Monthly Archives: August 2012

Urban Decay Smoked Palette

It’s no doubt that Urban Decay’s eye shadow palettes are popular in the beauty community. They’ve got a knack for design some amazing palettes from their book of shadows to the infamous Naked and Naked2 palettes. One of my first ever palettes was from Urban Decay (Show Pony palette, love!) and I’ve been hooked on UD since. While their are tons of neutral, everyday palettes, not many brands come out with a “smoked” type palette. I was excited to get my hands on Urban Decay’s Smoked palette and I definitely think this is something everyone could use in their makeup collection.

For $49, you get 10 pigmented and buttery shadows, a travel size Primer Potion, and a full size Perversion eyeliner. It comes in a zip-up package which prevents that fear of your palette every opening. Also inside, an mirror on the inside cover and room to store an eyeliner. Let’s take a closer look at each shade along with swatches.

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Butter London Autumn/Winter 2012 Collection

Holographic and glitter nail polish loving ladies (and gents if you’re so inclined) of the world, I think you will be happy with the new Butter London Autumn/Winter 2012 collection. Butter London has been embracing glitter for awhile but now they are also embracing the holographic trend and getting aboard the holographic train. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think this is the first time Butter London introduced holographic shades… or at least labeled one as such.

Here’s the scoop on each shade straight from Butter London:

  • Dodgy Barnetthighly holographic shade that blurs the line between grey and silver.
  • Gobsmackedheavily pigmented charcoal grey glitter with a slightly textured finish.
  • Lovely Jubblyvibrant magenta flecked with red, blue and gold micro particles.
  • Shaghigh-shine metallic lacquer in a warm orange-burgundy hue.
  • Trustafariangolden holographic finish gives this delightful sage green a surprising and sophisticated edge.

Keep reading to take a closer look at each shade.

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Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Pearl Essence Bath Beads

A hot bath was the furthest thing from my mind today but now I am longing for one since I saw these Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Pearl Essence Bath Beads on Nordstrom’s website. I’m thinking I should just get these now and be prepared for when cooler weather comes in. 😉

I have been dying for these to come out for months now. I had the chance to smell the fragrance in a meeting and feel the bath beads on my skin earlier in the year. I am one of those gals that is hardcore about her Cashmere Mist obsession and love every incarnation of the scent out there. The newest is Cashmere Mist Pearl Essence and it takes my beloved Cashmere Mist and just makes it a little more sultry and sexy. It was love at first sniff.

These bath beads make your bathwater silky and soften the skin while delicately scented it with Cashmere Mist Pearl Essence. Let it be the first step in your scent layering process, it is $45 for a 7 oz. jar and it will be your favorite new bath time indulgence.

Just Another Mani Monday: SensatioNail Coral Sunset Gel Polish

We spent last Friday night giving ourselves gel manicures with the SensatioNail Gel Polish system. After noticing how my mother’s nails looked like they were bleeding since she wouldn’t remove the leftovers of her red mani, I thought I’d try to convert her to gel. I was also trying to convert my aunt, who says nail polish does not last more than a couple days on her nails. So there we were, four gals gathered around a table with a LED lamp and some nail polish. We went with Coral Sunset, Purple Orchid and Taupe Tulips. These are my mother’s nails, nails I envy and I often complain to her that I did not inherit them. She’s wearing Coral Sunset, doesn’t it look gorgeous on her?

If you’re a fan of Shellac or other salon gel manicures, you’re going to want to learn more about SensatioNail. For the cost of two visits to a nail salon, depending how much your salon charges, you can pick up a SensatioNail starter set and get a gel manicure at home.

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Beauty VIP of the Week: Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stains

YSL Glossy Stains

I gave up on eyeshadow this summer, everything simply slides off my lids in a few hours anyhow. I have not given up on lip color though and I never will. That would be a crime against beauty! These YSL Glossy Stains are not new but I am hopelessly addicted to them and try to convert everyone I know to them.

The good news is that I have been successful on more than a few occasions with converts but the bad news is that I want them all. For awhile I couldn’t set foot in Nordstrom or Sephora without picking one up.

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Josie Maran Pure & Simple Argan Skincare Ritual

There’s something rewarding about taking away all that makeup, dirt and grime at the end of the day, it is one of my favorite rituals at the end of the day. The Josie Maran Pure & Simple Argan Skincare Ritual kit breaks things down into three easy steps to help you form your own ritual and it is tomorrow’s QVC Today’s Special Value.

This kit includes four full size Josie Maran products, some we already know and love:

  • Argan Cleansing Oil – this cleanser is enriched with olive, safflower and grape seed oils to gently cleanse the skin without making it feel dry or tight afterwards.
  • 100% Pure Argan Oil – this is the oil that started the whole Argan oil craze! It’s a fantastic multi-tasker, use it as an anti-aging moisturizer, to treat split ends or even to moisturize your cuticles. If you have skin dryness, Argan oil can help.
  • Argan Daily Moisturizer Protect + Perfect Tinted Lotion – a new Argan moisturizer with broad spectrum SPF 40 and a tint to correct imperfections and even out skintone. This one is new to me and I’m excited to try it.
  • Argan Color Stick – last but not least, a color multi-tasking stick in Beautiful that you can use on lips, cheeks and even on the eyes for a bit of a youthful glow. This soft pink shade will look great on everyone.

