Saturday, October 31, 2009

New YSL for Holiday

Those familiar with YSL handbags have seen the "luggage tags" the bags feature. The Yves Saint Laurent line of cosmetics has created two new palettes inspired by these hang tags. The eye palette, "Your Lovely Palette" Eye Shadow Duo retails for a whopping $75 and contains a silvery lavender and a darker purple shadow, along with a brush-tipped applicator. The companion lip palette, "Your Lovely Palette" Lip Duo is also $75 and has rosy and golden shades with a mini lip brush. You're clearly paying for the packaging with these items, which can apparently be attached to a bag or other accessories to show them off. Cheaper than a Muse bag, but overpriced unless you are a die-hard collector. The line is also offering a sparkly golden beige powder ($28) and Golden Gloss Trio ($65) for holiday.

Julie Hewett Cosmetics

Nude Noir Lipstick, Pinkie Shimmy, Natural Cheekie, Sophia Lip Lush

Julie Hewett is an acclaimed Hollywood television, film and event makeup artist who decided to create her own eponymous line after formulating a collection of perfect red lipsticks for the movie Pearl Harbor. The line is small and new products are borne out of necessity and collaboration with some of her famous clients. The Mandy palette was created after working with Mandy Moore, for example, and the new Destiny Cheekie was formulated with Miley Cyrus' input. I've acquire a nice little collection of Julie Hewett products over the years and find them to be high quality and sophisticated. The line is available at select boutiques and via

Cheekies are potted cream cheek and lip colors that are available in pots ($24) and now palette ($18) form. The formula is a true dense cream (and not cream to powder) so you are left with a youthful dewiness on your cheeks without grease. Julie sells a Chubby Cheekie Brush ($28) that I often use as an applicator for these, but if I'm in a rush I've found my fingers work just fine.
Clockwise left to right: Peachie, Rosie, Jami and Natural
Peachie (a bright but sheer peachy coral pink) and Rosie (a sheer raspberry pink)
Natural (a warm natural brown pink) and Jami (a cooler, mauvier pink)
Shimmies are iridescent highlighting creams for cheeks and eyes. Like the Cheekies, they come in both pot ($22) and palette ($18) choices. Pinkie, pictured at the top, is a silvery golden pink cream that is dewy but not oily. I tap it lightly in a C shape from my upper cheekbone to temple for a glow. Pixie, below, is new and a soft sheer lilac shimmer. This would be gorgeous tapped on the brow bone or center of the eye lid.

Left to Right:
Pixie Shimmy, Natural Cheekie, Destiny Cheekie, Jami Cheekie

Lipsticks and Glosses:
Julie has several lipstick formulations ($20-$22.50) in her line including the Noir Collection (a series of perfect reds), Bijou Collection (translucent shades scented with orange blossom), Sheer Collection (2 sheer variations on red) and Icon of Beauty Collection (honoring present-day screen sirens). There really is a red for everyone in this line, though I am partial to Nude Noir lipstick (pictured above) which Julie describes as a Nude Red but I call a deep shimmery pink nude that lasts all day and the Bijou Lipstick in Celeste (not pictured) which is a sheer pinky peach.

The line's lip gloss is called a Lip Lush ($20) and is deliciously scented with ginger. It's not at all sweet or cloying but is refreshing and different, almost relaxing. The Lip Lushes are not the least bit sticky and are creamy and soothing. Sophia, pictured above, is a natural deep pink brown with no shimmer. These glosses feature a doe foot applicator.

Julie has a new line of powder shadows ($10+palette) joining her Hue cream shadow/liner colors ($14 pot/$18 palette) and Too Good to be True pencils ($15). The Too Good to be True Pencil in Fig is a deep evergreen that glides on. The application isn't as smooth as say, UD 24/7 eye liners or Laura Mericer Kohls, but the pencil doesn't drag or tug like a lot of pencil liners.

