Thursday, October 29th, 2009

MAC’s Sorceress Eyeshadow Palette is filled with fairly cool-toned eyeshadows. I find that with as many purples and cool shades included in this palette, the best way to complement any eye look is going with cool pink, pale pink, or plummy shades on cheeks and cool-toned pinks or iridescent opals and purples for the lips.

Some notes: I didn’t find that the lip shades launched with MAC’s holiday collection worked particularly well with this palette, so I’d recommend looking in your stash for better shades! I also found that as pretty and unique as Hold My Gaze Eyeshadow is… it doesn’t work easily with this palette, because it’s has a definite green tone to it. I’d also recommend thinking about using it with some greens and golds for a better look.

What combinations have you tried?

Here are five different eyeshadow combinations you could try using just this palette

  • Inner Lid: Edge of Dark Eyeshadow
  • Outer Lid: Magnetized Eyeshadow
  • Crease: Altered State Eyeshadow
  • Brow: White Rabbit Eyeshadow
  • Cheeks: Conjure Up! Mineralize Blush
  • Lips: Sweetie Lipstick, Ever So Rich Cremesheen Glass

See four more combinationsContinue reading →

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Have you picked up goodies from MAC’s Magic, Mirth, and Mischief Colour Collection and struggled with what to wear the new shades with? Here are five ideas using mostly the new products with a few permanent shades. All items mentioned are by MAC, for the sake of making it easy. :)

  • Inner Lid: Under Your Spell Mineralize Eyeshadow
  • Outer Lid: Mayhem Mineralize Eyeshadow
  • Crease: Midnight Madness Mineralize Eyeshadow
  • Brow: Ricepaper Eyeshadow
  • Cheeks: Superdupernatural Mineralize Blush
  • Lips: Phiff! Dazzleglass, Surprise Me Lipstick

See four more combinationsContinue reading →

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Philosophy:  Peppermint Hot Cocoa Shower Gel
Philosophy: Peppermint Hot Cocoa Shower Gel

Philosophy Peppermint Hot Cocoa Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath ($16.00 for 16 oz.) is a fun, holiday scent from Philosophy’s Holiday Collection.  The first time I lathered up with this product, I was instantly reminded of peppermint mochas from Starbucks.  It’s that chocolaty sweetness mixed with a pop of peppermint.  I think Philosophy nailed the scent, and the name is perfectly suited to it.  It’s a good mix of chocolate sweetness and richness and peppermint where neither scent overpowers the other.

Philosophy describes this scent as, “a minty spin on a chocolaty holiday favorite. this super-decadent, new peppermint hot cocoa shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath 16 oz. will surely become your favorite shower-time treat. the ultra-rich formula provides a moisturizing lather from head to toe to gently cleanse and condition your skin and hair. it even comes in a giftable holiday box.”

I am a big, and a long-time, fan of Philosophy’s 3-in-1 gels.  I only use mine as shower gels (I prefer other products for shampoo, and I rarely take baths), but I love these for two reasons:  1) sheer variety in scents available and 2) they lather up so easily and quickly and feel great when you’re using them in the shower.  I think these are affordable products, because one 16 oz. bottle lasts me about three or four months, easily.  You don’t need much to lather head to toe or to get the scent to fill your shower.  The only thing I don’t like about these is I find the bottle packaging to be of a very hard plastic, so it isn’t as easy as I’d like to squeeze out the product when it starts getting empty–requires a little strength!

Bottom Line: If you prefer shower gels that give you a lingering scent after the shower is over, Philosophy’s aren’t really designed for that purpose (they actually advertise them as scents that don’t linger past the shower/bath).  If, however, you want to enjoy a burst of scent in the shower in various fun scents like Peppermint Hot Cocoa, but don’t necessarily want to walk around smelling like that, these are amazing.

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: 4/5

Recommendation:  As with most Philosophy shower gels… if you like this kind of scent or it sounds like one you might like, I urge you to give it a whiff!

