Monthly Archives: March 2011

Ten or Less: Maybelline One by One Volum' Express Mascara

We are in awe of Maybelline’s new One by One Volum’ Express Mascara. All it took to sell me a tube of this mascara was this tweet from Erika at Makeup Bag. Her daughter’s lashes look fantastic, do they not? It always bugs me how shady Maybelline can be by using fake lashes in their commercials but this is the first Maybelline mascara I’ve seen that actually produces similar results.

The product name is very indicative of its performance, as it does a superb job at separating lashes and giving a full look. It lengthens and volumizes along the way too, and the wand stays unbelievably clean. This is as no-mess as it gets. Both Laurie and I have been test-driving this all week and are happily ignoring any other mascara currently in our makeup bags. Ladies, this is one to try.

Live Chat with Alex Chantecaille Right Now!

Alex Chantecaille from Chantecaille is chatting with shoppers on BergdorfGoodman.com and NeimanMarcus.com right now! From 11am to 2pm CT, Neimanmarcus.com and Bergdorfgoodman.com is hosting a live chat with Alex Chantecaiile and everyone is invited to submit their beauty questions. An amazing GWP is available with the purchase of any Chantecaille product during the event. It includes:

  • Full size Iridescent Eye Shade in Lemongrass
  • Brilliant Gloss in Charm, .05 oz
  • Fruit and Flower Acids Mask, .34oz
  • Flower Harmonizing Cream, .27oz

Alex Chantecaille is actively involved in the Widecast Organization which focuses on saving sea turtles in North, South and Central America and the Caribbean. The limited edition Sea Turtle palette was created in honor of the Widecast Organization and 5% of proceeds from sales of the palette will go to supportthe organization. If you’re looking for something to pick, that’s a great one!

New! Dior Rock Your Nails Collection

This summer Dior is going to rock our nails with their limited edition Rock Your Nails collection. It is a fashion-forward line of limited edition Dior Vernis shades in Dior’s long-lasting formula. The collection includes 5 shades and Rock Coat, a smoky finishing top coat that can be worn alone or mixed with different shades to create a new look. Here are the shades in this collection:

  • Nirvana #704 – deep turquoise
  • Purple Mix #887 – sultry purple
  • Perfecto #804 – cool slate grey
  • Blue Label #997 – edgy navy
  • Underground #824 – rich brown-taupe

The nail polishes will retail for $21.00 each and Rock Coat will retail $19.50 and they will be hitting Nordstrom counters next week and Dior.com next month.

I’ve heard from a few people that the Rock Coat top coat is amazing and I cannot wait to see for myself. Can you even imagine what a “smoky” top coat would look like? I am dying to find out, are you?

Splurge vs. Save: Bobbi Brown Buffing Grains and Mark Berry Grand

Besides having a thing for lip stains and highlighters, I also love exfoliators. When Bobbi Brown Buffing Grains for the Face came out, I thought it was genius. What a unique concept to add exfoliation to a cleanser you already love, plus the ability to control how much or how little exfoliation you get from it. I was sold but I was not happy about the $40 price tag for what is really just grains. When I came across these Mark Berry Grand Super Exfoliating Beads on the Mark website, I thought I had just found a replacement at a fraction of the cost for roughly the same amount.

The main difference between these two products beside the price tag is the texture of the grain in each jar. Bobbi Brown’s is not quite as thick as Mark’s, it consists of Japanese adzuki bean powder to help get rid of dry patches while Mark’s has cranberry and pomegranate sees along with apricot seed and rice powder. Mark’s has some chunkier grains in it but it also has the fine powder that Bobbi Brown’s has as well. Perhaps it is a different caliber of ingredients in each product but both are effective at exfoliating skin without being harsh or abrasive, the grains are not thick or sharp enough to do that. In my testing, I didn’t see anything that made one product better than the other.

I’ve certainly caved on my share of more expensive products when a cheaper dupe was available, but sometimes it just comes down to which brand you prefer or trust more. I am a sucker for packaging though and have to admit that Bobbi’s jar looks rather sleek on my bathroom counter. Mark’s container has handy function though, like some of its makeup, it  “hooks up” to the tops of their cleansers. If you already use them, I admire your available bathroom counter space! :)

A Perfect Match: Josie Maran Argan Serum Matchmaker Foundation

I’ve met my match! It’s Josie Maran’s Argan Serum Matchmaker Foundation. I’ve been using this in Light-Medium, and I’m kind of in love. Before I tried it I was filled with all sorts of fears. Would it be a match, would it look OK and then give me orange face mid-day or would it break me out? Those turned out to be irrational fears, because this foundation is a rock-star performer.

For experimentation purposes, I tried this with no primer and no setting or finishing powder. And you know what? It held up all day and actually stayed semi-matte — and incredibly natural. I thought it was a fluke, so I tested it the same way for a week and each day the results were the same.

Doing its matchmaking thing…

So why mess with a good thing, right? When I use this foundation, I don’t prime or set and I love it. I think it’s a great winter foundation too because it is very moisturizing. A few things to note if you’re interested in giving this a go as well:

  • If you are extremely fair-skinned with pink undertones, you may have some troubles. I’m pretty neutral with some yellow, so the Light-Medium is a perfect match for me.
  • If at first you try and don’t succeed, give it a few minutes. I noticed that when I put this on, the color is still adjusting. Within five minutes it looks like skin, but it does take a few minutes to get a perfect match.
  • Apply this with a brush, preferably a flat foundation one. It gets a little messy with the hands and a sponge is too absorbent and you’d waste product. I use a few pumps on the back of my hand and go from there.

While I do think this is great for the dry winter we’re still going though, I have a feeling that its smart enough to adjust to my skin’s needs come June. I love when foundations do the thinking for me.

