Ever on 8th Street. Walk up towards Flatiron and along the way you’ll hit another Sabon and the wonderful Bigelow Chemists. This has beeen a neighborhood staple for over 168 years and is the oldest apothecary in America. They have their own line of products in addition to several harder to find brands of cosmetics, fragrances and skin care. In Flatiron you’ll have Mac PRO (open to the public), another MAC freestanding store, another Sephora, another Origins, Aveda, and a Jo Malone boutique.

Keep going up 5th to 39th for the Cosmetics Market (discounted makeup), to 47th where you’ll have the Lancome/Kiehls/Shu/Armani outlet (on the 3rd floor of the Loreal building. This is a bit tricky to find as the building is undergoing construction but they often have great deals), then to the 50s and you’ll hit the big time: Saks (50th), Takashimaya (54th), Bendels (55th), Bergdorf Goodman (58th), Barney’s (60th between 5th and Madison/60th and Madison are both entrances) and Bloomingdales (59th and Lex). Head up Lex and you’ll have Laura Geller at 74th. If you go West to Madison you’ll see Clyde’s Chemists, which carries several harder to find lines, many of which I haven't seen elsewhere in the city. The Bare Escentuals boutique is on 65th and 3rd, with Molton Brown next door.

Come West to Columbus and there’ll be a smaller Space NK, Lancome and Clarins freestanding stores, L’Artisan fragrances, another MAC, and Kiehl’s. Another nice Sephora is on 77th and Broadway, as well as by Lush and The Body Shop. The lovely Blue Mercury is on 83rd for Bobbi Brown, Trish McEvoy, Laura Mercier, Fresh, Bliss and more. If you go all the way up to 125th, you’ll find the Carol’s Daughter shop.

Along the way you’ll pass many lovely spas with fabulous gift shops, including several Bliss locations, Greenhouse, Exhale, Ajune, Aqua Beauty Bar, and Jeunesse. There’s also the Perricone store on 67th and Madison, Kimara Ahnert on 85th and Madison (private label makeup studio), Le Labo in Nolita for amazing fragrances, and MioMia (Julie Hewett) and CB I Hate Perfume if you have time to visit Brooklyn. Also make sure to stop into one of the many Ricky’s you’ll pass along the way. You can Google to find the exact addresses and contact info but this should give you a pretty good head start!

If you're visiting Columbus Circle, they have another Sephora, Aveda and Face Stockholm, as well as Crabtree and Evelyn and L'Occitane shops. A brand new Sephora just opened in Times Square, making 2 in 2 blocks! The one on 42nd and 7th carries Illamasqua, Temptu and Lauren Luke.


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