21 November 2008

Hair Color Drops

I used to go into the salon every month for a glaze. I like the added shine and the color boost it gives my hair. When John Freida added the color glaze to their line I stopped going to the salon, and started using this glaze several times a week in Sheer Blonde to stretch out the time between my highlighting appointments. The glaze really increased the shine, but the color didn't make much of a difference.

Now, however, I'm using Ken Paves Healthy Hair Color Drops, and it's amazing! To use, add several drops of the concentrated color to your normal conditioner and then leave it on your hair for a few minutes. By being able to control how many drops you put in, you can really personalize the amount of color that is deposited in your hair. I'm using Beige, but it also comes in Red, Brown, Platinum, Honey, and Black. I definitely notice less of a line between my highlights and my natural color. The drawback: the first time I used it my roots looked oily, but now I scrub a little at my scalp to get rid of the film the color leaves, and it works great.

20 November 2008

Spider Scents

I think this solid perfume from Estee Lauder's Pleasures is so cool Designed exclusively for Saks, the clear crystal is surrounded by gold with tiny glittery crystals on the head and neck. Spiders don't jump to mind when I think of beauty, but this update on a vintage look is a collectible that you'll keep forever--it's absolutely fascinating. Beautifully boxed, with a velvety pouch. $250

Longer Lashes for (Slightly) Less

In my never-ending hunt for amazing lashes, I've tried close to a dozen products claiming to grow lashes longer. A few of them worked (at $150 for a 6 week supply), but most of them didn't. Then I received a sample of DermaLash by DermaQuest. Though still pricey at $85, it lasts over 3 months and has made a huge difference in my eyelashes. I even had someone ask if I got lash extensions! I apply this nightly on my lashes like a would a liquid eyeliner. It took about 6 weeks, but I woke up one morning and realized that my lashes were significantly longer. Now I use it once every few days to make the tube last longer--I never knew my lashes could even get this long!

Bare Escentuals Indulgence

Available exclusively at Nordstrom, Bare Escentuals has release the Indulgence Collection, a set of 20 face and eye colors ($200 value for $75). It includes 14 bold shades of bareMinerals eyecolors, 1 bareMinerals liner shadow, 4 bareMinerals all-over face color, and 1 bareMinerals mineral veil. The eye shadoes range from sheer to matte to shimmer, and can be layered or mixed for many different looks.

19 November 2008

Vampire Make Up Trend? I'm in!

In keeping with my slight (huge) Twilight obsession, I've decided that the pale, otherworldly vampire look is in. To create this look I'm using T. LeClerc's Loose Powder in Parme No. 7, a lavender shade. The purple tint of the loose powder neutralizes redness and whitens pale complexions. Though the powder is sheer and you can't tell that you're wearing mauve powder, it's a dramatic look and best for already pale skin tones. Apply last with a fluffy brush for an airbrushed finish.

Twilight Movie Make Up

I can't believe how excited I am about the Twilight movie coming out on Friday--I'm almost giddy. I think that Edward is the most dashing hero since Mr Darcy! I'm completely caught up in the teen craze, so you can't imagine how thrilled I was to find that Makeup411.com had a list of the actual colors used by make-up artist Jeanne Van Phue on the set. I may not have a handsome vampire in love with me, but at least now I can channel Bella's natural beauty.

Robert Pattinson's (Edward) make up:.
-Foundation: SK-II Air Touch Foundation in OP-1
-Powder: MAC Blot Powder/Pressed in Light
-Lips: Benefit Silky Finish Lipstick in Ms. Behavin

Kristen Stewart's (Bella) make up:
-Foundation: SK-II Air Touch Foundation in OP-3
-Powder: MAC Blot Powder/Pressed in Light
-Blush: Visiora Compact Powder in PC 103
-Eyeshadow: MAC Eye Shadow in Blanc Type, Flute, and Wedge
-Mascara: Smashbox Limitless Lash Mascara in black waterproof

Sephora Scent Sampler

Sephora's Scent Sampler kit includes 9 scent samples to try, an atomizer, as well as certificate for a full size product of your favorite scent. There are three women's scent samplers and one men's, but this one is my favorite because it includes the Prada Iris scent, which you know I'm currently obsessed with. If you're looking for a new perfume, and are not sure which one to buy, this is a great was to try it out first.

