Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

LUSH Holiday 2010

LUSH for Holiday 2010

LUSH always puts out a TON of holiday items and gift sets, so check out this rather exhaustive list… Everything is available online at LUSH!  Anything catch your fancy?  Personally, this is one of my favorite brands for finding great, affordable gifts to give or use as stocking stuffers.

Stocking Stuffers

  • Snowcake ($6.95 for 3.5 oz.) (Vegan) Marzipan-scented soap cake
  • Angel’s Delight ($5.95 for 3.5 oz.) (Vegan) The reason angels come down to earth at Christmas
  • Candy Candy ($5.95 for 3.5 oz.) (Vegan) A sweet bubbly treat for the bath
  • Snow Fairy Shower Gel ($24.95 for 16.9 fl. oz.) (Vegan) Fruity pink shower gel for snow fairies everywhere
  • Li’l LUSH Pud ($3.95 for 3.1 oz.) Just like the traditional English pudding! Without the fire part, that is.
  • Cinders ($3.95 for 3.1 oz.) A soothing soaker for seasonal chills
  • Satsumo Santa ($4.95) (Vegan) Bursting with citrus oils for a jolly good bath
  • So White ($3.95 for 3.1 oz.) (Vegan) Soak in apple-scented froth for a happy ending
  • Christmas Eve ($6.25 for 3.5 oz.) (Vegan) Too excited to sleep? Have a soak with one of these!
  • Sugar Plum Fairy ($4.95 for 3.5 oz.) (Vegan) And sugar plum fairies danced on their skin
  • Winter Bath ($3.95 for 3.5 oz.) Finished frolicking in the snow? Hop in a winter bath.
  • The Boog ($6.95 for 4.6 oz.) A Swedish snowman tradition with a twist
  • Gingerbread House ($6.25 for 3.5 oz.) (Vegan) Christmas is a confectioner’s dream, especially with our Gingerbread House bubble bar
  • Bearded Lady ($5.95 for 3.5 oz.) We dare you not to make a bubble beard
  • Glogg ($24.95 for 16.9 fl. oz.) (Vegan) A Swedish tradition to get you in a lather
  • Bon Bon ($8.95 for 0.9 oz.) (Vegan) Scrumptious cranberry scrub for sugary, sweet lips
  • Snow Fairy ($5.95 for 0.4 oz.) (Vegan) Bubblegum flavoured lip tint
  • Maple Taffy ($4.95 for 0.4 oz.) (Vegan) This Christmas, kiss like a Canadian
  • Once a Year ($8.95 for 2.1 oz.) Mark your calendars for a festive treat
  • Buche de Noel ($9.95 for 3.5 oz.) (Vegan) Boozy cleanser for soft, winter skin
  • Iced Wine ($10.95 for 8.8 oz.) A specialty treat made just once a year
  • Mandarin’s Tea Party ($6.95 for 3.5 oz.) Mandarin orange soap fit for an emperor
  • Snow Globe ($5.95 for 3.5 oz.) Citrus invigoration for winter mornings
  • Matrioshka ($19.95) S Rozhdestvom! Celebrate the season with our bath time babushka
  • Silent White ($6.00 for 6.3 oz.) Peaceful floral fizzer for winding down the day
  • Hot Toddy ($6.95 for 3.5 oz.) (Vegan) Fancy a Hot Toddy or two?
  • Christmas Kisses ($6.95 for 3.5 oz.) (Vegan) Spicy cinnamon bubbles for big, warming cuddles
  • Ruby Red Slippers ($6.95 for 3.5 oz.) (Vegan) There’s no place like your tub
  • Gold, Frankincense, and Beer ($6.95 for 3.5 oz.) (Vegan) Golden boozy jelly for a pre-party in your shower
  • A Gold Star ($6.95 for 3.5 oz.) (Vegan) A golden star of frankincense to lead you back home

Check out gift sets! Continue reading →

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer
MAC Pro Longwear Concealer

The Mysterious Case of Tired Face

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer ($16.50 for 0.30 fl. oz.) has been a product I’ve felt compelled to test for the past two weeks straight. I don’t like to review a product until I have a good handle on how I feel about it, and I’m not big on reviewing anything that I’m waffling over.

