Monday, May 31, 2010

Plummy Beige Lipstick

Too plummy to be a true neutral, too neutral to be a true plum hue, not as cool as mauve and yet not quite warm...I love plummy beige lipsticks! The shades are complex and interesting yet still flattering and wearable for everyday. Here are some of my favorite plummy beige lipsticks:
From left to right: MAC Sharp Beige, MAC Midimauve, Paul and Joe 17, Lancome Beauty's Eve, L'Oreal Aishwarya Beige, Benefit Make Nice, Laura Mercier Brown Sugar Stickgloss, Tarte Champagne Brunch

Up Close:


Swatches:
From left to right: MAC Sharp Beige, MAC Midimauve, Paul and Joe 17, Lancome Beauty's Eve, L'Oreal Aishwarya Beige, Benefit Make Nice, Laura Mercier Brown Sugar Stickgloss, Tarte Champagne Brunch

Did You Do Any Beauty Shopping This Weekend?


I did! Spirit Beauty Lounge has a 15% off code good through Midnight tonight and I used it to try some Vapour Beauty products! The site also allows you to purchase 9 samples of any items for $15, including cosmetics! Use code SUMMER15. Here is what I picked up:
  • Vapour Organic Beauty Aura Radiant Blush- Intrigue
  • Sweet Beauty Lip Balm- Taste
  • Priti 3 Free Nail Polish- Firecandle
  • Alima Pure Liminous Shimmer Eye Shadow- Paris
  • Customized Deluxe Sample Kit:
  1. RMS Beauty Promise Lip2 Cheek
  2. RMS Beauty Living Luminizer
  3. Vapur Beauty Aura Radiant Blush- Whisper
  4. Vapour Beauty Siren Lipstick- Hint
  5. Vapour Beauty Bronzer- Mirage
  6. Vapour Beauty Eye Color- Flash
  7. Vapour Beauty Stratus Instant Skin Perfector
  8. Vapour Beauty Elixir Lip Gloss- Sultry
  9. Sample 9: Apoteke Detox Face Mask
I also bought a ton of clothes! What did you buy over this long holiday weekend?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Current Obessions

I go through phases when I can't get the idea of a articular brand or product out of head. Sometimes it's something that I already own and want to wear all of the time. In other instances it's something I can't wait to try.

Some of my latest obsessions include the following:

MAC Eye Shadow in Grain and Edward Bess Eye Shadow in Dusk- both always look great, no matter how tired I am or what other makeup I have on.
Crown Brush Pointed Crease Brush (C139) and Lancome Black Coffee Le Crayon Kohl Eye Liner- the brush is one of the best crease brushes I've used. The shape is perfect for both the socket and outer corner. The eye liner is a deep dark brown that makes the white of your eyes look brighter, and the formula is smooth and silky enough that you can get right up against the lash line with no tugging. It works on the inner rim as well.
Rock & Republic Imitate Mousse Blush in Rumor- this is my favorite blush out of all that I own. The texture is sublime and the shade is perfect. I'm so sad that the line is discontinued. Even though Rock & republic pops up from time to time on sample sale websites, none of them have had the mousse blushes. I'd definitely stock up if I found this one again!
Origins Smileage Plus Lip Tint in Eco Pink- I love tinted balms in the summer and that fact that this one is natural and 95% organic is a huge benefit! Not only is the ginger scent uplifting, but the shade is a spot on--a sheer warm pink. Please excuse how jagged the tip looks; I almost destroyed it trying to take the picture!

Those are some products I already own that I'm loving, but my wishlist keeps growing! Right now I'm obsessing over Vapour Beauty, another organic line. The Aura Radiant Blush and Elixir Lip Gloss are calling my name! I wish I didn't have to order these sigh unseen but they are not available in brick and mortar stores as far as I know.

29 Cosmetics Highlighting Cream Blush is also at the top of the list. According to Neiman's it's a "real honest-to-goodness healthy glow packed with antioxidants that leave the skin naturally looking "blushed" not made up." This line is only carried in a few stores, none of which are on the east coast.

Finally, I'm also totally obsessed with Whole Foods 365 Caribbean Frozen Fruit Bars- strawberry, mango and coconut flavored deliciousness and only 110 calories per bar. It seriously tastes like vacation!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Korres Pure Coral Color Collection

Korres has a new collection out for summer and it's available on their website at a bargain price. For $25.50 you receive a Shimmering Eye Shadow in White Green 42S, Mango Lipstick in Coral 45, and a new Lip Butter in Mango. The site frequently features gifts with purchase and other special offers, and currently they are offering a Spring Color Essentials Collection with a $30 purchase. It include a Fuchsia mini Lip Gloss, full size Lip Liner and a mini of one of my Holy Grails, their Mascara. Use code FLING at checkout.

A Few Quick Corals

Hello, all! I know that I've been somewhat MIA this week. Work has been so stressful that I've just been coming home and basically crashing! I'm hoping that the long weekend will do me a world of good, but you can't start summer without a manicure and pedicure! To me corals just scream summer, and these are the ones I'm really loving lately.

Sephora by OPI How Cute is That- this is a pinkish coral with a pink pearl.

SPARITUAL Miss World looks pink in the bottle but has a definite coral undertone.

