Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fragrance Find....At Costco!

I was browsing Costco, as I do quite frequently, checking out the beauty and toiletry aisles. In the past I have found some great things - L'Occitane hand cream, MAC eyeshadows, and some Stila items, for example. Generally, I can comb the aisles for goodies very quickly. On this occasion, however, I was stopped in my tracks by the fragrance display. Boasting some beautiful scents from sought after brands like Chanel, Dior, and Marc Jacobs, I just had to take a second look. I the mix of perfumes, I found one of my favorites, Chanel Chance, and another scent I have been lusting after for quite some time, Marc Jacobs Daisy. Generally when Costco has fragrance displays, nothing piques my interest. This was definitely a welcome surprise!

I had toyed with the idea of picking up Daisy last weekend while checking out the Marc Jacobs boutique in Boston. Boy am I glad I didn't, though! I found a 3.4 oz. bottle of the popular fragrance for $45.99 (generally the bottles of this size go for about $72)! I have been drawn to this floral scent, always sniffing it when passing by the perfume section at Sephora. It's aroma invokes feelings of fun, youthfulness, and an overall flirtatious and sexy attitude. I just love it!

I just wanted to let you all know about my "fragrance find" and to urge you to check out the perfumes at your local Costco. You just might find the one you've been eyeing!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New From Stila: Barbie Loves Stila Smudge Pots

Say hello to three new Smudge Pot shades, the new members of the Barbie Loves Stila Collection. Each Smudge Pot is infused with shimmer, and as is the case with all Smudge Pots, can be used as a liner or as a cream shadow.

The Colors:

Little Black Dress - black with pink shimmer

Purple Pumps - purple with pink shimmer

Cobalt Clutch - vibrant blue with intense shimmer

These new Smudge Pots are pre-launching exclusively on the Stila website right now, and you can find them for $20 each. I'm thinking Purple Pumps will be mine ;-)

Bobbi Brown Metallic Long-Wear Cream Shadow Collection

Feast your eyes on the newest additions to the Bobbi Brown family. The Metallic Long-Wear Cream Shadow Collection features 8 brand new shades of their award-winning cream eyeshadows. These new colors feature high-shine and gorgeous sparkle that will instantly bedazzle your peepers. The formula, as usual, promises not to crease and it applies to the lids with sheer and light-weight long-lasting color.

The Colors:

Chrome Patina

Brown Metal

Starry Night

Black Pearl

Starry Purple

Antique Gold



These shadows are currently available on the Bobbi Brown website and each retails for $22. The collection will hit counters beginning in September.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Introducing....Urban Decay Book Of Shadows Volume II

We've seen the first edition of the Book of Shadows. We've loved the selection of colors and finishes - the glittery to the more subtly shimmery, the popping hues to the more neutral tones. We snatched up the palette because it was a great deal and an awesome way to try out some of Urban Decay's best shadows. But, did we think Urban Decay was going to do it again? I'm sure we held out the hope that they would! Well, they've gone and done it, my friends! Meet the newest Book of Shadows, Volume II to be precise, another great collection of 16 eyeshadows - 8 popular shades and 8 new/exclusive shades. The box also comes complete with a mini Eyeshadow Primer Potion, UD's best-selling shadow base, and two travel-size 24/7 Eye Pencils in Zero (black) and Bourbon (a slightly shimmery brown).

Here are the eyeshadows that you can expect to see in the second installment of the Book of Shadows:

New/Exclusive Colors:

AC/DC - deep eggplant shimmer

Nylon - champagne sparkler

Mushroom - taupey-gunmetal

Sphynx - pink sparkle/shimmer

Jinx - bright blue shimmer

Homegrown - bright green shimmer

Misdemeanor - deep teal sparkle

Perversion - matte black

Existing/Best-selling shades:

Sellout - pink champagne shimmer

Gunmetal - gunmetal gray with silver glitter

Ecstasy - bright purple with slight pink tint

Midnight Cowboy Rides Again - golden beige with bronze, gold, and silver glitter

Twice Baked - brownie brown with gold glitter

Half Baked - subtle, lustrous bronze

Flipside - electric teal with blue sheen

YDK - bronzed mocha with golden microglitter

Some details on the packaging: The shadows come housed in a pearly white "book" with purple foil design. Upon opening the Book of Shadows, you find a large mirror surrounded by a border with a peacock design. One thing that you will find in the second volume of the Book of Shadows that was not present in the first is a "look book," with different looks that will inspire the make-up lover.

