Monthly Archives: December 2010

Beauty Beat Spotlight: The Non-Blonde

For years, we’ve loved reading The Non-Blonde. The brains behind the blog, Gaia, has amazing taste and her posts bring a fresh perspective to the beauty blogging world. Her knowledge of fine fragrance is enviable and so is her beauty collection. When we say amazing taste, we mean it! And as a couple of “non-blondes” ourselves, we feel a kindred spirit!

We thought we’d share a Q&A with Gaia so you can get to know her a little better as well.

When did you start blogging and why?
April 2006.  I’ve been reading beauty and perfume blogs for about six months at that time, but kept feeling that none of them completely addressed my needs and tastes.  I also realized I had quite a bit to say, and finally decided to give this blogging thing a shot, though I wasn’t even sure anyone other than my mom would ever read it.

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Just Another Mani Monday: OPI Glitzerland

While part of OPI’s Fall 2010 collection, it’s clear to me that OPI’s Glitzerland is made for the holidays. These gold sparkles are really putting me in the Christmas spirit this week. This is a very flattering gold for the fairer skin types as the undertones are less yellow and more white. I can’t stop looking at my nails. Or touching them, since the finish is so smooth on this polish!

Even my husband told me how much he loved this color last night while I was painting. He never pays much attention, but always comments when he has a strong opinion…whether positive or not. According to him, this was one of his favorite polishes he’s ever seen me wear. Who knows why, but Glitzerland is husband-approved!

Weekend Reads: Beauty Beat 12/18

Can you believe it, Christmas is just a week away? We hope everyone is getting into the spirit of the season!  Here are some great shopping ideas, whether you are still searching for the perfect gift, doing a little shopping for yourself, or saving your money for spring.

This week, Sabrina shared some hard-to-find Chanel colors at The Beauty Look Book, lip and eye colors that were exclusive to Saks and Chanel.com. Find out why they were worth the hunt!

Julie Hewett, a Hollywood favorite, never misses. Check out The Non-Blonde to find out why Gaia is buying Julie’s Hue Color Creams.

Kari’s biggest makeup frustration is foundation. She was testing up a storm at Fab over Forty after reading makeup artist Pat McGrath’s recommendations. The winners? Head over to see.

Giorgio Armani Beauty has a new eye shadow formula, Eyes to Kill. Three shades were introduced for holiday as a preview of what’s to come, and Amy showed us at Café Makeup how they stack up against some other favorites.

At Gouldylox Reviews, Kelly gave us the 411 on a Bare Escentuals steal. Shimmer and shine for the holidays – at a discount!

Charlestongirl got her hands on photos of Chantecaille’s Sea Turtle Palette and new Hydra Chic lipsticks. See the gorgeous colors for spring – and find out how you can help save the “gentle giants” at Best Things in Beauty.

Jane demonstrated how she’ll get her holiday glam with The Falsies Volum’ Express Mascara from Maybelline. Head over to Daly Beauty to see her amazing before and after photos.

Many of us fret about our holiday hair styles. Kristin showed us how to maintain our curls for the party season. Ever heard of Miss Jessie? You’ll be looking for her after reading BeautyXposé.

Debbi was also thinking about her holiday hair style as she tried a dry shampoo. Find out why she gave Oscar Blandi’s Pronto Invisible Volumizing Dry Shampoo Spray a rave review at DivaDebbi.

We’ll be in touch before the official start of the holidays, but just in case you head off early, we wish you a happy, healthy, and safe holiday!

Beauty VIP of the Week: Lush 9 to 5 Cleanser

I am really bad about remembering to take off my makeup before bed but I’m trying to do a better job with it so I’ve been keeping this product on my nightstand to remind me to take care of business. It’s been working! I see this bottle, get up and go take off my makeup. This makes this Lush 9 to 5 Cleanser has been my new best friend at night so I’m naming it a Beauty VIP.

When I first encountered 9 to 5, the gal took a Sharpie and scribbled over her hand then let some 9 to 5 sit for a minute before she took a cotton ball to her hand. I was impressed. If it could power through that ink the way it did, it could more than handle multiple coats of mascara, eyeliner and eyeshadow. That was all I needed to see, I was sold so I picked up a small bottle to try it at home.

At home, I just put a bit on a cotton pad and press it on my eye for a little bit and let it work its way to through the products on my skin. It goes a good job of removing makeup, I can get every trace of liner and mascara off in a few swipes and the rest of my makeup in just one swipe. This may sound odd but I actually like seeing how dirty my cotton pad gets with 9 to 5, I like knowing my face is super clean.

9 to 5 feels really good on skin too, it soothes and calms it with almond oil and orchid extract so it is good for sensitive skin. It also has everlasting flower absolute so it tones skin as it cleans. On the nights that I’m too lazy to use my Clarisonic, this is all I’ve been using and my skin has been liking it without any reaction… and I have been using it a lot lately. I don’t need to follow up with moisturizer afterwards but if you have dry skin, you may need to.

All in all, I love this stuff. If you don’t mind oils in your makeup remover, give this a try or ask the fine folks at Lush for a sample, I think you’ll like it too. I’m upgrading a 8.5oz bottle next time I’m at Lush.

Ten or Less: CND Stickey Base Coat

A good base coat really is the key to extending the life of your manicure. CND’s Stickey Base Coat is one of my favorites — both on price and quality. On the weeks I forget to use this, I can tell the difference because I’ll generally get a chip by day three. I am incredibly hard on my nails and constantly wash my hands. Nail polish doesn’t stand a chance without appropriate armor!

