Friday, July 31, 2009

HLMN Weekend Roundup 7.31.09

Adventures in Round Brown takes a look into the world of Men's Big and Tall Fashion.

Askmewhats reviews L'oreal Elseve Smooth Intense.

The Beauty Chick share some of her favorite face primers.

Beauty Junkies Unite tells us how awesome Bare Escentuals Buxom Lashliner.

BeautySweetSpot has a behind the scenes look at the MAC Fall collection.

Best Things in Beauty has a Giveaway Contest: Sephora's new Illamasqua Powder Blusher in Kiss.

Claire's Beauty explores lipstick trends through the decades.

Denim Debutante is giving away a bottle of Arbonne's Made in the Shade Self-Tanner to one lucky reader!

Fabuless Beauty has us super excited for the MAC Look in a Box sets available exclusively at Nordstrom.

See Fabulous Over Forty's review of Josie Maran lipstick.

The Fashion Planner shows us how to how to make a no-sew top and necklace from a t-shirt.

Glamour Whore introduces you to Illamasqua cosmetics.

Gloss Menagerie homemade toner experiment.

Gouldylox Reviews has a sneak peek of Bare Escentuals liner and lipstick.

Hot Beauty Health gives you the low down on the white nail polish trend.

The Informed Makeup Maven is all about body and hair this week. Check out her must haves.

Krasey Beauty cozies up to Erno Laszlo Cosmetics.

Visit Lipgloss Break and Enter to Win Sunkissed Glow by JLo and AminoGenesis Perfect Reflection!

My Beauty Bunny recommends a cruelty-free self-tanner and body firming cream in one from Tarte.

Obsession Confessions of Glamour and Love reviews Ouidad products for curly hair.

Sicka Than Average keeps you walking on sunshine with its roundup of sizzling hot shades.

The Style and Beauty Doctor begs you not to match your eyeshadow to your outfit.

Su Ferreira has another great tutorial on smokey eye.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Essie and Judith Ripka Partner For The Essie Loves Diamonds by Judith Ripka Collection

Essie has gone and collaborated with the amazing Judith Ripka to create three gorgeous limited edition nailpolish shades each infused with diamond dust. Not only are the colors beautiful (Essie always puts out some fab colors! - though Ballet Slippers will forever be a classic go-to for me!), but with the purchase of the polish you also have a chance of winning a precious gemstone! Hidden within three bottles, there is either a diamond, a sapphire, or an emerald.

The Colors:

Heart My JR Jewels - a sophisticated dazzling dark red

Put a Ripka Ring On It - a sparkling soft pink

Queen of Hearts - a twinkling true red

You can find these shades at the Essie online boutique, and each retails for $15.

Accessorize Your Look With mark.!

When you think of the mark. brand what comes to mind? Fabulous cosmetics at affordable prices? Wonderful Avon spin-off line? Lauren Conrad, perhaps? Well, my fellow beauty conscious friends, if you didn't already know, aside from offering great make-up, mark. also has created some very cute accessories, perfect for pulling together any outfit! Among the goodies are earrings, necklaces, rings, and even a purse! Everything is sweet and trendy and promises not to break the fashionista's bank, of course!

Here are some of the pieces I'm loving right now! Seriously, how cute are these???

Teardrop Stone Earrings, $12

Three's a Charm Necklace, $16

I LOVE the layered look! Two of these chains are attached, and the third is included to complement the look.

Stretch and Stack Bracelets, $12

On the Fringe Bag, $32

Such a cool bag! I always go for larger purses, especially for the daytime, and this one is so chic in grey with hot fringe detail!

Braided Tie Top, $24

Longer tops like this one are great to pair with a skinnier pair of jeans. Look how well it coordinates with the bag, too!

I saved my favorite two pieces for last!

Have a Heart Necklace, $22

100% of the net proceeds of this necklace go to the m.powerment by mark. charity, an initiative for which Lauren Conrad has partnered to help stop dating violence and abuse towards women.

Glitz and Glimmer Ring, $14*

This one is my absolute favorite from the collection. I am totally going to rock this one everywhere! I love larger cocktail rings, and this one is too adorable with the stone detailing!

*This ring will be available soon on the mark. website!

Hop over to and check out the rest of the accessories line (and of course, the make-up)!

Are you all pleasantly surprised at the fun accessories?!? I am! I think I'm going to wear the Have a Heart necklace tomorrow. On second thought, how about Three's a Charm? Too many choices, I tell you!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Prime Time: A Look At Some Of My Favorite Face Primers

We all know that it is important to prime the skin for a smooth foundation application (and to help foundation stay on longer!), to fill in fine lines, and to minimize the visibility of large pores. With so many different products on the market, now, though, how do you know which one to use? Fear not, I have you covered! In this post, I'm going to mention some drugstore options for the beauty lover on a budget, and then provide you my take on a few of the high-end primers that I have grown to love.