Essie Carousel Coral is a gorgeous melon. It makes a great pedicure coral on my pale skin but would definitely offset deeper tones nicely.

OPI My Chihuahua Bites is a hot coral color. It's the perfect shade for those who admire this season's neon nail trned but aren't quite ready to go that bold.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Trish McEvoy Sale--20% Off PLUS Free Shipping and a Gift With Purchase!


Wow! Now through Thursday (the 27th), save 20% off all orders at Trish McEvoy, plus receive free shipping and a deluxe size Classic Eye Pencil and Eye Base Essentials. Enter code MEMORIAL2. Some items to consider? I love the shadows, liner and blushes.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Manicure of the Week




If you've been reading my Manicure of the Week posts since the beginning, this shade might look familiar since it's appeared here previously. Nonetheless, I love it so much it bears repeating! This is Rococo Nail Apparel in Dollar, an opaque, highly metallic silver with shimmer. It goes on easily, lasts decently well, is Big 3 free and a somewhat ridiculous $16.50 (yes, the price has gone up since the line debuted). This shade is in the Molten Lava formula and I think that give s a pretty good indication of how the polish appears in the bottle and on the nails. You can purchase Rococo at SpaceNK in the US and UK. I haven't seen it sold anywhere else and recommend checking it out since the line features many unique shades.

A Drugstore Haul? Me?

I am not a huge fan of buying makeup at the drugstore. Come to think of it, the only item I do have is L'Oreal Aishwarya Beige lipstick. It's not that I have anything against it per se, I just really prefer to swatch shades before I purchase as I've been disappointed countless times in the past when a drugstore shade appeared completely different once they were home and unsealed.

On Friday afternoon I was meeting a friend for drinks in Penn Station (not my first choice locale but he had a lot of luggage of had to make a connecting train) and due to a combination of my hyperpunctuality and a miscommunication about arrival times, I found myself with 20 minutes to kill in one of the most hateful, crowded places in all NYC. Navigating Penn Station on a Friday afternoon at rush hour is the equivalent to being dropped unsuspectingly into the riding of the bulls, except these bulls are vastly greater in number, in a bigger hurry and have commuter rage. My best option was to duck into the Duane Reade in the station and bide my time.

I have to say, for being in a dirty, crowded train station, this Duane Reade is remarkably clean and very well stocked. I saw displays for new makeup collections out and none of the items I looked at had the seals already broken and items tested. The Jane Naturals lines intrigued me, and then in the New York Color main display I saw the Blushable Creme Sticks I've read raves for on Makeupalley. At just $3.99 each I couldn't resist and picked up three: Big Apple Blush, Urban Spice and South St. Seashell. It was difficult to discern the true color through the plastic seal but given the price I thought they were worth the risk for a Friday afternoon pick me up.

I was surprised at how incredibly well these blushes blend on the skin. They are smooth and creamy but with none of the stickiness from a MAC Blushcreme or a Tarte Cheek Stain. Big Apple Blush in a rosy pink. It looked a bit more soft and warm in the tube with the seal on (I've since come to learn that the limited edition Pink Flash is the coral pink one) and is not my ideal color but I think I can blend it with other items to make it work. Urban Spice is a shimmery bronze. Perfect for those interested in the new MAC Cream Bronzers but who do not want to spend as much. It is not too dark but definitely has pigment to it and some shimmer. South St. Seashell is a warm browned tawny peach. Definitely a warm shade. Again, incredibly blendable (even over sunscreen), and no fragrance or parabens either.

Big Apple Blush, Urban Spice, South St. Shell (click to enlarge):

I next found the Wet 'n' Wild display and the Natural Wear Lip Shimmers jumped out at me. I have a weakness for tinted lip balms and one that promised to be natural? I was a goner. Don't be misled by the name and packaging--these colors pack a punch. They are definitely more akin to a lipstick than a sheer balm. The shade I have is 101 and is a noticeable peach with a slight pinky undertone, veering towards coral but not quite there. The packaging is completely opaque and while the caps are colored to give an indication of shade, they are not at all accurate. I like that the tube is thicker than most tinted balms (like Origins and Burt's Bees) and after wearing it all day yesterday, I found it to be moisturizing and long-lasting, but goop-free. They are only $1.99 and the ingredient list looks pretty good to me:
Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Beeswax, Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil, Phytosteryl Macadamiate, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Tocopherol, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Sorbic Acid, Origanum Vulgare Leaf Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract, Hydrastis Canadensis (Goldenseal) Root Extract, Cinnamomum Zeylanicum Bark Extract, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Extract, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide/CI 77891, Carmine/CI 75470, Iron Oxides/CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499.



Overall I am very impressed with the products and formulas I bought (enough that if I come across the Pink Flash New York Color stick I would pick it up) but wish I could have tried the colors before buying since they weren't exactly what I was expecting when I got home. Not bad for $14.

Friday, May 21, 2010

40% Off Julie Hewett!




Wow! I've frequently seen lines offer 20-30% off but 40%? That's an amazing incentive! I really love this underrated line. Here are some of my favorites! Use code MEM40 at checkout to receive the discount.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Beauty.com Summer Stock Up Event

Beauty.com and AtHisBest.com are having what sounds like an incredible event tomorrow and Saturday in NYC! They are giving away 75,000 free samples and providing a chance to meet beauty insiders!