You can also experience Julie Hewett's signature Camellia Balm, choose from a premade palette or create a custom one, find brushes and applicators and other great products on her site.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Two New NARS Palettes

These new palettes were created in honor of the 15th Anniversary of the NARS line of cosmetics and are available on Both are priced at $75 and are a $90 value.

Everlasting Love contains: For eyes: Edie, Underworld (left), Underworld (right), Night Breed. For cheeks: Orgasm Blush, South Beach Multiple. For lips: Belle du Jour, Chelsea Girls, Promiscuous and Dolce Vita lipsticks.

Wild at Heart features:
For eyes: Abyssinia, Alhambra (left), Ashes to Ashes, Pandora (right). For cheeks: Orgasm Blush, South Beach Multiple. For lips: Baby Doll, Red Lizard, Manhunt, Fire Down Below.

Shu Uemura Supreme Shine Lipstick

When I first saw this Shu Uemura picture I gasped! Both the model and the makeup are absolutely stunning, and the lips had me mesmerized. I HAD to own that lipcolor! The Shu site says that the model is wearing Rouge Unlimited Supreme Shine Lipstick ($30) in BG935 with OR520 in the center. Despite the torrential downpour today, I had to detour to Bergdorfs to see these lipsticks! They are all lovely in person but at over $32 a pop here (with NYC taxes), I realized I'd have to make do with just one.

Shu describes the Supreme Shines as a "fusion of breakthrough watery dewy shine and rich color payoff. Revolutionary film keeping capsule, ultra shine oil and shu uemura's signature hybrid pigment create a smooth, thick veil on the lips that glides on easily to deliver unforeseen shine and vibrant pure color payoff."

Hyperbolic though that may be, this is one fine lipstick! It's ultraglossy but not at all tacky or gooey, and smooth and moisturizing but isn't nearly as thick in texture as Clinique Buttershines or Stila Shine Lipsticks. This formula really feels unique.

I can't speak for all of the colors, but BG935 is definitely on the sheer side. It's a pretty neutral beige pink with almost holographic microshimmer. It doesn't exactly make my lips look like those of the model's (that would require Photoshop and surgery!), but the color is actually pretty close. Sometimes I'll see a lipstick advertised or credited in a magazine and it appears a completely different shade in person. In this case I actually believe that the color stated is the one used. The OR520 was much more vibrant--a coraly orange--than I'd anticipated based on the image but I can see how tapping it lightly over top would create the exact shade represented.

Compared to Bobbi Brown Baby (which is on the left):

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Recent Rediscoveries

This past spring I purchased the Gilded Garden Mosaic Shimmer Bloc ($38) and Tiger Lily Stickgloss ($20) from Laura Mercier's Gilded Garden Collection. I'm not usually a fancy shimmer powder person but this Shimmer Bloc was so pretty I couldn't leave it there. And a peachy pink Stickgloss? Add in the words "limited edition" and my willpower didn't stand a chance. I bought both, wore them once, spent days gazing adoringly at their beauty and hadn't used them since. Until today. It's a dreary, horribly raining day here in New York City--about as far away from a Gilded Garden as can be--and I thought using something pretty might boost my mood. I used the powder over my blush and Stickgloss by itself, no liner or gloss.

Well wouldn't you know, I can't believe how many compliments I received today! How fresh I looked! How nice! how--dare I say--pretty!! Needless to say, both items will be joining my repertoire of regularly used products. And both are still available on

Monday, October 26, 2009

Loose Mineral Eye Shadows

click on the photo above the enlarge

Ah, sparkly little pots of color! Too bad you are so messy to use! I've pared my once-substantial loose eye shadow collection (bye, bye, chunky MAC pigments) down to just a few shades that I actually wear. Or just stare at. Either one.

I purchased little plastic jars that screw onto one another in an attempt to streamline and have the loose shadows take up less space. The pigments can now be stored vertically instead of horizontally which leaves much more room. I highly recommend storing minerals this way. Here are some of my loose shadow favorites:
Bare Escentuals Grace- this shadow looks lilacy in the pot but has a warm champagne when foiled (used wet). It's a polychromatic, unique shade. This is an example of the shade dry (left) and foiled (right). It becomes much more metallic and dramatic when wet.

