Monthly Archives: April 2010

We Heart Nars: A Week of Brand Celebration

Welcome to We Heart Nars week at Product Girl – a new feature we’re implementing to share the love we have for our favorite brands with you! During We Heart Nars week, we’ll highlight the new summer collection, new products yet to hit counters and some of our all-time favorite Nars products.

First up? Nars skincare. I don’t think it gets enough attention and believe me, it needs to!  I’ve been using Nars skincare for several years and rely on it tremendously.

I’ve been using the Balancing Moisture Lotion for about a year and this hydrates my skin so efficiently! It is so lightweight but packs a powerful punch with active phytoseed complex, antioxidants and fennel to help improve skin texture. One pump is all you need.

Nars Makeup Cleansing Oil is an essential part of my daily routine. At the end of a long day, it is so refreshing to use this product and get all of the makeup off of my face and out of my pores. Ever since I started using this, I’ve had less breakouts. I bought this after it launched late last summer and I’m still going strong on the same bottle (more than half left!)

I love a good foaming face wash and Nars Balancing Foam Cleanser is my favorite. It’s really quite basic but my skin just loves it. No real fragrance, just a slight botanical scent that helps calm the skin. It leaves my face so refreshed and doesn’t have a tightening effect. I should probably mention that I’ve been working on this bottle for more than a year – you only need the tiniest amount. The foaming power on this is spectacular!

I saved the best for last: the Hydrating Freshening Lotion! This product is amazing; it’s a toner in the non-traditional sense. In fact, it was my gateway into Nars skin care. It also contains active phytoseed complex to boost moisture and grape seed oil and aloe to nourish. The results? Smoother, brighter skin. And that ain’t no joke! I use this twice daily after I wash my face and before I moisturize. I think it is a wonder product. On average, I go through a bottle every 7 months.

I slowly but surely keep adding Nars products to my skin care routine and have never been disappointed. You could say I’m at the start of a beautiful, long-term relationship. I have very finicky skin and often break out of the blue, but Nars has brought stability to my skin.  Nars skin care is priced moderately with some higher ticket items, but the value you get for your money is incredible.

Any other Nars skin care lovers out there? Let us know what you’re loving – or what else it is that you’re using!

Summer Lovin' – Essie's Playa Del Platinum

Essie’s Resort Collection for summer is so beautiful!  The colors are so luxe and the polishes are smooth. I love them all - especially this sandy grey, Playa Del Platinum. Obsessed I tell you, absolutely obsessed with this color! I spotted all four polishes at Ulta this weekend, and I suspect they’re going to sell like hot cakes.

What are you wearing on your nails this week?

Beauty Deals: Free Laura Mercier Eye Basics

We wanted to share a fabulous beauty deal that we came across that might just be too good to pass up!

Through Sunday, April 18, with any $65 online purchase at Laura Mercier, you’ll receive a full-size eye basics in the eyebright color. We love these – very similar to Trish McEvoy’s Eye Base. Additionally – you’ll get three sample packets at checkout – nude tinted moisturizer, face primer and flawless eye creme.  We love deals like this!

Cloudy with a Chance of Frizzy Hair

Do you check the weather forecast before heading out for the day? Sure, you want to be prepared for the day because you never know when you might need an umbrella. How about checking your beauty forecast?

Jergens, John Freida and the Weather Channel have teamed up to help you weather (ha, ha) bad hair days and dry skin with their Daily Beauty Forecast. The tool includes frizz and skin, product recommendations, beauty tips and a style checklist.

Pretty clever, right? To get your Daily Beauty Forecast, visit weather.combeauty.

Sweet Beauty: Your New Chocolate Fix

The first time I tried a Sweet Beauty product was on my birthday last October. I was getting the world’s most amazing pedicure at Spa Scotta when my gal used a scrub on my feet that smelled amazing. It turned out to be Sweet Beauty’s Tangerine Truffle Sugar Scrub. Since then, I’ve been slowly picking up a few of Sweet Beauty’s products here and there.

First, you should know that Sweet Beauty is all about the chocolate. They use rich organic, fair trade-certified chocolate in all their products and all of them are completely decadent. This line is a chocolate lover’s dream.

I started by picking up their Pot de Creme body cream and now I’m completely obsessed with it. I like to put slather it on my feet before bed and when I wake up, my feet feel transformed. Not to mention how it smells, it leaves skin smelling absolutely delicious.

Then I tried the Sweet Beauty’s Tangerine Truffle Sugar Scrub and Melt Chocolate Milk Bath. Together these products make for a fabulous bathing experience and a treat for the senses. The combination of the chocolate and tangerine together is just heavenly. The sugar scrub is rich and moisturizing and the milk bath softens skin with buttermilk. The color of your bath water leaves a little to be desired but it is natural. By the time you step out of that tub, you’ll feel and smell as fresh as an orange grove.

I can’t say enough good things about Sweet Beauty, plus it is a Seattle brand… got to love homegrown beauty products. I’m still not done experimenting with the brand but I’m house-sitting this summer and the house has a huge bathtub… so you know what that means, right? :)

Mark Your Calendars, QVC's Throwing a Beauty Bash

It’s time for a beauty party, QVC style!  And we are pretty excited about it – big fans of the Q over here. The Beauty Bash kicks off Friday, April 16, and is an entire day dedicated to beauty. So get ready and set those DVRs (come on, we can’t be the only ones who do that!)  The Beauty Bash will feature new products, QVC exclusives, special values and many of our favorite experts will be on air.

