Favorites of 2010

December 29, 2010

1. Hot pink lips: Bold, effortless, chic. This was the lip look I rocked the most this year, with a natural eye, of course. Faves of the year included Sephora Rouge Cream Lipstick in Mr. Lover, Benefit Posie Tint Stain (3-5 layers for intensity) layered with Smashbox O-Gloss Original (always turns my lips bright hot pink), and MAC Lipstick in Girl About Town.

2. Lashes: It’s rare for me to wear faux lashes even though I love them so (my eyes freak out if I wear them too often) and when I have a full fringe, I always feel super glam. My faves are still Ardell because the quality surpasses the price (around $4). The #120 demi are my absolute faves and I also like #113 and #122. My lash glue of choice is always Duo waterproof clear lash glue unless…I can get my hands on the Makeup Forever lash glue that comes with their lashes. I hoard this whenever I buy Makeup Forever lashes because it is absolutely the best I’ve tried.

3. The love of my life (well, purse-wise at least) is my Lux De Ville Lucky Me bag in black and leopard. I love it because it’s roomy and super cute. It isn’t, however, great for rainy weather, so I’m currently using their Starlite Kisslock bag in red sparkle, which doesn’t hold as much but makes me happy because it reminds me of Dorothy’s ruby slippers, just in purse form instead of shoes.

4. Headbands! Love! It takes  a drab hairstyle to fab on mornings when I’d rather sleep than make an effort with my hair. I just brush, slick into a pony, pop on a headband and I look like I tried.

5. Josie Maran GOGO instant volume mascara: I always admit that mascara is not my thing, so when I do end up loving one, it’s the real deal. The brush is almost a triangular shape and it gives my lash a flirty flutter without clumps. Thanks, Josie. P.S. I also kind of love everything from this line, so maybe I’m biased? It really is a super fab line that I highly recommend.

6. Zirh Shave Gel: See a few posts back. Amazing!

7 & 8: Perricone Super: I’m sooo loving the Lush Lips and Hyper Hydrator, both with coconut water. Coconut water is great for the skin (I would like to say that I drink it regularly, but I only drink it a few times a month) and the smell is light. The lip treatment is ultra hydrating, silky, and is indeed very lush. The moisturizer is light and helps keep my oily skin in check. The line is also a bit more wallet friendly than Perricone’s core line, which I also love and can’t always afford.

9. Perricone Advanced Firming Eye Activator: Anti-aging! Brightening! Tightening! I love this eye cream bunches and always buy it when it’s within my budget. I’ve been a devotee of this product since 2006.

10 And as always….Bliss Best of Skintentions moisturizer is still tops in my skincare regime. I love the way it makes my skin look and feel. If I need an instant pick-me-up, this does it. I also love the built-in SPF (with the Japanese skincare rating of PA++).

Advertisements

White for Summer

August 1, 2010

Summer is the perfect time to wear white. It helps to keep you cool when the temps rise and it looks tres chic anywhere from a night on the town to a day at the beach. You do the monochromatic thing and wear head to toe white (just make certain you do different shades of white or add a splash of gold or silver or a tiny bit of color) or you can pick and choose pieces, accessories, and even makeup. One of my fave quick and easy summer eye looks is to draw on a sheer shimmering white eyeliner and smudge until you’re left with a faint sparkle (Try Sephora Collection Flashy Liner in #02). I also like doing the same technique with a sheer shadow (I like Sephora Collection Aspen Summit #23, which is in the free birthday gift for beauty insiders this year).

Where to buy above items: Tops and sandals are from forever21.com, necklace is from fantasyjewelrybox.com, white shadow is the Sephora Collection Shadow mentioned above, white silver ring is from pret-a-beaute.com, and the velver rose hair clip is from flowerclip.com.

 

I purchased the Sephora Sun Safety kit  this year, just as I always do every year, to see if I can find my new holy grail of sun protection. The 2010 kit included Kate Somerville SPF 55 Sunscreen Serum, my new love. It’s lightweight, absorbs quickly, is great for my oily skin because it’s oil free and non greasy, and does not have a scent. I am so so so so hooked on this product that I had to go buy the full size. I had to order online, though, because my local Sephora only carries three Kate Somerville products. 

 The other suncreeens in the Sephora kit weren’t really anything amazing, though I did like the Jack Black Lip Balm in Lemon and Chamomile. I’ve been using the balm in Mint for several years and might switch to the Lemon version because the scent is uplifting. The kit also includes Bliss Best of Skintentions Moisturizer with SPF, which I have also been using since it launched. Another honorable mention goes to Murad Essential-C Eye Cream SPF 15, for its light weight formula that works well under makeup.

Bandeau swim top pictured above is from Vitamin A.

Eau de V-day: Men

January 22, 2010

Fragrance is a great Valentine’s Day gift for yourself or a loved one. Here are my top picks for anyone close to your heart: 

1. Yves Saint Laurent L’Homme, $43-$100, sephora.com: Modern and sensual, this offering from YSL will dazzle your senses with bergamot, cedar, ozonic accord, white ginger, cedarwood, and vetiver.