The Book of Shadows Volume II is a limited-edition collection and is currently available at, and it retails for $48 (think...that means only $3 per shadow!) I highly recommend checking this baby out! Before you know it, the holiday season will be upon us, my birthday....Oops, did I just mention that out loud?!? ;-) Seriously, though, this would make a fantastic gift for a friend (or for yourself!), for the very make-up enthused to the less savvy (this would be a great way to start out an eyeshadow collection). I also am quite excited that many of the shades from the Get Baked Eyeshadow Palette are included in this group. I was incredibly close to ordering that palette, but now I can snag most of the shades (and more) with the new BOS! I am definitely going to be purchasing this...or maybe some lovely friend or relative will get it for me as a birthday gift *ahem* ;-)

What are your thoughts on the new shadow book? Do you think you will pick it up? Do you own the first edition? Do you love it? Tell me!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Even Out Your Skin With Clinique Even Better Foundation SPF 15

As you may know from reading previous blog posts, I am currently on a quest to find my "perfect" foundation. I've been trying out products with different formulas and from different brands to determine what works best for me. To that end, I decided to test drive Even Better foundation from Clinique. I was shopping in Sephora one day with Nancy of The Informed Makeup Maven, and she recommended that I check this one out. I hadn't used Clinique foundations for years (I think the last one I used was Superbalanced) so I figured why not try out this newer formula. I snatched up the foundation in Alabaster, the lightest shade in the range, which I believe is for very fair skin with more neutral undertones. When I applied it at the base of my cheek area and blended it into my neck, the color seemed to be a good match.

I have been alternating between using this and Revlon Colorstay as my daytime foundation. I like the way the product applies and blends into the skin for a natural-looking and luminous finish. It does seem to even out some of the redness in my skin without completely masking my "beauty marks." The coverage I would say is medium, with fuller coverage achieved with continued building up of the foundation. I generally apply a couple of layers onto my face, especially on the areas that need more covering up. It feels very light on the skin and even with excessive sweating (I wore this sight-seeing around Boston this past weekend on a very hot and humid day), it didn't melt off of my face. The foundation is made for dry combination to combination oily skin, so it should work out for a range of people out there.

Clinique states that this foundation is a "make-up meets treatment" product that contains "naturally luminous minerals to perfect" and Vitamin C to brighten the skin's tone with continued use. Clinique also claims that with frequent use, in 4 to 6 weeks, your skin, without make-up on, will appear clearer, have dimished age spots, and have a more even tone overall.

This foundation also contains SPF 15, a factor that always plays into my decision of whether or not to purchase a particular foundation. Even though I use moisturizers and primers that contain sun protection, I prefer when my foundation has some SPF as well (can't hurt, right?)

Here are two pictures of me in which I am wearing Even Better (underneath the beautiful face make-up that Adina, Krasey Beauty, did for me! Adina is on the left in the first photo.)

I recommend checking out this foundation especially if you like the potential of a fuller coverage product without the heavy feeling that some carry with them. It is available in a range of 11 shades, so hopefully there is a color out there to fit almost everyone. You can find it at Sephora, Clinique counters, and online at the Clinique website. The product retails for $24.50.

I wouldn't say I have found my "perfect" formula with this one, but I do like what is has been doing for my skin thus far and the weightless complexion-evening I experience when I wear it. I have only used it a couple of times, but I will be sure to report back after I use it for a month. Fingers crossed that it will have some lasting effects ;-)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hydrate Your Lips With a Hint Of Color: New Tinted Lip Balm SPF 15 From Mary Kay

If it is lusciously moisturized lips with a hint of color that you desire, tune your dial to the new Tinted Lip Balm SPF 15 from Mary Kay Cosmetics! Available in five flattering shades from rosy pink to berry to brown to nude - Apricot, Natural, Poppy, Blush, and Rose - these balms offer all of the soothing qualities of a chapstick, while giving the lips a subtle "pop" of natural looking color. The formula includes jojoba oil and shea butter to moisturize the lips, protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays, and the antioxidants Vitamins A and C. These are perfect for everyday wear, used alone or as a base for your favorite lip gloss or lipstick colors.