Kiehl Rosa Arctica Youth Regenerating Cream

If you have dry skin, you NEED Kiehl’s new Rosa Arctica Youth Regenerating Cream in your life. I have oily skin so I wouldn’t ordinarily try this product but the dry patches on both sides of my nose were driving me crazy! This cold, winter weather had caught up with me. I had be using everything I had in my arsenal and those damn patches came back. It was when I received a small sample of this new cream from Kiehl’s and tried it that my problem was solved. You can see the area in question here, no dry patches!

Rosa Arctica is a super, super concentrated cream. So concentrated that it a has a unique texture compared to other creams out there. It is very thick and balm like. In order to use it, you need to scoop out a little bit and emulsify it in your hand to make it spreadable. This cream is reported to transform skin to a more youthful beginning of reduced lines and wrinkles, improved firmness, and a dramatic restoration of hydration. It is formulated with a rare “Resurrection Flower that is incredibly resilient. It is able to survive up to 31 months of extreme dehydration and when proper moisture conditions are restored, it returns to life within hours. Sounds promising, right? That’s what I thought.

I received another little sample jar from Neiman’s during their beauty event last week. It’s now safe to say that I have begun stockpiling this product and will continue to in case those pesky dry patches try to come back. A jar of Rosa Arctica retails for $60 and you can find it in stores now.

NARS Illuminators, Super O my Glow Please

Every now and then, a product comes around that I need in every form it exists. NARS Illuminators are one such case. I’m absolutely smitten with these glow-inducing liquid wonders. I can even wear them all together and not overdo it on the glow. They all serve their own purpose to create a perfectly illuminated face.

L-R, top to bottom: Orgasm, Super Orgasm; Copacabana, Laguna

For me, my illuminating recipe is to mix Orgasm in with my foundation. I then use Laguna as a contour, the areas I’d normally sweep bronzer, and next use Super Orgasm as a blush. I finish it off with Copacabana on the cheekbones, down the bridge of my nose and a tiny dab near the browbone. A serious glow indeed, and only the tiniest dabs of product needed. Of course, just one of these can give you the J-Lo glow.

Clearly, I can’t get enough of these, but there’s one shade that really surprised me: Super Orgasm. It’s much more intense than the original Orgasm Illuminator, much like the blush and gloss versions of the shade. It’s much more subtle on the glitter though (there’s really none), and is a perfect pinky peach. If you’re on the fence about these, or didn’t get behind the original, I think you’d be quite pleased with Super O.

Deborah Lippman Naked & Glitter in the Air for Spring

I’m all about the new Deborah Lippmann shades for Spring. The shade on the left is Glitter in the Air, a shade she named after Pink’s performance on last year’s Grammy’s of that song. It was a gorgeous, moving performance and now there’s a light, fresh take on a glitter polish to go with it. It’s a very sheer baby glitter with both microfine and chunky bits of glitter in it. It also has a slight pearly quality to it that I only noticed when I layered it over another shade. The other polish for Spring is Naked, a clean bare beige huge that is beyond chic. This is actually the shade Deborah Lippmann put on Anne Hathaway for the Oscars.

This is the mani I’m rocking this week. Pay no attention to how janky my cuticle line is, that’s what you get when you’re up the night before painting your nails when you’re exhausted.  I’ve cleaned it up a bit since then too. I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Deborah Lippmann on Saturday so I wanted to wear shades she created.  I started with two coats of Naked and two coats of Glitter in the Air on top. I really love the combination of these two shades, it reminds me of an Easter egg. Naked is really pretty on its own, two coats of it and I had almost full coverage. I would have gone for three coats if I wasn’t layering but adding Glitter in the Air on top solved the problem. Glitter in the Air is also really pretty on its own, you just have to pile on the layers to get the color payoff you want since it’s sheer. I stopped at 4 layers and loved the result, a sheer somewhat nude shade with a twist.

You can find these shades at Nordstrom now, Glitter in the Air retails for $18 and Naked for $16. What say you?

Just Another Mani Monday: Butter LONDON No More Waity, Katie

Butter LONDON created a special shade in honor of the upcoming Royal Wedding, No More Waity, Katie. Aptly named, no? The official description for this polish is a soft, elegant greige with a splash of lilac glitter for the perfect marriage to combine fashion and fun. Sounds absolutely dreamy, doesn’t it? Well, for me, the actual product is straight-up purple. Which works out for a purple fan like myself.

To help bring out some of the grey, I first applied a coat of Essie Chinchilly. It definitely helped bring out the greige in this polish, and I only used two coats to finish it off. It’s pretty gritty, so a top coat was also needed. The end result is working for me though – I’m digging my blinged-out purple tips.

What’s everyone else thinking about No More Waity, Katie?

Nutrisystem Nation: Week 2

I had a feeling I wouldn’t do so well on my week 2 weigh in on Nutrisystem, I gained 1lb. I was disappointed when I stepped off the scale but this wasn’t unexpected. I do fine when I’m at work. I take my breakfast, lunch and add-ons to work with me and behave myself but after work is when things get more difficult for me. I went out to dinner a few times and the choices I made definitely caught up with me. I also did not focus on how much water I was drinking and didn’t write down what I was eating, which both things are super important to do. I always do better when I write everything down.

With that said, I still feel good about what I’ve accomplished so far. I’ve lost 12.2lbs in one month. While it’s not the 20lbs. a month I aimed for, there have been other small victories that are just as important as what the number on the scale is. I’m on the verge of crossing into a weight range that I have not been at in a very long time and I’m feeling really hopeful and excited about that. Plus, I can always aim for that figure next month. If I do reach that goal, there’s a bottle of Tom Ford Champaca Absolut perfume at Nordstrom with my name on it… I just visited it yesterday. ;)

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