Monthly Archives: May 2012

MAC Fashion Sets Make Matchy-Matchy Chic

MAC Spice Lip Pencil was the first product I’d ever used from the brand. It was a gift from my sister-in-law, who raved about how it was the best lipliner she’d ever used. Today, Spice remains a MAC best selller. In fact, it’s the #1 selling lip pencil in more than 20 countries. For my skin tone, it reeks of the 90s and brown lips, but twas the times. But being a best seller this long means something, which is why MAC immortalized Spice, and seven other global best sellers in its Fashion Sets Collection. On counters through June, find the world’s favorite MAC colors in special sets of coordinated Lipstick, Lipglass and Nail Polish.

Chances are you’ve used these iconic MAC colors. Russian Red, Girl About Town, Snob , Myth, Chestnut and Rebel. Myth Lipstick was the nude for us for years and Russian Red remains the red of all reds. And now they’re both available in lipglass and nail polish form — ohmigosh, YES!

I’m kind of giddy over Girl About Town and its fabulous fuchsia-ness in a Lipglass and Nail Polish at the moment. Girl About Town Lipstick is all sorts of awesome, and that translates to its newest products perfectly. Matching lip and nail color has never felt as right as it does with a MAC Fashion Set. These have been on counters for a few weeks now. Did you snag a set? Take a trip down MAC memory lane? Let us know!

Benefit Cosmetics Takes on Snow White and the Huntsman

Benefit’s newest kit, inspired by the upcoming release of Snow White and the Huntsman, channels a fairytale. Benefit Rare Beauty contains five pieces to help you create rosy cheeks and lips, skin as pure as snow and lashes black as night. I don’t know about you, but I’m more about Benefit’s take on Snow White than I am actually seeing the movie! Perhaps its the idea of watching Kristin Stewart run tortured through the woods for a few hours that doesn’t exactly have me running to the box office. But, I’ll happily wear Benetint and High Beam any day of the week!

Benefit included a full-size BADgal Lash Mascara and The POREfessional as well as a deluxe sample of the famed Benetint and a mini High Beam. But the real treat is this lavender and silver makeup case it all comes packaged up in.

Right? Isn’t it cute? It’s very functional and sturdy, too! This bag and the full size The POREfessional (retails for $29) totally sell this for me. You can snag it online or at Sephora for a limited time for $45.

The Coolest Chick on the Block is NARS Marie-Galante

The coolest girl around town right now is definitely NARS Marie-Galante, new from the brand’s summer 2012 collection. She’s definitely shaking things up in my makeup bag. Normally, iridescence isn’t really my thing, but in the case of Marie-Galante, the iridescent orchid and regal blue just glow on the lid. I had a feeling this would be a dynamic duo, and it’s even better than I expected. The colors flash on the lids, and when layered, create this phenomenal hybrid shade.

Marie-Galante layered on the lid

Do you guys remember NARS Jolie Poupee? The orchid shade here is a similar tone to the pearly purple in Jolie Poupee, but much more sheer.  While some may turn their nose up at sheer, that’s the beauty of Marie-Galante (and really, the brilliance of Francois). One layer is barely there orchid sparkle. But build it up using a stiff, flat brush and after a few layers the lids are glistening. Layer it with the regal blue for a really customized look. The result is light and fresh, which is exactly what I want for summer.

Oh, and for those curious, I apply this shadow dry over a primer (NARS Smudgeproof Base to keep it in the family) and it wears beautifully. No fallout, but be sure to shake out the flat brush before patting on the lid. Pat, not sweep, so the color adheres. Let us know your thoughts on miss Marie-Galante! Have you seen her in person?

Thymes Garden Alchemy + Giveaway

My excitement level hit a new high this week when I noticed the neighborhood peonies starting to bloom. While I live in the city, I have a neighbor passionate about gardening and she’s turned the surrounding blocks into a beautiful urban oasis. Spring is the best time of year — with the daffodils, tulips and lilacs blooming. And now, peonies! The flower that almost led me to choose a spring wedding date (opted for September in the end!)

Peonies in bloom

Garden scents are exactly what I look for in a fragrance. Very literally — I’ll take the earthy, gritty notes along with the florals (hold the allergies, though) Which is why the new collection from Thymes, Garden Alchemy, strikes a chord, or note, with me. The botany meets perfumery collection is garden at its best. The three scent factions include Rosemary Sage, Wild Angelica, and Lemon Geranium. I’m partial to Wild Angelica, but am finding it difficult to resist the party citrusy, part mossy Lemon Geranium.