2. Givenchy Play, $53-$71, sephora.com: Fresh, play-ful, and inspired by hottie Justin Timberlake, this well-rounded fragrance features bergamot, mandarin orange, bitter orange, grapefruit, Amyris wood, and black pepper.

3. Diesel Only The Brave, $53-$65, sephora.com: Bold, confident, and masculine, this fist shaped bottle with Diesel knuckles only needs four fragrance notes to get its point across: lemon, leather, amber, and cedarwood.

4. Dolce and Gabbana The One For Men, $40-$70, sephora.com: Mmmm…I saved the best for last as this fragrance is pretty much sex in a bottle. Who wouldn’t want to get close to a guy wearing The One? With its notes of grapefruit, coriander, ginger, orange blossom, cedar, and amber, it’s both fresh and woodsy all in one bottle. Or…snuggly.

Eau de V-day: Women

January 21, 2010

Fragrance is a great Valentine’s Day gift for yourself or a loved one. Here are my top picks for anyone close to your heart: 

  

1. Nanadebary Classic Pink Eau de Parfum, $98-$160, at luckyscent.com’s Scentbar 8327 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles or nanadebary.com: With jasmine, bergamot, sandalwood, and vanilla, this fem fragrance is delicate and grounded.

2. Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Eau de Parfum, $100-$150, nordstrom.com: This sweet, heady floral features notes of bergamot, orchid, freesia, and rose with a patchouli base note.

3. D & G 3 L’IMPERATRICE, $65, sephora.com: This is one of my current faves because it’s soft, modern and flirty with notes of pink cyclamen, watermelon, jasmine, musk, and sandalwood.

4. Dolce and Gabbana Rose the One Eau de Parfum, $60-90, sephora.com: I am not a rose girl in the least, or so I thought, until I tried Rose the One. It is NOT your grandmother’s rose. This version of Dolce & Gabbana’s The One opens with zesty pink grapefruit, mandarin, peach, Bulgarian rose, peony,  and closes with vanilla, amber, and musk .  

5. Victoria’s Secret Love Rocks Eau de Parfum, $39, victoriassecret.com: This new fruity floral from VS is featured in a stunning red flacon and is packed with notes of  peony, raspberry  sorbet, jasmine, peach nectar, plum, violet, and cashmere musk.

Lush Figs and Leaves Soap

November 18, 2009

 Mmmmmm. I love Lush’s Figs and Leaves Soap because it smells like a little peace of heaven. The scent is light, slightly clean and also a little foody. It also feels divine and exfoliates without being messy or leaving behind a film. Figs and Leaves exfoliates with fig seeds and is scented with essentials oild of ylang ylang, orange blossom absolute, and added fragrance.I love this because it’s gentle, smells divine, feels wonderful on my skin, and doesn’t leave my skin feeling dry. The only downside, for me, are the leaves on the top of the soap. Sure, it’s pretty decoration, but it gets mushy with use and can clog the drain. I just simply peel the leaves off after my first use. I discovered this soap thanks to a little sample that a nice sales lady added into my bag and I’ve been hooked ever since. I love it during fall and winter the most and will sometimes indulge in a bar during other months as well.This soap ranges in price in store depending on the size you get and the online quote for a 3.5 oz bar is $7.60. You can also have the lovely sales people at the store cut your very own custom bar as well.

Lush is best known for its natural approach to skin, body, and hair care. Sometimes synthetic materials (man-made) are used and they strive to use skin and eco-friendly versions. There are several locations world-wide and the online store is the only place to find “Retro Lush” items (previously discontinued products). Many items are also vegan friendly.

Halloween: The one day you can dress up as anything or anyone you want without getting strange glances. It’s also a day when many people have their makeup done by someone else. This should be a great and fun experience but sometimes things can get in the way. Here are some of my favorite tips for helping things run smoothly any time you are having someone else do your makeup, Halloween or not.

1. Have an idea of what you are looking for and bring examples (color swatches from fabric, photos, or anything that inspires you). If you aren’t certain of what you want, brainstorm with the artist to help come up with some ideas.

2. If you bring a photo of what you want, remember that may not be the exact look you get. A good makeup artist will try to work with your own unique features to replicate the look, but sometimes our faces are different then our inspiration model’s and things might have to be tweaked. For example: You may have a more delicate eye area then the model in your inspiration photo, and doing the same dramatic smokey eye in exactly the same way might make you look like someone punched you in the eye.

3. Relax! When your body is relaxed, we are able to work more efficiently. It’s hard to apply eyeshadow on someone who is closing their eyes tightly and it’s harder to enhance the brows of someone who is moving their face. Relax your face and follow the directions of the artist of when to open, close, and look up.

4. Know that there will usually be a fee to have your makeup done. Freelance artists (individuals that do not work at a counter or store) will usually discuss a fee up front when you book your appointment. The going rate of most artists start around $60 and can go as high as $150 or more depending on what you want, the experience of the artist, and sometimes location if your artist is traveling to you.  If a full makeup application at a counter or store is “free” you are expected to purchase at the end of your makeover session. Having worked cosmetics retail myself, I can tell you that it is very rude to get your face done and simply walk away. The associate/artist is spending valuable company time with you. Most counters and stores nowadays charge a fee up front to ensure their time is not wasted. If yours doesn’t, it’s because the company has good faith that you will purchase something. If you just want your makeup done without buying anything, be upfront. Yes, they might make you wait while an artist free’s up or book an appt. in advance, but if you are genuine in trying a new look or products, they will want to give you great service so that you will make a purchase the next time.

