Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Pacifica Lotus Garden Spray Perfume ($22.00 for 1.2 oz.) is a soft scent of citrus-y floral. You can detect a little hint of grapefruit, but overall, it’s a very light, feminine floral scent. Pacifica describes this scent as “[a] meditative and intoxicating blend of sparkling yuzu, lotus blossom, jasmine, olibanum and bright, radiant green notes.”

For me, this is a fragrance that’s great for everyday wear; it’s not strong or particularly noticeable from across the room, but it’s a scent that just works. Even though I do like perfumes and the like, I tend to choose subtler scents on an ongoing basis and save the more potent scents for special occasions. (I think it’s probably because stronger scents tend to cause my allergies to flare up.) I find the scent lingers for a few hours before dissipating a bit. It’s been one of my favorite everyday scents this past spring, and I’ll continue to use it throughout the summer, too.

Pacifica is cruelty-free (they don’t use beeswax either!), are working towards carbon neutrality, and their packaging is recyclable and made with recycled content. Pacifica products do not contain parabens, propylene glycol, phtalates, synthetic dyes, triclosan, or sulfates. Their products are 100% vegan, which is definitely something that can be hard to find for some.

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Monday, May 25th, 2009

Benefit’s CORALista ($28.00) is fast becoming a cult favorite amongst the beauty crowd. It’s 0.42 oz. of a lightly warmed up coral-pink powder blush that works well to give you a soft, summery flush. It’s housed in cute packaging (exactly what I’d expect from Benefit!) and includes a miniaturized brush that fits inside. The brush is so-so, as most included brushes are, and I much prefer to use a traditional blush brush with this product. But it is nice to have something that can be toted with it, too.

What’s really fantastic about this shade of blush is it goes on extremely natural–you get a soft, glowy sheen with just a touch of coral color. It’ll instantly brighten up your complexion, and it is such a great product for summer when less is definitely more. There is a bit of a flora fragrance that’ll sneak out of the box each time you open it, so if you’re sensitive to fragrance, that might be a reason to check it ou before you purchase.

CORALista isn’t too warm, so it is great for a range of skintones–not just warmer toned faces. Since it can be built up in intensity, you don’t have to worry about overdoing it from the get go. There’s no chunky glitter or large shimmer particles, but there is a soft sheen/fine shimmer in it. (It’s what gives you the “glow.”)

If you’ve found NARS blushes to run too shimmery, you might find Benefit CORALista more up your alley. If you’re a bit hesitant because of the price tag, NARS’ blushes are $25 for only 0.16 oz. and MAC’s blushes are $18.00 for 0.21 oz., which makes Benefit cheaper by the ounce. CORALista is one of those easy-to-wear, everyday colors, so it is also a practical purchase you’ll use forever.

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Monday, May 25th, 2009

TINte Cosmetics Match Book in Natural Beauty ($28.00) is an easy, everyday kind of makeup palette perfect for anyone in the market for a solid, everyday look. TINte offers three Match Books: Blushed Beauty, Natural Beauty, and Smoky Eyes. Each Match Book contains two eye shadow colors (a base and contour), a cream eyeliner, blush, two lip glosses, and two brushes. On the back of each Match Book is a “Match the Look” which is a stpe-by-step guide (with pictures!) on how to use the products.

The Natural Beauty palette contains a base color that’s a soft, whitish-beige shade and then a color shade that’s a soft, golden tan color. The cream eyeliner is an intense, deep black-brown with a bit of warmth to it. The blush is kind of a bronzy shade, but it isn’t shimmery or anything, so it gives a natural flush to cheeks. The two lipglosses include one in a coral-peach shimmer shade and then a bronzy-tan with gold shimmer shade.

I like that the brushes included aren’t miniature in size, because I find those tiny handles impossible to use. These are more like short handled brushes, which makes them a lot more manageable. Also, the brushes were a nice add-on, because you get a lip brush, shadow brush, and a liner brush (one brush is dual-sided). The palette itself is housed in cardboard/paper packaging, so it is more earth-friendly than plastic palettes, and you don’t have to worry about this cracking if you drop it. I was really impressed by the intensity of the cream eye liner, because it was ridiculously deep and creamy. I also preferred two glosses over a gloss and a lipstick, because I find lipstick pans tend to be kind of sheer and blah.

For $28, this palette is a great deal, too. This is something I’d give to friends/family who weren’t comfortable with makeup and wanted something that’s totally go-to when they had a special occasion or wanted to play around with makeup. It’s also nice to have in the stash for weekend getaways where natural is all you need.