Product Girl is over on the Thymes Blog this week musing on spring fragrance. Go check us out there and let us know your thoughts on spring fragrance! We’d love to know what scents inspire you. And, we also want to give away some of our favs from Thymes Garden Alchemy collection! One winner will receive a set of the seven Garden Alchemy products in a variety of scents.

To enter, take a look at the Garden Alchemy collection and let us know what product you most want to try! You can check it out here. We’ll pick one winner Sunday, May 20. Good luck!

Mally 24/7 Gel Nail Polish System

Mally 24/7 Gel Nail Polish System

We know Mally is all about bulletproof beauty and now that is translating into bulletproof nails thanks to Mally’s new 24/7 Gel Nail Polish System. This isn’t the first system of its kind, we’ve seen others sets in stores before, but none of them are this complete and we love that about this system. Mally has thought of everything with this set from application to removal and that kind of attention to detail in this set is why we love Mally.

With that said, Mally’s system does cost more than others but you definitely get more for your money. Most systems only give you one shade to play with and here you get three. Mally also includes a bowl to soak your nails and a tool to help your cuticles look pretty. My favorite part of this set is the nice big, roomy LED lamp, this way your nail polish is cured in seconds and not minutes like it is with a UV lamp. Here’s a list of the other items in this set:

  • Nail Surface Cleanser
  • Nail Prep
  • Gel Primer
  • Base Coat
  • Top Coat
  • Soak-Off Gel Polish Remover
  • Cuticle Oil
  • Double-sided nail file
  • Instructional DVD
  • Quick-reference guide

The Mally 24/7 Gel Nail Polish System is available exclusively on QVC and retails for $149.88 plus shipping and handling. You might want to keep an eye on QVC for any Mally shows. When she introduced this system last month, the system was available on EasyPay, which makes this price tag a little easier to digest. Also, Mally has introduced new shades to the system that you can purchase individually as well each of the components in the system. Wouldn’t you rather do this at home than spend an hour in a salon?

Prime with Plant Oils: Hourglass No. 28 Primer Serum

Makeup needs to work for you. Plain and simple. With the spike in BB creams and foundations that do more than just cover and actually treat skin, it seems appropriate that primers would steer this way as well. Hourglass No. 28 Primer Serum represents the next-gen base for makeup. Its primary value prop is skincare with a powerhouse of plant extracts, vitamins and essential oils to perfect your complexion.

Why No. 28? 14 essential oils + 10 lipid-rich oils + 4 vitamins = 28

It’s skin-softening, hydrating and nutrient-rich formula is an ideal base for makeup. Hourglass added some silicone, which gives it a nice slip, and helps makeup go on smoother. While silicones aren’t my favorite, I ain’t mad at ‘em here. The 28 other ingredients make up for it and I’ll admit, I like the silky texture.

The essential oils all help to soothe the skin in some way. Lavender is a known healer. Orange peel has natural toning properties. Vanilla is relaxing. Geranium is balancing. Rosemary is decongesting. And, the 10 plant oils bring the moisture. Cherry Pit is conditioning to the skin. Green tea brings the antioxidant power. Evening Primrose is neutralizing. Rose Hip Seed is regenerative. Vitamins A, B5, C and E join the party, too, and make those plant oils work a little harder.

So how to wear No. 28? Under makeup but over moisturizer? First thing after you wash your face? What about SPF? According to Hourglass, you make the rules. I prefer it over moisturizer , directly underneath my makeup. But, you can ever wear this at night with no makeup at all. Hourglass even says you put it in your hair – though we haven’t tested it that way yet.

The benefits of priming with plant oils will be seen over time. This is an innovation we totally dig.

Available at Sephora.

Just Another Mani Monday: Deborah Lippmann Ray of Light

Deborah Lippmann Ray of Light

Usually I am not a fan of blue nail polish. If you were to raid my collection, you would probably find only a few blue based shades and that is most likely because glitter is involved. I can’t help myself when it comes to glitter. When I tried on Deborah Lippmann’s Ray of Light for the first time, I couldn’t stop glancing down at the shade. A few days later I was back in Nordstrom picking up a bottle of it.

Ray of Light is described as an electrically charged indigo, the charge comes from the holographic flakes in the nail polish. The base of the polish seems to have a jelly-like finish to it and in some light appears to lean purple, which makes it all the more stunning in my opinion, but that is most likely a bit of flakes working their magic. The flakes seems to be copper most of the time but a closer look in different lighting reveals a few more shades of sparkle. The jelly aspect of this shade is probably why I like it so much, I have a thing for jellies too! Based on my bottle, the formula is a little thicker than what I’ve come to know from Deborah Lippmann. While the application seemed a little uneven due to this at first, it leveled out perfectly with a second coat of color. In this picture, I have two coats of Ray of Light on followed by a top coat of Seche Vite but you might even want to try a third coat. I didn’t see a need for this but I imagine it would only add to its richness.