These (as are the other products in the Mary Kay line) are available for purchase through independent consultants. It is easy to get in touch with a Mary Kay representative in your area, however. You can find one and order products online at The lip balms retail for $13.

The Tarte Friends And Family Sale Is Here!

Last week I reported about the beautiful new Fall '09 collection. Well, guess what?? Tarte has an AMAZING Friends and Family Sale going on now! From August 17th-24th, everything is 40% off online at Simply enter the code FF09 at checkout.

What are you waiting for? Run, don't walk, over to the Tarte site and check out the goods! As usual, let me know what you're eyeing ;-)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Take It All Off With Korres Pomegranate Cleansing & Make-Up Removing Wipes

It can sometimes be a difficult task to remove stubborn make-up residue (eye liner...hello??). Fear not! You can wipe your troubles away with a fantastic product from the all-natural Korres skincare line. The Pomegranate Cleansing & Make-Up Removing Wipes are formulated with the fresh scent of these legendary fruits and remove everything - from dirt and grime to a full face of make-up - while still leaving the skin feeling moisturized, energized, and refreshed. Pomegranate extract, with its exceptional antioxidant properties, acts to not only cleanse the face, but also to protect it from free radical damage and to help tone and tighten pores. The wipes also contain other skin-nourishing ingredients, such as Vitamin E. Additionally, they are oil-free and non-greasy. I have found this product to be especially great at reinvigorating my oily-combination skin after a day on the go, before I wash with my regular cleanser. Housed in a convenient sealed package, these would make the perfect addition to your travel make-up bag!

You can find these wipes at Sephora and at the Korres website (in a package of 25) and they retail for $12. What is your favorite way to "take your face off" at the end of the day?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Stila Champagne Glow Eyeshadow Trio - Review and EOTD

Nothing does more for a girl's state of mind than a little champagne - Stila's Champagne Glow Eyeshadow, that is! A trio of neutral, shimmery shades - from L-R in the picture above, a pinky champagne, a burgundy/brown, and a taupe - these colors are very wearable and daytime appropriate. The colors can be applied wet or dry and go on smoothly, without any grittiness or chalkiness, as can sometimes be the case with mineralized products. Baked into three distinct sections of color and contained within an aluminum tin, these shadows are nothing short of gorgeous to look at in the pan. There is some fallout with use, not completely unexpected with this type of consistency. The shimmer within the product is not chunky, though; it is soft, and there are no large pieces of glitter that fall off of the brush with application. The shadows do go on rather sheerly, but the color can be built up by packing on more color (the intensity can be increased by applying the shadows wet as well). Today I was aiming for the light, I'm-not-wearing-very-much-make-up look, so I thought I would reach for this trio as a simple, yet fresh, summer daytime eye is effortless using the coordinating colors. With a turn of the head, the sunlight illuminates the beauty in each color. Even if you are not generally a fan of mineralized shadows, I wouldn't cross these off of your list too quickly, at least not without a look at them for yourself! They are super soft to the touch and won't leave your face covered in sparkle after you have applied them to your lids - instead, a pretty, subtle sheen results. I have one warning, though! The disc upon which the shadows sit tends to spin a little bit when you touch down your brush, so be prepared ;-) Below is the look I sported today!



Soft Ochre Paint Pot

Champagne color on the lid

Taupe color in the crease

Burgundy/brown in the outer crease

Clinique Long Pretty Lashes

I wanted to include a swatch picture as well, even though the colors were hard to capture (the colors are in the same order as they are shown above, from L-R):

In addition to Champagne Glow, there are also two other trios available - Bronze Glow (which features a rose, a gold, and an ivory) and Gold Glow (a gold, a bronze, and an ivory). I gave you a look at Gold Glow with my very first blog post on Stila's My Mother, My Hero set (do you need a reminder? Check out the review here). You can find all three at Sephora as well as online at the Stila website. They each retail for $28. I'm telling you now, though, they will last you a long time!