Everyone who walks by the Beauty.com and AtHisBest.com Summer Stock-Up will get a “scoop” from the oversized beauty and grooming “pools” (one for women and one for men) filled with thousands of must-have beauty products, all for FREE. I am SO going to the 59th and 5th location tomorrow afternoon!

Samples from Beauty.com include best-sellers such as philosophy, Too Faced, Bare Escentuals, Darphin, Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare, tarte, Oscar Blandi, Stila and bliss

Samples from AtHisBest.com include must-haves such as Anthony Logistics, Mission, GO SMiLE, Clif Bar, Shaveworks The Cool Fix, Stinger and Schick

Friday, May 21st: 8:00am – 7:00pm at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue

Peter Thomas Roth; Stila; Borghese; Zeno; BareMinerals; Caudalie; tarte; Origins; Anthony Logistics; Somme Institute; Too Faced; Korres; Urban Decay

Saturday, May 22nd: 10:00am – 6:00pm at 13th Street and Ninth Avenue

Jane Iredale; Somme Institute; Mission; BareMinerals; Darphin; Origins; Korres; Pop Beauty

My Haul From The Makeup Show-L'Oreal Gift Bag

L'Oreal had a both at the Makeup Show allowing their HiP line of products to be played with, but had nothing for sale. Instead, attendees left with extremely generous gift bags of full size products.

Magic Perfecting Base is a thick, creamy, silicone-based primer designed to smooth lines and hide pores. It blends on easily (I tried it under my undereye concealer) and has that velvety feeling typical of silicone primers. It is fragrance and paraben-free.
I was admittedly shocked by the pigment levels in the HiP Metallic Shadow Duos in Platinum and Gilded. They are very pigmented, very metallic and very cool! I'd have to blend these down quite a bit to wear to the office but they would be very fun for a night out. The lighter shades create a foiled look without needing to be used wet and the darker shades would be nice as a liner. I rarely buy drugstore makeup and had never tried HiP before but these are definitely impressive. If they had duos in more natural/me shades I would pick one up, despite finding the packaging overly and unnecessarily bulky.
HiP Color Presso glosses in Spunky and Chic were also included. The packaging on these is a little odd and takes some getting used to, since the two shades are in 2 separate chambers. You can squeeze just one tube for that color individually, or press both to release both colors which can be mixed on your lips. Both Presso and Chic blend to sheerish berries--the first cooler and the second with some warmth. They have a sweet smell and aren't too sticky on the lips. I don't have many berry shades and Chic looked very nice on! The tubes are cool looking but large and a little awkward to store or fit into a makeup bag.

These was also a Voluminous Mascara in Blackest Black and the 24 Hour Lash Boosting Power System which contains a Double Extend Mascara and Lash Boosting Serum. I used Voluminous way back when and liked it but had never tried the Double Extend or the Serum.
I kind of just tossed these aside when I received them since I use only natural mascaras. With blond lashes I need to really work my mascara into the roots of my lashes and inevitably get mascara right on the underside of my lid. The idea of a multitude of chemicals being absorbed through a membrane line that really concerned me so I jumped on the "natural" mascara bandwagon early on, using Korres primarily but also Tarte. I had been happy with the look of both.
Last night I decided that it couldn't hurt just to try the Double Extend just once. I applied the white primer and then 2 coats of the mascara and had a total OMG moment. My lashes looked AMAZING. Unbelievably long and full, verging on fake, which is an amazing feat for my short, puny, blonde lashes. I've never been this impressed with a mascara. Now I'm torn--do I use the mascara chock full of parabens and other chemicals but makes my lashes unbelievable, or the less potentially harmful one that gives me merely nice ones? Hmmmm...

Here is the ingredient list for the set:

Bobbi Brown TSV on QVC Today!

QVC's Today's Special Value today is the Downtown Beauty 6 Piece Color Collection from Bobbi Brown. For $84.96 (or 4 payments of $21.24) plus shipping and tax, the set includes:

  • 0.25 oz five-well eye shadow palette with mirror; Ivory, a creamy white; metallic Heather Lilac, a gray violet with pearl flecks; Bronze Shimmer Wash, a bronzed brown; Heather, a medium gray violet; Black Plum, a dark brown plum
  • 0.15 oz five-well lip palette with mirror; lip sheer in Peony, a bright pink; creamy lip color in Bronzed Pink, a shimmering bronze/pink; lip color in Brown, a medium pink brown; creamy lip color in Pink Sequence, a silvery pink; metallic lip color in Ruby, a soft ruby pearl
  • 0.1 oz jar of long wear gel eyeliner in Caviar, a deep black brown
  • 0.14 fl oz vial of sheer lip gloss in Popsicle, a light pink
  • 0.14 oz compact of blush in Washed Rose Shimmer, a warm rose
  • Dual-ended eye shadow brush
  • Ultra fine eyeliner mini brush with cap
  • Lip brush
  • Tip card
The Washed Rose Shimmer blush looks so pretty on television! I really want to check it out in person!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Very Serious Topic

Cookies. Let's discuss cookies.

I take my baked goods very seriously, and while I sit squarely in the camp that believes that there is no such thing as a bad pastry, clearly some bites are more worth the calories than others.