It was hard to capture how gorgeous this shade is with my camera. At first glance Ray of Light appears to be one thing but it easily takes on new life as the flakes catch the light. It is one of those shades you just have to try on for yourself to appreciate… so I urge you, get to Nordstrom (or any other retailer you can see this shade at in person) and just try it on. You might just do what I did, marinate on it awhile and then go back for the bottle.

What’s on your nails this week? Tell us about it in the comments.

Beauty VIP of the Week: Josie Maran Argan Balm

This picture is definitely “the before.” I’ve since dipped my hands in excitedly and slathered this everywhere, to so much satisfaction. Josie Maran Argan Balm is this week’s Beauty VIP and a product I am so happy about! Josie’s Argan Oil is a legend in its own right and “my first” facial oil. You always remember your first, right?  The Argan Balm is like Josie’s “thank you” to her loyal fans —- it’s packed with so much delicious argan oil, shea butter (second ingredient) and other fruit extracts, essential oils and antioxidants. It is also completely fragrance free — as in 100% odorless.

And the real treat is for the skin. Josie made VIP status with this product because it has not only brought my dry, callused feet back to life but it gives my skin supermodel status. My post-vacation tan is wearing well! At the advice of the brilliant Beauty Huile, I slathered a thick layer on my feet and put socks on. This is a an old trick for many, but Josie’s Argan Balm outdid the other lotions and salves by a mile. I’m not claiming lilypad soles or anything, but a substantial improvement for sure.

Other amazing tricks this cushy Balm has up its sleeve is treating flaking skin, chapping, sunburn, windburn, cracked lips and even flyaway hairs. So yeah, pretty much everything. Josie Maran crafted  this with love, and be assured, we are using it with love, too! Check it out here.

Mother's Day, Glowing Skin and Vitamin C

We are not mothers at Product Girl, though I am a “proud mama” to a sassy four-year old Boston Terrier, but we love to spend Mother’s Day weekend pampering our moms. The ultimate form of bonding. My Saturday will entail a much-needed pedicure with mom, some shopping and at-home spa-ing.  While I won’t spill what I’m gifting mom with this year, I will share some great ideas and products that we think are musts for you and mom!

There’s  a common thread here: radiant skin by the power of citrus.

– Murad’s new Intensive-C Radiance Peel contributes to a more youthful appearance by smoothing and illuminating skin with the help of glycolic acid, vitamin C, fig and myrtle extract. Benefits also include boosting collagen production, improved skin clarity and less dullness. With just one use, you’ll boast a brighter complexion. $49.50, Sephora.

– And, my personal favorite, Arcona Mandarin Brightening Peel. Mom and I both will be slathering this on our skin this weekend as part of our spa-at-home activity. I’ve been using it for several weeks (only once per seven days – it’s powerful!) and can see an improvement in my skin. The active ingredients to thank are glycolic acid, which exfoliates and regenerates skin, lactic acid, helping with hyper-pigmentation, lycopene, the free radical scavenger, and a series of patented ingredients to help inhibit melanin and fade age spots. Oh, and the first ingredient is orange zest, so you can imagine HOW GOOD this smells. With one use, skin is noticeably brighter. With two, a little more luminous. And by three uses, you’re addicted and counting down the days you get to use it again. $78, Arcona.

– For your daily dose of vitamin C power, there’s Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate. With an impressive 10.5% concentration of pure C, this serum has become a cult fav since its launch in 2005. You can use up to two times daily, a recommended two pumps before your moisturizer, and fine lines are on notice. This Saturday, May 12, you can get a complimentary 10-day sample to experience it yourself. The brand is hosting “Kiehl’s Day of Strength” at all locations on Saturday and serving up some vita C refreshments to go with the samples. Sounds like a great pit stop during my day of mother/daughter bonding! $58, Kiehl’s.

What are you plan’s for this weekend? Any special activities for mom? And if you are a mom, we wish you a perfect day!

Somme Institute 50% Off on HauteLook May 10!

On Thursday, May 10, beginning at 8AM Pacific, Somme Institute products will be 50% off on HauteLook. This deal is pretty phenom. Somme’s derm-developed and approved approach to skin care is simple and effective. The five-step regimen has everything you need, and at 50% off, is a sweet deal. Also worth stockpiling? Step 2, Transport, a cotton pad soaked with Somme’s MDT5 patented technology of vitamins A, B3, B5, C and E, to help improve skin tone and promote cell renewal. For $58 (pre-discount), you get 50 pads.

To get in on the Somme HauteLook action, click here.