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Monday, November 16th, 2009

Holiday 2009 Gift Guide: Best Gifts for Friends

There are a few characteristics that come to mind when I’m looking for gifts to give my favorite gal pals:  cute, fun, and budget-friendly. Even though we’d all love to lavish our friends and family with any gift they desired, it’s easy for holiday spending to get out of control.  I always make sure to set aside a budget for friends and I try to determine a good spending level and keep it equal.  (Of course, that very best friend might get a little extra!)

Philosophy Gift Sets are one of my favorite gifts to give (and receive!). Philosophy does an amazing job creating cute, holiday-themed packaging and keeping their sets high on the value side while they’re at it. They also have special scents/flavors that only pop up during the holiday season, too.

  • I like their Holiday Cookbook ($35.00) is a six-piece shower gel set (each with 2 oz.) housed in a cardboard “cookbook.” It contains the following scents: Red Velvet Cake, Cinnamon Buns, Spicy Pear Cobbler, Pumpkin Spice Muffin, Gingerbread, and Double Rich Hot Cocoa. Delicious!  (You can read my review of last year’s here.)  You can find this gift at: Nordstrom, Philosophy.com, Sephora.
  • My next recommendation is The Recipe Box Set ($18.00) is a good option if you’re on a slimmer budget (or you just have a lot of friends and would like to spread the love a bit more). It’s a cute little set in a gift-ready box and red bow tied on top. It contains two 6 oz. shower gels: Sweet Creamy Frosting and Red Velvet Cake. It is available at Beauty.com, Nordstrom, Philosophy.com, and Sephora.

Korres has a lot of value-packed sets available for holiday as well as year-round (nothing wrong with giving one of those, y’know), so if you’re thinking about giving the gift of Korres this holiday season, there’s a good variety of sets to choose from.

  • Korres Cherry Lip Kisses ($19.50) is a trio of Korres’ Cherry Oil Lipgloss (includes Fuchsia, Natural Purple, and Nude shades). These are fun glosses, and when they’re available in a set? Totally worth it!  (You can read my full review here.) You can pick this set up at KorresUSA.com (save 30% on $35 or more with code TEMPTALIA til 12/31!) and Sephora.
  • Another Korres set I’m loving for an affordable gift set is their Best Of Korres ($25.00) which gives a nice taste of Korres’ product line without splurging on full-sizes. It’s a particularly nice set to receive, too! I also like it because it is travel friendly, and I know I can never have too many travel-sized products.

See more gift ideas… Continue reading →

Monday, November 16th, 2009

For the holidays, Kiehl’s has collaborated with New York artist KAWS to lend a helping hand to children in need. Through their partnership, they are raising awareness with Creme de Corps Holiday Collection, which is a limited edition launch where 100% of net profits from the sale of each product is donated to children’s charities worldwide.

Limited Edition Creme de Corps Holiday Collection

Considered the most hydrating, rich body moisturizer in the Kiehl’s line, this super-enriched, nurturing body treatment is formulated with Beta-Carotene, Squalane and nurturing oils derived from Sesame Seeds, Soybeans, Almonds and Avocados; ideal for extremely dry skin; leaves skin soft, smooth and elegantly hydrated; the original, classic formulation and customer favorite for decades. 8.4 oz. $26.50; 16.9 oz. with Pump $44.50; 1 liter $70.00

In the US, 100% of net profits will support RxArt, a non-profit national organization, committed to fostering artistic expression and awareness through the challenging, yet rewarding task of engaging young patients through contemporary art in pediatric hospitals.

Additionally, Kiehl’s has several holiday gift sets available for the season:

  • 40th Anniversary Lip Balm #1 Set Includes six Lip Balm #1 formulas in Coconut, Cranberry, Mango, Mint, Vanilla, and Original ($32.00)
  • Men’s Refueling Kit Includes Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash, Facial Fuel, Ultimate Man Body Scrub Soap, White Eagle Shave Cream ($28.50)
  • Kiehl’s Delights Includes Creme de Corps, Ultimate Strength Hand Salve, Amino Acid Shampoo, Lip Balm #1 ($29.00)
  • World of Kiehl’s Includes Ultra Facial Cleanser, Lip Balm # 1, Ultra Facial Moisturizer, Ultimate Strength Hand Salve, Creme de Corps, Creme de Corps Nurturing Body Washing Cream, Amino Acid Shampoo, Amino Acid Conditioner ($45.00)
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Monday, November 16th, 2009

Rant & Rave

This Week’s Topic: GLITTER NAIL POLISH!

Your Mission: Tell us what you love, hate, or are otherwise indifferent to about glitter nail polish and all that it entails.

Monday, November 16th, 2009


China Glaze Ruby Pumps Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Wizard of Ohh Ahz Collection

China Glaze Wizard of Ohh Ahz Collection debuts this November, for the holiday season. The collection consists of six shades: Ruby Pumps (an all time red glitter favorite), The Ten Man (silver frost with specks of micro silver glitter), Cowardly Lyin’ (gold frost with specks of gold micro glitter), Good Witch (pink frost with specks of pink micro glitter), C-C-Courage (purple frost with specks of purple micro glitter), and Dorothy Who? (blue polish with massive amounts of silver and blue glitter).

It’s a re-release of a collection by the same name from 2001. I never owned the original set, so I couldn’t tell you if there’s any variance between the two. The materials I received said it was “very similar to the original version that was released in 2001,” so I imagine they may have revamped or improved their formula in the past eight years and that’s why they’re not identical.

