We are a mere day and a half away from the start of November and you know what that means: holiday shopping and great deals galore! If you check out almost any beauty retailer this season, you’re bound to find great sets. This year your dollar is worth it’s weight in makeup gold. A few on my must have list for getting and giving include:

Stila Step Out and Shine, Sephora exclusive, $50: this gem of a kit comes with a darling  silver clutch, the new pomegranate lip and cheek stain (possibly one of the prettiest and easiest stains to apply), convertible color for cheeks and lips in orchid, an all over shimmer in a pink-gold hue, eyeshadow quad featuring day to night purples, and a black mascara. Everything in this set can be sheered down for a more natural look or amped up for a holiday party look that will turn heads.

Smashbox Rapture Eye Shadow and Brush Collection, $59: complete with eight duo eye shadows and two full size brushes (including my favorite, the #15, a must have for highlighting the inner corners of the eyes) this is the ultimate gift for any Smashbox or eyeshadow lover.

Tarte The Vanity Palette, Sephora exclusive, $52: sequel to last years We Wish You Wealth palette, this years offering from Tarte is one of the best value sets of the season. Revamped from the Wealth palette, it features 16 brighter eye shadows, 16 smoother glosses, four powder blushes, a mascara, bronzer, luminizer, and brushes. I have the Wealth palette and all I can say is hallelujah to the switching out of cheek stains to powder blushes. While I adore Tarte’s cheek stains, they dried up fairly quickly in the palette because they were exposed to too much air. If you love them too, do check out their Très Cheek Mini Cheek Stain Set. It’s comes with an adorable pouch and I’m loving the limited edition colors, especially Chic, a gorgeous peach tint.

Stay tuned for more favorites. I have a stash of new products to review as well as some old standbys.

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Coming soon.

October 30, 2008

I made this batch as gifts for other people but there will be more.

I think Brody Jenner is kind of the hotness. Yes indeed. I suppose I just have a thing for boys with dark hair and brown eyes. And wavy hair and slightly unshaven. Indeed.

I caught the very end of Lettermen last night and he was chatting with Lauren Conrad of The Hills. I almost died laughing when Lettermen said, “Let me tell you something about Brody, if there was no television, this guy would be living in a tree!” Haha. Ohhhh DL…why don’t I watch your show more? It’s very true that Brody would not be “famous” without reality TV.

I’m not nearly this bad

October 28, 2008

http://www.elle.com/featurefullstory/15129/an-inside-look-at-the-perfume-obsessed.html

Okay, perhaps I might be close.

It’s no secret that I love Lush. From the bath bombs, soaps, and body butters to the limited edition holiday stuff, I’m hooked. Most lush products are vegan friendly, handmade, and never tested on animals. My absolute can’t live without item is Buffy body butter, formerly known as “Buffy the Backside Slayer.” Oh how I loved to tell people how I get my skin so soft and smooth. Now the name’s no fun anymore. Anyway, Buffy is nothing short of a miracle for anyone who wants soft skin. While still in the shower (after you’ve cleansed your bod) you rub the Buffy bar everywhere you want to be moisturised, especially rough areas (elbows, knees). Buffy has cocoa butter to hydrate and also exfoliates with little rice grains, among other goodies. Rinse, then hop out of the shower and dry off. No extra lotion needed! I do, however, use a dry oil spray or lotion for an extra surge of hydration.

Other Lush indulgences I love:

Honey I Washed the Kids soap– smells like honey, makes your skin feel super soft because honey is a humectant (hello, moisture!), and has a cute little synthetic honey comb attached.

I should Coco soap-is supposed to smell like pina colada’s but my nose only detects a faint orange scent, no coconuts at all. It’s a bit exfoliating and feels divine.

Ne Worry Pas bath bomb get your bath water nice and hot then drop this little milky wonder under into the tub. Smells calming, makes your skin super soft.

Right now Sephora is clearancing out my favorite scent, Morning Waterlily, to make room for new scents (Pomegranate Apple, anyone?). My local store has the full line (dry oil spray, shower gel, bubble bath, scrub, body butter, lotion) for only $3 and $4! There’s not much left online so check your nearest store. It smells like heaven.

For free (or low cost) beauty products for anyone who needs to conserve $$$, I present three of my all time favorites that can usually be found in your kitchen: extra virgin olive oil, sugar, and honey. For a moisturizing exfoliator (ala Buffy) mix a bit of sugar and olive oil in a little bowl and take it into the shower. After sudsing up and rinsing, take little amounts and rub onto your skin until the sugar dissolves then rinse. You can also add sugar into your regular shower gel instead. For a facial mask that will kill acne-loving bacteria and hydrate, drizzle a tiny amount of honey onto your fingertips and spread a super thin layer onto your face. I let my mask sit for five minutes so that the honey won’t have much time to slide off my face. Just rinse with warm water. For any of these at home fixes, make sure you rinse your tub and sink well…otherwise you might end up with ants.

I was at a friends once hanging out while he was getting ready for work and he was applying body lotion to his face. My instant reaction was ‘omg what are you doing, that’s for your body!’  I sometimes forget that most men don’t know the benefits of using skincare specifically made for your facial area and skin type.