Also, a base coat is the first line of defense for nail staining. As a frequent DIY-manicurist at home, I find that a base coat is an easy step that pays dividends throughout the week.  Case in point: my Essie Silken Cord mani is still looking sharp for my holiday party tonight!

Kate Somerville Cytocell Dermal Energizing Treatment

I have loved Kate Somerville’s products for a long time now. Her Oil Free Moisturizer is one of the few moisturizers I’ve bought repeatedly. I should not have been surprised that I would grow to love Kate Somerville CytoCell Dermal Energizing Treatment just as much. In my eyes, this woman can do no wrong.

Her CytoCell Dermal Energizing Treatment is Kate Somerville’s next generation technology for your skin, basically Kate Somerville 2.0. It has a new peptide that Kate has worked on for years to bring to us. It stimulates stem-cell activity and collagen production so that new healthy skin cells are born in turn making skin appear more youthful. It helps improve skin tone and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

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Holiday Glamour and Sparkle Go-To Products

I love a little sparkle and glamour around the holidays, and have been favoring a very simple eye look that incorporates both.

  • NARS Etrusque Eyeshadow – This may be the most perfect gold eyeshadow ever! It was released with NARS Holiday collection and I can’t get enough of it. I like to pat this all over the lid for a sparkling eye.
  • Lorac Front of the Line PRO Liquid Eyeliner – This liquid liner is easy peasy to use — it’s smudgeproof, waterproof and has that flexible tip that makes application simple. Thin line, thick line, lower and upper lash line – this does it all. AND I love that if I get some on my eyelashes it doesn’t make them sticky and clumpy and affect my mascara application. Anyone else know what I’m talking about?
  • MAC Pearlglide Intense Eyeliner in Black Swan – I was very happy to see that MAC included new Pearlglides in A Tartan Tale. These are one of my favorite eyeliners across any brand — they don’t move or wear at all during the day! Black Swan is an intense black with silver shimmers and it makes a mean smokey eye. Love this — just don’t get it on the waterline (ouch!).
  • YSL Faux Cils Mascara – This mascara is legendary, and for good reason. It gives extraordinary length to lashes, really giving it that fake lashes look. I use a few coats to really glam up the eyes, but it truly does its business in just one.
  • Tarte Limited Edition Gold-Toned Picture Perfect Eyelash Curler – Tarte’s Picture Perfect Eyelash Curler is my current go-to eyelash curler, and when I saw this bedazzled gold version for the holidays I squealed with happiness! It’s the same amazing curler, but the purple sparkles make me feel special. I picked up a few for stocking stuffers after Thanksgiving, but sadly, it’s sold out now.

(L-R) MAC Pearglide in Black Swan, NARS Etrusque, Lorac Front of the Line PRO (three different lines)

I’m also loving big chunky jeweled necklaces. The one above I bought at Ann Taylor Loft earlier this year — they have a ton of really cute options. It’s definitely an easy way to glam up a simple black dress or even a t-shirt and jeans!

What’s everyone else loving for holiday beauty? Do tell!

Disclosure: We received a sample of the Lorac Front of the Line PRO, YSL Faux Cils and NARS Estruque (but we also purchased the NARS on our own as well!)

Holiday Palette Love: Estee Lauder Extravagant Gold

Estee Lauder’s ‘Extravagant Pure Color’ Palette in Extravagant Gold is perfect for the holiday season with its beautiful warm bronzes and golds. I’m starting to sense a theme with myself this season — I am really loving these shades!

This is the second season we’re seeing the brand’s newly formulated ‘Pure Color’ eyeshadow and if you haven’t tried it yet, you absolutely should. They are very easy to work with and remind me of some of my favorite eyeshadows from Dior and NARS.

Extravagant Gold’s best shades are the shimmery bronzes, but the matte chocolate and the sparkly creme are staple shades that complement any look in the palette. This palette costs $42, and the quality is on par with palettes in a price category above it. So not a steal, but a good deal for the dollars.

Disclosure: We recieved a sample of this product.

Scents of the Season: Winter

You know the phrase, if you can’t beat them, join ‘em? Well that’s sort of how I feel about old mother winter. Truly, the weather outside is frightful but the scent of winter is such a cozy one! Fresh fir, fires, wreaths, winter berries and snow. Divine! But if we’re being real here, we all know that “snow” is traditionally unscented. :)

The smell of “Christmas tree” is intoxicatingly holiday. If I could, I’d have a real tree inside my house all year round. Instead, I put up a fake one right after Thanksgiving and take it down in January. But with Slatkin & Co.’s Fresh Balsam candle burning, you’d hardly know the difference. This candle truly makes the house smell like fresh pine in the best possible way. I stockpiled this scent on a Black Friday binge at Bath & Body Works!

Tocca’s Tahoe Candle, exclusive to Blue Mercury, evokes that feeling of cozy ski lodge in your own home. It’s got that crisp, wintery pine smell I love so much. With this candle burning and a cup of hot chocolate (with marshmallows please) in my hand, I feel like I’m enjoying life at a higher altitude.

In nearly every room of my house, I have a Wallflowers scented oil diffuser plugged in somewhere.  And I’ve got Winter burning fresh! Winter captures the spices of the season perfectly and really makes my home smell great. I love stashing these in rooms that don’t get a lot of air flow, like the basement.

What scents are you loving this season? I’m always interested to hear what those in warmer climates have to say too. Do you love the smell of winter too?