5. Do not think that it’s okay to bring a friend to your appointment and expect to have their makeup done. Always call ahead. If it’s a busy season (prom, wedding) your artist might be booked solid that day. If going to a counter or store, most companies assign someone to do your face and will not often have the time to accomodate an extra face, especially on a busy day. If you plan to bring someone with you who also wants an application, call before hand and see if you can book an appointment for them after yours. Also please note that said friend will also have a fee for her face as well. Very rarely do artist give a 2 for 1, if ever. I will sometimes with large wedding parties do the bride’s mother for free.

6. If you do not like the direction your makeup is going, please speak up. We want you to be happy, so please let us know how we can better help you. There’s nothing worse than having a client proclaim they love what you’ve done only to find out later that they didn’t like it.  Things you can say if your wishes aren’t being met include, “I was hoping we could try it another way,” “I thought I’d like that color/look/method/etc. but it may not be for me after all. Can we try something else?” Just be honest, and be polite. It’s much easier to fix something as it’s being done then at the very end. Please do not be demanding or rude.

7. And the most important: BE ON TIME (yes, I am yelling). It seems like people these days have either A.) No sense of time.  B.) Respect enough for themselves (it’s YOU that looks bad when you show up late) and the other person to be on time.  C.) Some other reason, which is still no excuse for tardiness. If you will be late, please telephone to let your artist know. Often times there is only a certain amount of time alloted for your appointment and your time will be cut short by being late. Give yourself enough time for travel, finding the location (if you have never been there before), and time for parking and walking to your destination. Also, give yourself at least 15 extra minutes, just in case there is unforseen traffic or other circumstances.

tbscranberryhugs

I love The Body Shop, especially the seasonal cranberry items. The cranberry scent is calming, light and not too sweet or tart. Yum! Last year they had cranberry heatable feet hugs and cranberry heatable body hugs, both are cozy, soft material that contain little pouches you heat in the microwave. They retain heat and you can bask in the warmth they give off. I wanted both of the hugs over the holidays but was too lazy to order them. Well, laziness pays off because I was randomly browsing TBS site and found them on sale for $13 each! They were previously $26 each.

My favorite of the two is the feet hugs. They feel divine after a long day of standing and walking. I also have feet that turn cold easily so I foresee these being my favorite thing next winter. I like the body hug and I wish it was a bit longer. I’ve only used it once and it didn’t seem to retain heat very long, although I know with such products it takes a few uses for them to hold heat longer. It will probably be my BFF when I’m crampy or sore.

All in all, at the sale price, I’d say these are both worth it. They are still available on TBS website, and are currently listed under the “specials” tab in “last chance” so they may be gone soon.

I also got a free coconut shower cream. I chose coconut because I adore their coconut body butter (my fave scent, next to mango). When you spend $25 or more (before tax and shipping) you can choose a free shower gel online or at participating stores. This offer is valid until April 19th.

The Ocean Rows Us Away

March 17, 2009

mtry

Adieu! I will be off again during the next few days for part two of my birthday celebration in Monterey.

While I’m away, check out my new fave fragrance line, Pacifica! My fave scent is Malibu Lemon Blossom, which is the perfect balance of fresh and floral. It’s very light and I think it’ll totally be one of my spring/summer scents. A close second is the Tuscan Blood Orange fragrance, which to me smells like gummy life savers. Included in the line is a solid fragrance, 1.2 oz fragrance, body wash, soap, body lotion, body butter and candles in several sizes.

Happy New Year!

January 2, 2009

I hope everyone had a fantastic NYE. I spent it in SF with BFF and two other close friends. The coming new year may be a great time to reflect on the good and bad of the previous year but I don’t do resolutions. I believe that if you want to change something, do it now instead of waiting for January 1st. That said, in 2009 I vow to walk my dog, Lilly (my “chi-weiner”), more often.  She tends to chew on things more when she hasn’t been walked enough. For Christmas, my aunt bought her a handy harness that has a little backpack attached from Lovabledog. It will be the perfect place to store her poopy bags and treats. It is the same one as featured below, only hers is pink.

harness

Fantastic idea, indeed! She is not used to it yet but it’s much easier to use then her previous harness. For being such a good girl, I bought her a new lobster toy while I was at Target today. She is such an unspoilt dog. <==Sarcasm.

natural

While at Target, I checked out the new collection that is taking the place of their previous “Global Bazaar” collections. Most of it was still in the process of being put out on the shelves. I am very unimpressed. For the most part, it’s a “safe” collection with more neutrals and slight pops of color. The decor and furniture is just so-so. One item, “wood stick on a stand,” is rather humerous. It’s basically a stick on a stick for $30. There were a few items I liked, but unfortunately they aren’t coming up on the Target site yet. I did see a few pictures online that are noteworthy (above), but all in all this collection is rather bland.