18 November 2008

Best Holiday Gift Ideas under $50

In the current lean economic times, my holiday gifts are going to be less extravagant than they were last year. Here are my suggestions of the best gifts on a budget:

-Juniper Ridge has the cutest little sachet gift set that is already wrapped up and ready to give. $30
-Perfumeria Gal has a set of 3 lip balms in their vintage looking tins. $18
-Sephora's Blockbuster Palette is a great deal, and includes 71 eyeshadows! $48
-Laura Mercier's Souffle Sampler includes 3 of their best selling body lotions. $50
-Essie's top 2 color nail polishes are already packaged in this gift bag. $21
-Tocca has a travel candle gift set in 4 great scents. $38

Conditioning Treatment Must-Haves

My hair is extremely dry and porous, which is really upsetting because I don't even blowdry it. I rely on twice weekly conditioning treatments to keep my split ends from becoming unmanageable. On Sundays I use a protein mask. Right now I'm in the middle of a tub of Frederic Fekkai Protein Treatment. I slather it on my ends and then wrap my hair under a shower cap for an hour or so while I watch TV. A warning about this mask: if you use it too often, your hair actually gets worse, so I recommend once a week. Trust me, I was using it too often and my hair was breaking off, so I would just use it more--it was traumatizing. My hairstylist later told me that too much protein can have an adverse reaction on hair.

One evening during the week I use a deep moisturizing mask. I switch off between Komenuka Bijin and Bumble and Bumble Creme De Coco Masque. I HIGHLY recommend both of these masks; I guarantee that your hair will feel better after using one or both of them. Komenuka Bijin is a line from Japan that uses Rice Bran and other natural ingredients--this has been a staple of mine for years. The Bumble and Bumble mask is fairly new, but is quickly becoming a permanent fixture in my shower. Plus, it smells amazing! Does anyone else have any hair treatments they can't live without??

13 November 2008

Givenchy Holiday Collection

I am a big fan of Givenchy's packaging; the ornate minimalism combines beauty and function, exactly how I like my products. Their holiday collection adds a little extra sparkle to that packaging, while also offering color options to every day staples. Every color in the Tempting Chocolate eye pallet is wearable, and the different shades can easily go from day to night. I also like how the color of the lipstick and gloss matches so perfectly--I'd wear them layered in the evening. These products would be great on a trip because you wouldn't have to worry about what make up to bring.

Make Up for a High-Def World

I was extremely skeptic when Cargo came out with their Blu_Ray line. I mean, self-adjusting pigments? One color powder for every skin tone? Per the company, this line "was created especially for filming in high-definition. The professional-quality makeup covers imperfections while looking completely natural—since any heavy coverage is amplified in hi-def—and the result is radiant skin." It sounded like an absurd marketing strategy to me. I mean, how often do you find natural-looking full-coverage?

However, I have to admit the blush is pretty amazing. I wore the pink color out at night, and it looked like a veil of color on my cheeks--the slight shimmer hid any imperfections. At the time, I didn't notice too much of a difference, but after seeing the pictures of the night I was a true believer.

Rachel Roy for Beauty.com

Rachel Roy has teamed up with Beauty.com for a fabulous gift with purchase. With a $100 purchase, you get a Rachel Roy case filled with deluxe samples (valued at $150). This is truly an amazing deal, and I'm sure it won't last long. I love Rachel Roy, and the vintage-looking case can be used as a clutch.

Samples include:
-Juice Beauty Oil-Free Moisturizer
-Korres Basil Lemon Showergel
-Fresh Sugar Lychee Body Lotion
-Murad Firming Bronzer SPF 15 for Face and Body
-PHYTO 7 Daily Hydrating Cream
-Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
-Stila Lip Gloss in Kitten
-Remede Alchemy Premium Night Cream
-ARCONA Cranberry Gommage
-Frederic Fekkai Protein Rx PM Repair Strengthener
-Jane Iredale PureMatte Finish Powder
-Nick Chavez Flocker
-Prescriptives Super Line Preventor

12 November 2008

2 minutes to better skin

Every once in a while you find a product and you wonder, "what did I do before I used this?" For me, one of these products is MD Skincare's Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel. Though somewhat pricey ($75 for 30 applications), it is worth every cent. It exfoliates, eliminates oil and large pores, and reduces the look of wrinkles, all without irritation. And it's easy: after cleansing in the morning, wipe the pad from Step 1 over your entire face, wait two minutes, and follow with Step 2. Then forget all about it--until a week later when you get tons of compliments on your skin and rosy complexion; I swear by this product!!!