Two of my favorite drugstore make-up lines, Revlon and Rimmel, offer affordable versions of face primers. Revlon's Beyond Natural Smoothing Primer, is a lightweight gel formula, with a bit of fragrance, and Rimmel's Fix and Perfect Foundation Primer, is a slightly tinted (apricot) primer (don't worry about the color, it blends into the skin). Both are great to use to fix foundation in place and even out the skin's surface. I would recommend checking these out, as they are available in most drugstores, and are often on sale (in fact, Walgreens is currently running a BOGO offer on Rimmel products!). Regardless, you should be able to snag both for under $10.

Revlon Beyond Natural Smoothing Primer

Rimmel Fix and Perfect Foundation Primer

If you are on the market for some higher-end alternatives, I have a few suggestions for you as well! I'm going to talk about some of my favorite primers (I grab for one of these every day). On the top of my list are two primers by Make Up For Ever, the HD Microperfecting Primer and the (relatively) new UV Prime Daily Protective Make-Up Primer with SPF 50, and one by CoverFx, the Skin Prep Fx Nourishing Foundation Primer & Anti-Aging Serum. Now I'll get into each one in a bit more detail.

The Make Up For Ever HD primer is available in a range of seven shades, each designed to help you achieve a particular look with your make-up. I have been using the blue one for the past several months (I am seriously working my way through the bottle!), which is designed to reduce minor imperfections and brighten fair skin. This primer smells really nice and applies very easily (I apply primers with clean fingers), to subtly illuminate my skin, hydrate it, and create the perfect canvas. While the product does have a light blue tint when you first pump it out, which can seem a bit scary, fear not! When it is blended into the skin, no color is detectable. This product can be found at Sephora, and it retails for $32.

Here are some of the other colors that are available and what they are designed to do:

Neutral - adds natural luminosity to the complexion; no color

Green - minimizes redness (rosacea, for example)

Mauve - counteracts sallow (yellow) undertones

Caramel - combats ashiness in medium to dark skin tones/warms golden tones

Yellow - lightens dark complexions

Pink - brightens the complexion/counteracts sallow undertones

As you can see, there is an option for everyone! I have a little bit of redness in my skin, so next on my list is definitely the green!

Make Up For Ever HD Microperfecting Primer

Continuing with the discussion of Make Up For Ever primers, another of my favorites is the UV primer. This product also has a very enjoyable scent (while not directly relevant, it is always more uplifting to the senses to use products with nice fragrances!) and the consistency is one of a light lotion (much like the HD version). It is white in color and blends flawlessly into the skin. What I especially like about this product is that it includes an SPF factor of 50 (and it protects against both UVA and UVB rays), which makes it a great option for the intensely sunny summer months. Though I usually apply a light moisturizer or sunscreen before I prime, it is not absolutely necessary, as this primer pretty much covers all bases! This UV primer retails for $30 at Sephora.

Make Up For Ever UV Prime

Last, but certainly not least, I want to introduce you to the Skin Prep Fx Foundation Primer and Anti-Aging Serum by CoverFx. I actually stumbled upon this product completely accidentally when I won it from the Naimie's booth at the Make Up Show. I had been intrigued to try out something from the line after eyeing it at Sephora, so I was happy to receive it! Their concealers and foundations look fabulous (FYI, I have a concealer review in the works)! This primer has a different consistency than the others I have mentioned. As the name suggests, it is a serum, rather than a cream formula in nature. There is a slight yellow tinge to the product and the scent is fruity. This blends in easily, as with the others, and acts in much of the same way to prep the skin for flawless foundation application. The great thing about this product, too, is that it works to reduce inflammation, and, as suggested by the lovely people at CoverFx, this can also be added to the skin at night to nourish and hydrate. This primer retails for $45 at Sephora and Nordstrom. While you can't purchase online at their website, I would definitely recommend checking out the CoverFx site for more information on the product line.

Skin Prep Fx Nourishing Foundation Primer and Anti-Aging Serum

I hope you found this (very long!) post helpful! It's always important to smooth out the "canvas" that is the skin before putting on foundation. It just makes the look that much more finished. What are some of the primers you enjoy using?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Feed The Thirst: Quench Your Skin With Sampar Cosmetics Ultra Hydrating Fluid

New discovery, folks! If your skin is dry, tired, and in need of a little pick-me-up, then listen up! I have recently started using the Sampar Cosmetics Ultra Hydrating Fluid on my face (especially after exfoliating), and I could not be happier! My skin, even in the summertime, sometimes craves a bit of moisture. I generally reach for this lotion at nighttime, as for day use I tend to go for a moisturizer with SPF or a sunscreen.

