13 January 2010

Trend vs Style

I recently read something to the effect of: Trends are fun for a short time, but Style is forever. Trends go in and out of fashion constantly, but true style is timeless. Take, for instance, Grace Kelly. Fifty years later and she's still fashionable and current. This really made me think about all the time, money, and energy I spend on current trends in both fashion and beauty. As I get older and am more comfortable with myself I notice I care less and less about what's "In".

To make a long story short, I'm going to be branching out on the focus of my blog. Yes, purple eyeshadow is fun every once in a while, but finding what works for me and sticking with it is more important to me now. All the make-up in the world is no match for the inner glow of someone truly comfortable with themselves.

19 October 2009

For Once, I Love Being Double Booked!

The Lorac Double Booked Full Face Collection has it all. A $455 value for only $55, it has everything you need for year-round glamour. I love that each side is separated by cool and warm shades. Inside the chic mock-croc silver case you'll find sixteen eyeshadows, two blushes, two lip glosses, one bronzer, one highlighter, one lip liner, and a dual-sided shadow/liner brush. When travelling I live off of Lorac palettes, and this one is going to be a great addition to my collection.

14 October 2009

To Bag, Or Not To Bag?

I have so many cute makeup bags from gift-with-purchases that I refuse to buy them; however, I may make an exception for this Becca leather pouch. Made of soft Italian leather, it's small enough to fit perfectly into a handbag for on-the-go touchups, and the rich reddish-brown color is ideal for Fall and Winter. More than the bag, I am just dying to get my hands on the adorable key chain attached to the zipper closure.

07 October 2009

The Parisienne Life

I once dreamed of living a Bohemian-chic lifestyle in Paris, and Yves Saint Laurent's Parisienne almost makes me believe that I am. It's a feminine scent, with notes of blackberry, damask rose, and sandalwood. It's elegant without being stuffy and is ideal for evenings out. I'm normally not drawn to floral scents, but this has what the French refer to as "je ne sais quoi." It's upfront yet mysterious, and has quickly become my go-to fragrance.

01 October 2009

Full On 80's Make Up

With all the new color collections that have come out recently nothing has really knocked my socks off, but I love the full-face makeup that designers are leaning towards. Dark eyes and lips? It's nearly scandalous after the beachy, carefree look that's been around the past few years. I'm excited about this trend. It's the only 80's look that I'm really embracing. I am totally going to be rocking the Robert Palmer Girl look on weekends this fall. Can't wait!

24 September 2009

Just Call Me Bronzilla

The Product: L'Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Luminous Self-Tanning Lotion

The Claim: Contains light-reflecting micro-pearls that create a luminous, streak-free, bronze glow immediately upon application. The lotion smoothes on effortlessly and is absorbed quickly. Rich in Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, this lotion replenishes and hydrates while it develops your sunless tan. Apply daily until you get your desired tone and then repeat application once or twice a week to maintain your golden bronze.

The Results: I love the immediate bronze glow this lotion leaves on the skin. The feel of it is nice, too--it's more of a gel consistency than a lotion, and it absorbs quickly. The morning after applying I was shocked at how bronze I was. I looked like I had spent a month tanning in Rio; it was truly amazing. One warning: this product is really pigmented to give such a dark tan, so any streaking is really obvious. I actually think I would prefer it without the self-tanning action, and only as a shimmer product.

17 September 2009

Pony Up With Christian Siriano

In keeping with my love for Christian Siriano this week, I thought I'd post the how-to for the funky ponytails at his recent show.

The Look:
This is a low, sleek ponytail adorned with a textured bouquet of waves; a play of smooth versus rough. Hair is sleek and groomed on each side of the head and through the ponytail, with a slightly rough, matte finish on top and elegant, textured waves pinned above the pony. The finished look is chic and contemporary with a bit of attitude.

Get the Look/Step-by-Step:

• Step 1: Create a deep side part. Draw a horseshoe-shaped section of hair along the top of the head, from each brow-line. Isolate this section of hair and pin in place with a single-pronged hair clip.

• Step 2: Pull the bottom half of hair into a ponytail and secure with a bungee elastic. Divide ponytail into sections with fingers and spray with Aveda Air Control™ Hair Spray for workable hold.

• Step 3: Use a flat iron to straighten the ponytail section by section, creating a smooth, sleek finish.

• Step 4: Unclip the top section of hair and comb it back and over the ponytail. Sprinkle Aveda Pure Abundance™ Hair Potion and massage into hair to create volume and matte, rough texture.

• Step 5: Working with the same top section, divide hair into smaller pieces and spray with Aveda Air Control™ Hair Spray. Wrap each piece of hair around a ceramic Curl Rod, creating spirals, until the entire top section of hair has been curled.

• Step 6: Brush through spirals, loosening curls into soft waves. Loosely backcomb waves to create fullness, volume and texture, and shorten the length of hair.