Tarte--Purse Your Lips

I know I've said it before, but I just love the limited edition items that come out during the holidays. For a beauty junkie like me, finding new products becomes a full-time job from October through December. The latest: Tarte Purse Your Lips Limited Edition Lipgloss Clutch. An adorable broze clutch houses nine of tarte's famous lipglosses. Tarte glosses are infused with the Tarte t5 super fruit complex™, which is "loaded with naturally occurring, antioxidant rich nutrients and vitamins that have been known to deliver refining, anti-aging, and skin-restorative benefits with each application." Now, I don't know if it actually makes you healthier, but it tastes delicious and I feel like I'm attempting to do something good for my body during the holidays.

Worth it's weight in gold?

My Friend C sent me the link to this item, and I just about DIED!!! It's so chic, so delicate, so perfect for the holidays. Though it looks like pure gold leaf, she swears that when you brush on Chanel's Facettes D'Or, it's a soft and subtle highlight that is great on cheekbones and lids. I love it--it's a more refined version of the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick, which is always in my top beauty products. In these times, however, a little less 'bling' is a good thing. I'll be showing off my more subdued glow all season long!

11 November 2008

Try before you buy...

Beautyfix.com has come out with a quarterly selection of deluxe samples and full sized products for face, hair and body, valued at $400. Their panel picks several brands and items, automatically sends them to you, where you can try and then review on their website. The current selection includes products by Redpoint, Sensa, PCA Skin, M Lab, Kronos, Jane Iredale, Amarte, and Perricone MD. Also included is a $25 gift card to glow.com, so you can purchase your favorite items--for $50, I think this is a steal!

Make Up For Ever to last forever.

Make Up For Ever has released a palette created and signed by Dany Sanz, Creator and Artistic Director of Make Up For Ever. Includes 30 shades of their notoriously high-pigmented eye shadows that will allow you to create any and every look you could imagine. The eye shadows come in three different finishes: matte, satiny, and iridescent. While pricey, $390 ($640 value), it begs the question, 'can you really put a price on exclusivity?' With only 100 available, this is moving to the top of my Holiday wish list!

Available exclusively at Sephora.

07 November 2008

It's beginning to 'smell' a lot like Christmas...

If you are not set a fan of Aunt Sadie's candles, you're about to be: there is a different candle for every holiday/event you can imagine. With retro images and matching scents, you can enjoy 'Beach in a Can' in the summer, 'Thankgiving Turkey' in the fall, and 'Wedding Bells' for a spring wedding. Her Holiday collection is always my favorite, though, with scents such as Winter Nights, Tree in a Can, Candy Cane, and Ginger Bread, among others. Their fun, festive, and has 70 hours burn time. My purchase this year is going to be 'Winter Nights,' a spearmint scent.*

*Can be found at www.beautyofasite.com.

Kooba Bag Exclusive

Beauty.com has an exclusive lilac Kooba wristlet filled with full size products and deluxe samples--a $200 value for $85. It's a great way to own a Kooba bag without the usual pricetag.

Set Includes:
-Butter London Banana File
-Boscia Peppermint Blotting Papers
-Stila Lip Glaze in Peach Cobbler
-Cargo Blush in Fresno (A favorite of Christina Ricci)
-Sue Devitt Eye Intensifier Pencil in Bangalore
-Blinc Kiss Me Mascara in Black
-Tarte Clean Slate Primer
-Oscar Blandi Olio di Jasmine Serum
-Lorac Perfectly Lit Powder in Spotlight
As with all Beauty.com orders, you get free shipping with any $50 purchase, and 3 free samples of your choice. Can be purchased at www.beauty.com.