More than just a skin cream, this product also acts to strengthen the skin, reinforce the skin's natural defense system, restore its balance and prevent water loss. The innovative "Urban Active Complex" - a mix of shea butter extract (to protect the skin against the effects of pollution and help build its resistance), mint leaf extract (to soothe, relax and protect the skin and to reduce inflammation), and plant sugar and lactate extract (a filler that helps reinforce the skin's defense system by developing beneficial germs) contained within the moisturizer works together with other active ingredients to accomplish this, and it also serves as an antioxidant as well. Applied consistently, you will notice some long term gains; more youthful looking skin with the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.

While I can't comment yet on the extended benefits of using the lotion (I've only recently started using it), I can say that I definitely am impressed with the texture of my skin after I apply it. My face feels almost instantly rejuvinated and awake. With the stress I put on my skin with the daily use of make-up products and the drying effects of some exfoliators and masks, my skin gets thirsty quite often. I have tried other face lotions before, but I have found it difficult to find one that really seems to "lock in" the moisture while keeping my skin from feeling oily. This product, I have discovered, does the trick for me. The scent is also very pleasant, light and floral, perfect to calm my senses before going to sleep.

A little background on the Sampar line:

This skincare line was created by Patrick Sounigo, a specialist in medical cosmetology, to provide a combination of "high performance, state of the art technology" and "efficacious aromatherapy" for the modern woman - definitely for the luxury-lover.

You can find the Ultra Hydrating Fluid and other products from the Sampar skincare line at a variety of online retailers (as prices may vary, I would suggest doing a Google search!) I do believe you can find it for $49.70 (for a 50 mL bottle) at

So now that I've introduced you to this new moisturizer with which I have fallen in love, tell me, what are your go-to/fave products for quenching dry skin?

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Introduces New Shades of Lip Tars and Loose Colour Concentrates!

OCC has done it again! Say hello to my little friends, six new shades of their famous Lip Tars and four new Loose Colour Concentrates!

Lip Tars:

Anime - neon pink

Conquest - opaque, polished ivory

Petty Beige - opaque and true, deep-toned ecru

Fondue - super dark chocolate

Hush - pale, antique bridal pink

Botanical - true forest green

Loose Colour Concentrates:

Glazed - Bronzed plum

Authentic - Intense, true copper shimmer

Spectral - frosty white with blue duochrome

Frigid - dead of winter sky blue

As usual, the Lip Tars retail for $12.50 each and the Loose Colour Concentrates retail for $10. Find them all on the OCC website!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Why Go Out When You Can Stay In? Benefit Girl's Night In!!! Set Rocks The Party

When it comes to make-up kits I tend to have a "just say yes" attitude. When I spied this Benefit set at Sephora, I knew I needed it in my life. I had been pleased with all of the Benefit Cosmetics products I had previously used. In fact, R.S.V.P. Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner, as I've mentioned before, is my go-to for a simple low maintenance eye, and I've wanted to try one of their lipsticks for quite some time. This Sephora-exclusive collection includes some of their best-selling products - great items to help you achieve a beautiful look.

Here's what you get in this cute little kit:

Creaseless Cream Shadows/Liners in Birthday Suit (brushed chrome) and Skinny Jeans (pretty pewter)

Full-Finish Lipstick in Lady's Choice (a nude shade)

Talent Brush

3 Love Your Look mannequin magnets

A lesson on how to use the products

For $38, this is a pretty sweet deal. If you purchased the brush, the shadows, and the lipstick individually, that would run you $74. The two shades of the cream shadow that you get in this set are very versatile shades - Birthday Suit would be great as a quick all-over wash on its own (the color can apply sheerly), but if worn in tandem with Skinny Jeans to deepen the crease would take the look to a more dramatic level. You can even use these as bases for other eyeshadows. They really are wonderful colors to have in your make-up stash. The lipstick included in this set, Lady's Choice, is a fairly universally flattering nude shade (I find it is more of a brown-nude on my lips). It would be a great everyday lip color. The talent brush is a synthetic bristled brush that is great to use to apply the creaseless cream shadows (or any other emollient products). With this lovely set you really do get "a bang for your buck." The case that holds the products can even be used as a makeup bag!

Here's a look at the shadows and the lipstick:

Clockwise from top: Lady's Choice Lipstick, Skinny Jeans Creaseless Cream Shadow, Birthday Suit Creaseless Cream Shadow

Lady's Choice Lipstick on my pigmented lips

You can find the Girl's Night In!! set at your nearest Sephora store or online at

Friday, July 24, 2009

HLMN Weekend Roundup 7.24.09

Askmewhats has nail art tutorial for bling bling nails.

The Beauty Chick reviews CoverGirl and Olay Simply Ageless Sculpting Blush.

Beauty Junkies Unite shows you the right way to get cheeky with 4 easy cheek stains.

Best Things in Beauty spotlights the new Giorgio Armani Beauty Fall 2009 colors.

Claire's Beauty gives Clarins Delicious Self-Tanning Cream a test drive.