Availability: Philosophy, Sephora

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Wednesday, October 28th, 2009


Guerlain: Rubis Rose KissKiss Gloss

Guerlain Rubis Rose KissKiss Gloss ($29.00 for 0.17 oz.) is a lovely semi-sheer shade of plummy brown with gold and plum shimmer throughout from Guerlain’s Holiday Collection.  KissKiss Gloss is one of my favorite gloss formulas, so I’m always excited to see what new, limited edition shades are launched by Guerlain.  It’s a non-sticky, moisturizing gloss that runs sheerer rather than ultra pigmented, but some shades are ultra sheer while others are semi-sheer and provide decent color to lips.  Rubis Rose is one of the latter types — it’s dark without being too dark, so you can wear it alone or over another color to add more depth.

It has a rose-floral scent, a slightly perfume-y scent, which I know some people really dislike, but I like it (I don’t love it, don’t get me wrong, but it doesn’t bother me).  What I like about the KissKiss Gloss is that it lasts a good amount of time for a lipgloss when its worn on its own — I get about four to five hours of wear before it starts to fade/disappear.  I’ve always loved the sparkle factor, too, which is noticeable and bright and fun.

Price-wise, these aren’t the best bang for your buck, and by their nature, they’re not something everyone is going to rush out to buy.  To each their own, I say!   Price analysis tells us that Guerlain’s KissKiss Glosses are some of the pricier high-end lipglosses, being more expensive than many of its direct competitors like Dior and YSL, but still less expensive than Stila and Smashbox, by the ounce.

Bottom Line:
The packaging is pretty and elegant, the formula is stellar, and the color itself is perfect for the fall/winter seasons.  The only downside is the price, and I think Guerlain fans won’t find the price to be much of an obstacle.


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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation: If you love the KissKiss formula and are looking for a nice plummy shade, check out the new Rubis Rose!

Availability: Nordstrom, Sephora.com

See swatches and comparison photosContinue reading →

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009


MAC Wild ‘Bout You Lipstick

The Scarlet Season: MAC Wild ‘Bout You Lipstick

MAC Wild ‘Bout You Lipstick ($14.00 for 0.10 oz.) was a limited edition shade of amazingness launched with the Rockocco Collection back in fall of 2006. MAC described it as a “rich raspberry with pink pearlized pigments” with a matte frost finish (who knew you could have a matte frost!).  This shade is almost not quite a red, but I couldn’t resist including it, because 1) it does have a red tinge to it, and 2) I tend to reach for it when I’m feeling like wearing red.

It’s a very amped up raspberry red with kind of an icy pearl fuchsia-pink sheen, but otherwise, the lipstick itself is matte.  I will also say that Wild ‘Bout You is a particularly dry matte, so it’s not the easiest to use on imperfect lips.  Because it does have a tendency to be quite dry, I usually wear it with a gloss on top, which makes it look and feel the way I like it to.  Don’t forget – you can see looks/lip combinations of me wearing this lipstick here.

The Scarlet Season is a series of posts showcasing and featuring my favorite shades of red lips–from glosses to lipsticks that runs through December 2009. You can sure expect to see a lot of red this holiday season!

See more swatches and comparison photosContinue reading →

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009


Wearing Guerlain Parure Gold Liquid Foundation

Guerlain Parure Gold Fluid Foundation ($78.00 for 1 oz.) is a recently released liquid foundation by Guerlain that’s designed to add a bit of a glow to skin with medium coverage. The product itself is also supposed to have a bit of skincare in it, as Guerlain says it should, restor[e] luster and revitaliz[e] skin in the long term, thanks to the exclusive double-sided Gold Radiance Pigment” along with “the regenerating properties of Myrrh Oil, and the lifting and smoothing properties of Peptides, long-term results include the diminishment of fine lines and smoother, softer skin.”