• Step 7: Pin the sides and ends of wavy hair against the head, close to the base of the ponytail. Hair is sculpted into a voluminous, undulating chignon adorning the ponytail.

• Step 8: Work Aveda Light Elements™ Texturizing Creme into palms. Smooth hair along the sides of the head and above the ears to create a sleekness and shine.

• Step 9: Finish the look with Aveda Air Control™ Hair Spray for shine and hold.

Aveda Products Used:
Aveda Light Elements™ Texturizing Creme
Aveda Pure Abundance™ Hair Potion
Aveda Air Control™ Hair Spray

Antoinette Beenders Quotes:

Q: What was your inspiration for this look? How did you collaborate with the designer to create the look?
“Christian and I worked together to create a hair look that reflects the inspiration behind his collection: waves and the ocean, with shimmering silks, silvers, and blues. I call this look the “wave” because of the back-combed wave that floats atop the ponytail. Since Christian is a young designer, the hair look is elegant yet very modern.”

Q: How could a woman achieve this look on her own?
“This is an elegant, alternative version of the ponytail—beautiful for evening. Using a fine comb, separate the front/top of hair and part it into a horseshoe shaped section on the top of the head. Tie the rest of hair into a low ponytail. Rake the front/top of hair back with Aveda Light Elements™ Texturizing Creme, and curl with a curling rod. Brush through curls and backcomb slightly, then pin teased hair to the base of the ponytail, creating loose, textured waves. Finish look with Aveda Air Control™ Hair Spray.”

16 September 2009

Sunscreen for Hair

Always a huge fan of sunscreen, my latest obssession is L'Oreal's EverPure UV Spray. It can be used on wet or dry hair, and is lightweight so it doesn't weigh hair down. It has really helped to keep my color from fading this summer. Weeks later, my highlights are still fresh and vibrant; if it wasn't for the dark roots, I wouldn't even need to get my hair done yet.

15 September 2009

Christian Siriano for VS Makeup

I know I'm a little late on posting this collection, but I am loving the Christian Siriano make up collection for Victoria's Secret. The packaging is chic and the colors are bold, a perfect look for fall. My favorite item is the lip gloss in Sublime, and pale pink nude.

04 September 2009

The Acne Saga Continues...

Between the acne and the acne scars, it's hard to decide what to work on first. I decided to start with my acne and deal with the rest later. My dermatologist prescribed my a stronger prescription for my face, and recommended that I use extremely gentle cleansers and creams.

Never one to sit around and wait for my face to clear up, I decided to take a more offensive stance and purchased the Patricia Wexler Acnescription Anti-Acne Starting Kit from Bath and Body Works, which includes a cleanser, serum, moisturizer, and spot treatment. I know you're not supposed to use and exfoliator when you have acne, but I have always chosen to ignore this advice. The Exfoliating Cleanser in this kit is amazing, and has really helped get rid of the dead skin left from previous pimple creams. The texure is that of a light exfoliator, so I only use it at night (still use the Clarisonic in the morning with a gentle cleanser). The Anti-Aging Serum is also great, and I am now using it in place of moisturizer at night.

The Oil-Free Hydrator is just terrible. I swear it made my face greasier, and my concealer slid off when applied over it. Yuck. Not a fan at all! The last item, the Spot Treatment, is great, but not as a spot treatment. I found that it didn't dry on my skin, and would roll of when I went to bed, so I've been using it as a face mask on my trouble areas (fyi, trouble area = entire bottom half of my face).

I've noticed an improvement in my skin which I think is primarily due to the prescription, but is enhanced by the Wexler cleanser and serum. I'll keep you updated on the 'facial developments', but hopefully I'm on my way to a cure. Does anyone out there have any other acne products I should try?

02 September 2009

Eye Am A Believer

The Product: L'Oreal Revitalift Deep-Set Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream

The Claim: Pro-Retinol A® + Fiber- Restoring Complex targets the delicate eye area's intricate fibrous support with 24-hour repair. The AM treatment is a gentle SPF 15 hydrating cream that helps repair and protect the skin with UVA/UVB SPF 15 sunscreen. The PM treatment helps repair and restore broken skin fibers to reduce deep-set wrinkles around the eyes while you sleep.

The Results: This is the best eye cream I've tried in a long time. I actually put away my $190.00 ReVive eye cream that I had been using in favor of this one. I absolutely LOVE the convenience of having an eye duo for day and night that is attached. It makes me feel better having SPF 15 around my eyes during the day, and I love how luxurious the night cream feels. The product is aimed towards a more mature crowd, and the packaging says it's for "deep-set wrinkle repair," but I still loved it for my 27 year old eyes. I don't have enough wrinkles to notice a huge difference, but after several weeks of use the skin around my eyes seems to be more hydrated and firm.

01 September 2009

Collagen For...Your Lashes?