Denim Debutante has an in-depth review of Paige Premium Denim.

Fabulous Over Forty is giving away Sothys Sun Care to one lucky reader. Enter now.

The Glamour Whore shows off the hair raising talent of Olivier Chomienne.

Gloss Menagerie reviews Softlips Pure Honeydew.

Gouldylox Reviews sneak peek at Milani Eye Tech Infinite Liquid Liners.

Hairs My Story has a gorgeous summer tropics FOTD.

in a word...fab has a sneak peek at J.Crew's Fall 2009 Collection.

It's complexion week at the Informed Makeup Maven, and don't forget to enter her cool giveaways this week!

Krasey Beauty discovers the beauty in going organic with Revolution Organics.

Visit Lipgloss Break and Enter to win The Cure 24/7 hair treatment and Sunkissed Glow fragrance by JLo!

My Beauty Bunny shows you how to get gorgeous, healthy, post-beach hair!

Sicka Than Average schools you on the best sunscreens for that pretty little face of yours.
Protect ya neck!

ThisThatBeauty runs down fall's hottest collections!

Unfunded takes on Farmer John with some killer denim cut-offs.

VexInTheCity invites you to share her addiction - her make up collection.

***Affiliate of the Week***

The Style and Beauty Doctor will show you how to keep your blowout for blowing up.

For more information on The HLMN or on becoming an affiliate please visit our website.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Body Shop Friends and Family Event

From July 23rd to July 27th, receive 20% off on regular and sale-priced items in-store and online at To redeem this offer at your nearest Body Shop location, print out and bring this coupon with you to the store. If you are shopping through the website, enter the code FF09 at checkout.

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Illamasqua Is Now Available at!!

I just wanted to give you all a heads up! Illamasqua has now launched on the Sephora website and the selection is phenomenal! Primers, foundations, Liquid Metals, lipsticks, glosses, pigments....they're all there! I am literally dancing with delight at the sight of the products. It now really feels "official," too! Illamasqua has finally solidified their presence in the US.

I am counting down the days until the collection pops up in the new NYC Sephora location. I'm totally there! Do you think it's too early to line up now?!? ;-)

Let me know if you'll be at the launch party! I would love to see you/meet you!

Smashbox Reign Collection For Fall 2009

I think it is safe to say that I'm in trouble with the new Smashbox product offerings - I want them all! Smashbox Fall 2009 Reign Collection is enticing with its color palette. Inspired by the English Tudors, hues evoking "scandal, indulgence, desire, and decadence" abound. I can't resist these deep shades for the cooler months. Going to be so fierce!

Here are the collection details:

Reign Eyeshadow Palette ($42 each): These compacts each feature six baked shadows in both matte and shimmery finishes.

Majesty - matte champagne/shimmery champagne, matte cabernet/shimmery cabernet, matte black/shimmery black

Monarch - matte soft gold/shimmery soft gold, matter copper/shimmery copper, matte deep brown/shimmery deep brown

Reign Jet Set Palette ($48): This palette contains four metallic shades of Smashbox's cult favorite budge-proof gel eye liner - matte black, matte deep brown, matte deep gold, metallic bronze. Also included is a bent liner brush for easy application.

Reign Lash DNA Mascara in Plum ($19): This mascara is formulated to lengthen, strengthen, and define lashes, while decking them out in gorgeous color.

Reign Doubletake Lip Color ($22 each): Each of these double-ended lip pencils features a long-wear lip liner and a smooth lip color.

Amaretto - nude pink lip liner/creamy peachy pink lip color

Currant - deep wine lip liner/deep berry red lip color

Reign Lip Gloss in Crowned ($19): This gloss offers ultra-moisturizing creamy color and shine, and in this soft peachy-pink shade it offers the perfect complement to a smoky eye.

Reign Fusion Blush in Regal ($32): This compact features a gorgeous dual-toned blush which offers both matte and shimmery peachy nude shades.

After all of that description, I can only imagine how anxious you all are to check out the product images!

Reign Eyeshadow Palette in Monarch

Reign Jet Set Palette

Reign Lash DNA Mascara in Plum

Reign Doubletake Lip Color in Currant

Reign Lip Gloss in Crowned

Reign Fusion Blush in Regal

The Reign Fall 2009 collection is available now at the Smashbox site and in-store and online at Sephora.

What do you think of Smashbox's Fall goods?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tagged! I'm It!

One of the most awesome beauty bloggers out there, Krasey Beauty, tagged me a few weeks ago to do the Honest Scrap Tag. Tags are such a fun way for everyone to get better acquainted with one another. Don't you think?

This is how it works - tell your readers 10 things about you that they may or may not know, but are true. Tag 10 people with the award, and be sure to let them know they've been tagged (a quick comment on their blog will do). Don't forget to link back to the blogger who tagged you.

Y'all ready for this??