  • Ruby Pumps is a gorgeous shade of ruby red with lots of deeper red shimmer particles laced throughout. It’s a shade that catches light well and just sparkles. Ruby Pumps has always been one of my favorite shades by China Glaze; it’s also included in the Love You Snow Much set for holiday. This applies opaquely with two medium-thick coats and goes on smoothly.
  • The Ten Man is a semi-sheer slightly silvered clear base with silver sparkle. I found this one was hard to make opaque, even with three medium-thick coats. The shimmer didn’t seem to apply as uniformly as the other five in this launch, but I like the shade itself. I’d probably wait longer between coats and do thicker coats as well, perhaps even use a silver or grayish base for a more opaque look.
  • Cowardly Lyin’ is a bright, yellow-based metallic gold base with gold shimmer. Like The Ten Man, I found this one was harder to get to be completely opaque (you can see the tip of my nail). It’s more opaque than The Ten Man, but I’d, personally, prefer a more opaque base. I really like the color, though – it’s a very true gold; it reminds me of lions, for sure, and it’s perfect for the holidays.
  • Good Witch is a slightly cool paled down rosy pink with pink sparkle. The pink sparkle in this one seemed a little chunkier than some of the others, which isn’t a problem for me, but just something I noted. This one went opaque in three medium-thick coats.
  • C-C-Courage is a deep, rich purple with a cool undertone. It’s a dark purple base with lighter icy purple and silver sparkle. This one only needed two medium-thick coats to look opaque (even one gets you close).
  • Dorothy Who? is an oceanic blue with lighter and deeper blue sparkle. I actually thought this one was particularly stunning in person! I wasn’t so sure at first, when I saw the bottle, but it really is lovely. It sparkles quite nicely when the light hits it. It takes at least three medium-thick coats to get an opaque look, perhaps even three thicker coats.

Overall, I really liked the formula, texture, and look of the shades included in this collection. I absolutely loved Ruby Pumps, Cowardly Lyin’, and Dorothy Who? — those would be my top three picks out of the six. While I normally love, love China Glaze and its formula, I do feel that a lot of these run on the sheerer side.  Ruby Pumps and C-C-Courage are the biggest exceptions to this, as they meet my expectations from China Glaze!

I have to say this, though: why is there no Emerald City? I know China Glaze has Emerald Sparkle, which would have certainly been fitting to this launch. I don’t know; I really expected to see a green in a collection about the Wizard of Oz, you know? Kind of left me hanging in that respect.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

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

Recommendation:  If you’re looking to add some sparkle–but not glitter–China Glaze’s Wizard of Ohh Ahz Collection has you covered!

Availability:  November 2009

See close-ups and swatches of the other five shadesContinue reading →

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Build a Quad: “Sunset Style”

There’s one look that I do often, even if the shades themselves are interchangeable, and it’s what I’d call a “sunset eye.” Like it sounds, it includes the colors you might see in a sunset: bright yellows, fiery oranges, coppers, and reds.

This quad includes: MAC Goldmine eyeshadow (bright, true yellow gold), MAC Coppering eyeshadow (a coppery-red bronze), MAC Passionate eyeshadow (matte deep fuchsia-pink), and MAC Rule eyeshadow (a matte lightly burnt orange). If you wanted a more autumnal quad, you could easily swap out Passionate for MAC Antiqued eyeshadow, as well.

A few combinations to try with this…

  • Goldmine all over the lid, Rule on the outer lid, Coppering in the crease
  • Goldmine on the inner third of the lid, Rule on the middle of the lid, Passionate on the outer lid, Coppering in the crease
  • Rule on the inner half of the lid, Passionate on the outer lid, Coppering in the crease
  • Goldmine all over the lid, Passionate on the outer lid, Coppering in the crease

A few looks I’ve done that can be replicated with these shades…

Build a Quad is a feature focusing on creating different eyeshadow palettes that are both beautiful and functional using permanent shades of eyeshadow. We invite readers to suggest their own build-a-quads — just leave your ideas in the comments! Don’t forget to name your quad! :)

See swatchesContinue reading →

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Ralph Lauren is on sale at HauteLook!

About the brand:

Ralph Lauren’s aspirational vision has been a mainstay in the world of fashion and style. His profound influence from clothing to home wares to fragrances, is not just about exceptional experiences and beautifully crafted objects, however; it is about a way of life.

Just as Ralph Lauren has had a driving role in shaping men’s and women’s lifestyle and fashions over the past 40 years, he has also been the central force in shaping and developing the designer fragrance market. It is fitting that the portfolio of Ralph Lauren fragrances includes almost every classification: florals, woodlands, directional editions, new classics. The range speaks to the brand’s breadth and versatility and achieves Mr. Lauren’s desire to make the dream accessible to everyone.

Ralph Lauren has introduced more than 25 popular fragrances for men and women, beginning in 1978 with the launch of Polo Ralph Lauren and Lauren by Ralph Lauren. Since then, Mr. Lauren has introduced several iconic scents, such as Polo Modern Reserve, Polo Black, Polo Blue, Ralph Lauren Romance and Love, Ralph Lauren.

The link above is an invite-link, which is a referral link. HauteLook has opened up membership, so you are free to sign up on your own, if you wish! :)