Admittedly, I’ve been sleeping a lot less and not nearly as well as I usually do, which is good news for concealer-testing purposes, given that my under eye circles are more prevalent this week than they normally are! Often when I’m running on low sleep, I suffer from a phenomenon I’ve named TIREDFACE. The primary symptom is tightness around the eye area (at least for me). So, one of the things I’ve had going on has been this feeling of tightness when I’ve been wearing this concealer, and I wasn’t sure whether it was due to the concealer itself or more to the exhaustion. For about three days, I wore concealer under one eye and none under the other. The concealer does contribute to some of the feeling of tightness.

The concealer does last a miraculous twelve hours, though, without creasing or budging. It is a very dry product, and if you have a lot of dryness around the areas you’re trying to conceal, I think this may emphasize those areas rather than hide them. I felt like it pulled a little underneath my eyes (which is where I used it most of the time), which is why I felt that tightness despite no discernible dryness in the area.  It conceals good, though for the heaviest of dark circles, it may not be enough, and it’s difficult to layer this product for additional coverage due to its fast drying time.

It has a creamy feel when dispensed, and it’s not too thick–there’s a good consistency to it, but it dries quickly, so you’ll have to work just as quickly. I actually recommend doing one eye at a time, because if you don’t move fast enough, it can be difficult to blend out! I also liked using a flat concealer brush like the 195 for application; the 217 seemed to sheer it out too much. I have noticed that it will settle a little into fine lines if you don’t blend out the area first. Once you’ve blended it out, though, it won’t creep back in.

I originally tried this in NC30, but it’s definitely a little on the orange side. I received a sample of NC20, so I figured I might as well give that a shot, though I’m ultimately thinking that NC25 or even NW25 might be the best match for me (I am NC25). NC20 seemed like a pretty good match, but next time I’m at the counter, I’m going to grab samples of NC25 and NW25 to see if either of those is a better match.

I was incredibly frustrated by the inclusion of a pump that–wait for it–pumps out enough to cover half your face in concealer. If the technology is not available to create a pump that easily distributes just enough for the product’s purpose, why use something inferior? It is certainly possible to get just the right amount out, but after two weeks of use, I couldn’t do so consistently. Sometimes I got just enough, sometimes a nice blob that went down the sink. If you’re having pump troubles like I have had, I recommend pumping once or twice into a small sampling jar. No need to pump it all into there, just whatever excess–that way you can go back and use that during the week and not let it go to waste.

All in all, this concealer does last all day long for me. It doesn’t crease later on during the day, and this is a big deal for a lot of us. I do feel a little tightness around my under eye when I wear this, though, so I probably won’t wear this every day.  It’s definitely worth trying out for its long-wearing prowess–but if you can, grab a sample, so you can find your shade and decide if you like it without having to purchase from the get-go.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 2/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you have really dry skin that you’re looking to use this concealer on, I think this may be too drying and end up just looking cakey on you.  The wear of this is fantastic, and the coverage is good for light to moderate under eye circles or blemishes.  If you have really heavy under eye circles, this might not be enough coverage.  Overall, it’s worth a try, particularly if you’re able to grab a sample.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

MAC Plumful Lipstick
MAC Plumful Lipstick

Maybe Not Sultry, But Still Pretty

MAC Plumful Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) is a muted medium pink with a touch of plum, which gives it a slightly darker overall appearance. It has a lustre finish, but it delivers a surprising amount of color pay off (semi-opaque). I originally bought this to use in the Sultry Season, but it’s just not vampy and dark and sultry enough for that purpose! However, it is a gorgeous shade of pink without being milky, candy, or bright. I think it’s very wearable for both cooler and warmer skin tones, though it leans slightly cool. I don’t know how I went this long without Plumful in my stash!

Lustre finishes are supposed to be more moisturizing but can be somewhat drying (but Plumful wasn’t), but they’re often on the sheerer side; I’m happy that Plumful isn’t, just because some of the lustre shades barely show up at all. All MAC lipsticks are vanilla-scented but have no discernible taste. I typically get four hours of wear out of MAC lipsticks, with some of the darker shades going as long as five.

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Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Benefit Holiday 2010

Benefit for Holiday 2010

Some Beauty to Love ($29.00) (Limited Edition) (Sephora Exclusive)

This kit is the perfect gift for the beauty obsessed and includes an array of face-brightening products including: one full-size Coralista coral-pink cheek powder, one full-size Eye Bright instant eye brightener, and deluxe minis of “That Gal” brightening face primer and BADgal Lash mascara.

