Tuesday, October 20th, 2009


Guerlain Gemma Le Rouge G de Guerlain Lipstick

Guerlain Gemma Le Rouge G de Guerlain Lipstick ($45.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a dazzling confection of medium pink with a golden glimmer. It applies opaque in one to two layers, and it looks natural yet still more color pop than a my-lips-but-better (MLBB) shade. I’m really a big fan of how smoothly and evenly the Rouge Gs apply, and Gemma is no exception. I think this color is universally flattering, because it’s a nice, neutral medium pink. The gold shimmer adds a little oomph to the color, too. This is a shade you could wear year-round, so this is definitely going to make its way into my everyday lip color stash.

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: This is one of my favorite shades that I’ve seen from the Rouge G lineup — it’s a very pretty in pink shade with just the right amount of shimmer.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Tuesday, October 20th, 2009


Chanel Aqualumiere Gloss: Canari, Colibri, Hirondelle

Chanel Aqualumiere Gloss ($27.00) will see an addition of three new, limited edition shades as part of Chanel’s Holiday Collection. The shades include Canari, which is a peachy-melon with golden-peach shimmer; Colibri, which is a shimmery champagne with iridescent shimmer; and Hirondelle, which is a medium pink with pink and gold shimmer.

All three Aqualumiere Glosses appearing with the holiday collection are very sheer shades. They pack pretty shimmer, but they don’t add much in the way of color. Canari goes on as a golden shimmer, which is pretty and definitely holiday-esque–I’d probably layer it over a red for a little extra glitz. Colibri makes my lips appear cooler and paler with iridescent silvery white shimmer. It actually reminds me a bit of MAC’s She-Zam Dazzleglass, but with a little more of a pinkish tone to it. Surprisingly, Hirondelle adds the most color to lips, and it appears as a soft, slightly milky pink with pink shimmer.

Aqualumiere Glosses are sheer, ultra glossy, and non-sticky. It comes with a brush-tipped applicator which makes for fairly easy application. I’m easygoing when it comes to gloss applicators – doe foot or brush, it’s all good! They’re not the most long-lasting lipgloss (I certainly wouldn’t dub them long-wearing) – I get about three hours of wear when I layer one on by itself. Over a lipstick, I do get better results (four to five hours overall for the average pairing). I still prefer some of the earlier released shades of Aqualumiere Glosses–I remember being really jazzed over them initially–but these new shades for holiday are a little too sheer for my liking. I’d suggest checking out permanent shades like Candy Glow and Ginger Shimmer instead.

Bottom Line: Aqualumiere Glosses are, by their nature, sheer, so I’m not going to knock a bunch of points off on that account.  These shades just aren’t to my particular taste, but if you like non-sticky, ultra glossy lipgloss, then Aqualumiere Glosses are always a good bet–just as long as you’re in the market for something on the sheerer side.

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re a fan of the feel and texture of Chanel’s Aqualumiere Glosses, you might want to peep the new shades. They’re very much on the sheer side, though!

Availability: October 2009 at CHANEL counters

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Monday, October 19th, 2009


Sonia Kashuk Dramatically Defining Long Wear Gel Eye Liner in Indigo and Cocoa

Sonia Kashuk Dramatically Defining Long Wear Gel Eye Liner ($8.99) is SK’s answer for longwearing, smudge-proof, budge-proof gel liner. It’s available in three shades: Cocoa (deep brown), Ebony (deep black), and Indigo (deep blue). I haven’t seen Ebony yet, but I did get a chance to play with Cocoa and Indigo.

Indigo is a rich, vibrant dark navy blue (I wouldn’t describe it as Indigo, personally) with slight shimmer but not a lot of shininess. It applies evenly and opaquely with an angled eyeliner brush (I like MAC’s 208). Cocoa is a dark, slightly warm-toned chocolate brown. It has a very creamy texture, and it has a slightly wet look to it, though it does dry down and has an overall matte finish. I’d say that Cocoa is comparable to MAC’s Rich Ground fluidline, but it has a more matte appearance and probably a touch warmer, too.

Both of these gel liners wear incredibly well throughout the day with no budging, smudging, or fading. They stay in place and last all day long on the lower and upper lash lines. They’re also thick and creamy and pack plenty of color, so you can easily create defined eyes with a flick of the wrist. The quality of these is most definitely comparable to Bobbi Brown’s Gel Liner and MAC’s Fluidlines. The packaging isn’t as nice (just feels a little cheap) as either of the high-end brands mentioned, but ultimately, it’s the product that counts.

Bottom Line: If you’re on a tight budget, or if you’ve merely wanted to try your hand at gel liners, Sonia Kashuk provides a solid option. The only real drawback to the line is that it is an extremely limited shade range and may be difficult to find, as it’s only available at some Targets and not currently available for purchase online.