1. The summer before 3rd grade, while attempting a back dive off of the side of the pool at my local swimclub, I scraped my bottom front tooth on the cement of the pool when I tried to come up from the dive. I've tried to have it bonded, but it never stuck. I have sported the chipped tooth look ever since.

2. I am the oldest of three children. I have a brother who is 20 and a sister who is 23 (almost exactly 23 months younger than I am). I love that my siblings and I are so close together in age. We are a pretty tight bunch (even though they can occasionally irk me to no end!)

3. I have an incredible sweet tooth; I love anything with chocolate, especially dark chocolate. I can't resist a good dessert, and I won't even try!

4. I am addicted to Diet Snapple Peach Iced Tea. It is all I drink at home, and when I run out of it, I am inconsolable. Zero-calorie goodness, my friends.

5. I have recently changed my career plans. I was a pre-med student throughout college and was extremely close to taking the MCAT. After all of that, I decided that my heart was not with the medical profession. Without the passion and drive to become a doctor, the long road just seem daunting. Now, I'm looking to pursue a role in the world of beauty! Do you see the connection?!? I don't! ;-)

6. I have a healthy crush on actor Bradley Cooper. I think he is gorgeous, funny, talented....did I mention he's HOT??? Bradley, call me!

7. I fight to deal with my curly, frizzy locks daily. I haven't yet found the best way to tame them, and I always welcome haircare tips! I would currently kill for Karen Robinovitz's gorgeous, shiny curls!

8. When I was younger, I used to only eat raw veggies - green beans, broccoli, you name it! I wouldn't touch it if it was cooked at all. This lasted probably until my pre-teen years...not so sure why or how I grew out of it!

9. I love meeting new people and making new friends. I might come across as shy, quiet, and aloof when you first meet me, but when you get to know me, I am anything but! The friends I have mean everything to me and will be with me forever.

10. I love to sing! Contrary to popular belief, I can carry a tune (though I wouldn't say I'm ready for American Idol or anything!) I was in my high school's chorus for four years. I also love to dance and I'm the queen of the mood-elevating solo dance party!

OK, I tag anyone else who wants to participate and hasn't already! I really enjoy working on these tags and reading what everyone else has to say!

PurpleLab "Kiss and Tell" Contest Entry!

I hope you all have checked out PurpleLab's "Kiss and Tell" contest by now! It's so easy to enter and the prizes are fab! A trip to NYC and a chance to chill with the gorgeous Karen Robinovitz and see firsthand the inspirations behind her gloss names?!? I don't think it can get much better than that! Go here to enter, vote for your favorite entries, and review! While you're there, you can also vote for me ;-) I would really appreciate it! A link to my entry is to the left of my posts (below the "I Am HyperLuxe" button), *hint hint*

You can also click below to be linked to my contest submission:

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cover Girl & Olay Simply Ageless Sculpting Blush

On a recent trip to the drug-store - I couldn't help but scope out the make-up selections! - I stumbled upon this new product from Cover Girl's Simply Ageless line. The Cover Girl & Olay Simply Ageless Sculpting Blush immediately caught my eye with its pinwheel-type swirl pattern of color and the Olay Regenerist Serum (reminded me of berries and cream ;-) ). Available in four very pretty shades, I ended up snagging the blush in 230 Lush Berry, a gorgeous rosy berry color. I have recently been getting into cream blushes, and I thought I would start out my tour with this one.

This cream product is designed to allow you to "define your cheekbones" with a wash of color, while getting the added benefits of the Olay serum which is packed full of vitamins, antioxidants, and other skin conditioners to give your skin a radiant and glowing look. When I swatched the product on my skin, I was immediately impressed by the smooth texture, and when I blended it into my face, I was left with a natural flush of color, which is buildable. The consistency is smooth and it feels soft and moisturizing on the skin, not at all heavy. You can apply this with your fingers, a wedge sponge, or stipple it on and blend it in with a brush (the product comes with a small sponge applicator, which I probably won't use). You also get quite a bit of product in the container; for 12 g, I spent $10 during a CVS sale (I think it was originally $12.99). Drug-stores constantly have sales and Buy-One-Get-One events, so it's usually possible to snatch this up for under retail price.

Here are the four colors that are currently being offered:

200 Plush Peach

200 Rich Cinnamon

220 Royal Plum

230 Lush Berry

For a closer look:

Sculpting Blush in Lush Berry

I would recommend having a look at this cream blush. It has a very light formula, great to use for a natural summer cheek. You can check out your nearest drug-stores for this product - Duane Reade, CVS, Rite-Aid, Walgreens, and even Wal-Mart. You can also take a look at the Cover Girl website for more information as well as help with color-matching.

Has anyone test-driven this before? What do you think?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

OCC Reintroduces Skin Shimmers!

