Friday, October 29, 2010

NEW Bobbi Brown Illuminating Finish Powder Compact Foundation SPF 12

I was really excited to read about a NEW foundation from Bobbi Brown, the Illuminating Finish Powder Compact Foundation SPF 12. Though I haven't yet tried one of her foundation formulas, I have certainly been interested. In this post, I thought I would share some details of the new product with you all.

Illuminating Finish is described as an easily blendable soft, creamy powder foundation. It contains a combination of Coco-Glyceride and spherical powders, and the formula, though lightweight, provides buildable coverage and can be applied wet or dry (interesting!). The product is said to provide a flawless, radiant finish due to the formula's reflective pigments, and minimizes the appearance of pores, fine lines, and wrinkles.

The level of coverage is described as easily adjustable, and these are the application suggestions:

Sheer coverage - dust on with a powder brush

Medium coverage - apply with a puff or dry sponge

Full coverage - smooth on with damp sponge

Bobbi says: "It's taken me more than five years to create this foundation. I tested it at shoots, on models, friends and my team until I got it just right. Applied wet or dry, it evens out your skin and gives it a brightness that lasts all day - in any kind of lighting. And because it's so finely milled, it looks incredibly natural."

Illuminating Finish comes in 20 shades and retails for $40. It is available now at Bobbi Brown counters and

I wonder how this foundation would perform on slightly acne-scarred skin. Food for thought! Will you try?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mascara Loving: NEW Rimmel Lash Accelerator Mascara With GROW-LASH Complex

Photo credit: Rimmel London website

Let's face it. Mascara is pretty important to me. On a daily basis, I don't have the time (or energy!) to do a full eyeshadow look, and most days I'll simply swipe on a few coats of mascara and run out the door. I've found myself purchasing a lot of different mascaras lately (mostly drugstore), many of which are ones that have been getting a lot of attention, trying to figure out what works best to enhance my natural lashes (which on their own, tend to be average length, but rather straight pre-lash curler....thanks dad!).

One mascara that I have really been enjoying over the past couple of weeks is Rimmel Lash Accelerator Mascara with Grow-Lash Complex. I find that the formula really does the job of lengthening my lashes (I generally apply a few coats, as I normally would with any mascara) and even adds a bit of volume as well (for added volume, I would suggest pairing with a volumizing mascara). I don't have any issues with the formula flaking throughout the day, and the brush is the perfect size for reaching those lashes in the inner corners of the eyes. I sometimes have a more difficult time applying mascara to this area with thicker wands. I would say, however, that with added coats you might notice a slight bit of clumping. Personally, I didn't find this bothersome, but I thought it was worth a quick mention. If it does bother you, combing out the lashes should do the trick. Another aspect of the product that I greatly appreciate is the fact that the wand doesn't pull too much product out of the tube each time. Way too often the openings of my mascara tubes get filled with excess product "crud." Lash Accelerator imparts just the right amount of drama, making it a perfect option for daytime wear.

Rimmel claims that Lash Acclerator helps to promote natural lash growth. On the product page on the Rimmel website it states, "instantly, your lashes look up to 80% longer, but then after 30 days of continued use, they’ll appear up to 117% longer!" While I can't speak to the more long-term effects of the mascara as I haven't been using it long enough, I can say, that, as of now, I don't see a real difference in the appearance of my naked lashes. The exclusive GROW-LASH complex contains Procapil®, to strengthen the roots, in addition to lash-conditioning ingredients such as biotin, keratin, and bamboo.

Overall, I think Lash Accelerator would be a good one to test out if you are on the market for a new mascara that imparts natural length and definition to lashes. It is a great affordable option (I think I snagged mine from CVS for $7.99) and drugstores are always running BOGO sales (makes the deal even sweeter, right?). Try it! I think you'll like it! ;-)

So, have you tried Lash Accelerator yet? Do you like it? Hate it? Indifferent? What mascaras are you currently enjoying?

NB: I purchased this myself.

Backstage Pass: Venexiana SS2011 For Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week

Kati Stern, designer for Venexiana

Venexiana designer Kati Stern debuted her SS2011 collection on September 11th in The Studio at Lincoln Center. The Venexiana line always brings the drama, boasting gowns with intricate detailing and luxe fabrics. The hair and makeup for the show was definitely visually interesting and complemented the designer's aesthetic.


