Category Archives: Beauty VIP

Beauty VIP of the Week: NARS Alhambra

That Gwyneth. Her amazing body, beautiful skin and hot musician husband. She always turns it out on the red carpet, and she got our vote for best dressed at the Oscars in that sleek, white Tom Ford. We also loved her makeup, especially the eyes. The key element? NARS Alhambra Duo Eyeshadow. Makeup Artist Leslie Lopez for NARS Cosmetics applied the champagne side to Gwyneth’s lid for a pop of gold.

In my quest to be Gwyneth-esque (wish I had a Chris Martin, if we’re being real, though) I used Alhambra all week long. A duo I’ve had and loved for some time, it was almost like a reunion between BFFs who’ve been out of touch for years but manage to pick up right where they left off. I had some fun with the pink side and the champagne side, but I had the most fun mixing them together for a rosy gold color. It’s been everything to my eye look this week — I’m even forgoing eyeliner and just loading up with mascara. Alhambra is a true Beauty VIP, and one of my all-time favorite duos from NARS.

Beauty VIP of the Week: Hot Tools Nano Tapered Iron

Last weekend, I made one of the smartest purchases in a long time. A clipless curling iron! Specifically, the Hot Tools Nano Tapered Iron (1-inch barrel). If you struggle with holding a curl, you need to go clipless. In the short time I’ve had this, it’s quickly become a prized possession. It’s already made Beauty VIP status, which is not something we throw around lightly here. It creates the most amazing waves and they stay. Amazingly, all day and overnight. Just a refresh with the curling wand on day 2 hair and it looks even better than day 1.

I love that there is no clamp to damage or pull at my hair, and this thing gets hotter than any other curling iron I’ve had. For the fearful, there is a heat-protectant glove, but it’s easier to use without. The curling process is faster, too.  The trick is to curl away from your face and not to wrap the hair around the wand too tight. Way back on Monday, I did that and felt a little too “perm” and not enough “beach.” Live and learn, right?

I am so excited about my newfound abilities to hold a curl. Expect me to talk about this a lot in the future. Have a good weekend, ladies!

Beauty VIP of the Week: Sue Devitt Eye Intensifier in Gold Reef

This week came and went in the blink of an eye. Between an intense week at work, Valentine’s Day and new episodes of Ringer and Revenge (which I MUST watch the second they air), I’ve had little time for makeup. Crazy busy schedule calls for crazy simple makeup. My eye makeup, save mascara and eye primer, featured one product: Sue Devitt Eye Intensifier in Gold Reef.

Gold Reef = really blue eyes!

These eyeliners, featuring a very convenient smudger on one end, make smokey rims a piece of cake. Gold Reef is a beautiful chocolate color that brings out my blue eyes. I swipe it not so neatly around my entire eye and then use the smudger to smoke it out before it sets. The lasting power is impressive — especially on the lower lash line. I experience zero migration with these, which is one less thing to worry about when you’re running around like a mad woman all day! Love love love Sue Devitt Eye Intensifiers!

Beauty VIP of the Week: Spornette Luxury Cushion Brush


I knew it was going to be a great week when the forecast called for spring-like temps. I mean, 45 degrees in Chicago is not supposed to happen in February. And yes, my idea of spring might be a bit depressing. BUT, the spring-like reprieve was fantastic. Throw in five good hair days, and this week was just mine. My locks have a new (to me!) brush to thank, the Spornette Luxury Cushion Brush, this week’s Beauty VIP.

Spornette has been making brushes since the 1950s, and the Sporn family still runs the business (making good brushes must be in the DNA).  In fact, they’re based just south of Chicago. The second best part of Spornette’s Luxury Cushion Brush? It doesn’t come with a luxury price tag. The first part, of course, is how this little diddy treats your hair. I’ve been using the smaller size, which is great for travel (or toting in your purse!)

The brush features a duo of bristles in a combo of boar and tourmaline-infused nylon. The result is a brush that glides gently and smoothly through the hair. I use it on damp and dry hair, and before bed, just like Marcia Brady used to. It manages to smooth out tangles when damp without tugging at my hair and doesn’t cause static when used on dry hair. Also, the handle is very easy to hold on to and has a nice satin finish. If you tend to drop things out of your hand a lot, then you would appreciate this feature. This brush is my new companion. Won’t leave home without it!

Beauty VIP of the Week: Tarte Black Lash Primer and Black Patent Volume Max Mascara

Ever wonder why all lash primers are white and/or clear? Quite honestly, I never thought much about it until I experienced Tarte’s new Black Lash Primer. And now my mind is blown. Part of a QVC-exclusive duo, Tarte’s Black Lash Primer & Black Patent Volume Max Mascara create insanely long lashes. So insane that if you have longish lashes already, this will give you lashes to your brows. See Exhibit A….

Exhibit A: Tarte Lash Primer + Black Patent Volume Max Mascara

Lashes that long — that are mine — are the clear Beauty VIP this week! The formula is gentle, much like other Tarte mascaras, so lashes will never get that crispy feeling. There’s no clumping to fear or lash combs needed to intervene. The Lash Primer, in the black quilted tube, might be better at lengthening and separating lashes more than most mascaras. And because it’s jet black, you probably could wear it as mascara. Followed up with a coat of the Black Patent Volume Max, the shiny vinyl tube, and lashes get thicker and longer. The formula isn’t waterproof, but does not transfer or flake. Just don’t wear it while watching an hour worth of “Sh*t insert people Say” videos. I say this from experience…and I cannot laugh without crying!