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics is again offering their line of Skin Shimmers, airbrush highlighting products that can now also be applied using the hand. These are available in a range of six shades (in the photo above, pictured from L-R in Vintage, Bronzed, and Sunset) and work to produce a gorgeous "glow from within." They are safe to use on the face, the eyes, and anywhere else on the body! As with the usual liquid highlighters, you can mix a drop with your foundation to give your face a subtle glow (great for the summertime!) or mix with your favorite body lotion for a similar effect for the body, and as with all of the OCC products, these shimmers are meant to be mixed to create customizable shades, to give you radiant skin wherever you want it.

Here are the colors available now:

Pris - neutral champagne shimmer

Vintage - blue-violet shimmer

Bronzed - shimmering golden bronze

Sunset - gold-flecked peach shimmer

Golden - 24K gold sheen

Luster - semi-transparent white gold sheen (new shade!)

I love versatile products that can give you pick-me-ups wherever you might need them! A 1 oz. bottle of the Skin Shimmer goes for $20.00, while a 4 oz. bottle is $67.50 at Remember, OCC's products are very conventrated, so a little goes a long way! Mini kits are also available, perfect for sampling before you invest in full-size bottles (you can test out which colors you particularly enjoy!) A set of six minis retails for $25, and each is .25 oz.

If you haven't already, go check out the OCC line! They offer some amazingly highly pigmented and multi-purpose products and they are constantly adding new items/shades!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Stila Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 Oil-Free

Not long ago I never thought twice about foundations or coverage - sheer, medium, full...huh? - but then college hit. I went from having smooth, flawless skin with just the occasional hormonal breakout, to actually having to deal with covering up some mild acne scarring and an overall uneven skintone. With more to conceal, I turned to foundations with medium-full coverage. Now, my foundation of choice (as I've previously raved about!) is Revlon Colorstay, for its buildable to full coverage potential.

Now that the humid, sticky weather is upon us, though, I feel like my skin preparation should follow more of a minimalist approach. Liquid foundations can feel a bit heavy when the days are hot, and so I have tried to work with other options. Tinted moisturizers are great (especially when they have sun protection), but they generally provide more of a sheer coverage, which doesn't work out so well for me.

A month or so ago, while browsing the Stila display at Sephora, I came face to face (hello, gorgeous!) with their tinted moisturizer options. They had a few different ones to offer, and the Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 Oil-Free quickly caught my eye. I had read on the Stila site that this formula offered more of a medium coverage foundation, and taking into account the sun protection properties it provided (twice as strong as the original formula), as well as the moisturization factor, I decided to give this one a try. For my super-ghostly-white skin, I ended up with the lightest shade (shocker!! lol), Fair, Light 01. This shade matched my skintone very nicely and blended in amazingly. for a little review of the product and some insight into why I think this product works for me. I have found that the formula of this tinted moisturizer, while it does feel a bit thicker than usual when you apply it (I use my fingers), absorbs nicely into my skin and does not leave my face feeling greasy. The result is a more even looking skintone; redness/blotchiness is minimized, while my freckles and beauty marks are still visible ;-). When I sweat, I don't feel like this is melting off of my face. I have been using the tinted moisturizer without a primer (I generally use one when I apply foundations) with an additional light sunscreen underneath - hey, you can never have too much sun protection! - (Right now my sun-protectant of choice is the Jan Marini Antioxidant Daily Face Protectant with SPF 30. See here for product review), and a light setting powder on top. The only thing I dislike about this tinted moisturizer is the packaging. It comes in a rather hard to squeeze plastic tube, which I can see having to cut open eventually to retrieve product (think Urban Decay Primer Potion).

Here are some photos from yesterday of me wearing this Stila tinted moisturizer (please ignore the extremely frizzy do!). I wasn't kidding about the minimalist make-up! This was a lazy day!

Products used:

Jan Marini Antioxidant Face Protectant SPF 30

Stila Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 Oil-Free in Fair, Light 01

Smashbox High Definition Concealer in Fair (under eyes)

MAC Studio Sculpt Concealer in NC15 (around nose and a little on blemishes)

Urban Decay Primer Potion in Sin

Clinique Long Pretty Lashes Mascara in Black

The finished look after adding Laura Geller Blush n Brighten in Roseberry and Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in Pink Whisper

For further swatches of this product (in my shade, of course), you can check out my previous Stila haul post here. The Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 retails for $36, and can be purchased from the Stila website and from Sephora (as well as other locations Stila is sold). I recommend giving this one a look, especially if you dig the lightness of a tinted moisturizer with a little more coverage.

Have you tried this tinted moisturizer before? Any of the others from Stila? Are you a fan of any other tinted moisturizers? I want to hear about your experiences!

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Beauty Chick Wants To Hear From You!

