Monthly Archives: December 2009

Miracle Worker? Sephora Platinum Professional Air Brush #55

According to Sephora, the Platinum Air Brush #55 is “the secret to the smoothest foundation finish possible.”  I couldn’t agree more! This brush has transformed how I apply my liquid foundation.

Sephora-Professional-Platinum-Air-Brush-55

I applied Sephora’s recent Beauty Insider gift card promotion towards this brush on a whim and I’m so happy I did. It’s made of synthetic Taklon hairs and is intended for use with liquid foundations to give an airbrushed look to the face. I’m convinced this brush performs magic. I use less foundation but get better coverage that truly does appear airbrushed. It’s unbelievably soft and luxe on the face. I may never pick up another flat foundation brush or sponge again!

Beauty Stocking Stuffers

If I were to only receive one gift each year at the holidays, it would be a stocking. That’s sort of a trick answer since stockings are filled with tons of goodies…but no need to get technical here! My mom used to (and still does) give the best stockings. Everything from socks to nail polish to candy and jewelry. I just love getting ‘em and filling ‘em for others.

Here are some beauty stuffers I’ll be putting in stockings this year (or asking for in mine!)

Korres-Lip-Butter

Korres lip butters get a lot of buzz in the beauty circles and for good reason. They smell great (Jasmine is my fav!), impart a little color and are so luxe and soft on the lips.

True-Blue-Just-A-Minute

Available at Bath & Body Works, this orange scented, sugar-based exfolilating scrub works wonders on your hands in under a minute. I think I first tried this item after I got it as a stocking stuffer – and I’ve been hooked since.

OPI-Ornament-For-You-Holiday-2009

OPI has a ton of great holiday gift sets featuring their beautiful “Holiday Wishes” color collection. There are three different variations of this set, Orna-ment for you, and it’s completely adorable. (Hint, hint…anyone reading this that stuffs my stocking?!) I’ve seen these at Ulta, but I think they’re disappearing fast and furiously.

MAC-Hocus-Focus-Colorful-Face-Kit

The face kits that MAC released with their holiday collection this year are so cool. They feature a blush, a highlight and a beauty powder.  I actually put this on my Christmas list to my husband’s parents!

Sephora-Film-Noir-Makeup-Case

Makeup bags! Specifically the Film Noir Ivory Diamond bags from Sephora. One of my favorite makeup bags ever is the Sephora clutch and this pattern and style is so glam. It comes in red and black too!

What’s your stocking stance? Any stuffers on your wish list/give list that you want to share? The more ideas the merrier!

Diorshow Brow Styler: The Ultimate Groomer

If you were ever to say, visit my mom and dad’s house and sift through old family albums, you would come across some old goodies of me and the most forlorn set of eyebrows. We’re talking colicky, grown-out, never plucked or groomed and about five shades darker than my haircolor — a light brown. Over the years, I course corrected and now brow upkeep is as routine as brushing my teeth. It’s really that essential for me.

Diorshow-Brow-Styler

That said, I’m always on the lookout for a product that is a great color match and easy to apply. I mean, the last thing you want is visibly filled in brows. My latest love is the Diorshow Brow Styler. I’ve been using this for about 3 weeks and it has exceeded my expectations. It’s an ultra-thin retractable pencil that is virtually impossible to mess up. One the other side is a spooly brush which is so convenient to help smooth and groom.

It’s perfect for my dark brown eyebrows, but this shade is universal so any brow of any color can pull it off. Don’t believe me? I didn’t either, as universal claims often lead me down a path of skepticism. But I conducted an experiment to see if it was legit. My coworker and friend, a fair-skinned redhead with barely there strawberry-blonde eyebrows, let me try it out on her. She never fills in her brows but was curious to see and amazingly, it brightened them up and made them more defined. No visible lines, no brown – just a great pair of brows. I think the trick is to apply with a light hand and utilize the spooly brush.

Disclosure: a product sample was received for this review.

