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  • BH Cosmetics33% off sitewide (excludes Carli Bybel palette + clearance items), ends 8/27.
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  • Neiman MarcusGet up to a $300 gift card with your select purchase of $500+ (beauty/fragrance included) with code NMAUG, ends 8/23.
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The Million Dollar “Is it worth it?” Question

Cle de Peau #2 Lipgloss
Cle de Peau #2 Lipgloss

Cle de Peau #2 Lipgloss Review, Photos, Swatches

One question I regularly receive about products (and not just luxury priced products) is, “Is it worth it?” This is also iterated in other ways, like: 1) “Do I need this?” 2) “Should I save up for this?” and 3) “Should I buy the original or the cheaper dupe?” Sometimes someone will want to be convinced to buy something, other times someone will want to be reminded that it’s totally dupeable or below-the-bar in quality. The problem with these questions is it’s really, really hard for me to tell you if a product is worth it to you or not. It’s undeniably subjective and completely based upon your budget and personal preferences!

I thought maybe it would be a good reference post going forward whenever I review a more expensive product, because “worth” and “value” are measured differently by each of us. Some of us prefer to look at how much you’re getting for the price, others look purely at the price tag because they never expect to go through a product, and others look at price per use (because you expect to use it up). I’m more in the camp of the last one–if you are only going to wear a product once or twice before moving onto something else, there’s absolutely no reason to save up for it. If you’re going to use it everyday for months, then maybe it’s worth saving up for.

From time to time, I re-review one of my all-time favorite products (and thankfully, it’s permanent!) that I continue to love each and every time I wear as much as I did the first time (and I’m often motivated to do a more thorough job reviewing the product each time and with better photos!). There are a few reasons why I love it, but they’re all personal reasons and justifications. I just re-purchased it from Saks a week or so ago.

Cle de Peau #2 Lipgloss ($48.00 for 0.21 fl. oz.) is a peach and gold shimmered peach-pink with a nearly metallic finish. It’s semi-opaque in coverage–there is a lot of shimmer in it, while the base color itself is fairly close to my natural lip color (warmer and pinker). Le Metier de Beaute Papaya Creme is the closest dupe to this shade, and it has a slightly darker color base (less pink, a little more coral), but it has a very similar shimmer component that gives off the same metallic-like finish. MAC Nymphette is sheerer, more golden (less peach), and doesn’t have nearly as much shimmer–but it is a gorgeous shade and similarly flattering. Benefit I’m With the Band is pinker, less peach, almost gold-copper in shimmer. Chanel Pin-Up is similar but has less shimmer. NARS Orgasm is also similar but lacks the heavy shimmer finish. NP Set Mauritius is milkier and a little less peach.

First and foremost, I’m absolutely in love with the color. It’s warm, peach, and gold; all shades that flatter my particular skin tone and overall coloring. It’s not sheer, but it’s not totally opaque, so it can be layered with other lipsticks but also wore on its own (I usually wear it on its own). There are, however, as you can see from above, numerous shades that are similar to this one–and for most, I suspect, similar enough to opt for a version that’s half or even a third of the price of this one. The only thing that really makes it slightly different is how much shimmer is in the gloss, and the resulting more metallic-like finish (which Papaya Creme also has but the base color is a wee different, though not by much–and still $12 cheaper).

The texture is lightweight and comfortable to wear without being too thin or too thick; it doesn’t slip around once applied, but it doesn’t cling. It’s non-sticky, and there was no discernible scent or taste. I love that it wears five to six hours on me, and it fades evenly and none of the shimmer (and there’s a lot of it!) travels while it’s worn. The formula is moisturizing and never leaves my lips feeling dehydrated, even after wearing it all day.  It’s not my favorite gloss formula of all time, but it’s a really good one (though I haven’t tried many other shades beyond #2–I can’t even remember trying another shade on).  If it was a poorly made gloss with a stellar color, I would probably end up moving to a dupe with a better formula and only keep my original tube as nostalgia.

