Win Balenciaga Paris!

Balenciaga Giveaway

Win Balenciaga Paris!

I’ve been playing with this scent this past week, and it’s a sensual, sophisticated scent for spring. It’s a soft violet tempered by a woodier, muskier base. It’s a lighter scent that wears well throughout the day, but it’s not overwhelming. Definitely feminine but not girly or candy-sweet–grown-up without being totally on the edge.   And now, Temptalia is giving one away!

One (1) lucky Temptalia reader will win a bottle of Balenciaga Paris Eau de Parfum! (Retail value $130.)

Immediately, the demure violet note makes us think that BALENCIAGA PARIS is a light fragrance, as pleasant as sunshine. In BALENCIAGA PARIS, we find the first moments of April, floral breezes and blossoms from milder days. A spring-like feel: airy dresses and fleeting glances. A bouquet of violets also has an old-fashioned tone, the antique charm of a few dried petals that we find between the pages of a book by Colette, traces of memories, the work of art so fine that is the past

But soon, a peppery note reveals itself and swells over calm, mossy wood. Foliage that breathes in the secret hours of night. Then, another more nocturnal facet of nature expresses itself. A sensuality becomes clearer. The shadowy color of the liquid within already says something of its mystery.
It is a fragrance full of light with a few dark apertures. BALENCIAGA PARIS is a lovely paradox. It is a fragrance that becomes life, that melds with living. BALENCIAGA PARIS offers itself and guards itself…

How to win: Leave a comment sharing with me why you love to wear perfume!

All entries must be submitted by April 12th, 2010 at 11:59 PM PST. This contest is open to U.S. readers only as pursuant to your local state/country’s laws. Winner will be chosen randomly and notified via e-mail. This post will be updated with “winner chosen” when one has been chosen.

Congratulations to Steph Z.!

Beauty Lessons: Blush Brushes

Blush 101

Beauty Lessons: Blush Brushes

For a softer look, consider using a fluffier brush that’s not as dense as the traditional blush brush. I recommend using stippling brushes, like Sephora’s #44 Professional Stippling Brush ($35), MAC 187 Duo Fibre Face Brush ($42), or Make Up For Ever HD #55N Blush Brush ($39). Stippling brushes deposit color more evenly while allowing you to build up color slowly.

For a brighter look, consider dense, tapered brushes. The tapered edge allows you to deposit color with precision, which will help get you that brighter, more noticeable pop of color right on the apples of the cheeks. I recommend angled brushes like Sephora #42 Natural Slant Brush ($32), Benefit’s Slant Brush ($20), Laura Mercier Angled Cheek Contour Brush ($45), and MAC 168 Large Angled Contour Brush ($32).

For everyday usage, consider dense, domed brushes with some fluff to it. A fluffier brush will allow you to blend and deposit color more evenly and softly without going too heavy, but the density will still allow you to pack on color should you choose to. The dome shape works nicely to give cheeks color without being too concentrated on the apples, so it can blend outward and look natural. I recommend Bobbi Brown Blush Brush ($50), Eco Tools Blush Brush ($9), MAC 116 Blush Brush ($32), and NARS Blush Brush ($46).

For mistakes, use a dense, buffing/kabuki brush in soft, small circles to diffuse the color and blend out harsh edges. Some top buffing brushes include NARS Botan Brush ($75), MAC 182 Buffer Brush ($45), and Eco Tools Kabuki Brush ($9).

What’s your favorite blush brush?

Do you have a question idea? Submit yours here.

Sunscreen 101: UVA vs. UVB, What SPF Means, Sunscreen & Makeup

Sunscreen

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, licensed esthetician, skincare expert, etc. This is information I have gathered from reading many different sunscreen-related articles throughout the past few years. I’ve provided links for reference purposes. As always, please consult your doctor and/or dermatologist for the latest and most accurate, up-to-date information.

Why sunscreen?

Wearing sunscreen will help prevent your skin from burning from harsh UVB rays and reduce the effects of UVA rays on the deeper layers of your skin–it may help reduce the signs of aging later on down the road as well as lower your exposure risk to skin cancer.

What are UVA and UVB?

  • UVA rays are the kind that have the greatest effect on you… that you don’t necessarily see right away. This includes aging and wrinkles as well as increase the risks of skin cancer.  Think of UVA as the AGING (and cancer-causing) rays.
  • UVB rays are the kind that you’ll notice right off the bat,  because UVB rays are generally responsible for sunburns.  Think of UVB as the BURNING (sunburn-causing) rays.

This is a very short and sweet summary to get the main points out, but you can check out this article for a more in-depth explanation.

Is higher SPF better?

Not, not necessarily. First, remember that “SPF” is only a rating on effectiveness of UVB rays, not UVA.   SPF 15 blocks roughly 93% of all UVB, while SPF 30 blocks 97%, and SPF 50 blocks 98%. (See SkinCancer.org.) If you are out and about, many organizations recommend reapplying sunscreen every two hours (especially if you’re spending the day in the sun). It is also more important to look for a broad spectrum sunscreen than one merely with a high SPF rating.

The way SPF works is if it takes you 10 minutes to start burning normally, wearing SPF 15 would mean it would take 15 times as long to burn–150 minutes.

How much SPF do I need? Do I need to reapply my sunscreen throughout the day?

