Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wet N Wild ColorIcon Eye Shadow Trios in Silent Treatment and Sweet As Candy

I picked up these Wet N Wild Trios at my local CVS when they had a BOGOHO promotion. I was immediately drawn to Silent Treatment, with its purply taupe and peach highlighter. They were $2.99 apiece and with the promotion, I would get two for roughly $4.50. However, there weren't a lot of trios to choose from at the time so I just picked Sweet As Candy, thinking it would make for a simple everyday brown/pink combo.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Guerlain Parure Gold Rejuvenating Gold Radiance Foundation

I had heard many good things about Guerlain's Parure Gold Foundation and when I finally decided to purchase myself a bottle, I expected a lot. I first attempted to get a sample at the only Guerlain counter at the mall that carried it but I think that they ran out of the tester for my shade and I was given Lingerie de Peau instead. I wasn't sold on the formula of Lingerie de Peau so I went and ordered Parure Gold.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Lancome "Parisian Sultry" Eye Look Set

After going shopping for eyeshadow with my friend last week, I became interested in the Lancome Color Design Shadow and Liner Palettes. So many colors to choose from! My friend, who is considerably darker than I am, looked just wonderful in Bronze Amour. After a little bit of thought, I decided that I wanted Coral Crush, which as it turned out, is being sold by Nordstrom in a set with an eye base, eyeliner, mascara and a little makeup bag, all for the price of the palette alone. Macy's has a gift with purchase right now but I think that the Nordstrom set (a $102 value) is gift enough for me.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wet N Wild ColorIcon Eye Shadow Singles in Brulee and Nutty

I'm always on the lookout for new versions of my most used shades: beige and taupe. When I'm trying out a brand, I try to reach for those two shades in singles, if the brand doesn't offer a palette of neutrals. I like to wear colorful eyeliner every now and then and I've found that taupe is a good lid color that doesn't compete for attention and beige is useful as a highlighter or an allover lid wash, no matter what colors I'm wearing.

Wet N Wild Brulee and Nutty Eye Shadow Singles

Monday, August 22, 2011

Butter London 3 Free Nail Lacquer in Toff

I was at Ulta a few weeks ago, perusing the Butter display (they finally have one!). I looked at the colors from the Autumn/Winter 2011 Collection and picked out Toff as my favorite.

When I first put it on, I thought that the color was a mauvy eggplant shade. Butter's website describes it as a browner, dustier, brownish variation on a rose pink. As I wore it longer, I definitely saw the rose tones and the hint of brown became stronger. I've tried dark brown polish before, espresso, versions of mixed chocolate and wine, and I've gone taupe. Frankly, I wasn't too hot about any of those so I'm glad that I picked this one out because this color definitely works for me.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Peach and Gold with MAC (swatches and mini-review)

And now back to your regular scheduled programming...

Last Friday I promised that I would post the swatches of the MAC products that I purchased after a quick eye makeover at the MAC studio in KOP. I had requested for a set of eyeshadows with a peach theme and a gold-toned base. I told the associate what MAC shadows I owned and we quickly picked out a set that would work nicely for a monochrome peach/gold daytime look.

Custom Palette on left. Top: Shroom, Mulch. Bottom: All That Glitters, Arena. Indianwood Paint Pot on right.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

An Open Letter to Facebook Users

Forgive the diversion. I'll try to make it brief but I hope that when you finish reading this, you will at least think twice before hitting the button that immediately publishes all of the pictures on your phone/SD card from any event to Facebook.

I'm a Facebook user. I use it for my personal needs, not for this blog. I joined at the urging of former colleagues and close friends and have found it a nice way to locate people I've known in the past and to a certain extent, it's become the least invasive way to get in touch with people I would like to send a note to, when I don't have their current phone number or email. People are nice and people publish cute pictures that bring back memories sometimes. In that regard, Facebook has been a fantastic tool for keeping friendships alive.

The story I am going to share with you started with a simple outing where old friends met and people took a lot of pictures. In the digital age, I fault noone for snapping away until their SD card is full but I do miss keeping memories available to a select few. Technology has made it so easy to share. In this age of flash celebrities, people brazenly publish pictures of themselves, their kids, their dogs, on Facebook, for the world to see. How many truly use the security and privacy settings available to them? How many know how to use it properly? If you keep your albums viewable only to people you trust, I salute you. If not, I urge you try to learn how.