Cheers to the weekend and fluttery lashes!

Beauty VIP of the Week: Stephanie Johnson ALEX Sparkle Clutch

I’ve been carrying something really girly and pretty around lately, in my new favorite color, sparkle. The ALEX Sparkle Clutch, part of the Ibiza Collection from Stephanie Johnson for spring 2012, is the way to tote around beautiful makeup. I did some traveling for work the earlier part of this week, and the ALEX housed all I needed and more. Emphasis on the more. I can’t not bring extra!

The ALEX Sparkle Clutch comes in three covetable colors – blush, berry and turquoise. All of which are the perfect makeup bag, or, as the name suggests, a clutch. How perfect would this be for a night out? The shingle-style sparkles are a party in a bag. Stephanie has made something that could stray youthful into a sophisticated and elegant bag.

I was instantly drawn to the blush color. It reminded me of Essie’s A Cut Above nail polish from the Luxeffects collection (a close match, right?) I love the traces of gold and the deep purple lining. I kinda love everything about this bag, which is why it’s this week’s Beauty VIP. As for what I put in the bag, here’s a peek:

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Beauty VIP of the Week: NARS Makeup Removing Water

YOU GUYS! NARS is launching a Makeup Removing Water!

First, a story.

Ever since I got back from France last October, I’ve been kicking myself for only bringing back one bottle of BioDerma Crealine. You’ll find this gentle makeup remover backstage at any fashion show and in probably every makeup artist’s kit. It’s like magic water that lifts all traces of makeup off of your face. And it’s super affordable in France.  Not so much stateside, though.

NARS to the rescue. He went ahead and created his own soap-free, oil-free, fragrance-free and alcohol-free Makeup Removing Water that, like BioDerma, is a total treat to the skin. Removing makeup at the end of the day is the foundation for any skincare routine. You just have to do it – even if you don’t want to. NARS Makeup Removing Water is infused with cucumber, chamomile and hyaluronic acid and feels refreshing on the skin, just as these ingredients intend for you to feel. It’s got a very purifying effect. It even did surprising well removing eye makeup.

Considering I lost my cleansing oil v-card to NARS, I’m so excited to add the Makeup Removing Water to my routine. He’s just as good at developing amaze skincare as he is beautiful makeup. It will be available this month, for $28, at

Beauty VIP of the Week: Benefit Hervana

Bliss by blush? Totally possible, especially with Benefit Hervana. Benefit’s newest box ‘o powder is truly a heavenly blend of shell, peach, rose and berry. While I normally can’t get enough of rosy cheeks this time of year, the orchid hue of Hervana is so alluring. It’s more pink than not, but the purple tones make it stand out from traditional pink shades.

Wearing Hervana

I love the satin finish, and how I can build up the intensity on my cheeks. Whether Hervana is barely there or brazen, it is flattering and face-framing. Plus, it goes great with my dominantly grey and neutral wardrobe. It’s this week’s Beauty VIP, and a welcome addition to Benefit’s already amazing line of face powders. Now, the next step, to take Emily’s advice and inject some color into the wardrobe…

Beauty VIP of the Week: WEN Winter Vanilla Mint Cleansing Conditioner

For as much QVC as I watch, it’s a surprise that until a few months ago I had never tried WEN by Chaz Dean. The bouncy hair, the “friends don’t let friends use shampoo” mantra — it is so a club I wanted to be a card carrying member of. Back in the fall, I finally got on board with the seasonal fall Cleansing Conditioner in Ginger Pumpkin. I loved every last drop of that bottle, and found that it made my hair look all pretty and shiny. Alas, all limited edition things do come to an end. I think it was meant to be, though, because now Chaz Dean is back with another seasonal Cleansing Conditioner in Winter Vanilla Mint. And this one is even better.

Winter Vanilla Mint gives me the winter warm and cozies. The smell is faintly of a Thin Mint cookie. Not too strong or overpowering, but just right. Perhaps good enough to eat. It’s infused with vanilla extract, wild cherry fruit, goji berry and peppermint oil, and is a lovely thick, hydrating formula for winter. It agrees with my hair, giving my fine locks a little substance without the weight.

While I use quite a few pumps (probably about 20-25) per cleansing, I am hooked. I do it as a first step in the shower, through my hair up in a bun and rinse (very thoroughly) as a last step. I love how the peppermint oils give a slight tingle to the scalp. It makes my scalp feel more rejuvenated and cleaner than any other shampoo. And the smell lasts long after the shower. All day, in fact. How do you like that? Obviously, I do. Very much. A clear Beauty VIP of the week.

WEN Winter Vanilla Mint is available on QVC through February 28.

Beauty VIP of the Week: Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette

As if this week’s Beauty VIP could be anything but the Urban Decay Naked2 palette. It’s good, guys. Really good. Urban Decay sure knows how to create a neutral phenomenon. Whether or not I needed this palette, I needed it. Ya know? And I’m so happy that it did not disappoint. I’m beyond impressed. Borderline obsessed.

Here’s my take on the 12 shades in Naked2.

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