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Saturday, May 23rd, 2009


Mellan says… Protect yourself! Sunglasses & sunscreen!

Make sure you keep yourself protected this holiday weekend! It’s the official start of summer, and with that, I know a lot of you are spending sometime outside and (hopefully) enjoying summer rays. Sunscreen should be one of the first items you put on before you go out, but you should also keep some with you for easy re-application. As much as we’d love it if it were true, one application in the morning doesn’t keep you protected all day long.

For the past month or two, I’ve been road-testing a bunch of sunscreens from tubes to creams to sprays. One of the ones I’ve tested recently has been Kinesys‘ travel-size spray sunscreens. They have SPF 30 and cost $6.99 each. What I like about them is that they fit easily in my purse, so I can keep one on me for unexpected adventures. It’s available in both fragrance-free and regular–the regular version kind of smells like the beach… lots of sunscreen and a little bit of fruitiness. I find the fragrance-free version to be a lot more odorless, so I do prefer that one. The spray sunscreen is water/sweat-resistant, making it an excellent option for if you’re heading to the beach.

I’m not a dedicated spray-sunscreen kind of gal, but I do love it for on-the-go and impromptu trips outdoors. So while I’ll usually opt for a cream or lotion in the morning, I refresh my sun protection with sprays later on during the day, when I know I’m heading outdoors for awhile.

Stay safe and sunburn free! Continue reading →

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Clinique’s newly revamped Suncare line is definitely a product that’s going to make it into my beach bag this summer. The line includes a SPF 30 Face Cream ($17.50), SPF 50 Face Cream ($17.50), SPF 45 Targeted Protection Stick ($17.50), SPF 15 Face/Body Cream ($20.00), SPF 30 Body Cream ($20.00), SPF 50 Body Cream ($20.00), After Sun Rescue Balm with Aloe ($20.00), and SPF 25 Body Spray ($20.00).

I absolutely love the new packaging Clinique went with for their suncare line, because it stands out, is definitely “sunny,” and it’s fun. All of the new Sun products use avobenzone, ethylhexylsalicylate, homosalate, oxybenzone, and octocrylene as ingredients for UVA/UVB protection and stabilization. For those curious, these are chemical sunscreens, not natural ones, so if you’re allergic, you’ll have to opt for another line.

The SPF 30 Face Cream ($17.50) is fairly thick, comes out white, and it does have a bit of the sunscreen scent. The scent fades after application, as does the whitish cast once you’ve blended the product in. I find it dries down quite a bit leaving a non-greasy finish. I actually find myself still reaching for a moisturizer (a lightweight one) most of the time. I find the SPF 30 Body Cream is very similar to the Face Cream, perhaps it is a bit thicker, though. I love the SPF 45 Targeted Protection Stick ($17.50) for quick touch-ups, additional coverage (like on nose, ears, etc.), and just having something that’s extremely portable and travel friendly.

I can’t say I’ve truly road-tested the After Sun Rescue Balm ($20.00) yet, because the face and body creams are keeping me so well protected, I’m not burning whatsoever. (Plus, I’ve been lucky in that I’ve never burned before.) However, I did slather it on my boyfriend’s neck, because he plays tennis regularly so the sun would beat down on the back of his neck. He said it felt soothing, a bit cooling, and just overall made it feel less burnt.

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Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Benefit Smokin’ Eyes ($36.00) is an all-in-one palette to give you sexy, smoky eyes in no time. It contains three eyeshadows, black eye liner, brightener, two brushes, mini tweezers, and then instructions. The palette is housed in traditional Benefit packaging (cardboard/paper), which I can appreciate for its earth-friendliness. What I like most about this palette is the inclusion of eye liner, brow wax, and the mini tweezers. Those mini tweezers can really come in handy, actually! The brightener can be essential for those of us who aren’t getting quite as much sleep as we’d like, too.

There is a light pink highlighter, a soft gray with shimmer, and a deeper, gray-brown base shade. The eye liner is pretty black, surprisingly, and the brushes are average. I’ve never found palette brushes to be particularly noteworthy; they usually get the job done in a pinch, but they’re not brushes I’d use by choice. The instructions are a nice touch for those who are not so makeup-savvy. So, this makes a great gift to give to the new beauty fan or to someone in need of an all-in-one palette for special occasions.

See inside and swatches! Continue reading →