Have you experienced these eyeshadow trios yet?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The 'Dirty' Little Blog Award

I have been nominated for this award by not one, but two, gorgeous beauty blogging ladies! Thanks to Sara of The Makeup Snob and Adina of Krasey Beauty!

The rules of this award are:

List five current obsessions and pass the award on to five more fabulous blogs. On your post of receiving this award, make sure you include the name of the person who gave you the award and link it back to them. When you post your five winners, make sure you link them as well.

To add the award to your post, simply right-click, save image, then "add image" in your post as a picture so your winners can save it as well. Also, don't forget to let your winners know they won an award from you by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. Reality TV - Reality TV has hooked me - the good, the bad, and the even the ugly! I am just flat out addicted! Everything from Top Chef, Project Runway, and So You Think You Can Dance to The Real World, NYC Prep, The Bachelorette and The Real Housewives! I love them all, no matter how good (or bad!) they are ;-)

2. The Blackberry Tour - I am obsessed, as of late, with getting my first Blackberry, namely the new Tour. I have been using my LG flip-open phone for the past three years, and while it hasn't been giving me problems, I feel quite "behind the times" with the out-of-date technology! Emailing and, yes, tweeting (you all know it's important these days to help us stay connected!) is slow and difficult. BB, you will be mine....soon ;-)

3. All I Ever Wanted by Kelly Clarkson - Recently I have discovered and am quite impressed with Kelly Clarkson's newest album. I've played it over and over on iTunes. Seriously, I'm starting to learn all the words to her songs (even though I don't mind making up my own as I sing along!) I really like the sound of this record. It's pop, but the songs each have a different sound to them - very catchy, I must say!

4. Finding the "perfect" foundation - My latest and greatest cosmetic obsession - a quest, if you will - is finding my HG foundation. I have garnered quite a few new foundations in the last month (reviews to come!) I love Revlon's Colorstay, as you all know, but I am trying to see if there is something I might like better. I don't think it has quite achieved HG status in my book. I will not rest until I settle this question once and for all! Clinique, Make Up For Ever, Maybelline, and more are all ready to be tested ;-)

5. Discovering new beauty and skincare brands - There are all of those brands we know and love for great make-up and skincare - Make Up For Ever, YSL, Chanel, MAC, and Korres, to name a few - but there are also some pretty amazing brands that are less well known by the masses (at least for the time being...they were previously unknown to me!) I have been striving to uncover these "hidden gems" and to report on my findings to all of you! Some of my new favorites are It Cosmetics, Soy Spacasso, and Revolution Organics. I'm sure that list will continue to grow!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Make Me Over: An Afternoon Makeover With Karen Duncan

Karen Duncan

Last week I met up with the lovely Karen Duncan (aka the MakUpDiva for all you Twitter-folk) at Me U Salon and Spa in NYC where she works as a make-up artist for Bilkerdijk Cosmetics. Karen worked her magic on my cosmetic-less face (my shades were working overtime that morning!), while we spent some time chatting and I picked her brain about what colors she thought worked well for me and what trends she was digging for the Fall. Karen custom blended both a foundation and powder for me that would work best for my extremely pale skin, including the necessary complexion correctors (green for some of the redness in my skin, for example). The Bilkerdijk line specializes in creating custom-made foundation and powder colors for each client, which I thought was fabulous, considering the fact that I sometimes have difficultly finding the perfect foundation color match. We also discussed the need to pick out the right concealer shade, especially for the undereye area. It is a common misconception to think that we always need to go a shade lighter to disguise dark circles. In fact, going with a color that matches the skintone more (and even mixing a darker shade with a lighter one) might help to conceal better. No one wants the "reverse raccoon" look, as Karen so perfectly put it! You know what I mean, ladies - think those lighter circles around your eyes that can stick out against your darker complexion ;-)

Alright, brace yourselves, everyone! This is a "before" photo of my mug before the makeover. The humidity really did a number on my curly hair ;-)