After a particularly stressful day at work on Monday, I was faced with choosing from among three mitigating options: shopping, drinking, or mass sugar consumption. I opted for the latter (I'm sure wallet and liver are quite grateful) and headed to Levain Bakery, a tiny, quiet spot nestled below street level on 74th and Amsterdam and renowned for their legendary cookies. Levain cookies are frequently written up and featured on television not only because they are delectable, but because the recipes are a closely guarded secret and each cookie weighs in at a whopping 6 oz, or 3/8th of a pound! They more closely resemble scones in size than traditional cookies.

Levain cookies come in four varieties: Chocolate Chip with Walnuts, Oatmeal Raisin, Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip, and my personal favorite, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip. They always bake up crispy on the outside and ooey gooey in the center and miraculously, the chips stay melty long after they are out of the oven. Heaven. Expect the indulgence to cost you $4 a piece.
Runner Up: Zaleti from Not Just Rugelach, located in Green Markets around the city. These appear similar to biscotti, are cornmeal-based and dotted with raisins and sprinkled with powdered sugar. They're very different, very good, and it's very easy to eat the whole bag (or two bags, as they are sold 2 bags for $5).

Honorable Mention: Vosges Caramel Toffee Cookies definitely deserve a shout. Chocolate Chip cookies with caramel toffee pieces inside? Delicious, but expect to pay for it. $5.50 each (not to mention a few hours at the gym). You must like butter to like this cookie, by the way.

Also worth noting are the Kitchen Sink cookies from Amy's Bread in Hell's Kitchen. Inumerable tasty morsels baked inside a soft and delicious batter.

My Haul From The Makeup Show-Crown Brushes

The mass of people surrounding the Crown Brush display at The Makeup Show was so thick and so intense I feared that someone was going to get hurt, either from an elbows being inadvertently thrown or from one of the impatient shoppers experiencing trade show rage! Luckily, everyone seems to have made it out unscathed and I managed to snag a few brushes in the process.

Crown Brush has a vast selection and incredibly prices. You can order brushes from their open stock or have them create private line for you, complete with brand imprint. The brushes that I tried all felt incredibly soft and with so many different shapes to choose from, it's easy to find you have to have. For a mere $23, I was able to purchase 5 brushes--a thin liner brush (C170), domed blush brush (S205), flat top bronzer brush (C108), pointed crease brush (C139) and a short-handled powder brush (IB102).


I had been looking for a blush brush with domed bristled and had both Trish McEvoy and Bobbi Brown on my wishlist. This one is similar and was all of $6.

Here is the problem: I didn't notice at the time, but the brushes smell. Strongly and badly. I have washed them very well with all different shampoos and cleansers three times and spritzed them with Sephora brush cleanser and they still have an odor. The worst offenders are the blush and bronzer brushes. The powder brush, which is from the Italian Badger series, does not smell at all and all of the washing seems to have helped with the crease and liner brush. The blush and bronzer brushes are in the process of drying from their fourth bath, this time with dish soap, and I actually let them hang out in the soap for 10 minutes. Unfortunately if this doesn't work I don't think I can use them, but the total loss is under $12 and frankly my brush cup does runneth over:

Had the booth not been so crowded and had I been able to really see all of the line with care I likely would have detected the issue and not bought them. I would buy from the Italian Badger line again since I've had no problems at all with that brush and am impressed with it's feel and that there has been no shedding. Has anyone ever experienced anything similar from this or any other line? Any other ideas on how to fix this?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My Haul From The Makeup Show-Inglot

Inglot is a line that is new to me, but has been around for over 25 years. They have many boutiques around the globe, with a large number of them being is Australia and only one US outlet, located in Times Square. I was extremely excited when I learned that they would have a booth at the New York Makeup Show, as I've been interested in the line since I stumbled upon their website and, like many native NYCers, I avoid Times Square as much as humanly possible and a visit to the boutique could have been put off for months.

The line seems to be divided into two branches: the Freedom System and individual, a la carte products. The Freedom System allows users to put together their own palette with everything from eye shadows to lipstick. Palettes are magnetized and offer an almost infinite number of combinations. At the show, the wait to create a Freedom Palette was over an hour and so I concentrated on items more quickly and easily obtained!

Inglot's cream and liquid blushes drew my attention immediately. The creams are in small pots and come in 15 shades, all of which seem incredibly wearable. The texture stayed slightly dewy and blended effortlessly. The liquids have a thin, spreadable formula and appear much better on the skin than the Make Up For Ever's incarnation, which to my eye are too matte, dry and powdery. There are 8 liquid shades to choose from. Unfortunately, the area around the blushes was so crowded and cramped every time I went to play that I had a hard time trying everything and deciding what to buy. Many shades were missing from the display at any given time as other show-goers grabbed, dabbed and sampled them. When I do head to the Inglot store, the blushes will be at the top of my list of tings to try.

I did end up with an eye shadow and a lip gloss. The shadow, number 378, is from the matte range and is a deep, dark browned plum. I bought it to use as a cake eyeliner and it hasn't disappointed me. Mixed with a smidge of water it goes on dark and pigmented. The show price was $9.