Prada on Sale Today at Noon!

Prada Amber TendrePrada Infusion D'Iris Gift Set

Starting today at noon, you can find Prada fragrances on sale at Gilt Groupe. I love Prada’s perfumes but have held back on picking one up but I think I might pull the trigger this time… I love me some Infusion D’Iris, that gift set is tempting.

Here’s a preview of what’s on sale:

  • Amber Tendre 2.7 oz.
    MSRP $115 Gilt $69
  • Infusion D’Iris Linen Water
    MSRP$78 Gilt $47
  • Amber Tendre Holiday Gift Set
    MSRP $79 Gilt $43
  • Infusion D’Iris Holiday Gift Set
    MSRP $82 Gilt $49

Here’s a little tip from Gilt Groupe. If you pick up the linen water, try putting some in your iron and your clothes will smell divine! Are you picking something up?

The Gift of Glamour – Les Tissage de Lames Chanel

Les-Tissage-Lames-de-Chanel

As a beauty lover, my go-to gift for women is beauty! I’m sure you can relate. It’s fun to buy and I think it’s a really great gift for someone who doesn’t splurge on themselves. Plus, a lot of my girlfriends don’t really pay attention to beauty so they don’t necessarily know the brands or what looks good on them. But what always gets women excited is Chanel!

For me, the stunner of Chanel’s holiday collection is the copper and gold tinged tweed highlighter. The picture is enticing, but it’s even better in person. I think this is the ultimate gift of glamour. What I love about it is how it lights up my face! After a long, exhausting day of Christmas shopping the other week I stopped in to Nordstrom for refuge and ended up buying this as a treat to myself. I liked the way it looked just testing it on my hand, but was surprised to see that it translated differently on my face. I was expecting it to be more difficult to work with because there is obvious glitter but it’s seamless on.

This one gets a stamp of approval from me – for you or as a gift:)

Giorgio Armani Crystal Collection

Armani-Holiday-Beauty-2009-Model

This Thursday is my office holiday party and the promotional image from Giorgio Armani’s Crystal Collection is my inspiration.  Armani’s holiday collection is all about festive glamour. From the sequined top to the countered cheeks and the classic red lip, this look is so festive!  The Crystal Collection’s art-deco inspiration comes from the stones featured in the designer’s luxe accessories.

Armani-Crystal-Collection-2009

I like Armani’s style of releasing a smaller collection with items that pack a major punch. They released a Lip Shimmer in festive gold patina. I think this shade would be a perfect shimmery nude for darker skin tones!  The ruby red lips above come courtesy of Crystal ArmaniSilk Lipstick, which is packaged in a black lacquered case adorned with crystals.  It’s steep at $38, but if you know of any red lipstick lovers (er…Carla comes to mind!) this would be a very special gift.

And finally, Armani drives it home with the limited-edition jeweled Crystal Palette. Featuring the same packaging as the lipstick, this is a double decker palette featuring a neutral, iridescent body powder and four shades of metallic eye shadows in shimmery jet black, sparkling bronze metal, shimmery silver and sparkling jade. This is definitely the showstopper of the collection! It’s gorgeous, but be forewarned, it’s $98!

Idole D'Armani by Giorgio Armani

idole-d'armani

At first, I was not really into Giorgio Armani’s new perfume Idole D’Armani. I can appreciate a warmer scent but this was vastly different from my usual white florals and powdery musks. I received a sample of it in July and it sat in my room waiting for me to give it another try. I feel bad for neglecting it for so long but as the weather cooled down, my appreciation for I’Dole D’Armani grew.

Now I’m alternating this perfume in my rotation. Idole has a very sharp opening, you get the sweetness from the clementine and pear paired with ginger and Indian davana. It is a little overwhelming for me but as it dries down, notes of saffron jasmine, loukoum rose, patchouli and vetiver reveal themselves. In the end it settles down to a very warm, sensuous floral fragrance. Not that I could pull the look off but fragrances like this remind me of cowl neck sweaters, leggings and talls boots, which to me is very cozy and sexy.

