Friday, June 4th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Beach Shimmer Brick

Bobbi Brown Beach Club Collection:  Beach Shimmer Brick

Bobbi Brown Beach Shimmer Brick ($38.00 for 0.40 oz.) is a new Shimmer Brick for the summer. Shimmer Bricks come with five strips of color and can be used on cheeks or eyes, mixed or individually.

Beach actually works really well as eyeshadow, because it does have a nice fade from light to dark. When mixed together, Beach is a little darker than Beige Shimmer Brick but lighter than Bronze Shimmer Brick. Beach comes together to give a dirty bronze with red undertones and a very, very high frost finish. It has a champagne sheen, but it definitely feels like one of the frostier Shimmer Bricks I’ve tried.

I think on darker beauties, this could be a really lovely way to enhance your natural skin tone and give you that glow. On my light-medium skin tone (NC25), it comes off looking dirty when I wear it alone or maybe like I have a bit of a sunburn. It’s better if I wear a blush and use this as a light highlighter, but I still have to be careful to get it to work just right. My advice is to definitely use a stippling brush when applying it to avoid going overboard.  The shimmer seems to accentuate my skin flaws/texture of my skin–and not for the greater good!

I’m not loving it as a blush/bronzer, but I think the shades could definitely be used individually as eyeshadows, like the lightest as a quick wash of shimmer on the lid on days when you’re pressed for time. I also found this one just a bit too shimmery for my liking as well–but I do tend to find they’re more shimmer than I personally want (but hello? they are called SHIMMER Bricks for a reason!), so it’s not an issue of the product itself.  One thing that I do want to point out is that the Shimmer Brick contains over twice the amount of your average blush.

I’m curious to hear from other Shimmer Brick fans on whether this one hit the spot for them!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: When used lightly, Beach can definitely add a nice dose of glow to your skin, but I think it may be better suited for those of medium to dark complexions. If you don’t like shimmer or if you only want subtle shimmer, Shimmer Bricks–particularly this one–are not for you!

Availability: Bobbi Brown

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Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Kate Somerville

Oh, ExfoliKate, How I Love Thee!

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment ($85.00 for 2 oz., $175.00 for 5 oz.) is something I’ve been wanting to write about but have no real idea about how to go about doing it.  I just don’t know how to explain WHY I love this product so much, and it’s not exactly something you can easily show. I also struggle with what to say in regards to this product, because I love it, and it’s not cheap. While I worry about any recommendations I may make (I worry that you’ll hate what I loved!), I stress out over bigger ticket items in particular!  Anyway…

The product itself is a thin, green-tinged (think seaweed, perhaps–moss? anchovy paste… no!) mixture of enzymes and acids (which is kind of redundant, but whatever).  This is not a scrub–this is like a cleanser meets mask meets scrub.  To apply, you squeeze out about a pea to nickel-sized dollop onto fingers, then gently apply in circular motions to damp skin.  Let it sit for about thirty seconds (based on your tolerance), and then rinse off, towel dry, and enjoy the pretty glow it leaves behind.   I don’t think you need much, but considering the price tag, I still find myself ensuring I don’t over-use.  (Though my boyfriend suffers no such affliction!)  It’s meant to be used once or twice a week, depending on your skin’s needs.  I usually use it twice a week myself.

I love the ridiculously soft feel of my skin post-ExfoliKate.  It’s so, so smooth.  It’s not dry, tight, or red after using it, and it’s not rough against my skin at all.  I know that ExfoliKate also comes in a Gentle formula for those with more sensitive skin, but I really didn’t feel much tingling (from the enzymes!) even from the get-go.  When I had my boyfriend try it for the first time, he felt the tingling much, much more than I, but after two or three uses, he didn’t seem to have any issues with it.  My skin looks and feels renewed and refreshed after each use.

One itsy-bitsy tube has lasted me about four months (I bought my first tube back in October ’09 but didn’t start using it right away), but I’ve definitely had lapses where I’ve only used it once a week or less… but then again, the boyfriend has definitely used more than copious amounts in the time I’ve had it in the bathroom!  All in all, I do think the 2 oz. tube lasts a good while, so it won’t be as if you’ll run through a single tube in a month or even two.   Not to say it’s cheap stuff, though!

There is one thing I have learned after having acne-prone skin for several years now–good skincare is worth it.  If you find something that works, it’s probably worth sticking to, rather than hunting for something cheaper and just as effective.  That’s just my motto nowadays; it’s worth the investment in my skin.  A good product doesn’t have to be expensive, either, but if it is and it works (and obviously, you’ve tried more than just that!), I see no reason to go elsewhere.  Once you find a solid skincare routine, you can plan to stock-up during sale events or triple points or whatever.