The lip product is from the Sleeks CREAM Lip Paint line. Packaged like a lip gloss, the formula is very smooth with no stickiness at all. It applies like a liquid lipstick and leaves a nice stain behind. It is scented similarly to Hourglass glosses (think sweet cake batter) and has a doe foot applicator. The shade I purchased, 90, is perfect for summer. It's a vibrant corally rosy pink that I think would work on most skin tones. At $8 I consider i a great buy!

Shadow and Lip Paint:

Sleeks CREAM Lip Paint 90:

I look forward to trying more from Inglot, starting with the blushes. I appreciate that many items are paraben-free, reasonably priced and that the shade selection selection is vast. Their website lists store locations world wide.

Have you tried Inglot? What are your thoughts?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Blush "Tweets"

I don't Tweet. Partly because my life is incredibly normal and boring and no one cares what I had for breakfast or when I'm heading to the gym, and partly because I would be creeped out if someone did know or care what I had for breakfast or when I'm heading to the gym. I work in a cubicle--I'm fine with preserving a little mystery when I can.

Nonetheless, there are times, like now, when I have a few quick, "tweet-like" tidbits to share. I popped into bluemercury on my way home this afternoon (after buying two Levain Bakery cookies for dinner) and got to check out some new releases. Since blushes are my weakness, I was focused on them.

Bobbi Brown Beach Shimmerbrick- way too dark and bronzy for me. This would probably require a skunk brush and very light application on fair skin like mine.

NARS Multiple Tint in Turks & Caicos- a hideous day-glo orange in the tube, this gel tint is a super sheer but very bright coral on the skin. A pretty and pleasant surprise.

T. LeClerc Blush in Brun Voile- would make a gorgeous, subtle bronzer. A rosy as opposed to orange undertone.

NARS Orgasm Illuminator- I've heard many complain that this is too sheer, but I'm so fair that it was more than enough color, and has a distinct bronze tone and shimmer unlike the namesake powder blush and Multiple. It's a pretty blend of translucent pink, peach, bronze and gold that's perfect for summer.

My Haul From The Makeup Show- Face Atelier Blush

Face Atelier Ultra Blush in Peach Glaze is your standard, talc-based powder blush in a gorgeous shade of pinky peach shot with gold. It's exactly the color to select to perk up your face after a sleep-deprived night, a long day at the office or on a dreary winter day.

The formula contains silicone which is designed to help the blush last longer and not settle into lines and creases. The company's website states that "Unlike a talc-based product that falls into creases or skin imperfections, Ultra Blush literally floats on the surface of the skin." However, the first ingredient is talc, making this a talc-based blush in my opinion. It also contains parabens for those interested, though it is cruelty-free.
Here is the blush compare to some similar shades, clockwise from top: Face Atelier Peach Glaze, Rock & Republic Call Me, Bobbi Brown Maui Illuminating Bronzer, Paul & Joe Face Color 16 Canyon.
I have no idea if it was the silicones but the blush applied nicely, blended easily, had good pigment and lasted all day. The shimmer added a glow without being over the top, always nice for a Monday morning! You also get a generous 7.5 grams for $25.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I Went To The New York Makeup Show Part 2


I made it my mission to see every line at the show, which was no small feat given the crowds. I also wanted to try and restrict my purchases to items that were either spectacular deals or from lines that I cannot easily access. I pretty much stuck with my goals and got to expand my makeup horizons!

*Alcone Company- the booth was always busy and mainly offered tools and supplies, not their makeup brands. A customer asked the rep how a Beauty Blender sponge differed from a regular one and the rep couldn't answer. I wanted to jump in and help! Luckily another customer did!

* Alison Raffaele Cosmetics- items were 40% off and so I picked up a concealer. I purchased this when it first came out years ago and didn't like it, but I'm hoping for better luck this time. A steal at 40% off (just $14). I was also impressed with how wonderful her kabuki felt. The packaging for this line has changed since it left Sephora and she no longer has the Lip Skins and shadows as part of the display.

* Arbonne International- I didn't realize that the whole line was organic and the textures felt very nice. This line is distributed similarly to Avon.

* Auraline Beauty- a wholesale line for independent branding, similar to Your Name. The bronzers were lovely and very inexpensive (we're talking $5 here) but the stock they shipped for the show hadn't arrived. I would have to return tomorrow to buy it which would mean another $50 entrance fee!

* Becca Cosmetics- they had the new palette and Beach tint. I only spent a few minutes there since I've gotten to play with the line extensively before. I didn't even check if they had a discount! I'm sad that their US distribution has dwindled so significantly.

* Crown Brushes- as I mentioned, one of the busiest booths. I picked up 5 brushes for only $23, including a liner brush, crease brush, bronzer brush, blush brush and powder brush! They all feel incredibly soft and are drying now for use tomorrow!

* Dermalogica- they didn't bring stock but were offering a 20% off online code.

* DEX New York- a mineral line with everything from foundations to eye shadows. The color items come only in palette form which I find to be a pain for travel so I didn't spend much time. DEX emailed me to let me know that the pans and palettes are magnetic, ensuring no mess during travel. The email intrigued me and led me to explore the brand's site. I learned that the mineral formulas are not only not bismuth-based, but contain peptides and 24k colloidl gold to treat the skin during wear. The line is also cruelty free and the Mineral Illuminator looks very interesting to this concealer junkie! I may have to stop by their studio one day!