I've already felt the implications of people mindlessly publishing photographs on Facebook. My local YMCA now prohibits taking photographs during athletic classes. This means that when my daughter is at gymnastics, I'm not allowed to snap a single memory of the event. They have this rule in writing and it was explained to me that the rule was created because people put pictures on Facebook.

In my family, my husband and I have agreed that we will not publish pictures of each other and our daughter on Facebook, except on occasions where we can share albums of expressly-selected pictures to the people we love and only to the people who we mean to see the pictures. This was my husband's idea and I stood by it because I saw the wisdom in the move. (I'm the only one on Facebook as he chooses not to utilize social networking tools.) On top of serious security concerns, we value our privacy and would rather not open ourselves to both praise and criticism for pictures that we post. While having had a public life for over a decade, I don't think I've developed a thick enough skin to withstand all kinds of criticism. It takes a very special person to deal with all that. For this reason, you may see an eye, lips or nails in this blog but the only remotely recognizable face photo you may ever see of me is my tiny Twitter picture.

How easy is it to hit the button to publish each and every single photograph taken of an occasion? A friend said, it's what people do. True, but does that make it right? I've learned now that I need to tell people that if they're going to take pictures with us in it, we really do not want to have any of these pictures appear on Facebook. It's going to be a pain to have to remind people and I can't police every single album out there. But if I find something objectionable, I will not hesitate to ask that the picture be removed. The problem with Facebook is that the pictures can only be removed by the people who publish them. I don't care about tags, you know. I know pictures can be untagged. But just knowing that pictures I'd rather keep private are out there bothers me tremendously.

The incident that spurred this post involves a couple of friends who published photos of my family on Facebook without my permission. The albums were public and one of them tagged select photographs and this was how I got wind of their publishing. I consequently asked her to remove certain pictures, and particularly pictures of my husband, who was sure to become irate that people had published photographs of him online. The pictures were removed at once, which I appreciated. It took more prompting to get the other friend to remove pictures. I discovered those pictures much later because we were not asked or informed in the least that pictures were going to be posted online. I guess people don't think about doing that now. Some people seem to think that just because a picture was taken with their camera, they can do with it as they please. I hate to complain but we just don't want ourselves paraded on other people's albums on Facebook without our prior consent. And if the picture doesn't flatter anyone, why bother? Are you paparazzi?

In truth, posting terrible/defocused/pointless pictures on Facebook only says that you can't take proper pictures. Posting terrible/defocused/pointless pictures of other people on Facebook says that you're also inconsiderate. The friend I discussed this with said, what is ugly is very subjective and we tend to be harsher with our own pictures. True. So why not focus on posting beautiful memories instead of crappy ones that have no meaning?

Using Facebook is a responsibility. I ask you, please take it to heart. Some people don't want their pictures out there. I know it takes time but ask, edit, just look through all the goddam pictures and pick out some good ones instead of publishing all 700 pictures of your weekend. Then fix those privacy settings. I know I'm not the only person who will appreciate it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Revlon Luxurious Color Perle Eye Shadow in Violet Starlet and Lilac Shimmer

This is the last pair of eye shadow singles I'll be reviewing from Revlon's line. This is the Perle duo (as in two eye shadows) of Violet Starlet and Lilac Shimmer which I was able to get together. They were packaged and sold as a single item, two for the price of one.

Left: Lilac Shimmer, Right: Violet Starlet

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Quick Beauty and Skincare Q&A (on wrinkles, toothpaste and aloe vera)

I sought out a little help getting answers to some frequently asked questions and a couple that were just pretty interesting to me. I love getting your emails and will surely be doing more Q&A posts in the future. Meantime, here's a post submitted by Aleya who writes the blog for Long Island Beauty School, a beauty school in New York that also has locations in Florida.

Why do some anti-wrinkle products seem to work only temporarily? How can we make the effect last?

As people age, their body is less able to produce the vast amounts of collagen and elastin it could when they were younger. This results in the appearance of sagging skin and wrinkles. Skin firming cream and anti-wrinkle cream often contain collagen and elastin, although the body cannot actually absorb such large proteins through a skin firming lotion. Consequently, using such products often makes no difference to a person’s skin no matter how long they use the skin firming cream and how much of it they apply to their face and body.

I've been told that toothpaste works for pimple spot treatment. Is this true and why/how does it work?

