Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Just add turquoise!

I love the color of turquoise stones, they are one of my favorite summer jewelry looks for casual or dressy!

With the popularity of pastell makeup, adding a hint of turquoise to your eye makeup is an instant update for summer!

For some of you, the thought of ANY shade of blue eyeliner makes you think 80s and you want nothing to do with it, but you can add just a little or a lot, and it will look fresh!

Add just a bit:

Take a turquoise eyeliner and only line the outer corners of your lash line/ or just a line on the bottom

If you follow it up with some turquoise earrings, and add a summer dress - perfection!

TRY:  Urban Decay's $19 24-7 Glide On Pencil liner in "Flipside" or "Electric"
Urban Decay - 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil
Or Sephora's waterproof Turquoise liner for $8
SEPHORA COLLECTION - Flashy Liner Waterproof
TIP:  Keep the rest of the makeup neutral with nudes, golds or blush tones so that the turquoise pops!

Add a little more:

Try adding some on top of a thin line of black eyeliner:

or try adding to the lower lash line only, with a swipe of liquid black, keeping the lid matte and neutral:

Be dramatic:

You can add drama, but not by adding more makeup!  For the bolder fashionista, pair up a simple turquoise liner with a bold matte red lip.  Keeping skin matte and clean, with just a tiny hint of bronzer on the temples and cheekbones

To amp up the color, you can do a think black eyeliner, then swipe a turquoise shadow on lids only

TRY:  Urban Decay $18 single eyeshadow in "Peace"
Urban Decay - Eyeshadow
OR Make Up For Ever's Diamond Shadow ($20) in Robin's Egg, which has incredible shimmer!
MAKE UP FOR EVER - Diamond Shadow
What to avoid:

It might be tempting to line the entire eye area with your new-found summer color, but resist!  You want to avoid having the color on both the top and bottom lash line:

Doing this closes in the eye area and makes makeup look to bold.  Try to stick to top OR bottom and keep it simple.

Don't forget to add accessories, it will pull your whole look together!  I just nabbed a few summer must haves:

Like these $5 earrings from Forever 21

and this adorable top for $20

Splurge vs Steal (with a fun extra!)

Today's Splurge vs Steal is one of my favorites!  Not only because I was surprised by the results, but because this testing led me to a new AWESOME additional 'steal' product!

The SPLURGE:  When I saw that Dior added an 'extreme' formula to its line up of Addict Lip glosses (the spokes model being my beauty idol Kate Moss) my interest was obviously peaked!

The 'extreme' formula adds the additional benefits of a stain, so even as the ultra-hydrating moisturizer wears off (somewhat quickly) there is a still a tint on your lips - and I felt it was enough to keep some color going until you remember to re-apply.

Its important to note that this product is incredible as it is applied, but because its main purpose is hydration, it wears off quickly.  (good to know in case you fall in love with one of the non 'extreme' labeled colors, because those are essentially lip balms with no long-wearing pigments)

My favorite color, "Avenue" which is a very natural berry shade

What I liked:
-Great formula, my lips were hydrated and soft
-The subtle stain formula kept the color wearing longer than expected for such a moisturizing product
-The product is fool-proof to apply, it applied easy like a lip balm, but the slim, tapered end lets you guide it along the natural curve of lips
-It was just a degree different than a lipstick, so if you are used to lipstick it won't be a huge change for you

What I didn't like:
-The price.  At $30 I wasn't able to pick up as many colors as I would have liked  (it was hard to leave the store with only 2!)

Dior was the first line to launch these lip balms that are marketed for women who wear lipstick (remember Maybelline's Baby Lips Balm launching a year ago?  It didn't hit the right segment, and it ended up being a teenage product).  But Revlon sensed the need for a drug-store priced answer to Dior's Lipstick/Balm, which leads me to...

The STEAL:  Revlon's Lip Butter

how can you resist Emma Stone's soft peachy lips in this ad, and not want to put on this product?  I think the last Revlon lipstick I bought was a vampy red Colorstay in college!  So I was eager to compare the 2 products!

I tried Berry Smoothie, because it was very similar to the Dior color I liked

What I liked:
-This product was ULTRA hydrating, and the moisture lasted the entire day
-It really felt like it improved the texture of my lips
-The color is very vibrant, you don't need to put several coats of product on
-The price, I paid $7.99 at Walgreens (and at that price you really can get 4 or 5 colors!)

What I didn't like:
-It doesn't have that long wearing power, but its better than a gloss
-This product is more like a balm than a lipstick in application and texture

The results are: STEAL!  The additional $22 in cost to buy a Dior is not going to get you that much more in long wear or hydration.  Not to mention, its a great summer product (if only they put SPF in either of them!  I wish!) and one you'll want to buy several colors of, so the cheaper price was the deciding factor!