Ricky's Naked- Ricky's is an offbeat drugstore chain in New York City. Their house line of cosmetics, Mattese, carries a gorgeous, finely milled line of pigments. This is a super shimmery champagne.
Bare Escentuals Socialite- click and the picture to enlarge and really see the shimmering details. This is a stunning money-green with an ultrasparkly finish. It's very unique--I've seen a lot of pigments but never one quite this color. Used dry if can be buffed out to a smokey finish; use it wet and it's the perfect mermaid color. I love it wet as liner with a very simple eye and light peachy ink cheek.

Bare Escentuals Peaceful- this is a very warm auburn brown. It would be perfect on blue eyes.
Bare Escentuals Soul- I've previously spoken of my love for this underrated shadow. It's just the most perfect eye-brightening vanilla.

Bare Escentuals Cupcake- a delicate fairy ink with heavy gold sparkle. This shadow also looks great as a blush.
Bare Escentuals Gilded Taupe- a neutral taupe with gold shimmer. This shade is more sheer than most BE shades so it's perfect for a very natural look. I have to foil it to achieve any oomph.

Bella Il Fiore Socialite- I discovered this brand in a Ritz Carlton spa boutique on vacation. The picture really doesn't do this shade justice because it's so multidimensional. Socialite is a soft purple with gold shimmer, but use it wet and there is a hard steely platinum edge to it. It can go from soft and pretty to dramatic rocker chic with just a little water! I've spotted the brand at a few shops here in the city but never this shade, so I'm keeping close tabs on it!
left to right: BE Peaceful, Bella Il Fiore Socialite, BE Gilded Taupe, BE Grace, BE Socialite, Ricky's Naked, BE Soul, BE Cupcake

Saturday, October 24, 2009

NARS Kalahari Duo

When I first saw the new NARS Duo Eye Shadow in Brousse ($32) released for winter I immediately thought "that's like a more intense Kalahari!" I then realized that I hadn't worn Kalahari in ages and it was time to give it some attention!
NARS describes Kalahari as "Gold Confection and Sugared Cocoa," but I find this to be off. Both shades have a definite smokey taupey plummy undertone to them, more so when applied than in the pan. The left side is a smokey golden taupe and the right is a muted (but definitely plummy) heather taupe. While they look distinct is the pan, on the shades are much more similar to one another. There isn't much contrast when using these together (left on lid, right in crease) and so I occasionally need to use another shade in the crease as I prefer a more defined eye. This seems to be a frequent issue with me and NARS Duos though.

The great thing about these shades is that they really highlight green eyes! They make the green deeper and darker, allowing my eyes to stand out even from behind my glasses. I do feel that the colors are unique (even among the taupey plum set) and the inherent smokiness in the shades makes for a sultry but completely daytime/work appropriate eye.

If you find Brousse too dark or are just looking for something to add to your Sephora basket during Friends & Family, check out Kalahari!

Friday, October 23, 2009

LAVANILA The Healthy Lip Shine

The LAVANILA line and I had a slow and disappointing start. I initially tried the fragrances and was underwhelmed. I next ordered the Vanilla Coconut Body Wash (how yummy does that sound?) and found that it smelled nothing like vanilla or coconut. The deodorant was my next stop with its lofty promises of providing odor protection with beta-glucan. Let's just say it didn't. Normally I'm a three-strikes-and-you're-out kind of girl, but I stumbled on the lip shines and I have to say I really love them!

LAVANILA The Healthy Lip Shine ($14) comes in 4 scents that mimic the line's existing fragrances. I have Vanilla Blossom (which smells delicately of sweet lemon) and Vanilla Lavender (a light fruity scent). Both are extremely lightweight and very moisturizing with more liquidy texture than traditional lip glosses. These are not the least bit sticky, and use apricot, jojoba and sunflower oils to nourish and provide shine. The glosses also tout antioxidants and shea butter while leaving out parabens and other potentially harmful ingredients.