Tela Design Studio was the creative force behind the hair for the Venexiana SS2011 show. Philip Pelusi, stylist extraordinaire and founder of the aforementioned salon and line of organic hair care, was, along with his team, active backstage working feverishly. I was able to chat with Tela's creative director, Jeffrey Reitz (who has worked with Mr. Pelusi for over 35 years), who explained to me the inspiration behind the hair style.

The general concept was for the hair to have a "Boticelli," "neo-renaissance," romantic, feel. A main feature of the style was the crimping of the fringe around the face which was draped and pinned to the underlying shape, a "soft, reverse roll," or a more modern "flip up," constructed flat to the nape of the neck. The key was to showcase mixed texture, while still maintaining a delicate balance. Mr. Reitz described the look as a "traditional 'do, undone."

In terms of the products used, there were no sprays employed to style the hair (in fact, I was told that the working motto is "no gel for spring"). One of the main products used was RefresHair, a "dry cleaner" for the hair that helps to remove debris and odor, from the P2 by Philip Pelusi line.

How to create the style at home:

1. Pull hair back into a messy bun/ponytail (can be high or low)

2. Leave pieces out around the hairline and crimp them

3. Drape the crimped pieces over the underlying shape and pin them

Stylist Philip Pelusi

Photos of the final hairdo

The hair from the back

Another shot of the hair from the back


Napoleon Perdis and his team of artists (interestingly this season almost all of them came in from Australia!) beautified the models' faces for the show. The inspiration for the look was the idea of the "Venetian courtesan" (i.e. Venexiana), with the overwhelming feeling of "dark glamour." The focus was definitely on the eyes, "smoky with a metallic edge," which were dark save for gold and teal (China Doll Gel Eyeliner in Teal) pops of color in the inner corners of the eyes and the lower waterline, respectively. The gold was intended to give the look an expensive feel (and I thought it was gorgeous!). Mesmer-Eyes mascara was used on the lashes and falsies were added for drama. As the eyes were kept the focus of the look, the lips were left pretty neutral. NP Set lipstick in Hong Kong was used as a base with Luminous Lip Veil in Gold & the Beautiful layered on top. The cheeks were flushed with China Doll Colour Veil and Mosaic Bronzer.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Saving Skin with SK-II Skin Signature

By Skincare Confidential

Sometimes our skin needs a little extra attention and pampering to help stave off the effects of the daily grind. Cult skincare brand, SK-II, has a delectable anti-aging skincare range, Skin Signature, which features a moisturizer designed to restore and strengthen the skin, improving overall radiance and smoothness. SK-II Skin Signature ($205) is a lightweight luxe cream that contains Vitamin B3, Pitera and Oli-Vityl which work to condition the skin while delivering long lasting moisture. Vitamin B3 is important for overall skin and cellular health, while Pitera and Oli-Vityl are derived from yeast and olives respectively, to help improve the skin’s clarity and provide hydration.

I have been trialling this cream and have found that it has done a great job at keeping my skin soft and supple, especially at the end of the day, after thoroughly cleansing the day’s grime, grease and sunscreen off with a heavy duty cleanser.

Under makeup, Signature provides a good silky base over which foundation can glide. I recommend allowing at least 3 minutes to let it sink in so that skin is really hydrated before applying foundation. If it hasn’t absorbed fully, makeup can get a bit streaky. No time to wait? Add a drop of foundation to a pea-sized amount and make your own delectable tinted moisturizer.

What I love most about this cream is that it did a good job helping my skin cope with the roller coaster humidity and heat of this past summer, which had the ability to wreak havoc on even the most normal skin. Over the period of testing the product, I noted my skin didn’t dry out or turn flaky by the end of the day. Nor did it turn super shiny or breakout when humidity levels climbed. In terms of clarity and tone, it was a bit hard to tell. During the summer months, my skin generally has a more “even” tone due to my natural mocha hue.

I recommend Skin Signature to everyone as it is lightweight, provides lasting hydration, and doesn’t contain anti-aging ingredients that can irritate sensitive skin. This product is an ideal addition to any basic skincare regimen.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Caudalie Friends and Family Sale!

Hi everyone! 'Tis the season for Friends and Family sales!

From October 21 - October 25, Caudalie is offering 20% off on all purchases made at Enter code FF2010 to redeem.

Sooo, I have a confession. I have actually yet to try Caudalie skincare products (hangs head in shame). Do you have any favorites? Share with me!

Will you be indulging?