As we talked, I mentioned to her that I am always drawn to pinks - for blush and lip colors - and she told me that corals might be a better way to go to warm up my complexion, especially for the upcoming Fall season. A coral lip gloss or more of a pink/gold shade to kick things up a notch, perhaps? She was all about the neutral eye with a little liner along the top lashline only to keep things soft - in a shade that wouldn't be too harsh against my fair skintone, such as a metallic brown, sage green, or a pretty grey. A multi-dimensional shimmery loose shadow can also give the the lid area that special "pop." It's also great to apply this in the inner corner of the eye to brighten up the area. She thought that a very simple eye - maybe even just a little bit of liner - could be great on me for Fall, paired with a bright matte orange/coral lip and a soft peachy cheek. I love the look of a bold matte lip, I've just been too afraid to try it! Karen convinced me, though, that I can "make it work," as Tim Gunn likes to say.

So now, for the final look! A picture is worth a thousand words, so check out a couple of the "after" shots. I was very happy with the way it came out. My very white and washed out complexion was warmed up nicely with a beautiful bronzey glow!

Post makeover posing with Karen. She's gorgeous!!

And now for a list of the Bilkerdijk products she used to make my not-so-flawless complexion radiant and beautiful:

Non-alcohol toner and Oil-control moisturizer on the T-zone

Vitamin E cream on the rest of the face

Custom-blend foundation and mineral powder

"Light" Bronzing Powder and "Gold Coast" Cheek Duo to add a bronzey glow

A little "Kalypso Coral" Powder Blush as pop of color on the cheeks

"Buttercream" eyeshadow (from a quad) topped with a little "Sand Beige" loose eye dust

"Marcasite" (metallic grey) waterproof gel liner

Lash thickener/primer

Black masacara (lashes were curled before and after mascara application)

"Tangerine" waterproof lip liner

Lip color softened with a little foundation

#66 (light coral shimmer) lip gloss on top and a little #59 (pinky gold shimmer) gloss in the center of the lip

A few pictures of the make-up up-close and personal!

The wall of Bilkerdijk!

Glosses have me weak in the knees!

The make-up Karen used on me all laid out....

Posing in front of the salon

I had a really fun afternoon with Karen (I think we spent about 2 hours or so together!) She really taught me a lot and gave me a fabulous natural look to boot! I'm definitely going to invest in some corals now ;-)

Check her out! She's on Twitter as the MakUpDiva and she also has a great blog of her own at I promise it's a read well worth it! She's such a sweetheart - definitely no diva here!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Let Freedom Ring! Welcome The Freedom Glow Beauty Balm From Revolution Organics

"Glow on the go" for the beauty junkie! Revolution Organics, a company devoted to producing all-natural and organic beauty products, has created the Freedom Glow Beauty Balm, color in a tube designed to give your lips, cheeks, eyes (anywhere!) a beautiful hint of a natural and dewy hue. Sure to complement any skintone, the Beauty Balm is available in three beautiful shades - Blushed, a true rosy blush; Sunkissed, a fresh peach glow; Bronzed, a warm bronze glow. You could create a whole simple and natural look with these products alone! I've used Blushed on my cheeks and the flush it created on me was gorgeous. I find that the consistency of the balm is so smooth (almost buttery) and it blended effortlessly. It was easy to build up to the desired level of color as well. As is sometimes not the case with cheek stains, luckily there was no tacky or greasy residue left after application. Some of the key organic ingredients in this product that lend to its particularly velvety qualities are oils (such as coconut oil and olive oil) which help to soften and moisturize the skin, beeswax, which protects and hydrates, and aloe vera, to condition and soothe the skin. I love that Revolution Organics creates products for the environmentally conscious beauty lover. Who says glamour can't be "guilt-free?"

L-R: Blushed, Sunkissed, Bronzed

Revolution Organics products can be found at the following online retailers: Planet Beauty,,,, and Bigelow Chemists (as well as a variety of Canadian retailers). The Freedom Glow Beauty Balm ranges from $32 to $34. Stop by Revolution Organics' own site, too! There you can see their whole product range as well as read more about the brand.

Urban Decay Friends And Family Sale!