The Healthy Lip Shines apply very sheerly with only a hint of color. Vanilla Blosson is an extremely sheer, basically clear, peachy shade with swirls of shimmer. Vanilla Lavender is a translucent pink with subtle violet microshimmer. Do not expect noticeable pigment. These are great over lip pencil, a drier lipstick formula or just to moisturize dry fall/winter lips. I like not having to worry about the ingredients I'm putting into my body when I inadvertently ingest my lip gloss! Despite my initial disappointment with the line, I have to say that The Healthy Lip Shines are an inexpensive and unexpected pleasant surprise!

Click on the picture above the enlarge.

Loose Mineral Blushes

I used to have a very large Bare Escentuals collection (what can I say, the boutique offered free pastries on Sunday). I branched out into other mineral lines and had a lot of products on my hands at one point! I eventually realized that my insomniac, uncaffinated self + loose minerals + early morning=big, big mess and either gave away or tossed most of it. I kept a few key products and eventually acquired a few more, with the Laura Mercier Mineral Blush having arrived today.

Clockwise from top. Please click the picture to enlarge:
  • Susan Posnick ColorMe in Camelia ($32)-This little pot features a puff on top and a mirror on the lid for easy travel. It is a bright but sheer coral pink with gold shimmer.
  • Bare Escentuals Bare Radiance ($18)- A sheer pinky nude shimmer that I use over cream blush for a dewy glow.
  • Bare Escentuals A Little Sun ($18)- A light warm pinky brown bronzer with shimmer. The color is warm without being orange.
  • Laura Mercier Mineral Color Blush in Amberstone ($22)- a warm nude shimmer. More pigmented and definitely warmer than Bare Radiance.
  • Bare Escentuals Golden Gate Blush ($18)- a neutral pink with a hint of coral. This blush isn't shimmery per se but has a radiance to it.
LM Amberstone and Susan Posnick Camelia

LM Amberstone, BE Bare Radiance, BE A Little Sun, BE Golden Gate, Susan Posnick Camelia

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lipsticks I'm Loving Right Now

Yes, I know I just posted about loving my new Berry lips, but at heart (and for everyday) I'll always be a warm nude/peachy pink girl. Here are some of my current favorites.
From left to right:
  • Chanel Como Aqualumiere ($28)- this is the perfect warm pink beige shimmer. I believe it may have been limited edition but it's absolutely worth tracking down.
  • YSL Sensual Silk #2 Rouge Volupte ($34)- this is a creamy light pinked beige. It is almost too light on it's own so I generally use a lip liner with it, but I love the pale pink (but not mod) mouth it gives. Just soft and pretty.
  • Dolce & Gabbana Naked Shine Lipstick ($30)- you can see my review along with more pictures here!
  • Bobbi Brown Lip Shimmers in Berry Shimmer and Rosebud Shimmer ($22)- Berry Shimmer is poorly named--it's actually a warm nude with white shimmer while Rosebud Shimmer is a rose-beige with silver shimmer. (Rosebud Shimmer looks nothing like Rose Bud Creamy Lip Color currently featured in the Earth Metal palette). Both are on the sheer side and look fabulous layered over one another. Bobbi discontinued this whole line of lipsticks, but you can still find them at CCOs.
  • Bobbi Brown Creamy Lip Color in Baby ($22)- this has been my favorite lipstick for some time. It's shade I can just slap on and go when I don't have the time or inclination to think about what lipstick to wear. Find more pictures and a review here.