The answer to this question is: it depends. Some toothpastes contain ingredients which can help get rid of pimples, while others do not, and in some cases they can actually irritate the skin. Given that there are numerous other acne remedies available, toothpaste should really only be viewed as a last resort. It also usually requires an overnight treatment to work effectively, so don't depend on toothpaste for emergent zit crises.

I have patches of redness at the corners of my mouth that get dry and flaky. They won't go away no matter what I do. Could it be my toothpaste?

It could be the toothpaste, try Aloe Vera! Aloe restores moisture in the skin. Try it for a month, it will help!

I don't get pimples often but when I do, they last for weeks and a few leave red bumps that won't go away. Is there a solution to this?

I have acne prone skin, and I have been putting Aloe Vera on my face every night and I LOVE it! It takes out the redness and swelling.

And here's a quick tip: Before applying foundation, always use a moisturizer then a primer! Primer helps protect the skin from sucking in your makeup, and causing blackheads and whiteheads.

Monday, August 15, 2011

JK Jemma Kidd I-Design Eye Colour in Must Have

Our quick Target trip over the weekend yielded very little by way of deals. I saw the Revlon ColorStay Mineral Bronzer in Golden Bronze marked down by another $3. Most of the JK Jemma Kidd eyeshadows were taken but I did find a pan of Must Have that was in good condition so I decided to just get it.

I had previously swatched all of the brand's eyeshadows in the store and decided that the previously featured Backstage and Vanity Fair were the best of the marked down bunch. But I was craving a dark blue for my collection and hoped that I would be able to find a way to get Must Have to translate on the eyes as it looks in the pan.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sephora@JCPenney opens at King of Prussia Mall

I got up early today, put on my face and drove off to KOP to check out the Sephora that just opened inside JCP. So I wasn't exactly early, and not really thinking I could snag any freebies at that rate. I was parking my car as they opened the doors. By the time I found the Sephora, it was packed. I got my free makeup bag with some samples and browsed for approximately 2 minutes before I decided that it was much too crowded to enjoy myself.

The strange thing is, there's a Sephora down the same hallway and it wasn't crowded there. I often wonder how they compete or if they're all friends, you know? In the same way that there's a MAC store further down that hallway, along with a MAC counter inside the Nordstrom. What's with the duplicates? As I went further down the hall and into the MAC store, I had a chat with the associate there and she brought up an interesting point. Well, I guess people who have a JCP card can shop at the Sephora inside JC Penney. In the same way that Nordstrom shoppers can use their Nordstrom card to buy MAC. As I complained about the limited selection Nordstrom offered by way of eyeshadow refill pans, we decided to get me a new everyday look with some peach, brown and gold. Packed Mulch, Arena and All That Glitters, along with the Indianwood Paint Pot and I was good to go. When I get down to swatching the shades, I'll try to share the look with you. Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Revlon ColorStay Mineral Blush in Petal

Revlon ColorStay Mineral Blush in 020 Petal

I already mentioned having used the Petal blush in yesterday's post about the Revlon ColorStay Mineral Bronzer in Golden Bronze. I got this blush ahead of the bronzer and I sure as heck didn't pay just $5 for it! I had higher expectations, to say the least. The color seems to be your basic pale pink, which depending on the lighting can lean brown (poor fluorescent), beige (bright white), or even peach (afternoon sun). Under ordinary circumstances, this looks like a very dull pink shade.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Revlon ColorStay Mineral Bronzer in Golden Bronze

Revlon ColorStay Mineral Bronzer in 040 Golden Bronze

Last Friday, my family trooped over to the nearest Old Navy to see if there was anything worth getting with a 20% off coupon. That experience turned out to be a total failure as most items felt like they'd gone up in price and down in quality. I walked out of there with a couple of pairs of clearance pajama shorts sets for my daughter and that was it. Not wanting to have wasted the trip, I sauntered over next door to a brand new Five Below and was surprised that they carried makeup other than dollar eyeshadow and nailpolish for kids. The Wet N Wild display was fresh and fully-stocked and they had little jars filled with Revlon bronzers at $4.99.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

L'Oreal Color Juice Sheer Juicy Lip Gloss in Peek-A-Boo Clear

A clear lip gloss, why not? I found this line of glosses on clearance at my local Target last Sunday. They had 4 shades left and as I couldn't decide which one might suit me best, I went with the clear one. Then again, at $1.94, sometimes I wonder why I deliberate on the purchase as much as I do. Oh, and don't forget the $1 off coupon that was in the paper last Sunday. If I had another coupon, maybe I would've bought two :p

This one smells like cotton candy. It feels nice, not too sticky and gives the lips a soft shine. You can't really go wrong with a clear gloss. Even if applied without a mirror, you're good. I think it lasts on the lips too, which really surprised me. I think these are up for a repackage, with new shades to come and that's why the store is clearing them out. Not a bad grab, if you can find them at your local Target. YMMV.