* Egon Schiele Cosmetics - this is a very interesting line. The products are mineral based and all natural and the shades are lovely. The problem? I can't get passed the name! It's after an Austrian Expressionist, but to me it conjures up that dorky kid who did AV for school plays. They were offering a large discount but the booth wasn't busy. The blushes in particular was very pretty and there was a shadow I was eyeing.

* Embryolisse- one of the few skincare lines. They had well-priced kits.

* Eve Pearl- the prices were up to 60% off and Eve was doing demos, which I just noticed are already up on her website! I was debating the blush/bronzer/highlight trio but held off, and now I kind of regret it. Normally $36, it was only $20. I believe used it on me when I visited her studio not long ago and I think I remember really liking the look and convenience of all 3 shades together.

* Eye Kandy- a glitter eye shadow line. I'm pretty sure I'd get fired and/or mocked ceaselessly if I walked into work all a-glitter. Not my style but looked pretty!

* FACE Atelier- this brand is renowned for their foundation, and the lovely Lisaannie from Beauty Info Zone loves their lip gloss. You can read her review on Emakemeup.com here. This is another line where the shadows come in those plastic clamshells and you have to put them into palettes. It's too bad since they had a deep, dark brown cakeliner that looked like a fabulous color. I bought a blush in Peach Glaze which looks remarkably like every other peachy pink blush I own but I'm a creature of habit! Like a moth to a flame, I'm drawn to the same shades over and over. The blush was $15 and the line normally charges $25. This shade has a lot of gold shimmer and is very glowy.

* Frends Beauty Supply- another store that carries a variety of lines but was primarily offering tools.

* Geri G Cosmetics- this is a very interesting brand with only a few products, the star being something called Mixer, which I purchased. Mixer is a water-free, aloe-based product that can be used as a primer or to turn pressed items into cream formulations. It contains no oils that break down the formula like a moisturizer would. Geri even uses it as a lash primer before mascara since it makes anything mixed with it long lasting. It contains a bit of mica for a glow. Normally $29, this was $15 solo or $20 in a kit with Geri's signature brush. It's paraben-free, contains a natural sunscreen as well as some great botanicals. I have nothing else like this and am eager to start playing! While I didn't buy it, the brush is a unique shape and is designed to dry quickly. I find that taklon normally takes forever to dry so that would be a big improvement over regular synthetic brushes.

* Glimmer Body Art- temporary tattoos. Not my thing!

* Graftobian Makeup- a professional makeup line typically carried at beauty supply stores. They had already sold out of the cake liner I wanted before I got there! (as you can probably tell by now, I was on a cake liner mission)!

* Hakuhodo Usa- another brush line but significantly more expensive than Crown. They have a NARS Yachiyo dupe for those looking for a less expensive version. The brushes I did try felt fabulous.

* Inglot- this was one of the lines I was most excited about! They are hard to come by in the States but do have a store in the city (1529 Broadway @ 45th). The line is vast and you can either make your own palette (called the Freedom System) or buy from a separate set of products a la carte. Since the wait for making your own palette was oven an hour, I went with the latter option and bought a deep dark brown/plum shadow to use as an eyeliner and a fabulous summery pink with a hint of coral liquid lipstick from the line's Sleeks CREAM Lip Paint collection. Everything is extremely reasonably priced and as far as I could tell, wonderful quality. They have gorgeous, dewy cream blushes and liquid blushes in glass bottles with pumps, the texture of which seemed far superior to Make Up For Ever's. I am definitely going to visit their store for one of them. The shadow was $9 and the Lip Paint $8. It turns out the store is 2 blocks from my office and I never realized it existed. The majority of their outlets are in Australia, though all products are made in the EU. They also have a "breathable" nail polish but I couldn't get nail that display.

* Iredale Mineral Cosmetics- the Jane Iredale line most of us have seen before. They didn't have the full collection, just the new items (which looked very warm and very pretty) and a foundation kit.

* JAO- hand sanitizer. I'm fine with my CVS brand. I remember this line being sold on QVC eons ago.

* Kett Cosmetics- an airbrush line. I couldn't believe how many lines were selling air brush machines.

* Korres- the Lip Butters will be available in stick form in August! I love them put hate the idea of stickig my fingers into the pots over and over.

* L’Oreal- they gave out the most amazing gift bags and had the entire HiP line to try but not buy. I still haven't forgiven them for my hair debacle and wish the new eye lash serum was paraben-free, but the swag was the most generous there.

* Lord & Berry- I used to buy this at Harmon as a high schooler! With all of the other reasonably priced brands there I didn't give this one much attention.

* Luminess Air- more airbrush.Not only were many lines offering a system, many were being purchased.

* MAC Cosmetics- just some Pro items. They were body painting models all day and doing the most amazing job. I heard several people remark that they had no idea the "clothes" the models were wearing were really just makeup!

* Mai Couture- bronzers and blushes in blotting paper format. I haven't decided if it's gimmicky or a great idea.

* Makeup Mania- just a small booth. They offered a discount code for their new website.

* Make Up For Ever- holy moly the line! It was wrapped around the Pavillion the entire time. You had to wait just to get near the products let alone purchase. They were offering a 40% discount which explains it I suppose.