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation: For those who’ve eyed MAC’s Fluidlines or Bobbi Brown’s Gel Liners, Sonia Kashuk’s DDLGELs are awesome, affordable options.

Availability: Target (Local)

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Monday, October 19th, 2009


NYX Jumbo Lipstick Pencils: Hot Red, Hera

NYX Jumbo Lipstick Pencil ($3.50 each) is available in thirty different shades, as listed on the brand’s website, from browns to pinks to reds. I recently tested out two shades: Hot Red and Hera. Hot Red is a vibrant shade of orange-based tomato red, while Hera is a shimmery pink raspberry color.

I found Hot Red to apply quite opaque and has a very solid look to it. Hera, on the other hand, was sheerer and applied unevenly when used as an all-over lip color. Ironically, I didn’t find that the Jumbo Lip Pencils were stellar as lip liners, but they did make for quick and easy lip color. I’m not entirely sure what their official purpose is – is it to line lips and make them look defined? I want to say no, it can’t be, because they’re just too jumbo to work well for that purpose. The size alone makes them more suited for filling in lips entirely than actually providing definition. Plus, it is a Lipstick Pencil, so I think the idea is more of a two-in-one lipstick and liner combination, but it works better as a lipstick.

I found this to be true through trial as well, because neither shade I tested gave me clear, crisp definition. In fact, Hot Red feathered quite a bit, and I’d definitely use a lip liner before applying the pencil itself in the future. Hera didn’t feather as much, but it was decidedly uneven compared to Hot Red as well. I think the shimmer/frost of it makes for a less opaque product. The product itself feels fairly soft and creamy, with Hot Red definitely creamy and Hera only mildly creamy. I do, personally, detect a bit of “plasticness” to the taste/feel of the products, but it’s not really noticeable.

I really wish NYX’s website had a better showcase of color swatches, because the majority of the lip pencils actually look unappealing (seems like a lot of browns/mustards almost!), so I’m not sure if I’ll try additional shades or not. I also didn’t like how messy the pencil itself got when you use it directly – lip color kind of smudges and smears on the pencil edge, so it looks fairly dirty.

Bottom Line: For the price, I don’t think you could go wrong if you were looking for a product to use to create layered lip color. Alone, they didn’t have that precise application needed to really pull it off, but they could certainly be layered or used in conjunction with a lip liner for better definition.

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 10/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation: If you’ve been curious about more opaque lip color, NYX Jumbo Lipstick Pencils are an affordable way to try out different shades. For those with naturally defined lips, these are an excellent choice for lip color. Others may want to double-up and use a lip liner for more intense shades like Hot Red.

Availability: NYXCosmetics.com

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Monday, October 19th, 2009

Philosophy Holiday 2009 Collection

ah, our first snow so fresh and beautiful. carolers arrive, like graceful, holiday angels to sing silent night and share my winter joy. the sugary smell of grandma’s angel cakes reaches my window seat, while i continue to gaze… watching pairs of snow shoes & mittens carve snowy trails.

the guests will be arriving soon. mom pulls out the cookbook and calls me into the kitchen. together, we bring the gingerbread man to life with frosting buttons and a happy heart. all the treats must be decorated for the cookie exchange we’ll have later by the fire.

jumbling pots and pans make music, and i laugh. it sounds like the bake shoppe down the street! eyes will light up over the holiday spice and everything nice in our home-baked goodies. after the cups and cookie crumbs are collected, i sneak back to my window to watch friends make the winter escape.

i hope dad hurries in. he promised to read ‘twas the night before and make his special peppermint hot cocoa. he calls it fireside indulgence, which make mom giggle. my little brother is two, so he’s telling everyone he meets to have a cherry christmas!

i draw a candy cane in the fog of my window as grandpa plays holiday songs to remind us of the spirit of giving. grandma said i was “a darling, little holiday hostess” to our guests, and maybe on new year’s eve i can be a party girl with my older cousins!

mom loves her gift; she called my dad the miracle worker for topping last year’s present. i just love how she smells… so pretty, so soft like amazing grace.

mom comes up behind me and wraps me in a big hug. she asks, “what do you see out your window?” i answer, “magic.” she kisses my forehead and looks at me, “magic, you say?” “i asked each snowflake to take hope to everyone, and they’re delivering it. isn’t that magic?”

a season of and hope philosophy: find the magic in every moment, the hope in every day

First Snow ($25.00)

  • snow body lotion 2 oz., snow shower exfoliating gel 4 oz., snow kiss lip shine .5 oz. gift set

Angel Cakes ($20.00)

  • high-foaming shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath 8 oz., lip shine .5 oz. duo

Snow Shoes + Mittens ($20.00)

  • snow shoes miraculous foot cream 4 oz., snow mittens miraculous hand cream 4 oz. duo

The Cookbook ($35.00)

  • 6 recipe-inspired shampoo, shower gel & bubble baths 2 oz. gift set (pumpkin spice, red velvet, hot cocoa, warm pear cobber, gingerbread and cinnamon buns)

The Cookie Exchange ($30.00)

  • 4 delectable, cookie scented high-foaming shampoo, shower gel & bubble baths 4 oz. gift set (lemon cookie, coconut macaroon, chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin)

Gingerbread Man Hot Salt Scrub ($25.00)

  • gingerly hot salt scrub for tub & shower 23 oz.