Monday, August 8, 2011

JK Jemma Kidd I-Design Eye Colour in Backstage and Vanity Fair

Yesterday was Target day for us and browsing those little bins at the endcaps, I found some JK Jemma Kidd products at varying discounts, some already at 75% off or more. Of the batch which included liquid liners and eyeshadows, I picked out what I thought were the most notable of the bunch and brought home the eye colors in Backstage and Vanity Fair.

Left: Vanity Fair, Right: Backstage

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Top 5 - August 2011

Another month already! I've been working the no makeup makeup look these last few summer weeks. But some products are too good to resist. Right now, these are the top 5 performers on my beauty table:

1. Soleil Tan de Chanel Moisturizing Bronzing Powder in Bronze Rose - I admit, I bought this because it looked pretty in the pan but I didn't actually appreciate it until I saw Lisa Eldridge work the pink strip as a blush, separate from the rest of the bronzer colors. Now I swirl my bronzer brush over the top 3 strips and apply that as bronzer before I dip my blush brush into the pink strip and brighten cheeks with just that color. I am loving the bronzer strips because they don't have a hint of orange and they work spectacularly with the pink blush strip to give you a touch of color on the face. How versatile is that?

2. DiorSkin Forever Wear-Extending Invisible Retouch Powder - This was a pleasant surprise as far as powders go because it's proven to be a really good setting powder as well. While it provides no coverage, I've found that on super hot, humid days, I can wear this powder all by itself to zap shine. Somehow, I still end up picture ready. How cool is that?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Revlon Luxurious Color Matte Eyeshadow in Peach Sorbet and Rich Sable

I wanted to go through the reviews for the Revlon eyeshadows that I've had sitting on my desk for months now so allow me to feature the two mattes in my collection today. Although I got these two separately quite awhile back, the satin shades excited me more so these kind of got left behind. I didn't even bother photographing them when I first got them because I wasn't sure if I was going to review them. But after I realized that I'd picked up a whole set, I went ahead and photographed the used pans anyway.

Left: Peach Sorbet, Right: Rich Sable

Friday, August 5, 2011

Revlon Luxurious Color Satin Eyeshadow in Polished Bronze

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm going to review the other Satin Eyeshadow that I picked out from Revlon's roster of singles. This is Polished Bronze.

Revlon Luxurious Color Satin Eyeshadow in 010 Polished Bronze

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Revlon Luxurious Color Satin Eyeshadow in Nude Slip

This is one of the eyeshadows that I'm wearing today. I'm on my way out but I thought I'd post a quick review.

Revlon Luxurious Color Satin Eyeshadow in 020 Nude Slip

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Guerlain Rouge Automatique in Apres L'Ondee

Guerlain Rouge Automatique in Apres L'Ondee

I tried hard to stop myself from grabbing another one of these but curiosity got the better of me and I took the plunge. This time, I ordered shade 100 Apres L'Ondee. I couldn't find a text description of it from any merchant but I surmised that it would be a lighter sister of the first color that I got.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

L'Oreal Wear Infinite Single Eyeshadow in Gilded Bronze

L'Oreal Wear Infinite Single Eyeshadow in Gilded Bronze

This is the other L'Oreal Wear Infinite Eyeshadow I picked out from the current batch I could find at my local Target. Gilded Bronze, aptly described, is a very yellow gold-toned bronze shade with a lovely shimmer. I find that this builds color so much better than Smooth Latte. It is richer in pigment and generally smooth.

Monday, August 1, 2011

L'Oreal Wear Infinite Single Eyeshadow in Smooth Latte

I've never tried L'Oreal eyeshadows before. Not knowing at all what to expect, I picked up two very safe colors for testing. First up is 812 Smooth Latte which is a matte light brown. You get 0.1 oz. of product in the pan, which after a quick inspection of all the singles I own, seems to be the the most eyeshadow one can get in a single pan. At under $5, if it turns out to be a really good product, it would be such an excellent value.

L'Oreal Wear Infinite Single Eyeshadow in Smooth Latte