The Product: L'Oreal Extra-Volume Collagen Mascara in Black

The Claim: This Extra Volume Mascara by L'Oreal contains Hydra Collagen which creates up to 12x more volume with no clumps, extra volume brush is twice as thick as traditional brushes. Infused with a complex of collagen and Hyaluronic spheres, clings to lashes and expands to provide lash magnification.

The Results: If you like the DiorShow mascara, you will love this one. It is extremely similar, and at $7.95, what do you have to lose? It adds tons of volume, yet still leaves lashes looking natural. As you know from my previous posts, I don't necessarily think 'natural' is a good thing when it comes to lashes, at least for myself. I like thick, dramatic, almost spidery lashes (I know, it's not for everyone). However, this mascara does what it claims it will--leaves you with lush lashes. It didn't flake, but I did notice that my lashes weren't as full by the end of the day, and the curl had gone out of them. My lashes didn't have the normal stiffness I associate with mascara, possibly due to the collagen. All in all, it's ideal for anyone that wants fullness at a drugstore price.

31 August 2009

Tousle Me Softly

I hadn't used Herbal Essences since junior high, so torn between nervousness and excitement when their new Tousle Me Softly collection arrived in the mail. Nervous because do I really want to return to something I used when I was 13? My hair was awful then! Excited because the cheery purple bottles promised my hair would be scented with a "tousled fusion of wild violet & pomegranate." The main thing I noticed in this collection is that it's fairly heavy and weighs the hair down, which I love, but is not for everyone.

Shampoo and Conditioner for a Tousled Look: I am extremely picky about the shampoo I use, but I found that this one worked well, especially when used with the conditioner. I've always felt that the instructions to use products from the same brand was a marketing ploy, but these really complemented each other and left my hair smooth and soft.

Tousle Me Softly Mousse: My favorite product in the collection! Smelled amazing, held my waves, and really cut down on frizz.

Tousling Spray Gel: I liked it as a 'freshener' later in the day for my hair, but thought it was too crunchy when used on wet hair.

Flexible Hold Hair Spray: I know it's bad for the environment, but I believe that aerosol hairspray is an essential. My beliefs have only been made stronger with use of the Tousle Me Softly hairspray. It comes out in more of a stream than a fine mist, and left my hair looking like it was coated in a glaze.

Finishing Touch Cream: I feel like this product is almost misplaced in this line. It would be better packaged as a smoother/defrizzer than a curl enhancer. Either way, this product is great and adds tons of shine. Just make sure to learn from my mistakes--a little goes a LONG way!

18 August 2009

One Word: Yum

The Product: Caress Evenly Gorgeous Exfoliating Body Wash, Burnt Brown Sugar and Karite Butter

The Claim: New Caress Evenly Gorgeous Exfoliating Body Wash and Beauty Bar have burnt brown sugar and karite butter that gently exfoliate and lusciously moisturize, revealing sensually smooth skin that’s even toned and polished to perfection.

The Results: I don't know if you're familiar with the Warm Vanilla Sugar scent from Bath and Body Works (which I love), but this smells extremely similar. I can't use the Bath and Body Works products because all the fragrance make me break out, but this is a perfect alternative. It's more of a winter scent, but it is just so delicious that I haven't been able to resist using it all summer! Aside from the amazing scent, the body wash has little exfoliating beads in it that gently slough off dead skin. It's really gentle, so it's perfect for every day use. I occassionaly get small bumps on the back of my arms in the summer, but this has completely gotten rid of them. The karite butter also kept my skin nicely moisturized, so I didn't need to use any lotion after. I tried the Beauty Bar as well, but wasn't a huge fan. First, I'm not a huge bath bar fan anyway. And second, it didn't have the same exfoliating and moisturizing benefits as the gel. Bottom line--buy the gel, not the bath bar, and enjoy the heavenly scent.

12 August 2009

Breakout Central

About six weeks ago my normally oily skin decided to completely break out. I went from an occasional breakout to a 'beard' of acne--terrible cyst-like pimples on my chin and around my mouth. Having a bad hair day or an embarrassing sunburn is nothing compared to the distress I've felt at my face; it has completely destroyed my self confidence. On top of the acne, my lips are terribly chapped and peeling. I'm truly at a loss on how to handle this. I've tried a lot of products, but this acne seems to be more of an internal issue that my body won't let me get rid of. I haven't even wanted to leave the house, let alone post comments on beauty products. It took me almost a week to motivate myself to write this post.
If you've never had bad acne I'm sure this will seem very dramatic; I've always had pretty good skin and before this I would have scoffed at anyone that wouldn't want to leave the house because of their skin. It would have seemed ridiculous. But now I know better. I'll keep you updated on skin situation, but for the near future there won't be many posts on skincare products.
I have tried some great hair products lately, so stay tuned for those reviews!