It's that time again! Urban Decay is having another Friends and Family Sale! From now until August 20th, receive 30% off on all of your orders made on the UD website. Enter the code FNFF1 at checkout and hit "redeem coupon" to take advantage of this offer.

I spy with my little eye...yummy fall goodies! Anything grab you? Are you planning to order?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Tarte Collection For Fall 2009

Here is a rundown of Tarte's goodies for fall 2009.

Lifted™ ($20 US, $26 CDN) natural eye primer with Firmitol™

Get locked and lifted™ with this naturally firming eyelid primer. The universal base locks shadow in place all day and boosts pigment payoff while Firmitol™, the proprietary firming complex helps tighten eyelids and the surrounding eye area to help give the affect of younger, smoother eyes naturally. Clinical results show rapid improvement in achieving a smooth healthy look in all participants via nerve synapse interactions (gamma-aminobutyric acid and botanicals).

Femme Fatale Palette

Femme Naturale Palette

Femme Fatale & Femme Naturale ($44 US, $57 CDN each) - refillable natural eye palettes

These two reusable rich purple cases fashionably adorned (one with gold plated studs and other with fabric flower applique) houses 10 enchanting eyeshadows, a double-ended brush with greatness eyeshadow brush and a double-ended eyeliner. The magnetic base allows you to pop out recyclable eyeshadow pans. Thus, you can refill the palette with new tarte shadows, thereby reducing environmental waste. It also comes with a direction card that illustrates some of the possible looks you can create.

Femme Fatale - Top row (L-R): shimmering blush, iridescent smoke, shimmering violet, shimmering indigo, shimmering onyx. Bottom row (L-R): shimmering light gold, shimmering copper-rose, shimmering deep bronze, shimmering jade, shimmering garnet. Double-ended eyeliner: shimmering emerald and shimmering orchid. Double-ended brush with greatness eyeshadow brush.

Femme Naturale - Top Row (L-R): shimmering buff, soft sand, golden peach, shimmering sage, soft sienna. Bottom row (L-R): golden tan, soft petal pink, golden plum, shimmering cocoa, golden navy. Double-ended eyeliner: golden bronze and shimmering auburn. Double-ended brush with greatness eyeshadow brush.

Natural Beauty Cheek Stain

Green Siren Cheek Stain ($28 US, $36 CDN) - natural wax cheek stain

Tarte's most popular, award-winning product has gone au naturel! With the purchase of every tarte green siren natural cheek stain, you'll be supporting Sambazon's Sustainable Acai Project (SAP), a member of the Fair Trade Federation, which helps to preserve the Amazon Rainforest through forest conservation, improved living conditions and educational opportunites for communities in Brazil.

Available colors: Green Siren - golden apricot; Natural Beauty - sheer berry rose

Natural Beauty Complexion Collection ($54 US,$70 CDN) - Sephora Exclusive

You can achieve complexion perfection with these natural beauty kits. Exclusive to Sephora and chock-full of high-performance naturals, these limited edition sets not only leave you looking like a natural beauty but treat, protect, and soothe your skin.

Each set includes these 6 items:

Clean Slate natural face primer

The Eraser 4-in-1 natural concealer

ReCreate Natural Anti-Aging Foundation with Wrinkle Rewind™ Technology SPF 15

Provocateur Pressed Mineral Powder with SPF 8

Mineral Powder Bronzer

Foundation brush (synthetic bristles with wood handle) - NEW

Available shades:

Fair: ReCreate in Ivory 02, The Eraser in Fair, Provovateur Powder in Fair

Light: ReCreate in Warm Bisque 06, The Eraser in Bisque, Provocateur Powder in Light

Medium: ReCreate in Warm Sand 12, The Eraser in Medium Beige, Provocateur Powder in Medium

Deep: ReCreate in Warm Walnut, The Eraser in Walnut 16, Provocateur Powder in Walnut 14

Dark Circle Defense ($32 US, $42 CDN) - natural under eye corrector and brush

Get your eight hours of sleep in a compact. Unlike concealers that just lay on top of the skin this undereye corrector is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of eye puffiness in just 4 weeks. Finely milled light refracting minerals actually brighten skin to help camouflage dark circles, puffiness, redness, fine lines and wrinkles. Includes concealer brush.