* Mehron- I've heard raves for the cream blushes but none of the shades appealed to me, especially after seeing Inglot. Also some neat looking cream shadows.

* Model in a Bottle- several different sprays for setting makeup.

* Myrabelle Products- this line offers a mascara shield to prevent mascara for getting on the lids during application.

* Naked Cosmetics- pigments and mixing solutions.

* Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics- nails polishes, Lip Tars, more airbrushing!

* RICKY’S NYC - Mattese Elite- this line is sold a Ricky's, a drugstore chain in NYC. It's good quality and well priced. They only had the basics with them but the line is much more extensive in store.

* Senna Cosmetics- 20% discount and Eugenia was there. It wasn't the whole line, just a few display units. They were offering free glosses and li liners but since they weren't shades I'd wear, I'd pass. I ws tempted but abstained.

* shu uemura- I was surprised to see them offering both the hair and color collections since they are pulling the color line from US distribution (it will still be available on their website). The booth was never as crowded as some of the others.

* Smashbox- offered Smashbox "Pro" items which were basically kits containing existing products, but at great prices.

* Temptu PRO- more airbrushing!

* Three Custom Color Specialists- select items from the line. I love this line and wish it garnered more acclaim. I wonder if it's another one hurt by their choice of name? Everything I've tried has been wonderful. I believe this discount was 30%

* Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics- one of the original mineral lines. Their glosses have a great texture but I couldn't find a shade I liked. I find this to be a well-edited, sophisticated line and would definitely pick u a lipstick or blush in the future, particularly to mix with my Geri G Mixer. I typically find loose powder blushes messy but this would solve the issue.

I'm very happy with everything I purchased (including the overpriced $8 slice of vegetable quiche from the concession). I am having some slight regrets about not getting the Eve Pearl Bronzing Trio and more Inglot. I'm going to have to make a pilgrimage there soon, on a day when I can take my time and will not be bumped and banged and elbowed by other eager shoppers. I'll post pictures of my haul as soon as possible! Darn Amazon taking their sweet time shipping my camera! I'd expect the crowds to be much thinner tomorrow given that it's a week day and many people will be a work. It may be an ideal time to go if you're on the fence.

I Went To The New York Makeup Show!

The Makeup Show is a cosmetic wonderland! It's a trade event designed to bring together existing brands like MAC, Smashbox, and Shu Uemura, with pro only brands and up and coming lines. There are new product introductions, discounts, seminars, demonstrations and workshops.

The event is being held today and tomorrow, 9AM-6PM. Tickets are $50 a day online and more at the door. I've been eagerly anticipating this day for weeks and it finally happened! For those of you familiar with NYC events and sample sales, the venue was the Metropolitan Pavillion, ensuring that there was plenty of room for the multitude of brands in attendance. Almost every brand had items for sales (most at a discount) and the ones who didn't were giving out gift bags and online promo codes. The L'Oreal gift bags were phenomenal and mine included:
  • Voluminous Mascara in Blackest Black
  • 24 Hour Lash Boosting Power System featuring Double Extend Mascara and Concentrated Lash Boosting Serum
  • 2 HiP Eye Shadow Duos in Platinum and Gilded
  • 2 HiP Color Presso Gloss Duos in Spunky and Chic
  • Studio Secrets Magic Perfecting Base
The biggest problem was the sheer number of people who attended! I was surprised at the number of "civilians" like me, non-professionals/non-artists who simply wanted the experience. Many of the booths were so jam packed that it was impossible to even see the products let alone try and buy them. A booth would be crammed so I'd walk around to another one to kill some time and then double back. A lot of products sold out and there was quite a bit of pushing and shoving going on! The busiest displays by far was Inglot (they had a massive set up, easily one of the largest, and allow you to make your own palette, Crown Brushes (high quality brushes at unbelievably god prices) and Make Up For Ever (the line to even approach the counter snaked all the way around the building for the entire 3.5 hours I was there. I never even got close).

This is the list of brands in attendance. The names should be clickable allowing you to visit each brand's site:

I was hoping that my new camera would be here in time to show up my purchases, but alas, it's not. I gave myself a $200 budget and was very good! I share what I learned, thought and bought in a little bit!

For anyone who will be able to go tomorrow, you can click here for information on the show and to purchase tickets. It was absolutely worth the $50. Not only was a good time and a great experience, but between the freebies and discounts you can easily recoup that amount.

Did anyone else attend the show? What did you think?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Manicure of the Week




I haven't done one of these in a long time since my nails have not been in the best shape. Even though I had to take the pictures on my iPhone since my new digital camera won't arrive for about a week, I find this color so interesting I couldn't help but share! I normally stick to softer nail shades, but after seeing repeated raves for the color I caved and picked it up!

This is Sephora by OPI Nail Colour in Read My Palm, a light jade green. The first coat was a bit sheer and streaky but the second coat made the polish opaque and uniform. I'm still undecided on whether I really love it or not and it garnered mixed reactions at the office (with my 20-something coworkers being fans and the older set thinking it ridiculous). As I said it's a different look for me, but I was in the mood for a change! I'm a pretty classic, conservative dresser (mostly J.Crew) and this is an easy, subtle way to be a bit rebellious.