I imagine part of the love for this particular gloss is attached to memories; my first luxury cosmetic purchase, which was part souvenir (at my first Barney’s, which was in Vegas) and part reward, and one of those products that has endured over time. It doesn’t matter if others think it’s a waste of money or hate the color or don’t think it’s worth that much–my enjoyment is not dependent on others loving it.  Every time I apply this gloss, I smile. My spirits rise.  I get a little giddy.  I remember the very moment I swatched this and saw the crazy peach-gold duochrome and fell in love and indulged.

One thing that you’ll notice is I’m careful about saying what is and isn’t my favorite. There are lots of products I like and even love, but there are less products I consider true favorites–ones I go back to, ones I would repurchase, ones that I would use over and over again if I was a normal consumer.  So when I say something is my favorite, I say it with feeling.

There are a handful of lip products that I always reach for when I travel, this being one of them (others include Chanel Dragon–my power red–and a Guerlain Rouge G, which usually fluctuates between Garconne, Gems, and Ginny at the moment). This also has a permanent home in my purse (along with Jack Black Lip Balm), and if I don’t have a product I’m testing along with me and the product I was originally testing has worn off, I reach for this.

Is there a beauty product that holds a special place in your heart?

The Million Dollar “Is it worth it?” Question


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Illamasqua Fledgling Eyeshadow

Illamasqua Fledgling Eyeshadow
Illamasqua Fledgling Eyeshadow

Illamasqua Fledgling Eyeshadow

Illamasqua Fledgling Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “matte kelly green.” It’s a brightened medium grassy green with very subtle yellow undertones and a matte finish. MAC Fresh Flare is darker, cooler-toned. MAC Wondergrass is similar but a touch lighter, yellower, and shimmery. Inglot #384 is darker. Inglot #331 is even darker. Make Up For Ever #91 is just a little lighter and yellower.

Just released, Fledgling is another stellar matte shade to work with.  It’s intensely pigmented with opaque, smooth color payoff with very little product required.  The texture is soft, finely-milled, but not powdery.  If you aren’t a fan of some of the denser, more “buttery” matte shades because of the excess powder they kick up, you may find Illamasqua’s formula a happy medium between drier and softer mattes.  Fledgling wears extremely well with or without a primer; it lasted for eight hours without fading or creasing.

Illamasqua Powder Eyeshadow Fledgling

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Meet Benefit’s SpyGal — a Marvel Comic Book Action Hero Inspired by the POREfessional

Meet Benefit’s SpyGal — a Marvel Comic Book Action Hero Inspired by the POREfessional

Get ready for thrills, frills & espionage! Marvel Custom Solutions, the custom publishing division of Marvel Entertainment, and Benefit Cosmetics, the San Francisco beauty brand known for its fun instant beauty solutions, have co-created SpyGal, the FIRST EVER beauty-inspired comic book hero.

“The superpowers of our bestselling pore minimizer, the POREfessional, created such an international sensation, we knew it was destined for greatness! Marvel, the world’s top storytellers, helped us bring our action hero SpyGal to life in the first ever beauty-inspired comic book.” – Julie Bell, EVP Global Marketing at Benefit Cosmetics

SpyGal’s pore-zapping persona was modeled after the POREfessional pore minimizing primer. With over 1 million products sold worldwide, the POREfessional is an international sensation. The POREfessional action figure, SpyGal, has her own a pore-zapping ray gun and touch-up pro case. She’s smooth! She’s sexy! She’s your secret weapon against pores!

“Marvel and Benefit both know that humor and intelligence can be a heroes’ greatest strength, especially when faced with life’s modern problems,” said Marvel Custom Solutions Editor Bill Rosemann. “SpyGal dispenses justice, beauty tips and witty life advice with an effortless grace, while also grappling with work and dating worries. Can SpyGal ever find Mr. Right…or must she sacrifice romance to the demands of her job helping powerful women spread their influence around the world? Writer James Asmus and artist Phil Noto reveal all in SpyGal #1!”