I like that it’s really easy to use, and you don’t have to set aside a large chunk of time to get a nice, enzyme-based exfoliation session in.  I love masks and all those kinds of products, but too often I completely forget about using them, but I always have a few minutes to spare for quick and effective exfoliation.    The packaging is simple, but I’ve found it works.  It dispenses product without a fuss–you don’t have to worry about getting too much out–and it’s pretty hygienic.  I could see that a pump might work better, but given my recent experience pump-packaging, it’d likely dispense way too much.  And this isn’t a product I want to waste a single drop of!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 30/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 5/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: I am always hesitant to recommend anyone to shell out so much for so little product, even if I’ve experienced good results with it. If you can, I’d definitely try a sample OR purchase from a retailer with a solid return/exchange policy in case you really don’t get any magic out of it. I still can’t commit to buying the big daddy size, though I’ve purchased this product twice now.

Availability: Sephora

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Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

MAC Crosswires Lipstick

The Summer Season: MAC Crosswires Lipstick

MAC Crosswires Lipstick ($14.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a lovely shade of coral-pink–it’s not super bright like Vegas Volt, but it’s not so muted that it ends up looking washed out.  It’s easily one of my favorite corals amongst MAC’s permanent line, too.  The cremesheen formula gives Crosswires a soft glistening sheen while still giving a good deal of color coverage on lips.  It’s about as opaque as a lipstick can get on my lips!   It even has this almost-there golden sheen.  It’s very, very subtle, but it’s most noticeable in the sunlight.

Is this the right coral lipstick for you? Would you wear it?

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Korres Orange Blush

Korres #44 Orange Blush ($24.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a beautiful shade of rich coral-orange with a soft golden shimmer-sheen.  This is one wickedly pigmented blush, and it’s perfect for a pop of color on the cheeks during the summer.  It’s truly a stunning shade — I see this working better on warmer skin tones, particularly on deeper and tanner skin tones.  The powder is smooth, silky, and it wears well (no issues with surprise! no more blush mid-day).  I love the luminosity this shade of blush lends to cheeks–it’s glowy and healthy and lovely.  I can’t think of a single thing I don’t like about this blush, to be honest!  Korres even gives you plenty o’ product for your buck, too — around 0.05 oz. or so more than your average blusher.

Psst, you can see it in a look here!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 30/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you love coral or orange blushes, I definitely consider this a must-have!

AvailabilityKorres

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Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

ORLY Cosmix Collection

ORLY Cosmix Collection for Fall 2010

ORLY introduces its latest addition to its portfolio of textured finishes with Cosmic FX. The new, limited-edition collection delivers multi-dimensional flashes of intense shimmering shine that is so electrifying your nails will explode with color! This lighting phenomenon is achieved by ORLY’s exclusive MINERAL FX technology.

The innovation infuses natural rock minerals, crystals, and glass to give nails a special optical effect with extreme luster, rich pearlescence, and a smooth, sparkling spectrum of concentrated color.

The MINERALFX technology includes specialty mica, that allows for a clearer, vibrantly bright lustrous shimmer. Crystals allow for a multi-dimensional color transformation. Glass particles carefully controlled in shape and size create a luminous phenomenon. This combination infused with the Silica and specific colors selected create this exclusive technology that gives nails a unique optical effect that’s magnified as the lighting source intensifies or viewing angle changes.

Nail Lacquer ($10.00)

  • Lunar Eclipse Blue with pink purple FX
  • Galaxy Girl Purple with blue green FX
  • It’s Not Rocket Science Green with gold blue FX
  • Space Cadet Green with purple gold FX
  • Halley’s Comet Turquoise with green yellow FX
  • Out of This World Purple with pink silver FX

Availability: September 2010 at orlybeauty.com, Sally Beauty, Ulta and fine salons and spas throughout the U.S. and in over 70 countries worldwide.

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Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

ORLY Plastix Collection for Fall 2010

ORLY, the company that continually pioneers the Nail Lacquer arena with the most cutting edge colors, technology and textures, introduces the Plastix Collection. Complementing the Fall 2010 runway looks that featured bright neon colors amid shiny black plastic, latex, and rubber reinventions of vintage must-haves, Plastix evokes the vintage classic trend with four new lacquers and a unique new formula that coats the nails with a smooth glossy matte “plastic” finish. The exclusive finish and texture is a first in the nail category, delivering a monochromatic, shiny and rubbery look that takes experimentation to an entirely new level, with the focus being on both the distinctive nail surface, as well as the latest in color trends. The unique look can not be achieved with color alone as the finish is a must for recreating the true “plastic” statement.

Nail Lacquer ($7.50)

  • Viridian Vinyl Glossy blue-green
  • Purple Pleather Shiny purple
  • Old School Orange Classic orange
  • Retro Red Traditional red

Availability: July 2010 at orlybeauty.com, Sally Beauty, Ulta and fine salons and spas throughout the U.S. and in over 70 countries worldwide.