Holiday Spice & Everything Nice ($16.00)

  • high-foaming shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath 8 oz., lip shine .5oz

The Bake Shoppe ($30.00)

  • pink frosted layer cake and raspberry mousse high-foaming shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath 4 oz., raspberry mousse lip shine .5 oz., sweet creamy frosting lotion 2 oz. gift set

The Winter Escape ($25.00)

  • peppermint hot cocoa high-foaming shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath 4 oz., melting marshmallow cream body soufflé 2 oz., lip shine .5 oz. gift set

‘Twas the Night Before ($20.00)

  • milk and cookies high-foaming shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath 8 oz. duo

Party Girl ($35.00)

  • pomegranate bubbly exfoliating shower gel 4 oz., shimmer body lotion 4 oz., lip shine .5 oz.

Holiday Hostess ($20.00)

  • cinnamon buns award winning, ultra rich shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath, body lotion 8 oz. duo with pumps

Amazing Grace ($50.00)

  • amazing grace perfumed shampoo, bath & shower gel 8 oz.,, perfumed body butter 2 oz., spray fragrance 2 oz.

The Miracle Worker ($85.00)

  • the microdelivery exfoliating wash 8 oz., purity made simple one-step facial cleanser 8 oz., hope in a jar moisturizer 2 oz., hope in a tube eye and lip firming cream .5 oz., the microdelivery peel vitamin c/peptide crystals 1 oz. and activating gel 1 oz. set

Shower Gels ($16.00)

  • Silent Night
  • The Gingerbread Man
  • Peppermint Hot Cocoa
  • Have a Cherry Christmas
  • Candy Cane
  • Pumpkin Spice Muffin
  • Caramel Apple
  • Eggnog

Availability: Sephora.com, Philosophy.com

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Monday, October 19th, 2009

La Mer Holiday Miracles 2009

For the ultra decadent, luxurious gifts to give and receive this season… La Mer has you covered.

Legendary Luxury ($1,390.00)

This treasure is home to the jewel of La Mer—a magnificent (16.5 oz.) jar of the Crème nestled in a sleek green box with chrome detail and a lucite lid. In a short time, skin becomes softer, firmer, looks virtually creaseless. An exceptional gift, this limited edition offering is simply the Crème de la Crème.

The Connoisseur Collection ($395.00)

The Connoisseur Collection brings together three essential skincare treatments perfect for any time of year: Crème de la Mer (2 oz.), The Lifting Face Serum (9 ml) and The Eye Concentrate (.5 oz.). Presented in a festive keepsake box, this offering is a beautiful way to both gift and experience La Mer.

The Signature Collection ($240.00)

Jet-setters will revel in the limited edition Signature Collection. Featuring convenient, travel sizes of Crème de la Mer (1 oz.), The Lifting Face Serum (15 ml) and The Eye Concentrate (5 ml), The Signature Collection lets your loved ones indulge in La Mer at home or away. Presented in La Mer’s signature, gift-ready box.

The Lip Balm ($45.00)

Hydrate and help protect lips with the soothing Lip Balm. A truly luxurious emulsion, it works on contact to soften and moisturize. Like the original Crème de la Mer, the results are immediate, yet also long lasting. This small gem is sure to please each and every one on your list this season.

The Hand Treatment ($70.00)

The Hand Treatment is a silky formulation that helps protect and heal even the driest hands. La Mer’s smart seaweeds attract moisture, an exclusive Skin Lightening Complex improves skin tone and clarity, and magnetized water helps reduce feelings of fatigue as it soothes on contact. Perfect for winter pampering, it encourages hands to look younger and feel softer to the touch.

The Body Refiner & The Body Crème ($110.00 / $195.00)

Who wouldn’t love to receive the gift of diamonds? Treat someone special this holiday to La Mer’s latest innovation, The Body Refiner. This plush, creamy and calming treatment utilizes precious ingredients—including 1.75 carats of pure diamond dust— to deliver a cushiony resurfacing treatment that both polishes and softens the skin. For the ultimate winter treat, follow with The Body Crème, a sumptuous treatment that lavishes skin in a wave of long-lasting hydration.

Availability: October 2009

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