Inspired by SpyGal’s covert mission to empower women around the world, Marvel and Benefit assembled a dynamic creative team including fan favorite writer James Asmus (Uncanny X-Men, Captain America) and acclaimed artist Phil Noto (Avengers: The Origin, X-Men Origins) to bring SpyGal to life in her collectors’ item debut comic book. Together they seamlessly blended the trademark humor of Benefit with the iconic action & drama of Marvel storytelling to create a witty, globe-trotting espionage adventure.

“It’s exciting to bring Benefit Cosmetics and Marvel Custom Solutions together for such a historic collaboration,” said John Dokes, Marvel SVP of Integrated Sales and Marketing, Publishing and Digital Media. “SpyGal is a dynamic, nuanced hero for a new generation and combining that with the unparalleled storytelling of Marvel brings fans one of the most unique comics they’ll read all year.”

In addition to pulse-pounding beauty action, readers can use the FREE Marvel AR app to access video content from the glamorous world of makeup using their smartphone or tablet!

This limited edition SpyGal comic is available in May at Benefit counters everywhere. It’s undercover…and over the top!

See more photos!

This Week’s Sales for May 7th, 2012

Get $10 off $50 at Beauty.com!

Feel free to share any upcoming deals you’ve spotted!

Deal Sites/Rebates

  • EBATES:  The Body Shop (10%), Elizabeth Arden (10%), SkinStore (9%), Sephora (8%), DermStore (7.5%)
  • FAB: evLOVEPerfume (5/7)
  • GILT:  BluePrint Cleanse (5/7),
  • HAUTELOOK:  Pixi Beauty (5/7), Pop Beauty (5/7), Rock Your Hair (5/7), Dermelect Cosmeceuticals (5/8), TEI Spa (5/8), Proliss (5/9)
  • IDEELI:  —
  • MR. REBATES:  Proactiv (25%), Sheer Cover (25%), WEN (25%), Murad (18%), Beauty.com (12%), ULTA (12%), Clarins (10%), Prescriptives (10%), DermStore (10%), Elizabeth Arden (10%), Drugstore.com (10%), Folica (10%), Clinique (10%), Clarisonic (10%)
  • MYHABIT: Babo Botanicals (5/7), Perfect Hair Professional Styling Tools (5/9), dr. brandt (5/11), ghd (5/12)
  • Rue La La:  —