So what are your cold weather fragrances? Tell us all about it in the comments.

Disclosure: a product sample was received for this review.

YSL Friends and Family Sale

December 2009 is one for the history books! YSL Beauty is having a sale. I repeat, SALE! Of the 20% off, friends and family variety. This is a first for the brand that never goes on sale. The only tangential way YSL goes on sale is if you purchase through Sephora during their friends & family sales. So I say, this is pretty awesome!

YSL-Friends-Family-Sale

From December 14 through December 20, YSL is offering 20% off at checkout with code FF2009 and 3-day complimentary shipping. If you are a YSL lover, this is a great chance to stock up on faves. And this is an even better chance for those new to the brand to try their cult favorites! Touche Éclat or Rouge Volupté (#1 Nude Beige is a-maz-ing! ) anyone?

Frederic Fekkai's Femme Fekkai Sensuelle

femme-fekkai-sensuelle

Have you ever thought of layering your fragrance by starting with your hair? Most of us start with body washes and body lotions but what about shampoo, conditioner and hairspray? Frederic Fekkai’s new Femme Fekkai Sensuelle limited edition line of products will change the way you wear fragrance.

This collection features the Femme Fekkai Sensuelle Shampoo, Femme Fekkai Sensuelle Conditioner, Femme Fekkai Sensuelle Hairspray and Femme Fekkai Sensuelle Eau de Parfum. Each product in the collection is fragranced with a blend of neroli, lemon leaf and orange bigarade top notes, mandarin, bergamot, jasmine and fleur d’oranger middle notes and base notes of musk, amber, honey, cumin, birch and carrot seed. The total blend is sensual and feminine, drying down to a warm musk.

The delicious fragrance aside, the hair care products also make hair feel amazing. At first, I was a little dismayed by shampoo and conditioner bottles, their pumps do not pump out a lot of product. Then I started using the products and realized that they do not need to. The shampoo is super rich so you only need a little at a time. With the conditioner, the consistency was a little surprising at first. It is a little on the thin side so I expected my hair to need a little product but the conditioner was enough. When I dry my hair, it feels perfectly silky and smooth without adding other products to it. I have the silk extracts in the products to thank for that.

The cherry on top of this collection is the beautiful Femme Fekkai Sensuelle Eau de Parfum. Naturally, it wears differently on the skin but I am loving the orange blossom with this winter weather we’re experiencing, it’s refreshing!

Disclosure: a product sample was received for this review.

Smashbox Heartbreaker Rollerball Fragrance

smashbox-heartbreaker-perfume Smashbox has released Heartbreaker Rollerball Fragrance exclusively to Nordstrom to compliment their upcoming spring Heartbreaker collection.

I have to say, I find it a little odd that Smashbox is releasing a fragrance all of the sudden. It’s a pleasant surprise though. I was even more pleasantly surprised to find that this fragrance is also a perfume oil. I love perfume oils and I wish more perfumes were available in an oil form. It instantly reminded me of Starlet from Lulu Beauty. The fragrance is very fitting for spring though. It has a gardenia heart complimented with a little spice and musk that gives the fragrance a very earthy, sexy vibe. Here are the notes:

  • Top notes: rose and blue violet.
  • Middle notes: gardenia, jasmine, nutmeg, mace and clove.
  • Base Notes: musk, marzipan and vanilla.

The spice in this fragrance is inspiring me to search for more perfumes with nutmeg and clove, I love the earthiness it gives a scent. So what do you think? Will you give this a try? You can find this in Nordstrom stores now and online.

If you’re curious about the upcoming spring Heartbreaker collection, catch Smashbox’s Holly Mordini on QVC on Tuesday at 4am, 2pm and 9pm EST. She’ll be introducing the collection as well as introducing the new Smashbox PRO line. I’ll be watching, I think I need their Pink Sugar Roller Gloss in my life… my DVR is set.