My Fall/Winter Berry Lips

With full lips and pale white skin, I've never felt comfortable wearing the deep, vampy berries and burgundies that debut each fall. They look fabulous in magazines and on the runway, but walk into a staff meeting with black cherry lips and all of a sudden you'll feel a bit out of place. Or at least I do. With Chantecaille Ceylon Lip Chic ($30), I've finally found a deep berry color I can embrace wearing, whether it's work or play time. Chantecaille describes Lip Chics as a hybrid between a gloss and a lipstick. Packaged in slim, gunmetal lipstick tubes, the product glides on semi-sheerly and feels moisturizing and smooth. Ceylon is a warm browned berry that would flatter many skintones.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Nice New Laura Mercier Palette

This palette just made it's debut on Perfect timing for Friends and Family! This Eye Book contains 2 eye shadow quads (one in a brown/gold scheme, the old charcoal/silver) paired with 2 of Laura Mercier's famous cake liners in Mahogany Brown and Black Ebony, along side a dual ended brush for shadow and liner. A $116 value, this palette is just $45 before the Friends and Family Discount, making it a great buy and a perfect way to try Laura Mercier or add to your existing collection.

What's in My Shower Right Now

And no, it's not Jon Stewart, much to my chagrin! :-)

Here are the beauty products currently in my shower:
  • Neil George Everyday Shampoo ($20)- smells delicious, like Orange Blossoms, and doesn't weight my fine hair down
  • Neil George Everyday Conditioner ($22)- same scent as the shampoo and detangles very well
  • Neil George Intense Repair Treatment Mask with Indian Gooseberry ($38)- good for restoring shine and moisture
  • Neil George Detangle Nourish Spray ($24) detangles and protects my hair from heat styling.
  • Oscar Blandi Marine Mud Treatment ($26)- I use this as a deep conditioner every now and then
  • Philosophy Amazing Grace 3-in-1 Milk-Based Shampoo, Bath and Shower Gel ($22)- I love the way this scents my skin
  • Red Flower Ocean Purifying Body Wash ($20)- smells just like the ocean somehow and I love the pure ingredients
  • California Baby Super Sensitive Shampoo and Body Wash ($11.49)- for sensitive, winter skin
  • LaLicious Island Guava Sugar Souffle Moisturizing Body Scrub ($34)- see my previous review of this incredible line here
  • LaLicious Coffee Bean Sugar Souffle Moisturizing Body Scrub ($34)
  • Nude Skincare Facial Cleansing Wash ($34)- I've reviewed this before. I always wash my face in the shower
  • Pangea Organics Facial Scrub ($32)- exfoliates with Adzuki Beans. This is too rich for my skin in the summer but is perfectly moisturizing come winter
  • Carol's Daughter Body Aches Bath Salts ($18)- I don't take baths, but I sprinkle some of this on the floor of the shower for an aromatherapy treatment. It's great for days when you feel stuffy or have a headache
  • Alba Mango Vanilla Moisturizing Shave Cream ($5.99)- I'm not a fan of the product but it smells incredible
  • Detangling Comb
  • Pumice Stone- for my feet!
  • Mach 3 Razor- until I'm finished with my laser hair removal treatment

Saturday, October 17, 2009

My Sephora Friends and Family Wishlist

Sephora Friends and Family 2009 starts at Midnight PST (that's 3 AM for us East Coast folks) on October 19th and ends on November 2nd. Enter FF2009 in the promo code box. I've been compiling my wish list for a few weeks now, and here is what is currently on it. What do you plan to pick up during the sale?
Nars The Multiple Coffret ($40) contains mini Multiples in Orgasm, South Beach, and Copacabana.
Korres Deep Color Mascara in Black ($18) is a staple. My favorite mascara! Gives volume, length and is good for your lashes.
Philosophy the supernatural Superglossy SPF 15 Lip Gloss ($16.50) in Live in the Moment. This pink mocha shade promises to be non-sticky and protect lips from the sun.
Philosophy Turbo Booster C Powder ($35) can be mixed with any moisturizer or sunscreen for antioxidant protection and the repair of Vitamin C.
Tarte MultiplEYE ($65) Lash Enhancer. I certainly wouldn't mind if my short, stubby, thin lashes suddenly became lush and long!
Laura Mercier Eye Kohl ($19) in Black Navy is less harsh than black but provides more definition than straight navy. The best of both worlds!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Lots of New Products and GWPs Courtesy of the New Bloomingdales Makeover Catalog!