So what items should men have in their routines? A good cleanser. Any brand or price range is fine…a $30 cleanser isn’t always better then one that’s $6. You should also have a good moisturizer with SPF, or at least be using an SPF. Every skin type (oily, dry, combination, optimal) can benefit from using a moisturizer. Oily skins CAN be dehydrated. Other items that might be beneficial are an eye cream to help with dark circles, puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles (and to simply keep the aging process at bay). Treatments are also great: something with salicylic acid if you’re acne prone, a night time moisturizer if you are drier, or perhaps a pre-shave oil if you have thicker facial hair.

With that said…let me explain a little bit on the topic of skincare, particularly about sunscreen, the most important thing you can do for your skin daily, besides washing it.

Skin cancer is the leading cause of death among the cancers. What can help prevent skin cancer? Using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 (aka sun protection factor), covering up,  and staying out of the sun during peak hours

How often should you apply sunscreen? The “average” time calculated it takes most people’s melanin to react to the sun after unprotected exposure is 10 minutes. If you apply an SPF of 15 you will get 150 minutes of UV protection. SPF15 x 10 minutes = 150 of UV protection. Every time you REAPPLY sunscreen, you don’t get the same amount of protection. Your protection time is actually cut in half. So lets say you reapply your SPF 15 after 150 minutes…you’ll get 75 minutes of protection. The higher the SPF, the longer amount of protection you have. The FDA did a study in 2004 and concluded that an SPF of 60 isn’t much different then an SPF of 30, so in the next few years you’ll see most sunscreen packaging change to SPF 30+, meaning that it’s 30 or higher. The terms sunblock, waterproof, and all day protection are also being ended as these terms were found to be false.

How much should I use? You should be using two table spoons on your face and one ounce on your body (approx. a shot glass full). LADIES: this also true if your moisturizer or foundation contains SPF. If you can’t imagine putting two table spoons of foundation on, it’s probably best to switch to a separate SPF.

Right now there are several sunscreen options on the market. Formulas are much more advanced then they were a few years ago.

One of my favorite forms of sunscreen is a physical block. It sits on your skin and the sun’s rays bounce off if it. You can go outside right after application and can reapply even in while in the sun. Most “broad spectrum” sunscreens contain both a physical and chemical block. My fave product is Peter Thomas Roth mineral SPF 30…it comes in a brush applicator and is quick to apply. There’s also a Hawaiian Tropic broad spectrum SPF that I like as well.

A chemical block, found in most lotion type sunscreens, don’t actually filter out the sun’s rays. With this kind of sunscreen, the rays still penetrate the epidermis and are then neutralized by synthetic chemicals in the product to prevent sunburn and premature aging. With these you will see instructions to apply 30 minutes before going outside. It is very important to wait 30 minutes (or whatever time the directions specify) so that your skin can fully absorb it.

It is actually more healthy to be pale then to have a “healthy” glow from a tan. A suntan is, essentially, a sunburn that didn’t reach it’s full potential of becoming red. Tanning beds also contain UV rays and you must, must, must protect your skin while laying in one, just as you would if you were in the sun. Even on cloudy days, UV rays can penetrate the ozone layer and clouds and cause damage to your skin.

There are also ways to help reverse environmental aging due to sun damage but that’s a whole other topic. If you have any q’s def. feel free to ask =) I have facts and percentages galore and can recommend products (drug store and high end products alike).

As for Jesse, well, he’s still using body wash on his face and body lotion as moisturizer. Why? He likes as little steps as possible and it’s easier/efficient for him to have products that work double-duty. If you have a guy in your life who happens to have similar beliefs, check out the men’s skin care line Jack Black. They have an all in one hair, face, and body wash. Ojon also features the Tawaka Line where the shampoo can be used on the face and body and their conditioner can be used as a body cream or on the face. Also a lot of brands these days are coming out with skin care for men who like to keep it simple so shop around if you can.

The Nars orgasm collection currently includes a lip gloss, limited edition nail polish (or perhaps it will become a main stay in the collection), and a multiple in orgasm. Multiples, btw, are sticks of color that you can use on eyes, lips, and cheeks. There’s also a special super orgasm blush that’s being pre-released to beauty insiders at Sephora.

This holiday, the company will introduce the Safer Sex kits. Both feature a multiple in orgasm and a “special” treat. One comes with two condoms in “chic packaging” while the other comes with a little black notebook on how to say “no” to a pushy partner.

Now, onto things I heart: Dior Diorshow Iconic mascara. Huge love. Separates, lengthens, curls. I usually am not a Dior fan but oh.my.god. this mascara is pretty amazing.

Manish Arora for MAC: Manish, a designer from India, teamed up with MAC to create a limited edition collection for fall. Dazzling colors, pretty packaging. I really wanted the eyeshadow palette soooooo bad but .com was sold out within minutes of its launch. This collection was released in India, UK, Canada, and select US pro stores (i.e. nowhere near me).

For your viewing pleasure, two cute dresses from his spring 07 collection:

They may be a few seasons old but I still want them.