Monthly Archives: June 2012

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain Incites ANOTHER Lip Color Craze

Listen, no one seems to create a lip phenom like Revlon. I ran around town like a cray person last December in search of Colorburst Lip Butter, and let’s not also forget the original Colorburst Lipstick and its Lipgloss companion. So it comes as no surprise that the new Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain is also causing a frenzy. If you can find them (don’t be shocked if the display is empty), you will have trouble walking away with only one. I first got a tease of this earlier this spring as I was prepping my next wave of Revlon trend videos (new one will be up next week!) in a juicy cherry shade called Romantic. From there, I was all, sign me up for every color.

Swatches L-R: Honey, Charm, Romantic
Wearing Charm!

Revlon’s take on the crowd fav pencil lip product (think Tarte Lipsurgence, Clinique Chubby Stick) is well-done. They are a budget-friendly $7 and the twist-up applicator is ultra convenient. I found them to be semi-moisturizing and the deeper shades leave a beautiful color behind on lips for hours after the balm wears off. I couldn’t resist trying the peachy nude Charm, and was so curious to see if it left a stain. It doesn’t really, but is a great color nonetheless. It’s nice to see a more nude color in a stain line-up that isn’t so brown.

We KNOW you guys MUST have an opinion on this product. Let us know in the comments!

Themed Beauty: Vapour Organics Summer 2012

I see a theme happening in my makeup bag this summer….makeup in a stick. Be it the perfect bronzer (more on that here) my purse-staple Bobbi Brown Face Touch-Up Stick or just about everything from the Vapour Organics Spring/Summer 2012 collection, I’m loving the convenience and ease of no-brush beauty.  And bonus, Vapour’s formulas are made entirely with certified organic plants, minerals and vitamins that treat your skin and give it some color. Vapour basically defines the “healthy” makeup category.

Swatches L-R: Orbit, Provoke, Au Pair

So the sticks. We have Trick Stick in Orbit, a brightening white-blue highlighter for cheekbones, brow bones, bow of the lip (FAV!) and inner corners of the eyes. The slim applicator makes this so user-friendly and Vapour infuses the Trick Stick with anti-inflammatory herbs so skin looks so healthy and naturally lustrous.  The orchid pink stick is Mesmerize Eye Shimmer in Provoke. This one STUNNED me – you always fear a little bit looking red or tired with pink eye color but the purply undertones make this so unique. It’s like a special treat for the eyelids — the formula deliver antioxidants (how often are you actually getting nutrients on the lid?) and Provoke is super brightening. Provoke + mascara = all you need to look fresh and AWAKE.

And…I saved the best stick for last…Siren Lipstick in Au Pair. It’s a velvet berry color that is rosy on my lips. It’s one of those colors that brightens up everything but doesn’t look like I’m wearing lipstick. I love when that happens, don’t you?  Vapour also revamped this already awesome formula with a new botanical infusion — we’re talking lemon balm, pomegranate, rose buds, jojoba oil and essential fatty acids. It’s not fair to call this just a lipstick, clearly. We’ll add lip smoothing and conditioning to the list with a side of tastes great.

All of the above can be found at Vapour Beauty online, where there is practically limitless “stick” options.

The Makeup Bag Sale of all Makeup Bag Sales: Stephanie Johnson Friends & Family June 7-12

One of our besties as far as makeup/travel/purse bags go is definitely Stephanie Johnson. Her bags are more than just somewhere to put your makeup swag, but a stylish accessory (case in point: the ALEX Sparkle Clutch). They bring new meaning to fashion and function. And now, they’re all on sale — a pretty bad ass one at that: 40% off from now through Tuesday, June 12.  
Malibu MINI pouch
I’m having a major crush right now on the “Malibu” Lemon collection right now.  The bright crinkly patent packaging, sapphire blue liner and gold ‘S’’ studs make this more than just a simple bag. The details are incredible. The Large Flat Pouch serves as a great clutch for night time and the Mini Pouch fits so much more than the “mini” name would lead you to believe. It lives in my purse and helps free up all of the clutter (a.k.a. lip gloss) that litters the bottom of my bag!

To take advantage of this epic discount, visit and enter promo code ‘sjfriends’ at checkout.

Remember when we peeked in Stephanie’s makeup bag? If not, check it out here now!

Beauty Black Book: Blowtique Chicago

All I have to say is FINALLY, Chicago has a proper blow dry bar. I’ve mastered the DIY mani and prefer to save my pennies for other things. Now those pennies will undoubtedly be going to Blowtique, located at the corner of State and Huron in Chicago. Blowtique is all blow-outs, all the time, for $35 (regardless of hair length/style). The salon was founded by Ireland native Fiona Mcentee (who has amazing hair and an even more covetable accent!) The Blowtique menu, featuring styles like “the Magnificent” (classic smooth blow-out with light-weight body), the “Deep Ellum” (big body curls and dramatic bounce) and “the Sunset” (tousled waves), was crafted by creative director Rhona Kane, also of Ireland.