If you’re new to Josie Maran, this kit is a great way to see for yourself what her line is all about. These four products really say it all and they are full sizes! My favorite thing about this kit is Argan Color Stick, a shade that will look great on any skintone and helps me get away with wearing less makeup this summer. How about you? What do you love most about this kit?

The Votes are In, MAC By Request

We’ve all loved and lost at the MAC Limited Edition game. Find your favorite eyeshadow only to watch it disappear into the abyss of discontinued products. Same goes for your lip gloss and lipstick. When MAC announced earlier this year they would bring back nine discontinued products “By Request,” we were excited. Especially when we heard Moth Brown, of MAC Barbie fame, was included as an option. I missed out on that one, and I’m not sure I’ve ever completely accepted that.

Same goes for the rest of MAC fans. The three eyeshadows, lip glasses and lipsticks that make up MAC By Request pulled in thousands of votes. And to stagger the excitement, MAC is launching each category on separate days. By Request Lipsticks on Monday, August 6 (sadly, only one remains, — Candy Yum Yum, with the most number of votes at 77,517, sold out in an instant), Lip Glass on Wednesday, August 8 (go now!!) and Eyeshadows on Monday, August 13.

The must-haves for us are definitely Jete and Moth Brown eyeshadows and Cult of Cherry Lip Glass. Jete is a shimmery peach shadow in a veluxe pearl finish (gorgeous!) and Moth Brown is most definitely in the “taupe hall of fame.” Moth Brown is surprisingly one of those complex taupes that does not turn straight purple on my skin tone. It’s an interesting shade of grey that makes my blue eyes pop.

The full MAC By Request collection includes:
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The Seven Beauty Products of Summer

As I flipped my Boston Terrier 2012 calendar to August last week, I realized that summer is kind of winding down. Can you believe it? I may have shed a tear at the thought of summer Fridays coming to an end. But then I smiled at the idea of cooler temps. And then I read that this July was the hottest Chicago’s had in 57 years and I realized that the temps likely aren’t going down anytime soon. Now? I’m in “embrace it” mode. Time to live in the moment and appreciate all of the things there is to love about summer. For us, it’s paying special homage to seven products that are so unbelievably summer.

Hawaiian Tropic SPF 30 Lotion Sunscreen is such a nostalgia product, but the “sun safe” version. It’s got a protective SPF 30 (option to go up to 50 or down to 12 in this variety) and perfectly captures the essence of the tropics. Bonus points for the moisturizing formula, which keeps your skin looking and feeling smooth while beach/pool-side.

Wouldn’t be summer without self-tanner. The surprise hit for me this summer is Tarte Maracuja Self-Tanner. The applicator mitt is both handy and stylish, and the formula is top notch. About as scent-free as you can get and impossible to mess up. I couldn’t get a streak from this if I applied this half-asleep. For a really impressive (and believable) bronzy hue, I apply this as the follow-up to my beloved Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Body Pad. Doubling up is the way to go, people!

Stains are a must in the melting months, lest your blush just fall off of your face in three hours. Stila Passion Fruit Lip & Cheek Stain, launched with the brand’s summer 2012 collection, is the perfect summer color. It’s a pinky coral that leans more orange, less red. With just a few clicks to lips and cheeks, it brightens up the entire face. Bonus points for the fact that the formula includes actual passion fruit extract!

Bath time and hot summers don’t quite click, but a girl still needs to relax in the bath.  My sanity needs tubby time (+ wine).  I swap my candlelight in for something fresh and summery and lower the water temperature by several degrees. The absolute perfect summer candles are from Slatkin & Co., available at Bath & Body Works for major sale right now. I’ve peppered the refreshing orange blossom and jasmine Beach Cabana scent throughout my home.

Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow is the best thing to happen to my eye makeup this summer. There’s 12 colors — a mix of matte, shimmer, light and dark — and each one is completely waterproof. They just do not budge. If it’s in the Aqua line, you know it’s going to last. I’m obsessed with shade 20E, a pearly taupe, that looks especially phenom on the lower lash line.

Proof that beauty bloggers know everything. Our pal Beauty Bets raved about Coola Mineral Face Tinted Rose Essence SPF 20 and I picked up a tube right away. And all I can say is WOW. The rose essence is such a nice addition and the formula makes my skin look great. On those 95 degree days, this is really all you need on your face.

I stockpile bars of LUSH Buffy come summertime. It is by far my favorite product to use in the shower in the warmer months. It is part moisturizer, part exfoliator and smells like a fresh vat of shea butter. Skin is left polished from the ground rice, almond and beans. The exfoliants are so fine, that it reminds me of sand. This product just oozes summer.

Your turn! What beauty products define the summer season for you?

Just Another Mani Monday: Essie Lion Around

After many months of neon and brights, we think we might have hit that point where we start craving deeper colors. But we’re not quite ready for the burgundys and navys, rather, so instead we’re turning to our favorite tried and true neutrals. Essie Lion Around is one of my favorite neutrals. It’s a subdued peachy pink that has just enough sheen to make it interesting. I haven’t worn this since around this time last year (see our review of 2011 Essie Resort) and now I remember why I loved it so much. It’s a perfect complement to just about everything you wear — body and face.

And our favorite part of August has begun — September issues! We flew through Lucky already and are excited to check out Glamour and Posh next.

What polish are you rolling with this week?