Hello, my chickadees! OK, so this is a really important post even though I won't actually be saying much. In this installment I won't be giving you a rave review about a product that I currently adore or info about some gorgeous new collection. Instead, in this TBC post, I am asking for some much needed (and greatly appreciated!) feedback from my readers. While I am passionate about describing and critiquing what I am enjoying (or lusting after) in the beauty world, I am quite aware that I am not only writing for myself. I hope that those of you who follow The Beauty Chick have been benefiting from what you have been reading thus far. I would love to hear your own thoughts and opinions about the products I have been discussing. Dissention is fine! I want more dialogue here! What are you liking and what don't you like? What aspects of the posts are you fond of and what would you like to see approached differently? I am so thankful to those of you who already follow/subscribe to my almost 2 month old "baby" and I want to thank you in advance for any time that you take to help me out. I welcome any and all comments on specific ways that I might be able to make my blog more informative, useful, and entertaining. In essence, I am determined to make my blog a place to stop on your daily tour of the beauty blogosphere!

NARS Fall 2009 Collection

The NARS Fall 2009 collection has popped onto the scene and there are some stunners in the mix. The look for Fall is, in the words of the great Francois Nars himself, intended to be "romantic and feminine but with a distinct edge." Here is what you can expect to see from this collection....

Eyeshadow Duos ($32 each):

Indian Summer - Frosted champagne/Mustardseed

Silk Road - Icy pink/Rose gold with golden flecks

Brumes - Matte charcoal/Blue slate

Single Eyeshadow ($22):

Mekong - Espresso infused with gold

Nail Polish ($16):

Tokaido Express - Black Amethyst infused with gold flecks

Lipstick ($24):

Fast Ride - Sheer Mulberry

The bold and dramatic, yet wearable hues have me lusting big time. I adore NARS eyeshadows - the quality and pigmentation is amazing - and these new shades look like they will fit in nicely for Fall looks. And who can resist a berry lip? I will most certainly be checking out this collection! See it for yourself now at

Thoughts on the new NARS goodies? Does anything call out to you?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

PurpleLab Unveils "Kiss and Tell Your Huge Lips Skinny Hips I.D." Contest!!!

Do you kiss and tell? I think in this case you most certainly will want to! PurpleLab has just announced their "Kiss and Tell Your Huge Lips Skinny Hips I.D." contest, and it's as big and juicy as your lips are when dressed up in their signature gloss. My heart is thump-thumping with glee as I post this! So, here are the details straight from the gorgeous PurpleLab team!

There are currently six shades of the Huge Lips Skinny Hips lip gloss (with more to come!)They all have their own distinct personalities and are inspired by Karen's (the PurpleLab's creatrix) favorite icons and philosophies. Each gloss comes with its own little "love note" with the story behind the name selection. The glosses feature names like Love Your Thighs (we all know it can be tough to at times!) and Red Sole (ogled a hot pair of Louboutins?!? This top shoe designer is Karen's fave!)

So here's what to do. Go ahead and read about the Huge Lips Skinny Hips glosses at PurpleLab, choose the shade that best reflects your personality and tell them why! It's that easy ;-) Then, you must vote, vote, vote!

One Grand Prize winner will get these fabulous treats:

A trip to NYC with a friend

A shopping trip at Topshop to pick out some amazing threads from the Kate Moss line

Private pole dancing lessons

.....and more exciting surprises!

You will get to spend a day with the brains behind it all - the beautiful Karen! - sipping Lychee Martinis (if you are over 21, of course!) and getting to connect with some of the things that have inspired the names for her lip glosses - and continue to inspire her daily!

In addition, there will also be yummy prizes for the most "viral," runner-up, and random winners throughout!

So go check out Purple Lab and enter this fabulous contest! Click on the image below and you will be directed right to it!

Remember.......have fun!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Jan Marini Antioxidant Daily Face Protectant - Protect Yourself

It is absolutely necessary to wear a sunscreen in the summer, ideally with at least an SPF 30 to make sure that your skin doesn't fall victim to the harsh rays of the sun. My issue with many sun-protectants (especially for the face), though, is that they can be pretty greasy and heavy feeling on the skin. During the summer months, when it is hot and humid, the product can even seem to slip and slide on the face as you sweat. I don't know about you, but I'm not such a huge fan of that feeling!

Lately, I have been using a new product (new to me, at least!) by Jan Marini Skin Research, however, that has truly changed my feelings about sun-protectants and the way they can peform. The Antioxidant Daily Face Protectant, which contains SPF 30, is also waterproof and provides protection against both types of harmful sun rays, UVB and UVA. The SPF factor on sunscreen packaging tells you about the amount of protection the product is giving you against the "burning rays" (i.e. the ones that will give you a sunburn and can cause skin cancers) - the UVB rays - but the number tells little about the protection that is provided to combat the effects of the UVA rays, those that can really lead to the aging of the skin.