The wall of Oribe

I’ve got Irish roots (my maiden name is Murphy, after all), so I was thrilled to sit in Rhona’s chair last week on the eve of Blowtique’s grand opening. It’s clear that she is a styling genius, and I was enthralled by her skills with a round brush. The salon uses Oribe products (always an attraction!) and each appointment starts with a shampoo and conditioning. I opted for “the Sunset” and was in love with the results, which lasted nearly four days (with some dry shampoo and Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray on days three and four to help revive).

"the Sunset" blow-out

One visit and I’m already hooked.

If you’re in Chi-town, you must visit. And if you visit Chi-town, you must make this a stop in your trip. Good hair days are good for the soul.

On Stark Skincare Cypress Purity + Defense Oil, the Bachelorette and MAN

Okkkaayyy….who is watching the Bachelorette? I’m not ashamed to admit that I have watched every single season of this franchise. We’re talking a decade of rose ceremonies, here. Wild, right? I am totally into Emily’s season. The change of scenery in Charlotte is nice and her “real” dates (i.e. carry my groceries in the house) are totally my speed. That’s so my married life (minus the kid, but add a dog).

I am also enjoying the downfall of Ryan (really, you’re pitching your own Bachelor season in your interviews on week 4?!) and the drama between him and Chris (from Chicago). You’ll recall Chris, who on his one-on-one date proclaimed to a concerned Emily about his age (a young’n at 25), “I’m a Man.” I totally believed it, and felt the manliness in those three words come through my television. I also noticed he has nice skin. And in that moment, I thought of my most manly yet feminine beauty product that all women should use and share with their MAN who will totally want to use it because he is a MAN.   

The MANly oil I speak of? Stark Skincare Cypress Purity + Defense Oil. Honestly, it’s the sexiest facial oil I’ve ever used. It reminds me of a hot dude. It’s akin to wearing your guy’s Old Spice deodorant, but the benefits to your skin are at a much higher level.

Ingredients: Rice Bran Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Camellia Seed Oil, Argan Nut Oil, Vitamin E, Cypress Oil, Bergamot Oil, and pure essential oils.

It’s really simple – five powerful, antioxidant-rich plant oils blended with pure essential oils to decongest skin and regulate oil production. The plant resins give it that sexy deep woodsy scent. It doesn’t get more MAN than that, right? I like the scent because it feels comforting and clean. My man likes it because it doesn’t smell girly and can be used for a comforting post-shave boost of moisture. It absorbs into the skin quickly and I swear it makes breakouts happen less (this is confirmed by Stark Founder Jessica Lafleur — the cypress oil purifies pores and regulate facial oil production!)

We don’t plan to dish out Father’s Day recommendations, but we endorse Stark’s Cypress Purity + Defense Oil as THE gift to give to your father/husband/doggy-papa/boyfriend, etc. this year. And, bonus, it’s kind of a gift for you, too!  

Available at Stark Skincare for $45.

Now….back to the Bachelorette. Let’s chat in the comments. To quote one of my favorite lines this season from a man who is not at all like the Stark Cypress Oil  MAN I envision (Kalon), “I love it when you talk, but I really wish you’d let me finish.” And you?

Sometimes I Wear Fuchsia Streaks in My Hair

Emphasis on the sometimes. If there’s one thing I FEAR it is hair dye (in my hair). I’m not sure how this phobia was introduced — as I had a regular relationship with a colorist in college every 6 weeks. I did it all — nearly black (forever locked into photographic evidence all over my in-laws walls because I had just gotten it done before my bro in-law’s wedding), so highlighted it was nearly blonde and even a dash of red. The latter was an unfortunate DIY accident when I was a teenager, but still. I quit the dye cold turkey about seven years ago and have really grown to love my natural color.*

So when I felt myself wanting to sport a peek of color in my locks, I knew it had to be temporary. Think of bright hair streaks as this year’s hair feather. Beyond my own dye-phobia, extensions are the way to go as these trends seem to be fleeting. And do I ever have a temporary option….

Milani Hair Funky Color Streaks!

They are unbelievably easy to use, they snap in like a barrette and stay in place. They are made from human hair, and feel really soft. They look as real as fuchsia hair can possibly look. For $14.99 (love the price), you get two 20 inch-long, one-inch wide, bright fuchsia extensions (or whatever color you fancy — blue, red, green or purple). Being the conservative one with my hair color these days, it’s totally fun to throw some color in there.

Available at Milani Hair.

*At the first sight of grey, all of this will change!

The Must-Have Item from Laura Mercier Belle Nouveau Collection

I’m absolutely captivated by the campaign images for Laura Mercier’s Belle Nouveau Summer 2012 collection. There’s something so hippie flower chick with a side of 80s rollergirl about it. I’m drawn to a few things, though. The tips, courtesy of the limited edition (and really hard to find, trust me) Lavender Cloud nail polish, for sure, and then the eyes. Seeing this I NEED to wear green eyes like that. The product to make that happen? Laura Mercier Sheer Creme Eye Colour in Aqua Pastel, an extremely on-trend mint part liquid/part cream eyeshadow.

I tried to wear green eyes like that, and while I think anything goes for makeup, I find that I like it more subtle. I find Aqua Pastel so wearable for everyday, and remain amazed by its brightening capabilities. Continue reading