Available shades:



Reduce ($14 US, $23 CDN) - 24/7 natural lip sheer with SPF 15

All the lasting power of a lipstick--with the moisturizing, high-sheen properties of a gloss! These budgeproof, moisturizing lip sheers with added SPF 15 give a "your lips, but better" effect that makes them perfect for when you want a kiss of color without looking overdone.

New shade:

Reduce - golden coral

Tarte's fall '09 collection is available now at, Sephora,,, Henri Bendel, and boutiques nationwide.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Watch It: Introducing The Full Blooded Collection From Swatch

I have been watchless for about 7 months now (hey, the first step is admitting you have a problem, right?), and I'm not so happy with the situation. Accustomed to checking the little timepiece on my wrist, oh about every minute or two, it was definitely an adjustment to have to reach into my purse to check my cell phone everytime I wanted to know the time, especially if I was in a rush.

Cue the Swatch Full Blooded Collection onto the scene. While I have had Swatch watches in the past, I haven't worn one in many years. Why have they not been in my life for so long?? Where have I been?? I love watches that are not only functional, but are additionally statement pieces; they have something a little "funky" or "trendy" or interesting about them and can give a seemingly dull outfit a little "bam" factor (thanks Emeril for the apt term). I look for items that play off of a "function meets fashion" ideal. This new collection illustrates that so well. While classic in style, you can also find more colorful options - brown, blue, green, and even red - in addition to the more traditional silver, gold, and black. These fun shades would be fabulous paired with a neutral outfit - a simple black top and jeans, for example.

Each watch retails for $150 and features a clear plastic case with a colored link band, bezel, and dial. Crystals are set at each number to mark the hour (how cute!). The watch is a unisex design.

Check out the Swatch site (the link is for the US site; you can also find individual sites for other regions) to shop online for this (or other) styles. Here you will also find a list of Swatch retailers in your area.

Singer Kat DeLuna and Kelli (of Bravo's NYC Prep) have already been won over by this new collection and have been seen sporting a watch from the line. What do you think? Yay or nay?

Photo of Kelli of NYC Prep (far right) wearing the Full Blooded watch in gold

Friday, August 7, 2009

Turn Up The Heat (Or Rub Away The Pain!) With "Fire" Element Mist Massage Oil From Soy Spacasso

Looking for a sensual treat to enjoy with that special someone in your life? Maybe you are stressed after a hard day's work and just need to unwind? If you have answered "yes" to either (or both!) of the aforementioned, then look no further. The Element Mist Massage Oil from Soy Spacasso is a great way to spice things up or to simply help you relax and recenter. Available in three scents - Earth, Wind, and Fire - these massage oils are all natural and contain "luxurious soya, shea, and essential oils." I recently took "Fire" out for a spin, and let me tell you, it was great! Since The Beauty Chick is flying solo these days, I figured I would just test it out on myself. I have tired, tense muscles, after all, so why not?? Let me tell you, I was not disappointed!

Soy Spacasso describes this scent as one in which the "complexity of relaxation and invigoration are entwined into one" and in which hints of cinnamon bring "health and verve to your skin" while enhacing a "sensuous mood." I love it! The scent also reminds me of fall, with an aroma redolent of warm apple cider. Just one whiff of "Fire" leads to daydreams of cooler weather and images of sitting by the fireplace, drink in hand. I don't know about you, but I find such images to be very relaxing! I sometimes wonder if my love of the fall relates to my being a fall baby ;-). Regardless, I love the way I feel when I breathe in the incredible calming scent of this oil. Rubbing it into some of my more "tense" areas - my neck muscles, for example - is so soothing. I don't always have the best posture when I'm writing away at my desk. But, after a few hours, my stressed muscles just have to give in to the relaxing effects of this fantastic product. What is so great is that the muscle warmth that the product creates lasts well into the next day! Kind of amazing, no??

The information on the back of the package says that the product has been formulated to leave a light scent on the skin without imparting an oily residue. The instructions state to pump some of the massage oil into your hands, rub them together to create a warming sensation, and then apply it to any area you would like to experience a little passion or relief.

