Monthly Archives: August 2007

Take Care of Your Tools

…so that they take care of you. I’ve talked about this before in a podcast episode but now I feel that it bears repeating. It good to do this on a weekly basis so you can ward off any potential issues with bacteria. I learned my lesson recently so I’m going through my makeup to toss or disinfect what I can. I’m also cleaning my brushes so I thought I’d mention a few products I use.

Sephora's Brush Shampoo The first is moderately priced. Everyone and their mom has a brush cleaner out now but I prefer Sephora’s Brush Shampoo. I’ve tried some of those different brush cleaners and this one just seemed to give me a better lather when I spray it on the brushes. Instead of spraying the product on the brushes, wiping off the residue and rinsing as instructed, I like to get the brush wet, spray quite a bit of the product on each brush and lather away. I repeat this process a few times until the lather is free of any color. It can be used to quickly clean brushes as well with just a few spritzes but I prefer to take my time and really deep clean my brushes. After using this product, I put a little leave-in conditioner on my brushes, shape the hairs and lay them flat to air dry.

Johnson's Baby Shampoo The other product is as old school as you can get… Johnson’s Baby Shampoo. You can’t beat the price with this product, it’s the most cost effective way to care for your brushes. Whether it’s $5 for a 20oz bottle or even $1 for a trial size bottle, all you need is a little drop of this product so it will last forever. This shampoo is also great for brushes because it’s so gentle. With this product, I just do the same thing… a few drops on each brush, work up a lather and rinse. This shampoo also leaves a nice, gentle scent on my brushes. Nothing like using clean, soft smelling brushes in the morning to put on my face.

Elegant Skincare

Piaffe – a term used within the equestrian world to describe a series of elegant maneuvers performed by horse and rider – is a luxury skincare/makeup brand that strives for equally elegant perfection. Creator Marie Regan strives to infuse every product in her range – from skincare to mineral makeup with vitamins and minerals that will improve the condition of your skin. The range is streamlined and simple so you can get the best results with minimal effort.

Piaffe’s Pure Indulgence Moisturizer I’ve fallen in love with Piaffe’s Pure Indulgence Moisturizer. When I pumped the lightweight lotion into my hand, I was extremely skeptical that such a thin fluid could impart the moisture that one of my heavier creams does. I was shocked at how smooth and cushiony my skin felt – instantly! The moisturizer slips over the face and neck, quickly absorbing into the skin. I typically wear primer underneath my mineral makeup, but was able to skip that step after using Pure Indulgence Moisturizer. And with horse chestnut extract, which improves circulation; shea butter, Vitamins E, A and C, I know I’m doing good things to my skin. I’m ready to commit – this bottle now takes up permanent residence in my medicine cabinet.

We’ll have more on this line in the week to come.

An Ideal Glow

Another unending quest of mine is looking for the perfect foundation. I love wearing it, especially at night, regardless if my skin looks good or bad. It just gives skin that perfect, clean canvas and/or glow. My newest find is Lancome’s Color Ideal Skin Perfecting Makeup. I actually was not looking for new foundation, but was stopped by one of those incessent make-up consultants and just wanted to appease her.

Lancome's Color Ideal Skin Perfecting Makeup The foundation claims to perfect your skin by reconditioning its texture and has these true color pigments that adapt to perfectly match your skintone–erasing flaws and imperfections. Well, to be honest, the consultant did not do a skin color test, but just gave me a color that she thought would be good and she was right on. The makeup went on very smoothly and matched my skin tone really well. It stayed on all day, but more importantly, left me with a glowy look that made my makeup that much prettier. Not a shimmer glow, but more of a healthy, radiant, not quite yet time to blot my skin glow. Its an oil-free formula and has an SPF 15 to boot. I walked out of the store with a sample but now have to go back and buy a full bottle.

Where There's Smoke…

MAC Cosmetics' Smoke Signals Collection There’s fire and with good reason. This collection is called Smoke Signals and it just blew me away. Out of the two collections, this one had me at hello. If you are a fan of the smokey eye look, this collection is for you and you should not miss it. There are some repromoted products in this collection but there are also some new shades like Smoke Signals pigment that deserve a look. Here’s what’s included (shades listed as pictured):

  • Lipstick in Brew, Barely Lit, Sparks Can Fly, Mellow Flame and Burnin’
  • Lipglass (top to bottom) in Bare Truth, Soft & Slow, Illicit and Bizaarish
  • Gentle Fume Eyes Quad with Rondelle, Carbon, Gentle Fume and Waft
  • Smoking Eyes Quad with Next to Nothing, Smoking, Showstopper and Satin Taupe
  • Kohl eyeliners in Orpheus and Raven
  • Powder Blush in Emote and Ablaze
  • Pigment in Silver Fog, Smoke Signal and Dark Soul
  • Nail Lacquer in Wildfire and Nocturnelle
Smoke Signal products
(click image to enlarge)

I was going to play with these colors and show you my own smokey eye but my left eye is a little under the weather, I’ll spare you the details, so I’ll have to do this another time. What I would have done though would have been taking Dark Soul pigment and placing it all over the lid, bringing it up into the crease… perhaps with a touch of Silver Fog on top. Then taking Engraved Power Point eyeliner on the bottom and upper waterlines. A little blush, a little Brew on the lips and it would look hot.