But wait!!  I promised you a fun extra!  I figured since I was trying a drug store brand, I might as well give you a bonus review on a brand new lip product that hot the market mid-May, and that is:

Revlon's 'Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain' which is a mouthful to say, but Revlon isn't worried about how much you'll be talking, because this stain WORKS!!!

I grabbed the 'honey' shade

And I was totally impressed by this $7.99 product as well!  (Go Revlon!)

This product is much more of a stain than a balm, but it is (in a very subtle way) hydrating.  The thick pencil-type application is so easy to control, and this product lasted several hours and through a meal (the shine dissipated but the color stayed)

My tip:  Line and fill lips with the Stain then once set (give it a minute or two) slick some of the Lip Butter over it to add shine!  This combo will run you about $16 and it looks great and will last well into a summer picnic!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hot New Summer Scent

I knew this scent was magic when the sample came in my Birchbox, but I had no idea it was going to be a scent that got me stopped on the sidewalk!  In one weekend I had more than 3 people stop me and ask me about my fragrance, and it was the new Bvlgari "Omnia Crystalline"
Bvlgari - Omnia Crystalline

This scent is incredibly light and airy with a hint of floral that is so complimenting, not over-powering, which is what makes it the perfect summer scent!

The perfume stars at $64 for 1.3oz, but I picked up the $22 mist for my purse:
Bvlgari - Omnia Crystalline

Its worth checking out!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Birchbox...FOR MEN!

Oh, my husband will be so thrilled!  Because, secretly I know he is jealous when that Birchbox comes for me every month!

For those of you who aren't experiencing the best $10 of bliss you can get from the postman each month, Birchbox is a sample service that expertly picks products and sends you deluxe samples once per month in an adorable themed [birch]box!!

Just announced this month, Birchbox for Men is here!  How smart!

The only difference is that it is $20 a month, because you are getting larger size samples and more extras!

And even if your guy is a pretty basic grooming guy, don't overlook this, because

1. Who doesn't like to get a package in the mail?!
2. It might just give him that boost to start upgrading his routine!
3. Guys secretly care about their looks and WANT to look nice.
4. Your guy needs to know that moisturizing is NOT just for metro-sexual guys!

You can gift a 3 month subscription, which would mean you can sign up your dad now for Father's Day!  What a fun treat!!!  My personal favorite category is the "Gym Bag Heroes" which is an awesome selection of gym-bag essentials for your active guy!

Instant $18 Upgrade

I've got a product suggestion for you that is $18, but will instantly be a staple in your makeup kit!  Its Urban Decay's Single Eyeshadow in "Mushroom"

Looks plain and simple huh?  Well, it's anything but!!  This super shimmery grey looks great on all skin tones and with all eye colors!  Rarely will I wear only ONE shadow to complete my look, but in the case of this shadow, I can easily get away with it!

The color simply enhances, rather than defines, your look!

Depending on what shade of primer you are using, you can push the color toward a more neutral taupe or combine with smokey black liner and bring out its silvery-grey pigments!

and FYI, if you have Urban Decay's 2009 Holiday, Alice in Wonderland or 2010's Mariposa Palette - you already have it!!!!

And don't forget, for a limited time, you can pick up Urban Decay's inter-changeable eyeshadow palette to cart around your shadow singles and create a customized palette!

Great gift idea!

Sephora asked French illustrator Izak Zenou to design a limited edition case for their new 'baked' eyeshadow kits.  Izak is best known for this sketches of French ladies looking totally gorgeous and in style:

And his design for the cosmetics giant was just as fabulous as you would have expected!

SEPHORA COLLECTION - Izak Baked Eyeshadow Palette

These baked shadows are FULL of pigment and they glide on to a primed eyelid perfectly!  Isak did a collection of makeup bags that are also adorable!

This shadow collection is limited edition and sells for $30, which is a STEAL considering the variety of looks you can achieve with this collection!  A great gift idea!!!

Know someone that needs to practice safe sun?

I literally cringe when I see sunburns, especially on a Monday when I come into the office and see at least 4 people that somehow live under a rock and don't realize that the ozone has gone to shit and you need to WEAR SUNSCREEN EVERY DAY OF YOUR LIFE NO MATTER WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then I really want to slap them, mostly because I know it will sting their burn! :)

Practicing safe sun doesn't have to look like this

It can look like this

And if you don't want to look like this

Then you NEED to start practicing safe sun immediately!

I've got a $30 solution you are going to LOVE!  Sephora's Sun Safety Kit, only in stores and they are flying off the shelves!  Better hurry up!!!!!

An awesome re-usable train case FILLED with tons of great safe-sun products that will change the way you think about SPF!  And its not just sun protection, but self tanning at its best, along with exfoliators and SPF products that will improve the tone and texture of your skin and hopefully work to reverse damage as well!

Remember, it doesn't matter at all what you see in the mirror, the damage is much deeper, and if you are walking out the house without SPF on face, neck, ears, lips, chest and hands EVERY single day - you're in for some major problems down the road!

Get glowing and BE SAFE!