What do you think of the color? Fun for a change or a definite don't?

Early Shampoo and Conditioner Rave

A few weeks ago I used the evil, awful L'Oreal Creme Gloss hair color, a semi-permanent formula that is supposed to wash out in 28 shampoos and leave your hair in even healthier condition post-coloring. Not only has the color not washed out at all, but since I used it my hair has been extremely dry and unbelievably static-filled. Nothing I do (and I've tried everything) eliminates the static. I use a serum during the day to reduce the effect, but as soon as I run a brush through my hair (and I bought all new brushes), I look like I stuck my finger in a light socket. I emailed L'Oreal but never heard back. The damage to my hair is so severe that this, coupled with the utter lack of customer service, means that this will be my last foray into the land of L'Oreal.

I purchased Organix Coconut Milk Shampoo and Conditioner thinking that a shampoo and conditioner switch might cure me. I'd been using Neil George previously and liked it, but figured a change sure couldn't hurt. The Organix smells very nice but the shampoo left my hair feeling hay-like and while the conditioner did ameliorate this somewhat, my hair just felt dry, tangled, and eventually started breaking off! Next!

I then bought Phytojoba Shampoo and Bumble and Bumble Creme de Coco Conditioner (I usually prefer matching sets but made an exception in this case) and I can't believe the difference in my hair after just one shampoo. I obviously can't say that the breakage issue is resolved but the look and feel of my hair is much better--it's softer, shinier and smoother than before (albeit still filled with static. I could not hate the L'Oreal color any more than do). I'm hoping that with time the duo will have an even greater effect on my poor hair! These are not inexpensive at $24 and $22 each, but if they can improve my hairs condition they will be worth the cost.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Josie Maran Protect Daily Sun Protection Argan Oil Infused SPF 40+





I couldn't wait to order this new sunscreen when it debuted on Sephora. I'm always looking for an all-physical block that is lightweight, high protection, and wears well under makeup.

After my disappointment with the John Masters SPF 30 Natural Mineral Sunscreen (it stayed thick and tacky on my skin though I do love several of his hair products) I had been grudgingly using Neutrogena Pure and Free Baby Sunblock Lotion SPF 60. There were many things I really liked about it--fragrance free, a blend of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide sun filters, lightweight, never broke me out, paraben free, allowed makeup to easily blend over top, water and sweat proof and reasonably priced--but the first ingredient was alumina and that never sat well with me.

The Josie Maran is 2 oz for $32. "Protect Daily Sun Protection is your skin's first defense against premature aging. This natural formula physically blocks UVA rays that can cause up to 80% of premature aging. It also blocks the harmful UVB rays that we encounter on sunny days or at the beach. Unlike traditional sun blocks, this natural formula is infused with Josie's signature ingredient, Argan Oil, which repairs and reverses damage caused by the sun, fights sign of aging, and improves skintone for a radiant, renewed complexion. This sun block is extra mild and fast absorbing and it can also double as a great makeup primer. Protect Daily Sun Protection is lightweight, Paba Free, and for all skin types."

This sunscreen is indeed light for an all physical block, which by their nature are thicker than chemical sunscreens. I find that this does sink in pretty well and does not leave the skin sticky, allowing blush to blend decently well over top. I've been using it for several weeks and have not broken out nor has it let my face get any color despite walking around out in the sun quite a bit. The scent from the product is all natural and comes from the apricot kernel oil in the product. I'm not a fan of scents in skincare, but this smells delicious, has not caused irritation and dissipates extremely quickly. I also like that this is packaged in a dark glass bottle with a pump to keep the formula fresh and the antioxidants potent. My only complaint is that the active ingredient percentages are not given. For those of you sensitive to silicones, this does contain them but the product definitely does not have that tell-tale silicone based feel that, say, the Nia 24 sunscreen does. If you're looking for a "natural," all physical sunscreen for sensitive skin I recommend this one!

Ingredients:
Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Hexadecene Copolymer, Decy Oeate, Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Isopropyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Organic Argan Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Capryl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Hexylene Glycol, Camellia Sinesis Leaf Extract, Organic Aloe Barbadnesis (Aloe) Leaf Extract, Organic Chamomilla Recutina (Matricaria) Extract, Organic Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Oil, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Natural Fragrance (Apricot Oil).

One other option? The new LAVANILA The Healthy Sunscreen SPF 40 Face Cream. It has great reviews on Sephora and will be next on my list!

Ingredients:
Zinc Oxide 5.0%, Titanium Dioxide 7.5%, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice* (Aloe, Water), Capric Caprylic Triglycerides (Coconut Oil), Butyrospermum Parkii* (Shea Butter), Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol (Coconut Oil), Jojoba Oil*, Ethyl Hexyl Palmitate (Palm Oil), Morinda Citrifolia (Noni Juice), Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract*, Panthenol (Provitamin B5), Polyglyceryl-3 Stearate (Vegetable Glycerin/Palm Oil), Alpha Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Allantoin (Vegetable), Sodium PCA (Amino Acid), Hyaluronic Acid, Phenethyl Alcohol & Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin (Plant-Based Preservatives), Vanilla Planifolia (Vanilla) Extract*, Green Tea Extract. *Certified Organic

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