Essie’s Winter 2008 Collection features six stunning shades of rich jewel-toned polishes. Each polish goes for $8, but you can snag all six as a set for $45. My favorites were Sexy Divide, a gorgeous, deep dark royal purple; and It’s Genius for its softer, lighter magenta-purple tone. Essie polishes have always worked well for me, and this set is no different overall. All of the polishes are pigmented and go on smoothly with the exception of Shifting Power, which I’d probably do three coats of. Because Shifting Power has a more metallic finish, it’s easier to see the stroke lines, too.
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Green by Nature Banana Shea Body Butter ($11.99) is a tropical treat for your skin. It’s 97.6% natural and 100% paraben free (you can see that right on the jar itself). Green by Nature is a brand where every product is 100% free of Parabens, Sulfates, DEA, petroleum, Propylene glycol, Sacchrine, Dioxin, and Phthalate. No product is less than 95% natural, and they deal primarily in body products (lotions, scrubs, etc.). There are three main scents: Almond Cocoa, Banana Shea, and Mint Green Tea.
I’ve only tried and sniffed the Banana Shea scent, which smells exactly like a perfectly ripened banana (not too sweet, not too sour!). The body butter itself is rich and thick, just like a body butter should be, and the moisturization properties keep my legs scale-free all day long. I find the drying time isn’t quick, but I haven’t found that body butters sink in particularly fast. I’d say you just need to stand around doing your hair or makeup for five minutes or so before slipping on your pants/skirt/shorts/what-have-you. Besides, the best time to soften up your bod is immediately after you’ve toweled off!
You can browse Green by Nature products at www.greenbynaturebeauty.com or at Target (psst! this product is on sale for $9.99 right now!).
NARS The Multiple Duo Maldives/ Riviera ($45.00) is part of the new Multiple Duos NARS recently launched. The palette is actually pretty large–much larger than the eyeshadows, eyeshadow duos, or blushes. I see the Multiple Duos as one way to reach a larger audience, because you get two for $45 rather than one for $37. Admittedly, the Multiple itself has plenty of product to stretch out your dollar–it isn’t like you’ll run out in a week.
Maldives is described as “pink champagne with shimmer,” and the description is right on. Same with the description of Riviera as a “sheer pink.” Both of these shades are available in Multiple form, so if you love one but not the other, you don’t have to pick them up as a duo. Both colors are fairly sheer, and on my skin tone (NC30), I really couldn’t get much color to show. Riviera showed up better than Maldives, but it required a lot of building to get there.
Unlike the original Multiple, which comes in a stick form, you pretty much have to use a brush with these (the drawback is it may be harder to transfer color onto the skin and you may waste more product that gets caught in the bristles). I know some will say to use your fingers, which is fine, but I just prefer not to use my fingers to apply makeup. It kind of grosses me out, especially the idea of my finger oils getting all into the compact. Perhaps a sponge would be better, but I’ve always found sponges to be so wasteful. Sigh!
What struck me the most was that the duo format didn’t feel as creamy as the original version. I think that factor contributed to why I found it difficult to get enough pigmentation for these colors to show up on me. I tried several brushes (187, 188, 190) with all mixed results. Next time I’m at Nordstrom’s or Sephora, I definitely want to see how both these shades compare when in Multiple form, just to see if the formulations really are different–especially in pigmentation. I do wonder if it’s like some other creamy products where the surface is firm, but once you’ve used it a few times, the product softens.
I also want to check out Maui/Palm Beach and Orgasm/South Beach duos, too. I think those may be better for my skin tone!
Have you tried the new Multiple Duos? What do you think? Which ones have you tried?
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MUD CARES PALETTE ($25.00) is a quad of eyeshadows developed and created by Makeup Designory (you know, the school!). Not only that, but this palette donates 100% of the proceeds towards building homes for children in Africa who have been orphaned by AIDS.
Spanish Gold Warm, amber brown
Dulce de Leche Soft brown-based pink
Cashmere Medium beige with coffee warmth
Moss Golden olive green with gold flecks
What really impressed me about the palette was how utterly pigmented each of the colors were. They really are true-to-color and go on like a dream. Soft and finely milled with just a touch of shimmer/sheen. It’s more a sheen than true shimmer, but they’re definitely not matte shadows. I can really see this palette working for most skin tones and complexions; it just has a good mix of colors that have enough depth to really have fun with.
Plus, MUD offers these tips on using it (how awesome is that?):
Great on all skin tones
Mix Spanish Gold with Moss to create a rich liner
Use a sheer swipe of Cashmere for a touch of warmth
Use Dulce de Leche as a highlight for a dimensional effect
Use with Black Eye Pencil and Black Cream Mascara for a dramatic evening look
Use #330 Shadow Fluff Brush for a brilliant sweep of color on the entire lid
Use #330, #350 or #800 Brush to blend and define the crease
Use the fine sharp angle of #210 Angle Liner Brush to apply along upper and lower lash lines as a liner or to achieve natural hair strokes on eyebrows
Use #810 Smudger Brush to smudge or smoke out eye liner or crease color
Use #320 Shadow Brush to apply to the center of the lid
Use #300 or #350 Brush to blend and highlight the brow bone
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Vera Wang LOOK ($70 to $300) is the latest fragrance release from Vera Wang. If you know me, it’s hard to captivate me with a scent long enough for me to wear it regularly. Sure, I enjoy many fragrances, but only a few get adopted into my perfume rotation. With that being said, I have worn LOOK for the past two weeks.
LOOK is not a particularly unusual scent nor is it a bold one. It is a pleasing, enjoyable scent perfect for everyday wear, whether you’re a mom-on-the-go or a high powered attorney. For an evening out, I’ll still opt for something stronger and bolder, but this just suits me so well for all my other day to day activities. The top notes of LOOK are mandarin, watery green, lychee, and golden delicious apple. The heart of the fragrance contains lily, freesia, and jasmine. The base notes consist of vanilla, musk, oakmoss, and patchouli.
The scent begins with a very clean burst of springy greens, but then it quickly changes to something more floral, more feminine. More importantly is the dry down, which finishes into more detectable notes of vanilla and patchouli. I consider this scent to have the earmarks of a feminine scent, but I wouldn’t classify it just as that. For me, it’s a classic scent that’s not too strong or bold to wear around even my dad (who hates perfume-y smells with a passion). It’s that just right scent for me. I hope you’ll give it a spritz next time you’re at the mall!
Available in: 1.7 fl. oz. EDP ($70.00), 3.4 fl. oz. EDP ($90.00), 1.0 fl. oz. Elixir ($300.00). Get yours at Nordstrom.
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on10 Disney Red Apple Lip Balm SPF 15 ($9.00) is a tin pot filled with lip balm. The lip balm contains SPF15, which is always a good thing (especially since I often forget about SPF on my lips!). I think the selling point of this product is the Snow White drawing on the tin. It’s cute and very vintage, so it feels more sophisticated/adult. The lip balm formula contains coconut oil, beeswax, olive oil, and cocoa butter. It goes on clear, despite looking pink in the tin, and it lasts for an hour or two before I feel the need to reapply. I don’t know if I’d grab more of these, though I’d definitely consider the set of them ($38 for 9, slightly smaller tins). I think it’s a great stocking stuffer for the Disney fan in your life, though!
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