I have yet to try the two other massage oils, but I thought I would give you a little bit of information on those as well. "Earth" contains sandalwood, an "earthly fragrance" that helps promote the feeling of being "one with the universe." "Wind," on the other hand, will help you feel a sense of calmness and tranquility in the "aroma of china rain." Both of these sound great to me as well! I have never been one to use massage oils (without, let's say, having a man nearby), but I am now loving the idea of using these to help heighten feelings of peacefulness and relaxation. Who couldn't use more of that in her life?? We've all become too uptight for our own good!

You can find the Element Mist Massage Oil on the Soy Spacasso website, and there it retails for $8. On this great site, you will also find other all-natural soy-based skincare items that will rejuvinate your body and soul. There really are some amazing products. Being partial to lip balms, I might try out one of those very soon!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Illamasqua Hits The US - Is There A Store Near You??

Starting mid-September, the Illamasqua line will pop up in select Sephora stores around the country. The launch is slated to be complete in the locations listed below by the end of October.

Here is the complete list of Sephora stores where Illamasqua products will be stocked:












SOUTH BEACH, Miami Beach




ALA MOANA, Honolulu



















I hope that at least some of you live near one of these stores! Remember, you can always order online at So, don't fret if you don't have physical access to a location!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Little Fun With Illamasqua: A New Sephora Location Opens in NYC!!

Last Friday I dropped by the new Sephora store in NYC's Time's Square on their first official day of business. I have to admit I was giddy with anticipation to check out not only the new location, but some of the brands that were set to launch anew at Sephora, including one that was arriving for the first time in the US - ahem, Illamasqua! As you can guess, I spent most of my time over at their counter! I also met up with some other fabulous beauty bloggers/lovers at the store, and we spent a few hours swatching and ogling the goods. Special shout out to my fellow beauty girls Adina of Krasey Beauty, Yana of My Own Judge, and Barbara of Make-up Your World for helping make for a fun time!

Of course, this being the first time I've been able to experience the Illamasqua product line up-close and personal, I was excited, albeit overwhelmed at the number of choices. Many of the product offerings from the full UK range were available. I believe about 200 products all-tolled, each staring up at me saying "buy me!" What a dilemma! I didn't know where to start. Luckily, some super sweet and approachable Illamasqua artists had flown in for the launch all the way from London, and were on hand to introduce the range to eager American customers. They even offered little makeovers!! Adam, Daniel, and Jennifer are some fierce individuals (I completely mean this in the most flattering and complimenting of tones - think a la Tyra Banks on Top Model). I got to chit-chat a bit with each of the artists. I got a little taste of each of their personalities, too. Jennifer totally rocked out in a hot black corset and cute wrist cuffs from Kiki de Montparnasse, Adam amazed me with some bright and colorful eyes (and some beautiful contouring skills, I might add!), and Daniel was on hand to suggest a great blush color and gloss to complement it (Lover Powder Blush and Torture Sheer Lip Gloss for a gorgeous peachy cheek and juicy lip!) Daniel even tried the colors on me to show me how well they would work with my skintone for a great everyday look. I will post the complete haul with swatch pictures very soon!

So enough of my jibber-jabbering! You all want to see some photos, right? ;-) Some photos were taken using my camera phone, but all of the pictures with people in them are to be credited to Adina and Barbara (yes, I left my camera battery - fully charged, mind you! - at home).

Outside of Sephora's new home at 5 Time's Square

A taste of yummy Illamasqua product goodness

A little personal introduction? Why not! Here I am modelling in front of the display saying "you know you want some of these pretties, so come and get 'em!"

Group shot with Adam! L-R: Yana, Adina, Adam, me

Adam's fierce eyes up close

Adina being silly pre-makeover

Mid-makeover action!

Me and the lovely Jennifer! I think I need her corset!

Solo shot of me and Adam

Looking cute! Posing for the camera ;-)

With Jennifer and Daniel


It was really a great night! I loved the whole experience; hanging out with friends, meeting some truly talented artists, and soaking up the excitement of a new launch! I'm already planning my next trip there with my "wish-list." It's too bad my eyes are bigger than my wallet!!!