The flagship Bloomingdales on 59th and Lex has just completed a massive renovation of their beauty floor. To celebrate, Bloomingdales sent out a very nice catalog featuring new products and is offering extensive Gifts with Purchase October 15th-25th. The store will be offering new brands and has a full calendar of events throughout October including makeovers, facials, skincare classes, and opportunities to meet makeup artists such as Dick Page and Poppy King. You can call 212-705-2000 to get more information on the events and look below for some of the Gift with Purchase information and highlighted products.

Gifts with Purchase:
  • Lancome: Choice of 7 piece gift with any $35 Lancome purchase. 3 sets to choose from.
  • Dior: 5 piece gift with $100 purchase
  • Clarins: Choose 2 deluxe travel size treatments when you purchase any 2 skincare products
  • Trish McEvoy: Must Have Lips 3 piece gift with any $75 purchase plus a Deluxe Makeup Planner with $250 purchase
  • Shiseido: Skincare bonus with purchase of any 2 High Performance, Benefiance, white Lucent, The Skin Care or Pureness products plus a travel size The Skincare Instant Eye and Lip Makeup Remover and mini Perfect Rouge Lipstick with any foundation purchase
  • Shu Uemura: Best-Of 6 piece gift with any $125 purchase
  • SK-II: Full size Signs Uplifter with $325 purchase, plus a limited edition golden and Swarovski compact with $500 purchase
  • Giorgio Armani: 6 piece Glamour Kit with exclusive full size Lip Shimmer shade with $95 purchase
  • Benefit: Creaseless Crea Shadow in Bunny Hop and mini Bad Gal Lash with $65 purchase
  • Laura Mercier: 5 piece Flawless gift with $85 purchase
  • Estee Lauder: 7 piece gift with purchase of $29.50 or more. Large navy tote when you spend $55
  • Prescriptives: Essential Makeup 5 piece kit when you spend $65. Full size Flawless Face Primer when you spend $95 as well as a pink tote and full size Intensive Rebuilding Cleanser when you spend $125
  • Yves Saint Laurent: Must Haves 8 piece gift with $125 purchase
  • Clarins: Eye Opening 5 iece gift with cosmetic bag with $200 purchase
  • Bare Escentuals: 4 piece Radiance Gift with $35 purchase
New Products:
  • Shu Uemura Planet Cat Palette ($65), Planet Ribbon Palette ($65), Rouge Unlimited Lipstick in Jupiter Brown ($25).
  • Dior Serum de Rouge Lipstick ($32) contains 10 times more active skincare ingredients than other lipsticks. In 8 shades.
  • Giorgio Armani 2009 Crustal Palette ($98) has matte and sparkling color for the eyes and a powder in a translucent golden shade. ArmaniSilk Lipstick in a limited edition shade ($38) is also available.
  • Trish McEvoy Bejeweled Collection ($95) includes a Petite Makeup Planner in quilted white with black stitching, Petite refillable makeup bag, refillable makeup page, Dual Resort Bronzer, Easy Going Blush, Delicate Pink Eye Shadow, Sable Bronze Glaze Eye Shadow, Amethyst and Deep Aubergine Definers, Eye Base Essentials in Bare and Beauty Booster Lip Gloss in Brightening Pink.
  • Laura Mercier Color Wardrobe ($98) is 2-tiered and contains 6 Eye Colours, 3 Cheek Colours, 6 Lip Stains, 2 Lip Glazes, a double ended Eye Colour brush, and a double ended lip brush.
  • Lancome Oscillation Powerfoundation ($48) is a micro-vibrating, polishing mineral makeup.
There are a number of other Gifts with Purchase available in addition to more new products and fabulous-sounding events. I'm definitely checking out the new store tomorrow!

Images from the Bloomingdales catalog.


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