Here’s a sneak peek at some exclusive products you can expect to see:

Smashbox Pro Line Second Skin Concealer

Tarte Amazonian Clay Infused Liquid Foundation with Brush

Philosophy Field of Flowers Fresh Floral Body Spritz

Laura Geller Dream Creams Lip Palette with Brush

You can find a complete on-air schedule for all of the shows on Friday here. We definitely want to hear more about these new Smashbox Pro products. Will you be watching the Q tomorrow?

Product Girl Faves: The Best of Spring Beauty

Spring weather is here, which means summer beauty is soon to be in full-swing. But before we start lathering on sunscreen and bronzer, we thought we’d give a nod to our favorite products from spring, before they disappear from counters and lose that top spot in our makeup bags. We may say this every season, but there were so many amazing beauty products in spring collections. It really was very difficult to narrow down the best of the best. But here goes, in no particular order…

Chanel Spring 2010 Collection – this Chanel Spring collection had us at “hello”, it is classic and totally wearable. It was packed full of neutral shades ranging from pink and beige to warm brown and khaki, shades that would look good on any woman. We loved practically everything about it, including the now famous Le Vernis in Particuliere. This is the greige nail color that started it all a few months ago and was all the rage. We definitely fell for it and even found a great dupe along the way.

Laura Mercier Radiant Creme Cheek ColorProduct Girl should almost be synonymous with “addicted to highlighters.” We really have a thing for them and this lovely creme highlighter from Laura Mercier’s Polished collection is well, radiant. Three-fourth’s of the pan is a peachy pink highlighter, a tiny strip of metallic gold and the remaining fourth is a cranberry red. Mixed together it is a beautiful blush, but it’s almost too pretty to do that so we’ve been playing it safe and using it primarily as a highlighter and lovely it is.

Continue reading

New! NARS Summer 2010 Collection

The NARS Summer 2010 collection will be available online tomorrow and hitting counters soon after. I have to tell you that I love cream based products. I love cream eyeshadows and cream blushes and when I realized this collection’s core was just that, it was instant love.

I was lucky enough to preview this collection during Fashion Week in February and learn about it’s inspiration. Once again, Francois Nars sought inspiration from another Catherine Deneuve character. This time the character is Sèverine from the film Belle de Jour. “Her character is incredibly beautiful and elegant,” says François. “Her look is effortless—she has an incredible inner sophistication.” And just like the Spring collection, supermodel Amber Valletta is at the forefront of the campaign.

Is it me or is this woman permanently frozen in time? Amber Valletta looks amazing. Want to find out more about the collection and see some swatches? Continue reading

Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Blush: Love it or Leave it?

As a cream blush fanatic, I was hot to trot for Make Up For Ever’s HD Microfinish Blush. I recall the day I first spotted the then foreign-looking bottle in WWD Beauty Biz back in February – I was so excited! Available in 14 shades, ranging from vibrant pinks to soft peachy neutrals, I was like a kid at the candy store testing these out at Sephora. Literally, I played with these for about 30 minutes before deciding to purchase #13, Smooth Talker – a vibrant pale pink.

I tried it for the first time with a combo of MUFE HD products – the microperfecting primer and HD foundation. I squirted a small pump of the blush on the back of my hand and buffed it onto the skin with my MAC 188. I built up the color in layers and was feeling pleased, initially. As a final touch, I dusted a light layer of Bobbi Brown’s Nude Shimmer Brick on before heading out the door.

About an hour later I was in the bathroom at work and noticed the blush didn’t look blended and my pores were enlarged – which is odd, because I never have a problem with visibly enlarged pores. Never one to give up, I gave it another try. This time, I did a spot concealer on problem areas – avoiding foundation altogether — and applied a light layer of blush with my fingers. I followed up with some translucent powder, being careful not to cake anything on over my cheeks. But again, the blush appeared to just sit on top of my skin and I felt unpolished on top of it because I strayed from my normal routine.

Suffice it to say, for me – the MUFE HD blush is a “leave it.” From a company that has seemingly mastered HD makeup, the blush needs some work. Has anyone else given these a whirl? If so, would love to hear your experience.

New! Bobbi Brown Natural Finish Foundation

There’s a new Bobbi Brown foundation on the block, Natural Finish Long Lasting Foundation. I’ve been trying it out for a few weeks and am so happy to say that it is fantastic. If my description were limited to just two words — they’d be: high performance.  For starters, it’s oil-free and has a soft-matte finish so you don’t have to set with powder. Truly, you don’t have to set it…at all. It’s as if the foundation becomes one with your skin.

This is meant for the oily gals but I think it’s perfect for anyone — especially in the summer months. I can see this working for so many women. It feels very moisturizing upon application and has a thin consistency, yet provides medium coverage. According to Bobbi, it wears for up to eight hours, but I always wear a primer underneath so I get at least 12 hours — basically, until I take off my makeup at night.

I picked up a sample from the Bobbi Brown counter at Nordstrom’s in my usual Warm Ivory shade. I think it runs considerably lighter than any other Bobbi face product, so take that into consideration if you try this foundation. I’d estimate it runs about one shade lighter. You can find this at Bobbi Brown counters or online for $45.00 Let us know if you do try this out!