Most recommendations seem to indicate a a full shotglass’ amount for your entire body applied thirty minutes before sun exposure and reapplied every two hours. If you’re in the water or sweating, it is even more important to reapply regularly. Even water-resistant sunscreens (designed for 40 minutes of protection in the water) and waterproof sunscreens (designed for 80 minutes of protection in the water) need to be reapplied after a romp in the water. (See AAD.org.)

How do I reapply sunscreen over makeup?

According to WebMD, it is much better to choose a moisturizer or lotion/cream based SPF product rather than a foundation or powder with SPF in it–you may not get enough coverage if it’s within a foundation (particularly a powder) or cosmetic product.   Bauman (an expert in the aforementioned article), recommends reapplying sunscreen once during the day for day-to-day wear. To reapply sunscreen over an already-done face, consider a sunscreen spray (but made for the face, not the body), patting a layer of sunscreen or SPF-based tinted moisturizer onto the face (don’t rub), and/or pressed powder (with a sponge for better adhesion) with SPF.

In general, the ingredients in sunscreen degrade when in direct UV contact, so if you’re sitting in an office building all day, it may not be necessary to reapply.  Always remember to apply sunscreen liberally–don’t hold back–and be thorough about it.  If cost is a worry, look for a more affordable sunscreen rather than a $300/jar sunscreen!

What ingredients should I look for?

Any sunscreen or sunblock should list what ingredient(s) it uses to accomplish sun protection. The rule of thumb is to look for a sunscreen with “broad-spectrum” protection. This means that it uses ingredients that cover the majority of the UV spectrum (so both UVA and UVB protection).

  • UVB (290-320nm): Aminobenzoic Acid (PABA), Cinoxate, Dioxybenzone, Ensulizole, Homosalate, Octocrylene, Octinoxate, Octisalate (Octyl Salicylate), Oxybenzone, Padimate O, Sulisobenzone, Trolamine Salicylate, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide
  • UVA (320-340nm): Dioxybenzone, Ecamsule (Mexoryl), Helioplex, Meradimate, Oxybenzone, Sulisobenzone, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide
  • UVA (340-400nm): Avobenzone, Zinc Oxide

Physical blockers like Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide may give some deeper skin tones a white cast (as they are, literally, physically blocking the rays). Some may be allergic or sensitive to chemical sunscreens and may need to opt for physical blockers instead. Physical blockers protect skin by deflecting or blocking harsh UV rays, while chemical blockers/sunscreens usually absorb them. (Most other sunscreen ingredients beyond titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are chemical sunscreens, for reference.) Physical blockers tend to be more stable, while chemical sunscreens may degrade and are often paired with other sunscreen ingredients to increase stability. (See more information at AMF.org.)

This Week’s Sales for April 5th, 2010

This Week’s Sales for April 5th, 2010

  • Benefit: Free shipping over purchases of $50+, use code PRETTY50.
  • Bliss: Get 2 free body butter minis with any purchase using code 2BUTTER, valid 4/5-4/9/2010. Get a free problem salved & free shipping with any ingrown eliminating pads purchase, use code POTM410, expires 4/30/2010. Free Bliss gift bag with $50+ purchase with code WANTIT, expires 4/30/2010.
  • Blue Mercury: Free shipping on all orders over $50, plus 3 free beauty samples with every order.
  • Bobbi Brown: Complimentary Mahogany Gel Eyeliner and free shipping orders of $65+, use code GEL. Complimentary Heather Lip Gloss and free shipping on orders of $65+, use code GLOSS7. Both codes expire 4/15/2010.
  • C.O. Bigelow:  10% off any purchase over $50 with code BIG10.  Expires 6/30/2010.
  • The Container Store: Spring Organization Sale begins!
  • E.L.F.:  Buy 1, get 1 free from the Sugar Kiss collection.
  • Juara Skincare: 10% off all orders with code APRIL10.
  • MAC Cosmetics:  Free Zoomlash with code ZOOM410.
  • Noodle & Boo: Buy Opulent Body Butter and get 50% off Bubbling Exfoliating with code exfoliant50, expires 4/30/2010. Buy 1 Play-Day Sunscreen, get 1 Free with code sunbunny, expires 4/30/2010.
  • Nordstrom: Current list of Gifts with Purchase.
  • NYX Cosmetics:  35% off all cream blushes with code LUCKY3.
  • Saks Fifth Avenue: Get two travel-size best sellers (Crystal Lip Gloss and Perfectly Defined Mascara) with any $65+ Bobbi Brown purchase with code BBROWN3.
  • SkinStore:  $10 off $60+ orders with code GREEN10.  Expires 4/9/2010.
  • Smashbox:  Take $25 off any order or $100+ with code SAVE25.

Sephora: Get 10 free skincare samples with any order while supplies last with code 10FREE.

  • Free Korres Primer Sample with any online order with code OAKPRIME.
  • Get samples of all five HerCut styling products with any online order with code HAIRPICK.
  • Get a free Kim Kardashian tote with $45+ on Kim Kardashian’s fragrance with code KARDASHIAN.
  • Free bliss Hot Salt Scrub when you buy the Bliss Bikini Perfect Deluxe trimmer with code HOTSALT.
  • Get Clarins Cleanser for $9 (2.6 oz., regularly $17), no code necessary.
  • Buy AmorePacific’s Best Selling Kit ($50), get a free deluxe-sized Skin Energy sample with code AMORESKIN.