First, as I feel it’s necessary to do in any reviews relating to a product with anti-aging properties, I’m 23. I’m still in my so-called youth, so I don’t have too many signs of aging yet (thankfully), and I think it’s important to note that. It’s a lot harder to see a measurable change when there are few areas that might even get changed. I have some fine lines around my eyes, but these tend to be exacerbated if I don’t drink enough water or get enough sleep. Personally, I don’t seek out anti-aging products in my skincare regimen at this time. I feel the best regimen is preventative care vs. reversal care, for me, and at this stage in my life.

I’m just not going to be able to give you much insight on whether this product actually diminishes your fine lines with much substance. I will say my skin has never looked better since using it, and I do feel like my skin has a healthier look when it’s au natural. I used to be a little more self conscious about going out nekkid faced, but after using this pretty consistently (I did/do alternate with tinted moisturizer), I like the way my skin looks. With most things, it’s easy to create causal links that may not really be there–skin is so faceted, so it could be a change in hormones, better diet, getting sick (seriously, my skin never looked better!), etc.

What’s more important to me is how well it acts as a foundation, and it that area, I can definitely tell you, from my experience, that it excels. It’s a great lightweight, medium-coverage liquid foundation that makes skin look smoother, softer, and very, very natural. It’s not heavy, never gets cakey, and is so easy to smooth onto skin. I don’t normally like foundations that purport to give you a “glow,” because it tends to translate to oiliness for me. I’m normal-to-dry, and typically, “glowy” foundations make me look oily, which is so not my thing. Parure Gold doesn’t. It really does give you that natural glow. Just that little, “Oh, did you cut your hair?” kind of glow that people don’t attribute to your foundation. It feels like heaven on, and it hasn’t broken me out after using it for these past few months (always a good thing!).

Application: I always apply my liquid foundation in the same manner: apply the foundation in spots all over my face with a concealer brush, then I spritz a fluffy brush (I’m loving MAC 109 for liquid) with plain ol’ water. I then work the foundation out and all over my skin and the brush both applies and blends at the same time. If that was confusing, I did do a video tutorial for applying foundation with the 109 brush. I use this method with Guerlain’s foundation, because it stretches out the product (I just find it’s so easy to overwear foundation, and the water stretches it out and gives you a more natural look where you can go back and apply more in the areas you need it) and makes it incredibly easy to blend and smooth onto the skin.

It has the traditional sort of perfume-y scent of most Guerlain skincare/face products, though, which may be something those who are more sensitive to perfumes and scents can’t tolerate. The price tag is another obstacle for some, as it is considerably pricey at $78 per ounce. I’ve sinced swapped this for my previous find DiorSkin Nude Liquid Foundation, which was also a bit more expensive at $45 per ounce. I imagine the price hike is attributable to the skincare properties in the foundation itself (which isn’t a bad idea, considering you often wear foundation for eight hours or more).

It is available in six shades: #02 Beige Clair, #03 Beige Naturel, #04 Beige Moyen, #05 Beige Intense, #06 Beige Profond, and #13 Rose Naturel. The shade I’m currently using is #03 Beige Naturel, which I think matches my skintone quite well (I’m around NC25/NC30 in MAC foundation, for reference). The packaging does hold some fingerprints, which can make the product itself look messy, but it comes with a pump, and I use one to do my whole face.

Bottom Line: For a splurge foundation, Guerlain Parure Gold Liquid Foundation gives amazing coverage, feels lovely on, and looks even more amazing. I’ve loved it enough to have stuck with it for the past two or three months, and it’s my go-to for liquid foundation. I do wear a lot of tinted moisturizer, just because if I’m not doing a full face of makeup, tinted moisturizer is all I need (but to be honest, I do go bare-faced quite often). The only real drawback (to me) of the product is the price tag.

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: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  A stellar liquid foundation that covers well, feels like nothing on, and looks fantastic — if you can get past the price tag, there’s a lot of great things to say about this foundation!

Availability: Nordstrom, Saks

See more photos of me wearing this foundationContinue reading →