A Storm is Coming

MAC Cosmetics' Blue Storm Collection This past Thursday, MAC Cosmetics unleashed two new collections upon us. One of them is Blue Storm, a collection of gorgeous blue hued color. Personally, I loved the bold blue in the recent C-Shock collection. Building on that shade and releasing a whole blue themed collection is even better. With the exception of the mascara, the remaining products are limited edition. Here’s what’s included (shades listed as pictured):

  • Lipglass in Lightening, Atmospheric and Lull
  • Eyeshadow in Cumulus (top left), Cloudburst, Blue Storm (bottom left), Stormwatch and Thunder
  • Kohl pencils in Mystery and Feline
  • Zoomlash Mascara in Zoomblack
  • Nail Lacquer in Whirlwind and Rainy Day
Blue Storm products
(click image to enlarge)

As for my personal favorites, I’m completely in love with Cumulus eyeshadow and Rainy Day nail lacquer. I was really looking forward to a lilac-grey nail color to play with and this frost formula is perfect. The kohl eyeliners are amazing as well. They glide on so easily, glide seems to be my favorite word these days.

Let the ColorFlo

Lately, I have been all about mineral powder foundation. It just works well for me; I have long lasting coverage that’s really easy to apply. When I found something that gave me portability and convenience as well, I snapped it up right away.

Susan Posnick's ColorFlo Susan Posnick’s ColorFlo mineral powder foundation has the portability I’ve been looking for. It comes with a self-dispensing refillable brush and you can control your coverage based on how you use the brush. You can stiple the brush over your skin for fuller coverage or simply sweep over the face for sheerer coverage. The brush itself is not the softest brush I have ever used but I’ve found that it does not irritate my skin as I buff away. With just one click, I have all the foundation I need for the day. It does settle in any lines and it doesn’t look cakey if I apply more foundation on top of it. I’ve actually been skipping concealer because I find the results I’m getting with the foundation are better. Added bonus: it doesn’t settle in my under eye area as other concealer does.

There is a drawback here… the price. At a whopping $64, this is a very pricey foundation but here’s why; you’re paying half of that for the applicator. After that, you can purchase $32 refills with your shade. I had a problem with the price at first but I ahead anyway, I knew it would be much cheaper when I went for the refill, but still. Given that the brush isn’t a spectacularly high quality brush, I have to wonder about this pricing. I’ll let you be the judge of whether the price is right for you or not.

My Favorite Little Green Bottle

What good is all the makeup in the world if you don’t feel good about the way your skin looks? I’ve been having a little trouble in the skin department lately and this product has helped me improve my skin’s appearance.

Estee Lauder Idealist Skin Refinisher Estee Lauder’s Idealist Skin Refinisher is now my favorite little green bottle. Just a few drops from this bottle and my skin feels smoother than any baby’s bottom and looks better to boot. It’s called a skin refinisher for a good reason, it really does transform the appearance of your skin. Right away, I began to notice that my much dreaded pores seemed to be diminishing in size.

If this was the only thing it did for me, I’d be happy but it’s not. The texture of my skin has improved as well, the dry patches I had have now vanished. Another aspect of using this product is how your skin feels to the touch, right after you apply it, it’s amazingly soft and smooth. It’s as though you just applied a primer to your skin. I skipped my moisturizer a few times and went with this solo, it made for a good base for my makeup. Even when I do use moisturizer, it just glides on to my skin. How can I not use something like this?

A Product Body Contest

I adore Joanna Schmidt’s Product Body line of products, they are simply amazing. She inspired me to try my hand at making my own products at home but it’s best that I leave this kind of thing to the professionals. :)

Now she wants you to enter her contest to win a fantastic prize. To enter, all you need to do is send Joanna a picture of yourself with a Product Body product. The best original photo will wins a prize valued at $75 and will be featued on the Product Body website. The prize includes:

The all new and upcoming Fresh Pumpkin Scrub (9.5 ounces), new Honey Vanilla Bean Scrub (9.5 ounces), Mama Bomb belly balm (1.6 ounces) and a Jumbo Sea Salt Bath (16 ounces -any scent).

The deadline to enter is September 21st so go and enter! These scents new seem like they will be fantastic for fall… with this and Pumpkin Spice lattes, I can’t go wrong.

Not Quite So Long Lasting

I love long lasting lipsticks, anything that helps me put off touching up my makeup as long as possible is great in my book. When Stila introduced their new Long Wearing Lip Color, I had to try it but it wasn’t quite what I expected.

Stila's Long Wearing Lip Color This product is marketed as a gloss and lipstick in one, not something I would necessarily agree with. It doesn’t leave you with glossy lips but it does glide across your lips very easily when applied. There’s a subtle shine but I wouldn’t consider that glossy. Your lips feel soft and moist when you apply this product, which is always nice but those are the only similarities to a gloss. It’s only as you continue to wear the lip color that this changes, as the lips start feeling a bit dryer… but not completely dried out. That’s to be expected for a long lasting lip color though. As for wear, it was a bit of a disappointment. When I see words like “long lasting” in a description, I’m expecting something upwards of 6 hours, maybe 8 hours if I’m lucky. In this case, 4 hours after applying the lip color, quite a bit of the color was missing from my lips. Maybe if Stila decides to change the formula for this product, this is something they can take a closer look into.