06 November 2008

Another Frizz Secret

It's been raining here in San Diego, so I'm thinking a lot about hair products that help eliminate frizz. I've tried dozens of hair serums to help get rid of frizz and boost shine. Funny enough, it was a drugstore brand, John Frieda, that I think is the winner. John Frieda Frizz-Ease Hair Serum is somewhat miraculous when it comes to fighting frizz. I put this all over my hair and then twist sections to bring out the wave, but's also good for straight hair. It comes in three different formulas: Light, Original, and Extra Strength. The Original formula works great for me, and at under $10, what do you have to lose?

05 November 2008

New Kai Moonlight Candle

Kai is finally releasing a large candle in their famous scent--a blend of exotic white flowers found on Hawaii. A 3-wick soy candle with 110 hours burn time, this is sure to my be a favorite among cult followers. Available for pre-order at b-glowing.com with a 11/12 ship date, I'm sure this item will sell out fast.
Pre-order at www.b-glowing.com

Trina Turk for Clinique

Trina Turk is the newest designer for Clinique's new gift with purchase, available exclusively at Nordstrom. The silver bag has a bright yellow lining, and a 'Trina Turk' label. Available for a limited time with any $25 Cliniqe purchase, this kit includes: Cleanser, Cream, Multi-Compact, Mascara, Gloss, Blush, Lipstick Case, Trina Turk Travel Bag. Run, don't walk, to the nearest Nordstrom!

Weather-'Poof' Your Hair

Kiehl's Creme with Silk Groom has become a staple in my hair styling routine. (I use the term 'hair styling' loosely, as I blow dry my hair maybe 3 times a year.) I have frizzy, poofy, wavy hair that is oily at the roots and dry at the ends. It's basically 'nightmare' hair. However, it does become a bit more managable when I use this cream. It's fairly heavy, so I don't recommend it if you have thinner hair. I slather it on from mid-shaft to ends, and it really weighs the hair down and eliminates a lot of frizz. It helps my hair have more defined curls, as opposed to the stringy mess I have without it. It works in dry heat and rain, which is nice, so I don't have to switch products with the season.

Also, if you buy it (or anything) at kiehls.com, you get three generous sized samples.

Everything's coming up 'Iris'...

If someone asked me my top ten smells, Iris would not be one of them. Until I smelled the offerings from Prada and Acqua di Parma, that is. Like the bottles themselves, the scents are straightfoward, yet mysterious, with tons of class and glamour. It's not a sweet floral, but a musky, woody floral. It's a sensual smell that I imagine women in the 1920's wearing for a night out. It doesn't assault the senses, but slowly creeps up on you until your wondering "is it me that smells this good?"
As a side note, the Acqua di Parma image is a special packaging for the holidays--I love the cute purple box.

04 November 2008

Baby, It's Cold Outside!!!

After a long summer, it's finally starting to feel like winter. One of my favorite winter looks is the bright pink cheeks, as if you've just gotten back from a day skiing in St Moritz. Personally, when I get back from skiing my face is tomato-red, but I'm sure you get where I'm heading with this. To attain the perfect ski bunny cheeks without the windburn, I recommend Stila's Convertible Color in Petunia (not color shown). It's a cream, so it leaves a dewy flush. I apply only on the apples of my cheeks, and keep the rest of my makeup minimal--mascara, concealer and clear gloss only.

To be honest, I first bought this product at Barney's a few years back after seeing Sarah Jessica Parker buy it. I figured, if it's good enough for SJP, it's good enough for me! It turned out to be a great purchase.

Smashbox--Let's Do Lunch!

Every Tuesday and Thursday, from 9am-2pm PST, Smashbox includes a full size product with every order. This is on top of free shipping, and free samples. I think it's about the best deal around. The free product varies each day, so you never know what you're going to get. Also, there's no minimum purchase for free shipping, so you can try any product you want. My suggestion would be the Rapture Eye Shadow and Brush Set. For only $59 (a $185 value) you get 8 eye shadow duos and two full size eye brushes. Basically, for $59, you're getting 16 eye shadows, two make up brushes, a deluxe sample, a full size sample, and free shipping--it doesn't get much better than that!