All You Need is Gloss ($26.00) (Limited Edition)

This glitzy gloss set includes three double-ended wands for a total of six shimmering shades. Glide them on with the soft cushion paddle for the ultimate luscious-lip look. Includes 0.1 oz. sizes of I’m with the Band (golden pink shimmer), Almost Famous (copper penny), Life on the A List (bubble gum pink), Who Are You Wearing (passion fruit pink), Back to the Fuchsia (sparkling fuchsia), 24k (sexy gold).

Her Name was Glowla ($36.00) (Limited Edition)

This complete kit will help you achieve an amazingly radiant glow. It features an ultra-flattering CORALista pink cheek powder, Benefit’s best-selling High Beam luminescent complexion enhancer, BADgal lash mascara, life on the A list lip gloss, and a step-by-step lesson on creating the hottest look for the holidays.

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Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Chanel Insolente Rouge Allure Lipstick
Chanel Insolente Rouge Allure Lipstick

Bright Pink That’s Wearable

Chanel Insolente (65) Rouge Allure Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.12 oz.) is brightened medium pink with subtle blue undertones. It has next to in noticeable shimmer but has a soft sheen. Like other Rouge Allures, it has opaque color, feels comfortable on the lips, and wears well. I typically get five to six hours of wear with brighter/deeper shades like this one. I wouldn’t describe the formula as overly creamy or moisturizing, but they never dry out my lips and always apply evenly and smoothly.

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Insolente is a happy medium of brightness in a pink. It’s not neon, and it’s not the most traffic-stopping pink ever made, but it’s also a whole lot more wearable, too.

AVAILABILITY: Chanel

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Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Bare Escentuals Holiday 2010

Bare Escentuals for Holiday 2010

Beyond Gorgeous ($54.00)

Take your mood, and your look, above and beyond with a makeup collection full of extraordinary beauty. Beyond Gorgeous, with all its playful touches, makes it easy to make an entrance, turn heads, bask in the frills and thrills of holiday. So go ahead, sweep on these glowing, gorgeous shades, enjoy these special moments, and live life to its fullest (and then some).

Buxom Samantha’s Smoky Eye ($42.00) (Limited Edition) (Sephora Exclusive)

This set will have you feeling armed and gorgeous with Bare Escentuals’ smoking hot combination of: a Buxom Smoky Eye Stick in Smokin’ Pistol, a Buxom Smoky Eye Brush, a Lash Mascara in deep black, and a universally flattering nude Samantha Big & Healthy Lip Polish.

Brush with Genius Magnetic Brush Collection ($45.00)

Brilliant. Amazing. Super-Crazy-Fantastic. This innovative, patent-pending set has five interchangeable brush heads that fit securely onto one magnetic, double-ended brush handle. The full range of professional-quality face and eye brushes provides for all your beauty needs. And everything fits nice and snug in the Stow & Go Case, making it incredibly quick and easy to change brushes wherever you are.

Buxom Babes Rock Stars ($28.00)

Pump up the volume with Gabbi, Blanche, Julie and Tonya, four chart-topping sensations who will rock your pout to the max. By the opening act, your lips will be curvaceous, voluptuous and amped in sparkling color. You’ll feel a tingly, cooling sensation which means they’re getting fuller by the minute, while a deep infusion of antioxidant vitamins A and E will keep them soft, smooth and protected. With show-stopping shine and a sheer wash of color, these rock stars will leave you wishing for an encore. Congrats to Tonya P., the ultimate rock star who inspired us by sharing her story.

Buxom Really Good Lines ($28.00) (Limited Edition) (Sephora Exclusive)

6 x 0.01 oz Eyeliners in: No. 1: “Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?” (bright turquoise), No. 2: “Do you believe in love at first sight or should I walk by again?” (violet purple), No. 3: “Are you a parking ticket? You’ve got fine written all over you.” (pearl white), No. 4: “If I could rearrange the alphabet, I’d put “U” and “I” together.” (black), No. 5: “Are those sexy legs tired? You’ve been running through my mind.” (espresso), No. 6: “You must be a thief because you stole my heart.” (gold with silver micro glitter)

Check out many more gift sets and new products! Continue reading →