Free Shipping, Coupon Codes, GWPs

  • APOTHICA: Free shipping on orders of $49+.
  • BATH & BODY WORKS:   20% off exclusive candles, wallflowers, body care, gifts, etc. with code FAVORITESCENTS, expires 4/29.
  • BEAUTY.COM:  Get $10 off $50 through THIS LINK
  • BENEFIT: Free shipping on $50+ purchases. Free international shipping with $125+ purchases.  Free shipping + gift wrap with $50+ order with code WELOVEMOM, 5/1 through 5/8.  Free chacha tint and mini moisture with $45+ orders with code CHACHACHA, 5/1 through 5/31.
  • BLISS:  Free Essence 27 0.5 oz. mini with any Cosmetics 27 purchase of $100+ with code MINIC27, expires 5/31.  Free Sisley Discovery Kit mini with $250+ Sisley purchase with code SISKIT12, expires 6/30.   Free Bliss bag ($195  value) of goodies with $95+ purchase with code ILOVEMOM, expires 5/13.
  • BLOOM:  25% rewards back on your first purchase with code 25BACK. 30% rewards back on your first purchase with code 30BACK.
  • BLOOMINGDALE’S: Free shipping on orders of $150+ with code FS150.
  • BOBBI BROWN: Free shipping on $65+ orders. Free Plumberry Treatment Lip Shine SPF 15 with $65+ order with code PLUM11, expires 5/25, one time use.  Free Nougat Lipgloss with $65+ order with code GLOSS12, expires 6/30, one time use.
  • CLINIQUE:  Free shipping on $50+ orders.  Free shipping in any purchase, expires 5/2.
  • DERMSTORE:  10% off when you shop for your My Favorites List, expires 6/2/12.
  • GIORGIO ARMANI BEAUTY:   Free shipping with $75+ orders + 2 samples of choice for registered members. Free shipping with any $75+ purchase with code DESIGNER10, no expiration. Free Luminous Silk Foundation #5.5 (5ml) + free shipping with any $100+ skincare purchase with code LUMINESSENCE, expires 5/8.
  • JURLIQUE: Free Rosewater Balancing Mist with $75+ orders 4/26 through 4/30. Free shipping on $50+ orders.
  • KIEHLS:  Free shipping on$50+ orders.
  • LANCOME: Free 4-piece sample set plus free shipping with $45+ order with code LANMAY, expires 5/31.
  • MOLTON BROWN:  Free gift with purchase when you spend £45+.
  • NORDSTROM:  Free shipping & free returns everyday.
  • OJON: Free shipping and free returns.
  • ORIGINS:  Free shipping on $50+ orders, no code necessary. Free Origins eco-friendly tote + travel-size duo of Make a Difference Hand Treatment & Peace of Mind with $30+ orders, expires 6/30.  Free shipping on any order, expires 6/30. 2 free treats for Mom or you with $55+ purchase, expires 5/9.
  • PHILOSOPHY:   Free shipping on $50+ orders, no code necessary.
  • SAKS FIFTH AVENUE:  Spend $150 and get a free subscription to Harper’s Bazaar with code BAZAAR. Spend $250 to $499, get $25; Spend $500 to $999, get $50, etc. Free shipping on $150+ orders with code APRSFA. 20% off (15% off jewelry), beauty/fragrance EXCLUDED, 4/23 through 4/29 with code FRIENDS.
  • SEPHORA:   Beauty Insiders earn double points on all fragrances through 5/13.  Free Benefit Dandelion Brightening Face Powder and Lipgloss deluxe sample duo with $25+ purchase with code DANDELION, 5/15 through 5/30.  Free Sephora t-shirt with $25+ purchase with code BEAUTEE, 5/15 through 5/30. Free Diorshow Mascara deluxe sample with $25+ purchase with code DIORLASH, 5/8 through 5/30.  Free Caudalie SOS Quenching Serum (BIs only) with $25+ purchase with code SOSERUM, 5/8 through 5/30. Free bareMineral Purely Nourishing Cream for Dry Skin with $25+ purchase with code BECREAM, expires 5/25.  Free sample of Guerlain Lip Shine in Extrait de Rose with $25+ purchase with code LIPSHINE, expires 5/22. Choose 1-4 fragrance sample bags with $25+ purchase with code 6SCENTS, expires 5/31.  Free Lancome Hypnose Instant Drama mascara deluxe sample with $25+ purchase with code DRAMA, expires 5/24.  Choose 1-2 deluxe fragrance samples with $25+ purchase with code SCENT4U, expires 5/24.  Choose 1 of 2 free Origins deluxe moisturizer samples with $25+ purchase with code EARTH12, expires 5/21.  Free Narcisco Rodriguez for Her Eau de Toilette deluxe sample spray with $25+ purchase with code 4HER, expires 5/21.  3 free Stila Eyeshadow Palette cards with $25+ purchase with code TRYSTILA, expires 5/20.  Free PTR Retinol Fusion PM deluxe sample with $25+ purchase with code PTRSERUM, expires 5/24.  Free Taylor Swift Wonderstruck Tote with purchase of 3.4 oz. EDP with code WONDER, expires 5/24.
  • SKINSTORE.COM:  20% off select gift ideas under $200 with code NEW2012, expiration unknown.
  • TARTE: Free shipping on $40+ orders.
  • THE BODY SHOP (USA): 30% on all gift sets expires 5/13. Body Butters are 3 for $30, expires 5/13.
  • ULTA: $3.50 off $10+ purchase with code 72783, exclusions apply.
  • YSL:  Free shipping on any order, no code necessary.

NORDSTROM - Philosophy gift with purchase

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