I love the way this product smells (very fruity and pleasant!) and when applied to the skin, it is instantly absorbed for a nice matte finish. It is also oil-free and I don't experience any greasy residue - it stays put! The packaging states that this product is "very water resistant" and that it "retains SPF after 80 minutes of perspiring or water activity." I am a believer thus far! I use this under my foundation, sometimes in conjunction with a primer, and apply it, as is the case with all sunscreens, about 30 minutes before I go out.

A little more information about the product as the Jan Marini site states:

The formula contains a "microscopic sponge encapsulation system, state-of-the-art sun protection, and a PhytoMelanin plant extract that mimics human melanin and provides further UV and antioxidant protection." The formula contains Nayad (trade-marked), a "potent antioxidant technology."

This Jan Marini "broad spectrum" sunscreen is available in the original formula (which has no color when rubbed into the skin) and also in three tinted shades, Sunkissed Bronze, Sunkissed Sand, and Sunkissed Neutral. I'm definitely interested in trying out the tinted varieties! If I can get the great benefits of the original while imparting a pretty golden glow to brighten my fair skin, count me in!

You can purchase the Antioxidant Face Protectant online at, and a 2 oz. tube (also available in a 2 oz. pump form) retails for $48. I agree it is a bit pricey, but not very much product is required to cover the face and it truly performs beautifully. I recommend checking out the other products from the brand as well. There are a lot of great skin care items to be found here!

Score Smashbox HD Dual Finish Micro Powder For One Day Only!!

Today only, Smashbox has a special offer available! Be the first to test drive their new HD Dual Finish Micro Powder, a great new translucent formula! This product has UVA/UVB SPF 15, and dispenses easily through a brush with a "twist" of the tube. Three finishes can be obtained: click "matte" to absorb oil/shine, "luminous" for a beautiful glow, or "mix" for a combination of both looks. This will be great to carry around in your purse for those necessary touch-ups throughout the day!

This HD powder is available on the Smashbox website for $38 only until the end of the day! Snag yours before it officially launches in stores!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Getting In Touch With My Inner Sexy: Burlesque Dancing With PurpleLab, Gorgeous Bloggers, And The Fabulous Veronica Varlow

I am not ashamed to say that the thought of getting a lesson in Burlesque dancing (with one of the greatest teachers, no less!) was quite intimidating. I am not always comfortable with my body and with the idea of allowing myself to feel sexy in my own skin. Eager to meet some fabulous fellow beauty bloggers and the brains behind PurpleLab and her team of sassy gals, I set my insecurities aside last Thursday and joined in on a few hours of meeting, greeting, and yes, learning some Burlesque moves! Assembling at the Gates in NYC, the great Veronica Varlow was our guide to getting in touch with our inner beautiful selves, and she was all about spreading the message of female empowerment. Before we got into the dancing, we got together as a group to listen to Veronica tell the inspirational story of how she ended up getting into the world of Burlesque and what led her to achieving her dreams. She then got us all sharing something about ourselves - what accomplishments of which we were proud in the last month, what we would love to be doing with our lives in an ideal world, what qualities we like in ourselves, and what we find sexy in others.

Introductions made, everyone feeling a bit more comfortable, we all donned our feather boas and long gloves (both purple, of course!) and got ready to learn some moves, guaranteed to make the boys go wild.

Some things that I took away from my lesson in Burlesque:

1. Carry your purse in the crook of your arm, you'll instantly look sexier and more appealing.

2. Don't rush into a room to find your friends, rather stop at the doorway and take time to scan your surroundings. As people's eyes naturally look towards the door, you need to make an entrance. Walk in with a confident swagger, and you will be sure to be noticed.

3. Perfect the sexy walk; walk "slow and steady" and after each step, pop your hip!

4. Slowly pulling down your glove to expose your elbow will make the boys freak! Just a little bit of skin is all it takes!

I learned a lot about myself from being able to let go and allow myself to be sassy. It was truly a lesson in self-confidence! I would totally do it again ;-)

Here are some pictures of me with the rest of the Burlesque dancing crew!

L-R: Sharon, Karen (PurpleLab creatrix), me, Aly (of eBeautyDaily), Shoshi (of , Dee (of The Candid Commentary)

L-R: Adina (the lovely Krasey Beauty), Sharon, Karen, me, Aly, Shoshi, Dee, Morgan

Everyone wearing the purple boas and gloves! How hot are we??

L-R: Me, Evie (Product Pasha), Adina, Aly, Veronica Varlow, Karen, Sharon, Shoshi, Elizbeth, Dee, Morgan

And for a shot of me and Veronica:

If you haven't yet checked out PurpleLab's Huge Lips Skinny Hips lip glosses, you must!! Once again, you can find some info on them at the PurpleLab website, including where to purchase.

Special shout outs to Veronica Varlow, Karen Robinovitz and her girls Dee, Sharon, Morgan, and Elizbeth (who is Miss Baker Extraordinaire!), and the fabulous bloggers Krasey Beauty, Aly Walansky, Product Pasha, and Shoshi! You ladies, rock!